Category Archives: Tennessee

Athens Teachers – 1894

Teachers at Athens Tennessee Academy.

This information came from an article in an unnamed newspaper sent to me several years ago. To read the full article about the Athens Academy from The Athens Post, 21 December 1894. Page 22 – see Athens Tennessee Academy  Henry William Cleage – 1894

STANDING LEFT TO RIGHT

MISS M. LEA JONES
a native of Dallas, Texas, attended Knoxville College for a number of years. She received her appointment as intermediate teacher to the Athens Mission in the Spring of 1900.

HENRY W. CLEAGE
is a native of Athens. He entered and finished the course of the Athens Academy under Rev. Cook’s administration. He then attended Knoxville College. His teaching one year at Riceville gave him his first ideas of the practical side of the profession in which he is now engaged. At present he is a member of the corps of instructors of the Academy of Athens.

MRS. MINNIE J. ARTER
in childhood enjoyed the advantages of the public schools of Americus, Ga., her native home. After graduating from Knoxville College, she taught seven years in the city schools of Americus and seven years in the mission schools in Alabama. She is now in charge of the teachers’ home and parsonage.

PROF. COLLIER
all of Mr. Collier’s instructors in his youth, except one, both in and out of the Atlanta University, were teachers from the North. He was graduated from the State Normal School at Fayeteville, N. C. Mr. Collier’s experience extends from the rural district to the principalship of graded schools. He is at present substitute teacher in the Athens Academy. Mr. Collier is in very feeble health.

SEATED LEFT TO RIGHT

MRS. MINNIE B. CLEAGE
is not in the profession now, but she finished the course at the Academy of Athens, and was a student at Knoxville several years. She is now the wife of Henry W. Cleage.

JAMES W. FISHER
attended the public graded schools of Eufaula, Ala, his home town, during most of his boyhood. He next attended Knoxville College in which he pursued his studies for five years. He was in charge of the Mt. Zion District school in Alabama for three years. His present position is assistant principal of the Athens Academy.

REV. JOHN T. ARTER,
principal of the Athens Academy, is a graduate of the class of ’95, Knoxville College; also of the class of ’98, Alleghany Theological Seminary. For two years he served at Catherine, Ala., as pastor of the U. P. (United Presbyterian) Church. He now has charge of the Athens U. P. church.

MRS. LOUISE COLLIER
entered the City School In Savannah GA when quite a child. Later she attended the Atlanta University for a number of years. While yet in school she accepted a position as teacher near Americas, GA. She afterwards taught in the city graded schools of Americus where she continued to teach for seventeen years, resigning there to accept her present position in Athens.

MISS CHRISTIANITA TOTTEN
of the Danish West Indies, came to this country in 1891, entered Knoxville College and graduated from the Normal department in 1885, after which she taught in the Missions for Freedmen for six years. She is now in charge of the sewing department and is very active in the mission work of Athens.

Related Posts


H is for Henry William Cleage

For more sepia saturday posts, click

Liddie Cleage Glass Claims Reimbursement

Amanda’s sister Liddie helped her during her injury, hospitalization and handled the burial details. She wrote to the government to be reimbursed for the money she had spent. She did receive it.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Application for Reimbursement

State of Tennessee
County of Shelby

On this 18 day of Oct 1921

Liddie Glass, age 67 years, a resident of Memphis county of Shelby, state of Tennessee, who, being duly sworn according to law, makes the following declaration in order to obtain reimbursement from the accrued pension for expenses paid (or obligation incurred) in the last sickness and burial of Amanda Cleag, who was a pensioner of the United States by certificate No. 686390 on account of the service of Abram Cleag private in Co. I 1 Reg U. S. Col vol H. A.

That pension was last paid to May 4, 1921 Was in hospital on August, 4 not at home and couldn’t return it.

