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Flowers family photographs
- 1860-1955 (Creation)
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Collection consists of 27 original photographs and copy prints relating to the Flowers family of Portland, Oregon. The photographs date from approximately 1860 to 1955. They are primarily portraits and snapshots of members of the Flowers family, including Allen Ervin Flowers; his wife, Louisa Mathilda Flowers; and their sons, Lloyd A. Flowers, Ralph Perpeno Flowers, Elmer Allen Flowers, and Ervin Milton Flowers. Also included are photographs from several Flowers family business enterprises, including the Flowers family farm, the Flowers automotive repair and sales lot, a jitney bus operated by Ralph Flowers, and beach cottages at Oceanlake, Oregon.
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Allen Ervin Flowers was an early Black community leader and entrepreneur in Portland, Oregon. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1847. He arrived in Portland in 1865 after abandoning his position as a cabin boy aboard the steamship Brother Johnathan. He worked as a bus boy for the Lincoln Hotel, for the U.S. Customs House, and as a porter for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He married Louisa Mathilda Thacker in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1862. Louisa Thacker (spelled Thatcher in some sources) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1849. Allen Flowers and Louisa Flowers had four sons, Lloyd A. Flowers (1884-1951), Ralph Perpeno Flowers (1887-1961), Elmer Allen Flowers (1888-1968), and Ervin Milton Flowers (1891-1952).
In 1900, the Flowers family bought a 20-acre farm on the north slope of Mount Scott in the Lents neighborhood of Southeast Portland, where they grew raspberries and raised horses. Other businesses run by Allen Flowers and his sons included a jitney bus service, an automotive repair and sales lot on N. Vancouver Ave. in the Eliot neighborhood of Northeast Portland, and vacation beach cottages in Oceanlake, Oregon. In addition to their business ventures, the Flowers family was also active in several community organizations, including the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Williams Avenue Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Louisa Flowers died in 1928 and Allen Flowers died in 1934.
Online collection contains a selection of items from the full collection. The remainder of the collection can be viewed on-site at the OHS Research Library.
- Citation: Flowers family photographs, Org. Lot 865, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.