My maternal grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner Graham, was born 129 years ago on March 12, 1888, in Lowndes County, Alabama. She died on August 13, 1974 in Detroit, Michigan. You can read more about my grandmother in this post Fannie Mae Turner Part 1.
I am the same age as my grandmother was when we posed together on her back steps. Looking at the photograph below of me and my granddaughter made me think about the endless circle and the passage of time.
Another photograph that I am seeing for the first time, of my maternal grandmother Fannie Mae Turner soon to be Graham. Written on the back of the postcard type photograph, it says “Fannie M. Turner before marriage”
From Left to right My grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner Graham, peeking over my greatgrandmother’s, Jennie Virginia Allen Turner’s, shoulder. My grandmother’s sister Daisy Turner. Behind and between Aunt Daisy and Aunt Alice Turner, is my aunt Mary Virginia Graham Elkins, although she was not yet an Elkins. At the end, behind Alice, is my mother, Doris Graham Cleage, although she was not yet married a Cleage either.
They are posed in Grandmother Turner’s backyard on the East Side of Detroit at 4536 Harding. The house is gone now. They look like they just came from Church, at Plymouth Congregational, however the photo is dated July 4, 1939 on the back. July 4 was on a Tuesday that year. Maybe they went on a church picnic. My grandfather, Mershell C. Graham took the picture.
I found this page with a short modern history of fans and the language of fans –
I wonder if she carried the fan when she was married.
My maternal grandparent’s names were Mershell Cunningham Graham and Fannie Mae Turner Graham. They were both born in Alabama in 1888. Mershell was born in Coosada Station, Elmore County. Fannie was born in Hayneville, Lowndes County. Both counties are near Montgomery.
Before moving to Detroit, Mershell worked on passenger trains in the dining car. After coming to Detroit in 1917 he worked on a Great Lakes Cruise ship as a steward and finally put in 30 years at Ford Motor Company in the parts dept at the River Rouge Plant, before retiring.
My grandmother Fannie, managed her uncle Victor Tulane’s store in Montgomery before her marriage. After their marriage in 1919, she didn’t work outside of the home. They both lived until I was in my mid-twenties. My grandfather died in 1976 at 86 years. I was 26. My grandmother died in 1977 at 87. They both died in Detroit. We spent every Saturday at their house when I was growing up and for the last year of college, they lived downstairs from us. They lived in that flat until they died. So I knew them and also research them.
My paternal grandparents were Albert Buford Cleage and Pearl Doris Reed Cleage. Albert was born in Louden county, TN in 1883. Pearl was born in Lebanon, KY in 1886. They were married in Indianapolis in 1910. My grandfather worked on a Great Lakes Cruise line summers until he finished Medical school and became a family physician.
We lived down the street from them for several years when I was 5 and 6 years old. We saw them often. My grandfather died in 1957 after being ill for awhile. He was 73. I was 11. My grandmother lived until 1982. She was 96. I was 35. I knew both of them. I also research them.
Below are links to some of the many posts about my grandparents on this blog.
Between some pages my grandmother’s Bible are little snippets of hair. It is a well used Bible. The covers are missing. Part of the front cover remains, tucked between pages. On this and on the back pages, corners worn away, she wrote about the births of her children and deaths of her two sons. I don’t know who the hair came from, but I would guess from her children. They were all blond as babies.
“Our darling little Mershell Jr. was run over by a truck on Tuesday Nov. 1st – ’27 at 12:45 PM. on his way to school from lunch. skull crushed etc. – Neck broken – shoulder fractured- rushed to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital – never regained consciousness – died – same night at 2:10 – Dr Turner at his sid(e) (Fun)eral-Nov 4th … (Lavi)scount offic(iated) sang….”
Mary Virginia born April 3rd 1920 at 5:10 AM on Saturday. Detroit Mich at 1031 St. Jean Ave, 7 #. Dr. Ames & …
2nd baby – Mershell C. Graham, Jr. born June 10th – 1921 at 7:45 PM. On Friday. Detroit, Michigan. Dunbar Hospital. 8 1/2# Dr. Turner. Died 11/1/27 killed by auto.
3rd baby – Doris J. Graham born February – 12th – 1923. 5:10 A.M. – on Monday at Women’s Hospital Beaubien and For(est) Detroit, Michigan 7#
Our baby Howard was taken ill Nov. 17th 1931 – Dr. turner came + pronounced it Diabetes … cured — Jan 1932… On Feb 20- 1932, he developed Scarlet Fever – was sent to Herman Kiefer Hospital an(d) on acct of his condition died March 4th 1932 and was buried Sat. March 5…Private funeral at Memorial Park Cemetery 3 1/2 years old born 9/7/…
Our loss is truest g… God fills the pla… by our 2 ba…
This photograph was taken about two years after the one of my grandmother Fannie at Sugar Island. Grandma Graham was my grandfather, Mershell Graham’s adopted mother. Mary Virginia was born in April 1920 so she would be 2. Clifton was the son of my grandfather’s adopted brother, Clifton. Mershell Jr was born in June of 1921 so he must be about 1 year old. My mother was born in February, 1923 so my grandmother may have been just pregnant with her here. The park tables and benches are so unanchored. They are all cement now.
“Sugar Island is a small island in the Detroit River between Grosse Ile and Boblo Island. Sugar Island is part of Grosse Ile Township, Wayne County, Michigan, USA, and lies about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) west of the border with Canada. Currently the island is uninhabited and was recently converted to wildlife refuge by the US Fish and Wildlife service (see below). The majority of the island is wooded and it is known for its white sandy beaches and easy access by boat.” From Wikepedia