This photograph was taken in the alley beside my grandparent’s house on Theodore in Detroit in 1937. My grandfather, Mershell, was 47. He stands here with his daughters dressed for church. He worked at the Ford Rouge Plant, taking the street car to work everyday and saving the car for going to church and other weekend activities. Mary Virginia, my mother’s older sister, was 17 and a senior at Eastern High School, on East Grand Blvd within walking distance of the house. She graduated in June and in September went to Business College where she excelled in typing. My mother was 14. She graduated from Barbour Intermediate School that year and joined her sister at Eastern High School. Here are their report cards from that year.
Meanwhile, a lot going on in the world in 1937. The montage below contains photographs of some. The Memorial Day Massacre when Chicago police shot and beat union marchers who were organizing at Republic Steel Plant. Ten workers died. Amelia Earhart flew off and disappeared. The German Luftwaffe bombed Guernica, Spain during the Spanish Civil War in support of Franco and inspired the painting of the same name by Picasso . The Japanese invaded China, killing and raping thousands. Roosevelt was re-elected. The Hobbit was published. Gone With the Wind won the Pulitzer prize for Margaret Mitchell. The first animated full length film, Snow White came out. An anti-lynching law was passed. The Golden Gate Bridge was completed and opened with a day for pedestrians to walk across. Buchenwald concentration camp was build. The Hindenburg exploded and burned. King George VI’s coronation took place. Auto workers in Flint, Michigan won recognition for the UAW after a prolonged sit down strike. The Mississippi and Ohio Rivers flooded leaving devastation and death behind. Ethiopia was now in the hands of fascist Italy.
1866 October 1 – Jennie Allen Turner born (Alice’s mother) 1888 March 12 – Fannie born (Alice’s oldest sister) 1890 May – Daisy born (sister) 1905 Jennie married Wright (according to the 1910 census) 1910 Census – 7th Precinct, Montgomery 19 April 1910
Top of the page is Sallie H. Wright, a widow and a teacher
Address 712 E. Grove Street
Jennie T. Wright – age 40 2nd marriage, 5 years Dressmaker – 3 children, all living (44)
Fannie Mae Turner – age 20 book keeper (22)
Daisy Turner – age 17 clerk (20)
Alice Wright – age 2 father born North Carolina (after this census Alice’s last name is always given as “Turner”, Jennie’s first husband who died in 1892.) 1918 – Daisy taught school at Booker Washington Elementary 1919 – Daisy taught school at Booker Washington Elementary 1920 Census – Precinct 7 (part of) 19 January 1920 Montgomery Alabama
Address 712 Grove Street
Jennie Turner – age 52 – Widow Seamstress (54)
Daisy Turner – age 25 clerk at grocery (30)
Alice Turner – age 11 – attended school, can read and write. 1921 July 31, photo taken in Windsor, Ontario with Beulah and Robert Pope 1922 Nov. 23 Letter from Victor Tulane, he’s shipping Gr.Turner’s things to Detroit. 1924 Oct 11 – Certificate of Survey for Theodore applicant Fred L. Marsh 1920’s – Undated photograph of seamstresses at Anis Furs. Jennie, Daisy and Alice are all in the photo.
1930 Census – Precinct 57 3 Apr 1930 Detroit, Michigan
Address 4836 Harding
Jennie Turner – age 62 – owns home. Worth $7,000 Widow. Not working (64)
Daisy Turner – age 30 – single Head portreress at a Fur Store (40)
Alice E. Turner – age 21 – single. Not working 1954 March 28 – Mother Jennie dies. Alice continues to live with sister Daisy in same house. 1961 November 24 – Daisy dies after a days illness. Alice moves in with her sister Fannie and her husband Mershell.
During this time Alice is diagnosed with schizophrenia. 1963 SSN issued 365-48-4560 1964 August 18 – Alice made her best/last cake (Entry in Fannie’s bible) 1966 April 18 Alice’s Aunt Abbie becomes ill and is moved to a nursing home. Dies on this date. 1968 Summer – Family moves to a flat with Doris (Fannie’s daughter & Alice’s niece)
1973 September 6 – Brother-in-law Mershell Graham Sr dies (Alice’s brother-in-law) 1973 – Sister Fannie has a stroke and is moved to a nursing home. Alice is moved to senior housing.
1974 August 13 – Sister Fannie Mae Turner Graham dies. 1974 September 27 – Guardianship of Alice Turner, a mentally incompetent person, to niece Doris 1982 April 30 – Niece Doris dies and guardianship turned over to niece Mary V. 1994 November 16 – Alice dies after being in failing health. 1994 November – Cremated and ashes buried in mother Jennie’s grave in Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery.