Monday, February 10, 2014

+Sadie M. Edingburg- Downz - and her Family

    Sallie M. Edingburg was born June 22, 1878 in Tennessee,  so far I haven't been able to find if she was born in Athens Tennessee or Chattanooga Tennessee.  Since she's the first child and her next two siblings were born in Athens I'm thinking she probably was born in Athens, also.
She was born Sallie named after her maternal grandmother Sallie McKeldin but I've only known her as Aunt Sadie my great aunt.
I don't know why she changed it but Sadie remained her name till her death.
In the 1880 census she's living in Chattanooga at age two.

First error I see in the census is the spelling of Daniel's name, If you didn't know his name was Daniel and you look at the census you would first think it's David but looking at it closely you can also tell it's Daniel.
Daniel, Minnie, Sallie and Daniel's sister Mona are living in the home together. 
Daniel is working at Rolling Mills in Chattanooga. 

Here you can see how Daniel's name is spelled and how it could be mistaken for David.

The 1900 census has Aunt Sadie living with her parents and her seven siblings.  

MinnieBell Edingburg
Daniel Trigg Edingburg
Hattie Edingburg
William Sherman Edingburg
Georgia L. Edingburg
Blanche M. Edingburg
Theodric Roscoe Edingburg

It also shows Aunt Sadie working as a school teacher.

and Daniel her father is a contractor.

The next census shows Aunt Sadie married and living in Chicago, Illinois.
She married Charles Downs on June 21, 1903 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Note: She also changed the spelling of her last name from Downs to Downz later on.

She's 40 years old living with her husband Charles and their one daughter Charlee and their two sons Lawrence and George, the other person is listed as a widowed roomer

I never met Aunt Sadie's husband but I did know her children and her grand children.

This is a picture of Aunt Sadie and her brother Daniel taken in Aug 1961 in Chicago.  You can really tell they are related even with both wearing glasses.
The only way I can describe Aunt Sadie was she was difficult.  I'm not sure what her life was like growing up, or her married life but she wasn't an easy person to be around.  The only thing that comes to my mind is she was mean.
My recollections of her are mostly us driving to Chicago, Illinois to visit her, we only visited because her sister my grandmother who lived with us wanted to see her sister and even though none of really liked Aunt Sadie my father would still always drive out to Chicago so my grandmother could see her.  I don't ever remember it being a fun trip or visit. 

 Aunt Sadie had a cat named Kitty Tom and he was her baby, when we would come to visit, Kitty Tom apparently didn't like children so he would always try to scratch me, he was a very aggressive cat and my dad always wanted her to put the cat in another room while we were there but she wouldn't do it. 

 Then she would never offer us anything to eat or drink, and she would carry the loaf of bread around with her no matter where she went, like we might eat it all if she left it in the kitchen. So we always took food for us to eat and we always stayed in a motel, my grandmother would stay with Aunt Sadie, I don't know if Aunt Sadie treated my grandmother good or not while she was there because my grandmother would never speak a bad word about anyone even if it was true. 

   I remember one time while visiting Aunt Sadie, her daughter Charlee was there visiting also and both of them are pretty much the same disposition not very friendly. Charlee was about as bad if not worse than her mom, she went to the store and bought food to eat for dinner and we were there, they cooked the food and didn't offer us anything, but it didn't matter as we had already eaten before we showed up. 

   My dad said that when he was little Aunt Sadie still wasn't as bad but still she didn't have a friendly way about her, she would give him used socks with holes in them for his birthday and his brother also.  When you would mention Aunt Sadie, everyone pretty much got a sour expression on their faces. 

Aunt Sadies two sons Lawrence and George were really nice, we visited with them and their children and had a great time at their homes. So I suppose I'll never know why Aunt Sadie was so unpleasant, she was the only one in the family like that.
I don't have any pictures of Charlee her daughter or Lawrence but I do have a photo of George below:

These two are of George, he was really nice, we use to visit him in Manhattan, NYC.  He had a girlfriend I remember who use to have a beautiful singing voice, she sang in night clubs and when we visited she would come home in the evenings all dressed up in her evening gowns all glitter and jewelry. I also remember they both smoked cigarettes and we would always sit outside on the terrace so as not to breath that stuff.
    They had a piano in their apartment and Ethel, George's girlfriend would sing and play for us, my grandmother would sing with her, their favorite song to sing was Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, fitting considering that Ethel smoked like a chimney, but luckily she didn't smoke inside when we were visiting.

