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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA
AFRICAN AMERICAN

OBITUARIES
Page 2


1890's

From the Florence Herald, Saturday, January 25, 1890, p. 3.
          Ben Childress, an old colored citizen, who is supposed to be nearly a centenarian, dropped dead from heart failure on Thursday at the old Hancock place on the corner of Mobile and Seminary streets, where he has lived for 20 years. He was well known by the older citizens of Florence and came here when the city was a clearing in the woods.

From the Florence Herald, Saturday, February 15, 1890, p. 3.
Found a Floater.
          A floater was found in the river below the bridge Sunday, by a resident on the south side. It was lodged in some drift near the bluff. It appeared to be a middle aged mulatto man, but the body was so badly decomposed it was hard to tell. He was well dressed and wore a nice pair of boots. Nothing was found on the person but a jack knife, so that it was impossible to identify the dead man. The remains were buried by a number of people on the side of the bank and a board planted to mark the spot. It looks as if the neck of the dead man had been broken and there was suspicion of foul play. It is a mystery where the body came from.

From The Banner, Thursday, April 3, 1890, p. 3.
          The child of Silas Edwards, (c,) died here Sunday night.

From the Florence Banner, Thursday, July 17, 1890, p. 3.
An Old Man.
          On last Wednesday night, Uncle Dave Hutchings died on the plantation of Capt. A. D. Coffee, at the wonderful age of 105 years. He was a remarkable man, in his fondness for and persistence in work, insisting on having charge of Capt. C's garden, up to last year. During the late war he was faithful to his master and his interests, and he repaid that faithfulness by a thoughtful care for Uncle Dave's comfort and peace.

From the Florence Times, Friday, September 12, 1890, p. 3.
Distructive [sic] Lightning.
          David Kendall, a negro about 20 years of age, was struck by lightning near the colored Baptist church, Monday evening, and instantly killed. A negro walking by his side was very slightly shocked.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, March 28, 1891, p. 3.
A Worthy Colored Man Dead.
          Clay Thompson died last week, at his home in Colbert’s Reserve, aged about 65 years. Though his face was colored, his life was white. His influence among his race was exercised for good and conservatism, and he possessed the full confidence of all who knew him. He was the owner of a good property, having nearly 100 acres of good land in the Reserve.

From the Florence Herald, Saturday, October 10, 1891, p. 3.
FATAL ACCIDENT.
Miles White Killed in His Well.
          On Wednesday morning last Miles White, a worthy colored man living in the Reserve, about six miles west of this city, met with an accident, which resulted in his instant death. He was engaged in cleaning out his well, and while at the bottom of it, the chain with which the bucket was being hoisted broke, and the bucket fell upon the unfortunate man, breaking his neck, one arm and both legs.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, January 16, 1892, p. 3.
          Last Thursday, a child of Fannie Hooks, colored, living at Needmore, was burned to death. The unfortunate child, with two others, had been left at home, while the mother went to a neighbor’s on a visit, and when she returned the accident had occurred, the child catching fire while playing on the hearth.

From the Florence Herald, Wednesday, January 20, 1892 p. 3.
          Lewis McIntyre [sic], an aged colored man, died suddenly Monday. He was sitting before the fire mending a pair of shoes when he fell over dead.    [Note: See the entry below.]

From the Florence Times, Saturday, January 23, 1892, p. 3.
          Lewis McIntire, a well known and worthy Florence colored man, died on Tuesday morning at his home near the Patton school.    [Note: See the entry above.]

From the Florence Times, Saturday, February 5, 1892, p. 3.
          Joe Mason, a well known colored man of Florence, died here last Wednesday evening of consumption.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, May 7, 1892, p. 3.
          Jack Fowler, who killed Jim Bailey, another colored man, at this place, about a year ago, and was indicted by the grand jury, was captured in Memphis and brought here this week, and is now in jail. The coroner’s jury in this case, adjudged the killing of Bailey accidental, and Fowler was released. He immediately left the city; but the grand jury took his case in hand, and indicted him, and hence his arrest.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, July 23, 1892, p. 3.
          Mary Taylor, colored, wife of John Taylor, died on Sunday last, of consumption, aged 25 years.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, August 13, 1892, p. 3.
    
Old Uncle Job Kirkman, a well known colored man and a landmasrk of the old times, died here last week, aged between 60 and 70 years.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, August 20, 1892, p. 3.
    
Sam Key, a worthy colored young man, about 21 years of age, died on Thursday night, at his mother's home on Cherry street, of consumption.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, August 27, 1892, p. 3.
         
Ann Patton, a well known colored woman, died here one day this week.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, September 3, 1892, p. 3.
         
Jane Streeter [sic], wife of Abraham Streeter [sic], a well known colored man of Florence, died Thursday night of last week. . . .

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, September 3, 1892, p. 3.
  
. . . Hester Jones, colored, died on Tuesday night at an advanced age.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, December 17, 1892, p. 3.
          Celeste Allen, a sister of Rush Patton, died at Paducah, Ky., last week, and her remains were brought here by boat Wednesday and interred in the city cemetery.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, December 17, 1892, p. 3.
         
Ben Davis, a worthy colored man living in Canaan, west of town, died Tuesday, aged about fifty years.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, January 19, 1893, p. 3.
 A Negro Man Killed.
          On last Saturday morning, Jno. Buckingham, a negro, working at the Alabama furnace, met with an almost instant death. He was working at the top of the furnace, and fell to the ground below. He was dead by the time he struck the ground, as his brains were knocked out by a piece of timber he struck in the fall.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, January 19, 1893, p. 3.
A Negro Man Killed.
          On last Saturday morning, Jno. Buckner, a negro, working at the Alabama furnace, met with almost instant death. He was working at the top of the furnace, when he lost his balance, and fell to the ground below. He was dead by the time he struck the ground, as his brains were knocked out by a piece of lumber he struck in the fall.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, February 18, 1893, p. 3.
          Agnes Rolfe, wife of John Rolfe, of Seven Points, a colored woman prominent in local benevolent societies, died on Wednesday night.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, February 23, 1893, p. 3.
    
Thos. Murdock, son of Lawson Murdock, colored, died at his mother's home in Canaan, on the west side of town a few days ago. Tom was raised in Florence and had graduated in medicine in Nashville at the Mehary school, and was getting ready to begin the practice of his profession, when he was taken with the "galloping comsumption," which speedily ended his earthly career. [Contributed 17 Apr 2007, by Donald Murks.]

