Fearless Females Blog Post-March 4-Marriage Records

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month. March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one. I have not gone beyond finding marriage indexes of my grandparents and great-grandparents. I haven’t had much success with online searches as I believe I will need to order the certificates. I have no wedding photo’s of any grandparent ancestors. I am surprised that there are no wedding photo’s in my possession as my Grandmother Agnes in later years made wedding dresses for many of the who’s who.  What I do have is an insert of my mom’s journal discussing her parent’s union.
The Union of Agnes Mae Cully and Charles Irving Peters

Agnes and Charles fell in love and decided to marry. Mother had a dear friend who lived in Brooklyn, New York.  Her name was Louise Bryant.  Her husband was a composer, Fred Bryant.  They lived in a beautiful brownstone house in Brooklyn. (My father’s home state was West Virginia, so they were both in Florida temporarily.)  When they decided to wed, they agreed they wished to leave the South.  Mother had promised “Aunt” Louise that no matter where she was when she found her true love, she would be married in Louise’s house in Brooklyn, as Mother and Dad bid farewell to people and places in Florida, took the train to Brooklyn and were married in a beautiful ceremony in this lovely, beautifully appointed house. When I was growing up, one didn’t call older people by their first names, so close adult friends became “Aunts and uncles”, as a result, there were quite a few adults whom I addressed and spoke of in this manner, although they were actually not relatives. My mother said her first “inkling” that she was going to have trouble with Daddy was when he took her to Atlantic City for their honeymoon.  Evidently, he put her up in a fine hotel.  It was very romantic for her!  However, when the bill came due, Daddy didn’t have the money to pay it.  In Mother’s fury, she tore the wedding ring off her finger and threw it out the window.  She threw her clothes into her bags and went to the train station, but it was too late to get a train leaving the city.  Feeling totally stranded, she returned to the hotel.The next day, after they made-up, she crawled around in the grass and hunted until she finally found her wedding ring! As punishment for not paying the bill, Mother and Dad had to work out their indebtedness at the hotel.  I don’t know what he did, but she made the beds!

(Copyright 1970-2012 by Yvette Porter Moore, No form of publication without permission given.)

Charles Irving Peters: The Waldo Hotel, Clarksburg, West Virginia- #2

Waldo Hotel
Clarksburg, West Virginia

This is an update from my past post Charles Irving Peters: The Waldo Hotel, Post #1

I want to give  a shout out to the Facebook World…I recently joined a group “Revive the Waldo Hotel” Clarksburg, WV on fb.  I had posted a question as to where I might find more information on the History of the Waldo..(My grandfather Charles I Peters worked there in 1918-1922.)

I received a response to my post:   I haven’t seen any other than what is online. But you could check with the Waldomore by the library. They may have something. There is a lack of combined info about the hotel other than basic history. I think it would be great to get some personal stories collected and put into a book of some sort. I think the group has talked about doing this actually.

Then this morning, I was pleasantly greeted with a message with some information that is very helpful to add to the story of my ancestor’s living arrangements at the Waldo.

Yvette, I saw your post on the Waldo site and I just wanted to pass on to you a small tidbit of information.
The” servants quarters” were on the attic level of the Waldo, between the 2 towers on the Pike St. side of the building. Your grandfather would have been housed there. Each tower has a large room within, with a lavatory. There is a hallway leading to each room. None of it was as elaborate as the rest of the building, but it would have been suitable. Nathan Goff was a reportedly fair man, and I’m sure he would’ve treated his employees with respect.


It is clear to me that Jim Crow was alive and well in 1918-1922 in Clarksburg, West Virginia and trying to understand the culture and its people in this historical context will be very helpful in telling the story of my grandfather’s life during this time period.  I am sure the colored servants and employees were treated well, but they were still a subservient class.  Knowing that my grandfather had attended Virginia State University, and yet and still was only able to succeed to a certain level shows the effect of Jim Crow.

Charles Irving Peters: The Waldo Hotel, Clarksburg, West Virginia #1

I am on a mission to find out more information about my grandfather Charles Irving Peters. I am taking the time to focus on him and study his documents.  For this post, I looked at the detail information on his WWI Draft Registration Card.  I would like to develop a story about Charles, so doing further research will allow me to build on what is already written in black & white.

     According to the WWI Draft Document, Charles was residing at 110 W. Pike, Clarksburg, West Virginia on June 5, 1918.  The Draft form also documented that he worked at the Waldo Hotel at the same location, 110 W Pike, Clarksburg, West Virginia.  He was 21 years old at the time.
***Also noted is that Charles’ nearest relative is his mother Mrs. Betty Peters residing at 109 Catherine St, Sistersville, West Virginia. (Will be a separate post).

This information is nice to have, but I needed to go the extra step and see what the Waldo Hotel looked like.  As I gather bits and pieces, I will at a later date be able to weave historical information into the life of my grandfather.  So with this in mind, I began to google and search for information on the Waldo Hotel.

I did not find as much info as I wanted to, but as time goes on…I am sure I will discover more through the archives, that may possibly hold photos and documents of the events held at the Waldo.  I hope that I can get a glimpse of the Waldo in 1918-1920.  I am also interested in the Negro employees that held jobs at the hotel.

