Victor and Willie Lee (Allen) Tulane are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. Two of their children who died in early childhood are buried next to them. My daughter Ife and I visited the cemetery in 2009. It was on a Sunday and we didn’t expect anyone would be there to help us find the graves but the sexton was there and he was very helpful. We also found Dock and Eliza (Williams) Allen are also buried there, in the older part of the cemetery. One day I will post those photos and tell the whole story.
These are three of Edward and Mattie (Dotson) Cleage’s six children. Alberta was born in 1908, baby Ola in December of 1916 and Helen in 1910. There was an older brother, Lawrence, who died at a year old. Two more daughters, Beatrice and Juanita, were born later. Edward was the only child of Lewis and Celia (Rice) Cleage to remain in Athens, Tennessee. His other four siblings moved first to Indianapolis, IN and then to Detroit, MI. Edward suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and died at 46, when his youngest daughter was four years old. For more Sepia Saturday offerings.
Naomi Tulane Vincent. Her engagement photograph. There is a matching one of her husband Ubert but, unfortunately, I do not have one. Naomi was the daughter of Victor and Willie (Allen) Tulane. She was married in Montgomery, Alabama in 1920 and then moved to New York as the wife of a society doctor. For more Sepia Saturday offerings.
I spent yesterday looking for information on this family to go with the photographs and a few random remarks from my cousin Margaret about them. Here is what I found. Annabel was born in 1882, the second of the six children of Edward and Mary (Allen) McCall. Her mother was a fine seamstress, sewing privately and her father was turn-key at the Montgomery jail.
Annabel married earlier than her other siblings to a man by the last name of Martin. They had one son in 1908 who they named Jefferson. Unfortunately Mr. Martin soon died. In 1910 she married his brother Edward Martin, a widower who brought his two young sons to the marriage, Edward, 3 and Estil, 2. Edward was fifteen years older then Annebel. He was a tailor who owned his own home and was his own boss. Annabel was working for the United States Gov. at the post office in Nashville, TN.
They had five more children together. Young Anna was born in Alabama in 1913. Edward, Thelma and Caruso were born in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in Jan. 1915, March 1916 and October 1920. Geneva was born in between Edward and Thelma, although there is barely enough space for her to fit in. I did not find A birth record for her in Kentucky.
In 1920 we find the family in White City, Florida. Not only is Edward going by Edwin but they have added an “s” to Martin and claim all of their parents were no longer born in Tennessee and Kentucky (him) or Alabama (her) they were born in Italy. They are also listed as white instead of mulatto as they had been previously. Edward is still tailoring from his owned home. Annabel is not working outside the home although with 7 children under 13 she’s working plenty inside it. The census was taken in January and Caruso was not born until October, back in Kentucky. Edward #3 is now listed as born in Aabama, Geneva in Louisiana and Thelma in Arkansas. Either one of the children got creative with the ennumerator, they were on the lam or they were passing and covering their tracks.
The photograph taken above is from my grandmother Fannie’s album. She wrote on the top “Annabel her family + us”. Annabel and my grandmother were first cousins. My aunt Mary V. is the little girl standing apart looking at the camera. She was born in 1920. My grandmother is holding Mershell, born in 1921 on her lap. My mother was born in Feb. 1923 so I would put the year at 1922. That must be Caruso leaning on his mother Annabel’s knee. The little girls are probably Geneva and Thelma. That is my grandfather Mershell Graham leaning so cool in the back.
In 1930 Annabell and her family were still in Detroit. The two oldest boys are no longer at home. They would have been 22 and 23. The rest of the children are living at home. Annabel works as a seamstress at a store. The three oldest children are delivery people at a fur store. I think this would be Annis Furs which used to be in Detroit right behind Hudson’s. My great grandmother and her daughter Daisy were worked there for many years. The Martin family is back in the Negro race.
Family and church members accompanied my father as he signed up to run for City Council in Detroit, MI in 1965. We all have on our Cleage for Council buttons. That’s him in the front with the bow tie. I am looking melancholy over on the left. My cousin Ernie is in the striped sweater. Rev. Hill’s ( assistant pastor) wife in the back with the hat. My grandmother (Pearl Cleage) looking happily proud on the right. This followed the Freedom Now Party loss in 1964 and the 3 + 1 campaign in 1963 and preceded the run for the 13th District congressional seat in 1966.
These campaigns were run as educational, not to win. Not that that wouldn’t have been a welcome surprise. My family talked politics morning noon and night. Not just talked, lived. Two of my uncles started a printing business and for years the family and friends put out The Illustrated News, an eight sheet pink paper where they wrote about the issues of the day, mostly local but as this was the time of the civil rights movement, bombs and demonstrations and riots, there was also some national news. I remember riding in sound cars, passing out information at the polls, silk screening posters, leafleting. The summer of 1966 I spent lots of time with Jim, who is now my husband, campaigning. We capped it off by attending a “Victory Party” for Ken Cockrel, who hadn’t won. Those were the days my friend…