Unidentified young women from my grandparent’s photo album. I believe the one on the left is Madeline Abercrombie, based on a newspaper photograph of her several months before her death in 1973. More about that on the A post.
In 2018 I did a series of posts for the A to Z Challenge based on articles taken from The Emancipator, an African American newspaper published by my cousin in Montgomery Alabama around 1920. I mentioned the Edelweiss Club in several posts.
Who were the members of the Edelweiss Club? Thirty seven women attended the monthly meetings judging from news items that appeared in The Emancipator, starting January 12, 1918 and continuing monthly until May 3, 1919. Some of the women were members and some were guests and not all were present at every meeting. Thirty of them were teachers. One was a seamstress. Three worked in family businesses. The other three did not have employment and were relatives of members. Most of the members were single, some married as time went on. Some moved out of town. A good number never married.
All of them came from literate homes. Most of their parents owned their homes, some free and clear, some mortgaged. Their fathers tended to work for themselves as barbers, carpenters and plasterers. Bertha Loveless’ father was an undertaker. Madge Brown’s father was a farmer. Alberta Boykin’s father was a mail carrier. Several lived with their widowed mother or an aunt. Most had multiple siblings.
Their parents were born in the mid 1850s to the 1870 so they would have been teenagers when slavery ended or were born during Reconstruction.
There were no more reported meetings after May 3, 1919.
There were 37 young women who attended the club meetings, more than enough for 26 “A to Z” posts. This year I will present the lives of some of those women as my A to Z theme. This will be my ninth year participating in the A to Z Challenge.
Theola Marie Davenport Williams was the daughter of Amy Marie Davenport. She was born March 7, 1920, in Portland, Arkansas, the fifth child of the late James and Amy Davenport. Arkansas was her home for many years, where she attended Dermott High School and Arkansas State University at Pine Bluff. The greater part of her adult life was spent in St. Louis, Missouri where she attended Meramec Community College and Washington University.
Theola married Chester Arthur Williams on June 20, 1938. Together they had 12 children – 6 sons and 6 daughters. She was an active member of the Church and Community, which involved the following; Sunday School Teacher, Primary Department, Women’s Missionary Union and was named to the Deaconess Board of Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church; she was a secretary at the Webster Groves High School; an active Top Member and a member of the In Roads Parents Association for the City of St. Louis.
She was 61 years old when she died September 21, 1981. I remember her as a very calm, accepting and thoughtful mother-in-law. This is the 101 anniversary of her birth.
My paternal grandmother, Pearl Reed Cleage was born 135 years ago in Lebanon, Kentucky, the youngest of Annie Reed’s 8 children. She married Dr. Albert B. Cleage in Indianapolis, IN in 1910 and they had seven amazing children, including my father, who they raised in Detroit, MI.
She was a small woman who looked sweet as pie and had a backbone of steel. She didn’t begin to run down until she broke her hip in her 80s. In 1982, my grandmother Pearl died of congestive heart failure in Idlewild, Michigan.
Today I found a new app on My Heritage, Deep Nostalgia. It takes still photographs of faces and animates them. It was a bit strange, who knows if that is how the actual people moved when they were alive and moving. It was interesting to play around with though.
Below is are animated photos of Eliza (who this blog is named for) and Dock Allen, my 2X great grandparents through the maternal line. Click links below to see animations.
Mr. Joe Jackson was the youngest son of Annie Mae Graham, my grandfather Mershell C. Graham’s sister. In his early youth he was known by Michele, but later changed to Joe. A thank you to my cousin Cedric Jenkins for sharing this program with me.
During the virtual Williams/Butler reunion on Saturday evening, there was some consternation about how many children Catherine Jones Williams gave birth to.
On the 1910 Census, Catherine Jones Williams said that she had given birth to 10 children and that six were still living. In the booklet from the Williams/Butler Reunion 1988 that Julia Williams Boyue put together, there were family trees for both the Williams and Butler families.
I put the names into my ancestry.com tree and was able to find information and connections with most of them. Some, I could not find. If they were born after 1880, they would not be in that census. The 1890 census was destroyed. The next census they would have appeared in was 1900. They could easily have been on their own so never appeared in the same household with Catherine Jones Williams or they may have died. Since Arkansas did not begin keeping death records before 1914, there would be none available.
In the same book there are 15 children listed for William and Mattie (Hawkins) Butler. The answer given during the reunion was 18. I am looking forward to finding out the other names!