Fred and Ida Douglass

Fred and Ida Douglass

Fred C. and Ida Danforth Douglass

This photo came from an old album of Flora Emerson Lane’s, passed on to me by Joanna Lane Meyer. I had seen pictures of my great grandparents when they were older but this one was new to me, perhaps taken at the time of their wedding.

Fred C. Douglass, the youngest of seven children of J. Chester Douglass and Lucilda Cady was born on Pillar Point, Jefferson County, NY. He attended the local grade school; he spent his early years on the home farm helping his father.

He married the daughter of Rev. Stanley and Minerva Russell Danforth in 1886. They lived on the old original James Douglass homestead on Pillar Point until 1904 when they moved to Belleville so that their two daughters, Ethel and Elsie, might attend the Academy there. In November 1909, they moved to Sand Street Road, Adams, NY where Fred had a small farm.

In 1918, with Ida’s encouragement, Fred got a job as janitor for Asbury Methodist Church in Watertown, NY, one of the finest churches in the city. I remember as a child visiting him at the church with my father and watching him lower the great heavy chandeliers on a cable so that he could clean them.

Fred and Ida lived on South Hamilton Street in Watertown until 1940 when Ida Douglass died. Ida died in February that year, and their daughter, Elsie, died a few months later in August. Fred then went to live with Lutie Ash, a niece. Lutie died in April 1941. He lived with his son-in-law Milton Lee for a short while and then moved in the fall of 1941 to live with his granddaughter Louise Lee Robinson in Danville, Kentucky. Except for short visits back to the Pillar Point area, he lived with the Robinsons until his death in 1953.

Ida Danforth Douglass had three sisters and a brother. Her parents Stanley and Minerva Danforth are buried in the Brownville cemetery. Ida enjoyed genealogy and kept records in a notebook of the information reported at the annual Douglass reunions. Most of her genealogical recordings have proven to be accurate though there appear to have been a few guesses. Her notebook was a gold mine for me when I was starting out in genealogy.

Lineage for Fred Douglass: 5th generation-Fred-, 4-J.Chester Douglass, 3-James Douglass, 2-John Douglass, 1-Alexander Douglass of Scotland.

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