We’ve written here that Nora Hendrix was a co-founder of the AME congregation at 823 Jackson Avenue from around 1921 until 1969. But who were the other co-founders? One possible answer comes from exploring the historical title to the building. While a title to the building was recorded in the name of the AME church, a second recording at the same time listed three trustees (detail pictured above). The three names were: Sidney Andrew Amos, Nora Hendrix and Maude Wright.
When the building was sold to Annie Walker (later Annie Girard) in 1969, she had the agreement of the presiding Elder from Seattle, but she needed to collect the signatures of the trustees. In an interview from 1977, Ms. Girard recounts how it was difficult to get the final signature:
“It was owned by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, but I was trying to buy it, and they had offered it to me, and all I had to do was get one more name signed. Mrs. Hendrix was already signed and there was two other names that were signed. I just had to get one more name, and this man had gone, they hadn’t seen him for thirty years. And they had to have his name, or a death certificate or something. Nobody could find a death certificate, you couldn’t find nothing for the man, he was a minister. The minister that was here at that time, Mr. [Amos], he was here at that time. He was the one of the founders and they couldn’t find him nowhere, but yet his name was on the title. And a miracle happened there. The man just came out of the clear blue sky, after five years. He said, “I’ve heard that I’ve been looked for.” And he just came out of the clear, blue sky. And he said, “Sure , I’ll sign the paper.” And he signed it, and he said, “I couldn’t imagine, that I would hold up something.” And he’s still a minister, in Chicago.”
(Opening Doors, unpublished interview, Marlatt and Itter, 1977). The title recording the change in ownership to Annie Girard was finally recorded in August 1974.