Mystery Photograph Explained

Evelyn Thompson

I found this photograph years ago in my Grandmother Cleage’s photos. I asked my aunt Gladys who it was and she said it was Anna Roberta Reed, Uncle Hugh’s daughter. When I posted it and identified it as such, her descendants assured me that it was not her.

While going through the archive of the Detroit Tribune recently, I found a newspaper article that identified her as Evelyn Thompson, daughter of Robert Carter.  She was married in September of 1935.

“Mrs. Robert Carter, of Cleveland, Ohio, who was formerly Miss Evelyn Thompson of 5253 Twenty-fourth street, this city. Mrs Carter is very happy and what bride wouldn’t be? She was showered with exquisite wedding gifts from her husband, including a new Hudson car, a baby grand piano and a diamond ring.

The bride who is the daughter of Walter Thompson, a well-known Detroiter and was a popular and charming member of the Detroit’s younger set. She was a student at Wayne University and was a member of several local social organizations, including the A.K.A. Sorority.

The groom holds a responsible position with the Edition Illuminating Company in his city.

Mr. ad Mrs. Carter, who were married in Erie, PA. Sept 30, are happily domiciled in their lovely residence at 2160 East 86th street, in Cleveland.”

She appeared in the same paper with the same photograph several years later:

“Mrs. Evelyn T. Carter of Cleveland, formerly Miss Evelyn Thompson of this city, who recently spent two weeks as guest of her father, Walter Thompson, on 24th street. She was accompanied by her infant son.”

Evelyn Thompson graduated in 1931 from Northwestern High School in Detroit. That is the same year my Uncle Louis Cleage graduated.  That explains her picture in the family photo box.

I found one other clipping, her obituary in the “Plain Dealer” April 6, 1977.

______________________

News items were found on Newspapers.com. School yearbook photos found on Ancestry.com. First photo from my personal collection.

 

Zephyrus Todd

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.

__________________

Zephyrus Todd was a friend of my grandmother Fannie Turner. When she visited my grandmother, Fannie Turner in May 1918, she was 26 years old. My grandmother was 30.

PERSONALS

Miss Zephyrus Todd of Selma was in the city last week, as the guest of Miss Fannie Turner.

Zephyr – the Greek god of the west wind.

 

Zephyrus Todd was born in 1892, the second child of James and Corinne (Hunter) Todd. There were eight siblings. The one born after Zephyrus died in childhood, the rest lived well into adulthood. Both of her parents were born soon after the end of slavery. Both were literate.

In the 1900 census, her father James taught school. Her mother Corinne was a seamstress. There were Four children. The oldest, Percival, was ten and attended school. Zephyrus was eight, Ruby was three and James was one. Corinne had given birth to five children and four were living. The deceased child was probably born between Zephyrus and Ruby.

In the 1910 census, her father, James Todd was listed as a laborer in an oil mill. His wife Corinne was still pursuing her work as a seamstress while raising six children. Two more had been added to the family, Six year old Furrnis and two year old Nathaniel. The four oldest children had all attended school.

By the 1920 census, James Todd was an engineer at the oil mill. Their was no occupation listed for Corinne. Zephyrus was teaching. Percival was not living at home. All but six year old Corintha were attending school.

All of the children finished high school. At least five attended college. Zephyrus began teaching at Clark Elementary School in 1913 when she was 21.  Here is a bit I found about education in Selma at that time.

“…in 1891 the Alabama state legislature approved new education laws that allowed for discrimination in facilities and in the salaries provided for black teachers compared to whites. Despite these impediments, Richard B. Hudson (1866-1931), who was a Selma University graduate, remained committed to building a public school presence for black children in Selma. In 1890 Clark Elementary School opened on the first floor of Sylvan Street Hall, the first public school for African American students in Selma. A permanent building was constructed and opened in 1894 on Lawrence Street. Hudson administered Clark School for approximately 40 years and coped with a white perception that black children did not need education when they were needed more in the cotton fields or in the cotton industry. The length of the school year for blacks in Alabama, for instance, decreased from 100 days in 1900 to a mere 76 days by 1910.” (1)

Zephyrus’ sister Ruby joined her as a teacher at Clark Elementary School in 1922. Both of them continued to live at home and teach at Clark until they moved 129 miles away to Lamar County and began to teach at Lamar County Training School. Eventually  Zephyrus Todd became the principal. Neither Zephyrus nor her sister Ruby married.

At the age of 76, on August 13, 1968, Zephyrus died in Lamar County. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, the black cemetery in Selma,

“… Elmwood Cemetery on Race Street (note: so named because of the Race Track.) became a forgotten civic space. The earlier Confederate burials were removed c. 1878. By the turn of the century it was the town’s recognized African American cemetery and became the final resting place for many significant local leaders in commerce, religion, and education from the first half of the twentieth century.” (1)

________________

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records and Military Records. The news item was found on Newspapers.com. The history information was found here Section E. Historic Context (1)

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.

