0 Albert E Punche Biography

Albert Emerson Punche

Albert E. Punche was born in Texas in 1872. The 1880 US Census has him as seven years old in his home in Rusk County,Texas.  His father was Hampdon Punch and his mother Isabella. The census taker left the “e” off the family name. He had two sisters, Alice and Rachael and one brother, Sidney.

His first career was as an educator. He graduated from Prairie View State Normal School in Texas, and began as a teacher in Cleburne. A 1902 Universityof Michigan roster lists Albert Emerson Punche of Prairie View State Normal  School and Cleburne, Texas, as a “Teacher” at its Summer Session.  The Dallas Morning News lists him as principal of the colored high school in Cleburne at the start of the 1903 school year.[1]  Ida Dubroca began teaching in the intermediate grades in Cleburne in 1899.[2] Punche married Ida Dubroca (also a Texas native) on March 22, 1903 in Johnson, TX.   They had two daughters, Chaldade L. Punche and Ossalee Veda Punche, and a son, Albert Dubroca.  Chaldade does not appear in any records after the 1920 US Census, which lists her then as 13.  Ossalee graduated from Prairie View College and then Wilberforce University in Ohio.  The son, Albert Dubroc, became a waiter.[3]

On October 12, 1905, the Dallas Morning News reported on a meeting called by “the conservative element of the race.”   It requested “colored citizens of Cleburne and Johnson County to meet at the courthouse at 2 pm on Sunday, October 15, 1905.”  Prof. Punche was listed among the 34 signatories.    During the previous 90 days, three assaults had been committed on white women within a radius of 100 miles of Cleburne.  The purpose of the gathering was to “show to the world …we are on the side of law and order… and create a more friendly feeling with our white friends of the South by showing them we will do all in our power to see that their homes are safe.”[4]

For the two years (1911-1913), Dr. Punche attended Meharry Medical College of Walden University in Nashville, TN.  He then went to the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago and graduated in 1914. The Alumni Records at the University of Illinoi shave an initial address at 507 N. Douglass Ave, Mount Enterprise, [Rusk County] TX, and then a business address at 605 East Chambers Street in Cleburne, TX. [5]

Dr. Punche was married with two children when he volunteered to serve in the US Army and reported to the Medical Officer Training Camp (MOTC) for black officers at Fort Des  Moines, IA, on August 4, 1917. He was one of the older volunteer doctors, 45 (although he is listed as 43 on the training camp roster).  Dr. Punche completed his training in 92 days (8/4/1917– 11/3/1917). He was promoted to First Lieutenant at the end of the camp and then reported to Camp Funston, KS.  His son was born in Cleburne, Texas, the following year on February 16, 1918, prior to Dr. Punche’s departure to France with the 92nd “Buffalo” Division of the  American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.).

[1] Dallas Morning News, issueSeptember 5, 1903, © 1903

[2] Dallas Morning News issue June 11, 1899, article Cleburne Teachers Elected

[3] Senior Librarian Shirley Apley, MLS: Fort Worth Library, accessed July 11, 2011]

[4] Dallas Morning News, issue October 12, 1905 © 1903

[5] [Reference Librarian, Susan Glover:University of Illinois Special Collections, accessed July 21, 2011, 1914 University of Illinois Yearbook]

Page 2

In 1919, the Texas State Journal of Medicine reports Lieut. Punche was honorably discharged from the Medical Corps, US Army. [1]

After the war, Dr. Punche practiced medicine in Fort Worth, TX. The 1920 US Census lists him as a home owner in Cleburne. The 1930 US Census lists him as 58 and still residing in Cleburne, TX.

On November 5, 1938, the Pittsburgh Courier includes a picture of “brilliant Fort Worth girl” Ossalee Veda Punche, and reports she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and Gamma Rho sororities.  In 1939, Ossalee and Rogenia Anola Goldthwaite published “Bibliography of George Washington Carver.” In 1940, she published, “A Tentative Guidance Program for the Negro Junior High School Grade Levels of Texas.[2]  It appears to have been written as a thesis for her Master’s Degree (M.S.)  from Prairie View State College.

In the October 8, 1937, Atlanta Daily World, it was reported that Dr. Herman I. E. Blackmon of Fort Worth was found dead in his office. Honorary pallbearers at his funeral include Dr. Punche.

A son, Albert Dubroca Punche, was not so fortunate.  At age 23 (on May 15, 1941), he was murdered at 606 E. First Street in Fort Worth.[3]  He was stabbed to death in the throat by a 20 year old Negro woman. It was his father, Dr. A.E. Punche who signed the certificate of death that listed his son’s cause of death and showed his address as 307-A East 9th   Street, Fort Worth.

The April 4, 1942, issue of The Pittsburgh Courier reported that on March 19, Dr. Punche was again an honorary pallbearer. This time it was for the funeral of progressive Fort Worth pharmacist William Livingston at S. Andrews Methodist Church in Fort Worth.

We do not yet have any record of Dr. Punche’s death.   According to the Social Security Death Index, it appears his wife, Ida Punche, born July 25, 1879, died in Riverside,Californiain August, 1966.

[1]Texas State Journal of Medicine, Vol. XV, June, 1919, No. 2

[2] Publisher, Prairie View State College, Graduate Division 1940.

[3] Fort Worth Press,May 16, 1941, article Jailed in Stabbing and Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, certificate 24732, filed May 19, 1941

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