“Trouble In My Way…I Have To Cry Sometimes”
The U.S. 1930 Census features Grandfather Giles at 49 years of age and his youngest child, Giles, Jr. at 20 years of age. He was living and working in Sanatorium (Simpson County), Mississippi, employed as a “kitchen helper” . Grandfather Giles was enumerated as head of household and was paying $5 per month in “rent”. Why was he renting and “helping” in a kitchen? He and Grandmother Leliar were property owners in Hattiesburg as well as entrepreneurs, owning a “dry goods” store and a livery stable. My father, (Giles’ son), Clarence Williams told me that his father owned almost an entire “city” block on 7th Street in the bustling timber town of Hattiesburg. By 1930, all evidence of his hard work and trappings of his “self-made” success and prosperity in Hattiesburg were all GONE!!! …And so was he!
Back to “the country…”
Between 1929 and 1930, Grandfather Giles returned to the Simpson County, Mississippi area where his extended family still resided. His father, Randall, now deceased, had homesteaded 159 acres of Simpson County land in the late 1800’s. In the area, resided his mother, Lucy; daughter, Georgia Funchess; four surviving siblings, including three married sisters: Sophronia Weathersby, Harriet Hayes, and Armilda Jackson; and one brother, Clarence (C.S.) Williams. His oldest sister, Ada Epting Craft had been deceased for two decades.
Unlike his five siblings, Grandfather Giles had left the family farm just after the turn of the century. Going back home had to be heartbreaking as well as embarrassing. He’d left home for “greener pastures” around age 20 and was back in Simpson County by age 50.
After having lived in Chicago and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, he returned “home”. I doubt if any bugles blared and flowers strewn to line his path as he trod the path back to the “home house”. (Familiar with that phrase?) Giles no longer had his wife, Leliar, his home or his businesses. In this census document, he is working and boarding at a hospital for tuberculosis patients, sharing living quarters with his youngest son. This could not have possibly been a comfortable domestic arrangement for Giles, Sr. It was a widely known fact that Uncle Giles, better known as “Uncle Baby” was notorious for getting into trouble. He was “slicker than a can of paint”! If trouble was within his line of sight or range of imagination, Uncle Baby would enthusiastically participate.. “Baby” was BAD NEWS! (His discharge document from the notorious Parchman Mississippi Penitentiary was kept by my father and is now in my possession. It will be posted.)
1930 U.S. Census
Mississippi State Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Grandmother Leliar is enumerated in the 1930 Census still living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She Grandfather Giles were separated and subsequent reconciliation would not occur. My father shared with me that his parents “broke-up” after the children grew up and they did not “go back together” before they died. More details are forthcoming. In addition, vintage letters in which Grandfather Giles was mentioned will be posted.
© Saundra Blackman and soldfor35cents.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Saundra Blackman and soldfor35cents.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.