Twenty-seven-fifteen N. Capital Street

Thomas Allen appears in the 1888 Indianapolis City Directory living at 2715 N. Capital street. He continued to live there until his death. His wife Kate lived there until at least 1913, her last appearance in the City Directory before moving back to Ohio.

It appears the house had been mortgaged by 1907.

The diagram below is taken from an Indianapolis Sanborn map from 1887.  A Wikipedia entry says “The Sanborn Maps were originally created for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas in the United States.”  Thomas and Kate Allen’s frame house had 1.5 stories. The half a story meant that the upper story was under the roof and so only half as large as the first story because the eaves take up some of it. The dotted lines indicate a porch.

Thomas’ house is 1.5 story frame house. There are two rooms downstairs and two small porches, one in the front and one in the back. It seems to be the smallest house of those shown above.  On the back of the lot  was another dwelling, numbered 2715 r, where my great grandmother, and her family – including my grandmother, lived in 1902.  I thought it was interesting that the three black residents, all laborers, owned their houses free of mortgage. And that everybody on this chart was literate.

Looking through the enumeration district where the house was located in the 1900 Census, it was a mostly white district. There were a fair number of naturalized citizens and a number who had been born in Ireland or Germany or who had parents born there.

This map shows the location of Thomas’ & Kate’s house in the city in 1897. Go to the address at the top and follow the red line down to the “X”.


I found the information here in Thomas and Kate Allen’s pension file, the 1900 census on, the 1897 Sanborn map at this link, and Wikipidea.




Sarah Ann Wiley – Sister and Witness for Kate Wiley Allen

Sarah Wiley was the oldest of child of Woody Wiley, a farmer. She was born free to a free family of color in Virginia February 2, 1841. Her mother, Susan Freeman Wiley, died before she was one year old. Her father married Sarah Daniels soon after.  Nine more children were born.

We find Sarah “Sallie” Ann Wiley described in the Pittsylvania County Virginia, Register of Free Negroes.1807-1865. Reg # 467, Sept 24, 1852.  “SALLY ANN WILEY, a free negro born free in Pittsylvania County, is of yellow complexion, eleven years old the 2nd day of February last.” 

The extended Wiley family moved to Athens County Ohio, probably soon after the descriptions were taken in 1852. It is about 329 miles. I wonder how they traveled, but do not have time to investigate today!

The academy

Sarah and the other Wiley children attended Albany Academy until 1862 when a religious group took over the school and banned black children. The following year her father, her uncle and a group of other African Americans started their own school, The Albany Enterprise Academy,

“After being taken over by the Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, the Albany Manual Labor Academy “refused further admission to the black community,” according to Getting to Know Athens County by Elizabeth Grover Beatty and Marjorie S. Stone.

As a result, in 1863 the Albany Enterprise Academy was founded. The school’s first trustees included Thomas Jefferson Furguson (co-founder of the Ohio Colored Teacher’s Association, member of the Albany City Council and the first black to serve on a jury in Athens County), Cornelius Berry (father of Edward Berry of the Berry Hotel), Philip Clay, David Norman, Woodrow Wiley and Jackson Wiley.”

When Sarah was 25 years old, her youngest sister was born and her step-mother died. There were still six other children at home. Sarah stepped into the role of mother and housekeeper.

In July 1873, her father Woody was suffering from consumption and made out his will. He left everything to the three children that were still alive and living at home, Sarah (31), Henry (18) and Armintha (12).

Woody charged Sarah with seeing that Armintha received a good “common school” education and was taken care of materially.

When Armintha was 22, she married William Green Simpson, a neighbor. Armintha died within the next few years and William married again.  Sarah never married.

Click to enlarge. Sarah states that she is Kate’s sister and that Kate has nothing aside from her house and goods and that no one is bound to support her.

In 1908 Sarah gave testimony for her sister Kate Wiley Allen, who was trying to get her widow’s pension after her husband Thomas Ray Allen died. After Kate began to receive her pension, Sarah moved to Indianapolis and they shared Kate’s house for several years. They then returned to Ohio where Kate died in 1915.

