Negro Directory, approximately 1910

Last week, TU’s Department of Special Collections acquired a list of people’s names, written in pencil in Staple and Fine Groceries account book labeled, also in pencil “Negro directory”.  Many have notations about the person, and often have street addresses. Booksellers description: “Presumed to be late early 20th C. [latest family birth date recorded is 1900]. 48 pages booklet, of which the first 15, and last with penciled entries. 6-1/8″ x 3-5/8″. Commerical booklet, designed to track grocery purchases, with imprint of Tetley’s Teas to front & rear cover. Minor wear & soiling to covers. One leaf, at center, removed.”

So we try a transcription (feel free to skim it)

Page 1

  • [Sun?  Unreadable – crossed out] Aug 14
  • Gilliam Britton/1209 Jones St./odd Husband [meaning]
  • Julia Shannon/1219 Augusta Ave.
  • [Crossed out] Rena Harris in L. G. Bailey/alley ran/Sibley Street between/Telfair and Green

Page 2

  • Laura Addison/337 Sibley Alley/woman who scours (good)
  • Aura Wright (good)/1 John St. (washerwoman)/Take Turpin Hill car/get off at Johns St ‘e keep straight on six street out left bound side to car.  John & Railroad.

Page 3

  • (Crossed out) Minerva Carleton/1224 McKinney St/Call Mr. Crouch at engine house on Granite st. & he will call her.  Washwoman.
  • Anna Binion/1721 McKinney St./Call Wartley(plumber) telephone (Mr. Hatcher’s)
  • (Crossed out) Georgia Mason (force cook) 908 Barnes St.

Page 4

  • (Crossed out) Cana Moore/824 Adams St.
  • (Crossed out) Salina Joseph/1437 R. R. St./used to wash [facrice]
  • Lucinda Williams/1727 Garden St./Take [Mouton fana] car & get off at Marburry bar 4 doors from Marbury and Garden, or

Page 5

  • take Turpin Hill car & get off at Pine St. & go through to Garden.
  • Sam Williams/1471 Reynolds/Carpenter who fixed shed and back [façade].
  • Pinkney Lewis/425 Broad St./Woodsawyer who hid boards under the porch

Page 6

  • Emma Simpkins/1622 Magnolia St./Good wash woman
  • (Crossed out) Eliza Smith/1522 Magnolia St./woman who does hauling for Lou/call Dr. Brown (unreadable)
  • (Crossed out) Cara Smith/1246 Market St./Louisville negro

Page 7

  • (Mr. Keon runs it.) Call [Luquire hom]
  • (Crossed out) Jennie Easterlin/1128 Gordon St./Call Bunnon near/bear salon courier/Marbury & Gordon. 3117 phone number
  • (Crossed out) Sarah Williamson or Scott (used to be)/953 Second Avenue/Turpin Hill car
  • Mrs. Friller’s Sam/1114 Jones St./wife cooks for Mrs. Crawford

Page 8

  • (Crossed out) Mrs. Chandler’s cleaning up woman/Lula Walker/415 Marbury St. between Green and Telfair.
  • (Crossed out) Wash woman/Annette Graham/1116 Reynolds/ (3 names are illegible)

Page 9

  • (Crossed out) (Houts Noch? or House Work)/Mary Sullivan/839 2nd Avenue/Go out Campbell and 2nd street beyond Gwinette is 2nd [avenue]/3 doors from corner Gwinette on 2nd avenue.

Page 10

  • (Crossed out) Wash woman I have [room] (good)/Willis Mims/Meather Married/Hulsa Mims/1011 First avenue/call [yes] Mr. Kirsch/phone round corner/ar
  • (Crossed out) Call 309 Mrs John W. Clark cook hand Hulda (Willie’s mother)

Page 11

  • (Crossed out) Good girl, but quiet and storied./Susie Hover/1317 Campbell St./Tuesday, jAor 7./[accarrynato] to 1316 Bleaux
  • 1458 Broad St. white woman who does curtains, quilts, and blankets.
    (Crossed out) no good/Annie Carpenter/1140 Jackson [btw] Jackson & Gwinette/wash woman/ Miss Della

Page 12

  • Jane Hudson/Antony Street near Magnolia/Good but curious
  • Margaret Bernett/929 Hopkins

Page 13

  • Laucinda [Neilirous]/call phone/Luquire 3144J/(Crossed out) car./Piquet St. & Jordan
  • (Crossed out) Regina Johnson/I think 14 John St./good cook, but lazy.
  • (Crossed out) Lizzie Knox 16 Johns St.  Miss Della’s wash-woman.  Woman next door. Rebecca washwoman.

Page 14

  • (Crossed out) Emma Thomas/ does Mrs. Boatright wash/kin [in] Augusta/phone luc
  • (Crossed out) Ella Harrison/12 or 16 Johns St. Miss Dellas’s Cook & a very good servant.

Page 15

  • Yeargrin Stone/Piquet Avenue/Call Luquire 3144J.

The final page had the following notes:

  • Harvey born, Nov. 13, 1864
  • Ma. Born Oct 13, 1844
  • Lee April 4, 1893
  • Gladys Dec 1, 1900
  • Me. April 16, 1871
  • Ma died May 9, 1914

There are no other identifying marks.  The handwriting is consistent, so it may be assumed that the compiler is the “Me” on the last page.

Based on street names this may be in Augusta, Georgia.  Many of the names appear in the Augusta Federal Census between 1900 and 1930, and quite a number appear at the correct addresses in the 1910 census.

With the assistance of a deeper database than I usually have access to, we quickly determined from first name and birth dates that this family is almost certainly:

  • Compiler, Virginia Wilkie Odom, 16 April 1871 – 2 Jul 1932, previously married to G. Lee White 11 June 1892, he died, and she remarried.  She was a middle class homemaker, who in 1910 resided at 957 Reynolds Street, Augusta, Georgia
  • Husband:  Harvey Orr Odom 13 Nov 1864-24 Jan 1936    Travelling Grocery Salesman (according to death certificate.) 1930 census Comm’l Traveller; 1920 Salesman, Wholesale Grocery;1910 Coml traveler, Grocery Co.; 1900  Drummer
  • Ma: Virginia Hubert Wilkie 13 October 1842 (Headstone) or 1944 (notebook)-17 May (headstone) or 9 May (notebook) 1914.
  • Octavius “Lee” White  4 April 1893-7 Jan 1970 [for some reason took his wife’s name and may be a half sibling]
  • Gladys Odom Ferris  1 December 1900-23 October 1986

So mystery resolved.






About Marc Carlson

The Librarian of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa since November 2005.He holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from Oklahoma State University. He has worked in McFarlin Library since 1986.
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