Tales from the East End: The obituary of Elisha Mayo, Evergreen and East End Cemeteries

**Elisha Mayo originally researched and documented in the East End Cemetery database on Find-a-Grave, July 31, 2015**

Elisha Mayo (1837-1915)

In Memoriam – Mayo – The record of a faithful life, though it may have no place in written history, will always be enshrined in hearts its faithfulness has touched and so, moved to the expression of a single tribute to such an one, we pronounce at the bier of an old and honored servant this encomium to his fidelity, from which, along the humble path he trod so many years he never wavered. ELISHA MAYO, or “Uncle Elisha,” was born April 10, 1837, and died at his home in this city June 4, 1915. His parents, Samuel and Fannie Mayo, were slaves, and were wedding gifts to Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Blanton, Sr., of Amelia County, Va., parents of Mr. T. L. Blanton, of this city, in whose employ “Uncle Elisha” was for many years, and up to the time of his death, and who joins in this memorial to his valued and trusted servant. Elisha was twice married, and left surviving him seven children, namely Walter L. Mayo, Ella Mayo Price, Mary Mayo Rogers, Bettie Mayo Kemp, Edmonia Mayo Brown, Grandison Mayo and Frank J. Mayo. Of many of those to whom he ministered in the days now long gone, and who have passed into the beyond, it may doubtless be said that in his latter days, when his head was “bending low,” he “heard their gentle voices calling him, as in the days “before the war.” And so, full of years, he has passed peacefully from an humble, though well-spent earthly, life to that reward that knows neither race nor class nor creed. X X X.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 21, 1915; Richmond Planet, June 26, 1915

In 1870, the Elisha Mayo family was documented in Richmond’s Clay Ward. The household included Elisha Mayo, age 35, occupation “works in foundry”; wife Mary, age 34, daughter Ida, age 8, son Grandison, age 5, and son Sidney, age 2.

In 1880, the family lived on Fifth Street, Richmond. The household included Elisha, age 40, occupation “driver of dray,” wife Mary, age 35, occupation, “washing and ironing,” daughter Betty, age 17, occupation “housework”; son Grandison, age 15, occupation porter; son Sidney, age 12, student; son Thaddeus, age 9, student; and son Walter, 4 years old.

By 1900, Elisha’s family was documented in Richmond’s Monroe Ward, at 613 1st Street. Elisha and Mary Mayo were recorded as married for thirty-two years, with seven children born to the couple, and six surviving by 1900. Elisha was documented born in 1840, working as a “hostler at a dairy,” and wife Mary, born in 1850, with no occupation listed. Son Grandison was noted as a laborer, daughter Mary, a schoolteacher, daughter Ella, a housekeeper, son Walter, working as a butler, and son Frank, a teamster.

By 1910, Elisha and Mary Mayo were living with their sons, Walter and Frank, in Richmond’s Madison Ward, on Fifth Street, as per the federal census. Elisha was still working, as a hostler in a livery stable, and Mary was retired. Their son Walter worked as a mail carrier, and Frank as a “keeper of a pool room.”

On June 4, 1915, Elisha Mayo passed away, possibly in his sleep from complications of heart disease, as per his death certificate. He was a widower, as his wife Mary preceded him in death sometime between February, 1910 and 1915. His son Walter was the informant. Elisha was buried in East End Cemetery by undertaker W. Isaac Johnson on June 6, 1915.

More information on the children of Elisha and Mary Mayo

Bettie Mayo Kemp*, born about 1862, Amelia County, Virginia. She was married to Christopher McPherson Kemp, Sr., on September 16, 1886, Richmond, Virginia. Christopher M. Kemp (1857-1940) was the son of Stephen E. Kemp (1831-1893), and Ann Rebecca Cousins Kemp (1834-1910), both descendants of free persons of color in Virginia. Bettie and Christopher Kemp had three children, C. Burgess Kemp, Sidney Allen Kemp, and Christopher McPherson Kemp, Jr. Bettie Mayo Kemp died on October 16, 1943, in Queens, New York, and was returned to Richmond, Virginia for burial.

The funeral of Mrs. Bettie Mayo Kemp, who died October 16, was held at W. I. Johnson’s Undertaking Eastablishment. The services were conducted by the Rev. A. L. James, assisted by the Rev. E. E. Smith. Relatives from out of town who attended the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Christopher M. Kemp, Master Sydney Kemp, and Mrs. Viola Weeden of Hampton, Va., Mrs. Irma Price Smith of Jamaica, N. Y., Miss Lottie Brown of New York City, and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Taylor of Washington, D. C.
Besides the relatives who attended the funeral she leaves a sister, Mrs. Mary Rogers of Jamaica, N. Y.; two brothers, Walter Mayo of Jamaica, N. Y., and Grandison Mayo of New York City. She is the aunt of Ellis P. Mayo and Mrs. Sydney M. Brown of this city.

