Compton Heights Historic Census Data


Who’s Been Living in My House?

Click for Year: 1900 | 1910 | 1920 | 1930

For over one hundred years families have come and gone in our neighborhood called Compton Heights. Often the only insight we have into their lives is when we initiate some rehabilitation or renovation of our homes. The crayon drawings that a naughty child put on a wall were covered up with paint; the books, toys, and old streetcar tokens slipped under radiators; or the ancient B-B gun that an angry Mom hid from a wayward son in the rafters of the attic is eventually discovered when we start our work. Who were these people, and what did they do? A few of our more notable families such as those of John and Olga Monsanto Queeny and A. G. Edwards have left an historical legacy which exists to this day. But what do we know about the other families who lived and died in our neighborhood?

In order to answer at least a portion of this question, we turned to census records that cover the period 1900 through 1930. The census enumerations occur only every ten years, so there are large gaps in these historical records. Nonetheless, one can follow the growth of our neighborhood over a thirty year period and get a snapshot of each of the families living here at a particular time. The census records also dispel some of the ‘lore’ that exists in our neighborhood, i.e. families that were supposed to have lived here at a particular time, but in fact lived elsewhere! The records also give us a humorous insight as to how the ladies changed their ages over time. But the more important information deals with occupations, home ownership, property values, and family relationships.

The 1900 census seems almost bucolic as we see settled families living a life of ease in their recently-built homes. The 1910 census is almost the same. But by 1920, we see that the fortunes of many have improved immensely as they profited from a major war and the development of new technologies. In 1930 we see many families who have abandoned their traditional sources of income in order to live a life of ease based on investments. (One wonders what occurred in Compton Heights in the next few years after that census enumeration.) Fashions changed and we see how the mode of transportation shifted from the carriage to the automobile.

We hope you enjoy your trip through time as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you.

Betty & Jim Lindsley

Explanation of headings:

    Status:
    M = Married
    S = Single
    W = Widow / Widower
    D = Divorced

    Own / Free / Mortgage:
    O = Owned
    F = Free of mortgage
    M = Mortgaged
    R = Renting

    Relationship:
    H = Head of family
    W = Wife
    D = Daughter
    S = Son
    D-I-L = Daughter-in-law
    S-I-L = Son-in-law / Sister-in-law
    M-I-L = Mother-in-law
    F-I-L = Father-in-law
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