My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Sunday, July 31, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - James Benjamin Flemming (1827-1907)

James Benjamin Flemming is my 3rd great-grandfather and the farthest Flemming ancestor that this branch of the family goes back. He was married to Sarah Linza Jackson (1837-1902) and they had seven children, four living to adulthood. My great-great-grandfather Charles Clinton Flemming (1854-1932) was their oldest. James Flemming's obituary appeared in The Rome Tribune on December 7, 1907.

J.B. Flemming, Oldest Merchant in Rome, Found Dead in Bed.
     "Very early Friday morning, Mr. James B. Flemming, one of Rome's oldest citizens, passed to death in his sleep.
James Benjamin Flemming
      Mr. Flemming left his shop Thursday evening after a full day's work and went to bed at his home on Eighth avenue that night, with no indication of being in other than his usual health. In the morning he was found, lying in his usual position, with no sign of suffering, his life having gone forth in entire peace and quietness. He had very lately expressed the hope that such might be the manner of his death.
      Mr. Flemming was seventy-nine years old, having been born in October, 1828. He had lived in Rome continuously for nearly fifty years, and had carried on a harness and saddlery business during practically the whole of that time. No other business in the city, probably, has been carried off without interruption for so long a time in one place.
     In 1850 Mr. Flemming first came to Rome, but after a short time left and returned in 1858. Since that time he has been constantly resident here, except during the time of the war, during the whole of which he served bravely in the ranks of the army.
     Mr. Flemming leaves four children, who are Mrs. R. B. Blake and Mr. Tom Flemming of Rome, Charlie Flemming of Birmingham and Oscar Flemming, who now lives in Talladega.
     In the death of this aged and respected citizen, Rome loses one of those who have made and sustained her reputation and prosperity. Mr. Flemming was undemonstrative and quiet, but a man who with never failing industry performed his part and more in the work of building up his town and aiding his fellows. His character was strong and manly, and his word could be relied on to the uttermost. His many friends will regret to miss his familiar figure and will sympathize with his children in the loss of a kind parent, a faithful citizen and a good man.
     Funeral services will be held this afternoon at the First Baptist church at two o'clock. The following gentlemen will act as pallbearers, and are requested to meet at the Banks Furniture Company at 1:20 pm: W. M. Neal, M. W. Brett, James Douglas, M.C. Kay, J. F. Hillyer, R. T. Fouche, Moody Andrews, T. C. Callahan."
Several "facts" in this article are questionable. The newspaper says his birthday was October 1828, while his headstone says October 1827, making him actually 80 years old. The paper goes on to state that James was in Rome in 1850, but we know that his first son was born in South Carolina in 1854. It then states by 1858 he was settled in Rome, but according to the 1860 U.S. Census, the family of James & Sarah Flemming were in Cassville, Georgia at that time. [see "Hometown Tuesday - Cassville, Georgia" post, 7/5/11, for more information]

Friday, July 29, 2011

FRIDAY'S FAMOUS - Pope Awards Highest Medal of Service to Family Women

Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal
 The Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice is an award of the Roman Catholic Church. The English translation of "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" is "For Church and Pope". It is also known as the "Cross of Honour". Three of my ancestors were awarded this medal, the highest medal by the Pope that can be awarded to lay people within the Roman Catholic Church. It is awarded for distinguished service to the Church by lay people and the clergy.
"The award was established by Pope Leo XIII on July 17, 1888, to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee and was originally bestowed upon those women and men who had aided and promoted the jubilee, and by other means assisted in making the jubilee and the Vatican Exposition successful." [from]
Pearl Horst Flemming
My great-grandmother Pearl Alphonsine Horst Flemming (1884-1861) received the medal from Pope John XXIII in 1960. She served the Church and the Birmingham community throughout her life. She was a member of St. Paul's Cathedral and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery. Married to Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955) for 49 years, the couple had 8 children. Her many involvements were listed in her obituary:
"A member of St. Paul's Cathedral she was very active in many Catholic organizations, including the Ladies of Charity, Jefferson County Orphans Home, Band No. 2 of St. Paul's Altar Society, Order of Martha and National Council of Catholic Women." [from The Birmingham News, September 26, 1961]
Zoe Josephine Dawes Cumberland (1887-1974) was Pearl's first cousin - Zoe's mother, Emma Horst Dawes (1865-1923), was the younger sister of Charles Frederick Horst (1856-1912), Pearl's father. Zoe was born and lived all her life in Mobile. She was a member of Joan of Arc Catholic Church in the city. Married to Thomas Parker Cumberland (1883-1973) for sixty-four years, the couple had no children. She is buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Mobile. She, too, was a recipient of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal. Her obituary lists many of the contributions that earned her this award:
"She was honored the Papal Decoration medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, Scroll of Merit from the City of Mobile for outstanding work, a member of the Electra Semmes Colston Chapter of the U.D.C. (United Daughters of the Confederacy), Past President of the Ladies of Charity, Deanery President of the National Council of Catholic Women of Mobile...." [from Mobile Register, August 21, 1974]
Mary Regina Altice Lane (1893-1979) was the half-sister of Zoe and the first cousin to Pearl, and she, too, received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal. Regina and Zoe had the same mother - Emma Horst. After Zoe's father, Patrick Henry Dawes (1861-1889) died, Emma married Charles Monroe Altice (1864-1943), Regina's father. Regina married Maurice Joseph Lane (1885-1942) and they moved to his hometown of Newton, Massaschussetts. Maurice died after only 5 years of marriage and Regina moved back to Mobile. They had no children. She lived 37 years after the death of her husband. In her obituary, her accomplishments were listed:
"She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, having served on both the Diocesan and Deanery Boards and received the Pro Ecclesia-et-Pontifice medal from Pope Pius XII. She was also a member of St. Mary's Home Auxillary, Allen Memorial Home Auxillary, Ladies of Charity, Burse Club, Woman's Club, Forum Club and other organizations." [from Mobile Register, June 19, 1979]
Other women from Alabama who are past recipients of the papal medal include Mother Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network, and Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

THURSDAY'S TREASURES - Flemming Family Baptismal Gown ca. 1880

Daniel Powell Thomas
in Family Baptismal Gown
November 1994
 [This article appeared in the LifeStyle section of The Birmingham News on November 7, 1994, page C-1]