In 1920, Sarah was living with her former brother-in-law, William Green Simpson, who had been married to her younger sister Armintha. His youngest son was still at home. They were both coal miners.  Sarah was the housekeeper. In 1924 William married a 3rd time, to Dora Parker, a widow with four children under ten. Sarah was 82.

By 1928, Sarah was an inmate in the Columbus State Hospital, a mental hospital in Columbus Ohio. Sarah died in the State Hospital in 1932, of atherosclerosis. She was 93 years old.

Ohio State Hospital

Her brother-in-law Henry Simpson was the informant on her death certificate. He died in April of 1935. He had been a miner for most of his working life and died of “miners’ asthma” also known as “black lung disease.”


I found this information on, and places on the internet linked to above. Using the information that I found, it is easy to fill in the blanks to make a story. The problem is, I do not really know the ends and outs and the personalities and the reasons involved.  I hope that I have, at least, gotten the “facts” right.

Richard Clay – Witness

Benjamin Clay first appears in the Indianapolis City Directory as a laborer in 1867. He and his wife, Zina Fishback Clay were born in Kentucky.  His son Richard was born in 1868, the second of seven children, all born in Indianapolis. All of the children attended school. Richard went through the sixth grade.

In 1892, Richard Clay married the first of his three wives, Minnie Cummings. Both we 24 years old.  She has also been born in Indiana, but could not read or write. In the 1900 census she had given birth to three children and one was still alive, but did not appear to be living with them.   He was working as a laborer and continued to work laboring jobs for the rest of his life, including a coal yard, a grocery/bakery and a foundry.

In 1901, Richard testified at Thomas Ray Allen’s pension hearing that he had heard him say that he suffered from various ailments. That same year he married his second wife, Hattie Elkins. I have Elkins cousins, but was unable to find a connection.He was 33 and she was 22.  They had no children.  Richard and Hattie continued to live in rental houses. In 1921, Hattie died of uterine cancer that metastasized to the abdomen. She was 40 years old. Her husband was the informant and gave her parents names. She was buried in New Crown Cemetery.

In 1929, sixty one year old Richard married forty year old Nettie Kelly, his third wife. She was born in Georgia, was literate and worked as a servant for a private family. By the 1940 census, Richard was 72 had not worked during the past year. She had worked as a home aide for 32 weeks during that year.  They rented their house and did not own a radio. Nettie had completed the 2nd grade.  She was the one who gave the family information to the census enumerator.

In February of 1948, Nettie Kelly Clay died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was buried in New Crown Cemetery. Richard was the informant. He did not know her parent’s names. The undertakers were Jacob Brothers Funeral Home.  I noticed that they were undertakers for quite a few of the people I am writing about.

In January 1941 Richard Clay applied for social security benefits. He gave his birthdate as 1858 and his birth place as Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Richard Clay died at home of stomach cancer on October 15, 1951. His age was listed as 93, although he was closer to 83. He had been seeing a doctor for six months. His nephew, Gilbert Hall was the informant.


Contradictions in researching Richard Clay.  In the earliest records, 1870 and 1880 censuses and the record for his first wedding, his birthdate was given as 1868. In the 1900 census his birthdate was given as 1855. In the 1910 census his birthdate was given as 1860. In all of these records, his birth place is given as Indiana.

In 1920 his birthdate is again given as 1855. In 1930 his birthdate was given as 1880.  In 1940 his birthdate was given as 1858. In his social security application his birthdate is given as 1858, as it is on his death certificate.  On all of these records his birth place is given as Kentucky, Olan County Kentucky or Bowling Green Kentucky.

His parent’s names are consistent.

I found the information for this post on and in the Pension File of Thomas Ray Allen.



William M Quinn – Witness

William Quinn was 36 when he testified for Thomas Ray Allen at the beginning of the pension process, when he was just trying to get his pension. This testimony was given in 1891. The pensions were instituted in 1890. This General Affidavit was “For the testimony of EMPLOYERS OR NEAR NEIGHBORS of the soldier, (other than relatives) who have known him before his enlistment or since his discharge and return from the army.” Quinn testified that he had known Thomas Ray Allen for twenty years.

