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Mamie Luella Williams Papers, 1930-1979

Manuscript collection no. 136


Mamie Williams, between 1915 and 1919


Mamie L. Williams, prominent educator and a resident of Topeka, Kansas, was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, in 1894. The Williams family moved to Topeka in 1899 and in 1900 purchased a home on Quincy Street. Mamie never left Quincy Street and her life there was the subject of a 1976 TV special "75 years on Quincy Street."

Mamie received her education at Highland Park School, Garfield School, and Topeka High School before graduating with honors from Washburn University (Topeka, Kansas) in 1915. In the same year she began her teaching career at Lane College in Jackson, Mississippi. With the aid of her father, she was elected to the Topeka Public School System in 1918 where she would teach for the next 42 years until her retirement in 1960. During the summer months she returned to Lane College as professor of education in1925, taught at Texas College in 1928 through1930, and spent four summers at Columbia University in New York where she earned a "Teacher of Education” diploma in 1924.

Her tenure with the Topeka Public School System included teaching 25½ years at Buchanan School before she was transferred to Washington School as assistant principal in 1943. She later became principal of both Washington and Monroe Schools before her retirement. In 1956 Mamie traveled around the world gathering information for presentations to students and local groups.

After her departure from the Topeka School System Mamie remained active in church and community affairs. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976.

Other highlights of her career included the creation of the AAUW Mamie L. Williams Fellowship Award at Washburn University in 1968, and receiving the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973. Mamie Williams died in Topeka in 1986.  Ten years later, the Topeka School Board named its new science and fine arts magnet school in her honor.

Scope and Content

The materials in her collection at the Kansas Historical Society represent a random miscellaneous accumulation of notes, papers, correspondence and memorabilia of a limited nature.

Much of this collection is comprised of memorabilia from her 1956 tour of the world and congratulatory cards and notes concerning the TV special "75 Years on Quincy Street“ and her receipt of the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award.

Of interest to researchers are Mamie Williams Journal, 1974-1976; notes and observations made during her travels; educational notes and outlines from Columbia University; and original writings and reminiscences.

A folder of additional material about her is in the Brown vs. Board of Education Collection (MS 759), collected by Richard Kluger, in the collections of Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library (New Haven, Connecticut)

Contents List

Box 1

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Bicentennial Conference on Aging - Kansas
Book Reviews (typescript)
Book Reviews (handwritten)
Correspondence, 1930-1949
Correspondence, 1950-1959
Correspondence, 1960-1969
Correspondence, 1970-1979
Education (High School and College Documents)
Education - Columbia University Outlines on Education
Education - Course Notes and Outlines, ca. 1920's
Education - The Project Method (Columbia University)
Egyptian-American Joint Committee for Education
Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, 1965
Mamie Williams’ Journal, 1974-1976

Box 2

Miscellaneous Clippings #1
Miscellaneous Clippings #2
Miscellaneous Congratulatory Cards, etc.
Miscellaneous Papers
" Of Merit, Achievement & Service" (Studies in Negro Life)
" 75 Years on Quincy Street", TV Special
Teaching Materials - Miscellaneous
Travel - 1956, NEA, Round the World Tour
Travel – Clippings (1956)
Travel - Correspondence (From West Africa)
Travel - Correspondence (From Hawaii)
Travel - Correspondence from Abroad (1956)
Travel - Correspondence (Postcards)

Box 3

Travel - Diary Manuscript
Travel - Foreign Education (1956)
Travel - India (1956)
Travel - Japan (1956)
Travel - Literature and Notes (1956)
Travel - Memorabilia (1956)
Travel - Memorabilia (1956)
Travel - Notes
Travel - Notes (1956)

Box 4

Washburn University - AAUW Award, 1973
Washburn University - "Alumnus"
White House Conference on Aging - 1971
White House Conference on Aging (Publications)
Writing on Various Subjects, ca. 1913 – 1936 #1
Writing on Various Subjects, ca. 1913 - 1936 #2
Writing on Various Subjects #3
Writing on Various Subjects - Poetry

Box 5

Miscellaneous Volumes
Toward A National Policy on Aging, volumes 1 and 2
Post White House Conference on Aging Reports, 1973
Daily Record Notebooks (5 volumes)
Personal Notebook (1 volume

Box 6

Miscellaneous Awards and Diplomas

Box 7

Miscellaneous Publications
Brochures and Guides
Oversized Materials
Degrees and Awards
Blueprints of House – 1928 (Mr. B. G. Williams)