The Emancipator – A to Z 2018

This year for the A to Z Challenge, I take small social items from The Emancipator newspaper, published  between 1917 and 1920 in Montgomery, Alabama. The items are of marriage, death, travel and movement to other cities – Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. The lives of the people in the community were entwined, as those of any community are. I will try and point out those connections.

The editor, James McCall, was my maternal grandmother’s first cousin. He lost his eyesight while a medical student at Howard University due to Typhoid Fever. Later he and his family moved to Detroit where he published The Detroit Tribune for many years.

Click any of the images below to enlarge.

The Emancipator

A National Weekly

This publication is dedicated to the colored people of America, and to all other peoples of America, and to all other peoples fettered by visible or invisible chains. The emancipation of the Negro has only just begun. We have been freed from the bondage of iron chains, but this is only one step in our emancipation. We are still bound and enslaved by the invisible shackles of poverty, illiteracy, sin, sickness and human injustice; and the aim of the Emancipator is to help us as a race and as individuals to free ourselves from these chains. J. Edward McCall

Mr. James Edward McCall, Editor-in-Chief

J. Edward McCall was born in Montgomery, Alabama. He graduated in 1900 from State Normal School in Montgomery, specialized one year in Howard University, Washington D.C. and graduated from Albion College, Albion, Michigan in 1907. He took a special course from Page-Davis Advertising School, Chicago. Also a course in Journalism from the National Press Association, Indianapolis Indiana.

A page from The Emancipator surrounded by some of the people who are featured in the news items for this year’s A to Z.

Links to posts about James McCall

She Was Owned Before the War…

James Edward McCall, Poet and Publishers

The Great Migration in Poetry

Poems By James E. McCall

1940 Census – James And Margaret McCall

Reports of My Parent’s Wedding

The only things I knew about my parent’s wedding was that my mother wore blue and they were married at Plymouth Congregational Church. My parents separated when I was eight years old and apparently the clippings that my grandmother’s must have saved, disappeared.

When I found an archive for the Detroit Tribune Newspaper, published by my publishing poet cousin James McCall, I was hopeful that I would find an article that described the wedding. And I did! Unfortunately the article is so faded as to be all most blank. To say this was frustrating, is an understatement. The archive is housed at the Library of Congress – Chronicling America.  Maybe one day will add The Detroit Tribune to their collection and find better copies.

Here are the pieces I found.  The first one, about a before the wedding event.

A before the wedding festivity. My father’s name was Albert B. Cleage. He got the nickname “Toddy” as a toddler and it stuck. The article refers to him as “Todd”.

“Doris Graham is being feted, because Wednesday evening she will say “I do” to Todd Cleage, after which they will go to Lexington, KY. The local chapter of Iota Boule fraternity honored Doris Graham and Todd Cleage Friday night at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Gamble on Willis street. Among those who came with heart loads of good wishes were: Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, Dr. and Mrs. James Moore, Mr. and Mrs. M. Graham, Atty. and Mrs. P. Piper, Dr. Lloyd Bailer, Mr. and Mrs. H.S. Dunbar and their petite daughter Margie, Dr. and Mrs. Peyton Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Winburn and Dr. and Mrs J.A. Moore and others.”

The unreadable details of the wedding.

Barbara With a Parasol – 1953

My cousin Barbara was six years old when this photograph was taken.  She is holding a little parasol and standing at the edge of their front yard.

In age, Barbara was right between my sister Pearl and me. Every year my father took the three of us to the Michigan State Fair.   We went to the Fair right before the end of summer vacation in early September.

I remember buying little parasols like the one Barbara is holding. They were pin. blue, or yellow with flowers on them. We also liked to buy pop beads that snapped together into bracelets and necklaces. I don’t remember using them after the fair. They were part of the experience, like the cotton candy.

Pearl, Barbara and me in Nanny and Poppy’s backyard.

Living in Detroit, we didn’t see livestock everyday, but we saw it at the fair. I remember King Romancer the 23rd (or something along those lines), the bull who had sired many, many prize winning cows. And the time we rounded a corner to see a huge boar heading down the aisle towards us. Pearl and Barbara jumped behind me. There was someone with the boar and my father was right behind us, so all was well. We watched a 4-H cattle show where a girl kicked her losing heifer.  As we walked through the various barns full of animals, I was envious of the young people who had cots in stalls near their animals.

