Wordless Wednesday: Henry Hodge & Rancho Los Amigos Nursing Staff

Henry Hodge (my Uncle) was an Orderly and attendee at the Rancho Los Amigos Health Center in the 1950’s in Los Angeles, California. At the time the Rancho Los Amigos was a facility for those that had polio. Henry was the only African American working at the facility in that capacity at the time.

Henry Hodge (Orderly & Attendant) and the Rancho Los Amigos Nursing Staff in 1953

 

Henry Hodge (Orderly & Attendant) and the Rancho Los Amigos Nursing Staff in 1953

Wordless Wednesday: Sarah Hodge

Sarah Hodge

This is a photo of  Sarah Hodge, the grandmother of my dad’s best friend Henry Hodge.  Henry was raised by Sarah, who he called mom as he did not know his real mother as she ran off to Chicago when he was a baby.  This photo was taken in Saint Louis, Missouri in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s.

The Puzzle is Becoming Clearer: Henry Hodge

Henry Hodge
13 years old

After I completed the other post Puzzling History, I went into Henry’s room and told him what I knew based on the 1930 Census.  I shared with him that John Wilson could not be the boy in the photo because he was 18 when Henry was born.  I also told him that John Wilson was the grandson of the Sam and Sarah Hodge, and that John Wilson, Sr. was the Son-in-law.

Henry’s brother (unk name for now) and Henry

I said that the mother is not on the 1930 Census, and wanted to know if she had died.  When I shared with him what I knew he opened up and told me that  John Wilson Sr.’s wife was his mother and had seen her a few times and that she ran off with the man that was Henry’s father, and left him with his grandparents that raised him as their own son (they adopted him).  Mr. John Wilson was not his biological father and Mr. Sam Hodge would not ever say that he was Henry’s father or even give him that emotional support.  Apparently there were negative feelings towards the situation so the environment was not good for Henry’s upbringing.

Months ago I asked Henry about Sam Hodge and he would say oh, that’s my dad.  He would not tell me anything more even though I tried.  He would tell me he was a man, and he was unemployed for many years, but he did not talk to him.  Of course this made me sad for his home situation when he was a child.

Henry left St. Louis when he joined the military and only went back to bury each of his parents.  In due time, I will get more stories from Henry, but seeing that there are deep-rooted negative feelings that he has not dealt with, I will need to do a little at a time so I have a complete picture.

So the boy in the photo above is Henry’s brother. Apparently she took his half-brother with her when she left St. Louis, MO.  I will get more info as time goes on.

Puzzling History: Henry Hodge

     I have known Henry Hodge since I could even remember.  I have been his care taker for about 6 or 7 years  now, and have called him Uncle since forever.  He was my father’s best friend and they had known each other for over 60 years.  Henry Hodge was born November 22, 1929 and will be 82 years old this year.  Henry has a good memory, but for some reason he is blocked when it comes to his family in St. Louis, Missouri.  
     The story I was told from my mother, is that he was left on the porch by his mother, and he was adopted by the Hodges.  Henry confirmed this to me, but whenever I ask him about the Hodges that raised him, he doesn’t want to talk about it, and everything is jumbled, and he just shuts down.  If I try to push him to talk about his life in St. Louis, he gets irritated if I bring up family.
     About a year ago, I found Henry’s scrapbook in the garage, and brought it into the house so he could identify the people for me.  Henry wrote on the back “Me and my brother.”  I asked him this morning was this his biological brother or his brother the Hodges had.  Henry stated that he had two older brothers that died before he was born and that he did not remember if the older boy in the photo was his biological brother but that he was his brother.
Poss. Henry’s Biological Brother & Henry Hodge
(l to r)

     I have seen the 1930 Census and Henry Hodge is listed as Norris Henry.  It is obvious that this is him, but he stated that he did not know why the name on the census had Norris.  “I was thinking that Norris may be his biological families surname. (of course I need to do further investigation)”

     I asked Henry what his brother’s name was and he could not remember at first and then he said I think John.  So looking at the 1930 Census below, I know that this could not be a photo of John Wilson as the Census states that John Wilson is the Hodge’s grandson and that the older John Wilson is their Son-in-law.  

     I believe that there is more to the story that I am being told and due to difficult feelings surrounding Henry’s birth and family life, I am going to have to slowly help him to remember.  Over the next few months, I will be looking at the Census reports of any Norris or even Henry families in the area.  I will also investigate the Wilson’s on other Census Reports and see what I can discover.

Update:  Go to this Blog The Picture is Becoming Clearer.