migration to New York City

Studio shots, no. 46: Beatrice O. Bryant.

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Beatrice O. Bryant (1914-1982).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 596 Wainwright Street, tobacco factory laborer Isham Bryant, 27; wife Rossie, 21; and children Beatrice, 5, Bertha, 4, and Inez, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 Roberson Street, Isom Bryant, 37, factory laborer; wife Rossie, 32, public school maid; and daughters Beatrice, 15, Bertha, 14, and Inez, 11.

On 18 February 1931, Beatrice O. Bryant, 17, daughter of Isham and Rossie Bryant, married Jos. F. Haskins, 19, son of James Haskins and Martha Pitt, in Wilson. Rev. J.T. Douglas of Calvary Presbyterian Church performed the service at Isham Bryant’s house with Judge Mitchell and the Bryants as witnesses.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Isham Bryant, 49, machinist at tobacco factory; wife Rossie, 43; daughter Inez, 22, tobacco factory laborer; and granddaughter Bobbie Haskins, 8 [Beatrice B. Haskins’ daughter Barbara].

In the 1940 census of Brooklyn, King County, New York: on DeKalb Avenue, house painter Joseph Bryant, 32; wife Beatrice, 28; and children Joseph, 8, Ida Mae, 7, Donald, 5, and Dorothy, 1. Joseph and Beatrice were born in North Carolina; the children, in New York. [This is Beatrice’s second husband.]

Beatrice O. Bryant died 12 December 1982 in Jamaica, Queens, New York, and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.

Beatrice Bryant’s daughter Barbara Ann Haskins (1931-2001).

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user jkbryant3142.

The obituary of Bertha H. Carroll, 102.

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Bertha Bryant Hawkins Carroll (1915-2017).

Mrs. Bertha H. Carroll, age 102, of Spring Hill, Florida and formerly of Wilson, NC, died Monday, October 16, 2017. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at Tabernacle Temple of Jesus Christ, Inc., 1601 Lane Street in Wilson, NC with Bishop Staccato Powell officiating. Burial will follow in the Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be on Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 2-7 pm at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel and the wake will be from 5-7 pm. The family will assemble at 12:00 noon on Monday at her residence for the processional to the church. Direct condolences to edwardscares.com. Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, Inc., 805 Nash Street East in Wilson, NC.

Adapted from the funeral program:

Quietly and peacefully on Monday morning, October 16, 2017 at home in Spring Hill, Florida, Mrs. Bertha Bryant Hawkins Carroll transitioned from this earthly life into eternity with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

She was born in Wilson, North Carolina and was the middle daughter of Isham and Rossie Underwood Bryant. In this community, Bertha received her formal educational and Christian values. She graduated from Wilson Colored High School, now known as Charles H. Darden High School in 1933. Bertha continued with her formal education by attending and graduating from Livingstone College, Salisbury, North Carolina with a degree in Education. Following college she moved to Brooklyn, New York and worked as a social worker for the City of New York. Social work was her passion and her life’s work, and in 1960, she continued this passion when she returned to Wilson, she retired from the Wilson County Department of Social Services.

Upon returning home, Bertha united with St. John AME Zion Church where she remained a devoted member until she moved to Spring Hill, Florida with her son and daughter in-law. At St. John, she was the Church Clerk for over thirty years and well as the writer of the church resolutions.

Never one to be idle, she lived a very active and fulfilling life in Wilson. Among her many community activities, she was a member of the following organizations: Wilson Book & Garden Club, St. John AME Zion Church Conference Workers, Eastern Star Starlight #259, Wilson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Darden Alumni Association, Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s Civic Club, The Red Hot Society, Inc., OIC, Good Timers Senior Bowling League at Westview Lanes, and she was the founder of the Wilson Loyal Leisure Club. Bertha was also a Wilson Medical Center volunteer.

Bertha was a loving and devoted wife to Dewitt Hawkins and to this union two sons were born, and she lovingly reared a step-daughter. After the death of Dewitt, she later married Daniel Carroll, who was a prominent business man in Wilson and lovingly raised another step-daughter.

——

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 596 Wainwright Street, tobacco factory laborer Isham Bryant, 27; wife Rossie, 21; and children Beatrice, 5, Bertha, 4, and Inez, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 Roberson Street, Isom Bryant, 37, factory laborer; wife Rossie, 32, public school maid; and daughters Beatrice, 15, Bertha, 14, and Inez, 11.

Bertha Bryant married Dewitt Hawkins on 8 September 1942 in New York City. Hawkins died 21 October 1956. Per a Report on Interment, he served in 3294 QM Svc. Co. QMC from 1942 to 1945 as a private first class and was buried in Long Island National Cemetery. His next of kin was Bertha Hawkins, 183-48 Dunlop Avenue, Saint Albans, New York — “Widow Bertha to be buried in the same grave.”