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, February 25, 1893, p. 3.
          Robert Pool, one of our oldest and most respectable colored men, died Monday evening of dropsy, aged 51 years.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, March 2, 1893, p. 3.
          Aleck Speers (c), died here Friday night. He had a congestive chill.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, March 4, 1893, p. 3.
          Tazewell Wilson, colored, well known as a leader among his people, died [near] St. Florian last Saturday morning.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, March 18, 1893, p. 3.
          Sarah Lipscomb, an old landmark among the colored population near Cloverdale, died recently, aged 70 years. [Note: Sarah's husband was Liner Lipscomb, who died Thursday, Oct. 11, 1900. His obit appeared in the FT of Friday, Oct. 12, 1900, p. 3.]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, April 13, 1893, p. 3.
    
Betsy Hill, a colored woman, died at 7-points last Thursday, aged 86 years. [Contributed 14 May 2007, by Donald Murks.]

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, April 15, 1893, p. 3.
          Roxy Seawright, a colored woman well known in colored church and social circles, died Wednesday. She was a worthy woman and leaves a family of little children.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, April 15, 1893, p. 3.
Fatal Accident.
          On Saturday last Frank Stewart, colored, the six-year old son of Frank Stewart, who lives on South Market street, died from the kick of a horse. On Thursday previously the child was switching the horse's hind legs when it resented the familarity by a kick, which horribly mutilated the boy's forehead, the brain being exposed from the wound. The loose horse that did this damage belonged to Gordon Gray, colored.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, April 27, 1893, p. 3.
    
Old man Allen McVay, a respected colored man, died on Wednesday of last week, aged 81 years. Uncle Allen had been a resident of Florence for many years, and was always an humble, faithful servant in slave time, and retained the respect of our people till the day of his death. [Contributed 17 Apr 2007, by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, May 18, 1893, p. 3.
    
"Dr." Ryas Turner, (c,) who has been a resident of Florence for many years, died on Tuesday evening of last week, after only a few days sickness. He was in the 61st year of his age. He had, during, the past few years, applied himself to the study of the diseases peculiar to animals, and had become somewhat successful in the treatment of such diseases, and hence he acquired the title of "Doctor." [Contributed 27 Apr 2007, by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, April 27, 1893, p. 3.
    
Old man Allen McVay, a respected colored man, died on Wednesday of last week, aged 81 years. Uncle Allen had been a resident of Florence for many years, and was always an humble, faithful servant in slave time, and retained the respect of our people till the day of his death

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, January 4, 1894, p. 3.
          Sallie Waits, a colored woman, died here last week.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, January 28, 1894, p. 3.
Two Deaths.
          On Tuesday night Peter Jordan, a well known colored man, died, in Florence, and his remains were carried to Centre Star for internment. On Wednesday at noon, Amos Harrison, another worthy colored man, followed Peter to that whence bourne no traveler returns.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, April 21, 1894, p. 2.
          Jake Williams, a well known Florence colored man, died here Tuesday from blood poison, contracted while at work on the Muscle Shoals Canal.

From "Brief Locals," the Florence Times, Saturday, May 12, 1894, p. 3.
          Mariar [sic] Malone, a worthy colored woman living in "Canaan," died Monday from blood poison caused by running a needle in her hand while washing clothes.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, June 7, 1894, p. 3.
CUT TO DEATH.
GILBERT KENEDY IS SHOT AT MINT SPRINGS.
A Sabbath Picnic Ends in a Difficulty Which Costs One Life.
          Last Sunday afternoon at about 1:30 o'clock, Collins Hogan, a colored man about 35 years of age, who drove the beer wagon for the Florence agency, stabbed and killed Gilbert Kennedy, another colored man a few years older who had formerly worked at the same business.
          The difficulty occured at Mint Spring on Cypress creek, where a colored stag picnic was in progress. The actual difficulty was witnessed by only a few of those in attendance, as it occured some distance from the crowd.
          Hogan was getting into his clothes after bathing in the creek, when he and Kennedy renewed a quarrel that had been in progress all day. It is said that Kennedy threatened to strike Hogan and made a dash for him with that intention, but the latter drew a knife and as Kennedy advanced struck at him with all his force. The blade of the knife, a long barlow, entered the left breast at the shoulder and ranged downward. The wounded man then made a second attempt to reach his antagonist, when another thrust of the knife struck his arm. By this time the first wound had taken effect upon Kenneddy, he threw up his arms and exclaiming "D-- him, he's killed me!" fell on the grass face downward, dead.
          Hogan finished his dressing and immediately came to town and surrendered himself. He was kept in jail until Monday morning, when he was taken out for trial, but waived examination and was held over to the District court without bail.
          Gilbert Kennedy came to Florence about six years ago. While a man of rather violent temper, he was never known to seek a quarrel, and he lived alone in a hut on Court street. The man who killed him is a native of this section. He is a man of family, and is known to be rather turbulent in his disposition. He claims that the killing was accidental, but enough was witnessed to refute this plea. [Contributed by Donald Murks Oct 2007]]

From the Florence Times, Saturday, June 9, 1894, p. 3.
CUT TO DEATH.
A Negro Sunday Picnic Ends in Tragedy.
Gilbert Canaday Killed by Collin Hogan.
          On Sunday afternoon last at a negro gathering at Mint Spring, a short distance west of town, Collin Hogan killed Gilbert Canaday, both well known colored men about town. The party consisted of about a dozen negroes, and one of the central attractions of the day was a keg of beer, while it is believed that shooting craps was also a leading feature, though the reticence of those present involves all the circumstances of the occasion more or less in doubt.
          About 4 o'clock in the afternoon Hogan delivered himself up to Col. W. M. Jackson, saying that he had accidentally killed Canaday, one of his best friends, and that he had rather instead have killed himself. Col. Jackson comitted him promptly to jail. Coroner Benham, accompanied by Dr. Bramlett, immediately repaired to the scene, and found the dead man, lying on a blanket, with all but three of the party gone. Examination revealed that Canaday had two ugly cuts, one through the left arm and the other in the left breast, the wound running downward and striking the heart. The wounded man died almost immdeiately after receiving the cuts. The negroes had but little to say on the subject. They evidently agreed to conceal the facts. On Monday, however, their general expression was that the killing was done in self-defense--changing the plea set up by the murderer himself.
          Coroner Benham did not summon a jury, but examined into the case, and his decision is that Canaday came to his death from a knife in the hands of Hogan, and that Hogan acted with intent to cut. On Monday Hogan waived examination and was committed  by Col. Jackson to jail without bail.
          The general opinion is that the two men were fighting with the above results.

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Friday, June 29, 1894, p. 3.
          Old Uncle Jeff Bedford, one of our oldest (if not the oldest) colored men, died on Tuesday night-aged about 85 years. He belonged to the old Bedford family of servants and was a worthy old-man.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, July 10, 1894, p. 3.
         
