African American Obituaries
Submitted by: Lace
Lynch of the
Multicultural Genealogical Society
Notice: 10 September 1918
Bolden, aged 96, one of the oldest and most highly respected colored
residents of this city, was found dead on the floor of the kitchen
of his home, 419 Muskingum avenue, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
Apoplexy is given as the cause of his death. Mr. Bolden, despite his
age, was able yo be about the streets and was in his usual health
Mr. Bolden was a native of Dresden (Ohio) but had been a resident of
this city for the past 75 years. He was a prominent member of the
South street M. E. church and was held in the highest respect by all
who knew him.
Surviving are his widow and the following children: The Misses
Carrie, Rosetta and Nellie of the home; Bert, Daniel, Louis and
Edward Bolden, all of this city; Mrs. Melissa Decker, Mrs. Caroline
emmen of Vicksburg, Mich.; and by three stepchildren, Mrs. Mary Cook
of this city; Mrs. Eliza Walker of Trinway and Wesley Bolden of
Monday, September 10, 1918
Discrepancy Note: In the obituary of Lavina Bolden, his wife, Two of
her daughters are listed as: Mrs. Mercy Decker of Vicksburg, Mich
and Clara Ann Simmons of Battle Creek, Mich
BOLDEN, Louis H. (Sr.)
Notice: 17 June 1962
Bolden, Sr., 83, of 434 Cliffwood avenue, Zanesville, Ohio died at
his home at 5:30 a.m. Sunday (June 17, 1962) after a three month
He was born at Vicksburg, Mich., son of Daniel and Lavina Robinson
Bolden. He spent most of his life in Zanesville.
Surviving are a son, Louis Jr. of the home; two daughters, Mrs.
Catherine Clinton of 511 Limestone street and Mrs. Mildred Allen of
Pontiac, Mich.; two grandchildren. His wife Mary Holly died in 1950,
Burial: Woodlawn cemetery, Zanesville, Ohio
BOLDEN, William H.
H. Bolden, died at the family home on Crown street (Zanesville,
Ohio) at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon after an illness extending over
a period of about twenty-eight months. Although he had been ill for
so long a time, the end came very suddenly, his condition becoming
critical about 2 o'clock, Friday afternoon.
The deceased was a well known colored barber and had been a resident
for many years. He was born in Dresden in 1848 and was therefore 60
years of age. Mr. Bolden was widely known in the city and was
especially popular among the colored citizens. He was forced to
retire from the barber business over a year ago on account of
Mr. Bolden served during the war of the rebellion in the army of the
North, and was a brave and trusted soldier. He was a member of the
G. A. R., and was also prominenently identified with the colored Odd
Fellows and Masonic lodges of the city. He is survived by a widow
and one son, Edward C. Bolden of this city.
The funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon, and
will be conducted by the Rev. John Farley.
Note: G.A.R. records state he was a Pvt. Co. E. 27th U. S. Colored
BROOKS, Cary Jackson
Notice: 27 April 1959
Source: Cleveland Press; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #120.
Brooks Cary Jackson was a retired barber, an enthusiastic gardener
and an active worker in Mount Pleasant Methodist Church. He was the
father of Municipal Court Judge Perry B. Jackson, Mr. Jackson died
yesterday of a heart attack in his home at 3227 E. 130th St. He was
81 and lived in Zanesville before moving to Cleveland in 1923. He
was born in Little Washington, O. A barber for more than a half
century, he operated a shop for 20 years in the Playhouse Square
Area. Survivors are his wife, Ida; two sons, Judge Jackson and
Rolland E. Jackson; three daughters, Mrs. Webster Estell, Mrs.
Arthur Grant and Mrs. Mildred Stovail. Services will be at 1 p. m.
tomorrow in Mount Pleasant. Methodist Church. Friends may call at
the Boyd Funeral Home, 2165 E. 89th St.
BROWN, Charles Ellis
Notice: 23 August 1952
Source: Cleveland Press; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #096.
Charles Ellis Brown. For the past 12 years, Charles Ellis Brown, 48,
was a waiter in the Hotel Statler dining room. He died yesterday of
a heart attack in his home, 1096 E. 97th St. Born in Zanesville, Mr.
