After reading My Grandfather was an Enumerator on the blog ABT UNK, I decided to write something about my grandmother Fannie M. Turner who was an enumerator for the 1910 US Census in Montgomery, Alabama. She was 22 and lived with her mother and younger sisters in Montgomery, although not in the district she enumerated. Her grandmother Eliza Allen lived in the district. It was looking at the entry for Eliza that I first noticed that my grandmother was the enumerator. Recently I found a newspaper article online about the appointed census takers that said in part:
“Montgomery – City – Whites: Albert S. Ashley, E.F. Davis, James C. Westbrook, Leopold Loab, Thomas Robinson, R. Brownlee Centerfit, Charles S. Spann, Louis Lyons, Edgar W. Smith, Mrs. Fannie B. Wilson, Handy H. McLemore, Thomas M. Westcott, Alto Deal, Miss Gene Finch, Frank G. Browder. Negroes–To enumerate negro (sic) population only–Gertrude V. Wilson, Eli W. Buchanan, Fannie M. Turner, David R. Dorsey.”
Fannie M. Turner began work April 15, 1910 and enumerated her Aunt Abbie and her Grandmother Eliza on pg 2. She finished on April 26. Mrs. Fannie B. Wilson (white) completed the enumeration of Montgomery, Ward 4 by counting the white residents on several pages after that. As noted in the newspaper article, Negro enumerators could only count Negros. I wonder how that worked. Did my grandmother go to the door, note that they were white and tell them someone else would return to count them later? Did the neighbors alert her? Since she was already familiar with the neighborhood, did she already know where the white people lived or did all the white residences live in the same area?
My grandmother was a working woman who managed her Uncle Victor’s grocery store from the time she graduated from State Normal School until she married my grandfather in 1919. Wish I knew the stories she must have had to tell about that two weeks of counting the citizens in Ward 4.
7 thoughts on “Fannie Mae Turner, Enumerator 1910”
Yes, there is a date on the bottom of the article. It was the announcement which was made April 1. The enumerating didn't start until the 15th. Thanks for being such a faithful commenter.
Kristin, this is fascinating! I love the images you embedded into the census image. And thank you for giving me the idea to check for a newspaper article naming enumerators – perhaps I can find a similar listing in a 1930 Houston newspaper for my father.
Amanda, I'm glad I read your post today. Good luck finding an article. It's amazing what newspaper articles are available online.
Great article Kristin! So glad to see that her handwriting is really legible! Many, many descendants of the people she enumerated thank God for that everyday. I know I sure do! =^)
LOL. Kinfolksnews, that is so true.
Another interesting post.
Was the newspaper article printed before your grandmother did her enumerating?
Wonderful post, Kristin. Isabel Wilkerson commented that there was no end to segregation in the Deep South, right down to separate Bibles in the courtrooms. This falls into that category.
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