Q – QUINCE Honey and Effie May Todd

Effie May Todd

In 1918 and 1919 thirty-seven young women, friends and neighbors of my grandmother Fannie Mae Turner were members of the Edelweiss Club in Montgomery, Alabama. These are snapshots from their lives, place and times.

Effie May Todd was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1893. She was the fourth of the five children of Frank and Mattie (Coleman) Todd. Although her parents had been born into slavery, both were literate by 1900. All of the children attended school.

The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama • Tue, Jun 20, 1911Page 26

In 1902 Effie’s father left his job as a janitor at the Capital and became a mailman, riding out into the rural areas of Montgomery County to deliver mail.

In 1907 Effie May Todd won a prize for garden work at State Normal School. This photo is from Tuskegee Institute, 1906.

Effie graduated from State Normal high school in 1907. The following year her mother Mattie died. Effie was 14. Two years later, in 1910, The oldest brother, Henry was married and in his own home. Beatrice and Annie, were both teaching. Effie and Frank were both attending school. The house was paid for without a mortgage.

Frank Todd died in 1913.

Effie started teaching in 1914 and taught at Booker T. Washington until she married Arthur Chisholm in 1919 and they moved to Detroit.

The Emancipator, Montgomery, Alabama Sat, Apr 06, 1918 · Page 4
The Montgomery Advertiser Oct. 4, 1916

Time for another luncheon suggestion. Today I needed a “Q”. Quince came to mind immediately. I searched for it on Newspapers.com for Montgomery and voila, several recipes appeared. There was one for pie and several for jellies but I thought the quince honey on rolls sounds quite delicious. They give a complete luncheon menu. I’m not sure if It would have been served at an Edelweiss meeting, but it might have been. A surprise for me, as I went googling quince is that I have a quince bush in my yard. I don’t think it bears fruit, but I’ll have to go check. It does have lovely red blooms in the late winter.

By Pancrace Bessa

There is a bit of room left so I will give you the outline of Effie Todd Chisholm’s life. She remained in Detroit for the rest of her life. Eventually she divorced her husband. She and Mary Monroe shared a home on Scotten Ave., right down the street from my Cleage family until her death from pneumonia in 1939 at 46. She didn’t have any children, although she raised her niece until she died of tuberculous at 17. She taught and was active in several clubs.

The Michigan Chronicle, Detroit, Michigan • Sat, Dec 23, 1939Page 4

12 thoughts on “Q – QUINCE Honey and Effie May Todd

  1. When I was a boy visiting my grandparents in Mississippi I saw quince on trees and I remember throwing them because they were hard as rocks. I ate some of the preserves but now I can’t recall what it tasted like.

    1. We had a tree in Mississippi too. Never did eat the fruit. My neighbor had to tell us what it was because I’d never seen it before. Sour is all I remember. I think when they paved the road, that tree was taken out.

  2. Yes, it’s tough work to make quince jam (my wife tells me). But it’s delicious. Our neighbour had a large tree and gave us a bag full of huge, hard fruit every autumn. Then the tree got blown down in a storm. They planted a new one but it’s still quite small.

  3. Love the gardening photo and Effie’s well-told story. I’m always astounded by the amount of sugar in these old recipes (5 pounds, in this case!). You should keep an eye on your quince to see if it fruits. My grandfather had one, and used it to make jelly.

  4. Quince has a distinctive taste, but oh is it sour! The Jerusalem pudding sounds good, though, with dates and figs for sweetness and the quince to give it a bite. I wonder if your quince will give fruit?
    I think about what Effie’s parents achieved and the independent life that she was enabled to live. I’m guessing she helped to support her family after first her mother and then her father died. Moving to Detroit and then leaving her husband, it’s good that she was able to support herself and had friends, so she wasn’t alone. It’s sad that she died so young.

    1. She was the second youngest. She started teaching the year after her father died. Her younger brother married three years later. The older siblings were all working or married or both. Effie had her 7 year old niece living with her in Detroit. This was her older brother’s daughter. His first wife died and I think that is why. Unfortunately the girl died of tuberculosis at the age of 17.
      Effie continued to get more education throughout her life, which enabled her to continue to teach in Detroit.

  5. My daughter gave me some “quice butter” by Side Hill Farm that looks like it might be similar to what that recipe calls “quince honey.” And interestingly it does have a sort of honey flavor despite not having actual honey as an ingredient. It is utterly delicious and I recommend it to all! (Side Hill Farm did not pay me for this endorsement! lol)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.