This year I am going through an alphabet of news items taken from The Emancipator newspaper, published  between 1917 and 1920 in Montgomery, Alabama.  Most are about people and places in my grandparent’s life. Each item is transcribed directly below the clipping.  Click on any image to enlarge.


Lewis Gilmer was one of my grandfather’s good friends. Annie Wimbs and my grandmother were both members of the Edelweiss Club.

The Emancipator Sat. Dec 28 1918

Wimbs-Gilmer Wedding

“On Tuesday morning at six o’clock, Miss Annie Wimbs and Mr. Lewis Gilmer, two popular young people of Montgomery, were happily married at the residence of Mrs. Josephine Curtis on So. Jackson Street. Rev. P. A. Callahan performed the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of honorable Ad Wimbs, of Greensboro, Alabama, and has been teaching in the public schools of this city. Mr. Gilmer is a highly esteemed young man and holds a responsible business position in this city. The many friends of the young couple wish them much happiness.”

Lowndes Adams, Rufus Taylor and Lewis Gilmer, Lowndes niece Edoline with puppies.
The Emancipator Sat Oct 25, 1919.   A year later, more news! Birth of their first child, Iola.

“Mr. and Mrs. Louis Gilmer were recently made the proud parents of a little girl. Mrs. Gilmer was formerly Miss Annie Wimbs.”

Lewis Abram Gilmer was born in Montgomery, Alabama on May 18, 1885. He and his seven siblings were raised there by their parents Louis and Cornelia Gilmer.  His father was a porter, a butler and a chauffeur.    Lewis worked as a bank messenger in Montgomery.  He and his wife, Annie, had five children.  Iola was born in 1919 in Montgomery.  Cornelia was born in 1924 in Mississippi.  Ellen, Willese and Dolores were born in 1925, 1927 and1931 in Detroit.

Lewis worked as a waiter when he first came to Detroit and then as a porter in a department store. Annie worked as a teacher in Montgomery before she married and did not work outside the home afterwards. By 1930 they bought a house in the Conant Gardens neighborhood of Detroit.

Members of Lewis Gilmer’s family moved to Detroit and lived on Scotten Avenue, several blocks from my other grandparents, the Cleages who were not from Montgomery. Some of the Gilmers later returned to Montgomery.

Annie Gilmer died in 1948. Lewis lived another twenty years and died in 1969.  Their descendants are numerous and widespread.


I found this information on Ancestry.com in Census Records, Directories, Death Records, Military Records and Marriage Records. I also received some update through a descendant of the Gilmer’s who read an earlier blog post about her grandfather. The news item was found on Newspapers.com.

16 thoughts on “Lewis GILMER

  1. Loved the photo of the three gentlemen with the girl 🙂
    I was looking at the date of birth of the five children. The first in 1910 and the last in 1931. That’s quite a gap!

    1. And that’s quite a mistake! The first was born in 1919, the year after they were married, not in 1910. Thank you for catching that my proof reader (aka my husband) missed that one. I fixed it.

  2. It is so sweet how Lowndes and Lewis are looking at Edoline and her puppies, but Rufus is staring right into the camera.

  3. This has been a fascinating week of posts, what a great theme. It is such a shame that the internet has superseded a lot of these local newspapers and so in the future many of these little snippets will be lost. Look forward to more next week 🙂

    1. Hmmm, well “E” and “C” are past. Maybe I’ll do an extra short Sunday post just about the Edleweiss Club. I found 12 entries in the paper and I think I have a pretty good idea about the meetings and the club. And there is one mention in a letter my grandmother wrote to my grandfather about a dance they were going to have. I think that is where that invitation came from.

  4. I am of an age that I remember well the newspaper accounts of people who were visiting, marriages, including the materials used in the brides dress and all the details about who was in attendance. The clipping you have used for this post is great, isn’t it! I’m glad these people are remembered as genealogists like yourself rediscover their stories. A great mission. If you have an interest in BOOKSTORES, their architecture, locations and great people who sell books, do come and join the tour.

  5. Edelweiss is such a great name for a club.

    What struck me as I read this post, and some of your others, is that people a hundred years ago had such fuss-free ceremonies – married from the residence of a relative, and/or travelled back to their workplaces the very next day and got on with their lives…no grand do’s, no fancy venues…so much simpler and meaningful!!

    1. And no big debt. Sometimes they did take a wedding trip. And they did dress up, but yes, so much simpler and a part of life instead of a big event standing outside of it.

  6. It’s wonderful what you can find in old newspapers and magazines. Here in Australia, we have the Trove database at the National Library. You can go online and look up newspapers from 1803 onwards. There are also complete issues of the Australian Women’s Weekly from 1933 to 1981. A war years edition will tell you how people lived and coped with the war, which stars were popular, how much things cost…A real treasure!
    Aussie children’s writers: G is for Gleitzman and Griffiths

  7. Love these peeks into the past. How formal everything was. People don’t put many announcement like those in the paper today.

  8. Imagine that – a 6 am wedding! Now that’s getting a head start on things, lol. 😀

    I love the dance card, it’s so elegant!

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