William Quinn and Charles Kyte testified that: “he is a man of good moral character and not addicted to any vicious habits. We have often heard him complain of deafness and of his back hurting him, also of his stomach and he now suffers more or less all the time from the above disabilities – our knowledge of the facts above cited are gained from our often seeing him and from our intimate acquaintance.”

William Quinn was born into slavery about 1854 in Hodgenville, Larue County, Kentucky to Simon and Phoebe Quinn. He was the oldest of seven children.  Thomas Ray Allen’s first wife was also born in Larue County.

Twenty-two year old Quinn married Julia Ann Cole in their home county on May 31, 1876. She was eighteen.  By 1880 he was in Indianapolis, Indiana working at a barber shop. Julia was not with him. Probably she was waiting back in Kentucky for him to get settled.

By 1900 they had been married 24 years. There had been no children. Quinn was a barber. Julia did not work outside of the home, however they had seven lodgers so she had plenty of work.  All of the lodgers were born in Kentucky, except for the wife of one who had been born in New York.  Everybody was literate.

William Quinn continued to barber, eventually having his own shop.  Julia continued to have a house full of borders until 1940 when they were living in an apartment and neither was working. They did have another, unnamed, source of income.  Perhaps they were renting out the barbershop and the boarding house. Or maybe they sold them.  Quinn had never attended school while Julia had attended for three years. That makes it all the more impressive that they were both literate and that he was able to sign his name so well when giving his testimony.


The words on the back of this sheet showed through in a distracting way. I used photoshop to try and make it easier to read, hence the difference in color from other sheets in the file.

Julia Ann Quinn died of an intestinal obstruction at home in their apartment, on February 8, 1943. She was 83 years old. Her husband was the informant.

A little over a year later, on April 25, 1944, William Quinn died of hemiplegia, which means that half of his body was paralyzed due to a stroke.  He died at home in the old boarding house.  He was listed as 87 but if the earlier dates of his birth are correct, he was closer to 90. Thomas Quinn, his younger brother, was the informant. Thomas lived in Illinois so perhaps came down to be with his older brother while he was ill, or maybe he hoped to persuade him to move to Chicago and live with him.

William and Julia are buried side by side in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.


I found this information on,, Thomas Ray Allen’s Pension File (It is about 1/2 an inch thick when I squeeze it together, over 100 pages.). I also used google to find out about hemiplegia.

Lewis Pierson – Witness

Lewis Pierson (sometimes spelled Louis Pearson) was born in Shelby, Kentucky about 1837. By 1860 he was living in Danville, Indiana with the Atty. James M. Gregg family.  He had no occupation listed and was unable to read or write.

On July 4, 1864 Pierson enlisted in Company G US Colored Troops 28th Infantry in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was mustered out on November 8, 1865 at Corpus Christie, Texas. He was described as a farmer, 36 years old, 5 ft 9 in with black hair and black eyes.

He appears in the Indianapolis City Directory starting in 1879 as a barber and continued to follow that profession.  He applied for a pension in 1890. In 1904 he testified at Thomas Ray Allen’s pension hearing that Allen was who he claimed to be.

There were more USCT from Kentucky than from any other state, aside from Louisiana.

I could not find him in another census until 1900 when he was a lodger in Mrs. Jennie Sanders house on Center Street.  He and Mrs. Sanders shared quarters at several different addresses from 1900 to 1907.  She worked as a laundress while he continued barbering.  Neither one was able to read or write.

On December 7, 1907 Lewis Pierson died of pulmonary tuberculosis at home.  His father’s name was given as Dock Pierson. No name for his mother.  Mrs. Sanders was the informant.  I wondered if Mrs. Sanders was Lewis Pierson’s sister, but not knowing the mother’s name made it seem unlikely.  He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

The information for this post came from records found on and Thomas Ray Allen’s pension file.

