Tag Archives: US Census Bureau

22 ½ Main Street: Putting Names To The Faceless

The “06880” story about 22 ½ Main Street — the boardinghouse behind what is now the Bobby Q’s alley that went up in flames in 60 years ago, and has now been largely forgotten — intrigued many readers.

And it inspired Jack Whittle to do some digging.

Trawling through 1940 US Census data on Ancestry.com, he found a page listing information on 22 1/2 Main Street.

At the time of the counting, 28 people lived there. Their names included Dew, Martin, Gomez, Williams, Jackson, Paulk, Brown, Tomberlin, Bullock, Lemon, Powell, Sallus, Wrintz, Michels and Harold. All were “Negro.”

The youngest was 1 year old; the oldest, 54.

The list included “head” (of household), wives, sons, daughters, brothers, aunts and cousins. Eight were “lodgers.”

Most were born in the South, though some of the children were born in Connecticut. Samuel Lemon was born in British Columbia.

Only 1 — 14-year-old Abner Paulk — was listed as having attended school at any time within the previous month. Most of the adults completed only a few grades.

The census asked where they lived in 1935. Most were still in the South. A few were listed simply as “Some place.”

Their occupations were laborer, gardener, butler, domestic and handyman. Their employers were almost all “private family.”

The census also asked each adult’s income for all of the previous year. In 1939, that ranged from a low of $430, to a high of $1,132.

Parks And Rec Spares Trees

A tip of “06880”‘s all-natural cap to Westport’s Parks and Rec Department.

A small postcard informs residents that, starting Monday at 9 a.m., program registration, parking stickers and handpasses are available online.  Walk-in sales and program registration begins March 22.

That means the town won’t mail bulky, several-page forms — in large envelopes — to every household in town.  I’m not sure how many trees that saves, but it’s a smart, 21st-century move.

And one that the US Census Bureau should emulate.  The other day I received their letter, telling me that soon I’ll receive a census form.  When I get it, they said, I should return it.

Whew.  You can imagine how surprised I’d be to get a census form without knowing it was coming.  No way I could have figured out I was supposed to mail it back.

(For detailed Parks & Rec information, click here.)