'Uncle Edmund Patton,' a worthy and well respected colored man, died at his home near town, a few days ago.- He had been in the Patton family over half a century [Contributed by Donald Murks, Oct 2007]

Florence Herald, Thursday, July 12, 1894, p. 3.
Death of an Honored old Colored Man.
          Edmund [sic] Patton, a highly respected colored man, died at his home near Florence on Monday, of congestion. "Uncle Edmund,"  was well known. He had been in the Patton family for 70 years, and through all the changes of that time, he has held their implicit confidence and love. He said the morning before his death, to one of the connection, "I called over the names of each one of the children last night, and want to see them before I go. I have always tried to do right, like 'Old Master' taught me, and I feel he has been closer to me, since he went away." And just before passing away, he said to his nephew, "when I am gone remember what I have taught you and live up to it. Tell miss Jane and the children goodbye." Over his head hung a portrait of Gov. Patton, and so in death as in life he was faithful to "Ole Master." Thus a land mark has been taken away, a type that is so fast becoming extinct. The old time Southern negro, high-toned, high bred and withal so honest and humble. He has left a record of which any man might be proud, true to himself, true to his fellow man and true to his God. "Jesus lover of my soul," was sung by the grand children of "old master" and Uncle Edmund rests in a forest glade by the side of his beloved wife.
          Services were conducted by Rev. Goodman, who preached an able an instructive sermon. He paid a glowing and well merited tribute to the exemplary life of Uncle Edmund who he pointed to with pride as an honored member of his race.

Florence Times, Saturday, July 14, 1894, p. 3.
Death of "Uncle Edmond ["] Patton,
            Another of the old landmarks, pointing back to the days of your [sic] has passed into eternity. "Uncle Edmond" Patton, a highly respected old colored man, died last Monday of congestion. He had been in the Patton family for seventy years, and was loved and trusted by them all, from master down to the smallest little one. Through the shifting scenes of all these years he has always been devoted and faithful, always honoring the name of "old master." His last words were of praise and gratitude to his master for the care and training he had given him. One by one, these old land-marks-genuine types of the old-time Southern negro-are dropping into the grave, and ere long their line will be no more.
          Rev. P. H. Goodman conducted the funeral services, and his remarks were full of eloquent praise,. He paid a glowing tribute to the faithfulness and goodness of "Uncle Edmond," and pointed to him as an honorable member of his race.
          "After all," he said, "nobility is respected by the good and true, whether it be under a white skin or black." He exhorted his people to emulate the life of the pious dead.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, July 26, 1894, p. 3.
     Lem Martin (c) died four miles from town last Mondap [sic]. [Contributed by Donald Murks, Oct 2007]

From the the Florence Gazette, Thursday, July 26, 1894, p. 3.
         
Sam Greenhill, a worthy colored man, a shoemaker by trade, died here on last monday [sic] evening, and was buried from the A. M. E. church on Tuesday evening. He was a sober, industrious man, polite and accomodating to all. [Contributed by Donald Murks, Oct 2007.]

From "Brief Locals," Florence Times, Saturday, October 20, 1894, p. 3.
         
Rev. R. B. Hudson, the colored Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, died of consumption in this city last Friday.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, December 13, 1894, p. 3.
         
Geo. Howell, a polite colored man, who has been a resident of Florence for several years, died last week, of dropsy.-- He was a very useful man in his line, which was that of furnishing ice cream for the entertainments gotten up by the ladies in the summer. He will be greatly missed when the season comes for ice cream. By hard work, and economy, he had gathered about him some very good property, and owns a very nice residence at the old brick pond. [Contributed by Donald Murks, Jun 2007]

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Saturday, December 29, 1894, p. 3.
         
Old uncle Jeff Bedford, one of our oldest (if not the oldest) colored men, died Tuesday night-aged about 85 years. He belonged to the old Bedford family of servants and was a worthy old-man.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, January 3, 1895, p. 3.
    
     Old Uncle Jeff Bedford, a quiet, polite colored man, died a few days ago. He claimed to be about 85 years old.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, January 3, 1895, p. 1.
"Events of a Year: Notable Happenings in Lauderdale in 1894"
Mar. 21. Charlie Whitlow, col. drowned in the river near the Wagon Works.

Florence Herald, Thursday, January 10, 1895, p. 1.
A RIPE OLD AGE.
          Dolly Amett, Colored, Died Monday at the Age of 105 Years.
          Dolly Amett, a colored woman died in Florence Monday afternoon, who is said to have reached the remarkable age of one hundred and five years. She claimed to be that old and her claim was substantiated by white people who have known her for many years. She originally came from Virginia and in the days of slavery, she belonged to the Thrasher family.
          She had a remarkable memory and talked knowingly of events that happened a century ago.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, January 19, 1895, p. 3.
     Old Aunt Dolly Amonette, died here last week. She claimed to be 105 years old, according to the best information. She was owned by Mr. Amonette, who brought her from Virginia many years ago, and whose family she served faithfully, till released from servitude by Lincoln's emancipation proclamation. Aunt Dolly was respected by the people of Florence for her uniform politeness to one and all.-- She had seen Florence grow from a "Village in the woods" to a city of 6,000 people, and numerous manufacturing establishments in operation, railroads built, thousands of people come and go, and hundreds grow up and die. And yet she was spaired [sic] to a ripe old age. [Contributed Feb 2007 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, April 4, 1895, p. 3.
     The wife of Chas. Williams (c) died on Wednesday night of last week. He was an employee of the wagon works. [Contributed Feb 2007 by Donald Murks]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, April 26, 1895, p. 3.
    
Hilton Key, (c) a blacksmith who has lived here since the war died rather suddenly last Monday. He was coming along the street and stepped into Mr. Lehman's shop, and remarked that he felt mighty sick but did not know what was the matter with him. At this he staggered and fell over on the vice bench. By the time Mr. William Chester and John Howell, got to him he was speechless, and did not rally. Dr. Price was called in a few seconds, but too late to render any assistance. He lived near three hours. It was thought to be apoplexy. He was about 65 years old. [Contributed Feb 2007 by Donald Murks]

Florence Herald, Thursday, April 25, 1895, p. 4.
Dropped Dead.
     The sudden death of Hilton Key, a highly respected colored citizen, Monday afternoon, was caused from heart disease. Hilton was at work in his black-smith s[hop] at the time and had no warning of his sudden demise. He was in perfect health at the time and the physicians pronounced it simply heart failure. Hilton was the property of one of the oldest and best families in the city during slavery and was a good citizen. He leaves a large family connection. The funeral took place Tuesday from the Congregational church, Rev. W. L. Johnson officiating.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, April 26, 1895, p. 3.
    
