Friday, February 17, 2012


I found this obituary while searching for more info on my Warren ancestors.

Dyersburg Gazette
February 14, 1901

Aunt Kate Fowlkes, one of the best known negro women in Dyersburg, died last Sunday. She was truly an old time "black mammy" and was proud of the distinction of having nursed the first boy baby every born in Dyersburg - the late lamented Capt. Frank G. Sampson. She died at the ripe old age of 89 years. 

The name struck me because my great grandmother went by the name Kate Fowlkes at one time. This is not her but I wondered if it could have been her grandmother. This obituary was probably meant to honor a "truly old time black mammy" and that was suppose to be a good thing. But while they praised her, they didn't mention her family, the ones who most mourned her passing. The only clue left behind is "the late lamented Capt. Sampson," most likely the son of her slavemaster. I'm sure his obituary was effusive in comparison. Her brief tribute is very sad to me.

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