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Third Ward Pioneer Celebrates 100 years

Celebration of 100th Birthday- Mrs. Mattie Henry Grant

On Sunday, September 27, 2009, friends and family will come together to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mattie H. Grant at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 2508 Clay Street at 9am. Mrs. Grant along with her husband Roland T. Grant are pioneers in entrepreneurship owning several grocery stores, a drug store with a lunch counter and a wholesale tobacco store in the Third Ward when there were very few African Americans who were doing so. They helped pave the way for thousands of others in their community who have those same aspirations.

They owned the R. T. Grant Wholesale Tobacco Supply on the corner of McGowen and St. Charles. After Mr. Grant passed away in 1985, Mrs. Grant retired and now still lives in the Third Ward. The building that housed the business stands as a landmark in the community.

Mrs. Grant was born in Sunset, LA on September 30, 1909. She was the next to the youngest in a family of eight children. Mrs. Grant is the only surviving sibling. She moved to Houston when she was 19 years old and soon met and married Roland Grant. They had two daughters, June Grant Cushingberry and Velocia Grant Ulmer both of whom live in Houston. Mrs. Grant has six grandchildren, and many great and great-great grandchildren.

Soon after moving to Houston she joined St. Nicholas Catholic Church and has been a continuous member for 80 years. She is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of St. Peter Claver, the Holy Name Society, the Altar – Rosary Society and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She still works in the food pantry of the church when she can. She has always been a giving church worker.

As Mrs. Grant celebrates her 100th birthday, she is remembered as a loving, giving person who has meant so much to so many people. She has seen and experienced many things that we can only read about. She has helped future generations to succeed. She has attended the births of all her grandchildren. She has been there for every family graduation, birthday and celebration. She has been the rock for many generations. Her family and friends want her to know just how much her life has meant to them.

The celebration will start with the 9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Nicholas Catholic Church and continue in the Church Hall following Mass.

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