Galleher Hall

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Galleher Hall


This house occupied the lot where Johnson Hall now stands. Originally an eight room cottage built in 1870 as a dormitory, after signing the lease in 1879 Bishop Galleher had the house enlarged. Bishop Galleher, a successor to Bishop Polk as Bishop of Louisiana, was a Confederate Veteran and said to be a charming man. Galleher and his wife had five children. One daughter, Alice, married Bishop Sessums, Galleher’s successor as Bishop of Louisiana. Sessums was the first Sewanee alumnus to be elected Bishop. The other daughter, Charlotte (Miss Dot), married Alex Blacklock, Sewanee alumnus, famous athlete, and later a Trustee. Bishop Galleher’s three sons (John, Paul, and Clarkson) went to the Sewanee Grammar School, the University and its law school, and all three went into the Army.

Mrs. Galleher was known for her beauty and personality; she was also known for her famous pet, Pierce Galleher. Pierce could predict precisely when the chapel bell going to ring, and five or ten seconds before it sounded, he left home and made a beeline for old St. Augustine’s, racing to get to his place on the chancel. After Bishop Galleher died in 1891, Mrs. Galleher ran the house as a boarding house for summer visitors until she was 85. The day before Thanksgiving 1924, the yardman was burning leaves, some were caught by the wind and set ablaze the leaves in the gutters of the house. The house was vacant because Mrs. Galleher was wintering in New Orleans. There was no effort made to save the house since the fire was too far advanced when discovered. The Kirby-Smith house next door was saved by the use of wet blankets placed on the roof where sparks landed. When told the news Mrs. Galleher calmly said, "I had the house when I needed it most and now it doesn't matter."




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Bibliographic Citation

Chitty, A. B. (1978). Sewanee Sampler. Sewanee, Tennessee: The University Press.

Gailor, C. (1970). Old Sewanee Houses; The First Fifty-Years, 1860-1910. Unpublished manuscript, Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee.


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“Galleher Hall,” Online Exhibitions and Digital History, accessed August 9, 2020,


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