The 1940 Census tells us that the Mr. Finley I knew was not one of the original Finley Brothers, but most likely a son or nephew. Listed was Joseph Finley who owned an older home across the alley from where the ranch house would later sit. Today 315 Third Street has a pool in its side yard. In 1940, the house and property are listed at a value of $6,000 and Joseph is identified as being 75-years old and head of the household he shared with his wife Ella and two daughters. His occupation is “contractor – lumber and building” and even at 75, he was not retired with number of hours worked during the week of March 24-30 listed as forty-four.
I am assuming at this time, until confirmed, that the Robert Finley residing at nearby 253 Virginia Avenue, my old street, was another Finley Brother. At age 69 Robert with his wife “Ollie” and son Robert, Jr. age 29. (Could Robert, Jr. be the Mr. Finley I knew?) Robert, Sr. was a carpenter at the lumber company, so I am sure he was a Finley Brother of the construction trade.
|1978 Oak Glen High School Little Theatre Production of "Oliver!" I was too old for the part of Oliver Twist (red vest right).|
On the census, the 73 year-old Smith is listed as “Corporate Exec” and “Pottery Mag.” (I wonder if “mag” is magnate.) It is interesting to note that Smith is listed at the top of the census chart (see image 1, above), most likely because his was the first home, geographically speaking, along Pyramus Avenue. But it is not too difficult to picture him making it a point with the census taker to be listed above everyone else. He had that kind of influence. His home was valued at $25,000 or 1 million in today's dollars.
The Smith residence is only one of two Chester homes I have come across in the 1940 census so far to have servants. The other, listed directly below C.A. Smith on the document is brother, William Smith, pottery salesman. The C.A. Smith household lists as its permanent residents: C.A., wife Mary E., and servants Ada Mobley and William DeVaugin. Mobley, age 46, was the cook and Devaugin, age 77 Mr. Smith’s butler. Mobley lists her birthplace as Jacksonville, Florida, while Devaugin’s is Camden, New Jersey.