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A Cinderella Story

October 18th, 2013

Meet Victor Jackson. October, 1918. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone]
Meet Victor Jackson. The year is 1918 and Victor has no family. He’s an orphan at the Dorsey Home for Dependent Colored Children. You might say the cards are stacked against Victor. But he doesn’t mind…

Victor is an orphan at the Dorsey Home for Dependent Colored Children. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone]
Isabella and Thomas Dorsey started this orphanage in 1917 at their three-bedroom house on Dr. Samuel McCree Way external link near Reynolds Street. The orphanage quickly grew and moved to the Sea Breeze area, but a few white neighbors didn’t like having black children nearby. And so the Dorsey Home was forced to move to some farmland in Brighton (where McQuaid Jesuit High School external link is today).

Left to right are: Charlie Davis, Elizabeth (?), Victor Jackson, and Eddie Goode. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone]
Yes, the world should be a pretty frightening place for little Victor. But he doesn’t mind. He’s got his friends… That’s Eddie to the left of Victor. And Elizabeth & Charlie on his right.

These guys are Victor’s family. Good family.

The children get ready to carve up their jack-o-lanterns. Fifth from left is Victor Jackson. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone]
He’s also picked up some skills along the way. For starters, he can carve a pretty awesome jack-o-lantern.

Victor Jackson later became the Recreational Supervisor for the City of Rochester. [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone]
And all the kindness and care that Isabella & Thomas Dorsey have showed him will pay untold dividends. One day Victor Jackson will grow up to become the Recreational Supervisor for the City of Rochester.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 2:49 am and is filed under Rochester History, Rochester Images. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

23 Responses to “A Cinderella Story”

  1. Joel Helfrich says:

    not possible: “That’s Eddie to the right of Victor. And Elizabeth & Charlie on his left.”

  2. Christopher Brandt says:

    Terrific short story on a great little piece of Rochester history.

  3. Ha… thanks Joel. Our left is his right… you’re right.

    Looking at the photo, from left to right are: Charlie Davis, Elizabeth (?), Victor Jackson, and Eddie Goode.

  4. Cheryl says:

    Awesome, Vic Jackson is my grandfather so this is very touching.

  5. Cheryl that is amazing! Thanks for commenting. I figure your grandfather was about 7 years old in these photos. He looks so happy and proud of his jack-o-lantern. They are great photos.

  6. rosemarie says:

    victor Jackson is my father. he grew up to be wonderful father and a very good man.

  7. rosemarie says:

    It is a very heartwarming and interesting story.

  8. Adea Junious-High says:

    Victor Jackson (Vic) is my Great Grandfather! I was a young girl when he passed away but every memory I have of him is sweet! πŸ™‚ Thank you for publishing this….it means a lot!

  9. You’re very welcome. If you guys have a photo of Victor all grown up, send it to me and I’ll post it here. Email to info@rochestersubway.com

  10. Johnny boy says:

    Gone but not forgotten.
    I am the oldest child of his oldest daughter
    Arlene.Fond memories of our long talks and his
    encouraging words of wisdom.

  11. Bettye Gayden says:

    I’m one of Victor’s daughters with fond memories of my mother and other siblings. He was the best dad anyone would ever want.

  12. Vicki (Pie) Copeland says:

    Thanks for such an enlightening story. Vic was my grandfather . I was named after him. A true sportsman with a profound love for people. A sense of humor that would bring a smile to everyone he met. He was the greatest. He will never be forgotten.

  13. Wow, lots of family members showing their love for Victor here. That’s so great to see and a true testament to how he must have lived his life. I never expected to get comments from family members… so now I’m very happy I did the post. Thank you all!

  14. Judy Browne says:

    Whoever wrote this article thanks so much. This is my grandfather, Victor Jackson. I miss him so much. This is so amazing to see grandpa Vick as a child. I am so happy right now. I feel that I know so much more about my grandfather since my mom passed away in 2009.

  15. Patrick Dennis says:

    Vick was my great grandfather and I’ve heard many amazing stories about his life and how he touched others now I can add this story to the many. He passed when I was very young I can only dream of how it would of been to enjoy the presence of such a great man.

  16. Jamila Miller says:

    I love learning about my different family members, especially my parents/grands/and great grands. It helps me learn a little more about myself. All of this brilliant blood running through me.

  17. Jamila Miller says:

    Oh, and Victor is my great granddad. I remember him being loving and being a jokester.

  18. Tanya says:

    I teach second grade in Rochester and we have been learning about Isabella Dorsey. We were just trying to figure out how old Victor would be if he was still alive It is great to know what an amazing impact Victor had on his community. We are learning about agency and this shows that both Victor and Isabella understood agency, the ability to act, to impact others.
    Thanks for all the submissions.

  19. Adea Junious-High says:

    Hello Tanya! Vic would be 104 if he were still with us today! He was born March 29, 1910!

  20. Adea Junious-High says:

    I’m sorry, he was born in 1911. He would be 103!

  21. Toni Jackson Hardy says:

    Hi my name is Toni, I’m Vic’s granddaughter. He raised me from an infant after my mother, his daughter, passed away. I’ll forever cherish the time we spent. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and my grandmother (mama). They raised me as their own and made sure I felt the love they had for me! He was a remarkable man and I think you for writing this article. I wish you could’ve met him!

  22. Bonnie says:

    My daughter is doing a project for school on Isabella Dorsey (Tanya, above, is her teacher!) Could anyone point us in the direction of more information about her or the orphanage? Might you know where the location of the orphanage was in the Sea Breeze area?

  23. Hi Bonnie,
    I’m not sure of the exact location of the Dorsey Home when it was in the Sea Breeze area. But you and your daughter should contact Patricia Wayne, the Irondequoit town historian. Her number is (585) 336-7269. She’s a very nice lady and will be quite helpful.

    Unless perhaps someone else on this comment thread has any additional info.


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