Inventory of the Albertha Murray Papers, 1909 - 1970

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Albertha Johnston Murray (1889-1969) was an African American educator born in Charleston, South Carolina to William Henry and Mary Ellen Virgin Johnston. Murray retired from the teaching profession in 1959, and remained active in numerous educational, social, and humanitarian organizations. Murray-LaSaine Elementary School was named in her honor along with Mary Alice LaSaine. She married Richard Gailliard Murray and had one daughter, Hazel Albertha Murray Stewart.
The collection consist of letters, speeches, programs, newspaper clippings, certificates and photographs reflecting Murray's work as a student, teacher, and principal at Murray-LaSaine Elementary School on James Island, in Charleston, South Carolina, along with her affiliations with professional and civic organizations. Includes materials on Dart Grammar and Primary School, Avery Normal Institute and others. Murray's writings relate to the education of teachers and parents of young children, virtues and religious themes. The series of schools and colleges include letters and programs from the institutions Murray attended, and where she taught or spoke. The educational, church, women and volunteer affiliations series contains letters, speeches, programs, and certificated from the various national, state and local teacher and civic organizations to which Murray belonged including the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, Central Baptist Church, and others such as the McClennan-Banks Memorial Hospital. Murray's papers also include a series with her relatives, parents, William Henry and Mary Ellen Virgin Johnston; sister, Arnolta J. Williams; daughter Hazel Albertha Murray Stewart; son-in-law, James W. Stewart II; and nephew, William E. Johnston, Jr. Photographs depict Murray with her family; students, and faulty at Claflin College (now University), Cut Bridge School, Bettis Academy and Murray-LaSaine Elementary School, along with group pictures of Murray in numerous teacher and civic organizations. Includes photographs of Susan Dart Butler and Mary Alice LaSaine.
Title: Albertha Murray Papers, 1909 - 1970
Creator: Murray, Albertha.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1020
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 1 linear foot
(2 archival boxes)

Biographical Note

Albertha Johnston Murray was born October 26, 1889 in Charleston, South Carolina to William Henry and Mary Ellen Virgin Johnston. She was educated at Claflin High School and attended Claflin University as a Normal school student, gradating in 1909. In 1949, Murray received her B.S. in Education from the State Agricultural and Mechanical College, in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She married Richard Gailliard Murray and had one daughter, Hazel Albertha Murray Stewart.

Murray taught at numerous private and public schools in Charleston County, beginning with Humbert Wood Public Elementary School on Johns Island. She was also a teacher at Dart Private School, Avery Normal Institute and Four Mile Public Elementary School. In 1927, Murray was hired as principal at Cut Bridge Elementary School on James Island, remaining there for thirty two years. Murray's insistence prompted the renovation and expansion of the original five room school. In 1955, a new school was built named Murray-LaSaine Elementary School, which bore her name and Dr. Mary Alice LaSaine, former supervisor of Negro Schools in Charleston County.

Murray retired from the teaching profession in 1959, and remained active in numerous educational, social, and humanitarian organizations. She served as president and life member of the South Carolina Retired Teacher's Association; treasurer of the Charleston County Principal's Association, and was a former president of the Palmetto Education Association, South Carolina Education Association, and a life member of the American Teacher's Association. Murray's civic involvement includes Board of Directorship on the Charleston Chapter of the American Red Cross, Charleston County Tuberculosis Associations and McClennan Banks Memorial Hospital, and membership with the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs; National Council of Negro Women; League of Women's Voters; the Poinsetta Chapter #129 of the Order of Eastern Star, the Coming Street Young Women's Christian Association (Y.W.C.A.) in Charleston South Carolina; Founder of the Grey Ladies; and the Robert Gould Shaw Boys Club of America. Murray passed away on September 13, 1969, at the age of seventy nine.


