Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Family Histories


Hullum Family

                                                            Hullum Family History Part 1 – Faithful Work

This month’s family history is about the Hullum family (sometimes spelt Hullm) which might sound familiar because a few members of the Hullum family appeared in the last family history for the Powell family. The Hullum family history begins with Jasper Hullum and his wife Marie Stewart. I was unable to find information for Marie Stewart but, according to an article from the Amherstburg Echo from March 31, 1899, Jasper fundraised for the church. The article says “To all whom it may concern – This will certify that Jasper Hullum is legally authorized to collect money for the A.M.E. church at New Canaan. By order of Trustees. Wm. F. Townsend, Pastor.”

According to Jasper’s obituary which was printed in the Amherstburg Echo on January 1, 1904, “One of the best known colored men in this county was killed in the Pare Marquette train wreck near Grand Rapids, last Friday night. We refer to Jasper Hullum. Mr. Hullum was best known as a canvasser for church enterprises, and as such had travelled not only in every part of this but adjoining counties. He was born in North Carolina in 1844, and came to this township when a boy. He was raised by an old gentleman named Anthony, and after reaching manhood married Mary Stewart. They had seven children, four sons and three daughters who reside as follows: Alzora, Mrs. James Banks, Windsor; Mrs. Nathan S. Powell, Colchester South; Mrs. M. Galloway, Detroit; William, Darius and Herman, Detroit and Gordon, Colchester South. The deceased and his wife moved to Windsor several years ago and there he identified himself with the work of the A.M.E. church. At the time of his death he was soliciting funds for the Victoria Red Cross Hospital, to be erected in Windsor. The remains were brought here Wednesday morning over the L.E. & D.R.R. and taken to Central Grove for interment. Rev. Mr. Davis, of Windsor, officiated. Quite a large crowd of former friends turned out and followed the remains to their last resting place. The pallbearers were Anthony Banks, Henry Harris, R.M. Dennis, John Brown, Marion Banks, and Elijah Pines.” The train wreck mentioned in Jasper’s obituary occurred on December 26, 1903 in Kent County, Michigan, and Jasper was one of 22 people who died in this accident, while 40 others were injured. According to Family Search, the wreck was caused by a westbound stop signal that was blown out by strong winds. Staff tried to alert a nearby farmer, likely to restore the signal, but they were not able to prevent the train wreck. Sadly, a separate article from the Amherstburg Echo, from January 1, 1904, reported “Ghouls robbed the body of the late Jasper Hullum of $15, while it was lying after the wreck on, the Pero Marquette.”

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps.  See you next week for part 2.

                                                             Hullum Family History Part 2 – Doc Powell

According to Census records, Jasper and Marie (Stewart) Hullum had several children including Annie Marie, James William, Darius, Milla Alzora, Mary (Minnie), Gordon, Herman and Gertie. I have information for each child except for Herman. Let’s start with Annie Marie.

Annie Marie married Nathan S. Powell in Colchester South on July 2, 1861. According to the Amherstburg Echo, “At the residence of Rev. L. Pierce, Amherstburg, on Sunday, April 21st, by Rev. J.A. Holt, Mr. Nathan S. Powell to Annie, daughter of Mr. Jasper Hulm, both of Colchester South.”

Annie’s husband Nathan Powell appears to have been involved in several occupations. According to the Amherstburg Echo “The police forces in the county were made up of county constables … A number was designated for each district … A few were …. Colchester South, Anthony Banks, William Hughson, Charles Staddon, Nathan Powell and Roland Wright.” Milo Johnson adds that Nathan S. Powell was also known as the Town Crier in Harrow and would use his powerful voice to announce sporting events and debates. He was also involved in the actual debates as was reported in the Amherstburg Echo on February 26, 1897 which said “On Tuesday evening the 26th there was a debate in Central Grove under the management of the lyceum. The subject was ‘Resolved that the orator wields more influence than the writer.’ The affirmative was championed by ? D. Dennis and James Turner. The negative was upheld by Nathan S. Powell and Albert Mulder. The affirmative defeated the negative 21 in 15 points.”

