Thanks to the help of Ted Knorr and the research of Harrisburg historian Calobe Jackson Jr., I now know a couple more important facts about Oscar Charleston and his second wife, Jane.
- They were married in November 1922–but not in Jane’s hometown of Harrisburg, as I had assumed. The first paragraph of a newspaper clipping in Oscar’s scrapbook reads as follows:
Miss Jane B. Howard of Harrisburg, Pa., was quietly married to Oscar Charleston Thursday noon, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Richards, 3305 Lawton Ave. Rev. C. A. Williams, pastor of St. Paul A. M. E. Church, performed the ceremony.
Calobe discovered that Rev. Williams pastored St. Paul’s in St. Louis, Missouri, and that the 3305 Lawton Ave. address is found there, as well. Percy Richards was living there and working as a bartender at the time of the 1920 census. My assumption is that Oscar became friends with Percy during the 1921 season, when he played for the St. Louis Stars.
My guess is that the Charlestons eloped because Jane’s family–prominent and proper as it was–did not approve of her marriage to the ballplaying Oscar, which seems to have come within just a few months of their meeting. But why St. Louis rather than, say, Atlantic City or some other place nearer to Harrisburg? I have no idea.
- Oscar filed for divorce from Jane on or about July 24, 1941 (see clipping below, found by Calobe, from the July 25, 1941, Indianapolis Star). I do not yet know whether this divorce went through, but the Marion County Clerk’s Office will surely let me know shortly. If it did go through, that didn’t prevent Oscar from leaving Jane his estate when he died in October 1954.