O is for Opportunity and Operation

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

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My dear Sweetheart:-

Your letter which was especially nice, received yesterday afternoon.  I remember now, that the college visit was the substitute.  I had my dates a little mixed, didn’t I? You bet I will be glad of the opportunity of spending a whole big day with you.  Think of some place you would like to go.  After Friday my time is at your disposal.  your letters instead of being an annoyance will be an inspiration – write me another long sweet one. 

I suppose ere this you have learned of the result of the operation on Mrs. White. – The physicians say that unexpected and incurable conditions were met with and recovery is impossible.  She was reported to be dying this P.M. about 5 o’clock, but rallied.  The end is expected any moment. The family are at the hospital now awaiting the result and I fear that ere this reaches you she will be dead.  It is too sad.  I shall try to let you know as soon as possible.

3-29-10_0002Wed. Morn. 4:30

Mrs. White died this morning about 1 AM.

The pastor of United Witherspoon Presbyterian Church was Rev. David F. White. I wondered if this was his wife. Rev. White came to Witherspoon in 1908 from Athens, TN, according to an article in The Freeman An Illustrated Colored Newspaper.  I found several mentions of him, but none of a wife. On Ancestry.com, I found that he had been born in Kentucky in 1873 and that he lived next door to my grandfather and his brothers at 912 Fayette Street. In the 1910 Census, taken in April, over a month after the death described in the letter above, he is described as a widow.  Unfortunately without a first name for the wife, I cannot be sure that this is her.

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N is for Nine Hundred and Ten Fayette Street

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The 3 Cleage brothers and Jacob's wife lived in the house at 910 Fayette Street. Back row: Henry Cleage, Jacob Cleage, Albert Cleage, Pearl Reed. Front: unknown woman, Jacob's wife Gertrude B. Cleage.

The 3 Cleage brothers and Jacob’s wife Gertrude,  lived in the house at 910 Fayette Street.
Back row: Henry Cleage, Jacob Cleage, Albert Cleage, Pearl Reed.
Front: unknown woman, Jacob’s wife Gertrude B. Cleage.

 For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

Screen shot 2014-04-13 at 12.33.00 PM

910 Fayette Street in 2011 on Google Maps.

10-18-09_letter10/18/’09 
910 Fayette Indianapolis
Monday night 10:15

Dear Pearl:-

This note is to inform you that Henry and I arrived here last night at about 12 o’clock.  We left our brother much better and I think well on the road to recovery.  Am anxious to see you.  Hope you are well and happy.

As ever, Albert

Left to right: Albert, Josephine, Edward.  Back L Henry, back R Jacob

Left to right: Albert, Josephine, Edward. Back L Henry, back R Jacob

After my grandfather Albert came back from his summer on the Steamer Eastern States, he and his brother Henry went to Athens, TN to visit their brother Edward. Edward suffered from rheumatoid arthritis most of his life. He was the only one of the 5 siblings who remained in Athens. He married Mattie Dotson and they had 5 daughters, although all of them might not have been born at the time of this visit.  Edward died from ‘Tuberculosis and Rheumatism” in 1926, when he was 47 years old.  Curing his brother’s arthritis was something my grandfather mentions several times in his letters. It must have been a great disappointment that he was unable to do so.

ariel_view_fayetteI have been so overjoyed at finding the house where my grandparents started their married life and my father was born that I never went to any site that showed the date it was built. While looking for a good photo on google, I looked at several real estate sites. One of them was the one above. I saw that this house was not built until 1930.  How disappointing. The period I am writing about was 20 years earlier. There must have been an older house there that was torn down and this new one built.

I looked for some older houses and found this one built in 1870. The house my family lived in was probably not a newly built home. Maybe the house they lived in looked more like this, without two bathrooms and the ongoing renovations.

house_close_up highland_house

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M is for Mother

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For the 2014 April A-Z Challenge, I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April. Click on any image to enlarge.

2-20-10 2/10/’10

My dear Sweetheart:-

You perhaps were a little disappointed in not seeing me this afternoon as I promised you should, but I trust that the disappointment caused you no worry.  Henry and I were on our way out to your home and decided that this being Sabbath it was likely that you were over run with visitors and it would be best for us not to swell the number which already might be an annoyance to you mother

Pearl I am sorry that in this hour of your sorrow, that I can’t be in closer touch and relationship with you and I assure you that I will be glad to be of any service to you that I can. If you need my services (I don’t mean professional services) at any time don’t fail to call upon me. You don’t know how much I miss you and long to see you and be with you.

