Lula Martin: bullet or typhoid?

Lula Devere MARTIN is my 2nd cousin, twice removed. She was the daughter of Hack MARTIN (1851-1932) and Charlotte HARRISON MARTIN (1854-1913). Her grandfather, William MARTIN, was the brother of my 2nd great-grandfather, Phillip MARTIN.South Carolina_public domain

Early life

Lula was born in October 1887 in South Carolina. In 1900, she lived with her parents and siblings in Wateree Township, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Lula’s father was a farmer who owned his farm free and clear. Lula and her siblings attended school and all could read and write.

MARTIN Lula Devere nee Martin_cropped from group shot

Lula Martin, photo courtesy of Glenna Kinnard

Lula marries

In 1907, when Lula was 20, she married Jesse Allen MARTIN, Jr. Jesse was her first cousin. They were married at the Edgewood parsonage by preacher Peel.

The two lived at 1906 Taylor Street, Columbia, South Carolina. 1906 Taylor Street is now commercial property.

Lula passes away

On 29 December 1907, Lula died. Below is the death notice from The State newspaper entitled Sad Death of Bride.

Martin Lula MARTIN death notice cropped

 

South Carolina didn’t issue death certificates in 1907. Two family versions exist about Lula’s death. According to someone in the Harrison family, Lula was cleaning house and swept a bullet into the fireplace. It exploded and killed her. The other family version claims she died of typhoid. Both versions are believable.

Lula is buried at Salem Methodist Church Cemetery on Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina.

Several years later, Jesse married Addie Mae CARMAN, and they had four children together.

A special thanks to Glenna KINNARD, distant cousin and fellow Martin family researcher, for telling me the story of Lula and sharing photos of Lula with me.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Genealogy Blog Potluck Picnic

I was invited to an old-fashioned, end-of-summer Genealogy Blog Potluck Picnic.  Bring a dish (my favorite genealogy resource) to share, the hostess said. South Carolina_public domain

Of course I’m going, and here’s my dish: The Richland County Library (South Carolina) website 

The Richland County Library website has fantastic resources for family history research. To name a few:

An online obituary index for Columbia, SC area obituaries. Copies of obituaries can be requested via email, too.

South Carolina Historical Newspapers Collections. If you have a library card, you can access the newspapers yourself including printing on your own printer. I have an out-of-county library card, and I use this resource regularly to read and print articles and obits.

The Otis Prince surname files. A collection of nearly 2000 surnames Prince researched while writing books and articles about Richland County history. If the file is small enough, the librarians will even scan the pages and send them to patrons via email.

 

This is by far my favorite resource. The website is easy to use, and the staff is always helpful and polite when I call them. I have yet to visit this library in person, but it’s in my plans.
Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

 

Genealogy Blog Party Badge

Devann Brazell: C-section patient

I am drawn to those ancestors that died young. Their stories often show how far medical science has come or how the human experience hasn’t changed through the decades (or centuries). Throughout time people killed died for lack of antibiotics or I.V. fluids. People committed suicide. They murdered, drove too fast or recklessly, and more.

Who Devann is

Devann BRAZELL died young. Devann was born in April 1887, the daughter of John D. BRAZELL (1855-1932) and Letsie Ann LOVETT (1857-1937). She was in the middle bunch of John and Letsie’s ten children.

Devann’s maternal grandmother, Harriett FUTRELL LOVETT (1837-?) was the sister of my 2nd great-grandmother, Margaret FUTRELL MARTIN (1832-1928). This makes Devann my 2nd cousin, 2x removed.South Carolina_public domain

In 1900, Devann’s father, David, was a farmer in Richland County, South Carolina. David owned his farm free and clear.  Devann was 13 in 1900.

Devann marries & has children

Devann married William Wylie STRICKLAND (1879-1957) sometime before 1909. On the 1930 census, Wylie, as he was called, reported that his first marriage happened at age 22. If Devann was that wife, she was 14 at the time of marriage. But Wylie and Devann didn’t have any children until 1909, so I wonder if Wylie had a wife before Devann. No proof either way. And I can’t find Devann or Wylie in the 1910 census.

