The Gibson Family has a long and impressive history dating back to the early pioneering days of California.
William Henry Gibson (? - ?) and his wife Lucinda Ray Gibson were a part of the African American community of West Oakland in the late 19th century. William Gibson held the position of a dining and club car waiter on the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1898, where he remained with the railroad for 30 years.
Lucinda Ray Gibson (? - ?) was a direct descendant of Nelson Ray (? - ?), a slave who in 1864 obtained his freedom and moved to California in order to mine for gold. With the profits he earned, Ray was able to buy the freedom of his wife and children, bringing them out to California. The family settled in Placerville, California, where Nelson Ray worked as a carpenter and blacksmith. Sometime before 1877 the Ray family moved to Sacramento, California.
Charles Nelson Gibson (1879 - ?) was born in Sacramento, California, the son of William Henry Gibson and Lucinda Ray Gibson. Charles, following in his father's footsteps, worked 41 years from 1913 to 1954 for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Southern Pacific officials riding in the private railway cars often requested Charles to work in their cars.
In 1901, Charles married Maude [maiden name] and together they had three daughters, Thelma, Lois, and Audrey. Charles Gibson was quite active in community organizations, including the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Oakland, the Retired Railroad Men's Club, and several Masonic Lodges.
Thelma M. Gibson Radden (?, 1903 - ?), daughter of Charles Nelson and Maude Gibson, became a director for the Detroit American Red Cross District.
Dr. Lois E. Gibson Oubre (? - ?), daughter of Charles Nelson and Maude Gibson, received medical training after which she worked in Oakland as a surgical chiropodist. Lois was a member of the Xi Alpha chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority.
Audrey Gibson Robinson (1915-2008),1 daughter of Charles Nelson and Maude Gibson was a kindergarten teacher at Thornhill Elementary School in Oakland. Audrey married Frederick D. Robinson, a Washington, D.C. police officer in 1941 shortly before he was deployed to fight in World War II. In 1944 Robinson died during combat in Italy. Audrey became very active at the Oakland Museum, serving as Docent Chairman for the History Department. She also served as Vice President of Administration for the Cameron-Stanford House Preservation Association.
1. Audrey Robinson obituary - http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/eastbaytimes/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=113023661
- Oral History of Audrey Robinson - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2rNZX5tNtk