Sunday’s Obituary: Lula Green (1867-1964)

Obituary

I was just 5 years old when I met my great-great grandmother Lula for the very first time, and it wasn’t long after that meeting that she passed away. So, I’m sorry to say that I simply have no memory of her. But what I do remember is hearing family members speak fondly of her through the years since her death.

Click to read and view!

[Transcription]

LaVIDA: The Black Voice in Ft. Worth, TX
Saturday, May 2, 1964

Services Held for Mrs. Lula Green

Funeral services for Mrs. Lula Green, the mother of Rev. J. H. Green, Pastor of Mayfield Baptist Church, were conducted Wednesday, March 18, from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Chapel Hill, Texas. She was 97 years old.

Mrs. Green was the baby daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Osborne Routt and was born in Chapel Hill, Texas, where she received her early schooling. She united with this church at an early age. She met and married Mr. Jim Green on September 27, 1888. To this union, thirteen children were born. He preceded her in death.

She was a faithful churchman – and a devoted wife and mother. She believed in not sending her children but going with them to church. The example she lived day by day will ever be a goal for her family to strive to reach.

She was faithful to her church always present at every service unless providentially hindered from being there, and say to it that the family group attended with her.

She is survived by seven children namely: Miss Birdie Aldridge, Kansas; Nelson and Jim Green, Jr., Chapel Hill; Rev. John H. Green, Fort Worth; Sterling Green, California; Mrs. Sallie Lewis, Houston; and Rev. Jesse Green, also of Houston, TX. Also seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, and other relatives and friends.

Wedding Wednesday: Green-Routt, 1888

It’s Wedding Wednesday and thanks to Chappel Hill, Texas Historian, Nath Winfield, I now have the marriage license of my paternal Great-Great-Grandparents, Jim Green & Lou “Lula” Routt!

Jim Green and Lou “Lula” Routt were joined in marriage as husband and wife on the 27th day of September in 1888 by Richard Dickerson, Pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Chappel Hill, Washington County, Texas.

So if you have Jim and Lou Green from Chappel Hill, Texas in your family tree, let me hear from you because I’m . . . claiming kin!

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Source Citation:

1. “Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6B8-GMN : accessed 01 Jun 2011), Jim Green and Lou Routt, 27 Sep 1888.

Sentimental Sunday: Carrie Blanton (1883-1944)

It’s Sentimental Sunday and this daily blogging prompt allows genealogy bloggers a chance to focus on a sentimental story or memory about an ancestor, or a wonderful family tradition.

Carrie [Blanton] Chappel

Carrie Blanton was born February 28, 1883 in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas to Carey and Alice Bailey Blanton. Like her parents and eleven siblings, she grew up as a farm laborer. In addition to farming, Carrie was known as an excellent cook. I found her in the 1900 United States Federal Census working as a cook and servant for a lawyer and his wife, who ran a Boarding House, on Austin Street in Houston, Texas.

On June 2, 1902, Carrie gave birth to her first son, Joseph Chapple. On October 19, 1910, her second son, Lewis was born, but he died a month later from lung complications. I lost track of Carrie for a while, but by the mid-1920’s Carrie is listed as a widow living with her son, his wife Estella, and their children (Ella Louise, Joseph, Estella, and Carrie) in the greater 5th Ward community.

My mother, Carrie, wasn’t two years old when her mother died from Tuberculosis. On her death bed, Estella gave her four little children to her mother-in-law to raise as her own. So when Estella closed her eyes for the last time, she was able to do so knowing that her children were in the loving care of their grandmother. To better meet the needs of her grand babies, Carrie stopped working as a servant and cook and became a laundress which allowed her to work out of the home.

Carrie was a woman of high moral character who lived what she believed. She was a longtime member of Canaan Baptist Church and was the secretary that recorded the minutes when this church began at 2500 Altoona Street in Houston’s 5th Ward Community. She was highly respected by young and old, and was a true confidant and listener to those who needed someone to talk to. Folks loved talking to her because they didn’t have to worry that what they told her, would ever be repeated to anyone.

