Mary Elise Jackson Jenkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Like her brother Paul L. Jackson, Mary Elise Jackson Jenkins migrated from Wilson to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Toward the end of her life, she was featured several times in Philadelphia Inquirer articles.

  • Art exhibit

Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 June 1983.

  • Education in the South

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Philadelphia Daily News, 17 February 1987.

The “very special block” was, of course, the 600 block of East Green Street, home to the Vicks, the Hines/Barnes family, the Hargraves, the Reids, and other striving East Wilsonians. However, Claflin University (then College) was an unusual choice for a Wilson family. I have not been able to determine who the “girl from my home” was.

  • The Great Migration

Elise Jenkins contributed keepsakes to “Let This Be Your Home,” a year-long exhibit at Philadelphia’s Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum [now the African American Museum] chronicling the lives of “the new Philadelphians” who arrived in the city as part of the Great Migration.

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Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 February 1990.


In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Joseph Jackson, 37, minister; wife Annie, 45; and children Eloise, 8, Joseph, 5, Paul L., 2, and John, 2 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 616 Green Street, Joseph S. Jackson, 48, minister; wife Annie H., 45; and children Mary E., 18, Joseph S., Jr., 15, Paul L., 11, and John B., 9.

On 18 August 1926, Leroy H. Jenkins, of Philadelphia, son of John and Molie Jenkins, married Mary Eleis Jackson, 25, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister J.S. Jackson performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, C.S. Thomas and H.S. Stanback.

In the 1930 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2346 North 25th Street, owned and valued at $2900, South Carolina-born Leroy Jenkins, 33, a doctor of dentistry; North Carolina-born wife Elise, 28; and brother Augustus, 21, automobile works inspector.

In the 1940 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2351 West Haggart, owned and valued at $3000, dentist Leroy H. Jenkins, 42; wife Elise, 39; and children Leroy, 8, and Anne, 5.

Mary Elise Jackson Jenkins died 6 May 1990 in Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 May 1990.

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M. Elise Jackson Jenkins (1901-1990).

Photo courtesy of user GusJenkins.


  1. I grew up in South Jersey and my mother loved to paint flowers. She would have agreed with Mary Jenkins’ sentiment! Enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.

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