Brown came here 20 years ago. He was a member of the Mount Zion
Congregational Church, the Walter's Club and the Vagabond Social
Club. Mr. Brown is survived by his wife, Mrs. Evelyn R. Brown, and a
son, Charles Ellis Jr.; his mother, Mary E., a brother, James S.,
and a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Lett. Friends may call at the E. F.
Boyd & Son Funeral Home, 2165 E. 89th St. Funeral services will be
at 1:30 p. m. Tuesday with burial in Lake View Cemetery.
DEMBY, Mrs. Antoinette Ricks
Date of Notice: 17 May 1957
Source: Plain Dealer; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #104.
Notes: Mrs. Antoinette Ricks Demby, an early graduate of Oberlin
College and the first Negro registered nurse in Cleveland, will be
buried in Lake View Cemetery after services at 11 a.m. today in
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. She died Wednesday in a private nursing
home at the age of 87. She was the wife of the retired Suffragan
Bishop Edward T. Demby of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas. The
family home is at 10519 Englewood Avenue N.E. Mrs. Demby was a
graduate of Friedman Hospital Nurses' Training School in Washington.
She did hospital and private duty nursing in the South. In early
years after, college graduation she taught school in Nashville,
Tenn. For some years after her marriage in 1902, she and her husband
resided in Little Rock, Ark. They returned to Cleveland in 1934. Her
husband is her only surviving relative.
FIELDING, William R.
Notice: 15 July 1886
William R. Fielding.
William R. Fielding was known to almost every resident of Kokomo. He
was a colored man, a barber by occupation, and had been a resident
of the city for nearly two scores of years. Bill Fielding is dead.
On Tuesday morning at 2 o’clock, after two months of indescribable
suffering with dropsical trouble, the malady reached his heart. It
was but a touch--and then came death. Kind hands lifted the laboring
soul as high as Heaven.
William R. Fielding was born at Zanesville, Ohio, 56 years ago. He
was married and was the father of two boys--Clarence and Addie, aged
respectively 19 and 10 years. His wife survives him. He died at the
residence of J. A. Coleman on Tuesday morning as above indicated and
was taken on the same day to Zanesville for burial
Kokomo Indiana newspaper
July 15, 1886
FORNEY, Alfred S.
Notice: 20 April 1915
S. Forney, a former resident of this city (Zanesville, Ohio died
Monday morning in Charleston, W. Va., where he made his home for a
number of years.
The body will arrive here at 7:10 o'clock Tuesday morning and will
be taken to the home of Mrs. John Clifford, 922 Pine street.
The Times Recorder, Zanesville, Ohio
Tuesday April 20, 1915
HICKS, Turner J.
Date of Notice: Aug 20 1940
Source: Source unknown; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #037.
Notes: Hicks: Turner J., age 85 years, husband of Nancy Hicks,
brother of Albert of Xenia, O., and a number of nephews and nieces
in this state; at his residence, 4807 Cedar Ave. Monday, Aug. 19.
Funeral service at St. James A. M. E. Church, Thursday, Aug. 22, at
1 p. m., conducted by Rev Comez. Interment Evergreen Memorial Park.
E. F. Boyd & Son funeral director.
HOGAN, Linwood H.
Date of Notice: May 1 1946
Source: Source unknown; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #038.
Notes: Hogan: Linwood H., 7020 Cedar Ave., beloved husband of Emma
E., father of Leslie R., brother of Mrs. Brooks C. Jackson, Mrs.
Will Colston of Zanesville, suddenly Sunday 2:45 p. m. Services
Wednesday at 2 p. m., Antioch Baptist Church, E. 89th and Cedar Ave.
Angelus Funeral Home in charge. Remains may be viewed at church. 11
a. m. until 2 p. m.
JACKSON, Ida May
Notice: Not Given
May Jackson, mother of Common Please Judge Perry B. Jackson, died
yesterday morning at Highland View Hospital. She was 85. Mrs.
Jackson was the wife of the late Brooks C. Jackson. She came to
Cleveland in 1923 from Zanesville, O., where she was born. She had
been living with a daughter. Mrs. Thelma E Estell, at 942 Herrick
Road N.E. She is also survived by another son, Rolland E., two other
daughters, Mrs. Doris L. Grant and Mrs. Mildred Nelson, 11
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Services will be at Mt.
Pleasant Methodist Church, 12702 Abell Avenue S.E., at 1 p.m.