Collection Overview

Papers consist of letters, speeches, programs, newspaper clippings, certificates and photographs reflecting Murray's work as a student, teacher, and principal at Murray-LaSaine Elementary School on James Island, in Charleston, South Carolina, along with her affiliations with professional and civic organizations. Includes materials on Dart Grammar and Primary School, Avery Normal Institute and others. Murray's writings relate to the education of teachers and parents of young children, virtues and religious themes. The series of schools and colleges include letters and programs from the institutions Murray attended, and where she taught or spoke. The educational, church, women and volunteer affiliations series contains letters, speeches, programs, and certificated from the various national, state and local teacher and civic organizations to which Murray belonged including the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, Central Baptist Church, and others such as the McClennan-Banks Memorial Hospital. Murray's papers also include a series with her relatives, parents, William Henry and Mary Ellen Virgin Johnston; sister, Arnolta J. Williams; daughter Hazel Albertha Murray Stewart; son-in-law, James W. Stewart II; and nephew, William E. Johnston, Jr. Photographs depict Murray with her family; students, and faulty at Claflin College (now University), Cut Bridge School, Bettis Academy and Murray-LaSaine Elementary School, along with group pictures of Murray in numerous teacher and civic organizations. Includes photographs of Susan Dart Butler and Mary Alice LaSaine.

Collection Arrangement

1. Biographical Papers

2. Works: Writings, Talks, Lectures and Speeches

3. Correspondence

4. Affiliations

5. Relatives

6. Visual Materials

7. Oversize Materials



Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- Education -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African Americans -- Education -- South Carolina -- James Island.
  • African American school principals -- South Carolina -- James Island.
  • African American teachers -- South Carolina.
  • African American women -- Societies and clubs -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Bettis Academy (Aiken County, S.C.)
  • Butler, Susan Dart, 1888-1959.
  • Central Baptist Church (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Claflin College (Orangeburg, S.C.)
  • Cut Gap Elementary School (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Dart Grammar and Primary School (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Education -- South Carolina -- James Island.
  • LaSaine, Mary Alice, d. 1957.
  • Links, Inc. Charleston Chapter.
  • McClennan-Banks Memorial Hospital (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Murray, Albertha J., 1889-1969.
  • Murray-LaSaine Elementary School (Charleston, S.C.)
  • Retirees -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Clubs.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Biographical Papers, 1969 and undated.

Box 1   Folder 1
Albertha Johnston Murray Biographical Sketches, undated
Box 1   Folder 2
Murray Obituary and Obsequies, 1969

2. Works: Writings, Talks, Lectures and Speeches, 1929-1964.

Box 1   Folder 3
Speech: Gresham Meggett High School, undated
Given to future teachers, James Island, South Carolina.
Box 1   Folder 4
Speech: Haut Gap High School, undated
Regarding Negro History Week , John's Island, South Carolina.
Box 1   Folder 5
Essay, undated
Regarding the importance of punctuality.
Box 1   Folder 6
Essay, 1929
Regarding teacher's involvement in the Charleston County Colored Fair.
Box 1   Folder 7
Essay, undated
Regarding childrearing; also includes typescript on various subjects; disciplining children, women with jobs, ministers and deacons wives hour, and responsibility to our children.
Box 1   Folder 8
Speech: "Strengthen Schools for 60," undated
Regarding parental involvement in children's education.
Box 1   Folder 9
Speech: "Stepping Stones to Success in Life," undated
Given at the Wallace High School.
Box 1   Folder 10
Parent Teacher Association Involvement Typescripts, 1927 and undated
Includes Murray's speech entitled "Diet Kitchen" regarding the importance of providing a healthy lunch for children.
Box 1   Folder 11
Speeches: "Adult Education" and "Why Go to College?" circa 1950 and undated
Box 1   Folder 12
Virtues of the Teaching Profession and Rural School Unit Training Typescripts, undated
Box 1   Folder 13
Religious Talks, Essays, and Typscripts, undated.
Includes "Partnership with God,""Following Jesus,""Short Rules for Young Christians,""An Appeal," and "Meditation."
Box 1   Folder 14
Speech: "Our Golden Age," 1964
regarding retirement and remaining active in service.