The Other N is Nelson Cantrell – Witness for Thomas Allen

Although I posted an “N” post yesterday, I had done so much research on Nelson Cantrell that I decided to write it up as the Other “N”.  Nelson Cantrell is listed on the same Declaration as Major Edmundson who we met earlier.   He testified that he knew Thomas was who he claimed to be.  He was literate and signed his name on the document below.

Nelson Cantrell was  born about 1873 in Sumner County Tennessee, the second of the eleven children of Reuben Moore Cantrell and Sarah “Sallie” Lawrence Cantrell. Reuben Moore and Sallie Lawrence were married in 1867.

In the 1880 census, the family was going by the surname of “Moore”. The father, Rueben did farm labor. The mother, Sallie kept house. Neither could read or write. The two oldest children, Eight year old Mary and seven year old Nelson attended school. The three younger children (ages five, three and one) were too young for school.

By 1895 the family begins to appear in the Indianapolis City Directory. Sarah is listed as the widow of Reuben. They are now using the last name “Cantrell”. Perhaps they, like Thomas Ray Allen, decided to use a different name because they no longer wanted to use the name of the former slave owner. This was not an uncommon practice and makes it confusing to track family members unless you realize there was a name change. I suspected there had been a name change because I could not find the family before 1880. When I found a marriage record for Sallie with her same last name and a Reuben in the same area that they were originally from, I was hopeful that I had found them. Then I found the couple in 1880 with children of the same name as they appear later. This caused a bit of joy on my part.

Nelson  first appears in 1895 as a hostler in Indianapolis. Two years later he and Julia Buckner were married. They shared a home with her family for several years. First her father was listed as head. Eventually Nelson was listed as head. Nelson continued to work as a hostler, a laborer and later as a trucker.  On his World War 1 draft registration card, Nelson was described as being tall and stout with black hair and brown eyes.

On February 23, 1930, Julia’s father, Robert Buckner died at the shared home. In May of the same year, Nelson’s wife Julia died of diabetes with lobar pneumonia as a contributing factor.

Nelson married again sometime before his death at 62 on February 7, 1940. His wife, Rosie, was 31.  The cause of death was pneumonia with emphysema as a contributing factor.


No Longer Enslaved

Reading the post Freedom’s faces on the blog Scuffalong:Genealogy, reminded me of a post I did several years ago about my enslaved ancestors who were born into slavery and lived to be free. I am reposting it today, as I take a one day break from following the life of formerly enslaved Thomas Allen and his friends during the A to Z Challenge.

I have no photograph of Annie Williams (mother of Eliza Williams Allen) who was born about 1820 in Virginia and died after 1880 in Montgomery, Alabama.

I do not have a photograph of  Matilda Brewster (mother of Dock Allen) who was born in Georgia.

Eliza Williams Allen B. Alabama
1839 – 1917
Dock Allen B. Georgia 1839 – D. Alabama 1909








Eliza Williams Allen was my great great grandmother. She was born in Alabama about 1839 and died free in Montgomery, Alabama in 1917. She was a seamstress.  You can read more about Eliza here A Chart of the People in Eliza’s Life and Eliza’s Story – Part 1 with links to the other 3 parts.

Dock Allen was my great great grandfather. He was born a slave in Georgia about 1839 and died free in Montgomery, Alabama in 1909.  He was a cabinet maker. You can read more about Dock Allen here Dock Allen’s Story.

I have no photographs of  my great grandparents William Graham who was born about 1851 or his wife Mary Jackson Graham born about 1856. Both were born in Alabama and died dates unknown.  William Graham was a farmer. They were my grandfather Mershell C. Graham’s parents. You read more about him here William Graham, Alabama.

I do not have photographs of my grandmother Fannie Mae Turner Graham’s paternal grandparents.  Her grandfather Joseph Turner was born in Alabama about 1839. He died in Lowndes County, AL in 1919. He was a farmer and owned his own land. His wife Emma Jones Turner was born about 1840 in South Carolina and died about 1901 in Lowndes County Alabama.  You can read more about them here,  Emma and Joe Turner of Gordensville, Lowndes County, Alabama.

