James Eugene Garner

James Eugene Garner (1925-1982) was born in Dover, TN to Herman and Helen (Skinner) Garner on April 29, 1925. Not much is known about his father. Per the 1930 census, James and his mother were living with her mother Emma (Shemwell) Skinner. Both Helen and Emma were working as laundresses in Dover. The 1940 census enumerates Helen and her four children in Dover where James is working as a house boy. On September 11, 1943, James enlisted in the Army for World War II. At the time of his enlistment James was employed at Troy’s Restaurant, a popular long running eatery that opened in Indianapolis in 1932. On March 4, 1949, James married Martha Lawler, the daughter of Oscar and Freda Lawler of Louisville. The couple made their home in Louisville, and together they had two children: Bruce and Garnella. By 1960, they were living at 760 Merchant Court in the Smoketown Neighborhood, and James was employed as a janitor. The couple later moved to 628 S. 22nd Street in the Russell Neighborhood where they attended Hughlett Temple AME Zion Church. Martha died November 18, 1980 at the age of 57. She was buried in Section A, Range 10, Lot 45, Grave 6 of Eastern Cemetery. James died April 14, 1982 at the age of 56. He was buried in Section A, Range 11, Lot 11, Grave 10A of Eastern Cemetery. Neither grave appears to be marked. The photo of James is from Find A Grave user Shelita Johnson. The woman in the photo is unidentified.