Clarence Huling Hudnall, my great-grandfather, was born 16 October 1902, the fourth child of Henry Preston Hudnall, a coal miner, and Martha Ellen Williams in Cabin Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Cabin Creek is an unincorporated city just south of Charleston on the south bank of the Kanawha River. It is quite interesting to me to see Clarence’s birth certificate signed by his father.
In the 1910 census, Clarence is listed as Hughling and living with his parents, two sisters, and his brother. Clarence’s mother passed away when he was ten years old. By 1914, his father was remarried and had moved the family to Charleston as seen in Charleston City directories from 1914, 1917, and 1918.
By eighteen years old, Clarence was working alongside his older brother Elmer as a baker for a wholesale bakery according to the 1920 census. He married Nina Virginia Eskins in 1924. Within a few years they had one daughter, Reva Ann and one son, Robert Lee. In 1928, the year Robert was born, Clarence is listed as Hueing in the Charleston City directory and is working alongside his brother Elmer as a baker at the Kanawha Pie Baking Co. In the 1930 directory, Clarence is still working as a baker at Kanawha Pie Baking Co. He is living at 223 Truslow St. Apt 9 at the time. In 1932, he is still working at the same place with his brother, who is living with the family at 223 Truslow.
City directories are my new best friend in tracing family members who lived in larger cities. These were the predecessors of telephone books but included much more information than today’s phone book would provide. City directories were usually printed every two years. They include the address of the person so that you are able to track how they moved. They also include the person’s occupation and often their employer’s name. It is interesting to see the places people went to work every day by using google maps or google search. This adds much more information to a person’s life story beyond the every ten year census.
In the 1936 Charleston city directory, Clarence and brother Elmer are listed as bakers at the Conlon Baking Co, makers of Butter Krust bread. The family has moved to 1315 Stuart St where they will remain into the 1960’s. Elmer was living with them at that time. For pictures and information on the Conlon Baking Co, see this link at MyWVHome.com.
In 1938, Clarence was working at the Ashley Bread Co, and in the 1940 census, his occupation is listed as baker. I found no other entry in the directories until 1949 when Clarence is again listed as a baker and still at 1315 Stuart Street. In the 1952, 1954, and 1958 directories, he is listed as a baker at Old Duchess Bakery and still on Stuart Street. The 1958 directory is the last one in which I found him listed and is the second to last year the Charleston City Directory was printed.
Interestingly, the one story I always heard about my great-grandfather involved working in a bakery. His wedding ring once fell off in a vat of oil and he burnt his hand reaching in to get it.
In 1971, Clarence’s wife of 47 years passed away. Around 1975, he moved to Elyria, Ohio with his son Robert’s family. He suffered from emphysema, passing away 9 March 1977.