____________________

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.

_________________

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.

_________________

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

Xmas Edleweiss Club Meeting

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

_______________

My grandmother Fannie was a member of the Edelweiss Club. When I posted an invitation from the Club earlier in the challenge, Anne of Anne’s Family History asked if I was going to tell more about the Edelweiss Club. At the time, I couldn’t figure how I could fit it in. After looking through news items about the club, I came to one that announced  an Xmas day meeting.  Perfect. I present the Edelweiss Club.  “The club will be entertained by Miss Brown on Xmas morning.” Dec. 21, 1918 The Emancipator

The Emancipator Saturday Jan., 4, 1919

Edelweiss Club Meets

“On Christmas morning the Edelweiss Club met with Miss Madge Brown, Cor., Brown and Carterhill Road. All of the club members wee present, besides several invited guests. Whist was played and sweet music was enjoyed throughout the morning after which a Christmas dinner was served. The house was beautifully decorated in keeping with the season.”

In the 1920 census, Madge Brown was living with her parents, John and Julia Brown. Both parents were born during slavery in the mid 1850s. They would have been teenagers when the war ended and they were emancipated. Mr. Brown was a farmer and owned his own farm free and clear. Mrs. Brown had given birth to six children and six were living.

Madge’s sister, Elizabeth B. Deramus, her husband, James and their one year old son lived there too. Elizabeth taught music and her husband was a medical doctor. All the adults in the household was literate.

The Montgomery Times Thu Dec 26, 1918

The weather that Christmas day was clear and cold, with temperatures dipping down to 24 degrees.

Who were the members of the Edelweiss Club?  Thirty seven women attended the monthly meetings judging from news items that appeared in The Emancipator, starting January 12, 1918 and continuing monthly until  May 3, 1919. Some of the women were members and some were guests and not all were present at every meeting. Thirty of them were teachers. One was a seamstress. Three worked in family businesses.  The other three did not have employment and were relatives of members. Most of the members were single, some married as time went on. Some moved out of town.  A good number never married.

All of them came from literate homes. Most of their parents owned their homes, some free and clear, some mortgaged. Their fathers tended to work for themselves as barbers, carpenters and plasterers. Bertha Loveless’ father was an undertaker. Madge Brown’s father was a farmer. Alberta Boykin’s father was a mail carrier. Several lived with their widowed mother or an aunt.  Most had multiple siblings.

Their parents were born in the mid 1850s to the  1870 so they would have been teenagers when the war ended or were born during Reconstruction.

There were no more reported meetings after May 3, 1919.

"Fannie and friends"
Fannie and friends at Holly Springs, MS 1914. Some later became teachers.

What I really need is another month or so to investigate all 37 women and their families, and a chart to be able to compare. I realize that with 37 women, there may very well be a theme here for my 2019 A to Z.

______________

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. News items were found on Newspapers.com.

Charles WATKINS

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.  Each item is transcribed directly below the clipping.  Click on any image to enlarge.

Charles Watkins was a friend of my grandfather Mershell C. Graham.

______________________

Many Industrial Opportunities In California.

(Special to the Emancipator.) By Charles D. Watkins.  Los Angeles, Cal. Aug. 15

Out here in Southern California the wages for colored help are very good, living conditions are fine and food cheaper than in many other sections. Cook women get from $40 to $65 a month in apartment houses and private homes; maids or house girls, from $40 to $60; janitors and porters (men) are paid from $60 to $80; and elevator men receive the same amount Chauffeurs receive from $75 to $150 a month. There is a greater demand for this kind of help here than can be supplied.

There are a number of colored business men here, including real estate dealers, grocers, druggists, merchants, physicians, clergymen, teachers and twelve lawyers. The colored population of Los Angeles is 35,000 and everybody works.

___________________

“‘Hands Up’ Just a little desperato. You know why.” A photo of Charles Watkins he sent to my grandfather Mershell.
 
The Tulane building in 2004.  During the time of this event the Tulane family lived upstairs and the store was downstairs.

Here is a story my cousin Jacqui told me about her grandfather, Victor Tulane and his rescue of  Charles Watkins  in Montgomery, Alabama.  This story was told to her by her mother, Naomi Tulane Vincent.  It happened in 1917.  The Tulane family lived above the store on Ripley and High Street.  The Watkins family lived several blocks away on Union Street.

Walking distance between the Tulane’s @ A and the Watkin’s  @ B was about 3 minutes according to Google Maps.