Hand-me-down christening gown worn by 147 babies - so far

Susan O'Donnell is one of the first people called whenever the women in her family find out they're having a baby.
     And the expectant mothers have more on their minds than just spreading the good news. They want to make sure their baby will be able to wear the christening gown that has been worn by five generations.
     "They've got to get their name in the pot and reserve it for that month," said Mrs. O'Donnell, who keeps the gown at her house in Homewood.
     Her grandmother, Odalie Fortier Horst, sewed the gown by hand in 1880, and Mrs. O'Donnell's uncle, Charles Frederick Horst, was the first baby to wear it.
     Since then, 147 babies - five members of the first generation, 15 members of the second generation, 45 of the third generation, 67 of the fourth generation and 15 of the fifth generation have worn the gown.
     Daniel Powell Thomas - Mrs. O'Donnell's great-grandson and Mrs. Horst's great-great-great-grandson - was the last baby to be christened in the dress on Sept. 25 at St. Peter's Catholic Church. His mother, Susan Powell Thomas, his grandmother, Barbara O'Donnell Powell, and his brother, Matthew, all had wore the gown.
     "It's a beautiful gown," Mrs. O'Donnell said. "It's so elaborate I tell everybody it's a good thing it takes a woman nine months (to have a baby) or she'd never have finished it."

from The Birmingham News  article
     The full-length gown and petticoat are embellished with embroidery and lace that Mrs. Horst made by hand. "To me, that's what makes the dress exquisite," said Mrs. O'Donnell.
     The gown has been worn by babies in a number of states, including Virginia, Rhode Island, Illinois and Louisiana. Three sets of twins have been christened in the ensemble: one baby wearing the gown while the other wore the petticoat, Mrs. O'Donnell said.
     Mrs. O'Donnell and her seven brothers and sisters all wore the gown, as did Mrs. O'Donnell's eight children, 20 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
     "When I was having my first baby (John Huber O'Donnell Jr.), my mama was freshening up the dress," Mrs. O'Donnell said.
     "My husband said we weren't going to put that old country dress on that baby, we'd buy him his own clothes," Mrs. O'Donnell said. "I told him that Mama was going to disown him, and he liked my Mama's cooking, so he let the baby wear it."
     So far, every baby has worn the gown, except for Mrs. O'Donnell's sister's granddaughter. The child lives in Chicago, and Mrs. O'Donnell was afraid to send it in the mail.
     "I told my sister if she wanted to come get it and take it back with her, she could," Mrs. O'Donnell said. "But I wasn't about to send it. I know you can get insurance, but what good is the money if you don't have the gown?"

     Although all the lace and embroidery is original, the gown has been repaired, Mrs. O'Donnell said.
     "Some babies weren't as kind as others, and it was beginning to look seedy around the neck," she said. "And the petticoat had to be patched because so many beauty pins had left holes in it."
     Following a tradition in her family, Mrs. O'Donnell was the first person to kiss Daniel following his baptism. The oldest member of the family always receives the first kiss she said.
     The kiss was extra-special because Daniel was Mrs. O'Donnell's birthday present.
     "He was born on my 85th birthday, just like Susan promised he would be," Mrs. O'Donnell said.
                                                           - written by Scottie Vickery

When my second son, Daniel, was born, I so wanted to honor my grandmother and the historic gown that our family held so dear. With my mother's help, I sent a letter to the newspaper to tell them about the dress and it's history in our family. To our delight, a reporter called me and we set up a time for Daniel to be photographed wearing the gown. She also interviewed Grandmom. Daniel was three months old at the time.

I don't know how many more family babies have been baptized since this article ran 17 years ago. My youngest child, now 14, and my nephew, almost 16, both wore it. That brings the number up to at least 149.

Since my grandmother passed away, the baptismal gown is being cared for by another family member. If you are a descendant of Odalie Fortier Horst and would like your baby to be baptized in the gown, please let me know and I'll get you in touch with its caretaker.
from The Birmingham News article

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY'S PHOTO - Grandma and Grandpa Flemming, ca. 1913

Charlie & Lizzie Flemming, with granddaughter Flo
(name of dog unknown)
Birmingham, Alabama ca. 1913
My great-great-grandfather, Charles Clinton Flemming (June 23, 1854-January 26, 1932), was the oldest of seven children born to James Flemming (1827-1907) and Sarah Jackson (1837-1902). Born in Darlington, South Carolina, Charlie, as he was known, was raised in Rome, Georgia. It was here that he met his future wife, Elizabeth Agnes McCaffrey (December 23, 1858-July 17, 1922). Lizzie was the third of thirteen children born to Thomas McCaffrey (1832-1896) and Charlotte McCluskey (1838-1917).

Charlie and Lizzie married on April 9, 1877 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rome. Together they had ten children. The family moved to Birmingham, Alabama, after the birth of their fifth child, in the mid-1880's. At the time of the 1900 Census, the family was living at 2500 1st Avenue (the Red Mountain Expressway stands where their house once stood), with their eight living children, including my great-grandfather Harry Flemming, age 22. Also living with the family was Roxie Sanduf, their 30-year-old black house servant from Georgia. Charlie was the Yardmaster at the downtown Railroad Station; Harry was a train Engineer.

I remember my grandmother, Susie Flemming O'Donnell (1909-1999), proudly telling the story that her grandfather Charlie had one of the first automobiles in the city of Birmingham (or was it the first?). If anyone knows what kind of car this is, please let me know!

In the backseat of the car next to Lizzie is their first grandchild - Florence Elizabeth Flemming. Flo, as she was called, was born in 1904, the only child of Charles Clinton Flemming, Jr. (1884-1935) and Marie Sophia Fidger (1884-1908). When her mother died, Flo and her father moved in with his parents. Charles remarried in January 1910, marrying Katherine "Kate" Aurelia Lambert (1885-1935) and together had seven children. Flo stayed with her grandparents until marrying Horace Thomas Kilpatrick (1900-1958) at the age of 18. They moved to Montgomery; the date of her death is unknown.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Paul Augustus Boulo married my 3rd great-aunt Luciana "Lucy" Fortier in Mobile, Alabama in 1888. Paul was born in Mobile on June 13, 1842. His parents were immigrants - Paul Boulo (1809-before 1880) was born in Genoa, Italy; Ursule C. (March 1823-before 1910) was born in France. Paul was the oldest of eight children.

