Births Deaths Marriages, Newspaper Articles, Paternal Kin

Dr. Randall dies.


R. Stewart Randall, 76, a Washington family physician whose medical career spanned more than 50 years, died July 17 at Washington Hospital Center of complications following a stroke.

Dr. Randall was a lifelong resident of Washington. He graduated from Dunbar High School and Howard University and its medical school. He began an internship at Freedman’s Hospital here, then served in the Army Medical Corps in France during World War II. He received a Bronze Star.

After the war, he returned here and opened a family medical practice, which continued until his death. He also was an instructor in the Howard University Medical School’s department of family practice and its preceptorship program in primary and comprehensive care. He worked part time at the Union Medical Center obstetrics and gynecology clinic.

He was a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a life member of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and a member of the D.C. Medico-Chirurgical Society.

He received a community service award from the Lower Georgia Avenue Businessmen’s Association for his work in helping develop a complex of medical offices and clinics along Georgia Avenue NW.

He was a life member of the NAACP.

His wife of 42 years, the former Ethel M. Gibson, died in 1989.

Survivors include three children, R. Stewart Randall Jr., Anna Randall Allen and Mae Ellen Randall, all of Washington; his father, Fred R. Randall of Washington; a sister, Ada R. Reeves of Washington; a brother, Dr. Frederick R. Randall of New York; and four grandchildren.

— Washington Post, 22 July 1992.


Pittsburgh Courier, 18 April 1964.

Education, Other Documents, Paternal Kin


I’ve been striking gold with the Randalls. A number of Howard University’s yearbooks have been digitized, and searches of random years yielded these Randall collegians, as well as a cousin descended through their grandmother Fannie‘s brother Matthew: Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 8.13.44 PM

Arnetta L. Randall, Class of 1925.

Arnetta was the second daughter and seventh child of George and Fannie Aldridge Randall. (Oscar and Fred Randall were among her brothers.) A teacher and lifelong resident of the District, she never married.


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Mable Margaret Williams, Class of 1933.

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Irvin LeFetus McCaine, Class of 1934.

Irvin L. McCaine married Mable Margaret Williams, daughter of Clarence J. and Daisy B. Aldridge Williams of Goldsboro and later Asheville, North Carolina. Mable’s maternal grandparents were Matthew W. and Fannie Kennedy Aldridge. Here’s Cousin Irvin in high school (Class of 1929), courtesy of an Oakland High School memorial website:

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Frederick Russell Randall, Class of 1942.

Son of Fred R. and Lucille Stewart Randall, Frederick Randall also attended medical school at Howard and briefly practiced at the hospital there before moving to New York City. (Ada Randall Reeves was his sister.)

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The Crisis, December 1962.

Ten or 15 years ago, I received an email message from a professional genealogist in New York who had been hired to research Dr. Frederick Randall’s family. Through her I learned what had become of my great-great-grandfather’s youngest sister Frances Aldridge Locust — Cousin Frederick’s grandmother — whom I’d lost track of after her marriage. She and her husband had changed their surname to Randall, it turns out, and moved to Washington DC. The genealogist and I exchanged information over the course of several emails and letters, and I spoke with Cousin Frederick by phone — among other things, about his interaction with his cousin, and my great-grandfather J. Thomas Aldridge — but I never got the opportunity to meet him. I Googled his name tonight and found this:

RANDALL–Frederick R., MD. 91. Former Surgeon and Professor of Surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. He had compassion for his patients; and wisdom for his students. A devoted husband and loving father, he leaves Elizabeth [W. Glover], his wife of over 68 years and his sons, Derek and John. A bereaved family is consoled by cherished memories. What be it worth the life of a man, but that which he himself has given to it? This strong man gave much. Published in The New York Times on Apr. 6, 2014.
Land, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin

Cousins and covenants.

“In November of 1945, Ada Reeves bought a charming little bungalow at 1303 Kearny St. NE in Brookland. She expected to move in without any problems, but instead was sued by her neighbors. The cause? The color of her skin. Ada Reeves was African American, and her new home’s deed contained a covenant that said the house was not to be sold to a black person.”

While running a Google search for Fred R. Randall, I happened upon a blog dedicated to the history of Brookland, a neighborhood in northeast Washington DC. A December post on racially restrictive covenants opened with the sentences above. Further down: “As for the case of Ada Reeves: her father, Fred Randall, contacted Charles Hamilton Houston in 1945 to look into the case,” and copies of a letter from Randal to Houston. Charles Hamilton Houston, called “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow” was an early African-American civil rights lawyer and mentor to Thurgood Marshall. And Fred Randall is Cousin Fred.

Many thanks to Bygone Brookland, and for the full post, see here.

Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Basketball victors.

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Many thanks to Dena Banks for pointing out this post in Vieilles Annonces’ Flickr feed. It’s from the March 1912 issue of the NAACP’s The Crisis. (The first 25 years of which I have on CD; I need to study this thing more carefully.) Fred Randall was the 17 year-old son of George and Fannie Aldridge Randall, who migrated from Wayne County to Washington DC in the late 1890s. (Fannie Aldridge Randall, formerly known as Frances Aldridge Locust, was the sister of my great-great-grandfather John W. Aldridge.) Randall’s interest in athletics did not end in high school. As just posted here, he went on to become director of the city’s Cardozo Playground.

Education, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

B.S. Civil Engineering.

Oscar Randall, son of George and Frances “Fannie” Aldridge Randall, appeared in The Crisis‘ annual round-up of recent college graduates.

Pages from The Crisis Volume 20 no 3 O Randall

“Civil Engineer, Oscar Randall, whose scholastic average is 87% for the 4 year term,” p. 140.

