Monday, August 13, 2012

Samantha Rented Out Part of Her House

The first time I looked at this 1940 census record, I didn't see the other household living at my great-grandmother's address.

Samantha Hankins lived at 704 Broadway in Madisonville, Kentucky - the same house where her husband, Lee, died in 1929. Her nineteen year old grandson, Jewel, lived with her. Betty Kirkwood and her son, Ruby Earl, are listed as a separate household but their house number is also 704. It shows that Samantha owned the house, valued at $1,500, and Kirkwood paid $5 a month rent.

Samantha's son, John, died in 1923 and his wife, Gertie, died just two years later in 1925. Jewel and his older sister, Helen, were four and 11 years old when they went to live with their grandparents after their mother's death. Four years later, their grandfather died leaving Samantha as a 68 year old widow with two children and no apparent source of income. I've often wondered how she managed. Five dollars a month income still doesn't answer that question.

That's Lee and Samantha's house in the background of the above photo. The lady is their neighbors' daughter. The houses on West Broadway have since been renumbered. When I drove by in 2005 and took the photo below of the house, the number was 440.

First photo courtesy of Sue London, Jewel's niece.

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