Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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Melissa Warren obituary 26 September 1902
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TitleMelissa Warren obituary 26 September 1902
DescriptionObituary for Melissa Warren, an ex-slave who lived in Galesburg, Illinois in the second half of the 19th century.
Named PersonWarren, Melissa; Alexander, Ralph; Carter, Emma Louise; Carter, Lewis C.; Alexander, R.W.; Warren, Pryor; Johnson, William; Ford, Justina E.;
AuthorGalesburg Republican-Register
Time Period1900s
PublisherGalesburg Republican-Register
Date Created (original)September 26, 1902
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2013-02-09


Aged Colored Woman Dies From
Afflication of Long Standing
Found in Bed.

Mrs. Melissa Warren, one of the old-
est and most respected of the colored
people of this city was found dead in
bed this morning at the home of Wil-
liam Johnson on West Main street.
Mrs. Warren was for some time in the
employ of this family as a nurse and
The cause of Mrs. Warren's death
was heart trouble. For some years
she had been sufffering with this ail-
ment, together with stomach trouble
and at various times she was affected
by the trouble. When Mrs. Warren
retired last night she did not complain
of her trouble in any manner except
that she had a slight headache. The
first that was known of the death was
when Mrs. Johnson had occasion to go
into the room in which Mrs. Warren
slept. She attempted to arouse her,
but with the result that she was found
to be dead. There was no evidence
of a struggle and she lay there just
as if she had fallen into a deep sleep.
The body was removed to the under-
taking rooms of Kimber & West and
later today was taken to the home of
Lewis C. Carter, a son-in-law of the
deceased, residing at the corner of
West and South streets.
Coroner Chalmers was notified and
after gathering evidence in the case
decided that the cause of death was too
plain to necessitate the holding of an
inquest. He signed the certificate of
death as the law in the case requires.
Mrs. Warren was born Dec. 15, 1831,
in slavery. She was in her early years
the property of a family by the name of
Biscow, living in Kentucky, and she
took this as her family name. With
the Briscows she moved when a child
to Missouri, where she remained until
the Emancipation Proclamation gave
her freedom. She was married in slav-
ery to Ralph Alexander, who died
many years ago. She was married
again to Pryor Warren, who died some
years ago in Michigan.
Mrs. Warren came to this city in
1865 and has made her home here ever
since. She was one of the twelve
charter members of the Second Bapt-
ist church, which was organized in this
city in 1865 and was one of the last
survivors of the original twelve. She
had affiliated herself with the move-
ments in the church and for many
years was one of the deaconesses or
mothers of the church. Her kindly dis-
position has been felt by both the
white people and her own race in
Galesburg, for she has ministered unto
them in times of sickness and dis-
Mrs. Warren of late years has been
living on West Knox street, at the
times she was not engaged in the work
which had been so dear to her.
The following children survive the
death: Mrs. Emma Louise Carter, of
this city; R. W. Alexander, of St.
Louis, and Mrs. J. E. Ford of Denver.
One son, John Alexander, died in 1879.
The arrangements for the funeral
cannot be made until the children have
been heard from.
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