The Hummons Family
Around 1869, John and Iantha Hummons moved into a house built on a lot they bought from George Blackburn Kinkead. They and four of their children lived next door to their son William and his wife, Emily and other son, Frank. William Hummons worked as a wagon driver and later as a blacksmith. Emily Hummons periodically worked as a cook for affluent white familes.
Having family nearby improved a person's chances of successfully adjusting to freedom and urban life. Family provided support in the form of childcare for women who had to work outside the home and labor to build houses and other necessary structures. Nearby family could offer financial help in times of economic stress, and emotional support, too.
Researchers recovered highly decorated tablewares from the Hummons Family privies: transfer-printed dinner plates and tureens, ornately patterned glass tumblers, and other items. These items carried a relatively high price tag when new and distinguished the Hummons artifacts from those of their Kinkeadtown neighbors.
Despite the age of the items, and, in some cases, unfashionable colors or patterns, setting a table with color-coordinated (even though mismatched) plates and bowls, and highly decorated pressed-glass tumblers imitated middle-class Victorian table settings. Only someone with a discerning eye for the fashionable styles of the day would have noticed a difference. Hummons Family artifacts suggested to researchers that family members wanted to portray a sense of prosperity in their table setting.