Bertha Bryant Hawkins returned to Wilson and later married Dan Carroll, who owned a popular Nash Street pool room.

Daniel Carroll died 27 November 1990 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 April 1905 in Henderson, Vance County, to Daniel Carroll Sr. and Lina Coppedge; owned a billiard parlor; resided at 715 Elvie Street; and was married to Bertha Bryant.

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Bertha and Daniel Carroll.

Top photo courtesy of Wilson Daily Times; bottom photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user MichaelJ379.

Noah Lynch, Civil War veteran.

In the 1850 census of the north side of the Neuse district, Wayne County, North Carolina: C.M. Richardson, 32, brickmason; wife Sarah, 24; and their children Jacob, 7, Joseph and Benjamin, 3, and Cisara, 1; plus, Julia Walton, 21, apprentices Green Bryant, 20, and Noah Linch, 20, and brickmason Thomas Piloot, 23.

Noah Lynch married Piety Rose on 2 March 1853 in Edgecombe County.

In the 1860 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: plasterer Noah Lynch, 30; wife Piety, 33, washerwoman; domestic Julia Higgins, 20; John James, 10; and Martha Taylor, 7; all mulatto. Noah reported owning $700 in real property.

Noah and Piety Lynch apparently divorced or otherwise separated in the early 1860s.

Noah Lynch, 34, colored, waiter, married, born in North Carolina, appears in a consolidated list of men who registered for the Union draft in June 1863 in New York City. Also in the list, Shered Lynch, 32, seaman, married, born in North Carolina. (Sherod Lynch married Harriet Moore at Gatlin Lynch’s in Wayne County on 12 July 1855.) Both resided on East Houston Street.

On 4 May 1868, Noah Lynch, 29, black, son of Lary Lynch and Nancy Wilkins, married Mary Sweeny, 25, white, daughter of Patrick Sweeny and Bridget Bilon, in Manhattan.

In the 1870 census of New York, New York County, New York: mason Noah Lynch, 40, and wife Mary, 30. Noah was a native of North Carolina; Mary, of Ireland. Both were described as white. In a duplicate entry in the 1870 census of New York City: on Houston Street, Noah Lynch, 42, machinist, born in North Carolina; wife Mary, 25, born in Ireland; and John Lynch, 30, waiter, also born in Ireland. All were described as white.

On 8 January 1875, Noah Lynch, 40, son of Larry Lynch and Nancy Wilkins, married Anne Carey, 30, daughter of Luke Carey and Catharine Sweeney, in Manhattan.

In the 1880 census of New York, New York County, New York: plasterer Noah Lynch, 50, and wife Annie, 34, both described as white.

In the New York, New York, city directory of 1883: Noah Lynch, mason, 153 Second.

In the 1905 New York state census: at 153-2nd Street, Noah Linch, 75, painter, white.

In the 1910 census of Manhattan, New York County, New York; at 14 Avenue A, widower Noah W. Lynch, 80, and adopted daughter Matilda M. Roth, 37, a stage actress. Noah was described as white and born in North Carolina to German parents. Matilda was born in New York to German parents.

Noah W. Lynch died 23 November 1913 in Manhattan. Per his death certificate, he was 84 years old; born in North Carolina to Larry and Nancy Lynch; was a pensioned mason; and was olive brown (colored). He was buried in Calvary Cemetery.

On 1 December 1913, Matilda Roth of 14 Avenue A testified in Surrogates’ Court to prove Noah Lynch’s will. She averred that she had known Lynch about 33 years, that she had witnessed him sign his will on 23 November 1913 [the day he died] at his residence at 14 Avenue A and that Johanna Kuhnel and Valentine A. Schulz were also present. Johanna Kuhnel testified similarly, noting that she had known Lynch for about 25 years.

Noah Lynch achieved a significant degree of prosperity in the Lower East Side, though he never bought a house or apartment or spent much on material possessions, as his will reveals:

I, Noah Lynch of the City, County and State of New York, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this life, do make, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament as follows, hereby revoking all other and former Wills by me at any time made.

1st First, after my lawful debts are paid, I give to my beloved half-sister, Mary Tillman (widow) residing at Bergen Street near 3rd Avenue in the Borough of Brooklyn, New York City the sum of Eight Hundred Dollars, the same to be held in trust in the name of my executor, and the same to be deposited in the Bank, during her life. I direct my Executor to pay her from time to time the amount necessary to defray the expenses for her maintenance, that he may see fit after her death, my executor shall see that she has a proper burial and whatever moneys he may have on hand or the balance of the above named sum shall be used in erecting a monument or Tombstone, over her last resting place.