In 1918, Wylie reported on his WW1 draft registration that he and Devann lived in Dentsville, Richland County. Wylie was a farmer.Farm-1

On the 1920 census, 41-year old Wylie and 33-year old Devann lived on Assylum Road in Killan, Richland County. Wylie was a farmer, and he owned his farm free and clear. They had two children, Mary and Oscar.

 

Devann has two sons in 1921, Willis and Wylie, Jr., who were born about 7 ½ months apart. Then in 1924, Devann became pregnant again. Devann and Wylie lived at 418 Pall Mall Street in Columbia now. (In the 1930 census, Wylie is a produce and vegetable salesman. He was probably doing that in 1925, also.)

418 Pall Mall Street doesn’t appear to exist anymore, but you can see the neighborhood here. Some of the houses are probably ones there where Devann and Wylie lived there.

Pregnancy problems

I don’t know when Devann began having problems with the pregnancy, but on 11 March 1925, 38-year old Devann had a c-section delivery of another son, William. William was said to be full term.

Devann had toxemia of pregnancy, now known as eclampsia. The cure for eclampsia is delivery of the baby, but this didn’t cure Devann.

Kidney

Her kidneys failed without the supportive measures and medicines available today. Devann died two days later on 13 March 1925. In a few weeks I’ll write about what Wylie and his life as a single parent.

Devann is buried at Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Columbia, South Carolina.

Read more about the history of c-sections here.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Ella Grant: the last tragedy & the first

For the last four weeks I’ve written about the tragic young deaths of the Gardner family – Benny in 1920, Walker in 1922, Mattie in 1923, and Baxter in 1933.  But before any of their deaths was the one in 1918.South Carolina_public domain

Ella’s early life

Ella GRANT was born 22 September 1864 in Marlboro County, South Carolina. Her parents were Jeremiah GRANT and Anna Jane GRANT. Ella was the 11th of their 12 children.  Ella is my 3rd great-aunt, as she is the sister of my 2nd great grandfather, D. B. Grant.

Her father, Jeremiah, worked many jobs in his life including carpentry and farming, but in 1870 he was the probate judge for Marlboro County.Courtroom gavel

 

The family lived in Bennettsville in Marlboro County. Annie, as Anna Jane was called, was quite the businesswoman. She bought and sold lots of property in Marlboro and Chesterfield Counties.

Ella marries John

In 1879 when Ella was 14, she married John C. GARDNER (1854-1935).  John was a farmhand at the time. In 1880, John and Ella lived in Cheraw, Chesterfield County. Her parents and two of her brothers are on the same census page as Ella and John.

Children came along starting with Robert in 1881, who died as an infant. He was followed by six children born over the next 16 years, all of whom lived to adulthood.Train public domain

In 1900, John worked as a railroad contractor. The family lived on Lyttleton Street in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Ella kept house and the younger children, while the older ones worked at a cotton mill.

In 1910, the family lived on King Street in Buffalo, Kershaw County, South Carolina.  John was a house carpenter now. Ella kept house. Fifteen-year old Walker worked as a laborer for a blacksmith, and Mattie attended school. The other children had their own homes.

The first tragedy

Antique Ford_flickr_must attribute

Antique Ford photo by GSV, found on flickr.com. Click on photo for more info.

Walker, Ella and John’s son, was in the National Guard when he was called up to go to France in 1918. On April 6th, 1918, John and Ella, along with daughters Bessie and Mattie, traveled to Camp Sevier in Greenville, South Carolina, to visit Walker before he shipped off.

John and Ella’s neighbor, a Mr. FIELD, went along and was driving John and Ella’s Ford. According to The Herald and News of Newberry, South Carolina, there was ‘a bad place in the road and the Ford took to the ditch.’  Here is the newspaper account of the accident:

Gardner Ella nee GRANT article about death-5 cropped portion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was not determined what exactly happened, but it was reported that ‘the car must have been going at a pretty lively rate.’ I have to wonder if the passengers were telling him to slow down before the accident.

This  is Mattie’s accident

This is the accident where Mattie was hurt and reported killed by mistake. The retraction the next day said it was Ella that was killed. That was all I knew until this week when I found the long newspaper article about the accident.

