MARSHALL: Uh, I mean you already told me a little bit, and I can move from that. Let's see, first of all for my record, this is, uh, this is June the 7th, 1981, and I'm at the home of Hazen King. Put your middle name in it.

KING: Hazen A. It's Austin but I don't,

MARSHALL: Austin-,

KING: I don't care for that. Okay. So I can go with [ ].

MARSHALL: Austin, but he doesn't use the, he only uses the A.

KING: Right.

MARSHALL: King. Now you were, were you born here or were you born in Detroit?

KING: I was born on this same street.

MARSHALL: You were born right here?

KING: Right here in July. And I'm living on the same street I was born.

MARSHALL: Yeah. [laughs] All right, you mind telling me the year you were born?

KING: 1918.


KING: November 23rd.

MARSHALL: November 23rd. And, ah in, in, in other words you have truly lived here all your life?

KING: I married in 1938, my first wife and I lived in Detroit for about five.

MARSHALL: Oh I see. Married in 1938, you didn't have children by that wife?

KING: Uh, there was a son born.



KING: Premature. They say he was prema-- premature.

MARSHALL: Premature.

KING: He was able to be distinguished, his sex was able to be determined after. So it didn't really [ ] You couldn't say that I guess we had, that I had a son.

MARSHALL: Okay. Well when did you uh, and how long were you married?

KING: I'd say about five years.

MARSHALL: About five years.

KING: [Five long years]. She also was Harold Pardee's first cousin.

MARSHALL: Well, Avalon Hughes.

KING: Yes. She was Harold Pardee's first


KING: Young Harold.


KING: Young Harold and her were first cousins. Harold's mother on Whittaker, was Nettie, Nelly who's his, uh, sister.

MARSHALL: Oh, I see.

KING: I didn't know that because uh, when we split the way, that day, June the 30th. Well, my friend came up from Detroit, and I was cutting a lawn for a doctor, and it was during my ... I wasn't too long out of high school. I was cutting a lawn, I was 19.


KING: I was cutting a lawn up on Pleasant Drive for Dr. Williamson.



KING: And his wife. I like lawn care. I like lawns,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: anything pretty.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

KING: Beautiful [ ] So, uh, my mother told me where I was cutting this lawn, and they came up and told me where they were going. They were going to ride over to Ohio and get married. Martha's mother and, uh, and Martha, her daughter, my friend Floyd Boswell's girlfriend. Um, they were having a little dispute, his mother and his wife-to-be were having like [a argument], he said, “Well I've been going with Martha for quite some time, I think we're going to get married.


KING: I'm going to marry her, come on ride over to Ohio with us.” That was a nice sunny day, that lawnmower was getting heavy to push

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

KING: And, uh, I jumped at it, I ran into the house and asked Mrs., uh, Williamson if I could, uh, come back tomorrow and finish their lawn.


KING: I couldn't even finish the lawn


KING: And I ran home, washed up, changed clothes and hopped in the car. That was their house where I first worked in their yard, down here in the corner. 3:00When they moved that big house off the corner down here?

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: And the bank bought the property?

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: That was where they were living when I first met them.


KING: And uh, he and I would uh, on the way over, Floyd had brought his girlfriend's sister along and Avalon, she was in the car. That made a real nice

MARSHALL: Floyd who?

KING: Floyd Boswell,


KING: that's General Dale Boswell's brother.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah. Yeah.

KING: He's the youngest of them,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: and we were, we were still real close. I'd go down to Floyd's place once or twice a month…I have the past few years, the past, past six or eight months I've been going down to their place. It's been more or less a business trip [ ]

MARSHALL: Can I cut this

KING: Yeah, cut that down. It's on the, yeah, that's off. That's good. And uh, he's General Boswell's brother. Well anyway, on the way over, you know they talked me into getting married and making it a double wedding? I didn't hardly know Avalon that, you know,


KING: only six or eight months.



KING: And that, the three of them corralled me there, I was in the car alone, didn't have anybody with me to say no, why, you shouldn't, why don't you wait you know.

MARSHALL: [laughing]

KING: I was planning on trying to help my [ ].


KING: Cause she thought it's a whole [ ] I wanted to stay in it. I’ve never been able to say no, that’s why I have too many commitments.

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

KING: If you said, “could you find a way to change my house, make my face look pretty?” I’d say, “yeah.” [ ] over in Ann Arbor. I’d find some way to get up there to do that before the winter’s out. I’ve got about eight or ten people that I’ve got to work with yet. Somebody called last night, the night before last night, told me, "Hey, this is how [ ] painting.” And I’m just too occupied now, you know, I probably wouldn't be able to get to it and I wouldn’t want to commit myself. I told her to tell them it’d be too hard for me.

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

KING: But anyway, that's when I married [ ]

MARSHALL: That's when you got married, June the 30th

KING: 1938.


KING: Right. It didn't last for too long. I helped her [ ].

MARSHALL: Okay, well that's, and then you moved to Detroit?


KING: I moved to Detroit for about four, five years, yeah. I lived on, I first stayed at Bangor and Hancock. And Floyd and his wife Martha. [The girl that married in Ohio, and I moved into an apartment, she had an apartment at 4875 Roosevelt.]

MARSHALL: Oh yeah? [Laughs]

KING: That’s right. About four doors off of Warren, quite an experience. I missed Ypsilanti for a little while I was there.

MARSHALL: I was going to say, and then, then you came back here.

KING: I came back here in '40-, around '46. And uh, I was coming up quite regularly, because my mother worked out here, and I would always come out and give her some money.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: I would always come out every week and give her some money. She, she liked that and it helped her a lot. And uh, I was, in and out of the places downtown, I liked to uh, play cards. I was really quite good. I was [ ].


MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: [ ] give me a twenty dollar bill just for show. And uh, uh let's see, then I moved back, either that evening. Well, I spent a day out here with the friends that I knew and grew up with, you know. Around by [ ].

MARSHALL: Tell me something now, now. Did your, did you ever live with your father at all?

KING: They told me my father used to hold me on my lap, on his lap, when I was about two. He wanted to make me a boxer and you know I tried to be one. I tried to be one.

MARSHALL: [Laughs] Yeah.

KING: I went and joined the Golden Gloves. I used to run up and down West Grand Boulevard, that's only a block over from uh,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: I lived on Hancock and Bangor. Bangor runs into Warren, but it doesn't cross.


KING: If you're coming in Warren Ave from the west, you'd make a right onto Bangor, just I think one, two blocks off [ ] Boulevard, or one block. [ ] And 7:00uh, you asked me did I what? I didn't quite finish the question.


KING: [Oh, when I came back]

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: Oh, yeah. I came back in the late '45, or early '40- six, because I married Geri in '46.

MARSHALL: What date did you marry Geri?

KING: Gosh, I don't know the month and I don't know the date.

MARSHALL: How do you forget that? [Laughter] You mean she let you forget it?

KING: Yeah, I don't think it ever comes up.


KING: Yeah, some do. Everybody doesn't celebrate your anniversary [laughs].

MARSHALL: My uh, the church is more or less, the reverend got up and announced that uh, next week Ruthe and I would celebrate our 40th.

KING: Your 40th.


KING: We're, we're 46, 56, 56, 56? Well, we've got a few years to go yet,


KING: [ ] going to be 81 in five or six years or so. That's a long time.


MARSHALL: Yeah, you got like five years.

KING: Yeah, I got about five years to go. It just doesn't seem like it's been that long, it really doesn’t.

MARSHALL: But you, you came back, and then, uh, of course you um, you, you and Geri, now what was,

KING: [ ].

MARSHALL: What was, what was Geri's name before you married?

KING: Kennedy.

MARSHALL: Geraldine Kennedy.

KING: Mm-hmm,

MARSHALL: Now was she

KING: you know her brothers, Pete, [Booey], we call him, his name is Dan. He's married to one of the Richardson girls.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah?