1. What was the full name of deceased pensioner? Amanda Cleag

2. In what capacity was deceased pension? Widow

3 If deceasent was pensioned as an invalid soldier or sailor – No

a. Was s/he ever married? yes
b. How many times and to whom? Abram Cleag. Once.
c. If married, did his wife survive him? Yes

4. Was there insurance? No

14.  Did the deceased pensioner leave any money, real estate or personal property? No.

18. Did pensioner leave an unendorsed pension check?  No

19. What was your relation to the deceased pensioner?  Sister

20. Are you married? Yes

21 What was the cause of pensioner’s death? Fracture of left leg.

22. When did the pensioner’s last sickness begin? 7/22 – 1921

26. Where did the pensioner live during last sickness? Collins Chapel Hospital

27. Where did the pensioner die? At the hospital

28. When did the pensioner die? August the 9, 1921

29. Where was the pensioner buried? Mount Zion Cemetery

30. Has there been paid, or will application be made for payment to you or any other person, any part of the expenses of the pensioner’s las sickness and burial by any State, County, or municipal corporation? No

31. State below expenses

W.S. Martin    physician – not paid                   $112.50
Medicine        none
Nursing care  none
McCoy & Joyner Undertaker – not paid          $74.00
Livery             none
Cemetery                              $12.00
Other expenses none                      

Total                                      $198. 50

32. Is the above a complete list of all the expenses of the last sickness and burial of the deceased pensioner? Yes

Sallie Bradd
Fannie Scruggs
Liddie (her X mark) Glass
Statement of doctor
Reimbursement
Claimant Liddie Glass
Pensioner Amanda Cleag Widow
Rate $30. Last paid to June 4, 1921 at $30
Last illness commenced July 22, 1921    Date of death August 9, 1921  
Accrued pension $66
Physicians bill $112.50
Undertakers bill   $74.00
Total                  $186.00

Click link to read more about Lydia Cleage Glass

Bill from W. S. Martin, MD @ Collins Chapel Hospital
Undertakers Bill

Amanda Cleag – Historical Re-enactment

Historical Society Long Beach Cemetery Tour 2018 – Zadie Cannon as Amanda Cleag
Photo by Kayte Deioma

In August last year, I received a comment on this blog from Roxanne Padmore of the Historical Society of Long Beach offering me information about the death of Abraham Cleage. Of course I was! We began several months of sharing information and gathering more about Abraham and Amananda who had relocated from Athens, TN to Austin, TX to Los Angeles, CA and finally (for Abraham) Long Beach, CA.

The Historical Society puts on a graveside reenactment at the end of October in Long Beach Municipal Cemetery, where Abraham is buried. Abraham was highlighted in the past but in 2018 they wanted to tell the story from Amanda’s point of view.

After sharing newspaper articles and information from records and speculating, we ordered Abram’s and Amanda’s Civil War Pension files. The information we found there changed the narrative significantly and prompted me to order the pension files for other men who served with Abram Cleage and their widows in Company I, 1st Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery, during the Civil War.

Deposition by Notary Public Shooner

During her testimony Amanda Cleag was questioned about the signature on her deposition because she could not write. She explained that her granddaughter Avalon signed for her. In this depositon, the notary who took the deposition explains how Avalon came to sign the document.

Deposition E
Edmund D. Shooner
25th day of May, 1909
Long Beach, Los Angeles, California

I am 65 years of age. My post office address is No 134 East 2nd St., Long Beach Calif – Occupation, Real Estate and notary public.

I have been a resident of this city for the past six years, and I have been acquainted with this claimant, Amanda Cleag since a short time after the death of her husband, the soldier, Abram Cleag, whom I had known a year or so before his death.

I remember well and distinctly that just about a year ago this claimant came into my office with her niece, Avalon Pierce, and A. J. Orelli and had me execute an application for pension for her and her niece, Avalon Pierce, and A. J. Orelli signed her said pension application as identifying witnesses and her niece, or rather her granddaughter, Avalon pierce, signed claimant’s name to the said pension application; as claimant was unable to write her own name. I personally know that claimant Amanda Cleag, authorized her granddaughter, Avalon Pierce to sign her, Amanda Cleag’s name to that pension application, which I now identify, since you have exhibited that said pension application to me. That entire pension application is in my own handwriting, except the signature of the claimant made by the identifying witnesses, one of whom being the said granddaughter.