Wednesday. In charge of arrangements is the E. F. Boyd & Son funeral
home, 2169 E. 89th Street.
JOHNSON, Prudence aka FISHER, Prudy
Notice: 13 May 1890
Johnson, who was found dead in her bed at her home on N. Sixth
street, last Saturday was the oldest native born colored person in
Zanesville. She was born in a little log cabin on what is now known
as River street in March, 1806.
Her parents were the servants of John McIntire, the founder of this
city. The only surviving member of her family is her brother,
Samuel. She and her brother Silas were reared in John McIntire's
family and remained with Mrs. McIntire after the death of her
husband and for several years after her marriage to Rev. David
Young. In her youth Prudy was a great favorite with the young people
of the city. As she grew older she became an indispensable adjunct
on all sociable occasions. No wedding dinner could take place unless
she had charge of the arrangements. In the sick chamber, she was
indispensable. For many years she was the nurse of the town.
she accepted a position with General and Mrs. Robert S. Granger of
this city. The General at that time was a Captain in the Regular
Army stationed at Fort Snelling, near the present site of St. Paul,
Minnesota. She lived with the General's family for a number of years
accompanying them to St. Peters and also to Newport barracks and to
Texas, remaining in this family some fourteen years. For a number of
years she was engaged on several of the Zanesville and Pittsburg,
and Zanesville and Marietta and Parkersburg line of passenger
steamers as chamber-maid.
seventeen years she was with Captain Lou Myrick of the steamer
"Lizzie Cassell." She was of an economical turn and saved from her
earnings a comfortable competency.
The funeral services were held at 2:30 o'clock at the African M. E.
church, South street. Every seat in this large church was occupied.
After the usual church services Rev. Mr. Gee, a former pastor of
Zion Baptist church of this city, but now pastor of the A. M. E.
church at Cambridge, a warm friend of the deceased, paid a most
beautiful and touching tribute to the life and character of the
deceased. From the church the remains were followed by a large
number of friends to Greenwood Cemetery where interment was made.
Zanesville Daily Signal, published: Zanesville, Ohio
Tuesday May 13, 1890
Note: Also known as Prudy Fisher as she was married and divorced
from William Fisher.
Major Margaret E. Barnes JONES
Notice: 25 April 2000
Margaret E. B. Jones Dies Maj. Margaret E. B. Jones Dies Served in
Black WWII Unit
Margaret E. Barnes Jones, 89, a retired Army major who served with
the only battalion of African American military women sent overseas
during World War II, died of congestive heart failure April 11 at
Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She had lived in Alexandria since
Jones was one of 32 officers who accompanied more than 800 enlisted
women to Scotland early in 1945 to work as a special wartime postal
The 6888th Central Postal Directory had been formed after pressure
from civil rights organizations and black newspapers forced the
military to use African American women in meaningful Army jobs. The
battalion's initial mission was to redirect mail addressed to killed
or missing military personnel after the D-Day assault in France,
which had scattered soldiers across the country.
Jones was the public relations officer for the battalion, which
worked round-the-clock to clear a backlog of Christmas mail. The
operation had been run by enlisted men and civilians, and it was in
chaos, Army historians later recalled. A warehouse was filled with 3
million parcels alone; packages of spoiled cakes and cookies filled
still another room patrolled by rats that were said to be as large
as cats. Working round-the-clock, and averaging 65,000 pieces of
mail a shift, the women managed to clean the place out in three
Assigned to a former school in Birmingham, England, and later to
posts in France, the battalion was responsible for redirecting mail
to more than 7 million people. Mail from home was considered vital
to wartime morale, and the 6888th, which kept cards tracking each
person being served, broke records for its distribution.
Jones, a native of Oberlin, Ohio, [and 1929 graduate of Oberlin High
School] was among the first African American women commissioned as
officers in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. She had studied for
three years at Howard University, where she later received a
bachelor's degree and where her brother, Sam Barnes, was later
athletic director. Sam Barnes was one of the so-called Golden 13,
the first black officers commissioned in the Navy.
policy during World War II was to limit participation by African
Americans in the armed forces to 10 percent. When 400 women were
accepted as officer candidates for the WAACS, the 40 African
American women among them came to be known as "10 percenters." The
military and its facilities remained segregated, for both enlisted
personnel and officers, until President Harry S. Truman issued a
desegregation order in 1949. African American women in training were
similar in most respects to the white trainees, according to
publications of the Army Center of Military History: Nearly 80
percent had attended college, and most had worked as teachers and
office workers. In all, 6,520 black women served in the Army in
World War II.