The only ride we ever went on was the “Tilt-A-Whirl”. It was one step up from the Merry Go Round, and it gave me an upset stomach every year. We must have left for home soon after enjoying this exciting ride.  I’m not sure when we stopped taking our annual trip, but it was well before our teen years.

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Doris Graham Cleage – 1923 – 1982

My mother would have turned 95 years old today.  She was 59 when she died  in 1982, 32 years ago.  So much has happened since then.  She never saw either of my sons. She hasn’t seen any of her 11 great grandchildren. We were still living in Simpson County, MS.  Since then we’ve lived in Excelsior Spring, MO; Idlewild, MI and back to Atlanta, GA. Computers hadn’t made their way into our lives. Y2K. 9/11.  The 21st Century. Octavia Butler’s books. She would have loved them.  Detroit under siege. Strange weather. Monsanto. Obama. The Gulf War. The War in Iraq. The war in Afghanistan. Drones. Blogging. All the family history I’ve found. The oral history I’ve  proved right. All the questions I still have.

doris Graham Cleage

Individual Information Sheet my mother filled out for herself.
Individual Information Sheet my mother filled out for herself. I had filled out some information that she corrected. I added the death information much later. She filled this out soon after I started collecting in the late 1970s.

You can read more about my mother in these posts:

Growing Up – In Her Own Words

My Mother Was A Teacher

My Mother 1952

Airports and Answers: Some Thoughts on Lighting by Pearl Cleage





The Midget Band

This photograph is from my grandmother, Fannie Turner Graham’s album. On the back, my mother wrote “Cousins on mother’s side Annie Bell is first cousin (see her & husband on left – rest are their children!)” 

"Martin Marching Band"
Edward Napier Martin, Anabel McCall Martin, and chlidren Estil Edwin, Edward Napier, Jefferson, Anna Marie, Edward McCall, Geneva, Thelma. In Florida.

Until yesterday, I never found any information about the family band. Today I want to share two articles and what I learned from them about the family. Anna Belle is variously known as “Annie Belle”, “Anabel” and “Anna Belle”.

The Emancipator was published by James Edward McCall, Anna Belle’s brother, in Montgomery, Alabama from October 1917 to August 1920. While looking for the name “Martin” in The Emancipator, I found this item –

· Sat, Oct 18, 1919 – 4 · The Emancipator (Montgomery, Alabama) ·

“Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Martin and their Midget and arrived in the city Sunday night en-route from Florida to Kentucky making the trip by road in their motor car.”

A mention of the band!   I also found when the family moved from Florida to Kentucky and that they traveled in their own car.  Next, I searched for “Midget Band”. Several articles come up, all in The Emancipator. The best was the one below, which included a photograph of the family. One thing that disturbs me about both photos is the forlorn look of all the children. Why don’t the boys in the photo below have on shoes? A barefoot marching band? Were they getting enough to eat?

In the article I found that their son, Edward McCall Martin  was born in Alabama because his father was teaching there. The article says that Edward Napier Martin had taught at the State Normal School six years before. That was the year young Edward was born – 1913.  All of the other children were born in Tennessee or Kentucky, while Edward McCall Martin was consistently listed as born in Alabama. I wondered why and how. Now I know.

· Sat, Jul 5, 1919 – 7 · The Emancipator (Montgomery, Alabama) · Newspapers.comMontgomery, Alabama, July-

“The musical, social and intellectual circles of the city are congratulating themselves upon the appearance of one of the most unique and highly interesting musical organizations that has ever visited Montgomery, namely Prof E.N. Martin’s Band which is composed almost entirely of midget musicians, the youngest being only three years old. It is the musical miracle of the age.

Prof. Martin, who six years ago was one of the teachers at the local Normal School, is a band master of rarest ability. He is accompanied by his wife who was formerly Miss Anabel McCall of this city, and their seven children ranging in age from three to eleven years. they are all trained musician and read notes at sight. They carry with them a brass band septette and two drums and is a revelation to listen to their music. Their director is only four years old and is a wonder. They are in the concert work and are already booked for a number of engagements in this city.

Prof. Martin’s Band carries with it many strong endorsements from some of the prominent citizens and musicians of our country. For example, Bishop Laine, founder of Laine College at Jackson, Tenn., says of them:- “I have never seen anything like this in my life, and in it I see the finest lessons in home-training that has ever come to my notice, and I have traveled all over this country.