More loss and heartache to follow

So much heartache in one day…Walker knows he’s leaving for war and may not come back at all, and then his mother dies on the way to see him off. Who even knows if he was able to attend her funeral. Was he able to see any of his family before he left for France? I don’t know. John loses his wife, and now his son is shipping off maybe never to return. And the other children lose their mother and know they may lose their brother, too.

I’m sure they were all relieved when Walker made it home, and they had a few years peace before Benny died followed soon by Walker and Mattie, and then Baxter a decade later. Poor John, to lose his wife and then three of his children in a five-year period of time.

This is the last of my stories about the Gardner family, at least for now. These five stories have been enough.

Ella Grant Gardner is buried at Mt. Elon Cemetery in Hartsville, Darlington County, along with John and four of their children.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Billy Thomas, Jr.: into the pool with you

This month’s Genealogy Blog Party is a pool party where we get to toss a difficult ancestor into the pool.  I’m up for that. Although I have many difficult ancestors to choose from, the top of the list is the elusive Billy Thomas, Jr.Maryland sign

What I know…actually what I might know

Billy Thomas, Jr. is my 4th great-grandfather. He came to South Carolina from Maryland in the early 1800’s according to some family history notes from his grandsons.

He was planning on going ‘west’ but settled in South Carolina instead. The notes say that Billy’s father, Billy Thomas, Sr., came to Maryland from France, not that he was French, but that the ship he took came from France. The grandsons’ information is all believable but so far not provable.South Carolina_public domain

Billy supposedly married a woman named Mary (who went by Polly) in Fayetteville, North Carolina on his way ‘west’ but their son, my 3rd great-grandfather, had taken ill so they stopped in South Carolina and ended up staying.

I think I found Billy in the 1810 census, but again, it’s not conclusive that it’s him. I can’t find a Billy Thomas in the 1820 census in the likely county or the surrounding ones, but I found a Mary Thomas living next door to Renadus Thomas, my 3rd great-grandfather, in the 1830 census. Is this Mary his mother?  Good question.  Did Billy died between 1810 and 1820? Another good question.

I found a Polly Thomas in the census for that county for 1840, but unfortunately the census was rewritten in alphabetical order so who knows if that Polly lived near the aforementioned Renadus (written as Renatus in the 1840 census).

Capitol Hill Question Mark (Washington, DC)

Capitol Hill Question Mark (Washington, DC)

Mary/Polly is missing from the 1850 census and beyond.  Dead? Living elsewhere? Just missed being counted? Who knows.

Billy is supposedly buried in The “Old” Medlin cemetery in Richland County, South Carolina. One of my cousins in South Carolina checked out the likely location for this cemetery. It’s densely wooded, and he didn’t find any stones. And no records have been located for this cemetery.

Mistaken identity?

Finally, there is a William Thomas who died in 1840 and was buried in Davidson County, North Carolina. Several researchers on that large website we all have a love-hate relationship with have decided that William Thomas is this Billy Thomas.

I’m not buying it, but it would be easier to prove that he’s not my Billy Thomas if my Billy Thomas would have left something behind like a will or a bible. Or if he’d married someone with a less common name than Mary/Polly. Or if he’d written down the names of his parents, etc. Or if Sherman hadn’t burned the courthouse in Columbia, South Carolina.

I may never know

Short of hiring a researcher, I don’t know that there’s much more I can do to find him. Instead of doing hiring a researcher, I will throw Billy in the pool and let my kids and grandkids figure out the life story of Billy Thomas, Jr.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Genealogy Blog Party Badge

 

Mattie Gardner: she didn’t die in a car accident

Mattie Mae GARDNER was the last of the seven children born to John GARDNER (1854-1935) and Ella GRANT GARDNER (1864-1918). Mattie was born 17 May 1899 in South Carolina.South Carolina_public domain

 

 

 

 

Mattie was also the sister of Walker Gardner and Bennie Gardner, and the aunt of Baxter Gardner, all of whom I’ve written about in the past few weeks.

Mattie’s mother, Ella, was the sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, D. B. Grant. This makes Mattie my 1st cousin, thrice removed.

Early life

In 1900, Mattie’s father worked as a railroad contractor. The family lived on Lytteton Street in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Mattie’s working siblings worked at a cotton mill.

In 1910, the family lived on King Street in Buffalo, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Father John was a house carpenter now. Ten-year old Mattie attended school. Her brother, Walker, worked as a laborer for a blacksmith.

1915 Ford Model T public domain

1915 Ford Model T, a typical car of the day

When Mattie was 17, she was in a car accident. She was mistakenly reported in The State as having died in the accident. A retraction appeared the following day in the newspaper.

Mattie marries

Farmer with two cows public domain

Farming was hard work in those days

In mid-1918, Mattie married James Joseph (J.J.) LEWIS, a older widowed farmer from Darlington County, South Carolina. J.J. and his first wife, Jennie, had five children together. Jennie died a month after the last one was born, and that child died at ten months of age from severe malnutrition.

In April 1919, Mattie and J.J. had their first child together, Fulton. In 1920, the family lived in Epworth, Darlington County. J.J. was farming, and Mattie was taking care of the home and the children. Ella Mae was born to Mattie and J.J. in April 1921.

Mattie had her hands full being a farmer’s wife and the mother of six children, the oldest one being 15 years old.

Mattie gets sick

In August 1922, Mattie was sent to the tuberculosis camp in Richland County, South Carolina.

Who knows how long she’d been sick before she went. She died there on 21 September 1922. Tuberculosis was the largest killer of young people in South Carolina in the 1920’s. A whopping 29% of young deaths resulted from T.B. according to sctuberculosis.org.

Tuberculosis sanitorium in NY public domain

A TB sanitorium in NY, similar to the ones in SC from what I’ve read

 

 

Mattie was 23 years old when she died. She left behind two little children who would never know her plus her husband who was now twice widowed and the father of six children.

Mattie is buried at Mt. Elon Cemetery in Hartsville, Darlington County, South Carolina, along with her parents and three of her siblings.

The story doesn’t end there, though

Mattie’s widower, J.J., died on 31 March 1923 just 6 months after Mattie. His death certificate says he died of natural causes, but doesn’t say what exactly he died from. From the way it’s worded, I think officials may have suspected suicide which was ruled out. J.J. is buried alongside his first wife, Jennie.

What happened to all those kids, you ask…

I don’t know about J.J. and Jennie’s kids, but I can tell you that Fulton and Ella, Mattie’s children, were taken in by Mattie’s sister, Bessie GARDNER OUTLAW and her husband, James.

Fulton and Ella both grew up, married, and had children. Fulton served during WW2, as did Ella’s husband. Fulton and Ella both passed away after the turn of the new century, leaving behind children, grandchildren and great-grands, too.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Walker Gardner: WW1 veteran and young father

Henry Walker GARDNER was born in March 1895 in South Carolina. He was the sixth of seven children born to John GARDNER (1854-1935) and Ella GRANT GARDNER (1864-1918). Walker, as he was called, was also the brother of Bennie Gardner and the uncle of Baxter Gardner, both of whom I’ve written about in the past few weeks.South Carolina_public domain

Walker’s mother, Ella, was the sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, D. B. Grant. This makes Walker my 1st cousin, thrice removed.

Early life

In 1900, Walker’s father worked as a railroad contractor. The family lived on Lytteton Street in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Walker’s working siblings worked at a cotton mill.Blacksmith2_public domain

In 1910, the family lived on King Street in Buffalo, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Father John was a house carpenter now. Fifteen-year old Walker worked as a laborer for a blacksmith. According to the census, Walker could read and write.

 

 

Walker, the soldier

In the trenches_public domain

WW1 soldiers in the trenches

Walker was a private in the National Guard of South Carolina. In 1917, Walker’s regiment was called up for the Great War. His regiment became part of the 118th Infantry which had soldiers from Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The 118th was assigned to the 30th Division which was called “Old Hickory” being named after President Andrew Jackson.

The division went to France to fight alongside British forces on the northern end of the Western Front. According to The Old Hickory Association website, “The Division served with distinction during the Great War most notably by breaking through the Hindenberg line and fighting in the battles of Le Selle, Ypres, St. Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne.”

 

Walker starts a family

Walker was discharged on April 1st, 1919, and he returned to South Carolina. I couldn’t find him in the 1920 census, but I do know he married Julia Mae McDONALD (1903-1985) on 12 January 1921.Woodworking Lathe_public domain

 

 

 

 

Their son, John Edwin Gardner, was born nine months later on 11 Oct 1921. The family lived in Bishopville, Lee County, South Carolina. Walker was a carpenter. Walker was 26, and Julia was 18.

