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Aug 21, 2019

Annie Bell Rowe, Bayside, Queens, NY, ca. 1996, Contributed by Edgefield Miles

Ancestor’s Name : Annie Bell Rowe
Where Was This Photo Taken? : Unknown/Bayside, Queens
When Was This Photo Taken? : Unknown/1996
If you would like to share a story about this ancestor, please type as little or as much as you like in this box. : Excerpts of Annie Rowe’s Obituary 8/1/19 (Obituary was written by Edgefield Miles) Annie recalled her birthday as being March 17, 1930 but according to the 1930 census, she was born around July of 1929—making her transition just shy of her 90th birthday! Annie Bell Rowe was born in Batesburg, Saluda County, South Carolina to I.D. Rowe (indicated as “Iodine”) and Hattie Belle Werts/z (indicated as “Mattie”).[1]

She was the second child of four (in age order): James Calvert Rowe (dec’d 2007), —, and an unnamed stillborn girl who died in 1935.[2] As young children, they were cared for mostly by their father and his mother Annie Padgett-Rowe, as their mother remarried. (Dashes represent a living sibling) Annie attended grade school and graduated from the Colored School of Batesburg (Twin City High) before it was closed.

She recalled how much she could not wait to leave Batesburg and the minute she graduated, she was headed to New Jersey with a family she had been babysitting for in SC. Once landed, she continued to do domestic work then took a job with the Lily Tulip Cup Company. During that time, she moved to Jamaica, near the South Jamaica Houses (aka ’40 Projects’) and began her life. Annie had her son Robert in 1952 and sometime thereafter, she began working for the — and in 1998, retired. (Job name omitted—just in case. LOL) A flirt is what she was! Always sashaying and keeping herself ‘cutesie-cutesie’. She was surely a ‘girlie-girl’ and if you had any words to express her, they surely would be: a night owl, a server, a party-goer/giver, a traveler, a Bingo player, a numbers player, a chef in her own right (a talent she certainly shared with her siblings) and an overall friendly, fiercely secretive and independent woman!

We knew her to have many friends but only met a couple and she loved making baked goods for her co-workers! Annie did not attend church and if you asked her why, she would tell you, “When I used to work at nights, I was tired in the morning so when I went to church, I’d fall asleep. Those people would think I was drunk!” Yep, that was Annie! (Not the drunk part though.) If she could tell her friends and family to do a few more things for her, it would be to play a number, cook corn beef and cabbage and to wear her favorite colors of blue and green to commemorate her birth date on the date of St. Patrick’s Day! (All names mentioned are deceased).

[1] Year: 1930; Census Place: Batesburg, Saluda, South Carolina; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0003; FHL microfilm: 2341945 / Census taken April 3, 1930 / Source Information 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

[2] Courtesy of: South Carolina Department of Archives and History; Columbia, South Carolina; Year Range: 1925-1949; Death County or Certificate Range: Lexington / Source Information South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1965 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.