KING: [ ] Richardson. They live out in West Willow.

MARSHALL: I don't think so. I, you know, I may have met him.

KING: I think you,

MARSHALL: I may have met him at your house.

KING: You might have seen him.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I think I met him.

KING: I think, yeah.

MARSHALL: But were they native to Ypsilanti?

KING: No, no, they came here from South Carolina.


KING: I think her brother, her oldest brother came here first, I think he came around '42 and I think they came here around '45.

MARSHALL: Around '45?

KING: '44, '45.

MARSHALL: And, and then, I mean, Geri then is from South Carolina too.

KING: Right, right she went to school there, and she lived right next door [ ]


MARSHALL: Oh yeah?

KING: I wanted to tell you a minute. [ ] think it was right next door, yeah, right next door. No, no there was a house in between.


KING: There was a house in between her and Mr. [Stevens]. [Kelly Ramsey] bought that place.


KING: [ ]

MARSHALL: Now you uh, you, you, of course, when you came back, when you and Geri got married, when did you move here? Were you, were you living here

KING: No, we were living at 417. That's down the street a ways. Some property that was uh, given to us kids from Aunt Ida and Uncle Dick Morton. That was the old homestead. We uh, were living down there in a small house that was right beside, on the same property, but kind of set off to the back but on the same block, kind of like some driveways are built.


KING: It's like her garage [ ].


KING: [ ] put her garage, you would have had to uh, it was done like [ ], 10:00so one part of that garage extends beyond the back of her house.

MARSHALL: I see, yeah yeah, yeah.

KING: And so we lived in that small place there until we started building here.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: And then we moved in here in March of '56. March of '56, yeah. [Dale Carter] was putting the porches up, or hadn’t put them up yet, you used to have to step down on brick to get out the front door until you came parallel to the spot.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah. Now what I want to ask you, now you, you gave me a picture of your father's house.

KING: Yeah, and that's where he was born.

MARSHALL: Now, where was that? Was that 417?

KING: That was 417?


KING: He was sitting in the yard or standing there.

MARSHALL: Right, yeah, yeah, yeah.

KING: Have you still got that one?

MARSHALL: Yeah, I still got that.

KING: That was

MARSHALL: That's one I got to get back to you also.

KING: My mother moved out from Detroit. My grandmother married a fellow I think 11:00by the name of Duncan, and he lived out here, so my grandmother naturally moved out here and brought her three daughters.


KING: My grandmother had three daughters.

MARSHALL: That's the way they got, they got-

KING: [ ] got out here, got extended this far out.

MARSHALL: Duncan was here.

KING: Duncan [ ]

MARSHALL: And she married him?

KING: She married him, he brought her out to [his home in Ypsilanti]

MARSHALL: I see, uh huh.

KING: [ ] He’s the one that rides that bike all the time [ ]. Now he's got it motorized.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah?

KING: He rides a bike, you've probably seen it. [ ]

MARSHALL: Yeah, I think I have.

KING: [ ]

MARSHALL: Well, you, you, you didn't go into the service at all?

KING: Oh no, no.

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

KING: I didn't, uh, felt, feel as though I should go to the service.

MARSHALL: I didn't either. They got me in [laughs]

KING: We didn't do, you didn't do what I did. You didn't do what I did. [ ] I 12:00didn't want to fight over there, but maybe they might have treated me better over there than they would, than I had been treated over here.

MARSHALL: They would.

KING: I think so, and I couldn't make the bombs, [ ] I couldn't go into the Huron Hotel and not too many of the restaurants. I was told in one restaurant [ ] would like for us to come in, but not to sit down. Take our ice cream cone and go outside. [ ]

MARSHALL: Where was that?

KING: [ ] by the name of Ernie’s, had a little ice cream parlor down Michigan Avenue.

MARSHALL: Oh. So he, he didn't mind you coming in, as long as you didn't sit down?

KING: As long as you didn't sit down. You could buy an ice cream cone and come and take it out.

MARSHALL: Yeah [laughs].

KING: And uh, I uh, didn't like, when I was asked to join the police force, I put in an application [ ] concerned about no blacks being on the police force.



KING: I went down and took the exam, there was eight of us. But Jimmy [ ] and I were the only ones that passed that exam, so we, uh, passed the oral and the written exam, and this was an examination that was given to us across from the old Martha Washington Theater, by a doctor, who I can't recall his name, but we passed that, and so then we were, sent down to a police station, interviewed by a Dan Patch and he was out of Highland Park.

MARSHALL: Dan Patch.

KING: Dan Patch, and he was [ ].

MARSHALL: Oh, I see.

KING: And the questions that I was asked by him, I couldn't [ ].

MARSHALL: Oh, I see.

KING: You know, I wouldn't be providing in an environment. [ ]


MARSHALL: [Make sure I get it]. Um, so you decided you didn't want to join, you 14:00wouldn't join the police force under those circumstances?

KING: No, under those circumstances. You see they, I was going to be alone.


KING: I asked him, was I going to be alone, and he said, "Yes, are you afraid?" I said, "Well, I wouldn't say that I'm afraid, but if uh, if anything, any disturbance came up, how could I make an arrest?"


KING: Or how would I. "Well, we're going to put call boxes on the corner of Monroe, and one on the corner of Harriet, if you got a hold of somebody and bring them down, [ ] bring them down to Monroe, or whatever area you’re at, that corner, and then call the squad car with one hand," I don't know how you was going to do it, because the phone you had a receiver at that time you know, on the phone and uh, told me that, uh, “Now it’s possible you might some time or other have to be in a squad car, arrive with another officer. And if you are, you don't go in any of the bars downtown.” And I knew what he meant by 15:00that, and uh, he told me. I said, "Well, I'd like to know if there's any certain amount or certain percentages of arrests that has to be made, has to be made." And he said, "Oh yes, we make an average of 30 arrests a month down in the south end." That scared me to death, because I played, [you know, poker, sometimes, friends of mine], you know, uh, and that bothered me.


KING: Then they also asked me, uh, they said, “There might be some fellows on the force who aren't too particular about working with you. How did you go about winning them over?” I didn't like that question.


KING: I felt like being [ ].

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: He told me, he said, "Now, uh, they’re people that might call you nigger, you can't get mad at that. That, that doesn't call for no fight, nothing like that. That uh, that's just uh what they might call you, you know." [I listened to him], oh gosh, I uh, I didn't like that. I didn't like that, but I 16:00got bowled up and then I came back because they said he asked all those questions so that I would turn it down. I fell right into the trap, you know.


KING: But nevertheless, I still wouldn't have taken the job, trap or no trap, because that's the type of person he was. I couldn't work for that type of person. Uh, I could, uh, picture myself around there with those fellows making fun of, you know or something, and I’m supposed to laugh or [ ] [take a joke].

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

KING: And that's not my makeup, I'm not a, not a Martin Luther King, I'm not going to march through Alabama like the other fellows did, I'm not a trail blazer, but I'm for the cause.

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

KING: I'm in, I'm in the cause, you know, I'm still in the cause, but I'm not a trailblazer.

MARSHALL: You know what I’m laughing about, Hazen. I was laugh, I was thinking about this guy [laughs].

KING: See, I'm not [ ] either [ ] like Jimmy Moore’s wife did. I just 17:00hope she didn't do that, she's a very nice girl, I know her personally. And I know him well. I talked with him in the restroom downtown there, where, I have a plumber that does the plumbing for me, has a little boy, a little grandson who is always [ ]. And this fellow's really good, my oldest daughter went to school with [ ] daughter, and so he comes down and does a whole lot of plumbing for little to nothing for me.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: And I appreciated that. In order to contact him, rather than go to his home and get him up if he's not ready to come out yet, I go to the restaurant he has his breakfast at.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: And uh, I'll sit there and wait until he finishes his lunch, but it's easier to do his breakfast, because he's usually eating with the business men downtown because he works for them, you know. And uh,

MARSHALL: How did we get into that? I, I think I led you into that one [laughs].

