The Page Family
John D. Page
Born during slavery in 1825, Logan County, Kentucky, John is the son of Richard and Matilda. At an early age of six, he began the training to become a shoe and boot maker. John learned early on to save any tips nd not reveal he received them.
In 1856, John and Ellen Fort jumped the broom, and the babies began to come. John had been a slave for 40 years, so after the War between the States, the Page’s moved to Port Royale and prospered. Alas, in 1875 the Page’s were encouraged by whites to move out of state – so they emigrated to Kansas, they had lost their land and home. John D. first settled his wife and nine (9) children near Coffeyville, Kansas.
1876 welcomed Ellen Elizabeth into the family; the only child born in Kansas. In 1893, John realizing he could no long farm and maintain his boot business sold the farm and his business and moved the family to Topeka, Kansas. It was a bigger city that equated to more business. Indeed, he enjoyed a flourishing shoemaking business there and peace came to the family. John becomes a respected member of the local community and Business League. He never failed to attend all meetings involving educational and the Black community interest.
In 1917, After living the second half of his life as a free man and enjoying family, church and friends as any man should; John Dover Page passed at age 86.
The daughter of Oliver and Charlotte, born in 1837 during slavery; along with her four brothers and two sisters. Ellen and John married in 1856. After the War we find them living in Port Royale, Tennessee, their family increasing as John prospered as a boot maker. Ellen spent her life dedicated to raising and caring for her 10 surviving children, striving for each to become trained in a trade and be school educated adults.
Married for 56 years to her husband, Ellen was a devoted member of Baptist Benevolent Lodge. Mrs. Ellen Forte Page was 78 when she passed in 1915.
Richard (No Picture available)
The oldest child named after his grandfather was said to have been a cook who served the Dalton and Jessie James Gang when they traveled in and out of Kansas. Folklore has it; Richard was off cooking for the gang when they headed to Coffeyville. Shortly, after the Dalton Gang lost their bid to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Richard along with brother James moved on to Oklahoma, Wyoming and finally settled in Chicago. Shortly after they arrived they worked to establish a dining room cafe. Once this was accomplished Richard sent his brother James off to Howard University to study medicine.
Both worked their 500+ acre farms and raised their families just outside of Eskridge, Township, Kansas. Joseph married Alice and Wesley married Narcissa DePriest and had one child Emmett Earl.
With his wife Mollie, lived in Alma Township but moved to Chicago where he later died at age 63 leaving behind four children – Gertie, Herbert, Winona, and Neal.
James Augustus (No Picture available)
A medical doctor after graduating from Howard University Medical School in 1906. He married Martha DePriest, and they lived in Pittsburgh, PA where he practiced Allopath. He died suddenly at age 50.
There were no children born to this union.
Our paternal Grandmother
Was the first surviving daughter.
Educated and talented Mary waited for the right man. Finally, at age 27 she met John Grant Pegg. Two years later after her marriage to John in 1899, she moved with him to Omaha, Nebraska.
They had five children; Mary Ellen, John Gilbert, James Richard, Margaret Ruth and William Gaitha.
For 17 years, Mary Charlotte enjoyed travel, high society, and healthy children. Sadly, her husband passed suddenly at an early age of 46 in 1916 from the flu and a heart attack. She was left to raise her children alone. He did, however, leave her in good financial condition with land in California and shared holdings in Nebraska.
John Dover Jr.
Along with his wife, Augusta Turner had two daughters, Dorothy, and Rose. John worked first as a Porter, then Shipping Clerk all within the same company. He retired after 31 years as the Receiving Department Manager.
A High school graduate and gifted dressmaker. She married Alexander Tillery. They moved to Chicago and enjoyed life as active members of the Episcopal Church and were prominent in social circles. Minnie caught pneumonia and died unexpectedly at the age of 56.
Became an educator, graduating first from Topeka High School then in 1899 from Kansas Normal School, which later became Emporia State University. Gaitha was one of the First Black Graduates and to this day is honored for his many accomplishments. He married Olivia McCampbell and lived to be 91 years of age.
The youngest of the Page children, Ellen also became a teacher and taught in public schools throughout her life. She was married to Albert D. Bailey for about ten years but later divorced. She dedicated her life to the welfare of family and students and lived a long fruitful life of 82 years.
to be continued…….