I remember well and distinctly that claimant, authorized Avalon Pierce to sign her, claimant’s name to that pension application and if such authorization had not been given to said Avalon Pierce by Amanda Cleage, I would not have officially executed said pension application.

Yes, sir, that is my signature, as notary public to that pension application now before me, sworn to by the claimant at the time, and it is legally correct as far as my knowledge extents in these pension matters; yes claimant acknowledged under oath the contents of her pension application, and authorized her signature to be attached to it by her granddaughter, Avalon pierce and I personally saw the said Avalon Pierce sign the name Amanda Cleag to the said application, and saw her sign her own name as an identifying witness and saw Mr. A. L. Orellie sign his name as an identifying witness, that date May 6, 1908.

From information recently obtained for me from claimant, her granddaughter, Avalon Pierce is dead.

Am not interested The words “since” “not” and “by” interlined before signing.

This has been read to me, I have understood questions and my answers are correctly recorded

Edmund D. Spooner
Notary Public
Desponent

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 25th day of May, 1909

“…Amanda belonged to Alec, David’s brother”

Click to enlarge

Deposition A Case of Amanda Cleage by Jerry Cleage

I am about 75 years old, I reckon. I live in Athens, Tennessee.

In slavery I belonged to David Cleage and Amanda belonged to Alec, David’s brother. I knew Amanda. In the time of the war she was married to Lou Deadrick and she got a divorce from him after the war. I knew Lou well; he went from here to Chattanooga several years ago.

After her separation from Lou Amanda did not marry again here; she soon afterward went away with a white family named Tucker, and I have never seen her since.

With the Tucker family also went a colored man named Abe Cleage, who had been a soldier – his name was Abram Cleage.

Abraham had no wife here; he had had no wife here – I knew him and his brothers well. All of his brothers are dead. Abe never came back home and I haven’t known whether he is alive or not of late.

Amanda and Abram were not married when they left here; I don’t know whether they married afterword or not. I think I hear they did. Amanda’s mother lived here and I use to hear about Amanda sometimes through her.

I have lived in this county all my life. Amanda had only one husband up to the time that she left here.

I have no interest in this claim for pension. I understood the foregoing as it was read and my statements are correctly recorded.   

Jerry Cleage (His Mark)

Attest

Florence Cleage
Celia Deadrick
Nellie Deadrick

Posts about Jerry Cleage

“…and a slave for life” Bill of sale
Jerry Cleage and Charlotte Bridgeman
He also testified in various other pension applications.

No Marriage Record Found

From my drafts. A letter stating that no marriage record was found for Abram and Amanda Cleag.

Click to enlarge. There was no information on page 2.

Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions

Washington, D.C.
Atlanta, GA., July 2, 1909

Sir:

With this report are returned the papers in claim No. 893, 806, of Amanda Cleag, as widow of Abram Cleag, Co. 1, 1st U.C. Colored Heavy Artillery, referred to this division to determine whether the declaration filed May 11, 1898 was legally excuted and whether the claimant is the legal widow of the soldier. The case was received in this district, with right to notice waived, for testimony “as to lawful widow”.

The surname of the soldier is written Cleage in McMinn County, Tennessee.

The claimant was divorced from one Lon Deaderick in December 1867. See exhibit A and on Deaderick apparently was her only husband up to the time that she permanently left McMinn County. I searched the entries in the marriage records of McMinn County for December 186 and for the years 1868 and 1869 and I failed to find the claimants name as Armstrong, Cleage or Deaderick. I failed to find the soldiers name in the said records for the period from the year 1865 to the year 1870. And it appears that this soldier had no wife before he left McMinn County with the claimant.

I searched the indexes of the marriage records on file in the office of the County Clerk of Hamilton County, Tennessee, covering the period from the year 1865 to the year 1870 and I failed to find evidence of the marriage of the claimant to the soldier. Lon Deaderick (deposition D) has testified that he knows that the claimant was not married to the soldier as they passed through Chattanooga on their way to Texas, as the train on which they traveled did not make a longer stop than 10 minutes in Chattanooga.

