The 1812 Immigrants from Ballyleese, Ireland, to Washington County, Pennsylvania

greatgrandson of William (1804 - 1859)

Source: Tennessee The Volunteer State Vol 4


Charles Albert McElravy, widely known as "Mac of the movies," is one of the pioneers in connection with the moving picture industry in this country and has at all times kept abreast with the advancement and progress that has been made in connection with this line of business, which now ranks among the five largest industries of this country. Today sixteen leading movie theatres are under his direction and management and one of these is his own property. While he has made notable success in business, he has become equally well known in Masonic circles and perhaps no Mason in Tennessee has made a more profound study of Masonry and certainly few are more familiar with its ritual than he. In Memphis, when the thirty-first and thirty-second degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred, he occupies the chief role of master of Kadosh and at all times he is a most loyal follower of the teachings and high purposes of the craft. He has made his home in Memphis since 1904 but is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was born July 11, 1882. He comes of Scotch-Irish ancestry in both the paternal and maternal lines. His father, Nicholas White McElravy, was a shipbuilder, who was born in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, and passed away November 19, 1919. The mother bore the maiden name of Phebe Jane Jordan and was also born at Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, while her death occurred in 1910. The paternal grandfather of Charles Albert McElravy was John W. McElravy, a native of Pennsylvania, whose father came to the new world from the north of Ireland.

Charles A. McElravy was reared and educated in Pittsburgh, where he attended the public and high schools and later pursued a course in a business college. Between the ages of twenty and twenty-two years he was a submarine diver in the rivers about Pittsburgh and also in the Allegheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio rivers and upon one occasion his diving shoes became entangled with some steel rails on the river's bottom, holding him fast for more than fourteen hours before he was rescued. He quit this hazardous task at the age of twenty-two, at his mother's urgent request, and at once entered upon his present career in connection with amusement interests. He came to Memphis in 1904 to superintend the several amusement features at East End Park and he was then in the employ of the Bissell Amusement Enterprises of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Memphis has been his home throughout the intervening period to the present. Here he has been continuously connected with amusement facilities and from 1906 until 1908 he was general manager of the distributing branch of the American Film Corporation. In the latter year he became general manager of the Majestic Amusement Company, operating four Memphis theatres, and continued to act in that capacity until 1919. On the 1st of July of the latter year the Majestic Amusement Company became the Memphis Enterprises, Incorporated, and on the 21st of September, 1921, this became the Consolidated Enterprises, Incorporated, with Mr. McElravy continuously in the position of general manager. He now has under his direction sixteen theatres, four of these being in Memphis, two in Jackson, five in Chattanooga, two in Johnson City, three in Knoxville and one at Columbia, Tennessee, the last mentioned being his own property. For four years he was the president of the Motion Picture Exhibitors League of Tennessee and by reason of his activities in this field he is widely known as "Mac of the movies." In this connection one of the local papers wrote: "Perhaps everyone does not know that Mr. McElravy was the operator of the second motion picture theatre to be opened in this country. Despite his early successes he has never been satisfied to let conditions remain as they are. His constant effort for improvement and his general live-wire methods, coupled with the fact that he has been fortunate in being backed by such men as Messrs. Bridges and Tarlton, principal owners of the Majestic Company, has resulted in Memphis having the finest motion picture theatre in the entire south." He may be said to be the dean of the movies in Tennessee and he was formerly a director of the Motion Picture League of America. Mr. McElravy is also prominent and active in many other ways and is especially well known in Masonic circles. He has taken the degrees of both the York and Scottish Rites and the honorary thirty-third degree has been conferred upon him. He is one of the leaders himself in conferring degrees and in delivering lectures on Masonry. He was made a member of the craft August 23, 1913, and in October of that year became a Scottish Rite Mason, while on the 6th of November, 1913, he crossed the sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Soon afterward he became a Knight Templar and in October, 1919, was made a knight commander of the Court of Honor, while on the 21st of October, 1921, he was given the thirty-third degree, a degree that is never conferred except in recognition of valuable service rendered to the order. He is a past master of Kadosh in Scottish Rite Masonry and from the beginning has always been a most worthy and faithful follower of the teachings of the craft. He has membership in the Mystic Shrine and in St. Stephen's Conclave, No. 20, of the Red Cross of Constantine, his connection therewith also indicating high honor and standing in Masonic circles. He is likewise a life member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and he belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, to the Rotary Club and to the Golf Club.

On the 8th of December, 1916, Mr. McElravy was married to Miss Olive Irion, who was born and reared in New Orleans. Mr. and Mrs. McElravy have two little daughters: Dixie, aged five; and Olive Patricia, who is six months old. During the World war Mr. McElravy did everything in his power to advance the interests of the government, thereby supporting the soldiers at the front. He took an active part in all drives and was one of the Four-Minute men. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church. He is well known throughout the south and his success has brought him prominently to the front in connection with an industry that has forged steadily forward until there are only two or three that o'ertop it in the volume of business done annually. Mr. McElravy is always genial, is always approachable and his circle of friends is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances.

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