FreeJoe Enterprises
Family Memoriam

Peter HarrisPeter Harris was born into slavery in June 1823 in Goochland County, Virginia. He was the oldest child and son of Joseph "FreeJoe" and Fanny Harris. He married Louisa Jones in 1843. This union produced nine children, of which eight can be accounted for. Peter died on January 15, 1902 in Shelby County, Tennessee. He was buried in Zion Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

Virginia Harris-PhillipsVirginia Harris-Phillips, the daughter of Joseph "FreeJoe" and Fanny Harris, was born on a wagon train bound for Shelby County, Tennessee. When Virginia was just a girl and men were educating their sons, her father took her to Hanover, Indiana and enrolled her into an all-girls school. While in Indiana, Virginia met and married Wesley Phillips on November 15, 1849. This union produced twelve children: six boys and six girls. Virginia died on June 2, 1878 and was buried in the Hill Cemetery in Oshtemo Township in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Louisa Jones-HarrisLouisa Jones-Harris was born into slavery in Virginia in 1829. She and Peter were married for 59 years. Louisa died on July 28, 1912 in Shelby County, Tennessee. Her place of burial is unknown.

Wesley H. PhillipsWesley H. Phillips, husband of Virginia Harris-Phillips, son-in-law of Joseph "FreeJoe" and Fanny Harris, was born in Georgia. His parents moved the family to Jennings County, Indiana when he was just a boy. Not much is known about Wesley's father. His mother's name was Nancy Phillips and he had an older brother named Henry Phillips. Henry was married to a woman named Rosey and they had two daughters, Elora and Cynthia. On September 2, 1862, during the Civil War, Wesley moved his family to Kalamazoo. Wesley died on September 25, 1894 and was buried in the Hill Cemetery in Oshtemo Township in Kalamazoo.

Carnegie (Connie) G. LaceyCarnegie (Connie) G. Lacey was born on August 19, 1908 in Lexington, (Holmes County) Mississippi. His family moved to Memphis, Tennessee in the early 1920s. He became a member of New Era Missionary Baptist Church and attended Melrose High School. He moved to Chicago in the early 1940s.

He was the son of Dave Senior and Eva Blanche Ingram-Lacey, grandson of Batt and Martha Whiters-Lacey and Jake and Alice Ingram, brother of Frank, John Capus, Dave George, Robert Solden, Jimmy Lynn, Eva Rean and Rossell Lacey.

On May 30, 1936, he became the husband of Bernice Earnestine Lewis-Lacey and father of Connie G., Earnest, Joanne, Vivian, Eva Rean and Wayne Lacey, grandfather of Kimberly, Nicole, Bryant, Aaron and Derrick Lacey, Adam Boyd and Andre and Brian Morgan and a host of nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.

He was an advocate of education, discussed current events, enjoyed professional boxing and worked on automobiles.

He died on June 27, 1958 at Cook County Hospital in Chicago at 49 years old, four hours after his son Earnest graduated from John Marshall High School. He is buried in historic Gray's Creek Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Arlington, Tennessee.

Bernice Earnestine Lewis-LaceyBernice Earnestine Lewis-Lacey was born on November 8, 1918 in Eads (Shelby County) Tennessee. She was a member of Gray's Creek Missionary Baptist Church and later a member of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Millington, Tennessee. She attended Eads Public School and Bethlehem Public School in Millington.

She was the daughter of Joe Frances and Jesse Mae Smith Leake-Lewis, granddaughter of Joseph and Caledonia (Callie) Jones-Lewis, Gillie Leake and Elizabeth Smith, great-granddaughter of Robert and Mollie McGarvin-Smith, Maria Harris and John Lewis and Jefferson M. and Adeline "Lettie" Harris-Jones and great-great-granddaughter of Abraham and Mary Sherrod and Joseph H. "FreeJoe" and Fanny Harris, West Tennessee pioneers of the early 1830s. She was also the sister of Verge Alexander Lewis.

On May 30, 1936, she became the wife of Carnegie (Connie) G. Lacey and later the mother of Connie G., Earnest, Joanne, Vivian, Eva Rean and Wayne Lacey, grandmother of Kimberly, Nicole, Bryant, Aaron and Derrick Lacey, Adam Boyd and Andre and Brian Morgan and a host of nieces, nephews and great-grandchildren.

She was an advocate of education, community activities, discussed current events, involved in flower and vegetable gardening, reading, crossword puzzles, crocheting, knitting, song writing, chewing tobacco and an occasional puff on a cigar.

She died on April 14, 1986 at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago at 67 years old. She is buried in historic Gray's Creek Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Arlington, Tennessee.

Verge Alexander LewisVerge Alexander Lewis was born on April 12, 1917 in Eads, (Shelby County) Tennessee. He was a member of Gray's Creek Missionary Baptist Church and later a member of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Millington, Tennessee. He attended Eads Public School and Bethlehem Public School in Millington. He later moved to St. Louis, Missouri and on to Cleveland, Ohio.

He was the son of Joe Francis and Jesse Mae Smith Leake-Lewis, grandson of Joseph and Caledonia (Callie) Jones-Lewis, Gillie Leake and Elizabeth Smith, great-grandson of Robert and Mollie McGarvin-Smith, Maria Harris and John Lewis and Jefferson M. and Adeline "Lettie" Harris-Jones and great-great-grandson of Abraham and Mary Sherrod and Joseph H. "FreeJoe" and Fanny Harris, West Tennessee pioneers of the early 1830s. He was also the brother of Bernice Earnestine Lewis-Lacey.

He married and had no children. He was an uncle of Connie G., Earnest, Joanne, Vivian, Eva Rean and Wayne Lacey, great-uncle of Kimberly, Nicole, Bryant, Aaron and Derrick Lacey, Adam Boyd and Andre and Brian Morgan.

He served in World War II as a pilot, owned and drove a stock car, owned a fleet of twelve taxi cabs, became an Air Traffic Controller at the Cleveland Municipal Airport, owned several small planes and later retired from the U.S. Postal Service. He had several hobbies including entering his dog into competition, enjoyed traveling, gardening and fishing. Other hobbies included a collection of U.S. presidents, stamp collection, coin collection, gun collection and photography.

He died on November 17, 1984 at his home in Cleveland at 67 years old. He is buried in historic Gray's Creek Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Arlington, Tennessee.