This is my 4th year participating in the A-Z Challenge. I am writing about people who were born into slavery and lived to be free, and their descendants. Today I will write about Major L. Zeigler . He has ties to my family as the 2nd husband of the great grandmother of the wife of my 1st cousin once removed.
Major Zeigler was born in Virginia about 1869. In the 1880 census he was 11 years old and lived in Horse Pasture, Henry County, Virginia with his 50 year old mother, Lucy Zeigler and his 13 year old sister Polly. All of them are listed as servants and none of them could read or write.
The first time Major Zeigler appears in Cincinnati records is in the 1887 Cincinnati City Directory, where he was listed as a laborer. He would have been 18 years old. In 1894 he married Ella Bayes. He was 27 and she was 25. She had been married previously and brought three daughters to the union. They never had any children together.
In the 1900 census, the family lived at 4214 Eastern Avenue. The house was mortgaged. Major was a coal dealer. His wife, Ella was not working outside of the home. She had given birth to four children and three were still living. Her three daughters were using Zeigler as their surname. Fifteen year old Onie, 14 year old Maud and 11 year old Nennie were all attending school, as was Ella’s 11 year old brother who lived with them. Ella’s mother lived in the home also. There was one border, 15 year old Murphy McSwain who worked as a coal peddler. He was the only one in the house who could neither read nor write.
In 1910 Major and Ella Ziegler lived in the house at 4214 Eastern alone. They owned their house however, it was not paid off. His occupation is listed as coal teamster. Ella did not work outside of the home.
In 1920 they owned the house free of mortgage. Granddaughter Fern, 16, lived with them. She was not attending school. Major’s occupation was as a mover of household goods. He was 49. Ella was 51. Neither Ella nor Fern were employed outside of the home.
In 1930 Major Zeigler was working on his own account as a supervisor at his real estate business. They had moved out of the house on Eastern Avenue and were living in their mortage free house in Springfield. The house was valued at $10,000. Since 1920, granddaughter Fern had married, divorced and had a seven year old daughter, Elaine, who was attending school. Sixty four year old Albert Smith boarded with them. They did not own a radio.
Ella Bayes Zeigler died on November 18, 1933. She is buried in spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. She was 64 years old.
In 1940 Major Zeigler was 73 years old. He lived in a boarding house. His highest level of education completed was 2nd grade. He was working as a real estate agent. Major Lee Zeigler died at home on April 10, 1960. You can read his obituary below.