It has been a bad old day – very much in accord with my feelings.  Attendance at church has been rather small all day. Will be out again Tuesday evening, very probably. Received the card Sat. morning.

That your mother will soon be restored to health and strength is the prayer of your devoted

Albert:-

2-20-10_0001It seems that my great grandmother, Anna Reed, has been taken seriously ill.  I wonder if it were a small stroke.  She died of a cerebral hemorrhage the following February.  It must have been very serious for my grandfather and his brother to even consider a visit.

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L is for Lincoln Hospital

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.  At one point, this letter refers back to a letter from a year ago.  You can read it here at K is for Kenwood.

3-18-10

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My dear Sweetheart:-

How did you spend St. Patrick’s day? It was a lovely day sure and also has today been beautiful.  How are you? Have you gotten entirely well. I hope that pains and aches with you are now “past history.”Does your mother seem to be improving?

These are busy days with me. Examinations for the close of the winter term begin Monday and will last one week after which comes a ten or twelve day’s vacation.- What can I do with so much time all by my lone self

Do you remember that last year we planned a day’s outing in the country and I thinking the day appointed, too bad did not show up?  And also how you got angry with me?  See how well I remember. That has been one year ago but it to me certainly does not seem so long.  You did go to Brookside with me, which was the beginning of several very pleasant trips which will always be sweet sweet memories to me.  My vacation is about 10 days off and it may be yet that you will be able to take that trip which we planned last year.

3-18-10_0003Mrs. White, I believe goes to Lincoln Hospital tomorrow to be operated upon Monday.  Mrs. Brady – Little Marcum Mitchell’s grandmother died at the City Hospital this morning. 

abcleagesrcool

Photo found with letters.

Of course I selected that negative which you liked better, others whose opinion I asked were about equally divided.  I send you the other which is fast fading.

Be careful for yourself.  The things you said in your last letter were surely the product of a melancholie mind – such moods are not good for you. Cheer up!!  Of course, God in His wise providence might call your mother home, and ’tis he alone who can cause me to cease loving you.  So wake up from your dream – you shall nurse, not patients for someone else, but (__?__) for yourself – Won’t you like that better.  Yes, I believe you will – Ha! ha!

Your Albert

{Had better burn this letter up}

Lincoln_Hospital

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K is for Kenwood Ave.

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

Address: Miss Pearl Reed, 2730 Kenwood Ave, City

3/30/’09

In my judgement, the weather today was entirely to cold for our proposed trip, and trust in that you were not at all disappointed.  I did not write you earlier because until noon I was still planning to come. Why I did not come to see you I think you understand and I will not venture an explanation. Believe me I am very very sorry if you have been. Do not be angry with me. If you think me careless or indifferent, you do me a great injustice.  I can conceive of no greater pleasure than seeing and being with you. 

Yes I am quite well again but as “lonely, lonely as can be.”  I finished my story – of course it was the usual – woman’s faithfulness and man’s unfaithfulness.  Of course those men and women we read of are the men and women of the past.

Have thought of you continuously this afternoon thinking of possibly I might have been offending you, but I remembered that love was long suffering – endureth all things for its object, then felt sure that you would understand – forgive and forget.

Will make one date that not withstanding the weather it will be possible to keep – will you on Thursday afternoon visit our college with me?  I will be out about 2 o’clock at any rate.

Albert

P.S. Pen, ink & writer all are on the bum.  I hope you can read it.

A.B.C.

3-30-09_blog3-30-09_0001_blogI imagine Pearl was none too pleased to receive this last minute cancellation after she had made her way to their meeting place.

The streetcar ran up Capital or Meridian.

The streetcar ran up Capital or Meridian.

My grandmother and her family had been living at 2730 Kenwood Ave since 1905, about 4 years.  Her older brother, George owned the house.  He was a laborer and lived there until illness in 1945 forced him to move to Detroit to live with Albert and Pearl and their family.

Albert and his brothers lived about 2.5 miles south of Kenwood at 510 Fayette.  A street car ran straight between them, with only short walks on each end to reach the line.

When I visited Indianapolis in 2005, the house on Fayette was still standing and looking good. 2739 Kenwood has been torn down, paved over and was a parking lot.

Posted in A-Z Challenge 2014, Cleages | 11 Comments

J is for June

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

Postmark – June 20, 1909.  Somehow I had overlooked this postcard, but I felt I had to post it, even though I had to dig pretty deep to find a “J” connection.  I wonder what my grandmother thought when she received this card?

