In Memory

Mary Witt (Washington) VIEW PROFILE

Mary Witt Washington was born in Livingston, Alabama in 1885, and passed in Birmingham, Alabama in 1951. Mary was born to the union of Henry Witt and Morning Jewell Clay Witt. Mary married Robert Lee Washington of Gainesville, Alabama. At an early age, Robert Lee and Mary Witt set their sights on moving away from the agricultural community to live in the city of Birmingham, Alabama. There was no rental housing for people of color in Birmingham around the year 1900, rooms for rent, and the scarce rental housing was owned by iron coal and mining companies for their employees.  Mary was the first of her five siblings to move from Livingston to Birmingham, followed by Sandy Witt, Thomas Jesse Witt, Susie Witt McCain, and Katie D. Witt Knox. All of them settled in walking distance of each other in the same community known as Oak Ridge Park, later to become known as Woodlawn, a surburb of Birmingham, Alabama, five miles from the center of the city. Robert Lee Washington, a ore miner commuted from his place of employment, coming home to Birmingham, sometimes as few times as once a month from the ore mine where he was employed, outside of Birmingham. Robert Lee Washington Jr. Jewell, Cora Lee, William, and James were born to the union of Robert Washington and Mary Witt Washington. Mary Witt had two (2) additional children, Thomas Witt and Katie Mae Kidd. Mary Witt raised all of her children as a single parent and worked as a domestic for the Whitehurst family until she became unable to work. Mary died from cancer of the uterus and the complications of a stroke at the age of 66 years old. Mary was interned in the Gate City Cemetery located in the Brown Springs community in Birmingham.

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