Sarah Morrison (deposition B) has testified that she is about 102 years old. She is strong physically and mentally and her memory apparently is very good.

The several persons whose testimony I have taken in this case, with the exception of Lon Deaderick, are mulattoes; they are very fairly intelligent are of good reputation. Deaderick, I think, may be rated fair.

“…necessity compels him to labor when he can”

From my unpublished drafts. Abram Cleag’s doctor describes his condition.

Click to enlarge

Physician’s Affidavit
Los Angeles, California
7 October 1893

I first became acquainted with claimant in summer of 1892 when called to see professionally a member of his family, sometimes in fall of same year. I was called upon to treat claimant, who was suffering from a severe attack of lumbago and was wholly unable to labor and without help unable to turn himself as bed.

In addition he has laryngitis and bronchitis. I should think of long standing.

Ever since I have known him I have never considered him a man able to perform hard manual labor, but necessity compels him to labor when he can.

In my opinion I should think that he is ½ incapacitated.

I make this affidavit in my own handwriting.

J. W. Harris MD

Are you a married man?

From my drafts. Abram testifies about his marriage and children.

Question 1.  Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife’s full name and her maiden name.
Answer: Amanda Cleag.

Question 2. When, where, and by whom were you married?
Answer: At Athens in 1862 by Rev. Henry Rowley

Question 3. What record of marriage exists?
Answer: Have none.

Question 4. Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death or divorce.
Answer: No.

Question 5. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.
Answer: Sally Idena Cleag

“…first came to Dr. Phillip’s plantation”

Another from the drafts folder. More testimony for Amanda Cleag’s Widow’s Pension hearing. His wife testified here Rented Land.

Los Angeles County in 1888

“Pomona, South Pasadena and Compton are incorporated as cities. Long Beach is also incorporated for the first time, but is disincorporated years later in 1897 (but then reincorporated before the end of that year). Heavy floods occur. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce is established at a meeting of the city’s principal boosters. Los Angeles Times publisher, Harrison Gray Otis, makes the motion. A small African American community forms in Los Angeles, initially centered around First and Los Angeles Streets. Occidental College is founded in Eagle Rock.” Click on map to go to page.

***********

Deposition C in Amanda Cleag’s Widow’s Pension Claim

Mason Davis
I am 57
My address is: 1239 Birch Street, Los Angeles California
Occupation: Express man

I have been living in Los Angeles for about 21 years and I lived in and around Austin, Texas, for 20 years before coming here to reside.

I first became acquainted with Abram Cleag and his wife Amanda Cleag when they first came to Dr. Phillip’s plantation, near Austin, Texas, all of forty years ago, and I knew them in and around Austin, Texas for all of 20 years, and I knew them as long here in California. They came here a little ahead of me and my wife, from Austin, Texas. 

When they first came to Dr. Phillips plantation, they were a young looking married couple, and said they had come from San Marcos, Texas, where they had gone from Athens, Tenn. with the Tucker family, and that the Tucker family had gone into the state of Virginia to live.

No, I do not know how long Abram Cleag and Amanda Cleag had been married before they came to Dr. Phillip’s plantation, and I don’t recollect that they ever told me where they had gotten married, but Abram Cleag told me that he had been in the army during the civil war, and after he came here he got a pension for his army service.

I know personally, however that Abram Cleag and Amanda Cleag always lived together as man and wife all the time I was associated with them in Texas for 20 years, and that they lived as man and wife all the time here in California up to the time of Abram Cleag’s death in Long Beach, Calif., about a year ago. Yes, sir, I attended his funeral in Long Beach, and saw him dead. My wife and I used to visit the Cleags in Long Beach, and have styed at his home for a week at the time.

I personally know that Amanda Cleag, this claimant for pension has not remarried since the death of her husband, Abram Cleag, and that she has had to work to support herself.

