Case Study: How did Milton and Julia (Schexnayder) Muggah participated in the Great Migration?
1920 United States Federal Census had Milton Muggah (59 years old) living with his wife Julia (45 years old) and daughter Mildred (12 years old). They were residing in Patterson, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. His occupation was a laborer at the saw mill.
During the four decades following 1870, labor recruiters and promoters blanketed the south with literature enticing blacks to “Go West!”
“Black mill workers from the old South were a principal labor force in the wood products industry in at least three California counties between 1920 and 1960. Experienced Black mill workers recruited directly from the South are known to have migrated to lumber towns in Plumas and Siskiyou counties in the 1920s. Weed and Foresthill are two lumber towns that serve as examples of Afro-Americans’ critical participation in the industry. McCloud and a number of other towns share a similar history. Black settlements were established in Quincy and Weed during the 1920s by Louisiana-based sawmill companies that purchased existing California mills and recruited experienced workers from communities adjacent to the parent company’s home operation. Transportation costs were advanced, and housing was guaranteed for those willing to relocate. In the 1920s, when Southern Black mill workers entered the California lumber industry’s labor force, racial discrimination was flagrant throughout the industry.” http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/5views/5views2c.htm
Family oral history states that Milton Muggah migrated to McCloud California. I have not found any documentation as of yet to proved this location. I believed that the family must have traveled by train to California. But when and where they step on California soil, is still a mystery!
I did find Milton Muggah in California, a registered voter in Kings County California, August 26 1924 primary elections. Address:220 S. Douty, Hanover, Ca. Party affiliation: Republican Occupation: Whitewasher
Milton Muggah’s death certificate index states that he died 26 Nov 1926. He died in Patterson Louisiana. Milton returned to Louisiana without his wife Julia and daughter Mildred. It was not a good parting of ways, if the death certificate was not found, the running story was that Julia had dumped Milton’s body somewhere in California.
In the Oakland, California, City Directory, 1926 listed Mildred Muggah as a factory worker living at 1167 8th.
In the Oakland, California, City Directory, 1928 listed Julia Muggah as a clerk living at 952 Chestnut St. Her daughter Mildred Muggah was also clerk and living at the same address.
In the 1930 Federal Census Julia Muggah was living by herself in Oakland, Alameda, California. Widow Occupation: Canner at the Cannery.