On October 13, 1861, Paul enlisted with the 21st Alabama Regiment Volunteer Infantry Company E. He was a private, one of 71, in "Woodruff Rifles". The regiment originally stayed at Fort Gaines in Mobile until March 1862. According to the Alabama Archives website, "it remained there a few days, then moved to Corinth (Mississippi), where it was brigaded under Gen. Gladden. The regiment took part in the battle of Shiloh, where it lost six color-bearers in succession, and 200 killed and wounded out of about 650 engaged and was complimented in general orders."

Paul Boulo, at the age of 19, participated in the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, April 6-7, 1862. On the first day of the battle he was severely wounded in action. Of the 84 members of Company E, 17 were wounded, 3 were missing and 8 were killed - a 27% casualty rate. Paul survived his wounds but was discharged due to the disabling wound, on July 5, 1862. He continued as a volunteer in Mobile in the Ordnance Division, responsible for weapons and ammunition in the city.

Boulo Family ca. 1901
(L to R) May, Lucy, Joseph, Paul Boulo; (standing back) Paul, Jr.
 [daughter Aimee died in 1900 at age 9]

In 1870, Paul listed his occupation in the Census as "City Tax Collector"; he was living at home with his mother and younger siblings. By 1880, he was working as a clerk. In 1888, at the age of 46, he married 27-year-old Lucy Fortier (1861-1942), the younger sister of Odalie Fortier Horst (1857-1920), my great-great-grandmother. Lucy, along with her twin brother Lucian "Lucie" (1861-1884) were the next-to-youngest of eleven children, born in New Orleans to Jacques Omer Fortier (1813-1867) and Augustine Melanie Laperle DeGruy (1822-1872), my 3rd-great-grandparents.

After their marriage Paul and Lucy had four children. Paul worked as a grocer and liquor dealer. Paul died on March 19, 1909. His obituary listed his military history:
"He was a member of Raphael Semmes Camp No. 11 U.C.V. (United Confederate Veterans). He enlisted and went to the front at the call to arms at the beginning of the Civil war, as a member of Company E, Twenty-first Alabama Regiment Volunteer Infantry, and was wounded in the battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862. There are only three surviving members of the company." [Mobile Register, March 20, 1909]

"As a result of the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander in the area, was forced to fall back, giving up Kentucky and much of West and Middle Tennessee. He chose Corinth, Mississippi, a major transportation center, as the staging area for an offensive against Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee before the Army of the Ohio, under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, could join it. The Confederate retrenchment was a surprise, although a pleasant one, to the Union forces, and it took Grant, with about 40,000 men, some time to mount a southern offensive, along the Tennessee River, toward Pittsburg Landing. Grant received orders to await Buell’s Army of the Ohio at Pittsburg Landing. Grant did not choose to fortify his position; rather, he set about drilling his men many of which were raw recruits.
Johnston originally planned to attack Grant on April 4, but delays postponed it until the 6th. Attacking the Union troops on the morning of the 6th, the Confederates surprised them, routing many. Some Federals made determined stands and by afternoon, they had established a battle line at the sunken road, known as the “Hornets Nest.” Repeated Rebel attacks failed to carry the Hornets Nest, but massed artillery helped to turn the tide as Confederates surrounded the Union troops and captured, killed, or wounded most. 
Johnston had been mortally wounded earlier and his second in command, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, took over. The Union troops established another line covering Pittsburg Landing, anchored with artillery and augmented by Buell’s men who began to arrive and take up positions. Fighting continued until after dark, but the Federals  held. By the next morning, the combined Federal forces numbered about 40,000, outnumbering Beauregard’s army of less than 30,000. Beauregard was unaware of the arrival of Buell’s army and launched a counterattack in response to a two-mile advance by William Nelson’s division of Buell’s army at 6:00 am, which was, at first, successful. Union troops stiffened and began forcing the Confederates back. Beauregard ordered a counterattack, which stopped the Union advance but did not break its battle line. At this point, Beauregard realized that he could not win and, having suffered too many casualties, he retired from the field and headed back to Corinth.
On the 8th, Grant sent Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, with two brigades, and Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, with his division, in pursuit of Beauregard. They ran into the Rebel rearguard, commanded by Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, at Fallen Timbers. Forrest’s aggressive tactics, although eventually contained, influenced the Union troops to return to Pittsburg Landing. Grant’s mastery of the Confederate forces continued; he had beaten them once again. The Confederates continued to fall back until launching their mid-August offensive."
                   Union                                                Confederate
               Dead: 1,754                                          Dead: 1,723
               Wounded: 8,408                                   Wounded: 8,012
               Missing: 2,885                                      Missing: 959
                  Total: 13,047                                        Total: 10,694

Sunday, July 24, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - William George McCaffrey (1877-1897)

Will McCaffrey
 William George McCaffrey, born in Rome, Georgia on May 31, 1877, was the eleventh of thirteen children born to Thomas McCaffrey (1832-1896) and Charlotte McCluskey (1838-1917). Thomas and Charlotte are my 3rd great-grandparents. Will, as he was called, was the younger brother of my great-great-grandmother Elizabeth "Lizzie" McCaffrey Flemming (1858-1922). Will is my 3rd-great-uncle.

On Saturday, March 22, 1897, at age 19, Will died from complications after having had an appendectomy earlier in the week. Two notices of his death appeared in the local Rome newspaper. He was buried in Rome's historic Myrtle Hill Cemetery.