Hilton Key, (c) a blacksmith who has lived here since the war, died rather suddenly last Monday. He was coming along the street and stepped into Mr. Lehman';s shop, and remarked that he felt mighty sick but did not know what was the matter with him. At this he staggered and fell on the vice bench. By the time Mr. William Chester and John Howell got to him he was speechless and did not rally. Dr. Price was called in a few seconds, but too late to render any assistance. He lived near three hours. It was thought to be apoplexy. He was about 65 years old. [Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

Sheffield Standard, Saturday, April 27, 1895, p. 5.
"Neighborhood Notes"
     Hilton Key, a highly respected colored citizen of Florence, died suddenly on Monday last. He was at work in the blacksmith shop, apparently in good health, when the summons came, without warning.

Florence Times, Saturday, June 15, 1895, p. 3.
    
Callie Murdock, colored, wife of William Murdock, a well known colored man of the city, died here Wednesday.

From the Florence Times, Saturday, July 6, 1895, p. 3.
Colored Boy Killed.
     On Tuesday last a young colored boy named Thompson, about ten years old, was accidentally killed, a few miles west of town. He and another child were on a wagon load of corn when the wheels run into a rut, throwing them both out. The boy fell under the wheels, which run over him and killed him.

Florence Times, Friday, July 9, 1895, p. 1.
NEGRO KILLED IN DRUNKEN ROW
     As Two Others are Now in Jail as a Result of a Celebration Last Saturday.
     On last Saturday a negro named Brandon was shot and killed in a scuffle with three drunken, playful negroes, at his home about a mile and a half from Bailey Springs. The three negroes, John Garrett, Virgil Granville and James Granville, were drinking and had whiskey with them, and went to the home of Brandon, where they found him and his wife and one or two other negroes. A playful scuffle ensued, in which two of the darkies were brandishing their revolvers, threatening to shoot, Garrett having an old single action forty four, cocked, while Brandon's wife was begging him not to point that cocked pistol at her husband. In the melee one of the pistols went off, shooting and killing Brandon.
          The three darkies claimed that it was an accident, but they were brought to town and lodged in jail until the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, which drew quite a crowd from the section  in which the shooting occurred, and at which it was not clearly established that the shot was accidental. Garrett was remanded to jail without bond, and Virgil Granville was locked up on his failure to make bond of $1,000, while the other negro was released.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, July 11, 1895, p. 3.
           On Friday morning last about 2 or 3 o'clock, George Farris, was killed near the colored Baptist church, by another negro man who goes by the name of "Poker Bill," alias Bill Lewis. Farris was raised here, being the son of Wash Farris, a brick mason, well known here before the war. It seems as if the trouble came up between the men about Farris' wife. The murderer has made his escape.

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, October 31, 1895, p. 3.
          "Col." John Pettus, a worthy colored man, who has lived in Florence for many years, died nearly two weeks ago.-- A week or two before his death, he was thrown from a buggy, and sustained injuries in his back, which is thought to have hastened his death. [Contributed Mar 2007 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, November 14, 1895, p. 3.
Harrison Wood is Dead.
     Harison Wood, (c) probably the oldest citizen of Florence, died last Thursday morning. Harrison came to Florence when he was 12 years old, and was then purchased from a negro trader by Col. Alexand[er] H. Wood. He remained in the Wood family, it might be said, all his life. Col. Wood gave him his freedom, practically, before the war. He went into the army with Gen. S. A. M. Wood, and after the war worked most of the time for Col. Wm. B. and Maj. H. C. Wood. Harrison was a man of dignity and character, he was popular with white and black alike.-- His decease takes away from us one of the oldest land-marks, and we bear willing testimony to his worth, as we have known him for the past 37 years, and always found him polite and courteous in his manners to all, and an humble and obedient servant to his master. [Contributed May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Gazette, Thursday, November 28, 1895, p. 3.
     Old Aunt Priscilla, (c) said to be 103 years old, died here last Friday.
[Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Friday, March 16, 1897, p. 3.
    
Margaret Houston, a worthy colored girl who had been engaged for several years in teaching at different points in the county, died at Stewart's Spring Monday morning of consumption. [Conribute'd 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, June 17, 1897, p. 1.
An Old Landmark Gone.
          Leander Harris, colored, 76 or 78 years old, died Friday, and was buried Saturday. He was the father of Bill Harris, and an old and faithful slave of Thos. Kirkman. In his younger days he was a famous horse rider for Jas. F. Jackson, the famous horseman and breeder, who owned the horse Glencoe, of International fame. Mr. Jackson was the father of Col. Wm. Jackson and owned the famous Jackson Forks farm.

From the Florence Times, Friday, July 12, 1897, p. 3.
Dead.
          Mrs. Carry Legg, wife of Rev. J. L. Legg, died on Friday night of last week, leaving four children. She was one of our best colored women, and justly had the respect of a large circle of friends. The bereaved family desire to extend thanks to Mrs. Peyton Richardson, Mrs. Rebecca Copier [Coriper?], and Miss Emma Mason, and many others for attention and kindness shown during the long illness of the deceased. To many white friends also my sincere thanks are extended.  J. L. LEGG.

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Friday, October 29, 1897, p. 3.
    
     Anderson Hargraves, one of the oldest colored men of our town, died at his home on Court street Monday afternoon of consumption. He was 85 years of age, and his death removes one of the ancient landmarks of Florence. He was born before the town was in existence, and in early life doubtless frequently saw the Indians as they roamed over the hills and vales of the Tennessee valley. [ Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Times, Friday, November 5, 1897, p. 1.
An Old Inhabitant Dead.
FOR THE TIMES.
          Anderson Hargraves, an old and highly respected colored citizen, died at his residence on Court street on Monday the 25th ult., at 2 0'clock p. m., of pneumonia. Uncle Anderson was a slave of the late Dr. James Hargraves and came to Florence with his master from Virginia some 65 or 70 years ago and has been living in Florence ever since. His wife was a slave of old man Childress, who lived on Court street in the house known as the Garner house, corner of Court and Tuscaloosa streets, and she was set free by her master at the age of about 25 years, and was at that time the wife of the deceased. She was an industrious woman. In a few years after she secured her freedom she had made considerable money, and bought her husbands from his master, the said Dr. James Hargraves, paying for him $1.000 in gold, and afterwards bought the home where Anderson died some time in the forties.
          Uncle Anderson, as he was known, was one of the purest and best men of his race and was loved by all who knew him. He was a member of the A. M. E. Church. His funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Handy, colored, of the Methodist church and his remarks were very appropraite to the sad occasion. The remains were followed to their last resting place in "The silent city of the Dead" by his many sympathizing friends. Peace to to the memory of this old man and may the sod rest lightly on his grave.     C. S.
[ Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.
 