2nd. I give to Mary Sands of 2472 Marion Avenue, Borough of Bronx, New York City, the sums of Five Hundred Dollars, that is to say if there is so much on hand to pay her the same, if there is not so much on hand, she shall receive Two Hundred Dollars.

3rd. I give my (gold watch) to my friend John Sands of 2472 Marion Avenue, Borough of the Bronx, New York City.

4th. I give to Ellen Dwyer, for her good services rendered in my sickness and my last moments and for her kindness, the sum of Five hundred Dollars, that is to say if there is so much on hand to pay her the same, if there is not so much on hand, she shall receive Two Hundred Dollars.

5th. I give to my Executor Val. A. Schulz of 214 East 4th Street New York City, for the faithfull performance of his duty or extra compensation for the amount of Labor he will have in attending to matters of my estate he is to have Two hundred and Fifty Dollars, besides his legal allowance.

6th. I hereby direct my executor to give me a decent funeral and a Requiem High Mass at the Church of the Nativity, 2nd Avenue, bet 2nd and 3rd street, New York City.

7th. I hereby direct my executor to pay one hundred dollars to the Most Reverend Father Reilly, the Rector of the Church of the Nativity, at 2nd Avenue bet 2nd-3rd Street New York City, the same is to be used for reading Masses after my death.

I hereby direct my Executor to use the balance of my estate if there be any balance to erect a suitable Monument over my last Resting place.

8th. I hereby direct that my Executor Valentine A. Schulz of 214 East 4th Street, shall serve as my Executor without filing any bonds as I have confidence in his honesty, faithful performance of his duty and I am sure he will carry out my last wishes.

9th. My entire estate consists of 1 Bank account on Bank Book number 658,003 on the Bowery Savings Bank, and another Bank book number 1,015 832 on the 4th Ave Bank at 200 4th Avenue, New York City, and other small articles of no value.

10th. I give to Matilda Roth of 14 Ave A, New York City, who I have raised and who has done so much for me, and for services rendered to me during my lifetime and during my sickness, I hereby give her eight hundred Dollars and I direct my Executor to pay her the same as soon as the law permits. I also give her a ring of plain type.

11th. I hereby direct my executor to pay any attention to those claiming relationship. I have no relatives living accepting my half sister Mary Tillman of Brooklyn, New York City.

12th. And I further direct my Executor not to pay any one who will cause him any trouble, that is to say of those named in this my last will and testament, by trouble I mean any one contesting this my last will and Testament.

I hereby appoint Valentine A. Schulz, 214 East 4th Street, New York City, to be Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed my seal, the 23rd day of November in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirteen.    Noah (X) Lynch

Witnesses: Matilda Roth, Valentine A. Schulz, Johanna Kuhnel

I have no record of Mary Tillman in North Carolina. However, in the 1894 Brooklyn, New York, city directory: Tillman, Mary, wid. Thos., h 263 Bergen. In the 1900 census of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York: at 263 Bergen, widowed North Carolina-born laundress Marie Tillman, 74, with boarder Alexander Moore, 27, and his wife Julia, 26, and three other families. In the 1910 census of Brooklyn: at 263 Bergen, Virginia-born Susan Brown, 34, laundress, and her Florida-born boarder Joseph Robertson, 28, a hotel waiter, and North Carolina-born Mary Tillman, 87, and her lodger Benjamin Simmons, 70, a carpenter.

Executor Schulz quickly advanced Mary Tillman money to purchase a burial plot and grave marker, but she complained to the court that she needed $40/month for support. She averred that Schulz had agreed to pay that sum, but had not remitted any money to date. It is not at all clear why this minor demand warranted the attention of two New York City newspapers, but:

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The Sun, 10 March 1914.

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New York Times, 10 March 1914.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones celebrate their 50th anniversary.

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New York Age, 21 March 1959.

In late March 1959, the seven children of Wesley and Martha Taylor JonesMildred Jones Crittenden, Lucille Jones Peterson, Vernon Jones, Willia Jones Turner, John Wesley Jones, James Jones and Elroy Jones — threw a party in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York, to celebrate their parents’ 50th anniversary.

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Marriage license of Wesley Jones and Martha Taylor, who were married 26 March 1910 in Taylor township, Wilson County.

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Martha and Wesley Jones with six of their children, circa late 1950s.

Photo courtesy of Shaunna M. Stevens.

167 pictures.