"Under the wings of midnight, the angel of death stole down to claim the immortal spirit of Will McCaffrey. Hovering over the home until the early hours grew apace, it swooped in, and upon its gloomy pinions, bore it away to rest. The hush that precedes the angelic visitation settled over the home only yesterday evening, but lingering on until 1:25 this morning the tired spirit left the weakened flash. A baby softly cooed and laughed in the quiet household, where the loving sisters softly sobbed as the end grew nearer. The awful dawning realization of death, makes this infantile simplicity more marked, and we are tempted to pray that the grief-stricken sisters be made as little children. An humble resignation to His sweet will, would then be immeasurably easier. May that love that sustained the anxious sisters, as they fearlessly hurried for physicians at the midnight hours of his early illness, still be to them a consolation, for he said he was ready to go. God will send an angel in the home to take the place of the comforter to the mother, and protector to the sisters, and though seemingly reft of the one who so bravely and faithfully took the father's place, yet, angel watchers guard you, mother- angel faces guide you, sisters."  [March 22, 1897]

Death's Chilling Touch Ends a Bright Young Life.
He Never Rallied Since the Operation For Appendicites Was Performed Last Monday -
The Funeral Today

"Yesterday morning at 1:25 the soul of young Will McCaffrey passed away.
Since the operation performed on him last Monday afternoon for appendicities (sic) he has steadily sank, and the end was expected at any time.
 Will McCafferey (sic) was on the threshold of young manhood - lacking only a few months of being twenty years of age. He was a splendid young fellow, upright, honorable and a general favorite among all his acquaintances.
He was the son of the late Capt. T. J. McCaffrey, and the comfort and solace of his widowed mother. Her loss is great, and the tenderest sympathy of every one goes to her in the hour of sorrow.
 Young McCaffrey was a devout Catholic. The services will be held at the Catholic church this morning at 11:30 o'clock by Father Clifford.
 The following gentlemen will act as pall bearers, Eugene Logan, Chas. Barclay, Stephen Devorski, W. Kane, D. Kane and Alex Bonnyman.
 From the different fire companies the following honorary pall bearers have been selected, R.C. Tippin and Sam Taylor from No. 4, Sam Hardin and Ed West from Hook and Ladder, Bailey Gordon and M.D. McOsker from No. 1, Fred Hanson and J.K. Williamson from No. 2." [March 23, 1897]

W. G. McCaffrey
Myrtle Hill Cemetery
Rome, Georgia

Friday, July 22, 2011

FRIDAY'S FORGOTTEN - Horst Family Slaves

Lizzie and Jimmie
"Well done of God to halve the lot,
And give them all the sweetness,
To us, the empty room and cot,
To them, the Heaven's completeness."

Albert and Willie
"While none shall tell them of our tears,
These human tears now falling,
Till after a few patient years
One home shall take us all in."
In my Dad's research and writings on the family of Martin Horst (1830-1878), my 3rd-great-grandfather, he wrote about the slaves that Martin owned as a Liquor Dealer and owner of the City Exchange Saloon in Mobile. At the time of the 1860 U.S. Census - Slave Schedule, Martin owned one slave, a 32-year-old black female. He also held ownership of four others as the Administrator of the estate of Tobias Berg, his wife's first husband: a 20-year-old black male, a 21-year-old mulatto female, a 12-year-old mulatto male, and a 9-year-old mulatto female. The Schedule also noted that they lived together in one slave house.The government didn't ask for their names on the census, as they were were only listing "property". It was said that Martin may have owned as many as ten or eleven slaves at one time.

"At the end of the war, most of the family's slaves had left. The first to go was one male slave that Horst had bought for $1,000, the most that he had paid for any of them. Two of the older females stayed with the family until they died and are buried in graves in the Horst family lot in Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile. One of the former male slaves, a trained barber, continued to share and cut the hair of prominent Mobilians and, it was said, brought the money back to Mrs. Horst." [from the as-yet-unpublished Horst Family, by William A. Powell, Jr.]

The graves of these four people - Albert and Willie, Lizzie and Jimmie - are in the family plot of Martin Horst (1868-1928), the youngest son of Martin and Apollonia Weinschenk Horst. Their graves don't include last names, so it is possible they were still slaves at the time of their deaths. Neither headstone includes a birth date or date of death.

But these were not simple headstones, or unmarked graves. In fact, of all the headstones for our family members throughout this cemetery or the Catholic Cemetery, these were actually the most ornate, and two of the few that had more than just a name and date on it. They were buried along side the family. Obviously these four individuals were cared about, and in a way considered "family".

But nothing personal is known about them. Were they married to each other? Were they parent and child? Siblings? If any of them were parents, and have descendants tracing their family tree, would they have any way to know where to find their ancestors? Did anyone ever lay flowers, or come to visit in the years since they died?

They meant something to someone once, a long time ago, in a world far, far away. They weren't born into freedom like our Horst ancestors were, or like we were. Maybe they never knew what freedom was. But for a time, in some way we may never know, they were "family".

The verses engraved on their headstones come from a poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)- "A Child's Grave at Florence," published in 1856.

THURSDAY'S TREASURES - Aunt Fannie's Pocketwatch

It's my hope each Thursday to highlight one family keepsake that has been handed down two or more generations, and tell a little about its history and the person or people associated with it. I won't be including who has the treasure now, only "great-grandchild", "great-great-nephew", etc. So if you have a special treasure that you would love to share with the family PLEASE let me know - take a digital picture or two and write up the item's history and send it to me. It will be a wonderful way to share a special family heirloom with family members everywhere.

Frances "Fannie" O'Donnell was born about 1862 in Kentucky to Patrick O'Donnell (1823-1911) and Bridget Kennedy (1838-1883), my great, great grandparents. She was the fourth of seven children, all girls except one boy, John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937), my great-grandfather.

Fannie married very young - the story is that she was just 16 when she married Jerry Delaney. Little is known about Jerry. The couple married and went to Yellowstone National Park for their honeymoon. This was the world's first national park, having been established in March 1872. They brought back among other things a souvenir glass from their trip. This was one of many adventures they no doubt thought they would share together throughout their life.

Unfortunately, that was not meant to be. Within 6 months of their marriage, Jerry had died and Fannie was a young widow. She never remarried. It's unclear what happened to her for many years; it's most likely she moved in with her parents or sisters. Fannie was living with one of her older sisters Mollie (1859-1936), her husband Patrick Kenealy (1861-1939) and their four children in Louisville at the time of the 1910 Census. She was still living with them 10 years later, according to the 1920 Census. But by the 1930 Census, Fannie had moved to Birmingham and was living with her brother John and his son Charles, age 23.

"Aunt Fannie"
Frances O'Donnell Delaney
My great-grandfather died on December 6, 1937, while in Louisville, Kentucky, attending the funeral of his brother-in-law. Fannie, who was by then 75, moved into her nephew and his wife's home (my grandparents) in a Birmingham suburb. John Huber O'Donnell, my grandfather and the oldest son of John Martin, and his wife Susie Flemming  were living in Homewood, south of the city, along with their three small children, including my mother. "Aunt Fannie" was given a room upstairs in the house, where she spent much of her time. She adored my Mom, who had just turned 3, always holding her and lavishing attention on her.

