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, November 27, 2011

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - Charles Clinton Flemming Jr. (1884-1935)

Charles Clinton Flemming, Jr.,   Nov 1907
Charles Clinton Flemming, Jr., was born in Rome, Georgia, on September 30, 1884. He was the fifth child of ten born to Charles Clinton "Charlie" Flemming (1854-1932) and Elizabeth Agnes "Lizzie" McCaffrey (1858-1922). Charles, my great-great-uncle, changed his name from "Charles Augustus" to "Charles Clinton" as an adult - his older brother was Harry Clinton Flemming (1878-1955), my great-grandfather.

Charles followed his father into the railroad business which was flourishing  in Birmingham in the early 1900's. Charles was an Engineer with the Alabama Great Southern Railroad. The National Museum of American History's website describes the responsibilities of an engineer for a steam locomotive this way:
"Running a steam locomotive combined two responsibilities: managing a highly complex steam boiler and controlling the safe speed of a massive vehicle that could weigh thousands of tons, counting engines and cars. An engineer specialized in one "division" of railroad, 100-150 miles long. The engineer needed to know the location of every signal, every curve, and the slightest change in uphill or downhill grade throughout the route in order to safely control the train." (from
 On November 26, 1903, Thanksgiving Day, Charles married Marie Sophia Fidger - 108 years ago yesterday. They were both 19 years old when they wed. Marie was born in Kentucky in July 1884. Her parents were William Fidger (1848-1910) and Emma J. Buser (1856-1917). In 1904 Marie gave birth to their only child, Florence Elizabeth. Unfortunately, the young family's happiness was short lived. Marie died in childbirth on September 15, 1908; she was 24 years old. She was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Woodlawn, outside of Birmingham.

Charles and Florence, just 4 years old, moved in with his parents. On January 26, 1910, Charles remarried. His bride was Katherine Aurelia Lambert, born February 11, 1885 in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents were Joseph Peter Lambert (1862-1924) and Margaret Mary Fox (1870-1935). The wedding took place in Atlanta's West End neighborhood. After their honeymoon Charles and Kate lived with her parents in Birmingham. Her father was Birmingham's City Park Commissioner. Charles' daughter Florence continued living with her Flemming grandparents until she was married.

Charles and Kate had seven children: Mary Agnes "Mike", born November 15, 1910; Dorothy May, born January 1914; Charles Clinton III, called "Hap", born May 15, 1916; James Benjamin and twin brother Joseph Lambert "Joe", born May 5, 1918; Thomas Anthony "Tom", born May 11, 1923; and Katherine Loretta "Kate", born August 9, 1925. Little Dorothy lived less than 18 months, dying on July 4, 1915 - her death certificate said she died from "colitis" after being ill for 3 weeks.

Charles soon began helping his father in his family business "Charlie's Transfer Company". He worked as the business manager by the 1920 Census, a role he continued for many years. His family attended St. Paul's Catholic Church downtown and he was active in the Knights of Columbus.

On Thursday, May 30, 1935, Charles who had been ill and was in a local hospital, died. According to his death certificate the cause of death was a burst appendix. He was 50 years old.

The announcement of his death appeared in the Age-Herald, one of the Birmingham newspapers on page 2.

C. C. Flemming Is Called By Death

Rites Will Be Held Saturday For K. of C. Official

"Charles Clinton Flemming, 50, financial secretary of Birmingham Council of the Knights of Columbus, died Thursday afternoon. Services will be held at the residence, 1422 Thirteenth Place South, at 9 a.m. Saturday, and at St. Paul's Catholic Church at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery, Dillon, of southside, directing.
     Mr. Flemming is survived by the widow, his four sons, Charles C. Jr., Joseph L., James B., and Thomas A.; his daughters Katherine, Mary Agnes, and Mrs. H. T. Kilpatrick; a brother Harry C. Flemming, and two sisters, Mrs. J.B. Thomas and Mrs. W. A. McMurray.
     Mr. Flemming became ill suddenly Monday, and his death followed an emergency operation. He was widely known in business circles, and especially in the transfer business, in which he had been engaged a number of years. In addition to his fraternal work, he was active in church work throughout the state. " (Age-Herald, page 2; 31 May 1935)

A similar article appeared in the following day's Age-Herald, that also included information about the pallbearers: "Active pallbearers will be C.J. Lambert, A.S. Lucas, C.W. Millican, T.A. McGough, F.M. Curtain, W.J. Sullivan, A.L. Stabler, and Vincent Shields. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus." (Age-Herald, page 6, 1 Jun 1935)

Charles C. Flemming gravestone
Forest Lawn, Cemetery
 Charles' surviving widow, Kate, lived only three months longer. She died on September 2, 1935. She, too was only 50-years-old at the time of her death. She left behind her six children, ages 10 to 25, who had lost both parents in a short period of time. Charles and Kate are buried at Forest Hill Cemetery, in the lot owned by his former father-in-law, also the final resting place for his young wife Marie and other members of her family.

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