The Singleton & Phoenix Connection

Frederick and Elvira (Ella) married and lived in Lebanon, Ohio. They had 10 children, three boys and seven girls. They have all passed through this life.

These are the children of Fred and Ella Singleton:
Blanche Beatrice (1899)
Wilbur French (1903)
Hazel (1905)
Vergie Virginia (1909)
Charles Frederick (1910)
Cecil (1913)
Katherine Ella (1915)

George Sherman (1918)
Freida (1920)
Elsie May (1922)

Fred & Ella lived in Springboro, OH for over twenty years. There, 4 of their children were born (Blanche, Wilbur, Hazel, Vergie). Later they moved to Lebanon, OH where Fred worked as a dairyman at French-Bauer Dairy. The family enjoyed the rich creamy milk he would bring home. He also was an avid fox hunter and kept several good fox hounds. In later years, Fred was employed at Charles Meis Shoe Factory in Lebanon. As one of the family stories goes, he and Wilbur were moving a large piece of machinery (1,500 lbs.) at the factory when it fell over on Papa’s legs. Wilbur alone lifted it off of him, saving him from being completely crushed. Papa was taken to Blair Hospital – he was the first and only “black” person to be admitted there at that time (most likely due to his light complexion).

All the children attended Lebanon Public School, which was right up the street from their home. When this “colored” school burned down, it was not rebuilt and the children were educated in the Lebanon Public Schools. They sat around the kitchen table and do their homework by the light of a coal oil lamp. The family grew up attending Bethel A.M.E. Church, where they took up most of the pews. During these years, Vergie, Cecil, Katherine, Elsie and Freida formed a singing group known as “The Singleton Sisters.” Their fame was not widespread but they enjoyed singing.

They sang in various churches in towns surrounding Lebanon. Both Fred and Ella loved singing. Many times the family gathered around the old piano and sang for hours. Elsie loved playing the piano and often gave lessons to family and friends. The original homestead, 5 North Lane, had cherry, walnut and apple trees. Mama loved flowers and there were marigolds, dahlias, roses and coxcombs, which she planted and tended. There was a vegetable garden at the back of the house. All of the kids helped plant the vegetables. Papa also raised chicken and hogs. One hog name “Jerry” was so big he broke the ramp as they were leading him to slaughter. The kids also had a pet calf called “Dobbity.” The original home was torn down in 1976 and a new home was reconstructed, which still stands. Fred and Ella resided there for their remaining years.