Written in Toledo, mailed Buffalo C-

6/19/09

I left Indianapolis last night at 7:25. Stayed all night in Hamilton O. Am now in Toledo at 10 a.m. will leave for Detroit 2:14.

A.B.C.

pc-6-20a-09_blog

 

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4 Bonus Postcards – Sepia Saturday

For this weeks Sepia Saturday foursome, I put together 4 postcards that my grandfather sent my grandmother that I am not able to fit into my A-Z Challenge format.  They were all sent by him the summer he worked on the steamer Eastern States between Detroit and Buffalo. I wonder what he meant when he wrote that he sent her a song on two of the cards.   The messages match the pictures in the same space – top left, bottom right etc.

4_postcards_Sepiaversos_4_Postcards

Top left.

Buffalo – 7/28/’09

Dear Pearl – I see that a new danger has arisen about which I must warn you – beware of the waves as well as of snakes and ___.  I guess you remember my advice. A.B.C.

Top right.

Aug 21 – ’09

I mail you a “song” I heard yesterday & liked. Don’t laugh at my taste, the sentiment is what appealed to me. A.B.C.

Lower left

Buffalo – 7-20-’09

Dear Pearl – I was disappointed yesterday and today in Buffalo in not getting a letter – “If a body write a body and get no reply, is it wrong for a body to write a body and ask the reason – Why?    Albert

Lower right

Detroit

Sept 3 – 09

Hope you will like the accompanying music. I do. Your letter and the P___ will be mailed to you Sunday.  Albert

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I is for “I’ll Take A Chance.”

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

12/8/’08

Am sure this will not reach you in time for you to answer.  Anyway – I’ll take a chance and come out tomorrow night.  Look for me!!

A.B.C.

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H is for Henry Hummons

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My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

Steamer Eastern States
Aug 9 – ’09
…”I am sorry that your mother is not well and I trust that ere this she is in health and spirit what you would have her be.
          Have seen several people from Indianapolis whom I know among them were Drs Hummons & Atkins who were in Detroit the other day enroute to Niagra Falls and Toronto.  To see them come and go makes one homesick.
Sweetheart is real late and I m tired and sleepy will write you a long sweet letter next time.

                                                                                                                          With much love I am
                                                                                                                          your
                                                                                                                                 Albert

H is for Henry Humus

In this letter Albert wrote to Pearl in Benton Harbor, MI, where she has gone for a summer visit.  Two of her older sisters, Sarah Reed Busby and Louise Reed Shoemaker lived there with their families.

Dr. Henry L. Hummons was about 10 years older than my grandfather and a leader in Indianapolis’ black community.  He had attended Knoxville College, as did my grandfather and also graduated from Indiana Medical College, which my grandfather was attending. Dr. Hummons had set up his practice in Indianapolis. He took a leading role in starting Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, of which my grandparents and my grandfather’s brothers were founding members. He and my great uncle, Henry Cleage, were leaders in the campaign to get a black YMCA in Indianapolis as the white ones were not integrated.  His name appears in several of my grandfather’s later letters.  You can read more about him in the obituaries below.

Dr_Hummons_diesDr. Henry Lytle Hummons (M.D., Med. Coll. Ind. ’02) of Indianapolis, Indiana, died on April 5, 1956 after a prolonged illness. He was 83. Dr. Hummons was born in Lexington, Kentucky on February 25, 1873, the son of Thomas and Mary Ellen Hummons. He received his early education in the local public schools and graduated from Knoxvillle College in 1896. In that year he came to Indianapolis, and later entered the old Medical College of Indiana from which he received the M.D. in 1902. He served an internship in Shelbyville Hospital in 1903 and entered practice in Indianapolis in that year.

He was long active in medical, civic and church activities.  In 1919 he established the city’s first free tuberculosis clinic at Flanner House.  he was one of the co-founders of the Senate Avenue branch of the Y.M.C.A.  With the aid of Mr. Henry Cleage, he organized the Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church 49 years ago.  The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, of which he was a member, named him their “Man of the Year,” in 1953.  Also in 1953 he received a pin from the Indiana Medical Association in recognition of his 50 years service as a physician.”

 

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G is for Graduation

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

graduation

I’m not sure why my grandfather Albert sent this card with the child graduate and no message. His own graduation from Medical school was still 8 months away.  He is using a different address, so perhaps this was a test card to make sure it arrived safely, away from the hostile eyes of Pearl’s mother.  Her mother was opposed to their relationship.

My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

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