On February 15, 1901, the Echo also shared a letter to the editor from Nathan Powell which was about Queen Victoria. It said “To the Editor of THE ECHO – I cannot at this time withhold the asking of a small space in your valuable paper to express our heartfelt sorrow on the removal, by the hand of Providence, from our midst of our Noble Sovereign Queen Victoria. The world has sustained a great loss in her death; but of all the races of earth, the race to which I belong, namely the colored race, owes to her memory the greatest tribute of respect. Sir you will remember that Great Britain in the reign of William the fourth, uncle of Her sainted Majesty, abolished slavery, and it had for its results the liberation of 800,000 slaves. The ransom paid by the Government was twenty million sterling. Immediately after King William’s death, which was about four years later, Queen Victoria ascended the British Throne. At that time our neighboring Republic to the south, amongst others, was holding colored slaves and she took a step further and proclaimed to the colored bondsmen throughout the world, if they could but only set their foot on British soil they should be free and we all know the result. Though we were ignorant, poor and despised she protected and educated us by her moral influence into the Royal path of life and into the eternal hope of happiness in the life beyond. There are thousands of other things she has done for us but space would not permit the telling. But I desire it to go down in history that the black men in this Great Colony are as sensitive of the loss we have sustained as any other race which helps to make up the British Empire, and be it remembered that we will always love and revere the memory of her sainted Majesty Queen Victoria. The pains of death are past, Labours and sorrow cease, And life’s long warfare closed at last, Her souls is found in peace. Soldier of Christ, well don, Praise by thy new employ, And, while eternal ages run, Rest in thy Saviour’s joy. -NATHAN POWELL. Colchester South, Feb. 8th, 1901.”

On May 27, 1904, Nathan Powell’s loyalty to the Crown was expressed at a Victoria Day Celebration. The details of the event were reported in the Amherstburg Echo which said “On Tuesday evening Victoria day was right loyally celebrated in Central Grove A.M.E. church, when the stewards held a box social which was well attended. After singing Martin Luther’s favorite hymn ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ by the congregation Rev. D.M. Lewis led in prayer. In his introductory speech he paid a touching tribute to Her Sainted Majesty, Queen Victoria. Hilliard Hughbanks was called to the stand and rendered a beautiful solo ‘The Easter Sunday morning.’ Nathan S. Powell was next called to the stand and delivered an address telling of the protection the late Queen and the British law gave the colored men in this country, in the dark days of slavery in United States; of the peace and quiet which this country enjoys at present; He said that Britain with the sword in one hand and the bible in the other had civilized and christianized more men and women than any other nation in the world. He closed with an earnest appeal to his people to take advantage of the times and while other churches were making efforts to unite it is our duty to consider the same question. A standing vote of thanks was rendered the last speaker and the boxes were put on sale. A. Mulder wielded the hammer and received high prices for them. Proceeds amounted to $11.35.”

The Census also lists him as a garden farmer and Milo Johnson adds that Nathan S. Powell “was an excellent gardener and was the first farmer in the Colchester area to begin growing fruit. He had impressive hotbeds and raised both fruits and vegetables which he peddled on the streets of the local communities. I was also able to find some interesting articles in the Amherstburg Echo which talk about his work in manufacturing and selling medical remedies. On May 8, 1891, the Amherstburg Echo printed “Nathan S. Powell begs leave to inform the public that he has bought the right and receipts for Sloan’s Indian Tonic; Burtch & Co.’s Eastern Liniment, or English Poadildoc, and a German Salve, which are warranted cures for the various complaints for which they are prescribed. He always keeps a full supply of the above patent medicines, fresh and good. With thanks to his many patrons for their patronage, he still desires to extend his trade. All orders promptly responded to. Address, Nathan S. Powell, Harrow P.O., Colchester South, Canada.”