Norfolk Journal and Guide, October 30, 1943

**Bettie Mayo Kemp may be the daughter of Elisha’s first wife**

Marion Sydney Mayo was born about 1869, Richmond, Virginia. He married Miss Mary Jane Payne, daughter of Winston D. Payne and Mary Jane Smith, on August 1, 1893, Richmond, Virginia. Marion Sydney and Mary Jane Mayo were the parents of Ellis Payne Mayo, Sr. (1894-1965), Marian Sydney Mayo Brown (1899-1967), and Camille J. Mayo Taylor.

Marion S. Mayo died sometime prior to 1910. His widow, Mary Jane Payne, then married Joseph Franklin Aytes. Erroneously recorded as “Joseph Eights,” in the state births register, he was born on April 7, 1876, Richmond, Virginia to Nancy Aytes (d. March 30, 1914). Joseph Aytes, a “Buffalo Soldier,” veteran of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, died on May 9, 1927, and was interred (as Joseph Yates) in Richmond National Cemetery, as per his death certificate and several military sources. Interestingly, he also has a headstone in Evergreen Cemetery, but official Evergreen interment records do not contain his burial information. Mary Jane Payne Mayo Aytes passed away on May 16, 1937, and was interred in Evergreen Cemetery.

Obituary of Ellis Payne Mayo, Sr.:

E. P. Mayo Sr. Succumbs at 70 – A funeral service will be held at 3:30 p. m. Wednesday at the Chiles Funeral Home for Ellis P. Mayo, Sr., 70, of 2105 Greenwood Ave. who died Sunday. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

Mr. Mayo had been a bellboy in Richmond for the past 40 years, working first for Hotel Jefferson and then for Hotel Richmond

Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 28, 1965

Obituary of Marian Sydney Mayo Brown:

Died Dec. 21, 1967, Mrs. Marian Sydney Brown, of 814 Edgehill Rd. She is survived by her husband, William F. Brown; one sister, Mrs. Camille Taylor; one nephew, Ellis P. Mayo; one niece, Mrs. Berthel Hines; other relatives and friends. Remains rest at the A. D. Price Jr. Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, 2 P. M., from George A. Price Memorial Chapel, 727 N. 2nd St. Interment Evergreen Cemetery. Friends kindly assemble at the chapel Tuesday, 1:30 P. M.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 24, 1967

Thaddeus R. Mayo was born July 4, 1870, and died on November 25, 1906. Burial, East End Cemetery

Walter L. Mayo was born about 1876, in Richmond, Virginia. He worked as carrier for the U. S. Postal Service most of his life, and was living in Queens, New York, with his sister, Mary Eliza Mayo Rogers, a former teacher of the Buchanan School, by 1940.

Ella Lee Mayo was born on September 20, 1879, Richmond, Virginia. She married Henry N. Price on June 30, 1909, in Baltimore, Maryland. The couple later divorced on November 18, 1920.

Grandison Mayo was born on May 16, 1865, in Amelia County, Virginia. He relocated to New York City shortly after his parents’ decease, and remained there for the rest of his life. He passed away on October 21, 1954, and is interred in Long Island National Cemetery, East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.

Frank J. Mayo was born on February 16, 1883, Richmond, Virginia. Like his brother Grandison, Frank moved to New York City after his parents’ decease, and soon met Miss Gladys M. Smith, daughter of Peter and Carrie Smith, from Worcester, Massachusetts. The couple married on December 30, 1915, in Manhattan, New York.

A veteran of WWI, Frank was a member of Company M., 369th Regiment, 93rd Division, one of the “Harlem Hellfighters.” He left Hoboken, New Jersey, aboard the USS Pocahontas, on December 12, 1917. But Frank never returned from war. He died on October 16, 1918, cause of death “DWRIA,” or, “died of wounds received in action.” Frank was initially buried amongst 56 other American burials in Auve Cemetery, Marne District, grave No. 3, American Plot, row one.

Frank was never repatriated, or, disinterred and returned to the United States for burial. Frank was reburied on October 24, 1921, in Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France. His wife, Gladys, was notified of Frank’s reburial on December 1, 1922.

Grave of Frank J. Mayo (1883-1918), Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne-sour-Montfaucson, France. Source: Find-a-grave user 46846269

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