From the Florence Times, Friday, August 26, 1898, p. 3.
Fatal Accident.
Colored Man Killed in a Runaway.
     On Tuesday afternoon last Aleck Weakley, living on Mrs. Hardin's plantation, was killed in a runaway accident.
     In descending Maxwell Hill with a two horse team loaded with fodder, the fodder slid off the wagon on the team, carrying Weakley with it. The team run [sic] off, and the unfortunate man's clothing caught in the hook of the single tree and he was dragged from the hill to Mr. T. J. Philips' store, a distance of about a quarter of a mile. His head and body were terribly crushed. He was [t]aken to Jesse Patton's stable, where Dr. Arnold rendered the proper medical attention. He was unconscious all the time, and lived only about three hours after the accident. He leaves a wife and five children.

Florence Herald, Thursday, May 11, 1899, p. 1.
A FATAL ACCIDENT.
Negro Fell From a Wagon Saturday, Receiving Internal Injuries.
         Jim Gray, a negro living on Capt. A. D. Coffee's place, died on Sunday from the effects of a fall from a wagon Saturday afternoon.
         He had spent a part of the day in town, and started home in a wagon in the afternoon, being under the influence of liquor. There are said to have been several other negroes in the wagon with him. When about a half mile out on the Gunwale Ford road Gray fell from the wagon and sustained internal injuries. He suffered intensely all Saturday night and died Sunday morning.
         Gray was a good negro, and was well liked by all those who knew him. He was about thirty-five years of age, and left a family. The funeral was held at the Coffee place Monday. 

From the Florence Times, Friday, August 4, 1899.
Drowned.
          Frank Bankhead, a worthy colored man, was drowned in the Tennessee river, near Saltillo, 12 miles below Waterloo, being the leader of his race there in church and school work. He was employed on the government steamer, "Lookout," and Friday night while all the crew were asleep he disappeared. Search was made Saturday, and finally the river was dragged, with the result, that his body was found about 100 yards below the boat.

From "Death's Harvest: Sad Events During the Past Week," Florence Times, Friday, August 4, 1899, p. 1.
Colored People Dead.
          Mrs. Tennie Coffee, wife of a worthy colored citizen, Lawson Coffee, died Wednesday evening last at 4 o'clock. She was popular among the colored people, being a church worker and a leader in societies. She was buried by the church and orders Thursday afternoon.
          Henry Cooke, a well known colored character, died last Wednesday. Henry was a victim of palsy and had for a long time been notable for the prominence of his misfortune.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, August 24, 1899, p. 7.
Death of a Worthy Colored Man.
          In the death of "Uncle" Harvey Weakley, the old family servant of the late Judge James Harvey Weakley, one of the cleverest colored men of the "old school" in our midst has passed away. He died last Wednesday at the ripe age of seventy-three, and during his long term of days had so conducted himself as to win the respect and confidence of the people of both races among whom he had lived. All who knew him had a kind word for him and sorrowed at his death.
          The funeral was conducted at the A. M. E. church on Thursday afternoon, after which his remains were interred in the city cemetery, followed thither by a large circle of friends. The many floral offerings sent by his friends of both races attested the esteem in which he was held by the community.

From the Florence Times, Friday, October 13, 1899, p. 1.
Deaths at the County Farm*
          On Tuesday, October 3, John Smith, colored, died of dropsy.
[NOTE: The county poor farm, was located near Cox Creek]

1900's

From the Florence Times, Friday, March 2, 1900, p. 8.
          The two-year-old baby of Jimmy Hart, colored, died suddenly Tuesday morning. There was no warning of the child’s death, it being at play at the time.

From the Florence Democrat, Friday, May 10, 1900, p. 5.
DROPPED DEAD.
         
A Worthy Colored Woman Died Suddenly on the Street Last Night.
          Sunday night about 8 o’clock, Mary Hildebrand, a well known colored woman, better known as Mary Streeter, dropped dead on Mobile street [sic], in front of the Presbyterian Church, while on her way to the colored Congregational Church.
          She was well known among the white people as a worthy and deserving woman. She was a daughter of the late Louis Moore, an old attache [sic] of the O’Neal family, and always had a good reputation as a Christian woman.
          She had for years been suffering from a tumor, and her death, though sudden, was not unexpected. [Note: See F. T., 11 May 1900 entry below.]

From the Florence Times, Friday, May 11, 1900, p. 8.
          Mary Hildebrand, a colored woman, aged about 50 years, died Suddenly on Sunday evening last on Mobile Street, in front of the Presbyterian church, while on her way to attend service at the Congregational church. Her trouble was of the heart [sic].

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, May 19, 1900.
DIED ON THE STREET.
A Colored Woman Drops Dead on Mobile Street Sunday Night.
          Mary Hildebrand, a well-known colored woman of this city, died very suddenly on Mobile street Sunday night.
          She was en route to the Congregational church in company with Geo. Williams, and just after passing the entrance to the First Presbyterian church commenced to feel sick. She crossed the road to the back beside the College fence and sat down, dying in a few minutes.
          A large crowd, both white and black, who were en route to the several churches of the city, gathered around the dying woman, but nothing could be done for her, and she expired before a physician could reach her. She had been affected for a number of years with a stomach trouble, which caused heart failure.
          The funeral services were held by Rev. McCann of the Congregational church on Monday afternoon. [ Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, October 4, 1900, p. 1.
Man Killed at Philadelphia Furnace.
     Alonzo Smith, colored, was killed Thursday night at the Philadelphia furnace by the cage which carries ore, coke and limestone to the top of the furnace. The cage became unmanageable and ran up and down for some time before it could be stopped. Smith fell from the cage and broke his neck in the pit. The cage crushed his body when it struck the bottom. Another man who was on the cage saved himself by lying flat on the floor. Both men were off duty at the time and were drinking. It is thought they lost their heads and could not manage the cage. The management of the furnace have no responsibility in the matter, as both men were "buggy" men and had no business on the cage.

From “Short Locals,” the Florence Times, Friday, October 5, 1900, p. 8.
          Mrs. Sarah Crawford, wife of Sandy Crawford, one of our most respectable colored people, died at Hot Springs, Ark., on Sunday evening last, and her body was brought to her home here and interred Tuesday morning. Her funeral was a large one, the Daughters of Conference turning out in large procession. The deceased had gone to Hot Springs in search of health.