A few years later, Nathan was still in this trade as was reported in The Windsor Evening Record on November 12, 1897, which said “Patent medicine peddlers, Nathan H. Haley and Nathan S. Powell are canvassing their respective medicines, and report trade fair. A grand improvement on trade this fall from that of last fall.” On February 27, 1920, the Amherstburg Echo printed an advertisement for Powell’s remedies and more, writing “FOR SALE – Tobacco seed of the White Burley variety saved from selected plants, $1.00 per oz. Sent any place in Canada postage paid on receipt of price. Also Powell’s Sloan’s Indian Tonic, Vegetable Cough Syrup and Powell’s Genuine Liniment, which are among the best proprietary medicines on the earth. NATHAN S. POWELL, … R.R. No. 1, Harrow, Ont.” His work in medical remedies earned him the name ‘Doc Powell.”

Nathan S. Powell passed away on May 20, 1928 in Colchester at the age of 66 years. The Amherstburg Echo printed his obituary a few days later, on May 25, 1928 which says “Our old friend, Nathan S. Powell, one of the best known colored men in South Essex, passed away at the family home, Snake Lane, Sunday evening following an illness of six months. It was noted from time to time lately in The Echo that his condition was serious and his physicians felt that there was no hope of his recovery. Mr. Powell was born on lot 5, 5th concession, near what is known as the ‘Flat Iron,’ July 2nd, 1861, son of Nathan and Martha Powell. His parents are long since dead but he leaves on sister, Mrs. William Kersey, of Harrow; a brother died in infancy. His father was quite a stump speaker, and Nathan S. no doubt inherited his ability as an orator from him and in his prime of life was often heard to good effect on political platforms speaking in the interests of the late Hon. W.D. Balfour, the late John A. Auld and H.W. Allan. He dabbled somewhat in pharmacy and registered some root remedies known as Powell’s General Liniment, Vegetable Cough Syrup and Indian Tonic, which he sold throughout the county, and this earned for himself the sobriquet of ‘Dr.’, by which he was best known. He was married on April 24th, 1895, to Miss Annie Maria Hullum, who survives him, but there was no family. He served as trustee of the Public school and was trustee and steward of the B.M.E. church for many years; was always known as a man of his word and was very highly respected throughout the community. Funeral services were held in the B.M.E. church Wednesday afternoon, with burial in Gilgal cemetery, Rev. Harris and Rev. Perry officiating.”

Interestingly, even after Nathan S. Powell died, his wife Annie Marie still kept selling their medical remedies for several decades. On August 8, 1941, the Amherstburg Echo printed “Good For Man and Beast” which says “There was an interesting visitor in the Harrow Echo office on Wednesday morning when Mrs. A.M. Powell came in to order some labels for Powell’s Eastern Liniment that has been sold by her late husband and herself for years. Although past 71 years of age Mrs. Powell is bright and alert and her eyes light up as she tells the story of tramping the country from door to door peddling her famous liniment for ten years following the death of her husband in 1928. ‘Many times,’ she said, ‘I have walked down from Harrow to Arner and gone into the store there and ordered some crackers and cheese for my lunch. I’m too old to get out on the road now,’ she continued, ‘but I always keep a stock at home for those who want it.’ Older residents of this district will remember ‘Doc’ Powell who went up and down the concession in the county with his liniment ‘good for man and beast.’ Mrs. Powell told us that the formula for the remedy was purchased by her husband from a man named Burch who came from the east. ‘I’ll canvass the east and you take the west, he told my husband,’ she said. The fine colored lady stated her liniment is registered and she wants to keep the formula and sell medicine as long as she is able.”

There were only two available documents for Annie’s brother James William. The first is the 1901 Census for Colchester North which lists William Hulm and his wife Prena B. and their daughter Mary E. It also mentions that William was born on August 14, 1872 which matches the same birth year for James W. in the 1881 Census that lists him along with his family members. The second record is a manifest record for his sister Alzora Hullum Banks which mentions that William is Alzora’s nearest relative and that he was living in New Canaan (Colchester North). This document also states that Alzora was travelling to meet her brother Darius who will be discussed next.

