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Headstone of Charles Henderson, USCT

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African American History
in South Central
Pennsylvania:
the 19th century

Selected African American Death Certificates:
Steelton Borough, 1892-1893

 

Midland Cemetery was recently rescued from neglect by local historian Barbara B. Barksdale, who began the Friends of Midland organizationThat organization is the best source of information on the cemetery.  They can be contacted at the following address:
Friends of Midland, P. O. Box 7442, Steelton, Pennsylvania 17113-0442.

E-mail:  Friends of Midland

The following material was extracted from 26 death certificates issued between 11 March, 1892, and 14 December, 1893.  Twenty-five of the death certificates were issued in the Borough of Steelton, Pennsylvania, and one was issued by the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  All of the certificates are for African American citizens of Steelton.  More than half of the certificates, fourteen, were issued for children under age 12, an indication of the high mortality rate of children in this working-class community.  This is a representative sampling of death certificates, and is not meant to be a complete documentation of the deaths in the African American community of Steelton during this time period.

The transcripts below only show data for lines that were filled out on the certificate.  Many certificates were not completely filled out.  For a description of the death certificates, including a list of all questions on the form, click this link.  The original spelling on the forms has been preserved wherever it does not affect clarity.

Index

  1. Adams Infant
  2. Allen, Charles A.
  3. Armstrong, ???
  4. Brooks, Mary
  5. Clay, Harry
  6. Durr, Walter
  7. Fields, Viola
  8. Fink, Agnes
  9. Green, Ashton
  10. Hunter, Lewis
  11. James, Emie
  12. Lewis, Christopher Columbus
  13. Manley, James
  14. Mason, William
  15. Miller Infant
  16. Mosely Infant
  17. Moton, Willy
  18. Porter, Nelson
  19. Preston, Charles H.
  20. Sevan, Herbert
  21. Smith, Bitnur
  22. Smith, John W. J.
  23. Stevenson, Joseph
  24. Trice, Edna B.
  25. Walker, John
  26. Williams, Henry Clay

