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Mollie Toop


Ms. Mollie Kate Banks Toop is buried in an unmarked grave in Ellsworth Cemetery.

Ms. Banks was born on the Fourth of July, just a few years after the Civil War had ended. She lived with her parents, Daniel and Hester Banks, in Virginia. 

In 1897, Ms. Banks married Mr. Jeremiah Toop, the son of Thomas and Nancy Toop. It’s not clear what took Ms. Banks north to Maryland, about 10 years before the “official” start of the Great Migration. Her parents may have moved, although they have yet to be found in Maryland. 

By 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Toop moved to Baltimore. They worked in the large household of the Justice of the Peace, Mr. Richard Bevan.  Their occupations are listed as “waiter” and “cook” respectively. They lived with the Bevan family, near the Arlington neighborhood along Reisterstown Road.

During the next decade, Mrs. Toop and her husband returned to his hometown of Westminster. She continued to work as a cook, while he worked as a farmer. They lived on a small farm, which they owned. They had no children. This may be why a young Ms. Blanche Banks, Mrs. Toop’s niece, lived with them. She worked out as a nurse in a private family. [Ms. Banks was born in Maryland, which suggests that Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Banks came to Maryland with Mollie and her siblings.] 

The 1920 Census finds the couple still on the farm. Mrs. Toop is now a full-time housewife, which involved heavy work on their farm.

Mrs. Mollie Kate Banks Toop died unexpectedly and suddenly in the night on Sunday, March 14, 1920. She was buried in Ellsworth Cemetery on the following Wednesday. Her grave remains unmarked. 

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