Tuesday, April 03, 2012

1940s LaBelle, Florida - Census Secrets

1940 Census Now Online - A Who's Who Of LaBelle

LABELLE, FL. -- J. Olien Davidson of Davidson's Dry Cleaners is one of the names found on the released this week 1940s U.S. Census. Davidson's Dry Cleaners has been a landmark building in downtown LaBelle for decades, and on the 1940 census J. Olien Sr., J. Olien Jr., and Ruby Davidson are listed prominently on the first page of the LaBelle census enumeration.

(photo: First Page of 1940 Census for LaBelle, Florida - click on photo to see enlarged to full size)

Also living in the household in 1940 were grandsons Merle Luckey, age 5 and Buford Luckey, age 3.

The elder Davidson, 42 and wife Ruby, 40 were shown from Georgia, living in a building on Bridge Street worth $500. Mr. Davidson, a dry cleaner, worked 42 hours a week, while Ruby worked 24 hours, as a seamstress. According to what they told the census taker, both earned $496 the previous year, a handsome sum for LaBelle 72 years ago.

Next door on Bridge Street lived the Jennings, of Jenning's Hardware. Lawrence, 32 and Emma, 28, lived with seven year old daughter Betty Joan. Mr. Jennings indicated he earned $196 the previous year in the hardware business.

Anyone can see the 1940 Census online at http://1940census.archives.gov/ (The E.D. - enumeration districts for LaBelle are 26-3, 26-4, and 26-5)

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