From the Florence Times, Friday, November 9, 1900, p. 1.
Dropped Dead.
          John Taylor, a worthy colored man who kept a restaurant and grocery on the corner of Court and Tombigby [sic] streets, dropped dead in his place of business on Friday afternoon last in his little store. He was a worthy man and had the respect of all our people. His sensational death drew many people to the scene.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, November 22, 1900, p. 4.
     IN the death of J. E. Edwards Florence has lost one of her best colored citizens. His life furnishes an illustration of the possibilities in the South for colored men of his stamp. He was honest, sober, industrious and frugal, as a result of which his estate is valued at from four to five thousand dollars. Had he lived the average years allotted to man, his chances for increasing his savings to a snug fortune were promising. What this man accomplished others can accomplish to a greater or lesser degree, according to their ability. The opportunities are here, if only the right men could be found to avail themselves of the chance. To-day the sensible, thinking negro realizes as he never did before that the South is the logical home of the negro and that the Southern people are his friends. Those who have all along realized this fact and have stood by their white friends, instead of opposing him at every turn, have appreciated the value of that friendship, which is growing stronger from year to year, as the two races realize their dependence one upon the other. No better sermon could be preached to the colored citizens of this community than to point out the good traits and character of this highly respected and representative colored man

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, January 3, 1901, p. 1.
          Pack Armstead, the colored driver of Col. Emmet O'Neal, dropped dead on Tuesday morning of heart disease. Armstead had just finished making a fire in the house and was in the servants room. His body fell into the open fire and was badly burned before being discovered by another servant. Deceased was 64 years old and a well known character.

From the Florence Times, Friday, February 8, 1901, p. 1.
Found Dead.
          John Todd, a colored man who recently came to Florence from Talladega, was found dead at the Philadelphia furnace on Monday night. He had drugged himself with a quart of whisky [sic], it is said, and that, with exposure to the cold, resulted in death.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, February 21, 1901, p. 1.
          Lucindy Davis, a colored midget, died Saturday and was buried Sunday. "Aunt Lucindy", was a familiar figure and well-known character in the city. She was 77 years old and was born a slave in the eastern end of the county. Lucindy was about three feet tall and weighed less than fifty pounds.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, February 21, 1901, p. 1.
          Alfred Beckwith, a colored carpenter, died Tuesday of pneumonia.

From "Local News Notes," the Florence Times, Friday, July 14, 1901, p. 1.
          Old Aunt Becky Coffee, probably the oldest colored woman in the county, died at Seven Points last Sunday, aged 90 years.

From the Florence Herald, Friday, October 3, 1902, p. 8.
Percy H. Casey Dead.
          Percy H. Casey died Thursday night last, after a week's illness from pneumonia.
          For nearly thirteen years past he had served the Herald faithfully, first as office boy and for the past six years as pressman*. He was one of the best known and most universally well liked young colored men in Florence and his sudden death was greatly regretted by all who knew him.
          Casey was kind, thoughtful and considerate of others and to know him was to like him. He will be greatly missed at the Herald office. He was thoroughly trustworthy, industrious and competent and his loyalty to his employers will long be remembered.
          Funeral services were held at the A. M. E. church and the sermon preached by the Rev. A. J. McCann**, whose remarks were appropriate and earnest.
          The remains were accompanied to the cemetery by the local chapter of colored K. of P's*** who performed the last rites of burial.
[NOTE: Rev. A. J. McCann was the Pastor of the Colored Congregational Church from 1897 to at least 1902.]

From the Florence Times, Friday, October 3, 1902, p.1.
          Persey [sic] Casey, one of our most worthy colored men, died on Thursday night of last week, of peneumonia, and was buried on Friday with honors of the K. of P. order. As a mark of respect a number of our white people attended his funeral.

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Friday, February 27, 1903, p. 4.
         
Old Uncle Cain Leach, one of our most venerable and worthy colored citizens, died on Monday afternoon, last aged 79 years.  He had lived many years in Florence and always had the respect and good will of the people.  He was one of the first settlers in the part of the city in which he lived and its location, Canaan, took its name from him.

From the Florence Herald, Friday, February 27, 1903, p. 1.
         
Cane Leech [sic], one of the most thrifty members of Florence's colored population, died Monday afternoon and was buried Tuesday from the A. M. E. church.  Leech [sic] was about 80 years of age and well thought of byve [sic] eryone [sic].

From the Florence Times, Friday, August 21, 1903, p. 1.
NEGRO DROWNED.
An Overloaded Boat and Liquor the Trouble.
How the Body was Found By the Dead Man's Friends.
          On Saturday night last, soon after dark, as a company of colored men were returning in a boat from Sheffield to the landing on Mrs. Coffee's plantation, the small boat was turned over and one of the men, Tom Butler, was drowned. The party, consisting of nine men, had gotten nearly to the bank on this side when the accident occurred, and, under the circumstances, it is remarkable that more of the men did not lose their lives. It is said a good deal of liquor was aboard the boat; and this fact, together with the nine men in one small boat, was the cause of the disaster. Several others of the party were saved only by the courageous assistance of their friends.
          The body of Butler was found the next day near where the accident occurred. A hat was thrown in the river above and it circled around and stopped at a certain point. Here the divers went down and found the body of the unfortunate man. When found he had on his person a pistol, two bottles of whiskey and $13 in money. He was an employee of one of the enterprises of Sheffield and was returning to his home after his week's work. Butler was about 30 years of age, and was a married man.

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Friday, August 28, 1903, p. 1.
         
Martha Cook, a worthy colored woman, a venerable landmark of the old times in Florence, died here Monday night, at the advanced age of 84 years. She was interred with society honors Tuesday afternoon.

From "Short Local Items," the Florence Times, Friday, October 9, 1903, p. 1.
         
Old Uncle Jordan Trousdale, an old-time family servant of the Trousdale family, died at his home near Centre Star last Sunday morning, aged about 80 years.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, May 12, 1904, p. 7.
"Rogersville And Vicinity" by "Green Horn,"
          The wife of old Uncle Phil Ingrum [sic] (col.) died last week. She leaves a husband and several children.

From "News of Florence," the Sheffield (Colbert Co., AL) Standard, Saturday, July 9, 1904, p. 5.
         
Charlie Jordan, a negro about 35 years old, dropped dead Saturday night on Tombigbee street, between Court and Seminary. He weas heard to fall but before assistance reached him life was extinct. Jordan was a good negro and a hard worker. His death was due to heart failure.

From "News Item of Interest," the Florence Times, Friday, November 2, 1906, p. 1.
An Octegenarian Dies
          Simon Stewart, an old servant of the late Dr. James W. Stewart, died Sunday afternoon at the advanced age of 80 years. Uncle Simon was a fair type of the old time black man who is esteemed by the Southern people.