Data

  • Armstrong, ???
    • Date of Death March 11th 1892
    • Full Name of Deceased ??? Armstrong
    • Sex Male
    • Age 2 Days [transcriber's notes: Physician might have intended to place the "2" before the word "Months," rather than before the word "Days." See below, where he wrote "2 Months" for the duration of residence in the borough, and "five days" for "Duration of Last Sickness."]
    • Color Blk
    • Single
    • Occupation none
    • Birthplace 109 Adams St Steelton Pa
    • Duration of Residence in Borough 2 Months
    • Nativity of Father Don't Know
    • Nativity of Mother Pennsylvania
    • Name of Father Don't Know
    • Name of Mother Eliza Armstrong
    • Place of Death 338 North Second St. Steelton
    • Cause of Death Pneumonia
    • Duration of Last Sickness Five days
    • (signed) Bayard T. Dickinson M. D.
    • Addresss 215 N. Front St, Steelton
  • Miller Infant
    • Date of Death March 20 1892
    • Full Name of Deceased Infant not named
    • Sex Male
    • Age 1 month 14 days
    • Occupation Infant
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Nativity of Father Virginia
    • Nativity of Mother Maryland
    • Name of Father Wm. Miller
    • Name of Mother Anne Miller
    • Place of Death 86 Furnace Row
    • Cause of Death Catarrhal Pneumonia
    • Duration of Last Sickness About a week. I saw the child the day it died for first time.
    • (signed) John F. Culp M. D.
    • Addresss Steelton Pa
  • Walker, John
    • Date of Death May 13th 1892
    • Full Name of Deceased Jno. Walker
    • Sex Male
    • Age 5 Years
    • Color Black
    • Single
    • Birthplace Pa. I think
    • Place of Death Ridge St.
    • Cause of Death Pneumonia/ Consumption
    • Duration of Last Sickness 3 mo.
    • (signed) D. B. Traver M. D. 145 S. Front St.
  • Hunter, Lewis
    • Date of Death July 14th 1892
    • Full Name of Deceased Lewis Hunter
    • Sex Male
    • Age 60 about
    • Color Black
    • Married
    • Occupation Laborer
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Duration of Residence in Borough About 20 Years
    • Cause of Death The result of an accident at Cinder Dump/ Surgical shock
    • Duration of Last Sickness 2 hours
    • Date of Burial Colored Cemetery near Oberlin
    • John F. Culp M. D.
  • Porter, Nelson
    • Date of Death July 18 1892
    • Full Name of Deceased Nelson Porter
    • Sex Male
    • Age 43 Years 11 Months 23 Days
    • Color Colored
    • Married
    • Occupation Laborer
    • Birthplace United States
    • Place of Death 211 Adams St
    • Cause of Death Phlebitis/ Pyemia
    • Duration of Last Sickness one month
    • (signed) W. H. Seibert M. D.
  • Sevan, Herbert
    • Date of Death August 4 1892
    • Full Name of Deceased Herbert Sevan
    • Sex Male
    • Age 6 Months
    • Color Colored
    • Married, Single, Widow, or Widower Single
    • Occupation [word indecipherable]
    • Birthplace Steelton Pa
    • Duration of Residence in Borough 6 months
    • Place of Death Adams St. Steelton Pa
    • Cause of Death improper diet/ enteritis
    • Duration of Last Sickness Few days
    • (signed) W. H. Seibert, MD
  • Lewis, Christopher Columbus
    • Date of Death January 9th 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Christopher Columbus Lewis
    • Sex Male
    • Age 45 Years
    • Color Black
    • Married
    • Occupation Laborer at Blast Furnace
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Duration of Residence in Borough Don't Know
    • Place of Death Fell over dead at ??? Blast Furnace 3 P.M.
    • Cause of Death Valvular heart disease with hypertrophy
    • Duration of Last Sickness Died instantly
    • (signed) J. F. Culp, M. D. Steelton Pa (Editor's note: Culp was listed in the 1894 Steelton Directory as "Steel Co's surgeon.")
  • Green, Ashton
    • Date of Death Feb 7th 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Ashton Green
    • Sex Male
    • Age about 23 Years
    • Color Black
    • Single
    • Occupation Laborer at Penna Steel Works
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Duration of Residence in Borough About one Year
    • Place of Death Adams St near Harrisburgh St
    • Cause of Death Epidemic Influenza/ Lobar Pneumonia
    • Duration of Last Sickness Nine days
    • Place of Burial Colored Cemetery Oberlin
    • Undertaker Fackler
    • J. F. Culp M. D.
  • Mosely Infant
    • Date of Death Feb 11th 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Infant
    • Sex Female
    • Age 6 Months
    • Color Black
    • Birthplace Steelton, Pa
    • Nativity of Father Virginia
    • Nativity of Mother Virginia