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Beautiful. Last fall, in her quest to learn more about the owners of an abandoned photo album, New York Times reporter Annie Correal stumbled across Black Wide-Awake and contacted me to get a feel for early 20th century Wilson. I am delighted to have played a small role in bringing this story to light.

Here’s a passage:

Etta Mae Barnes was born on July 28, 1918, in Wilson, N.C., which once called itself the world’s greatest bright-leaf tobacco market. When Ms. Taylor was young, it was a boomtown. Thousands of African-American families had migrated to Wilson from the countryside to pick tobacco on farms and hang it in big warehouses downtown.

“The first pages in the album seemed to be of Wilson; several photos had stamps from photographers’ studios there. There were portraits of women in flouncy dresses, babies, a boy with a dog, a group in straw hats in a field.

“In two portraits placed side by side, a middle-aged couple posed by a flowering bush, in front of a clapboard house. I wondered if they were Etta Mae’s parents.

“Etta Mae’s mother, Anna Bell Green Barnes, was born in Virginia and worked as a hanger at a tobacco company, the documents revealed. Her father, James Frank Barnes, was a grocery store clerk. His family went back generations in Wilson County.

“Etta Mae was one of six. When she was still a child, her oldest brother, Charles, boarded the train that passed through Wilson and became part of what we now call the Great Migration, the exodus of millions of black Southerners from the Jim Crow South. Judging from the album, many of Etta Mae’s relatives had gone north; I could tell them apart from their country kin by their suits and furs.

“Etta Mae left school after seventh grade and went to work as a housekeeper in a private home, according to the 1940 census. That year, 10 other people were living at the Barneses’, including an aunt; an adopted daughter; Etta Mae’s sister Mildred; Mildred’s husband, Jack Artis; and their baby, Charles.”

——

Household of Frank and Annie Green Barnes at 1000 South Carroll Street, Wilson, 1940 census.

Christmas surprise party.

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New York Age, 25 December 1937.

On 12 January 1880, James T. Teacher, 21, son of Andrew J. and Nancy J. Teacher, married Betsey J. Musgrove, 20, daughter of Hay’d and Penny Musgrove, at the Wayne County courthouse.

In the 1900 census of Dudley, Wayne County: farmer James T. Teachie, 41, wife Betsey, 37, and children Jhon H.M., 19, Lu V.J., 17, Hareward T., 15, Ann L.J., 13, Betsey J., 10, Julia A., 6, Louis J.E., 3, Susan A.L.B., 11 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, house carpenter James Teachee, 53, wife Betsey, 48, and children Haywood, 22, Julia, 18, Louis J., 14, Susie L., 12, and Chas., 10; plus Garfield Granton, 30, Betsey, 23, and son John, 2.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Vick Street, house contractor John [sic] Teachey, 64, wife Betsey, 52, and sons James H., 36, a carpenter, and James E., 23, a contractor.

James Thomas Teachey died 27 December 1944 in Wilson, probably of a heart attack. He was a widower and had worked as a contractor and builder. He was 86 years old and had been born in Duplin County to Nancy Teachey. He was buried at Rountree cemetery. Daughter Luvicy Wynn, who resided at 402 North Vick with Teachey, was informant.

Teachey’s daughter Bessie Grantham died 31 October 1965 at her home at 402 Vick Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 December 1895 in Wayne County to Thomas and Betsey Teachey. Informant was Mrs. J.A. Pearine, 35 West 128th Street, New York City.

The obituary of Cora Pearl Vincent.

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Hold Last Rites of Mrs. Vincent

Mother of Physician Dies at Home Here – Husband Was N.C. Educator

The body of Mrs. Cora Pearl Vincent, 55, who succumbed June 21 at the residence of her son, Dr. Ubert Conrad Vincent, 251 West 138th street was buried Friday beside that of her husband in the family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Three pastors officiated at the funeral services the same afternoon at Abyssinian Baptist Church.  They were the Rev. A. Clayton Powell, Jr., assistant pastor of the church; the Rev. J.W. Brown of Mother Zion and the Rev. Richard M. Bolden of the First Emanuel Church.

Arrangements for the funeral were in the hands of the Turner Undertaking and Embalming Company, 107 West 136 street, and the pallbearers were Drs. Paul Collins, Ira McCowan, Chester Chinn, J.W. Saunders, Charles A. Petioni, William Carter, Jesse Cesneres and Police Sergant Samuel Jesse Battles.

Mrs. Vincent, whose husband, Dr. Andrew B. Vincent, was on the faculty of Shaw University for fifteen years, was born at Wilson, N.C., in 1873.  She resided at Raleigh, N.C., until arrival in New York thirteen years ago.