Postcard of the Waldo Hotel
110 W. Pike, Clarksburg WV

The Waldo Hotel history runs deep in the County of Harrison.  The Waldo is located in the Downtown Historic District of Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The Waldo was a place where people near and far would come and celebrate.  There would be parties, weddings, dances, social events, civic & political gatherings and events of all sorts.  The Waldo was known for its Southern style and its hospitality.  Construction began on the Waldo in 1901 and was completed in 1904, and financed by Nathan Goff Jr., and then named after his father Waldo P. Goff. When it no longer operated as a hotel it was later used as apartments.

In the heyday of the hotel the basement housed a Billiard Room, Barber Shop, Wine Cellar and Laundry room.  Knowing my grandfather, I would like to think he worked in the Billiard Room.  As my mother put it “He would gamble his money away, and when he won, he won big, but when he lost, he lost big.”  But looking at the 1920 U.S. Census, Charles’ was documented as a bellboy.

Map of Clarksburg, WV
courtesy of Wikipedia

In the 20th Century, Clarksburg was an Industrial and manufacturing town.  Glass and coal were some of the main industries in the city.

Waldo Hotel
In Need of Revitalization

The Waldo Hotel is in disarray.  The inside is totally disintegrating.  To see photo’s of the interior, exterior and historical shots of the Waldo visit the  Abandoned blog.  

The Waldo Hotel
Abandoned

There is currently a campaign to Save The Waldo. Visit Revitalization of The Waldo Hotel, to learn more about the revitalization plan.

Please check out my updated post on the Waldo Hotel.

Post #2 The Waldo Hotel (New Update)

Sentimental Sunday: Charles Irving Peters

   

Charles Irving Peters
1918
     I do not know much about my Grandfather Charles Irving Peters, but am in search of his daughter Millicent Peters Leggett.  

     I remember when my mother got the call that her father Charles died.  I was twelve years old at the time and never had the opportunity to meet him as my mother did not communicate with her father.  A couple days before my grandfather’s death, she shared with me that she had nightmares about her father, where he would come to her  while she was sleeping and he appeared to be tormented.  So when my mother got the call from her Aunt Glady’s that her father had died, she understood why she had those dreams.
     Call it strange, but even though my mother did not have a relationship with her father, I was intrigued by him nonetheless.  I wanted to know more about him.  
Charles Peters and daughter Betty Mae
1927 on top of Tar Beach, New York
      I stated that I am searching for Charles’ daughter Millicent Peters Leggett.  I spoke with her years ago and I believe that she was living in Detroit, MI or Chicago Illinois and was working for an attorney.  I found some court documents with a letter from Millicent and decided to call, as my mother did not want to have any personal relationship with her half-sister.  The difference between my mother and me is that I did.  Millicent and I spoke for awhile, and frankly I do not remember the conversation.  Since I was very young and we are no longer in possession of those court documents, I am having difficulty locating her.  
     I know I will need to order the probate files from the court, but I have not got around to it, and time is moving fast.   I am unsure as to Millicent’s age, but my mother would be 85 years this year.
Charles Irving Peters Death Certificate

     Charles Irving Peters was born on February 8, 1897 to Betty Mae Wilson and George Washington Peters in Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia.  He was one of seven children, of which two died before Charles was born.  Charles’ mother was Native American & White and his father was Black.  I have always been infatuated with Charles’ military photo, as I find him very handsome.

     Charles served in the Army for two years, but as of yet, I have not located any military records. (His records may have been destroyed in a fire).

     Charles had been married to my grandmother Agnes Mae Cully in the 1920’s in Brooklyn, NY.  I heard many stories about my grandfather but of course nothing beyond 1950.  My mother Betty Mae Peters was named after Charles’ mother.

     Charles had been a student at Virginia State University.  His major was mathematics, but due to the racial climate of the country and the economic structure, Charles dropped out of school and worked as a Porter for the railroad system.  He also was a gambler and a bootlegger, which allowed for good times and bad.  I heard rumors that he and a close friend owned a black hotel, but I have not seen any records of that.

    Charles died on December 23, 1980 (wow! Dec. 23 was the date my mother suffered a fatal stroke in 2004.)  According to his death certificate, the informant was Thornton Hopson.  I tried to locate Thornton as he was the attorney that handled Charles’ last affairs.  I discovered that Attorney Hopson died in 2000.  So frankly, the only way I think I can locate any living relatives is to get the probate documents that were written up 30 years ago.  Maybe there will be a clue.

     My Grandfather Charles Peters is buried in an umarked grave at Detroit Memorial Cemetery.  I hope to one day raise enough money to at least give him the honor of a engraved marker.

Yancey D Peters & Carlotta Peters Pace: Sympathy Saturday

1978  in a local DC Paper
     Yancey D. Peters was my Grandfather Charles I Peters Uncle and Carlotta Peters Pace was Charles 1st cousin.
Yancey was born abt 1864 and passed February 10, 1920.  Carlotta was born in 1897 and passed Feb. 1, 1976.  
     Yancey was Carlotta’s father.
     I have never met any of the Peter’s family, as my mother Betty Mae Peters was not close to her father Charles.  It saddens me to think that there are a lot of Peter’s still living and I yet to meet them.  I hope to do so in the future.