Leggroan, Alice Weaver Boozer

Biography

photo of  Alice Weaver Boozer Leggroan

Alice Weaver was born on Christmas day in 1878 to Austin Weaver and Dora Slight in Newberry, South Carolina. The 1880 census listed her mother and father as laborers while her older sister Easter worked as a nurse. [1] In 1900, Alice still lived in Newberry but had married James Boozer and the couple had two living children, Bertha and James H. Boozer. Though only twenty-one years old, she had been married for eight years and had given birth to four children, two of whom who must have died. She and her children were listed on the census of that year as the adopted children of Hammond and Ellen Dailey or Doiley. [2] The census taker recorded that Alice was literate, that she worked as a cook, and that she had been employed all year.

Twelve years later, on 19 August 1912, Alice married Louis Leggroan, a widower with two young daughters living in Utah. [3] The circumstances of their meeting are not known, but something must have brought Alice to the Salt Lake Valley. Louis cultivated a small farm in Mill Creek where Alice took over as step-mother to Frances and Thelma, Louis’s girls. Many years later, when Frances sat for an oral interview, her references to Alice made it clear that she thought of Alice as a warm mother figure. [4] Together, Louis and Alice adopted a son, Phillip who was born in Boise, Idaho in 1911. Alice’s son, James served in the U.S. Army in WW I and then settled in Salt Lake where he worked as a chauffeur. [5]

A little over a year after Alice married Louis, she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [6] Alice and Louis attended the Wilford Ward. The children they raised together, Frances, Thelma, and Phillip were all baptized. In 1972, historian William Hartley interviewed neighbor and fellow ward member Annie Dexter Clayton who reminisced about living in Mill Creek. She remembered Henry Leggroan’s family and Louis Leggroan’s family as members of the ward who were “accepted…as members,” but not “encouraged” or warmly welcomed. [7] She thought their feelings were repeatedly hurt as white Relief Society sisters refused to sit next to Henry’s wife. [8] She told Dr. Hartley, “Lewis’ wife would send food [to ward events]…but I think…felt reluctant to do it because of the feeling that it might not be welcomed.” [9]

As a result, Alice devoted her time toward causes that were appreciated. In November 1934, she was named to the executive board of the Salt Lake City branch of the N.A.A.C.P. [10] She was also one of the founding members and president for five years of the Camilla Artcraft Club, an early local organization for black women. [11]

In 1941, Alice died of pneumonia in Denver, probably while visiting Phillip. [12] She remained a member of record of the LDS church until her death. [13] Alice’s funeral, however, was conducted by Reverend C. C. Spencer, pastor of Calvary Baptist church, indicating she may have been attending his church at the time of her death. She was not buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery as her obituary claimed. She was buried near Louis at Elysian Burial Gardens in Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Utah. [14] Her son James H. Boozer who died in 1925, was buried near her. [15]

by Tonya S. Reiter

Primary Sources

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alice Weaver Leggroan. Deceased Member Record. Microfilm. Family History Library. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Record of Members Collection. Wilford Ward. CR 375 8, box 7640, folder 1, image 241. Church History Library. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Clayton, Annie D. Oral interview by William G. Hartley. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1972. Transcript. OH 1. Church History Library. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Fleming, Frances [Leggroan]. Oral interview by Leslie Kellen. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1983. Transcript. “Interviews with Blacks in Utah, 1982-1988.” Ms0453. Special Collections. J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

“Heads of Colored Association Named,” Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah) 14 November 1934.

“Leggroan, Alice Weaver.” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deceased Membership Record, 1941-1988. Microfilm 884,213. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Leggroan, Alice Weaver Obituary,” Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 25 December 1941, 25.

“Leggroan,” Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah), 26 December 1941, 20.

“Leggroan.” Presiding Bishopric stake and mission census, 1914-1935. [11 Dec 1914, 14 Dec 1920, 31 Dec 1925, Aug 1930, 14 May 1935.] CR 4 311. Church History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

United States. 1880 Census. South Carolina, Newberry County, Township 1.

United States. 1900 Census. South Carolina, Newberry County, Township 1.

United States. 1920 Census. Utah, Salt Lake County, Precinct 3.

United States. 1930 Census. Utah, Salt Lake County, Precinct 3.

United States. 1940 Census. Utah, Salt Lake County, Precinct 3.

“Utah, Select County Marriages, 1887-1937.” Louis Leggroan and Alice Rayford. Microfilm 429,080. Family History Library. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Secondary Sources

Boozer, James H. NamesInStone.com.

Leggroan, Alice Weaver. FindAGrave.com.

Reiter, Tonya S. “Life on the Hill: The Black Farming Families of Mill Creek.” Journal of Mormon History 44, no. 4 (October 2018): 68-89.


[1] United States, 1880 Census, South Carolina, Newberry, No. 1 Township.

[2] United States, 1900 Census, South Carolina, Newberry, No. 1 Township.

[3] Utah, Select County Marriages, 1887-1937, Louis Leggroan and Alice Rayford, microfilm 429,080, Family History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[4] Frances [Leggroan] Fleming, oral interview by Leslie Kellen, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1983, transcript, “Interviews with Blacks in Utah, 1982-1988,” Ms 0453, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

[5] James Boozer, Salt Lake City, Utah, City Directory, 1924.

[6] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Record of Members Collection, Wilford Ward, CR 375 8, box 7640, folder 1, image 241, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[7] Annie D. Clayton, oral interview by William G. Hartley. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1972, transcript, OH 1. Church History Library. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, 24.

[8] Clayton, interview, 26.

[9] Clayton, interview, 25.

[10] “Heads of Colored Association Named,” Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah) 14 November 1934.

[11] “Alice Weaver Leggroan Obituary,” Salt Lake Telegram (Salt Lake City, Utah) 25 December 1941, 25.

[12] “Alice Weaver Leggroan Obituary,” 25.

[13] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Alice Weaver Leggroan,” Deceased Member Record, Microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[14] Alice Weaver Leggroan, FindAGrave.com.

[15] James H. Boozer, NamesInStone.com.

Documents

Click the index tab in the viewer above to view all primary source documents available for this person.

Prev Next