“We need to get together more often and not at a funeral.” How many times have you and a cousin said that? Funerals are much like a family reunion. You can learn a lot about a family just by looking at who showed up. Using my grandparents’ guest books and sympathy cards, I’ll be exploring “Who came to the funeral?”
The three Clydes all attended the funeral of my maternal grandfather Orvin Davis on that October day in 1963. Only Clyde Knight was related. He and my grandfather were first cousins, their mothers being sisters. The other Clydes were life-long friends of the family.
The signatures of Clyde Hisey and Clyde Griffith are together on the guest book. It is no surprise that they arrived together to the funeral because they were brothers-in-law having married sisters. Today I want to concentrate on Clyde Hisey since Clyde Griffith was the focus of an entry during last year’s challenge.
Clyde Hisey was one of six children born to Robert and Emma Hisey in Shenandoah, Virginia. None of the three who survived childhood went into railroading like their father. Instead the oldest brother Ben became a successful barber, and William and Clyde became pharmacists.
|Henry Clyde Hisey 1915|
Clyde graduated in 1915 from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. When he registered for the draft in 1917, he was working for Frederick Nelligar, proprietor of Nelligar’s and Redgate Pharmacy in Norfolk, Virginia. There Clyde joined the Navy as a First Class Pharmacist’s mate on a transport and in the ship’s hospital. He was discharged in 1919.
|WWI draft registration|
|from Shenandoah: A History of Our Town and its People|
Clyde and his brother William wasted no time returning home to Shenandoah to open a drug store. Even though there were several drug stores in the small town, the Hiseys developed a reputation for skill and thoroughness. The store provided more than prescription medicines; it offered toilet articles, candies, sundries, and a complete line of drugs. There was even a refrigerated fountain.
Two years after opening the drugstore, Clyde married Clarice Baker. They had twin boys and a daughter. Clyde and his brother William bought neighboring homes on Fourth Street right across from my grandmother’s childhood home. In a town where everyone knew everyone, and everyone conducted business with their neighbors and friends, it’s no wonder friendships were established that lasted despite families relocating for better job opportunities during the Depression.
|Clyde and William Hisey in front of their store 1948|
from Shenandoah: A History of Our Town and its People
The Shenandoah Magazine published in 1927 featured brief articles about the various business men of the town. The Hisey brothers were described as “men of public spirit, forward-looking, and identified with all movements of development and civic progress.”
Clyde Hisey died in 1965, two years after my grandfather. Clyde and Clarice are buried in the Methodist Church Cemetery in Shenandoah, Virginia.
Census records for Shenandoah, Page, VA 1900-1940
Find A Grave
Shenandoah: A History of Our Town and Its People. Shenandoah Centennial Association History Committee, 1985.
U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2014.
Count on my comrades at the A to Z April Challenge for clever and creative contrivances.
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.