The Indianapolis Star – 20 March 1911 – Dr. Cleage on a case of suicide

Dr. Albert B. Cleage, Sr

20 Mar 1911 Monday Article
Guard Body of Suicide – Policemen Hold Long Vigil. 
Estal Loc Townsend Cheats Tuberculosis by killing himself with Carbolic Acid After Attempt to End Life by Shooting Fails.

After Estal Lee Townsend, 19 years old, 227 East New York street, a driver, had committed suicide in a room at 120 North Pennsylvania street yesterday, bicycle officers guarded the body for almost three hours until coroner Durham arrived.  The officers were acting under specific instructions given earlier in the week that bodies of persons dying from other than natural causes should not be touched until seen by the coroner.

Townsend swallowed the contents of a phial of carbolic acid while visiting a friend, Frank Black, at the Pennsylvania street address.  The suicide was a victim of tuberculosis.  He tried to kill himself last Friday night.  It is said, by shooting.  He was in the act of firing a bullet into his brain when a friend knocked the weapon from his hand.  The bullet penetrated the ceiling of Townsend’s room.

Yesterday Townsend spent several hours in Black’s room and although despondent gave no hint of his intention to end his life.  About 4:45 o’clock Townsend stepped into an adjoining room.

EMPTY BOTTLE TELLS STORY

A few minutes later Black heard groans and found his friend sitting on the floor at the side of a bed.  An empty bottle labeled carbolic acid was on the floor beside him.  Black asked Townsend if he had taken the acid and the dying boy nodded his head in the affirmative.

Black notified the police and Bicyclemen Trimpe and Bernsuer went to the room with Dr. A.B. Cleage of the City Dispensary, the policemen worked over the young man, but he died in agony within a short time.

Efforts were made to find Coroner Durham but he was not at his home or office.  Trimpe and Bernauer would allow no one to touch the body and it lay on the floor until nearly 7 o’clock.  The two officers in the meantime had been relieved by Bicyclemen Schlangen and Glenn.  Coroner Durham finally was reached and he pronounced the case one of suicide.

Relatives of Townsend said he had been suffering from tuberculosis and had realized that he could not recover.  The body was taken to an undertaking establishment and will be cared for by a sister of Townsend, Mrs. Mary Dickson, 52, West Twenty-sixth street.

Athens Academy

A newspaper article from 1901 that talks about the Athens Academy. My grandfather’s brother, Henry is in the photo top right, 2nd from left in the back row. His first wife, Minnie, is seated 1st on left, front row. I received this copy from a cousin and do not know what newspaper it is from. It was available in the McMinn Historical Archives in Athens TN.

Six Degrees of Separation – Slavery

Today  I was reading  Nolichucky Roots  She was writing about the degrees of separation between her and her ancestors who where slave owners.  It got me thinking about how many degrees of separation there are between me and my ancestors who were enslaved.  I have always felt that it wasn’t as long ago as some feel.  It turns out I am one degree from slavery 6 different ways.

  • My paternal grandfather, Albert born 1884 TN knew his parents, Lewis & Celia (Rice) Cleage born about 1852 & 1855 in TN into slavery.  One degree.    (photo 1 & 2 – Albert & Celia)
  • My paternal grandmother, Pearl born 1886, knew her mother Anna Allen Reed who was born about 1849 in KY into slavery. (photo 3 Pearl)
  •  My maternal grandfather, Mershell born 1889 AL, knew his parents William & Mary (Jackson) Graham b. Al, 1851 & 1852. One degree. (photo 4)
  • My maternal grandmother, Fannie born 1888 AL, knew her father, Howard Turner, who was born about 1863, AL into slavery.  One degree.(photo 5 – Fannie)
  • My maternal great-grandmother, Jennie born 1866  knew her parents, Dock & Eliza (Williams) Allen born in Ga & AL about 1839 into slavery.  One degree. (photo 6 – Jennie, 7- Eliza, 8-Dock)
  • My maternal grandmother’s first cousin, James born 1880 AL, knew his parents Edward & Mary (Allen) McCall born 1842 & 1856 AL who were born into slavery.  One degree.(photo 9 James, 10- Mary).