KING: Yeah.

MARSHALL: Now you uh, you of course, you of course, uh, having lived here. Talk 18:00a little bit about your mother. I guess, you, you had some complimentary things about your mother. You [ ], all I’ve ever heard about her has been complimentary, and not just from you. But I know she was, uh,

KING: A cateress.

MARSHALL: a cateress? I didn’t know that.

KING: Yeah. She was well known and well liked. She worked at the country club, with [ ] mother on occasion. Either they were together there, or they both worked on different time periods. But maybe she was there before my mother, maybe my mother was there before her, out here. And uh, she worked [ ], she’s like [ ]


KING: Davis was the name. She fixed dinner. Whenever she had Palm Leaf here, she had 100% turnout.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: She could make rolls, and no one ever got the recipe. And Thanksgiving dinner she'd have a list of people, you know, not just family, [ ] you know, 19:00‘cause she was just a marvelous cook, I mean, I really enjoyed. Baked beans, she could just make them taste like you were eating one of the most fanciest, oh it was just delicious.


KING: Oh we really enjoyed her cooking and we never thought of taking down any of her recipes, she worked from scratch. She start preparing for the Palm Leaf about two weeks before

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: at the time, getting things ready, pastries and things together. But uh, that's what she was known throughout Ypsilanti for and she only had a fifth grade education but she could uh,

MARSHALL: Fifth grade formal education?

KING: Mm-hmm, but she

MARSHALL: Lots of education.

KING: She was fairly good, money wise. She could really handle,


KING: she could make a dime stretch. She would take us downtown and have a newspaper with her, well this was two cents cheaper if we had a [ ], a Howard's market, and a meat market downtown. I don't know whether Kroger's was in existence then or not, in this area, but uh we'd go to different stores. You'd 20:00save a nickel here and a penny here


KING: and a dime there, and uh, she was real good. [ ] Not a lot of people that don't have much of an education can handle, you know, money wise,


KING: and she was really good at that. She was well liked, sang in the choir,

MARSHALL: Now tell me about the other children.

KING: Well, my older sisters, Marguerite, Audrey and I, have been making trips down there in the past three or four months when we found out, she might have taken between 75 and 100 aspirins. You know how uh, people who have their medicine that they have to take periodically or daily or whatever?

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: And then they'll say, "Oh, did I take my pill? I don't know whether I did or not, I'd better take another," and I think she was on one of those.

MARSHALL: Oh. Mm-hmm.

KING: After she got too many, then she wouldn't even remember anything,


KING: so Audrey and I were real concerned. They were discussing putting, putting her in uh, a nursing home.

MARSHALL: Where is she?

KING: She's on Eight Mile and Wyoming.


MARSHALL: Oh, in Detroit?

KING: In Detroit, it's Royal Oak really.


KING: Wyoming and Eight Mile I think is considered Royal Oak.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: I think it is.

MARSHALL: I think it is, too.

KING: Although she's on the east side of Eight Mile.

MARSHALL: Well, she's on the, no. Not east side.

KING: Well, Eight Mile runs east and west.

MARSHALL: Got to be north and south, it runs east and west, so she got to be either on the north side or on the south side.

KING: Oh, oh I see, that's where the division would be. Eight Mile wouldn't be the dividing line.

MARSHALL: Yeah, Eight mile is the dividing line.

KING: Oh, Eight Mile is the dividing line?

MARSHALL: But on one side it's north, and you're in Detroit. On, on one side it's south, and you're in Detroit. On the north side is

KING: Well now, when we were going down Eight Mile road,


KING: we made a left. She's sitting on that corner.

MARSHALL: That's north, that’s north. That's on that side.

KING: I would say that was east.

MARSHALL: No, when you're going down Eight Mile,

KING: Across from her would be on the north side of the street too, unless 22:00Eight Mile,

MARSHALL: When you're going, if you're going from here down Eight Mile, you're going east.

KING: Right, you're going east? Okay.

MARSHALL: And you say you went left?

KING: We went left, but it's on the corner. You still

MARSHALL: Yeah, that's, that’s, if you on the right you'd be in Detroit. If you're over here on the left,

KING: Well, then Eight Mile is the dividing line.

MARSHALL: Ha, yeah Eight Mile is the dividing line.

KING: Eight Mile is the dividing line, I didn't know. That's what I was trying to figure out.

MARSHALL: Yeah, Eight Mile,

KING: Eight Mile is the dividing line, that's why it's called Royal Oak Tower.

MARSHALL: Yeah, right, yeah.

KING: [ ] that's what I was trying to figure.


KING: I didn't know where the dividing line was.

MARSHALL: Yeah, that's it. What, what is her married name?

KING: Uh, Marguerite's married name is uh, well, she's had three or four husbands.

MARSHALL: I was saying like in present.

KING: Yeah, well she's not with him either, but she still carries his name, uh, last name...

MARSHALL: Well, we can figure it out.

KING: We will. Yeah, we can get it.

MARSHALL: We can figure it out later.

KING: [ ]

MARSHALL: Who else besides Marguerite? What other children besides Marguerite?


KING: Well, there's Merlin.


KING: Merlin, my brother that just passed, I think you probably seen him.

MARSHALL: I think I had seen him around.

KING: He worked on those uh, he maintained those buildings up there right in your area there on Cornell and Bravery.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: Sure, and his daughter also [is in Detroit], she has two daughters, they moved down there. My brother's daughter, and her two daughters.

MARSHALL: Who else besides Merlin?

KING: And then there's Audrey.


KING: [ ] Roberson's wife.

MARSHALL: Oh, Audrey, yeah, yeah I know her.

KING: He was, she was born when my mother was married to Benjamin Neely,

MARSHALL: Yeah, uh-huh.

KING: so her name was Neely instead of King.

MARSHALL: Oh right, she was Audrey, Audrey Neely.

KING: Audrey Jean Neely, yes.

MARSHALL: Audrey Neely, now Roberson.

KING: Now she's Roberson.

MARSHALL: Well she's got children too, hasn't she?

KING: She had, two. Two, Dawn and uh, uh, [ ] about that boy, he's the first boy in the family. None of us had any, Merlin had a daughter, and, uh, I had a 24:00daughter, Carolyn until [Candy] came along.

MARSHALL: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

KING: But uh, gosh, he lives out in California, he doesn't come this way too often. Last time he was here he stopped by. Gregory!


KING: Gregory, Dawn and Gregory.


KING: And I guess I couldn't think of it because I thought I was going to be repeating the streets. [ ] [Laughter]. That's why his name

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: never came to mind. But Gregory, yeah, he's older than uh, so she has two, and now she has a granddaughter.


KING: Dawn has a little girl, now. But her name is Audrey. I like that. I like that. [ ]

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: and I've done some work for them remodeling their basement, and when she was hollering, “Beth.” I would look at her, you know, didn’t know what she was talking about, what's going on? She would be calling her daughter, and I was thinking, I didn't know that Beth was coming.

MARSHALL: Yeah [laughs].

KING: You know, so I said oh I like that, so that was the first two mother, 25:00two, the first two people, mother and daughter that I knew had the same name.

MARSHALL: The same name, yeah.

KING: So Audrey's granddaughter is named Audrey, when Audrey says Audrey, I look at her, [laughter] I forget about the little girl.

MARSHALL: And then, and then now, uh, of course when, when your mother married Neely, how old were you?

KING: I might have been eight or nine. I was about maybe eight years old, because I’m nine years older than Audrey.

MARSHALL: Well then you grew up under Neely.

KING: Under Neely, right. I liked the guy, I still like him. You know, he still lives over here on uh, Ferris, in Louise Mahaley's house, because he's married to Louise Mahaley

MARSHALL: Ben Neely?

KING: Yes.