She was the mother of fourteen children, six of whom survive her.  Besides Dr. Vincent they are Ruth, Pearl, Albert, Berniece and Mrs. Reba Ragsdale, the latter of the Dunbar apartments.  Ruth, who lives in Chicago, came East for the funeral of her mother.  The other children reside at 1849 Seventh avenue, where Mrs. Vincent made her home.

New York Amsterdam News, 29 June 1932.

——

Cora P. Exum, 19, married A.B. Vincent, 27, on June 26, 1884, at the Globe House in Goldsboro, Wayne County.

In the 1900 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: at 713 Blount Street, missionary Andrew B. Vincent, 42; wife Cora, 31; and children Mable, 13, Ubert C., 9, Cora P., 6, Ruth E., 3, and Baby, 3 months.

In the 1910 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: on Blount Street, Sunday School missionary Andrew B. Vincent, 50; wife Cora P., 42; and children Ubert C., 19, Cora, 16, Ruth, 14, Alfred B., 10, Reba G., 6, and Berenice, 2; plus servant Alice Hardin, 20.

In the 1920 census of Manhattan, New York County, New York: at 116 West 130th Street, Cora Pearl Vincent, 50; son Ubert C., 27, doctor at Belleview Hospital, daughters Pearl, 24, Reba, 15, Bernice, 11, and Hebda, 9; and lodger Claudia Foy, 36, seamstress.

In the 1930 census of Manhattan, New York County, New York: at 1949 Seventh Avenue, widow Cora P. Vincent, 61; daughters Cora P., Jr., 27, teacher-private lessons, Ruth V., 25, and Hebda T., 16.

Photograph courtesy of user kriswms, http://www.ancestry.com.

Georgia Burke.

In the late summer of 1922, the New York Age‘s Wilson correspondent included this short snippet in her report of Black Wide-Awake’s social swirl:

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New York Age, 9 September 1922.

The Battle sisters, teacher Georgia Burke and nurse Henrietta Colvert were neighbors as well as travel companions. In the 1920 census of the Town of Wilson, Wilson County: at 330 South Spring Street, Henrietta Colvert is listed as a boarder in the household of widow Nannie Best, 61, and her extended family Frank, 30, Aaron, 21, Estelle, 19, and Harper Best, 65. Next door, at 332: widow Ella Battle, 52, and her children Grace [Glace], 27, teacher Roberta, 29, tobacco worker John, 25, and Olga Battle, 11, shared their home with boarders Georgia Burks, 25, a Georgia-born teacher, and chauffeur Theodore Speight, 17; and roomers William Phillips, 35, a dentist, and his wife Jewel, 23.

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Burke taught in Wilson for at least ten years. In April 1918, she was one of eleven African-American teachers who resigned to protest the slapping of a black teacher by school superintendent Charles L. Coon and the disrespect shown them by Colored Graded School principal J.D. Reid. With the others, Burke resumed teaching at the privately funded Wilson Independent School. (More about this infamous and revolutionary incident soon.)

In 1928, while taking a summer course at Columbia, she sang a few songs while attending a rehearsal for “Blackbirds of 1928.” Hired for the choir, she took a year’s leave of absence from teaching. She never returned.

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The Afro-American, 6 May 1944.

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New York Age, 26 March 1949.

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Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 8 March 1953.

“Georgia Burke, 107, Acted Character Roles.”

Georgia Burke, an actress who played character roles on Broadway from the 1920’s until her retirement in the 1960’s, died in the De Witt Nursing Home in Manhattan last Thursday. According to the records of the Actors Fund of America, she was 107 years old.

Miss Burke appeared on Broadway in “The Grass Harp,” “The Wisteria Trees,” “No Time for Comedy,” “Mamba’s Daughters,” “They Shall Not Die,” “Anna Lucasta,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Cabin in the Sky,” “Mandingo” and “Decision,” for which she won the Donaldson Award in 1944.

Born on Feb. 27, 1878, in La Grange, Ga., Miss Burke studied at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S. C., and taught fourth grade for six years.

In 1929, she came to New York to take a summer course at Columbia University. At the time a black choir was being assembled for ”Blackbirds” on Broadway. A friend persuaded her to audition. She sang ”St. Louis Blues” and was hired on the spot and she left teaching to pursue an acting career.

In addition, Miss Burke appeared on radio and television serials. For five years before and during World War II, she played the role of a nurse in ”When a Girl Marries.” There are no known survivors. A service, sponsored by the Actors Fund, will be held at noon tomorrow at the Walter B. Cooke Funeral Home, 1504 Third Avenue.  — New York Times, 4 December 1985.

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Georgia Burke in “Anna Lucasta,” New York Age, 28 February 1959.