Darius is listed in the 1900 Detroit Census as being born in July 1873 and single. It also states he immigrated to Detroit in 1893. He is also listed in the 1940 Detroit Census along with his son Elmer Hullm who was 29 years old, along with his brother-in-law Bryant Daniel. Darius is listed as widowed. It took looking through a few more documents to discover his wife’s name. His WWI draft registration states that his wife’s name was Emma, but her last name is not listed. Emma’s death record lists her as Emma Wilson Hullum which means that her maiden name was Wilson. Emma’s death record also mentions that she passed away on January 1, 1933 in Detroit and that her mother was Alice Kelly. Her obituary from the Essex Free Press from January 20, 1933 says “NEW CANAAN-  In Detroit, on January 4th, Mrs. Darius Hullum, formerly of New Canaan, passed away at the age of 55 years. Mrs. Hullum was a native of Sandwich, while her husband, who survives her, was born in Colchester South. He is a son of the late Joseph Hullum. Besides her husband she leaves two sons. Burial was in Central Grove cemetery, north of Harrow.” Her children’s names are not listed, but thanks to one of our Facebook followers, Lori, we have a record for their son Wellington D. Hullum. His marriage record states that he married Helen F. Cole on July 5, 1947 in Detroit.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps.  See you next week for part 3.

                                                           Hullum Family History Part 3- Family Legacy

Next is Darius’ sister Milla Alzora. In the 1881 Census, she is listed as Milla A. and in the 1891 Census she is listed as Alzora. She married James Banks, the son of Marion Banks and Mary Valentine. According to The Banks Family Legacy by Elizabeth M. Turner “Marion Harrison Banks, the oldest child of Erling and Adaline Landers Banks, was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1837. He died at the age of 76, on May 5, 1913, in Harrow, Ontario, Canada where he is buried. Since Erling died when Marion was young, he was reared by his uncle Erving Banks Sr. Marion, like many of the Banks men, was a farmer. His first wife Mary Valentine, the mother of his children, was also born in Ohio; they came to Colchester shortly after their marriage in 1861. The Banks were ambitious people. Erving Banks, Sr. was considered to be in good circumstances financially, and seemed to spoil Marion. Marion always kept in contact with his relatives in the United States. He and Mary Banks had six children, all born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada, they were: Faleri Banks; Ida Banks; James Banks; Erlie Welling Banks; Rebecca Banks; Marion Banks Jr.” The book also adds that Marion had two other children named Martha and Edith Banks who were born in Canada. Also mentioned in The Banks Family Legacy is that James Banks was born circa 1866 and passed away on October 23, 1927. It also states that James and Alzora had two sons named Ruel and Ezra Banks. I was able to find evidence of another child named Sylvester Banks. Sylvester’s marriage record states that he married Eliza Lockman, the daughter of Woodson Lockman and Idelia Dairy, on January 11, 1928. His marriage record also mentions that Sylvester worked as a chauffeur.

Before Alzora married James Banks, she is mentioned in the March 3, 1933 issue the Amherstburg Echo as joining the Gesto amateur dancing school conducted by Mrs. Dot Noland. Following her marriage to James Banks, Alzora is mentioned again several times in the Echo. On October 18, 1912, the Echo printed details about a Thanksgiving dinner hosted at Central Grove AME which was organized by Alzora and Mrs. Mary Brooks who “are sparing no pains to make this a success.” At this event, Mrs. Mary Tule, a missionary, was going to speak to the audience about “the great scenes in Africa … Silver collection for the lecture.”

