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, August 14, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - Harry Cinton Flemming (1878-1955)

Harry Clinton Flemming, my great-grandfather, was born on January 12, 1878, in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. He was the oldest of ten children born to Charles Clinton "Charlie" Flemming (1854-1932) and Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie" McCaffrey (1858-1922).

May 25, 1955

Harry Clinton Flemming, Sr.,
retired railroad engineer, dies
"Harry Clinton Flemming, Sr., 77,  a retired railroad engineer, died this morning at his home, 1402 17th st., s., after a long illness.
Born in Rome, Ga., he came to Birmingham to make his home in 1894. He served as a locomotive engineer with the AGS Railroad 42 years before his retirement in 1941. He was also employed by this railroad as trainmaster, master mechanic and assistant superintendent.
Mr. Flemming also was associated with his father and two brothers in Charlie's Transfer Co., one of the city's oldest transfer concerns.
A LIFE MEMBER of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Division 436, he was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church, Holy Name Society, and Knights of Columbus Council No. 635.
Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Pearl Horst Flemming; three sons, Harry G. (sic) Flemming, Jr., and Charles F. Flemming of Birmingham, and John K. Flemming, of Enterprise; five daughters, Mrs. E.W. Barriger, Mrs. J. Huber O'Donnell, Mrs. F.J. Selman, Mrs. A.F. Pilkerton, all of Birmingham, and Mrs. George B. Daly of New Orleans; 27 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; a sister, Mrs. J.B. Thomas, and several nieces and nephews. 
Gravestone at Elmwood Cemetery
Birmingham, Alabama
Rosary will be said at 8 p.m. tonight at Johns-Ridout's Chapel, with the Rev. Fr. Mundy officiating.
Funeral services will be held at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Johns-Ridout's and at 9:30 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery. " (The Birmingham News, May 25, 1955, p. 33)

Harry would drive his locomotive with the Alabama Great Southern Railroad, #6690, each morning from Birmingham to Meridian, Mississippi, where he then got off and spent the night. The next engineer would then take the locomotive on to New Orleans. The next morning the train left New Orleans back to Meridian where Harry took over and brought the train in to Birmingham (where another engineer would take it to it's next location east). Each morning when he left the Birmingham station he would blow the train whistle in a special way to let his wife know he was leaving the city. Each afternoon when the train returned he blew the whistle again in his special way to let her know he was back and would soon be home. This continued every day of the week throughout each year accept for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - Harry always took these days off because his children and their families would come home to visit for the holidays.

Southern Steam Locomotive #6690
January 1940

I never knew my great-grandfather but in my mother's family he was legendary. My grandmother, Susie Flemming O'Donnell (1909-1999) adored her father and held him in the greatest esteem. He was married 49 years to his wife, Pearl Horst Flemming (1884-1961), whom he always treasured. He was a highly respected employee with the railroad, an involved Catholic, and a devoted husband and father. In our family his legend lives on.

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