My cousins lived upstairs in a 4-family flat on the corner of McDougall and Hunt Street on the East Side of Detroit. Their mother, Mary V. Graham Elkins, was my mother’s sister. She worked as a secretary at the County Building.
Their father, Frank “Bud” Elkins, graduated with honors from Cass Technical high school in the late 1930s. As an electrician, he tried to join the Electricians Union but as a black man was barred. He set up his own shop as an independent Electrician. He drove a truck with “Elkins Electric Company” on the side. I remember riding in it a few times. There were not seats for all and we sat on the floor.
Some other stories about this family:
Remembering Barbara Lynn Elkins
Old County Building and Mary V Elkins
The Frank and Mary Elkins Family in the 1940 Census
11 thoughts on “Barbara on a Bike”
I do hope he was able to establish a successful business and thumb his nose to the union!!
I think he did, but can’t remember as he died at only 40 when I was in junior high school. He was always very bitter about the union.
How dreadful that he was refused entry to the union – I had no idea that happened then. It could have jeopardized his whole working life, after succeeding so well at college. A sad story to hear he died at such a young age.
I was thinking the same thing, and I hope he was happier being his own boss. Great photo.
The photo is adorable. Our son owns his own electrician’s business and does quite well when building is going on. But there are slumps in the business so he has to allow for those times.
I can’t imagine he got a lot of building business from the black community in Detroit during that time because I don’t think a lot of building was going on.
Wonderful picture – I love the way the younger sister is focused on not falling off the “big” tricycle and how her sister is assisting.
I think she was trying to see where those peddles are and how to make it go 🙂
Love the photos. My parents still live on McDougall just a few blocks away in their original house.
I love to hear about people still living in their homes as so many of the old houses in my family life are gone or a mess.
Beautiful photographs. So evocative of time and place, as always.
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