3. Correspondence, 1933-1964.

Box 1   Folder 15
Correspondence: Peronal, 1934, 1941 and 1964
From nephews and friends on personal topics.
Box 1   Folder 16
Correspondence: Professional, 1933 and 1959
Letter from Secretary to the Mayor of Charleston, appointing Murray as a member of the "colored swimming pool commission;" and letter from Alice Spearman, South Carolina Council on Human Relations (SCCHR) regarding conferences sponsored by SCCHR and Penn Center.

4. Affiliations, 1909-1975.

Schools and Colleges
Box 1   Folder 17
Claflin College Letters and programs, 1909-1959
Includes Murray's commencement program from Claflin's Normal School.
Box 1   Folder 18
The Dart Grammar and Primary School Broadside, 1918
Box 1   Folder 19
Avery Normal Institute Commencement and Activity Programs, 1943-1954
Box 1   Folder 20
Cut Bridge School, later Murray-LaSaine Elementary School Report, Programs, and Newspaper Clippings, 1931-1960 and undated
Box 1   Folder 21
School Correspondence, 1943-1962
Includes letters from Tuskegee Institute regarding a scholarship for summer school; verification of Murray's employment as an summer school instructor at Bettis Academy; request for Murray to speak at Career Day at Waring Consolidated School; letter and newspaper clippings from W. Kent Alston, Principal of Robert Smalls Senior High School regarding Murray's participation at the school.
Box 1   Folder 22
Retirement, 1959-1961
Letters, programs, invitation, and newspaper clippings regarding Murray's retirement from teaching. Includes declaration from James Island School District Number Three trustees, congratulatory letter from Septima Clark, and one from W. Gresham Meggett.
Educational Associations
Box 1   Folder 23
Bettis Academy, 1925-1945
Includes Letters and certificate from the State Agent of Negro Schools, State of South Carolina Department of Education, regarding conferences and Murray teaching summer school at Bettis Academy. Also includes Murray's report regarding workshop at State College; and letter and postcard from the State Board of Education regarding certification regulations for teachers in South Carolina; membership cards from Department of Elementary School Principals.
Box 1   Folder 24
Charleston County Teachers' Association, Teacher's Institute, and Williamsburg County Teacher's Association Programs, 1930-1933 and 1958
Box 1   Folder 25
Charleston County Education Association, 1962-1969
Includes constitution, programs, certificate, and newspaper clipping.
Box 1   Folder 26
Palmetto State Teachers' Association, 1934-1936
Includes letter and financial report regarding mprovement of one and two teacher schools in the South
Box 1   Folder 26
Palmetto Education Association (PEA), 1954-1962
Includes letters, program, and membership card regarding Building Construction Committee business; meeting notices; Murray's appointment to the Retirement committee; letter from President of Charleston County Principals' Association, PEA, to Murray regarding acceptance of her resignation as treasurer.
Box 1   Folder 27
American Teachers Association (ATA), 1955 and undated
Includes Report, memorandum and certificate. Contains Murray's report on the ATA's 50th Convention at South Carolina State College.
Women Organizations
Box 1   Folder 28
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc., 1962 and undated
Includes speech and certificate. Murray's speech provides a brief history of the association.
Box 1   Folder 28
National Council of Negro Women, 1956-1975
Include's speech, program, and membership card.
Box 1   Folder 29
South Carolina Federation of Colored Women's Club, circa, 1950-1970
Includes index cards, letterhead, and certificates. Also includes Murray's tribute to Susan Dart Butler.
Box 1   Folder 30
Charleston South Carolina Chapter Links, 1958
Letters, program, and newspaper clippings honoring Murray as "Woman of the Year."
Box 1   Folder 31
Queen Esther Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, 1960-1966
Includes programs, certificates and Murray's talk on the origins of the Eastern Star and Some Women of the Bible.
Box 1   Folder 32
Young Women's Christian Association Coming Street Branch Program and Certificate, 1957 and 1963
Box 1   Folder 33
City Federation of Women and Girls Clubs, 1970
Program regarding tribute to Murray.
Volunteer Organizations
Box 1   Folder 34
Charleston County Tuberculosis Association, 1933-1959
Letters and program regarding officer and committee appointments. Includes officers and governing committee roster.
Box 1   Folder 35
Charleston Chapter of the American Red Cross, 1942-1966
Includes letters and certificates.
Box 1   Folder 35
Charleston County Heart Council, 1959
Includes committee appointments, meeting notices, and minutes.
Box 1   Folder 36
Charleston Area Civilian Defense Council and Negro Extension Office, State College, Orangeburg, South Carolina, 1942-1957
Certificates regarding recognition of Murray's service.
Box 1   Folder 37
National Foundation Infantile Paralysis, 1953 and undted
Letter and clipping from the Charleston Chapter regarding March of Dimes and Mother's March on Polio campaigns.
Box 1   Folder 38
McClennan-Banks Memorial Hospital, 1960-1961
Includes certified note of loan from Murray to the hospital.
Church and Church-Related
Box 1   Folder 39
Central Baptist Church Programs and Certificates (1951-1954 and 1968

