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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.


This is so disheartening ūüė¶

From the May 12, 1866 issue of the Columbia Herald newspaper of Maury County, TN

We learn that two negroinfants were discovered drowned, in¬†a¬†branch on the farm ofCol. Andrew J. Polk on Monday last. They had been thrown there by their mothers, who, learn, gave as reason, their inability to support them. ¬†— They ought¬†rather to have sent them to¬†their father Fisk

Cecil Gant 1913-1951

Cecil Gant April4, 1913- February 4, 1951 was a blues musician born here in Nashville. He had a song named “I Wonder” that reached number 1 on the black music charts. He even has a Wikipedia page.

Today I was contacted by someone who was trying to verify where Cecil is buried. He had some information from a book that Cecil was buried in Ohio, but had not found any associations that Cecil may have had to Ohio. His question to me – could I help him locate information that would help confirm where he was buried?

So, me being the obsessive one, had to start looking around to see if I could help him. Fortunately, the Chicago Defender comes to save the day again! I was able to locate some articles from the 1940s that mentioned that Cecil worked and travelled in Cleveland and even owned a nightclub there. I also found an obituary published in the February 17, 1951 issue of the Chicago Defender:

Interestingly enough, this obit does not mention his brother, Earnest, which I found mentioned in a later article from 1956. But, this, combined with the other articles I found, definitely show an association that Cecil had to Cleveland. The next step, locating where he may be buried. I’ve suggested to the person that contacted me that he try to get his death certificate (freely available on microfilm from the Tennessee State Library & Archives) to see if it is mentioned there. Another possibility would be to track his other family members to see where they may be buried. I’ll save that for tomorrow….

UPDATE: as reflected by Chuck’s comment on this post, he found him! Chuck called Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland, one of two cemeteries where blacks were usually buried during that time period, and they confirmed for him that Gant was buried there.

Columbia Notes – 15 Feb 1907

Columbia Notes
February 15, 1907
pg. 3

  • The remains of Miss Mary Moore, who died in Nashville, arrived Saturday and were taken to the home of her sister, Mrs. Ella Wheatly, on East 7th street. Her funeral was conducted at Beach Grove Baptist Church, of which she was a member. She was the wife of the late Rev. George Moore, former pastor of said church. Mrs. Moore had made her home with her sister, Mrs. Wheatly, for a number of years, and although she was an invalid she was cheerful and will be missed from the family circle.
  • Miss Bessie Patton, of Nashville, was visiting friends here for a few days last week.
  • Mrs. Hattie Fleming is in Nashville at the bed side of her husband, who is very low.
  • Miss Janie Green will go to Nashville soon to reside.
  • Mr. Clifford Howard, of Chicago, who is visiting his mother, Mrs. Mary Young, on 18th street, is in very poor health.
  • Dr. J. G. Johnson passed through Columbia last week en route to Pulaski.

Society News – June 28, 1907

As published in the Nashville Globe:

These are a listing of notices posted – the label of “Society News” is mine. They do not fall under any particular section of the newspaper.

  • Dr. Garfield Glass, of class of ’98 Meharry Medical College, went to Dawson Springs last week for his health.
  • Miss Bashie Williams, of 1717 Tenth avenue, South, left last Saturday for Chicago.
  • Mrs. Lizzie Henderson, of Chicago, is the guest of her niece, Mrs. Nicholas Perkins, of 1512 Harding street.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Robt. C. Eason spent a delightful afternoon Sunday in the country near Brentwood.
  • Mrs. C. McGann, of Eigth avenue, North, was confined to her room Tuesday by a a slight indisposition.
  • Mr. James H. Davis, of 610 Sylvan street, is very sick.
  • Mr. Robert Williams, of 115 Jackson street, is indisposed this week.
  • Mrs. Samuel Caruthers, of Columbia, with her children, “Bob” and Bona, will spend two weeks in the city visiting Mr. and Mrs. William Caruthers, of 611 Jo Johnston avenue.
  • Miss Ruthella, the little daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. H. Bandy, has gone to the Hermitage to spend several weeks with her grandparents.
  • Miss Cora Allen, of the Baptist Publishing house, is confined at home on account of sickness.
  • Mrs. A. L. King, of Fourth avenue, South, is slightly indisposed.
  • Mrs. Missouri Allen, of Pulaski, Tenn., is visiting her brother, Prof. J.B. Batte.
  • Mrs. Josie O. Hughes is visiting relatives in the city.
  • Miss Sadie Stratton, of 632 Bass street, who has been very sick, is much improved.
  • Mrs. W. D. Chappelle and children are home after spending a while with relatives and friends at Columbia, S.C.
  • Isabella Horton, the world’s girl evangelist, will speak at Spruce Street Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon.
  • Mr. W.O. Tate, of Eighth avenue, North, is taking a week “off” for recuperation. Tuesday he spent the evening in the country with Dr. Noel, Wednesday he spent part of the day making rounds with Dr. Stewart, and the rest of the week was spent around and about home, working out of the program arranged daily by Mrs. Tate, his genial, affable and most industrious wife.