I never got a chance to know my Great-Grandmother Carrie, for she died on December 16, 1944 from heart failure, long before I was born. But, whenever I ask my mother about her, she smiles and proudly talks about what a great lady she was. But what I like hearing most from my mom was how she and her siblings thought Great-Grandmother Carrie needed a boyfriend — LOL! Whenever they would ask her why she didn’t have a boyfriend, she would take one look at them and say, “you stinky little heifers, go sit down and leave me alone!” The term “heifer” was about the extent of Carrie’s cursing. But, that didn’t deter them one bit because they took it upon themselves to find her a boyfriend anyway. The man they chose for her was — the traveling Charcoal Man — who traveled by wagon throughout the community selling charcoal. Visions of my great-grandmother dating the neighborhood “Charcoal Man” makes me chuckle! But what I respect most about her decision NOT to have a man around them while they were growing up was when she told them, “I don’t want your first experience with a man, to be a man that isn’t my husband or your grandfather.” Now those are the words of a great lady indeed!

If you have a — Carrie Blanton — falling out your family tree (especially if she’s a native Texan and lived in Houston) let me hear from you because –  I’m Claiming Kin!

Sentimental Sunday: Joseph Chapple (1902-1966)

It’s Sentimental Sunday, and this daily blogging prompt allows genealogy bloggers a chance to focus on a sentimental story or memory about an ancestor, or a wonderful family tradition.

I had the pleasure of visually introducing my maternal grandfather, Joseph Chapple, to the World Wide Web community on Wordless Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Joseph is the son of Louis and Carrie Blanton Chapple. He was born in Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas on June 2, 1902.

Even though he was born in the city of Eagle Lake, according to the April 1910 United Stated Federal Census, at age 7.5, he was living at 1609 Saulnier Street in Houston’s 4th Ward – Freedman’s Town community with his parents. Joseph’s baby brother, Lewis, was born October 19, 1910, but died a month later from lung complications. Baby Lewis’ death certificate indicates that his death took place at the family’s home at 815 Schwartz Street in Houston’s 5th Ward community. It is this death certificate that confirms the year, Grandpa Chapple came to live, work, and raise his family until his death in this area of Houston.

According to the Social Security application Joseph filed on March 12, 1937 below, he was employed by Texas & Northern Railway as a Blacksmith Helper at the Englewood Yard, one of the largest Hump yards in the United States.

He worked as a Blacksmith Helper for many years. When the older white gentleman he worked with retired, he applied for the position but was denied the job. The reason they gave for turning him down was — a Blacksmith was a white man’s job! So instead of the company recognizing him as a competent and skilled Blacksmith, they decided to hire a white college graduate for the job. Then expected Joseph to teach him everything and “show him the ropes.” When he refused to be a master teacher to someone with no experience who was to be his boss, the company closed the blacksmith shop. Little did they know closing the shop was not a problem. Because of his excellent work records, Joseph was able to transfer to the Creosote Yard where he spent his days applying creosote to train track cross-ties. He remained in the Creosote Yard until he fell off of a ladder and broke his back while painting the garage apartment he built behind his home. This fall forced him into retirement. According to the letter I received from the Railroad Retirement Board in 1994, he worked 111 service months before 1937, and continued working in the railroad industry until 1958. When he retired, he received full Railroad Retirement until his death.

Joseph met, fell in love, and married Estella Smith on 23 May 1921. I’m not sure when they met, but how they met was probably due to them both living in the 5th Ward community. It is also possible they met by association. Estella’s father, Richard Smith, worked at the same railroad yard Joseph did for years too. Regardless of how they met, they married and from that union came six births — 2 miscarriages and four children – Ella Louise, Joseph Lee, Estella, and my mom, Carrie. Unfortunately, at age 26, Estella died from Tuberculosis on July 30, 1930, and left Joseph with four young children to raise. With the help of his beloved mother, Carrie (Blanton) Chapple, all of his kids grew up happy and healthy despite the loss of their mother.

When I ask family members to recall their fondest memories of Joseph, they said:
“He had a great sense of humor!”
“He was known throughout the community for being a very reliable and honest man.”
“He sure did love his mother.”
“He was an excellent cook!”
“He was trustworthy – a man of his word.”

Grandpa Joseph Chapple was indeed a favorite of mine and his death on 23 August 1966, was very sudden! He died 28 days before my 7th birthday and the week before his death; we spent an afternoon together eating cotton candy. He introduced me to this sugary treat and then spent the whole time laughing at me as I complained and pouted about how the stuff melted in my mouth before I had a chance to really chew and enjoy it. Today when I see a bag of cotton candy, I’m reminded of my wonderful last day with Grandpa Joseph Chapple!

If you have  — Joseph Chapple — in your family tree (especially if he’s a native Texan and lived in Houston until his death in 1966) let me hear from you because —  I’m Claiming Kin!