Monday, February 28, 2011

Macy's Children: Clara and Obie

Obie Palmer Hall (1906-1971) and Clara Belle Hall Stephens (1902-1982) pictured above were probably the most reserved of Macy Williams' children. Click here to see more photos of them as children.
(Obie and Georgia, his sister)
Obie was a Pentecostal preacher who came to St. Louis for revivals at least once a year. Although he and his brother Ray were both preachers about the best I can say about my grandfather (below) and Georgia (above) is that they attended church. They laughed that they were the "black sheep" in the family, but we all loved them despite their flaws.(Obie Hall with his brother Wes Wicker in St. Louis)
At Christmas, my sister and I recall Obie always giving us "books" of Lifesaver candies. Even today, I see them and think of Obie. He was so calm and warm---I loved when he visited and wanted to go to his revivals, but Mother never took me. My sister Jane remembers,"Uncle Obie was my favorite. He would write me letters all the time. He would send me a dollar or so for my birthday. He was such a small man. I love his smile. He always seemed happy"
(Obie with Mother, Louise Wicker Long)
Many years later Mother told me she wouldn't take me to Obie's revivals because she thought a revival would frighten me who was more accustomed to a serene Methodist worship experience. Obie lived in Rock Island or Moline, Illinois just up the Mississippi from St. Louis (at the border of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin). Although he and his wife Wanda Morgan Hall had 7 children, only three lived to maturity: Joseph Clenno Hall, Alice Hall Washburn and Titus Obie Hall.(L-R: Louise Wicker Long, James Wesley Wicker, Naomi Ruth Hall, me, Obie Palmer Hall)
Here is a photo of myself as a baby with Naomi who died at about 16 years old of kidney disease if I am not mistaken. Alice and I corresponded with genealogy for many years before her death. Titus, in his later years, was a frequent visitor at Mother and Dad's after his military retirement. But, I never met Joe.
Clara and Obie in late 1940's or early 1950's
The two eldest in the family: Clara and James Wesley Wicker, my grandfather.

Clara lived in Michigan, so we didn't see her often. I can recall only meeting her one time. She never talked much about her family and when I asked her for information, she said, "I never knew much about my family tree and I have forgotten all I ever knew. And I don't know why you. . .want to trace it, but you may find out a lot of things you had rather not know. Hope all are well and enjoying your life. God Bless you."
Her niece Alice wrote, "She told me when she was a little girl she could not walk.  It wasn't that she didn't know how to walk, she had a rare blood disease that would not allow her to stand on her feet without terrific pain.  She used to use a high back chair to rest a knee and hop the chair around the house. . .The family farmed a few years then moved to Detroit, Michigan.  They bought their home and Aunt Clara's backyard was fence to fence flowers.  She had roses of every hue.  Her bird bath was a whit porcelain bathtub sunk in the ground. . .Aunt Clara worked as a seamstress in a local laundry and dry cleaning business. .."

Clara had 4 sons (Fred P. Stephens, Charles H. Stephens, Jimmie F. Stephens, Billy Ray Stephens) and one daughter---Bertie Lee pictured above with her aunts Georgia and Vennie and below at Clara's 80th birthday party (Bingo)

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