    • Name of Father W. H. Mosely
    • Name of Mother Mary Mosely
    • Place of Death Front St. rear Gibson St.
    • Cause of Death Membranous Croup
    • Duration of Last Sickness Four days
    • Place of Burial Colored Cemetery
    • Date of Burial Feby 12th 1893
    • Undertaker Fackler
  • Manley, James
    • Date of Death March 10 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased James Maniley
    • Age 84 Years
    • Color Black
    • Occupation Labor
    • Birthplace 55 Adams St. near Hbg St.
    • Place of Death Adams St.
    • Duration of Last Sickness Old Age with ??? [transcriber's note: this comment may have been meant for the line above it, "Cause of Death."]
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable
  • Preston, Charles H.
    • Date of Death Body Found May 1 1893
    • Full name of Deceased Charles H. Preston
    • Sex Male
    • Age About 35 Years
    • Color Black
    • Married
    • Occupation Laborer
    • Birthplace Crawford County, Maryland
    • Duration of Residence in Borough a few months in Steelton Pa
    • Nativity of Father American
    • Nativity of Mother American
    • Place of Death Steelton Pa
    • Cause of Death Drowned in Pennsylvania Canal
    • Place of Burial Alms House Plot
    • Date of Burial May 1st 1893
    • Undertaker Adam Beinhower
    • Place of Business Steelton Pa
    • (signed) F. H. Hoy Coroner
    • Addresss 251 Briggs Street Harrisburg
  • Mason, William
    • Date of Death May 10 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Wm Mason
    • Sex Male
    • Color african
    • Married
    • Occupation laborer
    • Duration of Residence in Borough several years
    • Place of Death 407 Bailey St. Steelton Pa
    • Cause of Death apoplexy/ paralysis
    • Duration of Last Sickness 3 days
    • (signed) W. H. Seibert M. D.
    • Addresss 31 S. Front St.
  • Adams Infant
    • Date of Death May 21 1893
    • Sex Male
    • Age 1+ Years
    • Color african
    • Name of Father Marshall Adams
    • Place of Death 121 Adams St.
    • Cause of Death Catarrhal Pneumonia
    • Duration of Last Sickness few weeks
    • (signed) W. H. Seibert M. D.
    • Addresss 31 S Front St
  • Clay, Harry
    • Date of Death June 5 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Harry Clay
    • Sex Male
    • Age 9 Months
    • Color Black
    • Occupation Eating & Sleeping
    • Birthplace Steelton Pa
    • Name of Father Robert Clay
    • Place of Death 22 Chestnut
    • Cause of Death Pneumonia
    • Duration of Last Sickness About 4 days
    • (signed) D. B. Traver M. D.
    • Addresss 145 S. Front St.
  • Allen, Charles A.
    • Date of Death July 2nd 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Chas A. Allen
    • Sex Male
    • Age 56 Years
    • Color Black
    • Married
    • Occupation Laborer in Foundry
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Duration of Residence in Borough 20 Years
    • Place of Death 42 Furnace St Steelton Pa
    • Cause of Death Exposure/ Acute Lobar Pneumonia
    • Duration of Last Sickness Sunday
    • Place of Burial Oberlin Colored Cemetery
    • Date of Burial July 5th 1893
    • Undertaker Beinhower
    • (signed) John F. Culp M. D.
  • Durr, Walter
    • Date of Death 6 August 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Walter Durr [transcriber's note: Could also be Dion or Dunn]
    • Sex Male
    • Age 1 Years
    • Color Black
    • Name of Father Henry Durr
    • Name of Mother Sallie
    • Place of Death North Second St. 324
    • Undertaker H. H. Wilt
  • Moton, Willy
    • Date of Death 27 August 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Willy Moton
    • Sex Male
    • Age 2 Years
    • Color Black
    • Occupation Boy
    • Birthplace Steelton
    • Name of Father Turner Moton
    • Name of Mother Joanne
    • Place of Death Furnace St.
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable
  • James, Emie
    • Date of Death 1 Sept 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Emie James
    • Sex Feemail
    • Age 13 Years 5 Months
    • Color Culored
    • Occupation Domestick
    • Birthplace Md
    • Name of Father Randolf James
    • Name of Mother Sindy
    • Undertaker Ed Fackler
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable
  • Smith, Bitnur
    • Date of Death 20 Sept 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Bitnur? Smifth [transcriber's note:  First name is very difficult to read due to poor handwriting]
    • Sex Girl
    • Age One Year
    • Color Black
    • Single
    • Birthplace Steelton