It was the middle of the night when the Tulane family woke up to car lights shining in the windows.  They got up and looked out into the yard.  It was full of white men in cars and trucks.  Victor Tulane told his wife, Willie Lee and his daughter, Naomi to go back to bed, everything would be all right.

He let the white men in and they told him they were looking for the Watkins boy. Charles Watkins was 28.  Watkins, they said, had insulted one of their wives and they wanted him. Was he there, they asked?  Victor told them that nobody was there except his wife and daughter, they could look for themselves. They went through the whole building, looking everywhere. Finally, satisfied that Watkins wasn’t there, they left.

As dawn approached, Victor brought Charles Watkins out from his hiding place beneath the floor.  He put him in the car, piled produce on top of him, drove him out in the country where his nephew, Roscoe McCall  had arranged to put him on a train heading north to Chicago.

Here is a companion version of the same story passed down by Roscoe McCall’s branch of my family.. It was taken from an interview my cousin Margaret McCall Thomas Ward did with her Aunt Stella McCall, in 1986. Stella (Brown) McCall was married to Margaret’s uncle, Roscoe McCall. Louise was Stella and Roscoe’s daughter.

Louise: Oh and mother you can also tell her about how Daddy was getting that man out of Montgomery for looking at the white girl. And then they were going to hang him and Daddy had to take him out on that lonely road and get him out of town. And …

Stella: they got stopped on the road.

Louise: The police, the posse, don’t they call it a posse? Or whatever.

Stella: Yes.

Louise: came after him and then when they shined the light on Daddy. They were in a field and they saw that it was Mr… your grandfather McCall’s son and they said “Oh Rossie…”

Stella: Because his father, not cutting you off, Ross’s own, father had worked at the jail and had charge of the colored prisoners…

Margaret: So this incident of Uncle Ross in the field, what happened?

Stella: They stopped him, right at that field.

Louise: No mother, start with how they were standing outside the drugstore… he and that other one, that Watkins boy and the white girl came by and she told her boyfriend that they had, that this Watkins fellow had winked at her and that started a riot in the city.

Roscoe McCall

Stella: Winked at her.

Margaret: Is that right?

Stella: A riot.

Margaret: Well, how did Uncle Ross get him out of the city?

Stella: Out of the city?

Margaret: You said that they were in the field and the police came and said…

Stella: Now all before this started, Ross had a friend out in the country. This man was a good friend of his and they would go hunting out there. And that’s why he knew the man… his name… I can’t think of his name… what was his name…anyway, well he had a home down in the country and he would go down there every summer you know, just take a week off and hunt and…

Louise: A good place to hide out.

Stella: To hide out. Yes.

Margaret: That’s all?

Stella: And there was a railroad train coming out of Montgomery going on to Atlanta and Ross got this man out of Montgomery and had this porter on this train to stop at this little station down there in the country and nobody would ever think a train would stop there and he stopped just like he got him to do and he put this man on this train in the back and had a place for him to stay and stay shut up and he did that until he got to Atlanta and he was safe.

Margaret: And did he stay in Atlanta or did he leave Atlanta?

Stella: Oh he left Atlanta. We didn’t hear any more of him. But Ross saved his life! They were going to lynch him uh huh, oh yes. Ross had some narrow escapes in that time.

Margaret: He did?

Stella: Yes, because you see this one was taking him for that and that one was taking him for this and it was terrible.

************

Before he left Montgomery, Charles  Watkins was a grocer, operating a grocery store near the family home on Union Street. In 1917, he lived in Chicago with his wife and children and worked in the stockyards. By 1920 he was living in Los Angeles, which he described as the land of opportunity. He worked as a carpenter and made a good life for himself and his family there.

Naomi married Dr. Ubert Vincent in May of 1920 and moved to New York City.

Rosco McCall moved to Detroit in 1919. His family followed in early 1920. They later settled in Chicago where he worked as a Pullman Porter.

My grandfather Mershell Graham had moved to Detroit and was working there in 1917.

I found some of William Watkins extended family on Ancestry.Com and was able to see some photos of the family.  Unfortunately they had never heard this story.

_________________

Most of the information for this post is from family oral history. I found corroborating information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. News items were found on Newspapers.com. I also used Google Maps. The photographs are from my family photos.

 

V.H. Tulane

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.

_________________

Victor Tulane was my grandmother Fannie’s uncle by marriage.  He was the husband of Willie Lee Allen, my great grandmother Jennie Virginia Allen’s sister.

The Emancipator 23 Mar 1918 Sat pg 3
Victor Hugh Tulane

I thought his obituary summed up his life pretty well.

Victor H. Tulane Dead

 Montgomery, Ala., Jan, 16., 1931

Transcribed from The Chicago Defender Jan 17, 1931 via ProQuest Historical Newspapers online database.