MARSHALL: Oh, Ben Neely was your

KING: Right, that's my dad. He'll tell you, “he's uh, he's my son.” And that's a man with a [ ]

MARSHALL: I have got him on tape, he’s one of the most interesting people I 26:00ever talked to!

KING: I come in the house, [ ] myself slipping in, and I couldn't get by him because he’d be in that chair, reading his book. He had a library. Mind over matter, and all the books that he had. You know, you would pick ‘em up when he wasn't looking, there was a way to see what he'd be so interested in that would keep him up until one or two o’clock, and he is well versed, well versed.


KING: I was very concerned, he was militant.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I know,

KING: We had a lot of

MARSHALL: He told me about it, I got it all on tape.

KING: [Ypsilanti] was rough.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I heard about him ever since I been here,

KING: Oh, yeah.

MARSHALL: but I just hadn't connected him with this Neely. I didn't know whether it was one and the same Neely.

KING: Yeah, Audrey and my dad, her father for sure.

MARSHALL: Now, he now, what's the relationship between Ben Neely and Ms. Neely down the street there? [Belong to our church, Ms. Carter’s sister].

KING: She married his brother.


KING: Howard Neely, you know the boys up there, sings in the choir.


MARSHALL: Yeah, I know that.

KING: That's Mary Louise.

MARSHALL: Mary Louise.

KING: His son, when I [ ] [first cousins]

MARSHALL: [ ] were these two Neely's brothers?

KING: They were brothers, that's Ben and Howard, they were brothers and Howard married Martha, and Ben married Ethel, my mother's first name.

MARSHALL: Well that's

KING: I’ve got a picture of them together,


KING: and uh, Ben's making like he's going to shoot him, he's got his 22 in his hands. Some of them pictures that I brought up from downstairs, that's in that,


KING: I just can’t [ ], Ben on the corner of Hamilton, I don't know, the corner of Adams and uh, Harriett.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: She had the first black restaurant in Ypsilanti by the way, my mother did, on the corner of Adams and Harriett.

MARSHALL: Now wait a minute, you said, yeah, now that, that I didn't know.

KING: So you didn't know?

MARSHALL: She had a restaurant on the corner of Harriett and?

KING: And Adams.

MARSHALL: And Adams. Do you remember the name of it?

KING: No, she never had a name.


KING: [ ] Ethel K. Neely's restaurant.

MARSHALL: About when was that? Was that while you were still a child?


KING: Oh yeah, Gramma, let’s see, Gramma [Bell], I helped her out. I must have been in, that was before the marriage, before she married Benjamin Neely.


KING: Before she married him, and I don't know what year they married, but, uh, I've got a picture of Ben and Howard right in, right in the front of that house right near the sidewalk there.

MARSHALL: Oh, yeah.

KING: We rented it from [Bell] Anderson. Remember Daryl that spoke at the, spoke at the uh, banquet over there for the uh, what was that club? [ ] you and your wife were there. Geri and I came in, and you left early. What was that occasion? And uh, what was at the clubhouse? Uh, the reverend was there, and you said you had to leave to go down to the church for the six o’clock service. I can't think of the, it wasn't the Palm Leaf Club. Yes it was! It was the Palm Leaf Club,

MARSHALL: Oh, uh-huh.

KING: because, uh, they were all there, and uh, that's why you were there. [ 29:00] And what was I going to say?

MARSHALL: He came in from Detroit?

KING: Who came in from Detroit? [ ]

MARSHALL: The speaker.

KING: I don't know where the speaker came in from. I think she was the speaker of uh, she was the president, I thought, of the organization, or one of the organizations, or the women's clubs. Wasn’t she president of one of the women's club? She came in late, she's been talking,


KING: she'd be up talking to, said she'd been up [ ] was up to Louise Bass’.

MARSHALL: Yeah, well she was from Detroit, yeah.

KING: Oh I didn't know where she was from, I thought she said she was from somewhere.

MARSHALL: No, I wouldn't have left there to go to church. I would have left if I had to go someplace else.

KING: Oh you didn't leave there to go down to the 6 o’clock?

MARSHALL: No, I have never been to that 6 o’clock radio program in my life.

KING: Oh I see, I haven't either. Well, you left out about the same time as the reverend and his wife.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I might have had someplace else to go.

KING: And I asked his wife why they were leaving, or what, because I was, I looked, I was right behind them, and that's where she said she was going, and I 30:00took for granted that's where probably you and your wife went. But, uh,

MARSHALL: Yeah. No, I've never been to that radio program, I don't fool with it.

KING: No, I [ ]

MARSHALL: They got one today, 6 o’clock.

KING: [ ] probably be getting ready.

MARSHALL: But I don't fool with that thing.

KING: I don't either. But uh, yeah we were living there on the corner, that was the first black restaurant.

MARSHALL: Ah. Well, that's interesting, I’ll, I'll have to look that one up.

KING: And we moved,

MARSHALL: You, uh, you actually told me, you were a good friend of uh, what's his name? The dentist.

KING: Tommy Dennis?

MARSHALL: The dentist, that used to live

KING: Oh yes, yes, Dr. Perry and I were

MARSHALL: Dr. Perry.

KING: very good friends. Actually he was, he was my senior,


KING: but, uh, his boys were small or hadn't been born yet and I’d go over there with him on the days off, like Thursdays and probably Sunday morning, and he would trap birds.


KING: He would put his hand in it [ ], black bird poked a hole in his finger. 31:00That's before Winnie and Lowell and Laurence and Donna I guess were of any size.

MARSHALL: Yeah, uh-huh.

KING: But, uh, I spent a lot of time over there in his yard. I think I showed you a picture.

MARSHALL: Yeah, you did.

KING: But he was a buddy. I had broken my leg then, when I was painting for the high school system, for the Ypsi public schools and I was off from work and I was on the river every day, and I had given up on him and I didn't go the one day because going down to the bank on my crutches was a little tricky.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Yeah.

KING: And they may have been dragging for me, [ ]. But the day I didn't go, the very next day, they found him there. And I was hoping they wouldn't find him. That was the biggest thing on my mind, the reason I was always so glad when we'd leave,


KING: when I would give up or they would give up, and hadn’t found him, I was hoping he was somewhere else because I idolized that man. He was just, uh, he was always just immaculate.


KING: His wife didn't go anywhere with him, you can say she didn't go anywhere 32:00with him. She kept his, she stayed at home and kept his meals, and the shirts starched.


KING: [ ] make him presentable, you know. And, uh,

MARSHALL: Did you know Dr. Clark?

KING: Oh yeah. I went to him on occasion. Up at his house. [ ], yeah I knew him well. [ ].

MARSHALL: I was up to Leo’s house the other day.

KING: I don't know what year they came here, but

MARSHALL: Well, I got it from them.


MARSHALL: But what year Leo, they came here, I think he said around, '40?

KING: Oh, wasn’t it before that?

MARSHALL: No, it was after the war.

KING: After the war? I thought we were [ ]

MARSHALL: Wait a minute now, is that right?

KING: [ ]

MARSHALL: [ ] I was up there talking to Leo the other day. [ ]

KING: Yeah, [ ] '38, '39.

MARSHALL: But the thing I was thinking about was that uh, because Leo was 33:00talking about his daddy, and he died, you know he was 63 when he died.

KING: That was young, wasn't it?

MARSHALL: Yeah, sure was young.

KING: He was a nice old fellow.


KING: Oh yeah.

MARSHALL: Well Leo said, Leo was talking about him and he said, ‘course he died when he was 63 years old.

KING: I didn't think, I thought he was older.

MARSHALL: Yeah, he said it was 63, but he had lived in Arkansas for a long time.

KING: Before they were born, or with his family?

MARSHALL: Oh, they were all born in Arkansas.

KING: Oh, Leo was born there also?