While the band was giving an open air concert in Montgomery, some one asked of their nationality, whereupon Dr. M.B. Kirkpatrick who has offices are in the Bell Building, said “It matters not about their nationality. Just listen to the music.  It is the sweetest I have ever heard.”

They carry souvenirs from musicians of note, such as Sousa’s Band, Hawaiian Singers and others, who testify as to their talent and efficiency as musicians. Visit some of their concerts and be convinced.

Prof. Martin is a traveling representative for the Emancipator, the South’s leading Negro newspaper, which is being read all over America. This wonderful band will be in Montgomery for the next three weeks and churches or individuals wishing to have them fill engagements in near-by towns should write to Prof. E.N. Martin, 336 S. Jackson St., Montgomery, Ala. or in the care of the Emancipator.”

Other Posts about this family.

Oh, Dry Those Tears

Police Surprised “Uncle Ed”

More About Annabell’s Family

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Oh, Dry Those Tears! (1901)

For the past month, I have been lost in researching my cousin Anna Belle McCall Martin Martin Giampino’s life. My plan was to write her up for the second person in my 52 ancestors in 52 weeks series. Right now I am behind by about six weeks. While looking I found a third husband, an eighth child and her death, among other things.

One of these was a newspaper article that described a recital where Anna Belle McCall sang “Oh Dry Those Tears”. I realized that my grandmother Pearl Reed had sung the same song at a different recital.  You can hear this song at the end of the post.

Twenty two year old Anna Belle sang in Montgomery in 1904.  She had graduated from and taught at Alabama State Normal School, where the program was given. At the time she lived at home with her parents and siblings.

My grandmother Pearl sang in Indianapolis Indiana in 1909. She was twenty three and lived at home with her mother and brother. She sang with her church choir at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church on Sundays and regularly in community and church programs. Several years ago I found this news clipping among family photographs.

Sings in Concert at Simpson Chapel

The Indianapolis Star, 08 May 1908, Fri, Page 12

“The violin recital of Clarence Cameron White will be given this evening at Simpson Chapel under the direction of the colored Y.M.C.A. Orchestra. He will be supported by the best local talent.

The following program will be given:

Overture-“Northern Lights,” Y.M.C.A. Orchestra.

Violin- Hungarian Rhapsodie, Clarence Cameron White.

Solo – “Oh, Dry Those Tears.” Miss Pearl D. Reed.

Piano – (a) Valse in C sharp minor: (b) Polaise in A major, Mrs. Alberta J. Grubbs.

Violin – Tran Merci; (d) Scherzo. Clarence Cameron White.


Orchestra – “The Spartan” Orchestra

Vocal – “Good-bye” Miss Pearl D. Reed.

Readings – A.A. Taylor

Selection – “The Bird and the Brook” Orchestra

Anna Belle with her brother James Edward McCall in 1906. From the Detroit Free Press.

An Evening With McCall

Poems of Blind Negro Poet Recited at Normal School

Montgomery Advertiser September 9, 1904.

“A goodly crowd of representative negro citizens of Montgomery was present last night at the chapel of the State Normal School to participate in an “Evening with Poet McCall.” The entertainment consisted of recitations of some of the works of Montgomery’s blind negro poet interspersed with musical selections both vocal and instrumental.

The poems presented were well selected, embracing lyric, epic, didactic and satiric compositions of James Edward McCall and were rendered in a suitable and sympathetic manner by members of his race. The poet himself was present, seated among the audience.

N.H. Alexander acted as master of ceremonies and in a few introductory remarks dwelt upon the character of McCall’s work and stated that the object of the meeting was to pay tribute to the genius of one of their own race.

Also noteworthy were the remarks of William Phillips who gave a sketch of the life of the blind poet and spoke of the favorable appreciation his poems had met with both among his own race and the white people in Montgomery and elsewhere.”

O dry those tears and calm those fears
Life is not made for sorrow
‘Twill come, alas! but soon ’twill pass
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow
‘Twill come, alas! but soon ’twill pass
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow

O lift thine eyes to the blue skies
See how the clouds do borrow
Brightness, each one, straight from the sun
So is it ever with sorrow
‘Twill come, alas! but soon ’twill pass
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow
Then lift thine eyes to the blue skies
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow
O dry those tears, life is not made for sorrow


words and music by Teresa del Riego
published by Chappell & Co. Ltd., London

Anna Cecelia Cleage Shreve 1925 – 2013

Anna – Pharmacist at the Cleage Clinic

For years, my aunt Anna was the pharmacist at my uncle Louis Cleages clinic. When we went to the doctor’s, my sister, mother and I would stop in the back for a visit with her. Sometimes she would give us things that I guess were trinkets from the drug salesman. The only one I remember was a pile of what looked like pennies painted a gold color and glued to look like a heap.

