Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cornelia Chiles Washington

This is my grandfather Clarence's mother.
Cornelia Washington

I used to have this reoccurring dream. I was a small child playing in a Church pew. My mother was sitting in the pew near me, letting me play. Various people were milling around the room. All of a sudden, the organ started to play and the wailing began. It scared the shit out of me. I ran into my mother's arms crying. Then I would wake up.

Sometime during my late twenty's early thirty's, I overheard my mother telling a friend about her grandmother, Cornelia Washington's funeral. Her story was my dream. Turns out that it wasn't a dream, but instead an early memory. Cornelia died when I was five, and I was actually remembering her funeral.

Cornelia was born in May 30, 1887 in Caldwell, Texas, although on her death certificate her birthday is listed as May 30, 1901, and only 60 years old. In fact, she was 73 years at her death.

Cornelia's Parents
Her parents were John Chiles and Charlotte Bellinger Chiles. I have also seen this name spelled as "Childs" and therefore am not clear about the spelling. John was born in Missouri in 1854. The records indicate that his parents were from Virginia. Charlotte was born in Texas in 1855. John and Charlotte married in Caldwell Texas on December 29, 1873.

Charlotte was a housewife whose brother was the infamous Charles Bellinger. John Chiles was a policeman in San Antonio. When Charles Bellinger died in 1936, John Chiles purported when around smashing the cameras of reporters because the gangsters attending the funeral did not want their pictures taken.

Charlotte and John had the following kids:
Louvenia Chiles b: 1875 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas
Blick John Chiles, Jr. b: 4 AUG 1877 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas
Aleck Chiles b: 1879 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas
Birdie Chiles b: 10 DEC 1880 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas
Florence Chiles b: 10 APR 1883 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas
Cornelia Mae Chiles b: 30 MAY 1887 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas

Lex Bernice Chiles b: 4 JUL 1889 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas
Nora Chiles b: 25 JAN 1892 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas

Nora Chiles Todd

Myrtle Chiles b: 29 JUL 1894 in Lockhart, Caldwell County, Texas

Cornelia has several sisters and two brothers. One brother, Aleck, died as a teenager. The other was named Blick.

The Chiles Sisters
Cornelia (upper left) and her sisters.

Her sisters were: Louvenia, Birdie, Florence, Lex, Nora and Myrtle.

Cornelia and her sisters
Married Life

Cornelia married Clarence Washington, Sr.

Cornelia and Clarenxe Washington at the Tidal Basin

Cornelia and Clarence (Big Papa)

They had three sons: Harold, Clarence, and Chiles.

My mother middle name is Cornelia and she was named after her grandmother. They were very close.

Cornelia talking to Thelma and someone

Thelma, (unknown), Cornelia

Clarence's Nephew, Hamilton Hughes, also lived with the family.

John Blick Childs, Jr. (Son of John and Charlotte Childs)
Hamilton Hughes (born 1909 in Texas)