Jones's first post as an officer was as executive officer of a
company of African American women in Kentucky. The company was
assigned to clean floors and latrines in the Fort Breckinridge
hospital and to work in the post laundry. It was there that she
began working to secure better assignments for the women under her
command. A book about the 6888th, "To Serve My Country, To Serve My
Race," by Brenda L. Moore, describes similar efforts of battalion
members to overcome racism and sexism to serve their country during
World War II. African American women had served as nurses in
previous wars, but World War II marked the first time they joined
the rank-and-file service. After the war, and her graduation from
Howard, Maj. Jones did graduate work in American history at the
University of Minnesota. She was recalled to active duty in 1949,
and placed in command of a training company at Fort Lee in Virginia.
Later posts included tours doing administrative work at the
engineering school at Fort Belvoir, an overseas assignment in France
and as a special services officer in Kansas. She retired as chief of
administration at Maison Fort in France and later accompanied her
husband to a post in Germany, where she was president of an
officers' wives club.
Her military honors included the Army Commendation Medal. She also
received awards from the World War II Commemoration Committee, the
Congressional Black Caucus, the Armed Forces Hostess Association and
the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
a volunteer with the NAACP, the Urban League, the African American
Women's Club, Women in Service for America Memorial Committee, Black
Women United for Action, the Armed Forces Officers Wives Club of
Washington, Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria and the
Circle Club of the Kennedy Center.
Survivors include her husband, retired Army Maj. Everett Jones of
Washington Post, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, April 25, 2000, p. B7.
Date of Notice: d. Sunday, August 22, 2004
Undaunted when spurned in her bid for a teaching job in Canton City
Schools, Norma Snipes Marcere carved out a unique education career
that spanned half a century and touched hundreds of inner-city
children struggling to learn.
Marcere died Friday of natural causes at St. Joseph’s Care Center
near Louisville, Ohio. She was 95.
“A fantastic lady,” recalled John Garner, who helped Marcere run PAX
— the Project for Academic Excellence — which she had established in
1979. The Saturday school for underachieving, mostly black,
inner-city elementary students grew from a $35,000 Stark County
Foundation grant into one of the county’s most recognized education
enrichment programs. It was a model for similar programs, such as
STRIVE (Study, think, Read, Investigate, Volunteer and Excel), a
program for older students that touched on social issues and
“She put her whole heart and soul into education, trying to help
children to learn,” said Garner. “She never got tired; seven days a
week she would help them. She just kept going, even to the past
Marcere directed PAX until 2001; it ended two years ago.
The direction of Marcere’s career was set, unwittingly, by former
Canton City Schools Superintendent Jesse Mason, she maintained.
After her graduation from the Kent State Normal School for teachers
in 1929, she applied immediately to teach in her hometown. On the
day of her interview, she recalled in her memoirs, she presented
herself and her credentials to Mason, only to hear him say he would
never hire a “colored” teacher while superintendent.
She took teaching and school psychology positions in Massillon
(where she was that city’s first black teacher) and Akron, but never
taught in Canton until she established her own programs. Her life
filled two autobiographies (“Round the Dining Room Table” and “The
Fences Between”) and inspired a play by the local Rainbow Repertory
Co. It also inspired hundreds of youngsters, including Ceciliarose
Evans, who was involved with the PAX program for a decade.
Marcere was named Junior League Woman of the Year in 1973, and
received many other awards and honors for her work in education. She
was married for 42 years to Percy Marcere, who died in 1971. She is
survived by two children, Norma J. Snow of North Canton and Alluren
(Barbara) Marcere of East Hartford, Conn.
She will be buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery on Tuesday following a
service at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in North Canton.
Calling hours are 4-8 p.m. Monday at Wackerly Funeral Home.