 

Walker takes sick

In the spring of 1922, Walker became ill. A lumbar puncture was performed, and he was diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis. An effective antibiotic had not been discovered or developed yet, and Walker lived for six weeks before succumbing to the meningitis infection on 2 April 1922. His son, John, was not yet six months old.

Walker is buried at Mt. Elon Cemetery in Hartsville, Darlington County, South Carolina, along with his parents and three of his siblings.

Julia married again in 1925 to Thomas BOYD. Thomas and Julia raised John along with three children Thomas and Julia had together.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Baxter Gardner: struck by lightning

Baxter Tillman GARDNER was the son of Bennie GARDNER (1888-1920) and Jessie PATRICK GARDNER BYRD (1892-1967). Baxter was the middle child of their three children. Baxter is my 2nd cousin, twice remove and related to me through my Grant line.

Baxter was born 20 December 1914 in South Carolina, likely Chesterfield or Marlboro County.

Baxter’s father

In 1920, six-year old Baxter and his family lived in Alligator, Chesterfield County, South Carolina. His father, Bennie, worked for the railroad. Later in 1920, Bennie died. You can read about it here.Train public domain

Baxter’s mother

I couldn’t find Baxter or his siblings in the 1930 census or where they lived during the 1920’s. I believe, though, that I found Baxter’s mother, Jessie, living in North Carolina with a new husband, King Edward BYRD. This Jessie had two young children with King.

The reason I believe this is Baxter’s mother is because on Baxter’s death certificate, his mother’s maiden name is listed as Jessie Patrick. The informant was a John Gardner of Cheraw who was likely Baxter’s uncle or grandfather. It makes sense that either of them would have known Jessie’s correct maiden name.

I researched from the point of view that Jessie’s maiden name was Patrick instead of Byrd, Byrd being what other researchers claimed. Enough facts matched up that I can say I believe Patrick was Jessie’s maiden name and she married King Byrd after Bennie died. I need to do more research, though. And I still don’t know why she left her children behind when she married King Byrd.Farm-1

Baxter’s early adult life

In 1930, Baxter’s brother, Clyde would have been 17 and likely working on a farm somewhere. He died in 2008, so he was just missed in the 1930 census. I believe the same is true for Baxter, who was 16 in 1930. I don’t know about their sister, Jessie. I can’t find anything past 1920 for her.

In 1933, 19-year old Baxter worked at the Evegett (Everett) place near Smithville, Marlboro County, South Carolina as a farm laborer. Smithville was near present-day Brightsville in Marlboro County.Lightning public domain

A summer storm

On July 1, 1933 a thunderstorm came up in the early afternoon. Baxter and another farm worker, Rob McDOUGALL, took refuge in a barn.

According the The State newspaper, lightning struck the barn and destroyed it. Rob was seriously injured. Baxter was killed.

This was another tragic loss for the Gardner family in just a few years. There are more to be written about still.

Baxter is buried at Mt. Elon Cemetery in Hartsville, Darlington County, South Carolina along with his father and grandparents.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Bennie Gardner: if only he’d lived a few more years

Benjamin Lucas GARDNER was born 12 November 1888 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. He was the sixth of seven children born to John GARDNER (1854-1935) and Ella GRANT GARDNER (1864-1918). Ella was the sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, D.B. Grant (1846-1900), which makes Bennie my 1st cousin thrice removed.Cotton mill photo

Working early in life

In 1900, Bennie’s family lived in Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina. Father John worked on the railroad. Bennie, age 12, worked at the cotton mill. He appeared to be done with school, and he could read and write.

Bennie married Jessie BYRD in 1909 when he was 21. In 1910, Bennie and Jessie lived in Hartsville, Darlington County, South Carolina. Bennie worked as a carpenter on his own account.

Bennie and Jessie start their family

Clyde and Baxter, Bennie and Jessie’s sons, were born in 1913 and 1914, respectively. Daughter Jessie was born in 1919.Train coach cars

Working for the railroad

Bennie registered for the draft in 1917. He and his family lived in Lydia, Darlington County, South Carolina. Bennie worked as a railroad master. Bennie was of medium height and build. He has brown eyes and dark hair, which isn’t surprising since his mother was at least half Native American.