From the Florence Times, Friday, January 4, 1907, p. 1.
Death of Alex Anderson’s Mother
          On the evening of Christmas day the mother of the worthy court house janitor Alex Anderson, Meridian Anderson, died at the home of her son. “Aunt” Meridian was one of those old time darkies whose passing is noted with regret. She was a slave of the late Enoch Kennedy, and was in the 78th year of her age. Alex has the sympathy of his white friends in his sorrow.

From the Florence Times, Friday, September 18, 1907, p. 1.
"News Items of Interest"
          Julia Sanders, colored, who was shot by her husband several weeks ago, while insane, died from her wounds Wednesday night.

From the Florence Times, Friday, January 17, 1908, p. 1.
          Old Uncle Ferd Jackson, a worthy colored man of the old time school, died last week, aged over 80 years. He was a faithful old servant of the Jackson family, and his death removes an old landmark of the past.

From "News Items of Interest," the Florence Times, Friday, July 24, 1908, p. 1.
          Constance Perkins, aged 66, one of the city's most worthy colored citizens, died Tuesday after an illness of several months.

From "News Items of Interest," the Florence Times, Friday, July 24, 1908, p. 8.
          Dr. Charles Gray, one of our most worthy colored citizens, died on Saturday last, and was interred Monday afternoon, a large congregation attending the funeral. Dr. Gray had been thoroughly educated, and was a graduate physician. He was one of the most worthy of our young colored citizens, and his premature death is much lamented. He died of consumption.

From the Florence Times, Friday, September 25, 1908, p. 3.
"News Items of Interest"
          Coleman Houston, one of the most worthy colored men of this city, died at his home at Stewart's Spring last week, aged 65 years. He was one of the best of his race and was highly regarded by his white as well as colored friends.

1911'S

From the Florence Times, Friday, November 22, 1912, p. 1.
          Andrew Jones, one of our most worthy colored men, died last week at his home near Stuart's Springs [sic]. He was a pensioner of the government. "Uncle" Andrew was held in high esteem by his friends of both races.

From the Florence Times, Friday, January 3, 1913.
Worthy Colored Man Dead
          Again we are called upon to record the death of one of our antebellum friends, that of Uncle Wince Ingram, who passed away Christmas night, after a long and useful life. Wince was born in North Carolina, and came to Alabama with his master. He was the servant of Mr. George Ingram, (father of our townsmen, Mr. T. B. Ingram.) [sic] After slavery was abolished he moved to Florence, where he had lived ever since. He was an honest, hard working man, and was well respected by all, especially by his white friends. He is survived by a wife, a daughter, and two sons. On the day following his burial his wife's house caught on fire and was totally consumed, with practically all of the contents. The family have the sympathy of every one. [ Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From "Local News," the Florence Times, Friday, October 23, 1914, p. 5.
         Old "Aunt Betty" Rand, for thirty-five years the faithful family servant of Mrs. Virginia Irvine, died Sunday morning at Stewart Spring[s], at the advanced age of 85 years. Her funeral was largely attended, including a number of her old white friends, who held her in grateful memory.

From "Local News," the Florence Times, Friday, November 13, 1914, p. 1.
    
Bill Duckett, one of the best known colored men of our city, a unique character in his way, died at his home in the western part of the city Tuesday night. For some years past, he was understood to have been somewhat erratic in his mental condition.

From the Florence Times, Friday, November 13, 1914, p. 6.
Sudden Death
    
On Thursday evening of last week Fred Sneed, colored, died suddenly on the lot in rear of Mr. Charles Price's residence. He had been employed as a driver for Mr. Isaac Kreisman several years, and on the evening of his death he had driven his team into the lot preparartory to disposing of it for the night. He was heard groaning by Mr. Price, who found him in the last article of death. He breathed his last as Mr. Price approached him. It is believed death was from natural cause, heart trouble or clot on the brain. The deceased was a worthy colored man, and was very highly regarded by his employer. He was about 27 years old and unmarried.

From the Florence Times, Friday, October 29, 1915, p. 1.
          Mr. J. H. McCabe, of Killen Beat was in the city Monday to attend the funeral of Rose Harrison, an aged negro woman who died in Florence Sunday. Rose Harrison was a type of the southern [sic] antebellum "mammy," and on the deathbed of Mr. McCabe's mother, while he was 'a babe in the arms,' took charge of him and raised him to manhood. She was one of several slaves bought for him by his guardian with money inherited from his mother's estate, and during her latter years she has been looked after by Mr. McCabe, who was here to pay a last tribute at her grave.

From the Florence Times, Friday, December 31, 1915, p. 1.
"Personal and Local News Notes,"
          Emma Bradley, a worthy colored woman living in North Florence, the wife of Allen Bradley, died Monday, and was buried Tuesday, when a large congregation attended the funeral as a mark of respect.

From the Florence Herald, Thursday, April 27, 1916, p. 8.
         Maggie Gray, colored, wife of Gordon Gray, who has been a faithful employee at the Patton School for the past twenty-five years died at their home on College street early Friday morning after a two month's illness. The funeral was held from the A. M. E. church at 3 o'clock Friday afternoon conducted by Rev. Mosley.

From the Florence Times, Friday, February 22, 1918, p. 1.
Negro Boy Dies of Wounds Inflicted by Carl Thomason
         
Booker T. Moseley, the young son of Rev. C. B. Moseley, pastor of the A. M. E. Church, of Florence, died at the home of his parents in this city, Sunday.
          He was stabbed in the spine a couple of weeks ago by Carl Thomason, a white boy, about 13 years of age, at that time a messenger in the service of the Western Union, who was placed in jail, and afterwards released on $1,000 bond. Since the death of young Moseley, he has been returned to jail, on a charge of murder.
          The unfortunate boy was taken to Birmingham, where he underwent an operation at St. Vincent’s hospital and a part of the knife which remained in his body removed. Later, he was brought to his home in Florence, where he died.
          By his request the funeral services were held in the chapel of the Burrell Normal School, of which he was a pupil, last Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock.
          He was a quiet, peaceable boy and was well known and respected by his friends, and his unfortunate death is much regretted by the white and black colored citizens alike.

From the Florence Times, Friday, June 7, 1918, p. 4.
OLD RESIDENTS DEAD
          Florence lost two respected members of its colored population in the death of Rebekah Thomas, aged 70, which occurred Saturday; and Adeline Brock, aged 74, who died Sunday. Both were among the oldest residents here.

From the Florence Times, Friday, August 9, 1918, p. 1.
COLORED CITIZEN DEAD.
    
Washington Coffee, a well known colored man, probably the oldest in our county, passed away recently. It is claimed that he was over a hundred years old. He was a most worthy man, who deservedly had the good opinion of all our people.

From the Florence Times, Friday, October 10, 1919, p. 1.
          An aged colored man, named Warren Beckwith, committed suicide last week on the plantation of Mr. John Beckwith, near Gravelly Springs. Despondency on account of ill health was ascribed as the cause of the deed.

