"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

 - Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"

Elise Ford and James O. Allen

Elise Ford Allen

Elise Ford Allen

Photo of Elise Ford Allen, first African American woman to edit and publish a newspaper in the state of Illinois - The Traveler Weekly.

James O. Allen Sr., husband of Elise Ford Allen

James O. Allen Sr., husband of Elise Ford Allen

James O. Allen is the husband of Elise. The couple had ten children: Carol, James Jr., Gregory, Linda, Joy, Janet, Norman, Angela, Barbara, Timothy and Matthew. James was a printer and inventor with four mechanical and one chemical patent. His name is listed in The International Black Inventors Museum. He established the Allen Printing Company in 1960 and it later became the Traveler Printing and Publishing Company in 1967. 

Dr. Cecil Bruce Ford

 Dr. Cecil Bruce Ford

Dr. Cecil Bruce Ford was the son of Major Geroge W. Ford.  He married Florence Harrison and the couple had four children: Elise, Florence, Bruce and Harrison. His life is detailed in numerous chapters in I Cannot Tell a Lie starting with Chapter 28.

Florence Harrison Ford, wife of Dr. Cecil Bruce Ford

Florence Harrison Ford, wife of Dr. Cecil Bruce Ford

Photo of Florence Ford, married to Dr. Cecil Bruce Ford. The couple had four children,  Elise, Florence, Bruce and Harrison. Florence Ford was a well-known seamtress in Peoria, Illinois.

Sisters

Sisters

Elise Ford Allen and Florence Ford Pickett at Camp Butler in Springfield, Illinois as children.  The mansion house on the cemetery was the home of Major George Ford.  Annual family reunions were held at the location.

Young Elise Ford Allen

Young Elise Ford Allen

Photo of Elise early 20's.

Young James and Elise

Young James and Elise

The couple right before they were married.

Elise and James O. Allen

Elise and James O. Allen

Photo of the married couple's first child, Carol. The picture was taken at her parent's home in Peoria, Illinois.

James in the Military

James in the Military

Photo of James O. Allen, left, and T. Morgan, United States Army at Fort Huachuca.