Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sarah Grant Burned to Death, Perhaps Oldest Person in the Community, 1879

"An old colored woman named Sarah Grant, between ninety and a hundred years of age, perhaps the oldest person in this community, met with a horrible death about sunrise, at a house in Chelsea, on the corner of Sixth and Keel streets.  She was supposed to have been in the act of kindling a fire, when her clothes accidentally ignited.  She screamed loudly, and the neighbors rushed into the house, too late to be of service, the fire having enveloped her body, literally roasting her alive and causing death in a few minutes.  The old woman's husband died during the late fever, at the age of 102 years. Esquire Agnew held an inquest upon Mrs. Grant's remains, a verdict being rendered in accordance with the foregoing."
Originally posted in the Public Ledger, January 21 1879

Mrs. Grant was interred January 22, 1879, at Elmwood Cemetery in what was then known as the "colored" section in grave 6, 380.  Her name was listed as "Allie Grant" age 90.  The undertakers were Flaherty and Sullivan.  The Shelby County Register of Deaths listed her name as "Alice Grant."

Her husband perished in the Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878.  Cleburn Grant, age 102, died September 18.  The underaker was Walsh and Mr. Grant's address was "6th and Keel."  His place of burial is unknown.

A search of Memphis City Directories revealed a Clifford Grant living at "Keel, nw corner 6th, C" in 1879.  He was a driver.  I wonder what relationship, if any, he was to Sarah and Cleburn Grant.

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