Victor H. Tulane, a leader of his Race here for many years, died at his home, 430 S. Union St., at the age of 57.  His rise to affluence, through his own industry and native shrewdness, was little short of remarkable.  Prior to his death he owned a mercantile business and operated a real estate agency of considerable scope. Tulane first came to Montgomery when he was 15 years old, having walked here from Wetumpka, where he was born.  His first job was porter in a saloon, but later he opened a store at the corner of High and Ripley Streets. which he operated for about thirty years.  He later rented his store and entered the real estate business, and before his death had accumulated a comfortable estate.

For many years Tulane served on the board of trustees of the Tuskegee Institute.  He was also chairman of the board of trustees of the Hale infirmary.  He was widely known for his generosity and willingness to serve in charitable movement.  He was actively connected with the community chest and was one of the first to donate toward the Y.M.C.A. building for colored persons.

Surviving are his widow, Willie L. Tulane of Montgomery, and his daughter, Naomi Tulane Vincent, New York city.  Funeral arrangements will be announced later by the Loveless Undertaking company.

_______________

Victor Tulane wrote this letter to my grandmother Fannie as her mother and sisters were in the process of moving up from Montgomery to join her in Detroit.  This was soon after Fannie and my grandfather, Mershell, bought their house on Theodore, where they lived for over 40 years.  They had two children under five and the third, my mother was on the way.  

"Letter to Fannie Graham from Victor Tulane."
Letter to Fannie Graham from Victor Tulane

Rents Collected                                                                                     Homes Bought         
Loans Negotiated                                                                                            And Sold 
Estates Managed

V.H. TULANE
REAL ESTATE AND INSURANCE
SCOTT BUILDING 123 MONROE ST.
Telephone 388 555                                                                                        
                                                                                                      Montgomery, ALA.,        Nov. 23, 1922

Dear Fannie,
I am enclosing check from this M.R. & Ins. Co; for ten dollars which the sec’y should have mailed you some time ago.

We are winding up the affairs of this company and will send you another payment on stock acct. pretty soon.  I think that the company will be able to pay off it’s stock holders dollar for dollar.

I trust this will find all well and getting along nicely.

Your mother’s things were shipped yesterday.  Trust they will arrive on time and in first class condition.  Remember me to all the folks.  Tell the kids hello!
Let us have a line from you when convenient.

Your Uncle,
Victor

__________________

Other posts about Victor Tulane

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. News items were found on Newspapers.com. I also use Google Maps. Photographs and correspondence from my family archives.

Ubert Conrad Vincent

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

_____________

Ubert C. Vincent married my grandmother Fannie’s first cousin, Naomi Tulane. You can read about their wedding under “N” for Naomi.

The Emancipator (Montgomery, Alabama) · 27 Dec 1919, Sat · Page 3

Dr. U.C. Vincent Visits Montgomery

Montgomery, Ala., Dec. 23.

Dr. U.C. Vincent of New York City is spending the holidays here as guest of Mr. and Mrs. V.H. Tulane.  Dr. Vincent is an intern at the noted Bellevue Hospital of New York. He also holds a responsible position as Medical head of one of the departments in the hospital. He is the only colored man that has ever held this special post at Bellevue and in a recent meeting of the physicians held in New York, Dr. Vincent gave a demonstration of a new operation which he invented. A creditable article concerning his brilliant future as a physician appeared in a recent issue of the Crisis Magazine.

Dr. Ubert Conrad Vincent

____________________

I think this obituary gives a good over view of his life.

To Bury Dr. U.C. Vincent From Mother A.M.E. Zion Church

Dec. 22nd at 1 P.M.

New York Amsterdam News Dec 24, 1938 pg. 1; ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Funeral services for Dr. U. Conrad Vincent, well-known Harlem surgeon who died of a kidney ailment Sunday at his home, 251 West 128th street will be held in Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, 140-6 West 137 street, Thursday at 1 p.m. The Rev. B.C. Robeson, pastor of the church and the Rev. Adam Powell, Jr., pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, will conduct the services. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Although ailing since June and often suffering much pain, Dr. Vincent carried on his practice until a late hour Saturday. He took a sudden change for the worse Sunday morning and died at 2:45 p.m.

Dr. Vincent was born in Raleigh, N.C. forty-five years ago, and was the son of Dr. Andrew Vincent, a former professor in Shaw University. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he was graduated in 1918.

After receiving his medical degree, Dr. Vincent served in internship in Bellevue Hospital in 1919. During that year he was resident surgeon under Dr. E.L. Keyes. He was reputed to be the first Negro to enter Bellevue Hospital as an intern.

Dr. Vincent started the practice of medicine in June 1920 with the ambition of establishing in Harlem a modern sanatorium for the hospitalization of the community’s well-to-do. He set to work on his ambition, which became an obsession in 1927, and his dream was realized on March 17, 1929, when the institution was opened to the public.