Celia Rice Cleage Sherman with grand daughter Barbara Cleage.
Celia Rice Cleage Sherman
grand daughter Barbara Cleage.

Frank Cleage was born around 1816 in North Carolina. He was enslaved on the plantation of first Samuel Cleage and then his son Alexander Cleage.  I do not have a picture of Frank Cleage and have no stories about him. His name appears on my great grandfather, Louis Cleage’s death certificate.

In the 1870 Census he was living with his wife, Judy and six children, including my great grandfather, in Athens, Tennessee. I also have a marriage record for Frank and Judy dated 20 August, 1866.  I don’t know if they were married before and the children are theirs or if they came together after slavery. Judy was born about 1814.

Frank is mentioned in a work agreement between Samuel Cleage and his overseer in this post – Article of Agreement – 1834.

They were both born in slavery and lived most of their lives as slaves but they lived to see freedom and to see their children free. You can read more about them here Timelines – Frank and Juda Cleage.

No photograph of Louis Cleage B. 1852 in Tennessee and died 1919 in Indianapolis, IN.  Louis and Celia were my grandfather Albert B. Cleage’s parents. Louis was a laborer. You can read more about Louis Cleage here – Lewis Cleage – Work Day Wednesday.

Celia Rice Cleage Sherman was born into slavery about 1855 in Virginia.  She died about 1931 in Detroit, Michigan. She was a cook. You can read more about Celia Rice Cleage here Celia Rice Cleage Sherman.

I do not have photographs of my great grandmother Anna Allen Reed who was born about 1849 in Lebanon, Kentucky and died in 1911 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She was my grandmother Pearl’s mother.  You can read about her here – Anna Allen Reed.

Anna’s mother Clara, my great great grandmother, was born about 1829 in Kentucky and died after 1880 in Lebanon, Marion County Kentucky.  You can read about her at Clara Hoskins Green, Thomas’ Mother You can see some of their descendents here My Father’s Mother’s People.


Thomas McDougal – Witness and Former Brother-in-law

Thomas McDougal was born into slavery about 1839 in Larue County Kentucky. His mother was Fannie McDougal and his father, Ephraim Martin.  He was the oldest of eight, including Georgeanna MacDougal, Thomas Ray Allen’s first wife.

On July 14, 1864 he was mustered into Company “F” of the 107th Colored Infantry (USTC) in Lebanon, Kentucky.  Looking at the records, it seems he was mustered in as a sergeant.  He also mustered out as a Sergeant.

Thomas McDougal F Sergeant Sergeant

Company F included many men mustered in from Lebanon, Marion County, which is next to Larue County, where Thomas McDougall lived. Below is a description of the movements of the   107th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry during the war.

“SERVICE.–Duty in Kentucky until October, 1864. Ordered to Baltimore, Md., thence to City Point, Va., October 26. Siege of Petersburg November 3 to December 7. 1st Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C., December 7-27. 2nd Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C., January 7-15, 1865. Bombardment of Fort Fisher January 13-15. Assault and capture of Fort Fisher January 15. Sugar Loaf Hill January 19. Federal Point February 11. Fort Anderson February 18-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Northeast Ferry February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. March on Kinston and Goldsboro March 6-21. Action at Cox’s Bridge March 23-24. Advance on Raleigh April 9-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett’s House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at various points in North Carolina and in the Dept. of the South until November, 1866. Mustered out November 22, 1866.”

Members of the 107th Infantry of the U.S. Colored Troops at Fort Corcoran, Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Library of Congress

Thomas McDougal disappears from the end of the Civil War until I found him in Indianapolis in 1891 listed as a carpenter in the City Directory. In the 1900 Census he is living as a widowed roomer and working as a janitor. 1900 was also the year he testified for Thomas Ray Allen during his pension hearing, saying that he knew Thomas Allen to be who he claimed to be.