PEACOCK, Thelma Green
Notice: 25 July 2003
Green Peacock, 92, of Palatka, entered the sunset of life on Friday,
July 25, 2003 at Orange Park Medical Center following an extended
She was the daughter of Roy C. and Lavinia (Bolden) Williams and was
the eldest of six children. She was born April 7, 1911 at
Zanesville, Ohio.Three of her siblings (George Edward, Kenneth and
Dorothy) preceded her in eternity. In the 1920s, her family moved to
Chicago and later moved to Cassopolis, Mich. While residing in
Chicago, she attended and graduated from the Madame C.J. Walker
Beauty College. In Cassopolis, she owned and operated a beauty
married to James Green and upon retirement, they relocated to Putnam
County. Following James' demise, she married Deacon Almond Peacock,
who also preceded her in eternal rest. She was a former member of
Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and served faithfully at
Mt. Tabor First Baptist Church until declining health precluded her.
To cherish her memories and rejoice in her transition and celebrate
her homegoing are two sisters: Virginia Mae Thomas and Grace Parham,
both of Chicago, Ill.; a host of nieces and nephews, including:
Elaine (Melvin) Russell and Sylvia Broady; and nephews; special
friends: Deacon Alonza "Al" Scott and wife, Betty Scott, Palatka;
and numerous other relatives and friends.
Visitation of friends will be from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, August 3 and
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4 at the "Chapel of Serenity."
Homegoing services will be at 3 p.m. Monday at Mt. Tabor First
Baptist Church with the Rev. Karl N. Flagg, pastor, as the eulogist.
Interment will be in Palatka Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are
entrusted to the care of Flagg-Serenity Memorial Chapel.
Palatka Daily News, Palatka Florida
TATE, Bertha Thornton
Notice: 7 May 1947
Bertha Thornton Tate, 82, died at her home 905 West Muskingum avenue
at 10:15 p.m. Thursday following an illness of four weeks. She was
born in Rockford, Ill., and had lived in Zanesville for the past 50
years. She was a member of the West End Wesleyan Methodist church,
the church missionary society, the study club, the Mother's Club,
St. Paul's Missionary society and was secretary of the church Sunday
survived by three sisters, Mrs. Alice Cuffee of the home; Mrs. Oscar
(Jessie) DePriest and Mrs. William Jackson, both of Chicago and a
niece and nephew of Chicago. Her husband Thornton M. Tate, died in
was removed to the Baker Funeral home and will be removed to the
residence Sunday morning.
(Rev. Ralph Tate performed the funeral)
Buried: Greenwood cemetery, Zanesville, Ohio
The Zanesville News, published: Zanesville, Ohio
May 7, 1947
Notice: 18 January 1917
Turner, colored, aged 63, died at his home on Harrison street at 3
o'clock Wednesday morning after a lingering illness from a
complication of diseases. He was a member of the colored Odd Fellows
lodge. No near relatives survive.
services will be conducted at Mader's chapel, South Fourth street,
at 2 o'clock Friday afternoon under the auspices of the Odd Fellows.
Burial in Greenwood.
The Times Recorder, published: Zanesville, Ohio
January 18, 1917
Date of Notice: 8 January 1960
Source: Plain Dealer; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #165.
Notes: Webster, Ina, of 1005 East Blvd.; beloved wife of Dr. F. D.
Webster, mother of Mary Boyd; grandmother of William, Marina and
Marcella; sister of Clarence Guy of Zanesville, O., and Mayme
Pritchard of Los Angeles, Calif.; aunt; passed on to her rest.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 9 at 2:30 p. m. at Mt.
Zion Congregational Church. Friends may call at the E. F. Boyd and
Son Funeral Home, 2165 E. 89th
Notice: 11 January 1937
Elizabeth West, 77, one of the most highly respected colored woman
in this community passed away about 3:30 Saturday afternoon after a
long illness from diabetes. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Bell and
she was born in Virginia but came to Ohio when she was a small
child. She was united in marriage to George W. West, who passed away
about 25 years ago. To this union eleven children were born, five of
whom preceded her in death, the seven living are Mrs. Mary Smith,
Smithfield, Clarence, Cadiz, Alfred, Houston, Pa., Archie, residence
unknown, Emory, Chandler, Ohio, and Thelma and Mrs. Georgia Johnson
of the home. She was a faithful member of the St. James A. M. E.
church and all of its auxiliaries being a Charter Member of the
Stewardess Board. Funeral services will be held from the church
Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. conducted by the pastor and interment
will be made in the Cadiz Cemetery.
The Times Recorder, Zanesville, Ohio
January 12, 1937