Many year later, when I was grown and living in Idlewild with a family of my own, I would always stop by and visit my aunt and uncle, Anna and Winslow in Detroit. They both had great memories and a wealth of family stories. I would drink tea and eat cookies or something while they told me tales of the family’s past.

Anna had a distinctive laugh and my daughter Ife sometimes laughs in the same way. I do miss them still and wonder what stories we never got around to.

Other posts about Anna

Skating Champions

Anna, Gladys and the Dog

The Cleage Sisters at Home

Three Sisters

Loudin’s Jubilee Singers and a Clock – Solving Mysteries

Leota Henson’s picture is on the bottom of the poster. Loudin’s Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1897.
(courtesy Portage County Historical Society Museum)

While reading about Dr. Turner, who I talked about in Part 2 of this 3 part series, I became interested in the story of his wife, Leota Henson Turner and her uncle, Frederick J. Loudin.  Frederick Loudin, although not a student at Fisk, became a member of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers. They toured the United States and Europe singing Spirituals and other songs that came down from slavery, to raise money for Fisk College.  When the tour ended and the Fisk singers were disbanded, Loudin decided to keep the group together as the Loudin Jubilee Singers and under his direction they went on a six year tour of Australia, New Zealand, India, Burma, Japan and sang before the crowned heads of Europe. (Aside – My father used to tell us that he danced before the crowned heads of Europe so I like writing that.  He was joking.).  Loudin’s niece, Leota Henson trained for two years in Germany as a pianist. She later joined the group and toured with them as their pianist.  There are a lot of articles about the tour out there and they received almost universal acclaim with full houses and bravos everywhere. She kept a detailed diary of the trip and wrote a series of articles for The Gazette after her return.

Leota is at the piano. Frederick has a handle bar mustache and leans on the piano. I wonder why they are all looking in different directions. Loudin’s Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1897.
(courtesy Portage County Historical Society Museum)

There is a lot more to tell about Loudin –  how his ancestors were enslaved in the north and free by 1850, how he became a printer but could get no business, how he went to Pennsylvania where he met his wife Harriett.  I could talk about the time the group sang spirituals in the Taj Mahal. I could write about the relative lack of discrimination the singers faced everywhere else in the world and the overabundance of it they found in the USA. I could tell about his invention of the key chain and how for a short period of time he owned a shoe factory in Ravenna, Ohio. However, I am going to tell only one more story, which ties into my family.

While reading the book “Out of Sight – The Rise of African American Popular Music 1889 – 1895”, I came across the following passage on page 77 describing Frederick and Harriett Loudin’s home in Ravenna, Ohio.

“Facing one as they enter the beautiful stained glass door of the house, stands a clock similar in size and form to the grandfather’s clock of ye olden time, which is made of teak wood and was brought by Mr. Loudin from Burma.  It was made in Rangoon at the government a Burma convict.  The wood is almost as heavy as iron, and resembles the polished face of dark granite.  A year and a half was requird to make it…The clock stands eight feet in height and is one mass of bas-relief, gods, dragons and various monsters…”

As I read it, I realized that I had heard this story before, it was one my Aunt Barbara Cleage Martin had told me several years ago about a clock that  stood in my Cleage Grandparent’s dining room for as long as I could remember and which now stands in my cousin’s home. When I turned the page, there was a photograph of the very same clock!

At my Aunt’s 90th birthday party, I asked her how we came to have this clock in the family.  She told me that Dr. Turner’s wife had been a pianist who played all over the world. While traveling in Burma, they bought this clock. When the Turners were leaving Detroit they asked my Uncle Louis to keep the clock for them.

My grandmother and me with clock 1966.
Cousin Ernest with the top of the clock on the organ.He has the clock in his home now.








The clock as it stands today at my cousins.

