Bettie Young

This year I am going through an alphabet of news items taken from The Emancipator newspaper, published  between 1917 and 1920 in Montgomery, Alabama.  Most are about my grandparent’s circle of friends. All of the news items were found on Newspapers.com. Each item is transcribed directly below the clipping.  Click on any image to enlarge.

I know of no connection between my grandparents and Mrs. Bettie Young, aside from being part of the African American community in Montgomery, Alabama.

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The Emancipator (Montgomery, Alabama) · 26 Jan 1918, Sat · Page 3

In Memoriam

In memory of Mrs. Bettie Young, the loving and devoted mother of Isham, Preston, Cornelia and Walter Young, died January 23rd, 1909.

A loving one from us has gone

A voice we loved is still;

A place is vacant in our homes

Which never can be filled.

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Bettie Henley and her mother Mary F. Gardner were born into slavery in Virginia about 1850.  Her younger sister Fanny  was born in 1856 in Alabama, so she and her mother were brought to Alabama before 1856.

Bettie married Mark Young in 1869 in Montgomery, Alabama. She was 19 and he was 29.  In 1870 he worked as a delivery man. Bettie did not work outside of the home. Her mother, Mary F. Gardner, a widow and an invalid, lived with them.

In 1880, Young worked as a porter for Loeb & Bros. Bettie did not work outside of the home. Her mother had moved and was living with Bettie’s sister Fanny. They had three children, The oldest, Fanny, was named after her aunt.  She was eight years old and attended school. Isham was six and Preston was four. Eventually Bettie gave birth to seven children. Four of them lived to adulthood. Mark and Bettie were both literate. Her mother, Mary F. Gardener died later in 1880 of cancer.

On August 1, 1882, Mark Young died of bilious remittent fever. The term is no longer used but referred to a high fever accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. The cause could be malaria or typhoid fever. He was 42 years old.

Bettie Young began taking in laundry in 1895. Her older sons both worked. Preston as a laborer.  Isham drove a delivery wagon. In 1896 Preston was making deliveries for Nachman and Meertief when his horse became frightened by a wagon breakage. His 16 year old brother, Walter was with him.  Here is an article from the paper about the incident.

“A Close Call

A Negro Dragged Along Dexter Avenue by a Runaway Horse.

Isham Young should at once buy a lottery ticket – he made the narrowest escape from a frightful death yesterday that has been heard of in a long time. Isham is the driver of the delivery wagon of Nachman & Meertief, and about 5 o’clock yesterday  afternoon something broke about the front part of the wagon, scaring the horse who dashed off at break-neck speed down the avenue. The wagon was swaying from side to side of the street and when near Perry Street, Isham was thrown to the ground, tangled up in the reins. He was dragged along this way for several yards, and his head and the wagon striking an iron post at the corner of Dexter Avenue and Perry Streets, he was torn loose from the lines and left lying, as everybody thought, dead. Officer Pat Sweeny rushed over, picked up the bleeding and motionless form, and carried it over to the drug store. Very soon, the negro (sic.) was able to be sent home in a hack–he was shocked more than hurt, and his cuts and bruises while painful are not serious. A small negro boy, his brother, was in the wagon with him and was not even scratched. None of the goods in the wagon were lost, and altogether it was one of the most fortunate things ever seen to look so serious. Further down the Avenue, Miss Maud Reid and her sister, Mrs. Johnson, were driving in a phaeton- the plunging wagon struck one of the front wheels of the phaeton, tearing it ______ and throwing the ladies out. Fortunately, they were driving very slowly at the time and their horse was a gentle one, or the result might have been worse. As it was, they were not hurt at all.  Near Court Square the runaway horse and demolished delivery wagon were stopped.”   From The Montgomery Advertiser  Aug 2, 1896, pg 10.

The Montgomery Advertiser Sun May 31, 1896

In the 1900 census Bettie Young owned her home outright with no mortgage. She continued to take in laundry. Three of her four surviving children lived in the household.  Sixteen year old Walter was at school. Cornelia was nineteen and not employed outside of the home. Twenty three year old Isham continued driving the delivery wagon. He received a permit to make $50 worth of repairs on the house that same year.

On January 23, 1908, Bettie Young died. She was 58 years old.

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I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records and Military Records. The new item was found on Newspapers.com.

11 thoughts on “Bettie Young”

  1. I found a story of a mother and her married daughter in my family who both died as a result of a similar incident. Must have been fairly common at the time. He was lucky indeed.

  2. I have read of a few stories about accidents with horse and cart. They were not always safe.
    The increasing economic improvement of families through hard work, saving and education is encouraging to read. For Betty to go from a slave to owning her own home outright with children who were educated and in business for themselves is an encouraging story despite her and her husband dying too young.
    Regards
    Anne
    https://ayfamilyhistory.com/2018/04/28/y-is-for-yannasch/

    1. There were a few more things I would have added, but for this post I was running so late that I didn’t. One day I will have to add a part two about her children and her sister Fanny. I am always encouraged when families can stick together and buy houses and get educated. It wasn’t possible for all families and depended a lot on where they were and what skills they had when they got free.

  3. My great grandfather died young and left my ggm with young children, she made a living by dressmaking. I have an ancestor’s child that fell off a milk truck, but he died. There were also lots of railway accidents at the time… terrible tragedies!
    I am enjoying your stories!!

    My A to Z Genealogy Challenges

    1. My great grandfather, my grandmother Fannie’s father was shot to death at a picnic. His widow also made a living by dressmaking!

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