MARSHALL: Leo was born in Arkansas. And uh, it seemed that he was trying to move some of their friends, and they had urged him to move to Pontiac, and he was on his way to Pontiac and he, he went to sleep in the middle of the street downtown. The car stopped. So he went to sleep right there at the stop sign, and so the police came out and told him, they sent him out here to somewhere, where he could stop and get a bed and go to sleep. And while he was here, they talked 34:00him into staying here. That's why he's been here.

KING: Oh, who talked him into staying here?

MARSHALL: The people he stayed with, the people who were living in the old parsonage there, behind Brown Chapel. Whoever it was that lived there, that's where he got a room.

KING: Well, there was someone there before the Lindsay's. The Lindsay's were the last.

MARSHALL: Well now, this was, see, this would have been back in the thirties.

KING: Oh that's back in the thirties? Well, it was always was a parsonage, as far as I can remember.

MARSHALL: Whoever it was, they let him stay there.

KING: Oh, in other words, the pastor,

MARSHALL: Whoever it was. They said they’ve got a room for him there.

KING: Yeah.

MARSHALL: And then while he was there, he met two, three people, and they were saying, "Well we need a doctor."

KING: Yeah. Dr. Dickerson had died. He was my doctor when I was a little boy. Had Dr. Dickerson died? Dr. Dickerson?

MARSHALL: Yeah, Dr. Dickerson died, right.

KING: And we didn't have a black doctor, because we went to J.J. Woods. He got to be our doctor,

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

KING: he was a white doctor down on Washington, up over the [ ].

MARSHALL: I'll tell you something else I learned, and this is, now this is gossip.

KING: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: Dr. Dickerson was supposed to be the son of Jefferson Davis.


KING: Dr. Dickerson?


KING: Dr. Dickerson.

MARSHALL: Dr. Dickerson,

KING: Didn’t his wife just pass?

MARSHALL: Yeah, right [ ]

KING: [ ] he was supposed to be the son

MARSHALL: His daughter told me this.

KING: Whose daughter?

MARSHALL: Dickerson's daughter.

KING: Mary Jane?

MARSHALL: Yeah, she lives in, yeah, Mary Jane, she lives in, in Pennsylvania.

KING: And she said he was supposedly

MARSHALL: She didn't say it was definite.

KING: Ah, he was supposed to be the son

MARSHALL: The son of Jefferson Davis.

KING: Jefferson Davis. It's possible. It’s possible.

MARSHALL: Of course, I didn't know, ‘course only, only when I talked to her that I began to realize what color he was, ‘cause I don't have a picture of him.

KING: I think he was about your color.

MARSHALL: Yeah. It could be.

KING: He was distinguished looking, very distinguished. I hate to say, Dr. Clark wasn't a distinguished looking man.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: But Dr. Dickerson was a very distinguished looking man. He had his nurse with me down there, I told you about Chapman's poultry market was. Where would 36:00you say to look for that? I'd forgotten all about looking for that marking on that building, that you were referring to. The same building? Where Chapman, Ed Morris used to buy, we’d be in the schools and he’d always say, “I got to go by Chapman’s and pick me up some fresh chicken”?


KING: And, uh, is that the building, the first one just before you get to the…

MARSHALL: No, it's not that on that street.

KING: Oh, where did you say

MARSHALL: That one's on Michigan Avenue.

KING: Oh that's, that's, you're talking about the Pontiac dealer. I'm talking about Chapman’s that sold chickens, there's more than one Chapman.

MARSHALL: Well, the one I'm talking about is on Cross Street.

KING: Yes, that's what I'm saying, it’s on Cross Street.

MARSHALL: Okay, well if you're going that way, if you go down Huron,

KING: Turn right on Huron

MARSHALL: Make a right turn, there's a little building sits right on the other side of the street.

KING: Left hand side.

MARSHALL: And has a sign on it, a metal sign on it. See now,

KING: It has a metal sign.

MARSHALL: It has a metal sign.

KING: That says City Hall?

MARSHALL: It says City Hall.

KING: That's that little building, just before you start over the bridge?

MARSHALL: That's right.

KING: That's on the left hand side of the street?

MARSHALL: It's on the left hand side of the street.

KING: It has a metal sign, would you call that a corner stone, or is it a metal sign?


MARSHALL: It's a kind of a corner stone, yeah, yeah. It's sort of like a corner stone. It's not really a corner stone.

KING: [ ]

MARSHALL: But it's set into the brick.

KING: It takes the place of a cornerstone.

MARSHALL: Yeah, it's set into the brick.

KING: It's set into the brick. Well, would you call that a corner

MARSHALL: And of course I was told, well I know, I read that, that's in the history of Ypsilanti.

KING: Jefferson Davis. I mean, I can't see, I didn't know anything about Dr. Dickerson.

MARSHALL: Well, I knew a little about him.

KING: See there's a boy and a girl.

MARSHALL: Hm-hmm, yeah. When I talked to him, he lives in Inkster.

KING: He was out here to visit, I think his mother. Or, or he was out here, yeah, I met him up in Beyer,


KING: and I hadn't seen him in quite some time. No, I met him in the bank. It was awful good to run into him, because I hadn't seen him in quite a while, and I don't know whether he came to visit his mother, or came out to visit his mother before she passed. Or whether it was out to prepare herself, or make arrangements to go into the hospital.


KING: I don't know whether he was going to have open heart surgery or what, I 38:00wouldn't want to say that, and be sure that I'm saying the right thing, but I think that's what he said. [ ]

MARSHALL: Well, I talked to him.

KING: You've talked to him, too?

MARSHALL: Yeah. In fact [ ]. Well, see I was going to talk to him on the telephone.

KING: Oh, you talked to him on the telephone.

MARSHALL: But see, he told his sister about me, and she called me. Yeah, just this week. This last week.

KING: Who told the sister about it, the son?

MARSHALL: Dickerson, the Dickerson son.

KING: What did he know about you?

MARSHALL: Well, he found me because I was looking for him.

KING: Oh, oh, oh.

MARSHALL: I was trying to find out something about Dickerson, I was trying to find a picture. I wanted to find a picture of the old hospital that Dickerson had.

KING: Right there

MARSHALL: Down there by the high school.

KING: Right there by the Clark station.

MARSHALL: Right. Well I was trying to find a picture of him, and he didn't have it.

KING: He didn't have it.

MARSHALL: But when I talked to her,

KING: Did she have it?

MARSHALL: She thought she had it, she thought she had it, and she was going to write me back.

KING: Pictures are something that I treasure [ ].

MARSHALL: Yeah, but she thought she had a picture [ ].

KING: And she's never contacted you again?

MARSHALL: Well, this is just this past week. It was about Wednesday, Thursday. Thursday, Friday.


KING: Oh, so she hasn't had a chance to see and really look.

MARSHALL: Oh no, she was, she only went back home I think about yesterday.

KING: Well, what about, well her name was Ms. Harris I guess after it was Dickerson. But uh, didn’t she have any or didn’t you think

MARSHALL: Well see, I never knew her. She was dead before I knew her.

KING: Oh, have I got this wrong? Yes, I think I have

MARSHALL: No, you’re right.

KING: I'm going by Mrs. Anna Harris [ ]

MARSHALL: [ ]. Yeah, but I'm not talking, I'm talking about the Dickerson children. [ ] Harris.

KING: That's right, that's right. I remember the mother, she was kind of a [bronzed skinned woman, I think]. I think she was, and Ms. Harris was a nurse, wasn't she at one time? I, I thought,

MARSHALL: Yeah, Ms. Harris was the wife of Dickerson and was a nurse.

KING: [ ] I'm wondering who was

MARSHALL: And then there was, wait a minute now, then there's somebody came in and took him away from her.

KING: Somebody came in?

MARSHALL: And he married this woman.

KING: He married Ms. Harris? Somebody took his wife?


KING: His wife died?



MARSHALL: This woman who worked for him.

KING: Oh, oh.

MARSHALL: This woman who worked with him.


KING: Who worked with him as a nurse?

MARSHALL: He divorced his wife, and married her.