The New York Age Sat_ Mar 23, 1929

Vincent’s Sanatorium, as it was named, was a fifty-bed fireproof five-story structure at 2348 Seventh avenue, said to have been built and equipped at a cost of $150,000.The building is now being used to house a WPA music project.

With the failure of the hospital undertaking in September 1930, Dr. Vincent’s health and spirit received a severe blow, from which he never recovered. It is believed.  He enjoyed a large practice, specializing in genitourinary diseases.

Dr. Vincent was married in 1920, and is survived by his widow, Mrs. Naomi Tulane Vincent; a son, U. Conrad Vincent, Jr., 15; three daughters, Sylvia, 9; Jacqueline, 4, and Barbara, 18 months; three sisters, Mrs. Pearl Morton, Mrs. Reba Ragsdale, Misses Ruth and Bernice Vincent and a brother Alfred Vincent, all of New York City.

Wainwright & Sons, undertakers, of 162 West 136th street, are in charge of the funeral arrangements.

“The Harlem Surgical Society regrets deeply the death of one of its esteemed members. Dr. U. Conrad Vincent.” a letter from that group states. “Dr. Vincent by his scientific work, reflected great credit on the entire Negro profession, and Dr. Vincent also directed alone the finest private hospital that this community has ever had, and it probably would have been open today had it not been for the fact that he became ill about that time.

“In addition to being a very able surgeon, Dr. Vincent was always interested in the general welfare of all the people of this community. He rendered great service to the poor of Harlem as a member of the Surgical Staff of Harlem Hospital.”

Signed:

Dr. Louis T Wright, President

Dr. Joel V. Holden, Secretary

____________________

I want to add this –

“In 1918, Bellevue accepted its first African-American resident, Dr. Ubert Conrad Vincent. This was an historic event. He was one of the ew African Americans to become an intern at a major U.S. hospital during that time, and so his appointment received national attention. Dr. Vincent had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania earlier that year. His matriculation at Bellevue Hospital was temporarily delayed because the offer was recinded after his picture was forwarded. Dr. Deaver, a professor from the University of Pennsylvania, played a role in ensuring that he could start his urology residency, albeit three months late.

Dr. Vincent had a successful tenure at Bellevue Hospital. He trained under Dr. Edward Keyes, the founder of the American Association of Genito-Urinary Surgeons in 1888, and it’s first president. Gr. Vincent introduced and improved a procedure for surgical relief of varicoceles known as the “Vincent Operationn”, described in Keyes’ urology textbook.”  from The Journal of the National Medical Association Vol. 96, No. 3, March 2004 pg. 373

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records and Military Records. News items were found on Newspapers.com and Genealogy Bank.

Rufus Taylor

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

_________________

Rufus Taylor was related to my grandmother’s uncle, Victor Tulane. He was a friend of my grandparents and worked in the Tulane Grocery store, which was managed by my grandmother Fannie Turner Graham for many years before she married.

“Mr. Rufus Taylor of Montgomery, is back at his old post in the Tulane Grocery, after a pleasant vacation spent in Chicago and other points in the North.”

Lowndes Adams and Rufus Taylor

Rufus Taylor was born January 19, 1886 in Wetumpka, Elmore County, Alabama.  His father was Jordan Taylor, he worked as a porter in a grocery store. His mother was Fannie Shelton Taylor. Both of them attended school as children and were literate. Fannie died just two years after Rufus was born. His father remarried in 1893. No other children were born and Rufus grew up an only child.

Rufus moved to Montgomery in 1910 to work for his cousin Victor Tulane. I tried to figure out if Rufus and Victor were nephew and uncle or cousins. In fact I spent hours this afternoon tracing Rufus’ mother and grandmother. I could not find a direct relationship, however in the 1870 and 1880 census Fannie Shelton and her mother were living right down the street from Victor Tulane’s white father and in the midst of his relatives. I surmise that either the mother’s were both enslaved by the Tulane family and that perhaps  they or their children were related through that family.

Rufus lived with Victor Tulane’s family for ten years and worked in Tulane’s Groceries, first as a clerk and then as a salesman.  My grandmother Fannie managed the store before her marriage and referred to him in letters she wrote to her future husband Mershell in Detroit.

In 1920 he married Nan Nesbitt Jones. She had been married before and brought her three year old son, Albert to the marriage. Like most of the women I have been writing about, Nan worked before she married Rufus. She taught school. In 1930, they were living in their own home. They did not own a radio. Thirteen year old Albert was in school. Nan’s brother, Nathan Nesbit was living with them, as was John W. Dickerson, a lodger who was an insurance agent.

Rufus and Nan did not have any children. He died on July 27, 1937 at the age of 51. He is buried in the Wetumpka City Cemetery, next to his mother.