In 1904 Thomas McDougal entered the U.S. National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Grant, Marion County Indiana.  He was 67 years old.  In the 1910 Census he was listed as 71, living at the Home and unable to read or write. He signed his testimony with an “X” above.

On February 28, 1915, Thomas McDougal died of lobar pneumonia at the National Military Home.  He had been ill from August 16, 1914 to February 28, 1915.  This seems a long time to suffer from pneumonia, however I remember having pneumonia when I was six and being confined to bed for so long that when I finally was able to go back downstairs, I felt like I was in a new house.  I also have to remember that there were no antibiotics at that time.His birth date is given as 1841 and his age as 74.  He was a widower and his occupation was given as farmer.

Thomas McDougal is buried at Crown Hill cemetery.  His grave marker is above.

Lottie Withers Sullivan – Introduced Thomas and Kate

Lottie Withers Sullivan testified during Kate Wiley Allen’s pension hearing that she introduced Thomas Allen and Kate Wiley.

Lottie Sullivan declares as follows:

“That I knew Kate Allen and Thomas Allen since I was a girl and prior to their marriage to each other. I was the person who introduced the claimant to the soldier. At that time claimant was considered a single girl. After their marriage I continued to see them quite often at least every month, and I know they always lived together as man and wife and were never separated or divorced and claimant has not remarried. All the property of any kind the claimant owns consists of the small house and lot where she lives, # 2715 North Capital Ave, this city. She derives no income from any source and is dependent on her own labor and efforts for a support, to my best knowledge no one is legally bound to support her.  I do not know the value or rental value of her property. I would consider her household goods worth about $30.00. I am not related to claimant.”

When I first read Lottie Sullivan’s testimony, I wondered how she knew Thomas Allen and Kate Wiley well enough to introduce them when she was ten years younger than they were and so a child when they met in 1879.  As I went through various census records, I realized that she played rather lose with her age.  She was actually about the same age as Kate was when she introduced them, twenty years old.

Lottie was born in Kentucky about 1959. In 1870 she was eleven years old and lived in Indianapolis with her mother Jane and her step-father Levin Ballard, a carpenter.  There were also numerous other children in the house, siblings and two baby nieces.  The school age children, including Lottie, were attending school. An older sister did laundry and an older brother was a laborer.  The oldest household member were illiterate.

Levin Ballard died in 1879. In the 1880 census,  Lottie’s mother, Jane Ballard, and her oldest sister, Caroline Thornton, worked as domestics. Her older brother was now a teamster. These three were unable to read or write.  Twenty one year old Lottie took in washing and was literate. Caroline’s eleven year old daughter Anna,  attended school.    They had one border, a twenty six year old house painter.

On February 9, 1881 Lottie married Henry Sullivan. In the 1900 census Henry and Lottie owned their home, which was mortgaged. Henry worked as a coachman. Lottie took in laundry.  Her 81 year old widowed mother lived with them and did have an occupation. The mother had borne seven children and only one was living. Lottie had no children.  They had a 14 year old border. Everybody in the household could read and write, except Henry who could not write.

Henry and Lottie went into the laundry business and were listed in the City Directory in 1917.

In the 1910 census they both are listed as working on their own account, doing laundry. Lottie gave her age as 38. She also said she had been married for 30 years.  They have two borders, one a 26 year old divorcee born in New York and a nine year old boy.

Lottie’s husband Henry died on February 26, 1917, just a few weeks past their 36th wedding anniversary. He had been under a doctor’s care for about a month when he died of chronic inflammation of the kidney (parenchymatous nephritis). A contributory factor was aortic insufficiency. He was embalmed and buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

I could not find Lottie in the 1920 census, by 1930 she was listed as a border in her own house. She was seventy one, although the census says sixty seven. She was not working so I am hoping she sold her house at a good price to Atty. Forrest W. Littlejohn, who seems to own the house. The house is worth $6,000.

Three years later Lottie Withers Sullivan died of acute appendicitis at age seventy four at 3:30AM January 18, 1933.  She was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.