KING: Oh, oh, oh, I see. He divorced his wife and married her.


KING: I'm trying to figure who was the full-time nurse that kept me in that little building, stayed right there with me.

MARSHALL: I know Ms. Carter used to work down there. Viola.

KING: She would know then probably, she would know. It might have been her that stayed there with me, and I had to talk to my mother if she had me stuffed in through some, a window. They couldn't come in, I was confined.


KING: I forgot whether it was measles, smallpox, or whatever.

MARSHALL: Yeah [laughs].

KING: In that little building right there, and that had the markings of City Hall [ ].

MARSHALL: No, not, not that building. That wasn't the building where the hospital was.

KING: Oh I'm not talking about where the hospital was, I'm talking about the down here.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah, yeah.

KING: That's the building that I always stayed in. I never stayed in the home. I went


KING: I went in for checkups.

MARSHALL: Well did he live there too, where the hospital was?

KING: He lived there, too.


KING: And he told me, it was the hospital. I never knew it as a hospital,


KING: that was his residence, but it could also have been hospital because it 41:00was larger.

MARSHALL: Yeah. Well, Ms. Carter, everybody tells me that it doubled as a hospital.

KING: It could have been a small hospital.

MARSHALL: Because at that time, they didn't want you in the other hospital.

KING: I had never known anyone to have ever been confined there, ‘course I was small, I was young, and I wouldn't probably have known.


KING: Uh, unless I was told, but uh, I didn't know. Was Beyer here then when [ ]? I don't know when Beyer was built. [ ] The old Beyer’s still standing there, you know.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I know, well I was here when I moved, but see that was just about eight or nine years ago.

KING: You were there when it was across the street?


KING: See they moved from that old gray building, that's next door to the one's nursing home now.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: This is the third,

MARSHALL: Yeah, wow.

KING: this is the third hospital. You didn't know that?

MARSHALL: [ ] I didn’t know about that.

KING: Well, that old gray house that looks like a home, it's only about the size of what Dickerson's was, only it doesn’t have the same uh, structurally. It's about the same size, but as far as length and width goes, the doctor's was around the corner and the lot was smaller and it run more or less back towards 42:00the alley, it was close to the alley, so his was more, uh, rectangular than the square design this one is up here on Prospect. The old gray building was the first Beyer that I knew about, and then they built the brick door, and the big one next door,


KING: and he decided it wasn't nice enough, they built one, the same size, right across the street.

MARSHALL: Well tell me this. Earlier in the conversation, you mentioned a Morton.

KING: A Morton?


KING: Which Morton?

MARSHALL: Was that M-O-R-T-O-N?

KING: Yeah, all the Mortons I know are spelled that way.


KING: [in Ann Arbor].

MARSHALL: Is that, the Morton that now lives in Ann Arbor?

KING: There was a Bill Morton that lived in Ann Arbor, and he was the brother of John Morton, that lived down here next door to the Baptist church. And he had a brother by the name of Bill. There's also another Morton, I think by the name of Bob, that we contacted three or four weeks ago.

MARSHALL: That's the one, Robert.

KING: Robert Morton.

MARSHALL: Lives in Ann Arbor.

KING: I called him by phone, and uh, he didn't know at the time, that he was 43:00the son of Bill. I think I was told just the other day. Son of John and his brother John lived right there.

MARSHALL: Now John is dead.

KING: John is dead, okay.

MARSHALL: But this Robert,

KING: I think Bill was dead, too.

MARSHALL: This Robert is John's son, is that right?

KING: Robert was supposed to have been Bill's son, John's brother's son, that was the way I understood it.

MARSHALL: Robert was Bill Morton’s son.

KING: Right. I think I was just told that that other day, because this little fellow down the street here, when I was trying to determine who that picture was, Johnny Williams was telling me a lot of things that I didn't know.


KING: About Ypsilanti and I was really surprised.

MARSHALL: Well see, this Morton. I don't know if I told you this or not, but one of the two first families, black families to move to Ypsilanti were Mortons.


KING: Is that right? Well, now, are you talking about, are you talking about my uncle Dick Morton?

MARSHALL: I don't know.

KING: they have no relation as far as I know to John Morton.

MARSHALL: I don't know.

KING: I'm sure my uncle Dick was here before John

MARSHALL: Well that's the one I’m interested in then, the one that was here first.

KING: Oh I think that was Dick Morton, Ida and Dick Morton.


KING: Did you look at any of my [ ]? I couldn't find [ ]. [ ] Ida and Dick Morton, did I? I never did find that.

MARSHALL: No, we need to find that one.

KING: Will you give me a few more minutes and let me

MARSHALL Yeah, yeah.

KING: see if I can find, it's got Ida and Dick Morton's on the, uh,

MARSHALL: Are any of them still living?

KING: Oh no, no. The last person, if I recall, was a relative of theirs, died when I was still in high school, and they had a seaside shore summer resort. Now this is, Ida Morton's sister.


KING: She lived in Portland, Maine.


KING: In Portland, Maine. Dick Clerk was your twin, that property was willed to us, the seaside shore home and summer resort, plus two homes in the downtown 45:00area of Portland, Maine. My sister has been there. My mother, I don't think ever made the trip, and uh, the legal proceedings were handled through John [ ], who was the attorney here when I was a little boy, had his offices in the National Savings Bank building. And uh,

MARSHALL: Now how were you related to the Mortons?

KING: Ida and Dick Morton were a married couple. Husband and wife.


KING: And Ida, Dick Morton's wife,


KING: and, uh, my mother's mother were sisters. Do you follow me?

MARSHALL: Ida and Dick Morton.

KING: Were husband and wife.


KING: Ida’s sister would have been my father's mother.

MARSHALL: Ida and, and uh, and uh. Hey, what was her first name, your mother?


KING: Well,

MARSHALL What was your mother's first name?

KING: My mother's first name was Ethel, but now,

MARSHALL: Ethel, Ida and Ethel then. They weren't sisters?

KING: No, Ida, and, no they couldn't have been, see, because that would have been marrying into the family. We'd have been marrying, she'd have been marrying into my family. She married Hazen King. He took

MARSHALL: No, I'm trying to see how you're related to the Mortons.

KING: He was my uncle by marriage. My father, Ida was my father’s, Ida Morton was my father's aunt, and she raised him.

MARSHALL: Ida. Oh Ida was

KING: Ida was Dick's wife.


KING: And Dick's wife, Ida, was my father's mother's sister. See what I mean?

MARSHALL: Ida was your father's aunt?

KING: Ida was my father's aunt, and Ida's sister was my father's mother, because she had a sister. My father took her some food to her, Aunt Ida's,

MARSHALL: What was Ida's sister's name?

KING: I don't know my, I don't know my mother's, my grandmother's first name. 47:00Uh, but anyway, she was an invalid there, I guess, in the latter days, and, uh, Aunt Ida, meaning my father, some food to take to his mother. Her sister. His mother. Her sister, his mother,


KING: and when he went, carried the plate to her, and he came back with the plate, he said, "Aunt Ida, I can't wake mama up." So Ida went out, and found her sister dead.


KING: [ ] Now you following me?

MARSHALL: Yeah, right. Now this evidently then, what you're telling me, was Ida, was evidently a grandchild.

KING: Ida was a grandchild?

MARSHALL: Are you telling me that she, no, that ain't right.

KING: No, no you still didn't follow me.

MARSHALL: No. Well, I'm trying to connect it up with the Morton's.

KING: That's right. Ida was married to Dick Morton.


KING: My father's mother never married. My father never married, remember I 48:00told you I was born out of wedlock?


KING: So I don't know what her name would have been, and what Aunt Ida's maiden name would be. See, my grandmother's name wouldn't have been Morton.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

KING: Because my Aunt Ida married Dick Morton.

MARSHALL: Yeah, right, yeah.

KING: But her sister never married.


KING: And so she just took [ ] King’s name. I told you when you first came in, my father was born out of wedlock?