Several years later, on June 3, 1921, Alzora is mentioned in the Echo again because of a Decoration Day picnic at Central Grove Park. It was reported that the “Decoration Day picnic at Central Grove Park was a success, marked by general gathering of old friends from the U.S.A. and the Dominion of Canada. ‘How are you; good luck’ was the greeting extended by many friends. Mrs. Alzora Banks, who has spent some months with friends abroad, together with Mrs. Fred Davis and many friends were there to witness the pleasures of the day. Touring cars from Detroit and other places began to arrive as early as 8 o’clock bearing Bether Sunday school baseball team, who met at 3:30pm, on the Fair grounds, Harrow’s bunch of affable, clean cut ball players, who proved to much for the visitors. In the 5th inning, Harrow showed her batting class by showering balls in the outfied and infield, and baffled the visitors in spite of the home run made by Mr. Carter. Wm Hogden, Mgr., conceded to Mr. Taylor, Mgr., a victory of 5 to 12. To the citizens of Harrow and elsewhere, Rev. Seay, the officers and members of Central Grove A.M.E. church extend their appreciation for the loyal way in which they contributed to the cause.”

That same year, 1921, Alzora’s Manifest Record states that she was on her way to Detroit, Michigan where she was going to meet her brother Darius. This record lists Alzora’s occupation as a cook. The previous year, in the 1920 Census for Detroit, Alzora is listed as living in the home of Bishop Williams as a “servant for a private family.” The 1920 Census also states that Alzora was still married.

Alzora’s husband James Banks passed away on October 23, 1927 at the age of 60. This record also states that James was born on April 15, 1867 in Colchester and worked as a farmer. It also states that he was widowed. A death notice for Alzora appeared in the Amherstburg Echo on May 22, 1925 stating “Mrs. James Banks, aged 49 years” passed away in Colchester South on May 22.

As mentioned previously, The Banks Family Legacy states that James and Alzora had two sons named Ruel and Ezra Banks. I was able to find evidence of another child named Sylvester Banks. Sylvester’s marriage record states that he married Eliza Lockman, the daughter of Woodson Lockman and Idelia Dairy, on January 11, 1928. His marriage record also mentions that Sylvester worked as a chauffeur. Sylvester’s brother Ruel appears in a few documents. His draft registration states that Ruel was born on December 3, 1895 in Harrow and that he was employed by D. Hullum and worked as a farmer. I was also able to find the death record for two of his children, Thomas and Jane. Thomas’ death record shares that Ruel married Gladys Scott. Sadly, Thomas passed away a few days after his birth. Ruel’s daughter Jane was born in 1933 and also sadly passed away the next year, on June 6, 1934 in Harrow. The only record available for Ruel’s brother Ezra is his WWI Draft Registration which states that he was born on May 18, 1894.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps.  See you next week for part 4.

                                                              Hullum Family History Part 4 – ‘M’ is For …

The next child of Jasper Hullum and Marie Stewart is Mary/Minnie. There was limited information for her, but she is listed as Minnie Hullm in the 1900 Detroit Census as living with her brother Darius. She is also listed as 22 years old, single and working as a laundress. The only other information for Mary is that she likely married a man named William Galloway. In Mary’s father Jasper’s obituary, it lists his daughter Mrs. M. Galloway. The ‘M’ is not for William, so the only possible option is Mary/Minnie because her sisters are married to other men. Millie Alzora Banks is married and listed as Mrs. James Banks. Next is Annie, but she was already married to Nathan S. Powell. The other option is Gertie, who married a Barber named Joseph Jenkins, the son of William Jenkins and Mary Montgomery, on September 30, 1908 in Windsor. The best explanation is that Mary is the wife of William Galloway.

There was no information found for Jasper and Marie Hullum’s son Herman so the last child to be discussed is Gordon. The only information found for Gordon was his obituary from the Amherstburg Echo on July 8, 1904 which says “Gordon Hullum died at the residence of his sister, Mrs. N.S. Powell, Tuesday, after suffering for some time with consumption. He was aged 21 and was a son of the late Jasper Hullum, who was killed in the Pere Marquette collision at Grand Rapids, last December. The deceased leaves three sisters and three brothers as follows: Mrs. James Banks, Windsor; Mrs. N.S. Powell, Colchester South; Mrs. William Galloway.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps.  See you next week where we will celebrate another amazing family.