Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Cleve and Blon West

 Carl “Cleve” Cleveland West (1884-1957) was a railroad engineman in Delmar.  He retired in 1952 with fifty years of service.  Cleve West was the son of Matthew Thomas West (1857-1899) and Mary Virginia Ellis West.  Originally Cleve’s father was from the Whitesville area but his family had moved to New Church, Virginia where he ran a hotel.  New Church was a popular stop for businessmen buying produce and selling farm goods.


above 1894 ad

 The couple had four daughters and six sons.  In 1899 Matthew died of complications of diseases, leaving his wife and children to run the hotel.  Matthew is buried in Pocomoke.  Mary West ran the hotel and the sons acted a drivers for hacks and carriages they rented out to take visiting businessmen around the area. Cleve’s brothers in 1899 were Charles West, George West, Arthur West, and John Phillip West.  His sisters were Lillie West, Martha West, and Ada West.  In addition Blanche West and Bryan West did not live pass 1899.


By 1902 Cleve left New Church and went to Delmar where he tried to obtain work with the railroad.  At that time the railroad would let you work for them for free until you acquired the experience to be hired on.  By the end of 1902 he was employed by the railroad.  In 1906 he married Sallie Blon Sirman of Laurel (1884-1956) . 


Sallie was the daughter of Theodore P. Sirman and Sarah Anne Callaway.  Theodore Sirman was a railroad man.  He died at age 38, December 20th of complications of a cut he had received to his head while working on the railroad two weeks previous.  His widow would later marry Curtis Cannon, a man twenty years her senior.  In the 1910 census both her mother and stepfather are living with Cleve and Sallie in Delmar.  Her stepfather would die in 1913 and is buried in Bridgeville, her mother would die in 1917 and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery. Cleve’s mother, Mary, would die in 1925 and is buried in Pocomoke with her husband and two of her children.


The Wests did not have children so it allowed them to pursue any interest they had.  They were well traveled; by 1938 they had visited all 48 states.  By the time of their death they had included Mexico and Alaska in their travels.  They were active in Saint Episcopal Church in Delmar.  They enjoyed square dancing and were in regional square dancing groups.  Sallie led the local Home Demonstration Club and was on the President of the Delaware State Home Demonstration Club Advisory board.  Sallie was a Democratic Committeewoman and in 1936 attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 


By 1955 they both had suffered strokes and were in the Spring Hill Private sanatorium in Salisbury.  Sallie would die in January 1956 at age 71 and Cleve would die in 1957 at age 72. 



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