A few weeks ago I wrote about Devann BRAZELL STRICKLAND’s death in 1925 from eclampsia following the c-section delivery of her son, James William STRICKLAND.
Devann left behind her husband, Wylie STRICKLAND (1879-1957), and five children including the new baby, called William.
Sixteen-year old Mary (1909-1968) and ten-year old Oscar (1915-1981) could look after themselves, but newborn William and his 4-year old brothers, Willis and Wylie, could not. Perhaps Wylie, Mary, and Oscar tried to take care of the young ones. Perhaps extended family did, too.
The boys apart from the family
Whatever was tried, the magnitude of the effort overwhelmed the family. On the 1930 census, the three young ones were living at the Columbia Children’s Home in Columbia, South Carolina. Father Wylie, Mary, and Oscar were together, and Wylie was a produce salesman in Columbia.
I don’t know what transpired between 1925 and 1930 or how long the boys had been at the children’s home, but this wasn’t the end of their family story.
And back home again
I was happy to see that in 1940, the entire family was together again in one home. The 1940 census indicated that they were together in 1935, too. In 1940, Willis was an inspector at a bottling plant while Wylie, the son, and William attended school.
Full lives for each young son
Willis Melton STRICKLAND married Margaret LEWIS, and they had three children together. Willis worked several jobs but mostly worked as a truck driver. He lived in Columbia all of his life, and he died at the VA hospital in Columbia on 31 Jan 1977. I don’t know where he’s buried.
Wylie Langford STRICKLAND was in and out of the military several times, serving during WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. He lived in many places over the years. Wylie married Eva Lena GOODING (1923-2008), and they had one child. They last lived in Hardin County, Kentucky. Wylie died there on 11 Feb 1998. He is buried next to his wife at North Hardin Memorial Gardens in Radcliff, Kentucky.
I know the least about James William. STRICKLAND Aside from serving in the Navy, I don’t know what work William did. I know he was living in Charlotte in 1977 when Willis passed, and I know he was married to a woman named Jean. I also know that William passed on 23 March 1994 in Valdese, Burke County, North Carolina. I don’t know where he is buried, though.
What about the others?
Reading through the 1930 census list of children in the Columbia Children’s Home saddened me. Some of the children there were babies, and several were sibling groups like Willis, Wylie, and William. Probably Wylie, the father, had no choice but to take the boys there, and I want to believe that he visited them while they were there. He obviously didn’t abandon them since they were living back with him in 1935. Some of the other children in the home weren’t so fortunate. I think I’ll write about a few of them later this year.
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