From "Local and Personal News Notes," the Florence Herald, Thursday, November 27, 1919, p. 1.
    
Phil Bates, a negro boy about 15 years of age, last Sunday stabbed with a pocket knife Sam Napper another colored boy about the same age. Napper died in a short while. Bates has disappeared.

1920'S

From the Florence Times, Friday, April 16, 1920, p. 1.
DEAD NEGRO FOUND AT DAM
With Head Almost Cut Off, Hid in Woods. An Unmistakable Case of Murder and Robbery.
          On last Friday morning an unmistakable case of murder and robbery was brought to light when a woman and child discovered the body of a negro laborer at the dam covered by leaves in the woods between East Florence and the reservation.1 The negro, who was later identified as one named Johnny Jones, had been cut twice about the throat and his head almost severed from the body, and the murder had evidently been committed the day before.
          It is reported that the man was not popular among his associates, and that he was supposed to have had a good sum of money on him, the occurrence taking place just after pay day. He had a couple of hundred dollars on deposit in one of the Florence banks, and the clothing bore evidence of having been thoroughly searched.
1 Reservation: The TVA Reservation.

From "News Stories of the Week, Briefly Told," the Florence Times, Friday, September 1, 1922, p. 1.
         
Joe Findley, a colored man formerly emplyed as a janitor at the county jail, dropped dead last Saturday afternoon while standing on the porch of the court house, from an attack of heart trouble. He was seventy-six years of age.

From "News Stories of the Week Briefly Told," the Florence Times, Friday, February 16, 1923, p. 1.
         
"Aunt" Jane Carter, one of the old time colored women of this section, reputed to be 110 years old, passed away last week in Florence, at the home of the Thomas family, one of the respected colored families of the city. "Aunt" Jane was well known among some of the older citizens, and carried in her memory many incidents that occurred long before the experience of present day citizens. [ Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From the Sheffield Standard, Friday, January 6, 1928, p. 4.
AGED NEGRESS DIES IN GARAGE BLAZE.
     Sue Hall, aged negress, was burned to death last Wednesday evening when her room upstairs over a garage burned. She had been for years a cook in the family of Dr. E. T. Newsom of Florence and lived alone in the servant's quarters.
     The alarm came in about 3:15 o'clock and was immediately answered by the Florence fire department. It was not until the fire was extinguished that the aged negress was discovered dead on the floor in the room. The fire did not reach the other part of the garage which was of stucco and brick.
     It is thought that the victim had been partly overcome by the fumes of an oil stove and had upset it in an endeavor to open the door or window.

From the Florence Times-News, Tuesday, October 8, 1929, p. 1.
SEEK NEGRO’S BODY IN RIVER

Officers Report Remains Found
          A Search of the Tennessee river [sic] from Smithsonia to Savannah, Tenn., was being conducted by officials of several counties today in an effort to locate the body of Ed Anderson, 25-year-old negro, of Smithsonia, who was last seen early Wednesday morning with a negro companion, also of Smithsonia, in a motorboat on the Tennessee, Sheriff W. L. Stutts announced today.
          The body of Anderson’s companion, Tom Wallace, negro, also about 25, was recovered from the waters of the river at Savannah, Tenn., early last night, according to a report to Sheriff Stutts from officials of the Tennessee city.
          Sheriff Stutts stated that the motorboat in which the pair were last seen had not been located up to this morning and officers were without a clue as to whether the negroes met death by drowning or by foul play.
          Although officers advanced no reason for the negroes being on the river in the motorboat, it was rumored in Florence today that the pair had crossed the river near Smithsonia after a boat load of liquor.

1930'S

From the Florence Times, Friday, November 18, 1932, p. 1.
NEGRO WOMAN, 123 YEARS OLD, PASSES AWAY
          "Auntie" Laura Belue, 123-year-old negro woman of the Oakland community, Lauderdale county, and reputedly the oldest living person in Alabama, died at the home of her niece there this morning about 6 o'clock from the infirmities of age, according to word reaching Florence this morning.
          "Auntie" had been blind for a number of years. She was born and lived all of her life in this vicinity where she held the respect of both white and colored. No immediate relatives survive.
          Burial will be conducted by a negro society of Oakland tomorrow.
          Many pioneer citizens of this section of the state vouch for the length of her life. "Auntie" was still actively engaged in nursing the children of her white friends when she passed the century mark.

From the Florence Herald, Friday, March 2, 1934, p. 1.
Aged Negro Is Found Murdered Wednesday
          Jack Pounders, 96-year-old negro man, was found dead in his cabin home near Smithsonia, off the Gunwaleford road, early Wednesday morning and his wife, Mary, aged about 75, was critically injured with a fractured skull. She was rushed to the Eliza Coffee Memorial hospital, Florence and was somewhat improved Thursday and attending physicians stated that she had a chance to recover unless meningitis develops.
          The couple were found by neighbors and the house gave evidence of a bitter struggle, it appearing that the aged negro had been struck over the head with a shotgun and killed and his wife had likewise been struck over the head and probably left for dead, officers reported. The negro couple had resided at that place for about 50 or 60 years and had won the respect of the white people of that section.

From the Florence Herald, Friday, March 9, 1934.
Negro Woman Killed In Fight Wednesday
          Cerutha Ingram, young negro woman, is in the Lauderdale county jail facing a charge of first degree murder as the result of the fatal stabbing of Ophelia Parker, another negro woman, at a negro dance hall at the corner of Walnut and Alabama streets Wednesday night, policeman Levi Duckett stated.
           The victim was rushed to the Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital but died a few hours later from the loss of blood from a stab wound just above her ribs under her right arm. The Ingram negroes claimed that the other negro woman had slapped her and had been going with her husband, it was reported.
          "Pig" Ingram, brother-in-law of the Ingram negro, received severe cuts about the arm while trying to separate the negro women. [ Contributed 16 May 2008 by Donald Murks.]

From the Florence Tribune, Thursday, March 15, 1934, p. 1.
NEGRESS KILLS RIVAL IN DANCE HALL FRACAS
    
Cerutha Ingram, young negro woman, is being held in the Lauderdale County jail on a charge of first degree murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of Ophelia Parker, another negro woman, at a negro dance hall at the corner of Walnut and Alabama streets Wednesday night of last week.
     Officers stated that the victim of the stabbing died a few hours later at the Eliza Coffee Memorial hospital from loss of blood from a stab wound just above her ribs under her right arm. The Ingram negress claimed that the other negro woman had slapped her and had been going with her husband, it is stated. [Contributed 3 Apr 2007, by Donald Murks,]
 


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