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Fletcher Autry (1889 - 1937)

FLETCHER AUTRY (son of NED EDMUND AUTRY and MARY JOHNSON) was born on December 23, 1889. Sometime prior to 1916, Fletcher left Bladen County for Cleveland, Ohio.

Fletcher probably left during the fall of 1914. World War 1 began in 1914 and lasted through 1918. During this time period many of the manufacturing and steel mill towns in the mid-west faced a severe labor shortage due to the great demand for steel products compounded by the large number of able bodied men deployed with the war effort.

Many of these businesses began to advertise in southern newspapers or send recruiters to the South to hire African Americans. They commonly offered to pay the workers' moving expenses as well as their first month rent.

It is very probable the Fletcher and his brothers; Ed Henry and Purlie, moved to Ohio in response to an advertisement for a war time job.

From 1914 thru 1920, Cleveland's black population grew from 10,000 to 34,451 .

Most of the blacks that migrated to Cleveland during this time settled in the Central Avenue district between the Cuyahoga River and East 40th Street. In 1916, FLETCHER's address was listed as 2120 Central Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. In 1920 he was living at 9011 Beckman Avenue. He shared a home with his sisters; LOSSIE, and SALLIE and brother, ED HENRY AUTRY .

In 1920 FLETCHER was a chauffeur for the Grodin Garage. Fletcher's 1917 World War I draft card indicated that his left shoulder had been broken and that four of his toes on his left foot had been cut off. Over the years FLETCHER became a great mechanic. He would spend great lengths of time lying on the ground while working on cars. During the winter of 1936 he developed Pneumonia as a result of being exposed to the weather while working. FLETCHER died on January 6, 1937. He is buried in the Marshburn Cemetery in Bladen County, North Carolina.

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