Tag Archives: #Clarence Reed

December 21, 1903 – Christmas

Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library/University of Georgia Libraries. Click to enlarge.
Pearl Reed

Homer Jarrett
#230 Alleghany St. City

2714 Kenwood Ave.,
December 21, 1903

Mr. Jarrett –

Homer, do you remember a girl that you once knew and visited some times in the north part of this city? If you do, well that girl would like very much for you to come out to her house Christmas Day and take dinner with her and family, if you will be so obliging. It will give us great pleasure Homer if you will take dinner with us then, will you?

You are far from your home and mother and I would be delighted if you would share mine on this day of “Peace on Earth, good will toward men.”

How are you? We have not seen you since the Sunday that you were out. Did you know that Minnie had moved on West Street now? I was at her house one evening last week, for a few minutes, and discovered that she had changed her dwelling.

I shall expect you for dinner Friday Homer and you will not disappoint us?



Bookmark to Pearl from her brother Clarence E. Reed. Christmas 1903.
Journal to Pearl from her brother Clarence.

Christmas Bookmark from Uncle Clarence

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My great uncle Clarence Elwood Reed was 2 years older than my Grandmother Pearl Doris Reed. While doing some scanning of old photographs and newspaper articles recently my cousin Jan came across a book mark in my grandmother’s journal. Unfortunately the only thing written in this journal was my grandmother’s name, address and the date – December 25, 1903.  Perhaps it was a Christmas present.

Clarence is something of a mystery to me. I wrote about him several years ago – Madness Monday.  I still haven’t found him in the 1920 and 1930 census but I did find him in the 1940 census with yet another name for his wife, Mamie Reed. This census entry is the most confused I’ve seen. The head of the house is listed as Clarence Reed, a female and all of the other data is really for Mamie. Mamie is listed as a male and all the data is really for Clarence. Pretty confusing. It’s just a whim that I decided to check out this Clarence Reed who was born in Tennessee instead of Kentucky.

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Picture 3 A photo of 4845 S. Michigan in Chicago, Illinois taken from Google maps. This was Uncle Clarence Reeds address when he sent the bookmark.

Clarence Elwood Reed

Clarence Elwood Reed was the youngest son of Anna Reed and the brother next in age of to my grandmother Pearl.  When I was collecting stories about the family my aunts and uncles told me that Clarence was a good looking man who went to Chicago from Indianapolis, never married and lived a wild life.

Clarence missed the 1880 census in Lebanon, Kentucky where I found his mother and older siblings because he wasn’t born until 1882.   His mother appears in the Indianapolis, IN city directory in 1893 and I assume that her younger children were with her, joining the older children who had relocated from Kentucky around 1885.  Clarence would have been 11 years old.  In 1893 he appears in the City Directory in his own right, still living at home at 529 Willard, with his mother and older brothers but now out working as a laborer.  In the 1900 Census he is described as doing day labor, being literate and single at 18.  The family has moved down the street to 225 Willard.  In 1906 he has moved with the rest of the family north of downtown Indianapolis to 2730 Kenwood Ave.   Clarence is still laboring. Unfortunately Willard Street is gone and 2730 Kenwood is a parking lot, so no photos of those houses.

In 1908 Clarence married Elnora Jackson in Chicago.  I only found the certificate in the last week on Family Search.  Clarence was about 22 and Elnora was 35.  This marriage didn’t last long.  They were divorced February 3, 1911.

In 1915 Clarence is back in Indianapolis, IN where he married Josephine Smith.  She was born in 1888.  I actually found this marriage record, which I sent for, before finding the first marriage.  This record said that this was the second marriage and that the first ended in divorce in 1911.  His job is listed as laborer.

In 1918 Clarence had moved back to Chicago where he was laboring at the Wilson Packing House.  He is still married to Josephine, who he lists as the person to contact on his WW1 draft information card.  He is described as Negro, short, of medium height with brown eyes and black hair.

I cannot find Clarence or Josephine in the 1920 or 1930 census anywhere in the United States.  In 1942 Clarence turns up in the WW2 draft registration cards.  He is described as a light complexioned Negro with black hair and brown eyes.  His contact person this time is Adela Reed.  New wife?  Daughter?  I have no idea.  Can’t find her in 1920 or 1930 either.  He is laboring in Swift and Company Union Stock Yard and is 62, but actually 60 because they took two years off of the birth year that all the other records show and make it 1880.

In 1946 Clarence is mentioned in his oldest brother George’s estate papers as Clarence Reed, brother in Chicago Illinois.  And that is the last I find for Clarence.  So far no death record.  And no photographs.

I plan to send for the application for a marriage license from his first marriage.