 

Unknown woman, Rufus Taylor, his wife Nan

_________________

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. The news items were found on Newspapers.com. The photographs are from my personal collection, or that of family members.

Rev. E. E. Scott

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

Rev. Scott was the minister who married my grandparents, Mershell Graham and Fannie Turner.

Great Preacher Goes To Reward

Montgomery, Ala., Jne 15.

One of the most impressive funeral services ever conducted in this city was that of the late Rev. E. E. Scott, who had served as pastor of the First Congregational Church in Montgomery for fifteen years.

Rev. Scott died in Talladega, Ala. Friday, June 11, where he went last August, having accepted the position as pastor of the Congregational Church in that city.

The remains of the deceased were brought to Montgomery Sunday night and laid in state in the Congregational Church where hundreds of persons from all denominations and ranks of life crowded in to take a last look at the face of a man ???????????? the service of all the people.

In connection with his duties as pastor, Rev. Scott also taught eleven years in the local State Normal School, where he made a deep and lasting impression upon the lives of the students with whom he came in touch.

The funeral oration was delivered by Dean O’Brien of Talladega College, who accompanied the remains to Montgomery.

Touching tributes to the life and Christian character of the deceased were also paid by several prominent speakers including Prof. J. A. Lawrence, Rev.  Jones of Cotton Valley, Ala., Bishop J.W. Alstork, Mrs. Dillard of Selma, Ala. Prof. J. W. Beverly, Mr. J. . Fagain and others. The services presided over by Rev. Stanley, pastor of the local Congregational Church.

The deceased is survived by his widow, four daughters, two sons, a mother and other relatives, and a large circle of friends.

The interment took place Monday afternoon in Lincoln Cemetery.

__________________

 Rev. Edward Estus Scott was born to Edward and Mary Jane (Presley) Scott, in Hazlehurst, Mississippi on May 23, 1866. He spent nine years in the preparatory and normal departments of Tougaloo College. , and was graduated from Howard Theological Seminary and was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1892. He served a  pastorate in Alco, Alabama during 1892-93.

On October 31, 1894, He and Rachel Pepper were married at Vaughn Mississippi. They moved to Nashville, TN where he served as a pastor for three years. The first of their six children was born there. Following his pastorate at Nashville, he spent a season with the Fisk Jubilee singers in the North and East. It ws said he had a fine, mellow voice.

Rev. Scott took a church in Shelby, Alabama in 1897 and remained there until 1904. It was then that he was called to First Congregational Church in Montgomery where he served from 1904 to 1919. During his time there he also taught classes at the State Normal School. He took a church in Talladega, Alabama in 1919 and he died there on June 11, 1920, from a stroke.

  ___________________

Both of my grandparents, Mershell and Fannie Graham, were members of First Congregational Church in Montgomery. Below is a letter that Rev. Scott wrote to my grandfather when he first moved to Detroit.

 

570 S. Union St., Montgomery, Ala, Nov. 3, 1917

My Dear Brother Graham;

Your second letter came to me yesterday, and I hasten to acknowledge it lest procrastination get me again; for I had intended time and again to write you in answer to your first letter, but just kept putting off. We appreciate your donations-

I wish to assure you that we often think of you here both at the parsonage and at the church. We still miss you and should be very, very glad if something should turn up here to make it desirable and profitable for you to come back.  We shall still hope for this anyhow.

It is source of real pleasure to stop in from time to time to see your mother and say a word of cheer to her. I think she kept up remarkable well.  Miss Mattie’s coming cheered her up wonderfully.

I guess you know by this time that Edward is married and yesterday  he wrote us from camp – so he is called to the colors, Camp Meade, 15 miles from Baltimore is his camp. According to present plans, he may be in Anniston soon; but the government does not seem to know just what to do with it’s Negro soldiers, so it is uncertain where he will be.

Mrs. Scott

I am glad you are keeping up with our own people up there in the church. I advised Mrs. Thompson and Mr. Dale and now I urge you to join them in trying to get the pastor of First Congregational Church, Dr. Huget, to help organize a church for our own people who are in Detroit.

It is barely possible that Mrs. Scott may visit her grand aunt there across the river in Sandwich, this winter. In the event she does I know you will all make it pleasant for her.

Give our regards to all, and tell them I expect everyone of them to join the new church that will be organized there.

Very sincerely your pastor

E. E. Scott

__________________

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records and Military Records. I also found The Congregational Year Book, Vol 43 & The Congregationalist And Advance, Aug. 12, 1920  very helpful. The news items  were found on Newspapers.com. The photograph is from my personal collection.

Rosa Nixon 1889 – 1970

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.

___________

Rosa Nixon was a friend of my grandparents. One of her sisters married into the same family that one of my grandmother’s first cousins married into. She graduated in the class of 1906 at State Normal School for Negroes, as did Mattie Graham.

Miss Rosa Nixon Accepts Position In Baltimore

Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 20-  Miss Rosa Nixon of this city, resigned her position as head of the Art Department of the local State Normal School on Monday of this week in order to accept a position in the Baltimore Colored High School. The resignation went into effect Tuesday, the 19th inst., and Miss Nixon will leave to take up her new work at Baltimore on Thursday morning, February 21st.

Miss Nixon is one of the leading art teachers of the race, having studied in the foremost art schools of the country. Her excellent work as a teacher, club worker and member of the local Red Cross Auxiliary in this community will be sadly missed and her host of friends here are loath to have her go to another field. Miss Nixon has been head of the Art Department in the Normal School here for several years, during which time she has enlarged and developed the department to a high standard of efficiency.

Rosa Nixon 1912 Montgomery, Alabama.

While looking through my grandmother Fannie’s photographs, I came across this picture of Rosa Nixon. I wondered who she was. On the back it says “Mershell C. Graham – Rosa. And then in my mother’s handwriting it says ‘Not related! – One of Daddy’s girls, I suppose – he didn’t marry until 1918.’

Rosa Nixon was born into a family that started off after slavery with more advantages than most. Her grandmother Winnie Nixon, received land, livestock, furniture and money upon the death of her former slave master, William Owen Nixon of Lowndes County, Alabama in 1868. In 1870 she had real estate valued at $4,000 and personal property valued at $1,000.  All except the youngest two of her nine children attended school.  One of them was Rosa’s father, Alfred Nixon.

Rosa Nixon was born in September, 1889 in Montgomery, Alabama, the second of the four daughters of Alfred and Hattie (Clayton) Nixon. Hattie and her youngest baby girl, Zenobia died within a few months of each other in 1895.  Zenobia was a year old. Hattie was 25.

Alfred Nixon worked as a porter and then as a bar tender. He remarried in 1901. He and his second wife, Mattie Coleman. They had three children together. One died. Two boys, Alfred Floyd and William O. Nixon were born in  1902 and 1904. Rosa graduated from Normal School in 1907. My grandmother Fannie and all of her cousins also graduated from this school, which went from first grade through high school.

The Montgomery Advertiser July 30, 1907

Receive Diplomas

Graduation At Normal School For Negroes

Program Includes Addresses by Tom Benjamin, Music and Addresses by Principal Paterson, and Several Friend of School

Twenty-four students, seventeen girls and seven boys received diplomas yesterday morning from the State Normal School for negroes (sic.). The graduating exercises included addresses by ten of the students, vocal and instrumental music, and remarks by Principal W.H. Paterson and friends of the school. The dominant note in each of the speeches made to the students and patrons of the school was that the negroes must educate their children, that they must supplement the work being done, by the State and that they must throw safeguards around the morals of their children as well as giving them assistance in securing knowledge.

Incidentally, the municipality of Montgomery was criticized for its failure to give negro children equal opportunity with white children in the schools and the lack of school room for negro children in this city was pointed out.

The closing exercises were held in the chapel, which is on the second floor of the main building. The twenty-four graduates formed a double semi-circle on the stage, which was decorated in the colors of the school, and the class of 1907. Sitting with the class on the stage were many of the negro preachers of Montgomery, including Bishop J. W. Alstork.

Simplicity marked the dress of the girls in the graduating class. They wore calico dresses. Frequent allusion was made to this simplicity of dress by Principal Paterson and the other speakers. The Principal said he had promised the girl students that he would provide the cloth if the girls would make the dresses and wear calico. they had readily consented and this simplicity of dress, he said, would be adhered to in the future. It was done, he said, in the interest of the poor parents of many of the student.

The graduating class consisted of Frederick D. Adair, Edna T. Barnett, Maris H. Brown. Dora D. Beverly, Melissa B. Culpepper, Mattie E. Graham, James B. Hatcher, Nora J. Holly, Olivia C. Hunter, Helen E. Jones, Adam J. Joseph, Queenie V. Lee, Gertrude R. Lucas, Rose H. Nixon, Alfred A. Poole, Sadie M. Richardson, Olivia A. Royal, Mary L. Sawyer, Rosa L. Shaw, Emmaline L. Simpson, Cornelius S. Sampson, Henry J. Todd, Charles D. Watkins, Ellen A. Wimbs.

According to the custom of the school, the ten students making the highest marks, prepared essays. Three essays were delivered without reference to manuscripts. They gave evidence of careful preparation and some of them were delivered with fine effect. None but members of the graduating class were on the program, which was as follows.

Invocation.