Yes, I know of my own knowledge that Abram Cleag and Amanda Cleag always lived together as man and wife, never being separated or divorced, during all the 40 or more years I knew them up to the time of Abram Cleag’s death, and that they were known and recognized as man and wife by all who know them both in Texas and California. I also know that the Cleags had two children born to them, but none of them are alive. She had a granddaughter, Avalon Price, with whom she lived in Long Beach, after the death of her husband Abram, but that granddaughter died recently and Amanda is now alone in the world.  She has no relations alive that I know of, and I don’t know that Abram Cleag has any living relatives.

Question: Had Abram Cleag been married before his marriage to Amanda Cleage, this claimant for pension, as you may have heard?

Answer: I never heard that he had been married before his marriage to Amanda, and he never told me that he had been.

Question: Had Amanda, the claimant been married before her marriage to Abram Cleag, the soldier?

Answer: Not that I know of. I never heard it said by either of them that Amanda had been married before her marriage to Abram Cleag. If either one of them had ever been previously married, I never heard of it.

It is my understanding that they had grown up in Tennessee, but I never met anyone who knew them there.

No, I never heard that Amanda Cleag had been married to a Lou Dedrick, from whom she was divorced before her marriage to Abram Cleag. I can’t hardly believe that, as she was a young woman when I got to know her in Texas.

I know for sure, however, that they always lived together as man and wife all the years I knew them, and that they were never separated or divorced.

Yes, that is my signature to that joint affidavit shown me. No, I can’t fix the date any better that I have done to you,  when I first got to know the Cleags.

Am not interested nor related. This has been read to me and I have understood questions, and my answers are correct.

Mason Davis
27 May, 1909

Guided by the Ancestors

A post about finding my great great grandmother Susan Rice Ragan that I wrote several years ago and never published.

My great great grandmother Susan Rice Regan’s grave stone in Hammond’s Cemetery in Athes, TN

Riding home today after getting my ears dewaxed, my mind wandered to… pension files.

Recently I joined fold3 to find information about one of the people I wrote up in the Katie Cleage’s series – Lucy McCaury. I couldn’t find anything about her, so I decided to see if there were any interesting widow’s files from the same Troop with the Cleages. I found one yesterday for Susan Regan, from Athens TN. As I went through her file, I noticed a name I recognized – W.R. Sherman and thought, well, I know him. He was my great grandmother Celia’s second husband. He was writing concerning final expenses for Susan Regan and he listed himself as son-in-law. It took me overnight to realize that would make her Grandma Celia’s mother.

Susan Ragan and the three children of Nelson Ragan/Reagan were named in the file. They were born in 1857, 1860 and 1864. My great grandmother was born in 1855. Henry was born in 1854. They weren’t named in the pension file because they were not Nelson’s children and therefore didn’t qualify for any pension money. In the 1870 census, Susan Ragan appears with those three plus Ann and Henry. All were using the Ragan surname. I had looked at that file several times before when trying to find Celia in the 1870 census and discarded it because the names were “wrong”. This time I remembered that Celia’s first name was Anna on her death certificate.

Monday I was following my newly found 2X great grandmother Susan Ragan through the census records on ancestry.com. She was only appearing in every other census. I finally decided to go ahead and add her to my main family tree as my great grandmother’s mother. (I had set up a separate tree for them until I was sure.) Once I added her as my great grandmother’s mother, she appeared in the missing censuses as Susan Rice . “Rice” being the name of their former slave holder and my great grandmother’s father so “Rice” became one of Susan Rice Ragan’s surnames and she began to show up when she used that surname. The children identified as ‘Ragan” before, now appeared as “Rice” in those censuses. It’s all so amazing to me. I even found her grave on Find-a-grave and had it transferred to me.

Other posts about Susan Rice Ragan

TIMELINE: Susan Rice Ragan
NELSON Ragan
QUITE a Surprise
ON this the 29th day of March…
PHILLIP Born Dec. 21, 1857
VALVULAR Heart Disease
UNDERTAKER: Susan Rice Ragan’s burial
SHOT By Robbers
WILLIAM Roger Sherman