    • Name of Father Norman Smifth (Editor's Note:  The 1894 Steelton Directory lists "Smith Norman, laborer, h 2d c Ridge.  He does not appear in the 1897 Steelton or Harrisburg Directories.)
    • Name of Mother Emma
    • Place of Death 42 Furnace St.
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable
  • Stevenson, Joseph
    • Date of Death 24 Sept 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Joseph Steavison
    • Sex Male
    • Age 35 Years 11 Months 16 Days
    • Color Black
    • Married (Editor's Note:  The 1894 Steelton Directory lists "Stevenson Emma, wid Joseph, h 547 Mumma's Row."
    • Place of Death 216 Chiques St.
    • Cause of Death Consumson [consumption]
    • Undertaker E. Fackler
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable
  • Fields, Viola
    • Date of Death September 24th 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Viola Fields
    • Sex Female
    • Age 10 Months
    • Color Black
    • Single
    • Birthplace Steelton Pa
    • Nativity of Father Va.
    • Nativity of Mother Va.
    • Name of Father Emanuel Fields
    • Place of Death 222 Baily St.
    • Cause of Death Summer Complaint (Editor's note:  According to Dictionary.com, this is a medical term, being "a popular term for any diarrheal disorder occurring in summer, especially when produced by heat and indigestion.")
    • Duration of Last Sickness 2 or 3 weeks
    • (signed) D. B. Traver M.D.
    • Addresss 145 S. Front St.
  • Williams, Henry Clay
    • Date of Death September 24th 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Henry Clay Williams
    • Sex Male
    • Age 9 Months 16 Days
    • Color Black
    • Single
    • Birthplace Steelton Pa
    • Nativity of Father Va.
    • Nativity of Mother Va.
    • Name of Father H.C. Williams (Editor's note:  Henry Clay Williams was the Borough High Constable, and his signature appears on many death certificates transcribed on this page.  This certificate was for his infant son of the same name.  In addition to this address, the Williams family also lived next door at 219 Adams Street in previous years.)
    • Name of Mother Ella F.
    • Place of Death 221 Adam St.
    • Cause of Death Cholera Infantum
    • Duration of Last Sickness 2 Days
    • (signed) D. B. Traver M.D.
    • Addresss 145 S. Front St.
  • Smith, John W. J.
    • Date of Death 15 Oct 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased John J. Smifth
    • Sex Feemail
    • Age 9 Months 23 Days
    • Color Culored
    • Single
    • Occupation Baby
    • Birthplace Steelton
    • Name of Father John Smifth
    • Name of Mother Mary E.
    • Undertaker E. L. Fackler
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable
  • Brooks, Mary
    • Date of Death October 25th 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Mary Brooks
    • Sex Female
    • Age 18 Years 6 Months
    • Color Black
    • Occupation Housework
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Duration of Residence in Borough Don't Know
    • Nativity of Father Don't Know
    • Nativity of Mother Don't Know
    • Place of Death 167 Adams Street
    • Cause of Death Exposure/ Pulmonary Tuberculosis
    • Duration of Last Sickness About three weeks
    • (signed) J. F. Culp M. D.
    • Addresss Steelton Penn
  • Fink, Agnes
    • Date of Death Oct. 25 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Agnes Finks
    • Sex Female
    • Age No one knows
    • Color Colored
    • Widow
    • Occupation None
    • Birthplace Virginia
    • Duration of Residence in Borough 4 or 5 yrs
    • Place of Death Ridge St
    • Cause of Death Old Age
    • Duration of Last Sickness Indefinite
    • (signed) D. B. Traver M. D.
    • Addresss 145 S. F. St.
  • Trice, Edna B.
    • Date of Death 14 Decbr 1893
    • Full Name of Deceased Edna B. Trice
    • Sex Female
    • Age 15 Months
    • Color Colored
    • Occupation Baby
    • Birthplace Steelton
    • Name of Father John Trice
    • Name of Mother Leonora Trice
    • Place of Death #300 North Second St.
    • Undertaker E. L. Fackler
    • (signed) Henry Clay Williams, High Constable

    Return to index of names

more midland pages

The Civil War Burials at Midland
African American Burial Traditions at Midland
World War Burials at Midland
Gallery of Home Crafted Tombstones
Gallery of Plot Boundary Markings
Artifacts of a Historic Cemetery

burials at midland

Tombstone Transcriptions
Additional Names, List B
Additional Names, List C
Additional Names, List D

other pages

About the Friends of Midland
Activities and Events
Midland Links Page

Special Feature ~ The People of Midland

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