Manuscript Collection

The Work of Wil Lou Gray And Mary Elizabeth Frayser - Progressive South Carolina Educators - Accession 931-M419(470)

Title

The Work of Wil Lou Gray And Mary Elizabeth Frayser - Progressive South Carolina Educators - Accession 931-M419(470)

Files

Identifier

Accession 931 - M419 (470)

Inclusive Dates

1997

Restrictions

Open under the rules and regulations of the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

Collection Size

31 pieces

Language

English

Historical Note

Mary Elizabeth Frayser was and educator, home economist, social worker and club woman. She was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1868. She received her B.S. degree from Columbia University in 1911. After serving as Head of the Home Economics Department at Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia 1911-1912, she became the State Agent for Rural and Mill Village Community Extension Work at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1912. Frayser subsequently held positions with Georgia Federal Children's Bureau, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Virginia Tuberculosis Association, She returned to Winthrop in 1922 resuming her mill village work as well as teaching Sociology. In 1926 Frayser began research projects in Home Economics through a co-operative program between Winthrop and Clemson, a position she held for the next 20 years. Miss Frayser was a member of and participated in numerous organizations concerning social issues in South Carolina. She died just short of her 100th birthday in 1968.

Wil Lou Gray was born in Laurens County, SC in 1883. Dr. Gray dedicated her life to fighting illiteracy. After graduating from Columbia College in 1903 she taught in a one-room school in Greenwood County. In 1918 she urged the creation of the State Literacy Commission and was appointed its first chair. In 1921 she founded the South Carolina Opportunity School where anyone could receive a second chance at education. The Opportunity School would eventually be known as the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School. She would be inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 1974. Dr. Gray died in 1984 at 100 years old.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a paper written for a history class at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill by Cristina P. Nelson. It examines the lives and careers of Wil Lou Gray (1883-1984) and Mary Elizabeth Frayser (1868-1968) who were two socially active South Carolina educators. The paper also covers their activities as professional club women as well as their roles as Southern Progressive reformers.

Provenance

The Work of Wil Lou Gray and Mary Elizabeth Frayser- Progressive South Carolina Educators was donated to the Archives by Christina Nelson.

Copyright

For information concerning copyright please contact the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University.

The Work of Wil Lou Gray And Mary Elizabeth Frayser - Progressive South Carolina Educators - Accession 931-M419(470)

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