C – Cleages in the 1950 Census

This is my ninth year of blogging the A to Z Challenge. Everyday I will share something about my family’s life during 1950. This was a year that the USA federal census was taken and the first one that I appear in. At the end of each post I will share a book from my childhood collection. Click all images to enlarge.

The Cleages in the 1950 Census – A preview I wrote two years ago. Let’s see what I got right and what I got wrong. I had it pretty much right. My grandfather had worked 24 hours in the past week to my uncle Louis’ 60 hours so he was semi-retired as my aunt remembered. My youngest aunt Anna was not listed as pharmacist although she had completed 5 years of college. Perhaps she started working after the census was taken. The neighbor right below her, Mr. Tootles, was listed as a pharmacist.

Pearl and Albert Cleage. My Paternal Grandparents.

In April 1950 my uncle Henry Cleage passed the bar exam. In May my aunt Barbara eloped with Ernest Martin and in December, my uncle Louis Cleage ran for the Detroit School Board. None of these things were included on the Census record.

Census Sheet from 1950 Census Archives. Some people were asked extra questions. The red line leads from those family members to the extras. Click to enlarge.
The Cow in the Silo. Poor Grady gets stuck in the silo and has Crisco rubbed all over her so she can slip out.

16 thoughts on “C – Cleages in the 1950 Census

  1. Such lovely photos of family members. Your research shows that the census records are important but still not tell part of their story. I wonder why Barbara left it to the last minute to elope…you have to feel a bit sorry for the ex.

    1. I don’t really know but I think her parents were in favor of her marriage to the professor and she only got the courage to go against them at the last moment. My mother mentioned being there when the announcement had to be made, and in fact making the announcement. I guess we were there for the wedding at the end of May beginning of June. Anyway, I remember nothing to record. Now I wonder if the family didn’t know she eloped until the day of the wedding because why else the gathering? So many questions I cannot get the answer too. Sigh.

  2. I am really enjoying your A-Z’s! I agree with Tarkabarka — how mortifying that the “jilting” was in the newspaper . . . but I love reading about it now!

  3. I was also struck by the reporting of the jilted fiance. If we think journalists are intrusive today, reading the archives of papers from the late 19th and early 20th century is an eye-opener. My great-uncle’s suicide at 17 was reported in papers around the country, and a distant/removed cousin’s marital situation was fodder for dozens of stories – and they called him ‘Handsome Matt.’ Thanks to this trend, I have the poignant account of my great-grandmother’s last hours in 1905, and the details of the scandalous court case about my grandparents’ trip to LA in 1914 to ‘break Aunt Lila’s will,’ that phrase being all I ever heard about it until doing that research.

  4. The 1950 US census has been full of information. Did Anna work as the receptionist in Louis’s clinic at this time? I was searching through my Mom’s papers and found a letter Louis wrote to my Dad, dated May 4, 1950. In it, Louis mentioned that his sister was not going to stay as his receptionist, because she was getting married, but he did not give her name. I think that it must have been Anna, given her occupation listed on the census. I do remember Dad mentioning Barbara’s wedding, that was called-off at the last minute. He told me that he offered to sit on the steps of the church, to turn away people who did not get the news in time. It must have been considered pretty scandalous.

    1. It was Barbara who was the receptionist and got married. Anna was the pharmacist at the clinic. I guess she’d just finished or was finishing school when this census was taken. She didn’t marry until later in the 1950s, when my grandfather was dying so they were married at home. Between your father and my mother, I guess the guests got told!
      I would love to see that letter if you can share it with me. I promise not to blog it 😉

    2. Hi Alex. Renee’s aunt. So great that you can share with Kristin! Small world. I remember modeling in Canada for your Dad while working at Ed Vaughn’s bookstore. I love your stories and photos, Kristin.

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