This no doubt was the reason that when she died, on June 1, 1939, in her bedroom upstairs, she left her wedding ring to my mother. My Mom cherished that ring, and throughout my life I always heard about "Aunt Fannie" and the special gift she gave to Mom. Unfortunately, sometime in the early '80's, while work was being done inside Mom's house, her ring ended up missing. It has never been recovered.
After my grandmother died, Mom chose another special keepsake of "Aunt Fannie's" from her estate. And this is how "Aunt Fannie's" pocketwatch was passed on to me. I don't know if this was a wedding gift or just a special watch but it is beautiful and I feel very honored to have this very special family treasure.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY'S PHOTO - Snow Day in Birmingham 1919

Susie, OD and Harry Flemming, Jr.
January 3, 1919

This small photo was found incorrectly stuffed in a file full of pictures of one of my Dad's families. It's a photo of my grandmother Susie Flemming (O'Donnell), age 9, Odalie "OD" Flemming (Daly), 7 1/2, and Harry Flemming, Jr., almost 6. They're obviously standing in several inches of snow, not very warmly dressed, and looking as excited as little children in Birmingham look now-a-days when they wake up to find snow on the ground - absolutely thrilled!

I love this picture, showing my grandmother and her siblings experiencing what must have been a rare event for the city - maybe it was the biggest snow they'd ever seen. I know it wasn't until I was an adult that Birmingham had that much snow, and that came with the Blizzard of '93.

A couple of months ago I was at the downtown library doing some genealogical research when I stumbled across an article in The Birmingham Age-Herald newspaper, from January 4, 1919, reporting a 6-inch snowfall in the city. Two photos included in the paper looked quite unique for our city and then it hit me - this must be the snowfall in my grandmother's photograph. I've transcribed the article below, to give you a little added flavor of what the day, and the world, was like on that Friday when this rediscovered photo was taken.

[from The Birmingham Age-Herald, Saturday, January 4, 1919]
Six Inches of Snow Covers Ground, Street Cars Are Halted, Jitneys Stopped and Fords Stalled

      "Have a heart, Mr. Horton
this is not the north pole, but is supposed to be the sunny south.
     You promised us 22 above and we prepared for that, but you turned a very unkind trick during Thursday night and we woke up yesterday morning feeling that we were living in a clime more suited to polar bears than human beings
     You evidently lost your grip on the mercury and let it slip down to 11.
     Please don't do it again.

Eleven above was the lowest official registration of the temperature, according to the local weather bureau, that point being reached at 3 o'clock yesterday morning, but the six inches of snow covered with a coating of ice, made it feel more like the bottom had dropped out of the thermometers. Yesterday was the coldest of the winter, but not the coldest ever recorded here. On January 13, 1917, zero was missed by one point, but the very coldest day in Birmingham since the government began keeping records here was February 14, 1899, when official thermometers registered 10 below.

From The Birmingham Age-Herald
January 4, 1919

The snow and ice and cold put street cars out of commission, stopped jitneys, flivvers and other horseless vehicles, made late arrivals at places of business the rule, spoiled the good tempers of hundreds of persons, introduced many heads and faces to the slippery sidewalks, bursted water pipes, froze heating systems and played the mischief generally.

Street cars scheduled to leave the ends of their routes at 4 o'clock got away on time, but never reached the other end until hours afterwards. The greatest delay occurred between 6 and 8 o'clock, during which time many cars were hopelessly stuck along their lines. Hundreds of people walked from their homes to their places of business, tired and sore and not in a very good humor for business.

The few sleighs stored away from other snows in years past were brought out, dusted off and put into commission. There are very few of these, however in Birmingham, so the snow was a blessing to only a limited number of people.

The sun came out about 8 o'clock and for a time gave promise of soon melting the snow and ice, but it didn't stay out very long. The job apparently was too much for him, so he hid his face behind lowering and threatening clouds for the balance of the day, and by 1 o'clock the mercury started downward again. Weather Observer E. C. Horton stated during the afternoon that this morning would not be quite so cold as yesterday morning, about four degrees less cold, that's all he would promise.

About 11 o'clock the long, heavy icicles that had formed at the eaves of the Brown-Marx Building began to thaw out, and breaking loose, fell to the street with a resounding crash, startling hundreds of people in that vicinity and endangering lives, too. Employees of the building stretched ropes along the curbs while other employees went up on the roof and broke loose those that had not already fallen.

During the performance large crowds congregated on opposite corners and watched for developments. Fortunately no casualties were reported.

It is an ill wind that blows no good is an old saying and old timers are pointing to the alleged fact that hard freezes are good for the farm lands, killing off destructive plant germs and insects, enriching the soil and making for better crops. That's a consolation, but not a cure for frost bites, frozen ears, bursted pipes, plumbers' bills and discomforts of homes built to protect against cool breezes of temperate zones.

The weather forecast for today is cold and fair, with indications of rising temperatures."

Monday, July 18, 2011

MONDAY'S MILITARY - Georg Huber (1880-1934)

German Troops during World War I
Georg Huber (standing, 2nd from right)

Georg Huber
Georg Huber, my 1st cousin three times removed, was born in Alzey, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, on March 20, 1880. His father, Georg Huber (1838-1926), was the brother of Phillip Huber (1847-1901) - my great-great-Grandfather. Their parents were Georg Huber (1809-1900) and Eva Katherina Fauth (1807-1875), my 3rd-great-grandparents. The Hubers lived in Florsheim, Hessen, Germany.

Phillip Huber left Germany and came to America about 1868, settled in Bowling Green, Kentucky and married Barbara Brunett (1852-1896). Phillip worked as a miller and together they had seven children. After Barbara's death, Phillip and their four surviving children moved to Bessemer, Alabama. Phillip's daughter Mary (1873-1913) married John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937) and together they had four children, including my maternal grandfather John Huber O'Donnell (1905-1964).

Georg Huber
"Mineral water & Lemonade Factory"
Phillip's brother Georg, their parents and remaining siblings remained in Germany. Georg married Margaretha Schollenberger (1852-1921) and they had one child, Georg. Georg served in the military and fought in World War I. He survived the war, married Phillipina Regner (1882-1976) and they had one daughter, Anna Katherina Huber (1914-1985), my second cousin, twice removed. Georg died on April 8, 1934 in his hometown of Alzey, Germany.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - William Jackson (1800-1879)

William Jackson
William Jackson, my 4th great-Grandfather, was born October 18, 1800, in South Carolina. His parents' names are unknown. He married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown), born in 1802, and they raised six children in Darlington, SC, including their middle daughter Sarah Linza (1837-1902).

