Jacob Cleage 1874-1942

Jacob Cleage 1874 – 1942
The Detroit Tribune. 1942 Dec 12
“Jacob Cleage of 5670 Hartford Avenue is quite ill at his home.”

Jacob Cleage was the second child and first son of the five Cleage offspring of Louis Cleage and Celia Rice Cleage Sherman. He was born in 1874 in either McMinn or Loudin county Tennessee. According to his death certificate he was in the Spanish American War. For years he worked as a waiter in Knoxville, where he met and married Gertrude Brunt. They had no children.

They moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where all of his siblings, except Edward, moved. He continued to work as a waiter and also in real estate. Eventually they all ended up in Detroit, Michigan. He worked in the Sheriff’s department for several years. Continued to sell real estate and, according to his death certificate worked as a janitor.

I found the above clipping in the archives of The Detroit Tribune. It announced his serious illness five days after he died. I could find no mention of his death in the paper. I found his death certificate on Ancestry and the one new piece of information I found was that he served in the military during the Spanish American War.

Jacob Cleage’s death certificate with notes. There is so much information here. Click to enlarge.

To clarify, Jacob Cleage’s nephew, Louis Jacob Cleage was his physician. Louis Jacob Cleage was named after his grandfather Louis and his uncle Jacob.

More information (or misinformation) about Jacob Cleage here – Jacob and Gertrude Cleage in the 1940 Census.

9 thoughts on “Jacob Cleage 1874-1942

  1. He looks like a nice man and he certainly had an interesting life. I wonder what happened to his wife.

    His father was Louis Cleage and his physician was Dr. Louis Cleage. Was his father a physician or was Dr. Louis Cleage one of his siblings? Or just happened to have the same name?

    Always love the stories!

    1. Sorry for the confusion! I’ve added clarification. Dr. Louis J. Cleage was my uncle and Jacob Cleage’s nephew. He was named after his grandfather Louis and his uncle Jacob, hence the “J”.

      1. After I hit post I realized if it were his father he’d be pretty old to still be practicing. And how touching that Dr. Cleage was named for Jacob. Sort of full circle.

        1. Yes, he would have been. Grandfather Louis Cleage was born into slavery on a Cleage plantation. After freedom he worked at various laboring jobs. He died in Indianapolis in 1918 at his daughter’s house. I have done several posts on him in the past.

    2. Jacob’s wife, Gertrude Brunt Cleage, lived to be 99 and died in 1982 in Detroit. She lived in the family home for many years. Not sure if she died there. I remember meeting her when I was a little girl. My aunts and uncles remembered her fondly.

      I would have written a more full post about their life but I’m trying to finish some baby quilts by Christmas and I had to stop myself. I will do so later.

  2. Wow, 99, that’s a long life. And it sounds like she was well-loved.

    Christmas is definitely roaring towards us. Good luck with the quilts – will hold good thoughts for no broken sewing machine needles, no unruly fabric and that all bobbins are well-behaved.

  3. Great to have a photo as well a death certificate on Ancestry…I find lots of information (mostly all true) which fills in other relationships as well sometimes. Happy holidays, and I am sure the quilts will be well appreciated.

  4. I am always surprised to find newspaper announcements of ancestors’ illnesses and hospitalizations. They covered so much years ago! The discovery of Jacob’s Spanish American War service could lead to additional records.

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