“If Person is of African Descent, Cut Off This Corner”

My research began with Rachel; however, I quickly began to study each member on the Flowers family tree. This post is about her eldest brother, Chauncey Sawyer Flowers.

 Chauncey Sawyer Flowers was born on April 13, 1895 in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1917, he was drafted into the First World War.

Chauncy Flowers WWI

Chauncey lived on 504 Brown Street in Harrisburg, PA where he worked as a waiter and bartender. Listed as single, when asked “Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, solely dependent on you for support?” and he listed a sister and brother. Chauncey unsuccessfully sought an exemption.

In 1920, Chauncey, at age 25, married Ernestine Flowers (maiden name unknown), age who was at the time 21. The following year, they welcomed their first child, a son, Chauncey Jr. They would later have a daughter, Margaret.


The household of Chauncey Flowers is found on two separate 1930 Census documents. One places the family at North 6th Street and the second at Wallace Street. Chauncey and his family lived in a home that they rented for $32.50. He was the only working person in the household (Clerk in a Billiard Room).

I was lucky enough to find the family in the city directory from 1920-1932 with the occupation of Chauncey.

1920-630 Harris Street (Waiter)
1921- 630 Boyed Street (Waiter)
1922- Same as 1921
1923- 627 Boyd Street (Waiter)
1924- Same as 1923
1925- 208 Strawberry St (Clerk)
1926- Same Street Address in 1925 (Waiter
1927- 627 Cumberland Street (Valet)
1928- 426 Forster St. (Cook)
1929-426 Forster St. (Cook)
1930-1101 North 6th Street Apt 7th (Waiter)
1932-661 Briggs (No occupation listed)

On June 20, 1936 Chauncey died at 1637 Wallace St. His obituary read,

He is survived by his wife Ernestine, mother Alexander H. Sams (she remarried and goes by Nancy and Alexander), four sisters Paul G. Stevenson (Gladys Flowers), Mrs. Herbert Wilson (Hilda Flowers), Mrs. George Conway, and Miss. Rachel H. Flowers. Three brother, John C. Flowers, Vincent Flowers, and a half-brother Henry Sams.

A few siblings are missing from this obituary and a new name appears, “Mrs. George Conway.”


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