Graham-Turner Wedding – 1919 Montgomery Alabama

I recently found that The Emancipator newspaper was online at  The Emancipator was published from October 1917 to August 1920. My grandmother’s first cousin, James Edward McCall and his wife were the publishers. You can read more about him at the link above.

Lowndes Adams sang a solo.  Victor Tulane walked the bride in. Clifton Graham was best man. Naomi Tulane played the piano.
"Jennie Allen Turner and Daughters"
Fannie, Jennie, Alice with Daisy standing in back.


Mrs. Jennie Turner wishes to announce the engagement of her daughter, Fannie Mae, to Mr. Mershell C. Graham of Detroit, Mich. The marriage to take place in the spring.

Mershell and Fannie (Turner) Graham. August 1919 Detroit, Michigan.

Graham-Turner Wedding

Graham-Turner Wedding

On Sunday, June 15th at four o’clock Miss Fannie Turner and Mr. Merchell Graham were happily united in marriage at the home of the bride on E. Grove St. The home was prettily decorated for the occasion.

Just before the entrance of the bridal party, Mr. Lowndes Adams sang a beautiful solo, immediately after which the groom entered the parlor to the strains of Mendelson’s wedding March, with Mr. Clifton Graham, his brother, as best man. The bride entered with her uncle, Mr. V.H. Tulane, who gave her away, gowned in white satin with real lace and pearl bead trimmings the hat, a beautiful creation of white Georgette, the bride made a very pleasing appearance.  She carried a large bouquet of roses and fern.

The home was crowded to its fullest capacity, fully two hundred guests being present which bespoke the esteem and popularity in which the young couple are held.

The presents were many and varied, consisting of silver, cut glass, linen, wearing apparel, money, and many useful household articles.

Rev. E.E. Scott performed the ceremony and Miss Naomi Tulane presided at the piano.

The guests were served delicious refreshments.

The happy couple left Sunday evening for Detroit, Mich., their future home.

Some of the Graham’s friends in Detroit.  Mershell and Fannie are at the end of the line.

On Friday evening, 29th ??? at 8:30 the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Walker, St. Jean Ave., was the scene of a delightful entertainment complimentary to Mr. and Mrs. M.C. Graham. The guests were limited to Mrs. Walker’s Club members and their husbands. The house was artistically decorated with cut flowers. Progressive Whist was played, mints and salted peanuts were served throughout the evening, after which a delicious salad course with punch was served.


Mrs. Topp Detroit 1919

Mrs. J.W. Topp had a few friends over to meet Mr. and Mrs. M.C. Graham on Saturday evening. Progressive whist was  played after which a delicious two course luncheon and punch were served.


Mrs. J.A. Martin entertain quite a few friends at a real Southern dinner Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock. Among the guests were Mrs. M.L. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. M.C. Graham, Mrs. Thompson, Mr. Moses Thompson, Mr. Chas. Love, the Dale Family, Mr. and Mrs Mills, Mrs. Dora Davis, Mr. James Payton, Mr. Joe Shannon, Mr. Oliver, Mr. Barnette, and others.


Other related blog posts:

The Proposal

The Proposal Accepted

Marriage License

The photographs are from my personal collection. The newspaper articles are from The Emancipator via

Fire-bombing – A Williams Family Memory

James was taking the photo, unfortunately because Williams photos are rare. The two youngest girls were not yet born. Taken about 1959. Williams family photograph.

My husband James was a baby, the youngest of the five children of Chester and Theola Williams, when they moved from Dermott, AK to St. Louis, MO about 1945. At first they stayed with Theola’s sister who lived on  Keokuk Street.  James older brother Harold, born in January 1942, was kindergarten age, the family moved to a house they bought on Washington Blvd and Whittier Street.

Route from the house to the school.
Route from the house to the school.  From Google maps.
Screen shot 2016-07-17 at 12.01.14 PM
Cole Elementary School from Google maps. Click to enlarge.

Harold remembers that he started kindergarten about 1947 at Cole Elementary School, which was around the corner from the house.  He did not finish the year out because their house was fire bombed. They had moved into a white neighborhood where they were not wanted.  The oldest sister, Jocelyn Maxine remembered that their mother was very calm as she moved the children from the front of the house, where the bomb entered, to a back room.

Because of the bombing, the city of St. Louis gave the family an apartment in Carr Square Village, a public housing project.  When the family included nine children, they had outgrown that apartment and moved to Pruitt–Igoe, a large housing project first occupied in 1954. Eventually there were 12 children and the family bought a house on Cabanne Street. They lived there until about 1970 when they moved to Inglewood Court, where they lived until that property was taken by the city to build a strip mall about 2005.

My husband has been trying to find validation for this oral history, mainly searching old newspapers. So far he has not had any luck, but I think that he may have been searching the wrong years, so we are hopeful that eventual the story will be validated.

The Great Migration Continued

Family_migration_routes_2In the latest episode of Many Rivers To Cross, the Great Migration was briefly discussed. It got me to thinking about my family who pretty much all left the south in the early 1900s. I wrote an earlier series about the Graham side of my family and their move from Montgomery, Alabama to Detroit in 1917. You can read about that at these links:

To continue the story, I will start by writing about my Grandfather Albert B. Cleage and his siblings move from Athens, TN to Indianapolis, IN and finally to Detroit, Michigan, with mention of Uncle Edward Cleage and his family who remained in Athens.

Next I will cover my Grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage and the Reed family’s move from Lebanon, KY first to Indianapolis in the 1890s and on to Benton Harbor and Detroit, Michigan, with Uncle Hugh (Reed) Averette moving out to Los Angeles California.

Finally I will write about Eliza and Dock Allen’s children leaving Montgomery for Chicago, Detroit and New York.

I wanted to add my husband’s family, not sure if I will write them up soon though. They started in Dermott, AR. Catherine Williams went to Seattle, WA. Vennie Jean Williams went to Arkadelphia. Sterling Williams spent time in Little Rock before going to Chicago. Chester and Theola (my in-laws) moved to St. Louis, MO. Members of both the Davenports and the Williams migrated to Chicago.  Many relatives remained in rural AR, although none of my husband’s aunts or uncles.

As I write I will probably come up with stories within stories. This should provide me with writing material for weeks!

To see other posts I’ve written about this series , click this link My Responses to Many Rivers to CrossYou will also find links to other bloggers responding to this series by sharing their own personal family stories.

For those interested, I found the map I used at this site about the Great Migration.