Katherine Wiley – Thomas Allen’s Wife

It was Katie Wiley who started me on the investigation that found Thomas and his pension records. When I found a letter addressed to my grandmother, Pearl Reed c/o Katie Allen, I began searching to find out who she was and discovered so much more than I had looked for.

Sometimes I have a problem finding enough documentation to build a picture of the person I am writing about. This time I had the opposite situation. I will try to be brief.

Kate Wiley was born free to Woody and Sarah (Daniels) Wiley, about 1860 in Virginia. In the record above it says Halifax, in other records it says Fairfax.  She was part of the large family of Deborah Wiley. We find Deborah Wiley and her children described in the Pittsylvania County Virginia, Register of Free Negroes.1807-1865.  I am only sharing Deborah and Woody’s descriptions.

Registration Number # 9, March 18th, 1816,

The said DEBORAH WILEY is a mulatto girl between18 and 19 years of age, about five feet four or five inches, has black bushy hair, aquiline nose, effeminate voice and rather pleasing countenance.

Reg # 406, January 16th, 1847, WOODY WILEY, a free born man of colour, is a yellow man, twenty eight years old the 4th day of October, last, five feet nine inches high.

Reg # 9, Sept 24, 1852, DEBORAH WILEY,a free negro born free who hath been numbered and registered in the Clerks office of the County Court of Pittsylvania is this day again registered.

The said DEBORAH WILEY, is a yellow woman five feet two & 1/2 inches, about fifty seven years old, (copies of Deborah’s reg. & all later Wiley reg. furnished by Court Clerk for move to Ohio).

Deborah and her children moved first to North Carolina and then to Athens County Ohio where they were living by the 1860 census.  A ten year old  Katherine Wiley was living with Deborah Wiley and her son Jackson and his wife. Another son, Israel Wiley lived next door. Katherine’s father, Woody and the rest of his family lived in the same county.  The members of these households were all listed as mulattoes, born in Virginia, except for Deborah who was born in Kentucky and the younger children who were born in Ohio.

Some of the family was involved in the underground railroad – helping escaping slaves make it to freedom.

In 1870 an 18 year old Kate Wiley was working in Washington County Ohio, the next county over from Athens, in what appears to be a rooming house for students With Physician Benjamin F. Hart listed at the top. Kate is listed a domestic.

In 1880, Miss Kate Wiley, colored, appears in the Indianapolis, Indiana City Directory. That same year she married Thomas Allen, who was working as a laborer at that time. Not too long afterwards they bought the house at 2715 N. Capital where they lived for the next 40 years. Kate did not work outside of the home until after her husband died in 1907.

In 1907 and 1908, Kate had to go though hearings to determine if she was eligible to receive a pension based on Thomas’ service in the USC Calvary.  She began to receive a pension in April 1908.

In the 1910 Census 54 widowed Kate was living in the house on N. Capital with her older sister, 68 year old Sarah Wiley. Kate was working as a domestic. She owned the house, which was mortgaged. She had given birth to no children. Sarah was single and did not work outside of the home.

In 1915 Katherine Allen appears in the Springfield Ohio City Directory at 34 W. Clark Street. In August of that year, the mailman returns her pension check with the information that she was dead.  She died on June 9, 1915 and her body was returned to Indianapolis to be buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, where Thomas Allen was buried.

While investigating the life of Kate Wiley, I found that her family connected with mine in another way. Her older sister, Francis “Fannie” Wiley became the 2nd wife of Robert Augustus Busby. He was also born in Virginia and lived for some years in Athens, Ohio. They later moved to Berrian County Michigan.  James Busby, son of Robert Busby and his first wife, Harriett (Francis’ stepson) married my great grandmother Anna’s (Thomas’ sister) daughter Sarah Reed. Their children were my father and his siblings first cousins.

Here is a link to the post from the 2014 A to Z Challenge where the envelope first appeared, although I did not mention Katy because I could not find anything about her at that time.   L is for Lincoln Hospital