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: And [ ] me who my grandfather was.


KING: A lot of people knew who the father of his children are, [ ] in a small town, population was only 8, 000 [ ]

MARSHALL: Yeah, I know it.

KING: This was a dirt road [ ].

MARSHALL: Yeah, I know it.

KING: [Up and down, this was a dirt road].

MARSHALL: Everybody knew everybody else's business [laughs].

KING: Right. [ ] with my father, with my grandfather by the name of Cy or [High]. I've asked Oscar Holbert and I don't know whether he told me it was Cy or [High]. See Oscar Holbert was born about the same year, just about two years’ difference between him and uh, the person that, uh, Oscar Holbert and 49:00Genevieve Williams were here

MARSHALL: About the same time, yeah.

KING: Only I think Oscar Henderson, he's about 90 years old.

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah.

KING: And he was telling me, uh, what my father's name was, and Genevieve called. One said High, and I think one said Cy.


KING: That's close enough, I think I can go to the Niagara, maybe, in the courthouse and find a record. See, my grandfather worked for the city here,


KING: and uh, I don't know whether I've got the Cy, or whether they were saying High, but they said he used the Cy. Ever see one of them crooked things those guys used to [ ]

MARSHALL: Yeah. Yeah,

KING: that's what he did, he kept weeds down, along the curves. That's what my grandfather was supposedly, that was Hazen King's father. Now, she just gave him his name.


KING: Because he didn't, uh, get it through marriage.

MARSHALL: Yeah, I understand that.

KING: So that's the relationship we had. And uh, they also gave us kids the property here on Hamilton Street, and, uh, Mom and her having, her having a very 50:00limited education wasn't able to cope with the attorneys, didn't even know what they were saying in regard to the property in Maine.

MARSHALL: Oh yeah.

KING: That was a really [ ]


KING: We could have got that. We ended up, [ ] through legal procedures and got it all taken care of, [ ] in perpetual care of Aunt [Evadore] Richie. She married a Walter Richie, and I don't know how they got or when they went to Maine from here, or whether Ida came here from Maine, but one was in Maine, and Ida's sister lived in Maine and [ ]. They were a long way. She came here once, I think she came here when my father died, if I'm not mistaken, because she brought her [ ] parrot [ ] someone. I don't know if it was Aunt Ida. It must have been Aunt Ida. I don't know whether Ida died before my father did, or 51:00[my father died, at the age of 20, in May, in May, I think it was 1920-, yeah, that's it.] He died in May 1922 and he was 25.

MARSHALL: You were four years old.

KING: And I was four years old. So, at that age, I don't remember whether it was his death or it was Aunt Ida's death. I don't know who died first. But I remember, Aunt Evadore coming here to the funeral, and she brought her [ ] parrot with her. When my sister went to visit her in Maine, the parrot flew out of the coop, or out the door, and she come in the door, he must have been off out of his cage, and out of his perch, and he flew out and they had an awful time getting that bird back in, because he flew down on the beach around all the people. I’ll never forget that. [ ] was the oldest, and so she sent her to visit Evadore.


KING: And all that property was to go to us, but, uh, between her and those 52:00attorneys, they got together, [and gave us, they gave us the residue]. We each got $400 apiece for the property in Maine.

MARSHALL: Do you, do you remember the Days?

KING: Oh yeah. Yeah, Minnie Day. They lived down on the corner down there, [ ]. Doc Mayberry's is there last, on the corner of Hamilton, and uh, right across from the doctor's office. That's where Minnie Day lived, and there was another Day, there were two sisters. They were [ ] Minnie Day. That was [ ]

MARSHALL: I guess [ ] here now, too. I've been interested in the Days.

KING: Oh, oh, there's some Days in Saline. I don't know if they were related to them or not.

MARSHALL: They got some Days in Saline?

KING: Yeah, black family, the Days. Do we have the same? [ ]

MARSHALL: It's in the back of [ ].

KING: Let me get that. They had two daughters. One really got really bad. I think [ ].


MARSHALL: Well see, Cassapolis was settled primarily by people who were offspring of slave owners. So a lot of them are light skinned. Well, you got a lot of people who migrated here from up in Cass, Cass County.

KING: They left that, left Cass and came here?

MARSHALL: And came here, in particular all the women. They came here and married. So you got quite a few women here from Cass County.

KING: Right here now?


KING: There was [ ] quite.

MARSHALL: See, now that ended in 1865 because it wasn't important after that.

KING: Why wasn't it important?

MARSHALL: Because slavery was over.

KING: Oh, and then they migrated here.

MARSHALL: They migrated here before, before slavery was over, but you see, used to having slaves who would have these children. I mean, slave owners, would have children by the slave women.


KING: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: And they didn't want their children to grow up in slavery,

KING: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: so they'd send them over to Cass County.

KING: Oh, I see.

MARSHALL: And they'd buy property for them over there.

KING: They sent them over to Cass County from where?

MARSHALL: From down south.

KING: Oh, from down south.

MARSHALL: Where they were slaves. [ ] They couldn’t have any slaves in Michigan.

KING: They send them from the south to Cass County?

MARSHALL: Yeah, right. They couldn't have any slaves in Michigan. See, so in order to get their children out of slavery, they would buy property over in Cass County and send the slaves up there. And ‘course, that's the way, that's why you had so many Negroes in, in Cass County.

KING: But you said they sent the slaves to Cass County.

MARSHALL: These were their children, yeah. The slave owner.

KING: They send, the slave owner would send his children to Cass County?

MARSHALL: Right, yeah.

KING: Not his wife, but just the kids?

MARSHALL: Well, sometime probably his wife, too. I don't know.

KING: Not his wife, but,

MARSHALL: But that was the way he

KING: Or they send

MARSHALL: [ ] didn't make any difference. He was concerned that his children not grow up in slavery.

KING: Mm-hmm.

MARSHALL: So I mean, I'm sure in some cases they did send their wives.

KING: Mm-hmm, they must have, yes.

MARSHALL: Or the women.

KING: [ ] they would have to send the black women.


MARSHALL: But that's why they got so many light skinned people in Cass, Cass, Cass County.

KING: I didn't know there was a lot.

MARSHALL: Oh gosh, yeah.

KING: I don't, I don't know anyone there, except Bud's mother's sister.

MARSHALL: Yeah, well it's a lot of ‘em there. I been up there, but, uh, but you see you have, you had, they have some dark people there. I met a few dark people there, but the point is that, at the end of the Civil War you have the second largest number of Negroes in any town in Michigan, was up in Cassopolis.

KING: I haven't been there.

MARSHALL: Now the third largest was here in Washtenaw County.

KING: What’s that?

MARSHALL: First was Detroit. Detroit was number one. Cass County was number two, and Washtenaw County was number three.

KING: Mm-hmm. Not cutting you off, but did you get any information, that might, I might like to have on Dick Morton? Did you, had you looked up [ ]?

MARSHALL: No, I'm still trying to find information about him. I'm, I'm trying to 56:00find him because I have been able to trace, I have been able to trace him to the point where I think, I think the Morton that lives over in Ann Arbor is a descendant of the Robert Morton that I’m after.

KING: The Robert Morton? What are you after him?

MARSHALL: See the first Morton that came here,

KING: The Robert Morton that you’re after is in the phone book.

MARSHALL: No, no, no, I don't know that, I don't know what his name is.

KING: Well, I called him and talked to him on the phone. The one [ ]

MARSHALL: Yeah, but you just told me also that he was a different Morton family.

KING: Well, I think John, I don't know whether John and Ida and Dick Morton were any relation or not.

MARSHALL: I don't either. I don't know. All I know

KING: I was never told.

MARSHALL: is, you have, you had at least three Morton families. All of them spelling their name the same way, and there are no kin.

KING: But who's the third?


KING: I know, but John, and Dick.

MARSHALL: [ ] Dick, there wasn't any Dick.