My knowledge about all of Aunt Sadie's children and grandchildren is limited, what I do know is her daughter Charlee had been married three times we lost count after that and as far as I know she continued to live in Chicago, Lawrence married Christine J, Lawrence had a daughter named June, not sure if Christine is her mother, June had polio and I remember her walking with a very strong limp.

   June was very intelligent, she went to college, studied Spanish and was fluent, but the problems with the polio caused her to have so many surgeries that eventually she ended up mentally messed up.  We heard that she jumped out of her apartment building window to her death. So far no one has disputed that.  I'm still looking for records to prove or disprove, but from what family members have said it appears to be true.  I would just like to find physical evidence, maybe this post will help to solve this for me if someone in the family reads it.  We called her Juney she was very nice and always had a nice smile. 

George had a son named Gary Gomez Downz, I don't know who his mother was, I never met her or even heard her name, when we would visit, Gomez as we called him was 8 years older than I.  Gomez was fun, he was always picking me up and carrying me around for some reason, I remember that because almost all the pictures they took he was picking me up, he did that to all the children around him. He was fun and really nice, he had a brother named Joseph I think Joseph was not a full brother because no one knows much about him but he wasn't George's son. 

This is the only photo of Gomez I have he was born Oct 13, 1942, I'm still trying to contact Gomez's two daughters  in Peekskill New York to see if I can get photos and more information about him. He passed away in
August 2, 2009.  I never knew where he lived as an adult I thought he was  in Chicago but apparently not. I happened to find Gomez on while updating my site and that's how I found out the names of his two daughters and his wife's name.  I hadn't seen Gomez since I was a really little girl. I don't even remember what year.

In the 1930 census it shows:  

Aunt Sadie living in what looks like in an apartment or home where they rent out rooms.  She's living with her husband Charles and their two sons.  Sadie was doing sewing at a dress maker shop and Charles was a porter at a department store. 

I have not found Aunt Sadie in the 1940 census. 
Charles Henry Downs her husband born October 23, 1876 Chattanooga,Tennessee.

The 1880 Census shows Charles Downs age 4 living with his parents Cad Downs born 1838 Mississippi and mother Milly Downs born: 1840 Mississippi, and his 8 siblings.
The first two siblings are born in Mississippi the rest of the siblings are born in Tennessee.
Cad's occupation is a Teamster
and William works as a Drayman.

Cad's father is from Virginia and his mother is from Mississippi.

The 1910 census shows Aunt Sadie and Charles living in Chicago

The 1910 shows Charles working as a Singer in the Theatre in Chicago. Then in the 

1920 census is shows him working as a Singer in Vaudeville.

Then he registers for the WW1 Draft.

Charles passed away on July 11, 1935 at the age of 58 in Chicago Illinois.

Aunt Sadie lived to be 89 years old she died: Feb 17, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois.

I found an obituary that was posted in Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga Times
Feb, 19, 1968
Downz-Mrs Sadie ( Sallie Edingburg) of 7121 St Lawrence Ave, Chicago, passed Saturday.  She was the sister of Mrs Blanche Traylor of 1902 Ivy St.  Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 o'clock am at the Catholic Church.  Rosary will be said Tuesday  night 9 PM at  Jackson's Funeral Home 7350 Cottage Grove, Chicago.  Announced through the courtesy of Hardwick & Sons Funeral Home, Chattanooga TN. Telephone 267-1244

Even though Aunt Sadie wasn't easy to get along with I am still happy that I got to know her, and be able to write something about her for future generations to read.  I'm sure she probably endured lots of hardships that I don't know anything about which probably contributed to her disposition. 

I found her in the 1940 census 

and also found this:
so apparently she was a member of a women's group and she had a meeting at her home in Chicago.

 1880 Census,
1900 Census
1920 Census
1930 Census
Cook County, Illinois Death Index
U.S. World War 1 Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918,
Chattanooga Times Newspaper, Chattanooga Tennessee.
Google Search


  1. Great post with very rich detail!

  2. Xzanthia, thank you for sharing the life of Aunt Sadie, I look at the details and understand why my great grandparents and grandparents all lived in such close distances of each other.

    1. Thank you cousin for the comment, and you're welcome. I'll be writing more posts about different people.