5. Relatives, 1883-1988.

Box 1   Folder 40
Mary Ellen Virgin to William Henry Johnston, 1883, 1886 and 1939
Includes correspondence written between Murray's parents during Virgin's tenure at Claflin University; funeral programs of William Henry Johnston.
Box 1   Folder 41
Richard G. Murray: Certificates and Newsletter, 1942-1953
Box 1   Folder 42
Anolta "Mamma" Williams: Program, Magazine Article and Newspaper Clippings,1982 and 1988
Box 1   Folder 43
Hazel M. Stewart, James W. Stewart II, and William E. Johnston: Letters and Programs, 1951-1988 and undated

6. Visual Materials, 1910-1964.

Box 2   Folder 1
Black and white photographs of Alberta Murray including the day her name was added to that of the LaSaine School, 1919-circa 1960)
Box 2   Folder 2
Black and white photograph on poster board of Charleston Chapter of Links members giving Murray the Woman of the Year award, 1958
Box 2   Folder 3
Black and white photographs of Murray's family members including her husband, Richard, daughter Hazel, and nephew, William E. Johnston, Jr., 1919 circa 1960
Box 2   Folder 4
Sepia colored photograph of Claflin College's first class of its Normal School with some names of students handwritten on the back 1910
Box 2   Folder 5
Black and white photographs of Cut Bridge School, students and teachers, 1945-1951
Box 2   Folder 6
Sepia colored photographs of Murray with Bettis Academy faculty 1938; color and black and white photographs of students and faculty of Murray-LaSaine Elementary School, 1955 and 1969
Box 2   Folder 7
Black and white photographs of American Teacher Association conferences at Hampton Institute; Orangeburg, South Carolina; and Tennessee State University, 1951-1954
Box 2   Folder 8
Black and white photographs of Murray with various service organizations including Jeanes Teachers at South Carolina State; Tuberculosis Association Southern Conference; Robert Gould Shaw Boys Club of America; Marion Anderson Federated Club; National Association of Colored Women's Clubs; Sidney Park Church, Columbia State Federation; Grey Ladies of McClennan-Banks Hospita; Polio Education Group; Council of Negro Women; and numerous unidentified group photographs, circa 1940-1964 and undated
Box 2   Folder 9
Black and white photograph of Susan Dart Butler, Dart Hall Library; sepia colored photograph of Lucille Gray and Mary Alice LaSaine; and photos of unidentified individuals, 1950-1957

7. Oversize Materials , 1966.

   Oversize Paper 1020-Plat Drawer/2
Life Membership from the National Education Association Certificate, 1966


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Albertha Murray Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donated by Hazel Murray Stewart, December 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, May 2006

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, January 2014

Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection.

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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