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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ida Slesser & Family in Memphis City Directories, 1922-1935

In a previous post, evidence was presented that an Ida Slesser purchased land in Shelby County, Tennessee in 1921. Memphis city directories (in Shelby County, Tennessee), also give us a chronology of an Ida Slesser residing at 1980 Young Ave. from 1922 through 1934. Extracted directory entries for her and other family members help to show that the Ida of Memphis, TN and the Ida of Carrsville, KY are the same person:

Year City Directory Entries for 1980 Young Ave.
1921 Williams Priestly H slsmn h 1980 Young av[1]
1922 Slesser Ida B (wid A H) r 1980 Young av[2]
Slesser Hallie D r 1980 Young av[2]
Thompson Theo D clk Standard Oil Co h 1980 Young av[3]
1923 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert H) r 1980 Young av[4]
Slesser Hallie D clk Bry's 1980 Young[4]
Thompson Theo D clk Standard Oil Co h 1980 Young av[5]
1924 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert) ftr Sanders & Co r1890 Young av[6]
Slesser Hallie D clk Bry's r1980 Young[6]
Thompson Theo D clk Standard Oil Co h1980 Young av[7]
1925 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert) smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1890 Young av[8]
Slesser Hallie Dee r1980 Young[8]
Thompson Theo D clk Standard Oil Co h1980 Young av[9]
1926 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert) smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1890 Young av[10]
Slesser Hallie D sten B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young av[10]
Thompson Theo D (Aimee) clk Standard Oil Co h1980 Young av[11]
1927 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert) smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young av[12]
Slesser Hallie D sten r1980 Young av[12]
Thompson Theo D (Amy) clk Standard Oil Co h1980 Young av[13]
1928 Slesser Ida B (wid A H) smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young av[14]
Thompson Theo D (Amy) clk Standard Oil Co h1980 Young av[15]
1929 Slesser Ida B (wid A H) smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young av[16]
Robertson John L h1980 Young av[17]
1930 Slesser Ida B Mrs h1980 Young av[18]
Sleeser I B Mrs smstrs r1980 Young[18]
Robertson John L (Hallie D) h1980 Young av[19]
1931 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert H) h1980 Young av[20]
Slesser Hallie D sten r1980 Young av[20]
Robertson Hallie D Mrs sten B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young[21]
Robertson John L (Hallie D) clk Y&MVRR r1980 Young av[22]
1932 Slesser Ida B (wid Albert H) smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc h1980 Young av[23]
Robertson Hallie D Mrs sten B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young[24]
Robertson John L (Hallie D) clk Kroger Gro & Bkg Co r1980 Young av[25]
1933 Slesser Ida B Mrs smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc h1980 Young av[26]
Robertson Hallie D Mrs office clk B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young av[27]
Robertson John L clk Kroger Gro & Baking Co r1980 Young av[28]
1934 Slesser Ida B Mrs smstrs B Lowenstein & Bros Inc h1980 Young av[29]
Robertson Hallie D sten B Lowenstein & Bros Inc r1980 Young av[30]
1935 [No entry found for Slesser Ida B][31]
Robertson Hallie D Mrs sten r1980 Young av[32]
Robertson John L (Hallie D) filling sta h1980 Young av[33]

Commentary:

These directory entries provide solid evidence that Ida and Hallie are the same persons named in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census households in Carrsville, Livingston County, Kentucky:
  • The names match from both sets of records.
  • In both cases they are sharing a house.
  • Ida reports being a widow of Albert H. Slesser in 1922 and subsequent years, and Albert died in Carrsville, Kentucky, 3 Feb 1922.
  • Ida was a dressmaker and seamstress in Carrsville, and continues in that occupation in Memphis.
The first indication that Ida resumed working in Memphis is in 1924 when she reported employment with "Sanders & Co." The 1924 city directory entry[34] describes this company as "The Progressive Clothing Club Plan Store, Men's, Women's and Children's Ready-to-Wear." The abbreviation for Ida's position there was "ftr" possibly meaning "fitter." In 1925, Ida changes her employment to "B. Lowenstein & Bros Inc" where she continues uninterrupted through 1934. At this large department store[35] her position was seamstress.
The city directory listings for Ida refer to a single address: 1980 Young Ave., Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee. In 1921, the city directory lists Priestly H. Williams as the occupant at this address. The 1921 Shelby County deed names S. H. Williams and wife as the grantors and Ida Slesser as the grantee. Since the grantor's and 1921 occupant's surnames match, they could be related. This evidence suggests that the 1921 deed was for the 1980 Young Ave. property.
The association of the Slesser family with Theodore and Aimee (Amy) Thompson suggests that there is a relationship. A future post will reveal that Aimee Thompson is a daughter of Ida.
Hallie's surname change in 1930 to Robertson suggests her marriage to John L. Robertson sometime in 1928 or 1929.


1. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory (Memphis, Tenn.: R. L. Polk & Co., 1921), 1671, entry for "Williams, Priestly H"; digital images, "Archives: Shelby County Records, Memphis City Directories, 1849-1943," Shelby County Register of Deeds (http://register.shelby.tn.us : 11 Dec 2014).
2. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1922), 1030, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie D."
3. Ibid., 1111, entry for "Thompson, Theo D."
4. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1923), 1045, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie D."
5. Ibid., 1122, entry for "Thompson, Theo D."
6. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1924), 1040, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie D."
7. Ibid., 1126, entry for "Thompson, Theo D."
8. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1925), 1108, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie Dee"
9. Ibid., 1187, entry for "Thompson, Theo D."
10. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1926), 1047, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie D."
11. Ibid., 1122, entry for "Thompson, Theo D (Aimee)."
12. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1927), 1108, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie D."
13. Ibid., 1187, entry for "Thompson, Theo D (Amy)."
14. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1928), 1119, entry for "Slesser, Ida B."
15. Ibid., 1201, entry for "Thompson, Theo D (Amy)."
16. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1929), 1102, entry for "Slesser, Ida B."
17. Ibid., 1033, entry for "Robertson, John L."
18. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1930), 1072, entries for "Sleeser, I B" and "Slesser, Ida B."
19. Ibid., 1006, entry for "Robertson, John L (Hallie D)."
20. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1931), 1060, entries for "Slesser, Ida B" and "Slesser, Hallie D."
21. Ibid., 993, entry for "Robertson, Hallie D, Mrs."
22. Ibid., 993, entry for "Robertson, John L (Hallie D)."
23. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1932), 949, entry for "Slesser, Ida B."
24. Ibid., 888, entry for "Robertson, Hallie D, Mrs."
25. Ibid., 888, entry for "Robertson, John L (Hallie D)."
26. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1933), 842, entry for "Slesser, Ida B, Mrs"
27. Ibid., 785, entry for "Robertson, Hallie D, Mrs."
28. Ibid., 785, entry for "Robertson, John L (Hallie D)."
29. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1934), 880, entry for "Slesser, Ida B, Mrs"
30. Ibid., 820, entry for "Robertson, Hallie D"
31. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1935), 898, no entry for Slesser between Sledge and Slocum;
32. Ibid., 837, entry for "Robertson, Hallie D, Mrs."
33. Ibid., 837, entry for "Robertson, John L (Hallie D)."
34. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1924), 995, entry for "Sanders & Co"
35. R. L. Polk & Co.'s Memphis City Directory for (1925), 807, entry for "Lowenstein B & Bros (Inc)"