Sarah married James Benjamin Flemming (1827-1907), a citizen of Darlington, SC; they are my 3rd great-grandparents. James and Sarah Flemming moved their young family to Georgia - first to Cassville, then to Rome, where they lived out their lives. They had seven children, including my great-great-grandfather Charles Clinton Flemming (1854-1932).

Sometime after 1860, William and Elizabeth left South Carolina and followed daughter Sarah and her family to Georgia. They, too, settled in Rome. William worked as a tailor while living in Rome. On February 2, 1870, his wife Elizabeth died from Typhoid Fever. Later that year, William was living with his daughter and her family according to the 1870 Census.

On February 5, 1879, William Jackson died at the age of 78. His obituary was published in the Rome Tribune:

Death of an Aged and Esteemed Citizen

Mr. William Jackson, one of Rome's oldest and most respected citizens, died at the home of his son-in-law Mr. J.B. Flemming, yesterday morning about 5 o'clock. Mr. Jackson was a native of South Carolina, and was in his seventy-ninth year, having been born 18th October, 1800. Up to a few days ago, he was to be seen on our streets, always cheerful, and wearing the countenance and smile of an honest man.
His funeral will take place this morning at 10 o'clock at the Baptist church and he will be buried with Masonic honors in Myrtle Hill Cemetery.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

SATURDAY'S STRUCTURE - Felicity Plantation, St. James Parrish, Louisiana

Felicity Plantation
Location: Highway 18, Vacherie, Louisiana, in St. James Parrish
[photo courtesy]

Felicite Emma Aime Fortier
Felicite Emma Aime was born February 26, 1823, in St. James Parrish, Louisiana, outside New Orleans. She is descended, as am I, from Michel Fortier (1725-1785) and Perinne Langlois (1734-1804), her great-great-grandparents. Michel and Perinne Fortier are my 6th great-grandparents. Felicite Aime is my 3rd cousin, 4 times removed.

On June 30, 1841, Felicite married Alexander Septime Fortier (b. May 17, 1816). He, too, is descended from Michel Fortier. His father was Louis Edmond Fortier (1784-1849). Edmond was the older brother of Marie Felicite Julie Fortier (1778-1806), Felicite's paternal grandmother. This meant that Francois Gabriel "Valcour" Aime (1797-1867), Septime's wife's father was also his first cousin - and his father-in-law. Septime is my 2nd cousin, 5 times removed. 

Fortier Family Grave
St. Louis Cemetery #3
Felicite and Septime had fourteen children together, celebrating fifty-seven years of marriage before his death on August 13, 1898. Felicite died December 1, 1905. They are buried in the Fortier family grave in St. Louis Cemetery #3 in New Orleans.

This history of Felicity Plantation was found on
"Built in 1846, Felicity Plantation was a wedding gift to Emma Félicité Aime from her father, the fabled Gabriel Valcour Aime. Valcour Aime, born in St. Charles Parish in 1797, was well-connected in New Orleans and in the St. James Parish plantation country along the Mississippi River. In 1819, he married Josephine Roman, sister of Gov. André Bienvenu Roman, also a sugar planter. A.B. Roman led Louisiana from 1831 to 1835 and again from 1839 to 1844. Roman is credited with championing education and prison reform, and was an opponent of secession.
The area where Aime and his family lived was settled mostly by French planters and has been called the Acadian Coast to distinguish it from the downriver German Coast, settled in the 1700s. Valcour Aime was so wealthy that he was sometimes called the Louis XIV of Louisiana. One of the tracts of land that Aime once owned now holds Oak Alley Plantation. Aime bought the property in 1820 and gave it to his wife's brother, Jacques Télésphore Roman, in 1836 in exchange for an aging Roman family home just downriver.
Aime's fortune was at its zenith when his second daughter, Emma Félicité, married Septime Fortier. The planter gave Felicity Plantation to them as a wedding gift, and the Fortiers had 14 children there (although not all lived through childhood.)
The Fortiers continued to live in St. James Parish as indicated in the 1860 census. But by 1870, they had moved to New Orleans, where Septime was in a wholesale grocery business. In 1880, they lived on Bayou Road with four of their children. Septime died in 1898, and at the time of the 1900 census, Félicité and her unmarried daughter Anna were living at 2642 Dumaine St., the home of daughter Nathalie and Nathalie's husband, Camil Brou. Félicité died in 1905. 
The Bank of the Americas acquired part of Felicity Plantation in 1873, and the property changed hands three times before being sold in 1889 to Saturin Waguespack, a descendant of one of the original settlers of the German Coast and the forbearer of the family that still owns Felicity.
In 1907, Waguespack merged Felicity with St. Joseph Plantation (in which he had previously owned a one-third interest, along with two cousins) to form the St. Joseph Planting and Manufacturing Corp. Two family members, now in their 90s, make Felicity their home today. The land they live on still bears sugar cane, just as it did when Valcour Aime ruled the Acadian Coast from Le Petit Versailles."

Felicity Plantation was the setting of the 2005 horror movie The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands and John Hurt. The film focuses on a young hospice nurse who acquires a job at a Terrebonne Parish plantation home, and becomes entangled in a mystery involving the house, its former inhabitants, and the hoodoo rituals and magic that took place there. [from Wikipedia]

Friday, July 15, 2011

FRIDAY'S FAMOUS - Bishop Paul Waldschmidt

Bishop Paul Edward Waldschmidt
 Paul Edward Waldschmidt was born on January 7, 1920 in Vanderburgh, Indiana, the only child of Edward Benjamin Waldschmidt (1885-1964) and Olga Marie Moers (1893-1933). He is descended from Margaret Weinschenk (1815-UNK) and Joseph Andrew Witt (1810-1860), a native of Bavaria. Margaret (my 3rd great-grand-aunt) was an older sister of my 3rd-great-Grandmother Apollonia Weinschenk Horst. Margaret & Joseph Witt's oldest child, Theodore Witt (1837-1921) was the Bishop's great-grandfather, and the cousin of my great-great-grandfather Charles F. Horst. His paternal grandmother was Catherine "Kate" Witt (1863-1937), the oldest child of Theodore Witt and his wife Juliana Adler (1831-1900). Kate and my great-grandmother Pearl Horst Flemming were second cousins. [All this makes the Bishop my 4th cousin once removed.]