An illness with no cure

Also in 1917, Bennie was diagnosed with diabetes using the Fehling’s sugar test. Bennie would have been put on a nearly starvation diet which was used to extend the life of the diabetic patient in hopes of a cure being discovered before the patient died.

Most likely, Bennie had type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the islet cells of the pancreas quit making insulin over a period of a few years. In type 2, the more common and well-known form of diabetes, the body makes insulin but doesn’t use it properly. Some people with type 2, though, need insulin injections like those with type. Go here to learn more about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Moved back to Chesterfield County

The 1920 census for Chesterfield County, South Carolina was completed in January of that year. Bennie and family now lived in Alligator in Chesterfield County. Bennie, now 32, was a track foreman for the railroad. Jessie took care of the house and home.

Diabetes wins

Insulin and syringes

photo by Sriram Bbala. Click on photo for link to photograph on flickr.com.

On 20 October 1920, Bennie passed due to his diabetes. Bennie likely slipped into a coma because his body no longer made insulin and was unable to process the sugar in his blood. Bennie lingered for three days before passing.

If Bennie had only lived a few more years, he would have been able to have insulin injections to save his life. In the fall of 1922, Eli Lilly and Company had a major breakthrough and was able to produce mass quantities of insulin, this extending and saving many lives.

Bennie is buried at Mount Elon Cemetery in Hartsville, Darlington County, South Carolina. His parents and two of his siblings are buried there, too. Bennie has an ornate gravestone from Woodmen of the World insurance company which was available to their members.

I don’t know if Jessie remarried, but it wouldn’t be surprising. Another path to follow as I continue with family research.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved

Walter Peavy: gone in middle age

Doubly related to me

Walter L. PEAVY is my first cousin twice removed, and he is related to me through my maternal grandmother and maternal grandfather.

Walter’s mother, Arzetta MARTIN PEAVY (1873-1957) was a sister of my great-grandfather, Adolphus Burdine MARTIN (1867-1917). Walter’s father, Mallie PEAVY (1850-1932) was the grandson of Malachi GRANT, who was likely the father or uncle of my 3rd great-grandfather, Jeremiah GRANT.

Early life

Walter was born in South Carolina, probably in Marlboro County, on 29 Dec 1897. In the 1900 census, Mallie’s occupation is minister and butcher. They lived in Bennettsville in Marlboro County.

In 1910, when Walter is 13, the family lived in Red Bluff, also in Marlboro County. Walter attended school, while his older siblings and father worked at a cotton mill.Cotton mill photo

In 1920, Walter worked in a cotton mill along with his father and mother and all his siblings of working age. Walter had eight siblings. At this time the family lived at 97 Sloane Street in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina.

Walter leaves home

Walter married Ollie Mae SNEAD (1904-1993) in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1924. Caswell County is north of Burlington, North Carolina near the VA/NC border. Walter was likely working in a cotton mill at this time.

Come 1930, Walter and Ollie and three of their four daughters lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia which is west of Danville, Virginia. Walter was a painter now. Daughter number four arrived soon a few years later, and the family lived in several homes in Danville until 1939. Walter purchased a home at 188 Clement Ave in Danville. Click HERE to see the housePaint brush and paint can

Successful businessman

Walter was one of the only four painting contractors in Danville in 1939. He probably had a thriving business. He and his family were church goers, attending the Church of God first and then the Third Avenue Christian Church later.

Life was good for Walter and his family. Walter worked, the girls attended school, and Ollie kept house.

Walter takes sick

In the mid-1940’s Walter became ill with Hodgkin’s disease. At that time radiation was the treatment for Hodgkin’s. Did Walter have radiation therapy? I don’t know.

On 14 June 1947, Walter died at the Memorial Hospital in Danville from Hodgkin’s disease. He was a young 49 years old. His four girls were your adults, none married yet. And Ollie was in her mid-40’s. Walter was buried at Highland Burial Park in Danville, Virginia.

Ollie stayed in Danville for the rest of her life and never remarried. The girls eventually married and had families of their own.

Copyright © 2016  Nancy H. Vest   All Rights Reserved