Two Newspaper Articles 1908 and 1960 – Pearl Reed Cleage

 May 8, 1908   The Indianapolis Star, Friday       Sings in Concert at Simpson Chapel

 Miss Pearl D. Reed The violin recital of Clarence Cameron White will be given this evening at Simpson Chapel under the direction of the Colored Y.M.C.A. Orchestra.  He will be supported by the best local talent.  The following program will be given:
Overture – “Northern Lights,” Y.M.C.A. Orchestra
Violin – Hungarian Rhapsodie, Clarence Cameron White
Song – “Oh Dry Those Tears,” Miss Pearl D. Reed.”
Piano – “Vaise in C sharp minor (b) Polanaise in A major.  Mrs. Alberta J. Grubbs.
Violin – (a) Tran Merel: (b) Scherzo, Clarence Cameron White
Intermission
Orchestra – “The Spartan,” orchestra
Vocal – :Good-by”, Miss Pearl D. Cleage
Readings A.A. Taylor.
Selection – “The Bird and Brook,” orchestra

1908    May 16 The Freeman An Illustrated Colored Newspaper page 4 “The Cameron White Recital” 

Clarence Cameron White ably sustained his reputation as a violinist at Simpson Chapel church last week under the auspices of of the Y.M.C.A. Mr. White plays a clean violin; he gets all out of it there is – dragging his bow from tip to tip, and more if it were possible.  He did not attempt any of the great big things – the big concertos, and perhaps for the best.  Yet he showed his capability for such work and at the same time satisfied his audience.  His encores as a rule were selections that the audience recognized and through the beautiful renditions it could easily form some estimate of his playing ability.  Mr. White was a decided success.  Seldom is has a good class of music been so thoroughly appreciated.  He was supported at the piano by Samuel Ratcliffe whose playing was commendable.  Miss pearl D. Reed proved an acceptable contralto singer.  The orchestra under Alfred A. Taylor did some very effective work.  Mr. Taylor proved a reader of ability; he read several of his own selections.  The audience was magnificent and paid the utmost attention to the renditions.”

 The Detroit Free Press – about 1960

Celebrating my Aunt Barbara’s 90th birthday

90 years old today.

Tomorrow we’ll be driving over to SC to help celebrate. My aunt was born in Detroit in 1920, the fourth of the seven children of Pearl and Albert Cleage. Barbara attended what is now Wayne State University for several years and then acted as receptionist for her father and brother at Cleage Clinic on the old west side of Detroit. She eloped with Ernest Martin in 1950. They have one son, Ernest Cleage Martin and two grandchildren.  In 1970 the Shrine of the Black Madonna opened the first of what would eventually include three Cultural Centers. The stores had collections of African and African American art, books and other cultural objects. Barbara became buyer and manager for all three. She made various buying trips to Africa over the years. She also visited Mexico with her brother Louis who spoke fluent Spanish and often traveled there. Barbara has a wonderful sense of style both in dress and in decorating. Looking forward to seeing her tomorrow celebrating her 90th birthday and hearing some family stories.

Saturday Night Challenge – Find one of your ancestral homes on Google Maps

910 Fayette Indianapolis Indiana (bluish/gray one) - Google maps

I decided to accept the  Saturday night challenge. After looking and not finding anything but parking lots and weed covered land where my ancestors used to live, I found 910 Fayette standing. My father, Albert Buford Cleage, Jr, was born in this house on June 13, 1911. His parents had married the year before after Albert completed his medical training and received his physician’s license. The little house must have been crowded with five adults and an infant. The three Cleage brothers, Jacob, Henry and Albert and wives Gertrude and Pearl shared the house until the following year when Albert opened a practice in Kalamazoo Michigan and moved his family there.