The Bishop died October 20, 1994 in Portland, Oregon. His Obituary gives some of the highlights of a life well spent:

"Roman Catholic Bishop Paul Waldschmidt, former president of the University of Portland and a longtime advocate of civil rights, has died. He was 74.
Bishop Waldschmidt died Thursday in St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center, a week after suffering a heart attack in the hospital.
Bishop Waldschmidt, who retired in 1990, had been in poor health in recent years, suffering from diabetes and other ailments.
He became president of the University of Portland in 1962. When he left 16 years later, enrollment had nearly tripled, to more than 2,500.
"The bishop was, without a doubt, the most significant and accomplished president in the history of the University of Portland," said the Rev. David Tyson, the current president.
In the 1960s, Bishop Waldschmidt marched for civil rights. He was the driving force behind the Greater Portland Council of Churches, which became Ecumenical Ministries, believed the largest local interfaith group in the nation.
He worked with the Jewish community years before the Vatican officially encouraged such efforts.
Pope Paul VI appointed Bishop Waldschmidt auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Portland in 1978. The archdiocese covers western Oregon and has 250,000 members.
With the resources of the church, Bishop Waldschmidt provided housing, jobs and language training for 10,000 refugees of various faiths, most of them from Southeast Asia.
"He was one of the greatest defenders of human civil rights of any churchman I've known," said Rodney Page, executive director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.
The National Conference of Christians and Jews honored Bishop Waldschmidt with its human-relations award in 1979. In 1984, he was named First Citizen of Portland.
Bishop Waldschmidt was born in Evansville, Ind. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1942 and was ordained in 1946.
Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Interment will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Notre Dame."

Waldschmidt Hall
University of Portland
 Waldschmidt Hall
Waldschmidt Hall (originally West Hall) is an academic building at the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon, United States. Constructed in 1891 as West Hall, the building was originally part of the now defunct Portland University located in North Portland overlooking the Willamette River. The Romanesque style structure built of brick and stone stands five stories tall. The hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and renovated in 1992, the same year it took the current name. Waldschmidt, the oldest building on campus, now houses the school’s administration offices and some classrooms. (from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY'S PHOTO - "Sarah, Lottie & Odalie - Three Little Sisters-in-Law"

 (left to right) Sarah and Lottie Flemming with sister-in-law Odalie Horst
Birmingham, Alabam  ca. 1904-06

Sarah Marie Flemming (b. December 17, 1893) and her older sister Charlotte "Lottie" Teresa (b. September 3, 1891) were the two youngest daughters of my great-great-grandparents Charles Clinton Flemming (1854-1932) and Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie" McCaffrey (1858-1922). Their oldest brother Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955) was my great-Grandfather.

Odalie Felice Horst (b. January 20, 1896) was the youngest of five children born to my great-great-grandparents Charles Frederick Horst (1856-1912) and Odalie Felice Fortier (1857-1920). Her older sister Pearl Alphonsine Horst (1884-1961) was my great-Grandmother.

Harry Flemming (Sarah and Lottie's brother) and Pearl Horst (Odalie's sister) were married on April 18, 1906, at St. Paul's Cathedral in Birmingham. [Interestingly, this is the same day of the Great San Francisco Earthquake!] They had eight children, including my grandmother Susie Flemming O'Donnell.

Why these 3 little girls were together here, dressed all in white, I don't know. Could it have been the wedding day of their older siblings? Were they celebrating another important holiday, or was this typical dress for young ladies of the day?  (If anyone knows, please share the reason with me, please!)
NOTE: The baby doll in Lottie's hands.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HOMETOWN TUESDAY: Forst, Baden, Germany

Apollonia Weinschenk, my 3rd great-Grandmother, was born on March 9, 1829, in the town of Forst, Baden, Germany. Her parents (my 4th great-grandparents) were Matthew Weinschenk and Maria Barbara Biebel (b. June 4, 1787), both from Forst. Apollonia was the youngest of fourteen children. Church records show that she was baptized at the Catholic church in Forst, on March 10, 1829. Family history has it that her parents died around 1842-43. It was after this that she and several of her young siblings immigrated to America; she would have been about 14 at the time. She settled in Mobile, Alabama, along with older sisters Margaret (1816-UNK) and Catherine (1822-UNK).

Apollonia Weinschenk Horst
ca.. 1907
On December 15, 1846, at the age of 17, Apollonia married Tobias Berg (1819-1853), a native of Zonsweir, Baden, Germany. Together they had four children, two son who each died soon after their births, and two daughters. Apollonia and Tobias owned and operated the City Exchange Saloon in Mobile. After Tobias death at the age of 34, Apollonia met and soon married Martin Horst (1830-1878),  from Ober-Ohmen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. They were wed December 28, 1854 at Mobile's Cathedral. Martin is my 3rd great-Grandfather.

Apollonia and Martin had eight children of their own, six living to adulthood. Their oldest, Charles Frederick Horst (1856-1912) is my great-great-Grandfather. Martin continued to run the saloon, through the Civil War and Yankee takeover of Mobile. Martin and Apollonia built the Horst House (now a Mobile landmark) and raised their large family, two blocks from the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, where Apollonia provided flowers for the services from her garden. Martin became the first elected Mayor of Mobile after reconstruction, in 1871-72. He died in 1878 from Bright's Disease, a disease of the kidneys. Apollonia lived thirty years longer.

Her sons took over the saloon and the running of the family's liquor dealership. Later in life, Apollonia took on borders, including many German immigrants. She died on April 24, 1908, at the age of 79, from "paralysis" (a stroke). She and Martin are buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Mobile.

Forst an der Weinstrasse, Germany
Forst, Baden, Germany
Forst an der Weinstraße (or Forst an der Weinstrasse) is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It was known as Forst when our ancestors lived here.

The municipality lies at the hilly western edge of the Upper Rhine Plain in the Eastern Palatinate (Vorderpfalz). As its name suggests, it is also on the German Wine Route (Deutsche Weinstraße) in the Palatinate wine region.