Allison, M.G., “The Year in Negro Education,” The Crisis, July 1920, volume 20, number 3.

Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, Migration, North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

The Randalls of Washington DC.

fannie-a-randall  George Randall

On 18 Dec 1890, Fannie Aldridge married Robert Locust in the presence of her sister Lizzie Aldridge, brother M.W. Aldridge, and Robert’s neighbor George W. Reid. Robert’s first wife, Emma Artis, had died the previous year, and it is likely that he met Fannie, who lived at the other end of Wayne County, through her family. Fannie’s sister Amanda was married to Emma’s father Adam T. Artis, and her brother John was married to Emma’s sister Louvicey Artis.

Fannie and Robert’s first two children, William Hardy and Fred Robert, were born in Wayne County. Circa 1895, the family left North Carolina for Washington DC after– it is said —  Robert and a couple of Fannie’s relatives were involved in the murder of a white man. By time Robert, Fannie, his older daughters, and their boys arrived in DC, they were no longer Locusts. Robert, in fact, assumed a whole new name, and was George R. Randall ever after. According to their grandson, in order to collect Fannie’s inheritance when her father’s estate settled in 1902, the couple had to cross over into Alexandria, Virginia, where they were not known and could safely sign documents as Robert and Fannie Locust.

The 1900 and 1910 censuses recorded the family at 1238 Madison, then 138 B Street (no quadrant designated.) On 20 March 1917, Fannie “Randell” of 412 South Capitol Street was dead of heart disease. She was 44.

Wash Post 3 24 1917Washington Post, 24 March 1917.

In their 20 years in DC, she and Robert/George had been able to usher their children along the path to the middle class. Hardy Randall (1891-1967) went to work for the United States Postal Service. Fred R. Randall (1894-1996), a high school football standout, was a parks director. We met decorated officer Oscar Randall (1896-1985) here. Fannie Randall Dorsey (1900-1994) taught school, as did her sister Arnetta Randall (1904-1993). Edna Randall Breedlove (1909-1990) did not work after her marriage to Jesse Breedlove. George Randall died in infancy, as did two unnamed brothers.

Births Deaths Marriages, Land, Migration, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Where we lived: gentrified DC.

When she died in 1993 in Washington DC, the estate of Arnetta L. Randall, seventh of George and Fannie Aldridge Randall‘s nine children, included her home at 1377 Florida Avenue NE.

As has much of DC, Cousin Arnetta’s section of Near Northeast has undergone considerable change in the last decade. Her estate sold the house on 18 January 2001 for $12,000. Fourteen months later, it went for $135,000. Three and a half years later, the property again changed hands, this time for $191,000. Its owner held on during the real estate collapse of 2008, then sallied forth into a resurgent market in 2011. On January 25 of that year, he sold for $315,000.  The climb continued: two years later, in February 2013, the house sold for $485,000.

There is surely no part of this Arnetta Randall would have recognized. Neither the astounding amounts that have changed hands over her small two-bedroom rowhouse nor the house itself, renovated in its every nook and cranny and painted a bright yellow on its way to a half-million dollars.

Births Deaths Marriages, Education, Migration, Military, Newspaper Articles, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Col. Oscar Randall.

There were surely many more veterans than that, I thought, and I started poking around my files, looking for men and women I might have missed. Oscar Randall was a possible World War I veteran, but his draft card cast doubt — he claimed a service exemption on the basis that he was “rejected by recruiting officer.”


Nonetheless, I Googled Randall and was stunned to find that not only did he serve, he led troops in battle in France during World War I, received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Italy during the Second World War, and achieved the rank of colonel. The most amazing find: two photos of Randall from the Chicago Sun-Times archives for sale on eBay!  I ordered them immediately, and they arrived in yesterday’s mail.

The first photo, taken after the First World War, depicts a smooth-faced, heavy-jowled man in officer’s uniform. Its reverse carries a scrap of newspaper article, as well as a note that the photo was copied from a portrait hanging in Randall’s living room.

O Randall 1921

The second photo, taken in 1982, shows a solemn-faced old man, silver hair swept back from his forehead, his eyes rheumy but mouth set firmly. Light from a window creates a dramatic chiaroscuro. On the back: a slightly longer clipping from the same article, detailing the colonel’s military achievements.

O Randall 1982

Back O Randall 1982

Oscar Randall was born 30 November 1896 in Washington DC, the first of George and Fannie Aldridge Randall‘s children born after their migration from Wayne County, North Carolina. After the War, he returned to college and received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. (He served as president of Tau chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, while there.) Randall taught mathematics at Chicago’s DuSable High School for many years and also worked as a civil engineer for the city’s sanitation department. In the 1950’s, he served as Chief of the U.S. Military Mission to Liberia, which advised that country’s military on training and defense. He married twice, but had no children.

Oscar Randall died three years after his Chicago Sun-Times interview. He was 88 years old.

A memorial service for Oscar Randall, 88, a civil engineer, will be held at 11 a.m. June 9 in St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 3301 S. Wabash Ave. Mr. Randall, of the South Side, died April 8 in Veterans Administration Lakeside Medical Center. A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Randall graduated from the University of Illinois and worked for the Chicago Sanitary District for nine years. Mr. Randall also taught mathematics at Du Sable High School. In 1918 he joined the 8th Illinois infantry regiment, one of the nation’s first black-led military units. He also served in World War II. Survivors include his wife, Hilda; a stepdaughter, Vera Levy; two stepgrandchildren; two stepgreat-grandchildren; three sisters; and a brother.  

— Chicago Tribune, 23 May 1985.


[Sidenote: Pete Souza, who photographed Cousin Oscar, is now Chief Official White House photographer for President Barack Obama and Director of the White House Photography Office.]