Other posts in this series:

The Hat – The Beginning

Dr. Parker Blair Gamble – Solving Mysteries – Part 1

Dr. Alexander Turner – Solving Mysteries – Part 2

The Top of The Clock – The End


For 0ther SepiaSaturday posts click!
Sepia Saturday Click to see this weeks posts


Did Poppy Go To The Theatre?

1958 behind the house on Theodore.  L > R Sister Pearl, Kristin (me), Mershell “Poppy”, Aunt Mary V. Cousin Marilyn in the front and Cousin Barbara in the back

While looking for news stories about my ancestors, I came across this little item at Mershell C. Graham was my maternal grandfather. I do not imagine that he went to the play.  I wonder if he even saw this announcement and how they came to pick him.

Mershell C. Graham

6638 Theodore, Detroit

You have won two free tickets to “Once Upon A Mattress” at the Shubert Theatre. Call Miss Lee at Classified Advertising, The Free {ress, WO 2-9400, extension 13, between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday.

The play was an adult version based on the fairy tale, The Princess and The Pea For an over view of the musical, click ->  Once Upon A Mattress.

The Shubert in 1963 – a year before it was demolished.  Photo from the Burton Historical Collection.
The Shubert was demolished in 1964. Photo from the Walter P. Reuther Library
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Other posts about Mershell C. Graham

Poppy Could Fix Anything

Mershell’s Notebook

Graham Turner Wedding 1919 Montgomery

From Montgomery To Detroit – Founding a New Congregational Church

Poppy The Worker

Poem for Poppy


Daisy Turner and Duncan Irby

Daisy Pearl Turner, Montgomery, Alabama about 1913.

I always wondered about Duncan Irby, my Aunt Daisy’s lost love. Over the years I looked for him online, with no luck. Recently, I tried again. Lo’ and behold, I found Duncan Irby in Selma, Alabama.  There was a small item from The Emancipator. Records and more news items began to show up.

In 1980 my mother wrote her memories of family memories. They proved to be an invaluable source when I started my research. She wrote the following about her mother’s sister, Daisy Turner. Some of my mother’s memories were a bit off, but close enough that I recognized Duncan Irby when I found him.

“Maybe here a word about Aunt Daisy.  Look at her picture, sweet, soft, pretty, taught school awhile in Montgomery (with high school diploma)  loved Congregational preacher named Duncan Erby who loved her and waited for her for years.  Had the church in Buffalo, NY.  Whenever she really considered leaving, Grandmother did the old guilt trick “How can you leave me to take care of Alice all by myself?”  and “No man in this world is good enough to touch your little finger.  They are all no good except (maybe) Shell.” (note: Shell referred to my grandfather, Mershell Graham.)and Daisy listened and stayed and played numbers, studied dream books and drank a little apricot brandy.  I always found their house light, cheerful, full of magazines (McCall’s, Journal, etc.) which I loved to read, full of good things to eat.  All three were super cooks and they had always just had a bunch of friends to dinner and to play cards or just about to have.

Daisy took us downtown to the show every summer and to Saunders for ice cream afterward.  And I always ended up with a splitting headache.  Too much high living I guess.  She and Alice would buy us dainty, expensive little dresses from Siegel’s or Himelhoch’s.  They all went to church every Sunday,  Plymouth Congregational. Daisy always gave us beautiful tins of gorgeous Christmas candy, that white kind filled with gooey black walnut stuff, those gooey raspberry kind and those hard, pink kind with a nut inside, and chocolates, of course!  She loved to eat and to cook. Never seemed bitter or regretful about her lost love.”

“Mr. Duncan Irby, accompanied by his mother and little sister, also Mrs. Mollie Dillard and Miss Daisy Turner, motored from Selma to this city last Sunday and visited Camp Sheridan.” The Emancipator, Montgomery, Alabama Sat. Oct 20, 1917.

Duncan Irby was five feet nine inches tall, stout, light complected with brown hair, brown eyes and freckles.


Duncan’s parents, Duncan Irby, Sr and Mary Smith were married in Selma, Alabama on Christmas Eve, 1890. Mary was the daughter of a house painter. Duncan’s mother, Emmeline Gee, inherited over 100 acres and a horse from a former enslaver Josiah Irby.  I do not know if Emmeline was enslaved on Irby’s plantation. At his mother’s death, Duncan was to inherit the property.