The German Wine Route was established in 1933. There was a record harvest in 1934, and another one was foreseen for 1935, so it was decided to establish a road that connects all vintners' villages to boost the wine sales. The German Wine Route was officially opened on 19 October 1935. Existing local roads along the route were renamed to incorporate "Weinstraße" into their names and local municipalities were told to add "an der Weinstraße" to their names. The German Wine Route is marked by numerous open-air wine festivals, held annually from March to October, that make it a major tourist attraction. Bicycling the wine-route has become a favorite activity of the region.
The town's website describes it like this:

"The extraordinarily high fertility of our fields prompted the Romans here in our fruit trees, such as almonds, peaches, plums, but in particular to introduce the wine.The wines arrived here early on to world fame. The village itself is a "village street", ie the main part backed by a single road with a length of about 1,200 meters. We currently have about 850 inhabitants. The work is dominated by viticulture, (and) increasingly from tourism. "
Kirsche St. Barbara
St. Barbara's Catholic Church, or Kirsche St. Barbara, is at the center of the town.
Apollonia's family name 'Weinschenk' is a German occupational name meaning 'innkeeper'; literally translated it means 'wine giver'.

Johann I, Emperor Heinrich IV's nephew, and the Prince-Bishop of Speyer, gave his personal holdings in 1100, among which was Deidesheim, as a donation to the Bishopric of Speyer.  The vast woodlands north of Deidesheim, also known as Vorst or Forst (cognate with English forest and meaning the same) was excluded from this arrangement and was reserved as the Prince-Bishop’s hunting ground. In this forest lie the village’s beginnings, and of course its namesake.

When the French Revolution spread to the German lands on the Rhine’s left bank, Forst temporarily became part of France’s territory. In 1816, what had once been Electoral Palatinate territory on the left bank was named the Rheinkreis, and later Rheinpfalz, and annexed to the Kingdom of Bavaria; the Palatinate remained Bavarian until the end of the Second World War.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O'Donnell was my great-great-Grandfather. His grandson, John Huber O'Donnell (1905-1964), was my grandfather - the father of my Mom. This obituary was published in the Henry County Local (Kentucky), June 1911.

Pat O'Donald
Patrick O'Donnell (in window)
Daughters Ella & Josie, unidentified boy
Jericho, Henry County, Kentucky
ca. 1905-1911
"This good man, the last of seven brothers, was born in Ireland, January 23, 1823. He and Honorable John D. Carroll's father were school mates in Ireland and came to this country together in young manhood and remained steadfast friends through life. Mr. O'Donald became a recognized citizen of the United States July 27, 1854, his papers being signed at New Castle by O. P. Thomas. He took up his residence in Jericho, April 12, 1854 and spent the remainder of his life here, having passed the 87 mile-stone.
He married Miss Bridget Kennedy, June 27, 1856. She died February 18, 1883, leaving to a father's care and training seven children, a son, John and daughters, Mrs. Maggie Hayden, Pewee Valley, Mrs. Mollie Kennely, Mrs. Alice Smith, Mrs. Fannie Delaney, of Louisville, Mrs. Ella Jackson and Miss Josie O'Donald, of Jericho.
His six brothers, John, James, Thomas, William, Richard and Edward, also came with him to this country. He and these brothers helped to grade the L & N road from Louisville to Lexington and laid the first steel rails on this line and were efficient section bosses at various points along the line.
Mr. O'Donald became an invalid August 5, 1905, and had been confined to a chair until his spirit took its flight being released from the body June 5, 1911, Pentecost Monday. He indeed died the death of a saint, falling as calmly to sleep as could a babe in its Mother's arms. He had faithfully served God through a lifetime, trying to build a character akin to St. Paul and had won a reputation for integrity and square dealing."

Saturday, July 9, 2011


"Saturday's Structures" will show photographs and tell the stories of the homes, businesses, churches and cemeteries that played an important role in the lives of our family. These will run the gamut from New Orleans Plantations, to homes our ancestors were born in and raised; from awe-inspiring Cathedrals from around the country, and world, to quaint country churches; from historic cemeteries to businesses that are now parking lots.

Palace Royal Saloon
Charles Horst, Proprietor (in front of bar with moustache)

Palace Royal Saloon, Birmingham, Alabama

Edward Horst (1858-1901), second son of Martin Horst (1830-1878) and Apollonia Weinschenk (1829-1908), left Mobile during the late 1880's and moved to Birmingham. The city was founded in 1871, so the prospects of new opportunities were endless. In 1891 Edward was working as a barkeeper at the Palace Royal Saloon, owned by William Wigginton. By 1895, Edward was the Proprietor. This was not his first experience managing a bar. He and his older brother Charles Horst (1856-1912), my great-great-Grandfather, had owned and operated the City Exchange Saloon in Mobile, after their father's death.

The Palace Royal Saloon was located at 2100 2nd Avenue in downtown Birmingham. The building was razed and is now a parking lot with Birmingham's Central Parking System.

Edward died on Sunday, May 19, 1901, after suffering a stroke while behind the bar on the previous afternoon. News of his falling ill was reported in the newspaper. He never married, and was just 42 when he died. The following day's newspaper reported his death, and told about the man himself. Of the saloon it was written:
"His saloon was noted for the quiet that prevailed there day in and day out, and for the absence of rowdyism, which was not tolerated either by the proprietor or his brother. Deceased was a strict observer of the law, and his saloon, for that reason, was never one that was watched over by the police."   [From The Birmingham News; May 20, 1901]
Edward was buried at the Catholic Cemetery in Mobile, next to his father.

2100 2nd Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama
site of Palace Royal Saloon, ca. 1935
After Edward's death Charles ran the saloon. He had worked with his father and brother at the City Exchange Saloon, and had been the proprietor of the Big Six Saloon in Mobile, until  he and his wife Odalie Fortier (1857-1920) and their two young children left the city and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Here Charles worked as a barkeeper, while living with his family at the home of his aunt, Elizabeth Horst Ginter's (1827-1877) family. By 1895 Charles, Odalie and their growing family of six moved to Birmingham. Charles was now listed in the Birmingham City Directory as the "Mixologist" for the Palace Royal Saloon. Charles continued to run the saloon after his brother's sudden death, but by 1910 Charles was retired.

He died on August 30, 1912 at the age of 55. He was survived by his wife, five children and five grandchildren. He is buried at Elmwood Cemetery, along side his wife Odalie.