Piano Duet, “Jeunesse Doree” – (Smith)-Helen Jones and Rosa Nixon.

Salutatory and Oration, “The Christian Ministry” – James E. Hatcher

Oration, “Nature & Mysteries” – Emmaline Simpson.

Vocal Quartet, “Over the Hills at Break of Day” – (Geibel) – Olivia Royal, James S. Hatcher, Sadie Brown, Alfred Poole.

Oration, “The Conditions and Needs of Women Wage- Earners” – Hosea L. Shaw.

Essay, “The Leisure Class” – Olivia A. Royal.

Piano Solo. “Fanfare” – (Ascher) – Nora Holley

Oration, “The Genius of Japanese Civilization” – Olivia C. Hunter

Essay, “The Most Lasting Monuments” – Sadie B. Brown.

Vocal Duet, “When Gathering Clouds” – (Shuey) Sadie B. Brown, James E. Hatcher

Oration, “Has the Negro Race Made Any Real Progress?” – Charles D. Watkins.

Oration, “Women in History” – Helen E. Jones.

Piano due, “La Baladine” – (Lysberg) – Mary Sawyer and Dora Beverly.

Oration, “The Duty of the Hour” Rosa Nixon

Essay, “The Results of Fraternities” Harry J. Todd

Sojourner Truth Club Essay – Helen N. Jones

Valedictory. “Through Trials to Triumphs’ – Dora Beverly.

Presentation of Diplomas

“My Old Kentucky Home” – By the Class

Benediction

Principal Paterson announced that Helen Jones had won the prize annually offered by the Sojourner Truth Club, an organization of negro women, for the best essay on achievements by the race. The Jones girl then went forward and read the essay written on “Self help.” It was also announced that Wilson Walker, Sadie Castle, Effie May Todd and Lena Davenport had won prizes for garden work.

At the conclusion of the graduating exercises, brief addresses were delivered by Bishop Alstork, Nathan Alexander and other friends of the school.

In concluding the exercises, Principal Paterson said the school now owned property valued at $30,000, and that plans were making for an extension of its work another year.

During the year just closed, the school enrolled 1,055 pupils.

__________________

Rosa’s father died in 1908. There are no death certificates in Alabama at that time but I found a notice of his death and funeral in the local Montgomery paper.

The Montgomery Advertiser October 1, 1908

Funeral Notice

“The friends and acquaintances of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred F. Nixon, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of the former, from the Old Ship Church at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1st, 1908.”

Alfred Nixon owned his house free of mortgage when he died in 1908.  In 1910, Rosa and her older sister Eugenia were both teaching. The three youngest children were all attending school. Her step-mother was not working outside of the home. The step-mother’s mother also shared the home.

Rosa taught at art at State normal School. She was active in community and social activities, heading the Red Cross Drive in 1917. In 1918 the art department, under Rosa Nixon’s supervision, bought a potters wheel. The students were all excited and looking forward to making a plate each.

We have now reached the article that started this post. Rosa Nixon, now 28 years old and the head of the Art Department of State Normal School, is headed to Baltimore, Maryland to head the Art Department at the Colored High School there. She boarded with several other teachers. That summer she attended art classes at Columbia University in New York City.

In 1921 Rosa was appointed to head the Art Department of Dunbar High School in Washington DC. Over the years she organized trips to museums, art galleries and other places of interest to her art students. She also continued to expand her own skills with workshops and classes.

In 1929 Rosa married John Henry Hampton, a postal worker. She continued to teach at Dunbar although she and her husband maintained a house in Baltimore. In 1940, Rosa’s widowed older sister, Eugenia and her two sons, both young men, were living in a separate flat in Rosa and her husband’s house. In 1951, after 30 years of service, the school board retired her. It doesn’t sound like she went willingly. She was 61 years old. Rosa’s husband died in 1961. One of her nephews was living with her when Rosa died suddenly at the age of 81, on December 11, 1970.

The Baltimore Sun Sun Dec, 13, 1970

Hampton

Suddenly, on December 11, 1970. Rosa N., of 2004 North Bentalou Street, beloved sister of William and Alfred Nixon. She is also survived by three nephews, Samuel N. and William W. Phillips and Rene Alvarado, four nieces, Mrs. Joyce Davis, Mrs. Myrtle Lancaster, Mrs Laura Nixon, and Mrs. Camille Lee and other relatives.

Friends may call at the Charles R. Law Funeral Home, 802 Madison Avenue. Services on Tuesday, 12 Noon from St. James Episcopal Church, Lafayette & Arlington Avenues. Family will receive friends on Monday evening from 7 to 9 P.M. at the above funeral home. Interment Arbutus Memorial Park.

_________________

I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records and Military Records. The news item was found on Newspapers.com and Genealogy Bank. The photograph is from my personal collection.