Manuscript Collection


Mary E. Frayser



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Accession 1

Inclusive Dates

1841-1961 (1930-1947)


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

Collection Size

19,000 pieces, 9.50 linear feet



Historical Note

Mary Elizabeth Frayser was an 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.

Scope and Content Note

The Mary E. Frayser Papers consist of correspondence, speeches, reports, clippings, minutes, histories, family histories, constitutions and bylaws, membership lists, program notes, photographs, and other papers, relating to her work with the South Carolina Extension Service (1912-1940) Winthrop College, her involvement with the South Carolina Council for the Common Good (1935-1952), the South Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs (1926-1952), the South Carolina Status of Women Conference (1945-1952), the South Carolina Division of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) (1929, 1935-1949), the South Carolina Interracial Institute (1938-1942), the South Carolina Division of the Southern Regional Council (1944-1951), and the South Carolina Conference of Social Work (1936-1967). There are also papers relating to Frayser’s efforts to promote social and economic legislation and participation by women in public affairs and her interest in libraries and work in the movement for the support of public libraries in South Carolina (1925-1968). Correspondents included G.H. Aull, Evan Chesterman, Wil Lou Gray, Sarah Hughes, Christine South Gee, and Maude Massey Rogers. This collection is a good source of women’s club activities in the twentieth century. Important areas of research would include the way club activity affected social and economic legislation in the state and the various forces involved in the movement for state tax supported libraries. While the papers do range from 1841 to 1953, the greater bulk of the papers extend from the early 1930s to about 1947. Since the work of the various women's club organizations were so inter-related, a researcher working with the papers of a particular organization for a particular time span should consider the Frayser papers of all other organizations. The related papers for the “Correspondence and Related Papers” series for particular organizations are generally similar and include: memoranda, outlines, reports, resolutions, minutes, etc. Additional Frayser information can be found by referring to the Winthrop University Archives (official records).


The papers of Mary E. Frayser, educator, social worker, Home Economist and club woman, were received by the Archives near the latter part of May, 1970 from the Home Economics Department of Winthrop. The “Agreement of Gift” was executed on Oct. 10, 1974.


Women's History, Race Relations, Social Work, Public Libraries, Home Economics, South Carolina, Genealogy, Textile Mills


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

Mary E. Frayser Papers - Accession 1

LC Subject Headings

Frayser, Mary E. (Mary Elizabeth), 1868-1968--Archives; Aull, G. H. (George Hubert), 1899- --Correspondence; Chesterman, Evan R., Sr., (Evan Ragland), 1870-1931; Gee, Christine South, 1884-1978--Correspondence; Gray, Wil Lou, 1883-1984--Correspondence; Rogers, Maude Massey--Correspondence; Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina. Extension Service; South Carolina Council for the Common Good; South Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs; American Association of University Women. South Carolina Division; South Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation; Southern Regional Council; South Carolina Conference of Social Work; Home economists; Home economics extension work--South Carolina