Angeline Lester

Story and Photo by Frank M. Smith


Mahoning County, Dist. #5

Youngstown, Ohio

The Story of MRS. ANGELINE LESTER, of Youngstown, Ohio.

Mrs. Angeline Lester lives at 836 West Federal Street, on U.S. Route

#422, in a very dilapidated one story structure, which once was a retail

store room with an addition built on the rear at a different floor


Angeline lives alone and keeps her several cats and chickens in the

house with her. She was born on the plantation of Mr. Womble, near

Lumpkin, Stewart County, Georgia about 1847, the exact date not known to

her, where she lived until she was about four years old. Then her father

was sold to a Dr. Sales, near Brooksville, Georgia, and her mother and a

sister two years younger were sold to John Grimrs[HW:?], who in turn

gave them to his newly married daughter, the bride of Henry Fagen, and

was taken to their plantation, near Benevolence, Randolph County,


When the Civil War broke out, Angeline, her mother and sister were

turned over to Robert Smith, who substituted for Henry Fagen, in the

Confederate Army.

Angeline remembers the soldiers coming to the plantation, but any news

about the war was kept from them. After the war a celebration was held

in Benevolence, Georgia, and Angeline says it was here she first tasted

a roasted piece of meat.

The following Sunday, the negroes were called to their master's house

where they were told they were free, and those who wished, could go, and

the others could stay and he would pay them a fair wage, but if they

left they could take only the clothing on their back. Angeline said "We

couldn't tote away much clothes, because we were only given one pair of

shoes and two dresses a year."

Not long after the surrender Angeline said, "My father came and gathered

us up and took us away and we worked for different white folks for

money". As time went on, Angeline's father and mother passed away, and

she married John Lester whom she has outlived.

Angeline enjoys good health considering her age and she devotes her time

working "For De Laud". She says she has "Worked for De Laud in New

Castle, Pennsylvania, and I's worked for De Laud in Akron". She also

says "De Laud does not want me to smoke, or drink even tea or coffee, I

must keep my strength to work for De Laud".

After having her picture taken she wanted to know what was to be done

with it and when told it was to be sent to Columbus or maybe to

Washington, D.C. she said "Lawsy me, if you had tol' me befo' I'd fixed

up a bit."

Angeline Jones Angeline Martin facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail