|Charles Irving Peters
|Charles Peters and daughter Betty Mae
1927 on top of Tar Beach, New York
|Charles Irving Peters Death Certificate|
Charles Irving Peters was born on February 8, 1897 to Betty Mae Wilson and George Washington Peters in Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia. He was one of seven children, of which two died before Charles was born. Charles’ mother was Native American & White and his father was Black. I have always been infatuated with Charles’ military photo, as I find him very handsome.
Charles served in the Army for two years, but as of yet, I have not located any military records. (His records may have been destroyed in a fire).
Charles had been married to my grandmother Agnes Mae Cully in the 1920’s in Brooklyn, NY. I heard many stories about my grandfather but of course nothing beyond 1950. My mother Betty Mae Peters was named after Charles’ mother.
Charles had been a student at Virginia State University. His major was mathematics, but due to the racial climate of the country and the economic structure, Charles dropped out of school and worked as a Porter for the railroad system. He also was a gambler and a bootlegger, which allowed for good times and bad. I heard rumors that he and a close friend owned a black hotel, but I have not seen any records of that.
Charles died on December 23, 1980 (wow! Dec. 23 was the date my mother suffered a fatal stroke in 2004.) According to his death certificate, the informant was Thornton Hopson. I tried to locate Thornton as he was the attorney that handled Charles’ last affairs. I discovered that Attorney Hopson died in 2000. So frankly, the only way I think I can locate any living relatives is to get the probate documents that were written up 30 years ago. Maybe there will be a clue.
My Grandfather Charles Peters is buried in an umarked grave at Detroit Memorial Cemetery. I hope to one day raise enough money to at least give him the honor of a engraved marker.