KING: Huh? There was Uncle Dick, we called him Uncle Dick Morton.

MARSHALL: Well yeah, but see you're talking about a later period. I'm talking about 1840.

KING: Oh, 1840, oh.

MARSHALL: See I'm talking back in 1840, that was before, you weren’t quite born [laughs].

KING: Oh no, I wasn't born. But I’m wondering if Uncle Dick was born.

MARSHALL: I don’t, I doubt it. I doubt it very seriously.

KING: That would be my mother's, that would be, uh,

MARSHALL: Well see that, see to, to go back then

KING: Oh that's right, see

MARSHALL: You're talking about gran, you're talking about grans and great grans. See? When you go back that far. See 1840 is seven generations ago. That's a long time.

KING: Are you sure it's seven? 1840?

MARSHALL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. See, a generation is every 20 years.

KING: Yes, but, uh,

MARSHALL: Every 20 years is a generation,

KING: That wouldn’t be

MARSHALL: so the Robert Morton that came here in 1840, he was around 22 or 24, in 1840.


KING: Well, what I'm saying, I guess off the, off the cuff, wouldn’t Ida and Dick Morton be in this category?

MARSHALL: Yeah. They could be, they could be, uh, they could have been the children of, of Robert, I don't know.

KING: Well sure, that's what I'm [ ].

MARSHALL: They could have been. I don't know. But I don't know enough yet to answer your question, that's all I'm saying.

KING: Hmm, I don't have any idea. See, I was a little boy, and Uncle Dick was an old, old man [and I’m 60 years old].

MARSHALL: Well see, he could have been a child of the Robert Morton that first came here.

KING: Right, right he could have been. [Phone rings]

MARSHALL: The thing that I need to know, did, did Uncle Dick leave any children?

KING: That's what, that's what I don't know. [ ] was my dad, and that was Uncle Dick's


KING: This one here? From, uh [ ] [WOMAN LAUGHS] [ ]. She's from South Carolina.


MARSHALL: That's right. Yeah, that’s right.

WOMAN: [ ] [He didn’t know you were getting married twice].

KING: Yes he does.

MARSHALL: He told me, he told me. Told me about that first mistake he made, he say, he say,

KING: [ ] tell you about the second one, some other time. [WOMAN LAUGHS] I'll go get the,

MARSHALL: I’ll tell you what he said. [WOMAN LAUGHS]. I’ll tell you what he said. You go and get the pictures. I’ll be gone when you get back, but thanks. And I’ve got to get your pictures back [ ]

KING: You won’t be gone before I get back, will you?

MARSHALL: Yeah, I got to get [ ]. My dentist [ ] around six.

KING: Okay. I should get out here and trim this hedge.

MARSHALL: Listen, Hazen. Thank you.

KING: Oh, you’re welcome.

MARSHALL: I’ll be back to see you.

KING: Okay. All right. I guess that's all I can think, [ ] I can't find that [ ], what do you call it? [ ].

0:00 - The King family

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: Uh, I mean you already told me a little bit, and I can move from that. Let's see, first of all for my record, this is, uh, this is June the 7th, 1981, and I'm at the home of Hazen King. Put your middle name in it.

KING: Hazen A. It's Austin but I don't,

MARSHALL: Austin-,

KING: I don't care for that. Okay. So I can go with.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. King talks about his marriages and his family's relationship to Ypsilanti. Mr. King remembers moving to Detroit in 1938 and returning to Ypsilanti after World War Two when he married Geraldine Kennedy. He breifly talks about his father, Hazen King Sr., who died when he was a child.

Keywords: 417 S Adams; A.P. Marshall; Avalon Hughes; Dale Carter; Dan Kennedy; Detroit, Michigan; Dr. Williamson; Floyd Boswell; General Dale Boswell; Geraldine Kennedy King; Great Migration; Harold Pardee; Hazen A. King; Hazen King; Ida Morton; Kelly Ramsey; Pete Kennedy; Richard Morton; Whitaker, Michigan; Ypsilanti, Michigan

Subjects: African American families. Marriage.

Hyperlink: A photo of Hazen King Sr. in front of the family home at 417 S. Adams.

11:39 - Refusing to join the army and police

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: Well, you, you, you didn't go into the service at all?

KING: Oh no, no.

MARSHALL: [Laughs]

KING: I didn't, uh, felt, feel as though I should go to the service.

MARSHALL: I didn't either. They got me in [laughs]

Segment Synopsis: Mr. King talks about the segregation and racism in the United States during the era of World War two and trying to stay out of the army. He also remembers trying to join the Ypsilanti Police Department, but rejecting it because he refused to participate in racist environment.

Keywords: A.P. Marshall; African-American attitudes towards World War Two; Dan Patch; Ernie's Ice Cream; Hazen A King; Hazen King; Huron Hotel; Jimmy Moore; Martha Washington Theater; segregation in Ypsilanti, Michigan; Ypsilanti Police Department

Subjects: Racism--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History. World War, 1939-1945--Race relations. Segregation. Police--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History.

18:04 - South side memories

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: Now you uh, you of course, you of course, uh, having lived here. Talk a little bit about your mother. I guess, you, you had some complimentary things about your mother. You [ ], all I’ve ever heard about her has been complimentary, and not just from you. But I know she was, uh,

KING: A cateress.

MARSHALL: a cateress? I didn’t know that.

KING: Yeah. She was well known and well liked. She worked at the country club, with [ ] mother on occasion. Either they were together there, or they both worked on different time periods. But maybe she was there before my mother, maybe my mother was there before her, out here. And uh, she worked [ ], she’s like [ ]

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Marshall and Mr. King talk about the various Ypsilanti families they know. They have a long conversation about Dr. Dickerson, and early Black Ypsilanti doctor, and where his practice on Cross Street was located. Mr. King remembers his family, including his step-father Ben Neely.

Keywords: Adams St.; Alfred Anderson; Anna Harris; Audrey Neely Roberson; Bell Anderson; Benjamin Neely; Beyer Hospital; Brown Chapel AME; Carolyn King; Chapman's Poultry; Cross St.; Dawn Roberson; Detroit, Michigan; Donna Perry; Dr. John H Dickerson; Dr. Lawrence Perry; Dr. Samuel Clark; Ethel King; Ethel Neeley; Ferris St.; Geraldine King; Harriet St.; Hazen King; Howard Neely; J.J. Woods; Louise Bass; Louise Mahaley; Lowell Perry; Margeurite King; Martha Neely; Mary Jane Dickerson; Merlin King; Palm Leaf Club; Tommy Dennis; Viola Carter; Winnie Perry; Ypsilanti Black doctors; Ypsilanti, Michigan

Subjects: African American families. African American physicians. African Americans--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History.

Hyperlink: The Palm Leaf Club, with a 1956 photo that includes Ethel King, Hazen's mother.

42:24 - Early Black Michigan families

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Partial Transcript: MARSHALL: Well tell me this. Earlier in the conversation, you mentioned a Morton.

KING: A Morton?


KING: Which Morton?

MARSHALL: Was that M-O-R-T-O-N?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Marshall and Mr. King discuss some of the oldest Black families in Ypsilanti, including Hazen's aunt and uncle Ida and Dick Morton. A.P. Marshall discusses the history of Black people in Cass County, Michigan.

Keywords: Ann Arbor, Michigan; Cassopolis, Michigan; Day family; Dick Morton; Doctor Mayberry; Genevieve Williams; Hamilton St.; Hazen King; Hiram King; Ida Morton; John Morton; John Williams; Minnie Day; Oscar Hulbert; Portland, Maine; Richard Morton; Robert Morton; Saline, Michigan; Second Baptist Church; South Hamilton St.; Walter Richie; Will Morton

Subjects: African American families. African Americans--Michigan--Ypsilanti--History.

Hyperlink: Web page from South Adams Strett @1900 looking at the family of Richard Morton.
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