“Also I give and devise unto the said Emeline Gee, about fifty acres of land known as the Saw mill field, and bounded as follows to wit commencing at the point at which the P Bluff and Cahaba Road crosses the Athens and Parks Landing Road thence down the P Bluff & Cahaba Road to Chillatchie Creek at the Cahaba Bridge, thence up the said creek to a line between sections 11 and 12; thence West to Parks Landing Road; thence along said Road to the starting point in Township fourteen Range seven in Wilcox County. It is further my will and desire that at the death of the death of the said Emeline Gee, that all the land herein before desvribed and devised to the said Emeline Gee shall go to her and belong to her son Duncan. I also give and bequeath to the said Emeline Gee my Roan Horse named Tom”


After this, Duncan used the surname “Irby” instead of “Gee”. I do not know if they were allowed to take possession of the property. Both Duncan Sr and his wife Mary were literate. His mother lived with the family until her death in 1901. The Mary Smith mentioned in this article was Duncan Irby Sr’s older sister. It was very confusing to have so three Marys (sister, wife and daughter) and two Duncans (father and son).

Selma Record, Selma, Alabama, Sat, Nov 9, 1901


The younger Duncan Irby was born in 1892. The following year Duncan Sr, a blacksmith, suffered injuries when he was trampled by horses while making some repairs on a hack. He recovered.


Mr. Duncan Irby Seriously Injured.

“Selma, April 4.-(Special.)_ This evening Duncan Irby, a blacksmith, while making some repairs on a hack, was run over and seriously wounded.  Mr. Irby was in front of the horses when they started on a run, dashing the unfortunate man to the ground and trampling upon him. The horses were finally stopped. Not much damage was done to the hack.”   The Montgomery Advertiser Montgomery, Alabama Wed, Apr 5, 1893

Mary, Duncan Sr and Mary’s only other child, was born the following year. Both Duncan Jr and his sister Mary attended school. In 1908 they were both enrolled in  Talledega College, a boarding school,  in the College Preparatory Course. They studied Latin, Algebra, English  Literature, Ancient history and Drawing along with hands on courses in Agriculture and Wood-Turning for young men and Dressmaking and Nurse-Training for young women.

Mary became a teacher. She married Edwin Gibson, a teacher and a principal. They had one son, Edwin Gibson Jr.  They later divorced.

Duncan worked with his father in his blacksmith shop and later became a mechanic. The elder Duncan Irby died in November of 1915.

“Duncan Irby, one of the best known colored men in this section, is dead. He was a most reliable man and his death is regretted by whites and blacks.” The Selma Mirror, Selma, Alabama, Fri, Oct 15, 1915

“Duncan Irby, a Selma negro blacksmith, left a $30,000 estate. He had never made any considerable sums, but lived the time honored method of saving something all the time. As a rule negroes do not care to save. It is a race characteristic to spend to the limit, but occasionaly one like Irby has the nerve to save. – Birmingham Ledger.” Our Mountain Home, Talladega, Alabama, Wed, Oct 27, 1915
Duncan Irby senior, left everything to his wife Mary with the proviso that should she ever remarry, everything would go to their children.

Duncan Irby’s widow, Mary Irby,  remarried in 1921. She married Rev. Marshall Talley and that is where my mother got the minister. The family relocated to Homestead, Pennsylvania. This was the move to the northeast. Duncan was 35 in 1930 and worked as an auto mechanic in Homestead.

Several years later, they all relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana. Duncan, his sister Mary, who was divorced from her husband by this time and her son Edwin Gibson Jr. formed a household. Edwin Jr  grew up to become a well known architect and the first black architect registered in Indiana.

In 1966 Duncan Irby died of pneumonia brought on by lung cancer. He was 74 years old and had lived in Indianapolis for 34 years. He never married.

“Death Notices Irby.  Mr. Duncan Irby, age 74, 1238 North West St., died Wednesday at Methodist Hospital, beloved brother of Mrs. Mary Gibson, uncle of Edwin Gibson. Funeral Friday 10 a.m., Jacobs Brothers Westside Chapel. Cremation following. Friends may call after 4 p.m. today.” The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana, Thu, Aug 4, 1966
This is my first story for #52Ancestors. In this series of 52 posts this year, I will not only use my own ancestors, but often their friends or members of their communities as I believe I can understand my family better by knowing who they associated with.
In writing this story I used writings by my mother, Doris Graham Cleage; Census, death, and other records from and a surprising number of news stories found on I discovered I could share them by embedding them in the post and may have gone overboard.