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  • Description is exactly "A series of genealogical documents and photos pertaining to Silas and Julia Crittenden of Florence.

    Silas Crittenden was born in 1837. His parents are unknown. There is a Silas Crittenden enumerated in the 1870 and 1880 censuses at Crittenden's Crossroads in East Lauderdale County of roughly the same age who may be this Silas but I'm not sure yet. If so, Silas may have been married previous to his ca. 1870 marriage to Julia.

    Silas' 1900 census enumeration gave his age as 73, which if accurate (it may not be), would make him born in 1837. His death record gave his birth date as 1835 but vital records are notorious for being inaccurate. There is no actual death certificate, only the undertaker's notice of the sale of a coffin.

    He married Julia (ca. 1851-1927), a former slave of Judge Sydney C. Posey (she was Posey's daughter Rachel's personal maid) ca. 1870 and according to her 1900 census enumeration, Julia was the mother of 7 children, 4 still living by 1900.

    By 1900 Silas was working as a janitor in one of the public schools. He, Julia, who worked as a "laundress," and a ten year-old "step-daughter," Pearl Sarah Grissom (1890-) were enumerated as living in a house they rented on Chestnut St. in Florence. If the information recorded about Pearl is accurate this would indicate a previous marriage for Julia and suggests that she was 39 when Pearl was born.

    The 1910 census recorded Julia as the mother 6 children, 5 still living. By 1910 they had moved to 420 Industry St. but Silas was still working as a public school janitor, while Julia was recorded as having no occupation. Silas' 19 year-old married step-daughter, Pearl Grissom Shoulders was also enumerated as a member of his household. By 1920 Julia was living on E Limestone Street and working as a maid.

    For nearly 30 years Julia worked as the "janitress" and a teaching assistant in the Florence Free Kindergarten taught by Miss Maud Lindsay (1874-1941). On Julia's death in 1927 a glowing tribute to her memory was written by a Florence Times-News correspondent. According to their 1900 and 1910 census enumerations, both Crittendens were unable to read or write.

    Silas Crittenden died on or about March 29, 1913 in Florence of unknown causes at an estimated 78 years of age. His attending physician had been "Dr. Price," which is probably a reference to Dr. Percy I. Price (1861-1926) of Florence.

    Julia outlived Silas by another 14 years. She died in Chattanooga, Tennessee in April of 1927, possibly in the home of relatives. As she is buried in the Florence City Cemetery with a Mosaic Templars of America (a fraternal burial insurance order for African-Americans) Rector Haines Chamber 2181 headstone, I feel pretty certain that Silas is, too, though his burial is apparently unmarked.
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