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Graves family papers

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1081

Collection Overview

The collection includes materials related to the Graves family of Charleston, South Carolina, chiefly James R. B. Graves, his wife Rose L. Graves, and their children J. Michael, Pauline, Annette, Robert, and Eugene. The James R. B. Graves series includes correspondence, photographs, and artifacts chiefly related to his career as a porter with the Pullman Company as well as his association with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters labor union. The Rose L. Graves series documents her work for the USO (United Service Organizations) and the Charleston Area Civilian Defense Council.

The J. Michael Graves series is the largest in the collection. This series includes correspondence, memory books, and other materials related to his education; teaching certifications and contracts, school programs, and other materials related to his teaching career at Avery Normal Institute and Burke High School; awards and photographs related to the National Science Fair; Pan-Hellenic materials, including nomination packets for the Elder Watson Diggs Award; and graduation announcements, church bulletins, and event programs, chiefly for Charleston area organizations and events.

The Annette Graves Chambers' series includes materials related to Annette's education and professional activities. The Robert Blackburne Graves series includes materials related to his education, chiefly at Avery Normal Institute, and his affliation with Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. The Eugene Graves series includes largely photographs and sports memorabilia related to his coaching career at Bonds-Wilson High School.

Materials also relate to Rose's sister Etta Winds Wilson, Etta's husband John T. Wilson, and members of the Winds and Wilson side of the family.

Photographs and slides include Graves family members, Avery Institute, Burke High School, Bonds-Wilson High School, and other images. Some photograph folders have been cross-listed in relevant series. Also included are materials related to the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture (AIAAHC), clippings related to the Avery Institute and African American heritage, and other materials.

Dates

  • 1884-2004

Creator

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

The Graves family of Charleston, South Carolina, was an African American family consisting largely of educators and Avery Institute graduates.

James R. B. Graves, Jr. (1883-1969) served as a Pullman porter from December 1911 to November 1953. He retired on December 1, 1953 with 41 years and 11 months of service with the Pullman Company. He also served as president of the Charleston Chapter of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. He married Rose Laura Winds (1890-1978) in 1915, and the two raised five children: J. Michael, Pauline, Annette, Robert, and Eugene.

Rose L. Graves, née Winds (1890-1978), was the wife of James R.B. Graves and mother to J. Michael, Pauline, Annette, Robert, and Eugene Graves. She was related to Etta Winds Wilson, who married John T. Wilson in 1944.

J. Michael Graves (1915-1996), a Class of 1932 graduate of the Avery Institute, was an educator and musician in the Charleston area. J. Michael earned a degree in chemistry from Fisk University in 1939. In 1954, he received a master's degree in education from South Carolina State College.

Through the years, he taught at various South Carolina schools, including St. Luke Elementary School in Grover (1936-1937); J. K. Gourdine Elementary and High School in Russelville (1938-1939); Laing High School in Mount Pleasant (1939-1945); and Avery High School (1947-1954) and Burke High School (1954-1970) in Charleston. During his tenure at Burke, J. Michael Graves directed the first Palmetto State Science Fair in 1957 and produced the first National Science Fair winner (W. Delano Meriweather). He influenced science curricula in Charleston and was active in teacher groups. He retired from teaching on June 30, 1982.

J. Michael was an active part of the Charleston community, serving on the board of directors for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (1969-1980), chartering the Optimist Club of Peninsula Charleston (1982), and sitting on the mayor's Environmental Committee (1990-1993). He was a life member of the NAACP, and sat on the Executive board of the Charleston branch of the NAACP. He was nationally recognized for his work with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., with the Elder W. Diggs Award for Achievement.

Pauline R. Graves (1917-2002) was an educator in Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated from Avery Normal Institute in 1936. She received a Master of Arts degree from Hampton Institute in 1951 and a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1968. She also completed accounting courses at the Southern Business Institute in 1959. She retired from her teaching position at Courtenay Middle School in 1984.

Annette Graves Chambers (died 1983) graduated from Avery Normal School in 1936. She worked as an educator at Ben Tillman Elementary School.

Robert Blackburne Graves graduated from Avery Normal Institute in 1944. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Johnson C. Smith in 1949. He was also a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Eugene G. Graves was a 1947 Avery Normal Institute graduate. He was an African-American educator in Charleston, South Carolina and worked at Bonds-Wilson High School from 1955-1985. At Bonds-Wilson, Graves served as a physical education and health teacher, football and basketball coach, and guidance counselor. Eugene coached several athletes that achieved successful sports careers, including Art Shell and Jim Jackson.

Louise Henrietta Winds Wilson (1907-1995), known as Etta, was the sister of Rose Winds Graves. Etta married John Thomas Wilson in 1944.

John T. Wilson (1910-1994) earned degrees from Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in 1936, Allen University in 1951, and South Carolina State College in 1956. He served as a master sergeant in the 360th Port Battalion in the United States Army, discharging in 1945. John T. Wilson became principal of the now-defunct Six Mile High School in North Charleston, South Carolina, which was renamed Bonds-Wilson High School to honor John T. Wilson and James R. Bonds.

Extent

5.5 linear feet (14 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Graves family of Charleston, South Carolina, was an African American family consisting largely of educators and Avery Institute graduates. James R. B. Graves, Jr. (1883-1969), a Pullman porter and union member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, married Rose Laura Winds (1890-1978) in 1915. Together, they raised five children: J. Michael, Pauline, Annette, Robert, and Eugene. J. Michael Graves (1915-1996), a Class of 1932 graduate of the Avery Institute, was an educator and musician in the Charleston area. Pauline R. Graves (1917-2002) conducted educational research and taught at Courtenay Middle School. Annette Graves Chambers (died 1983) worked as an educator at Ben Tillman Elementary School. Robert Blackburne Graves graduated from Avery in 1944 and Johnson C. Smith in 1949. The youngest, Eugene Graves, was an educator and sports coach at Bonds-Wilson High School in North Charleston. Eugene coached several athletes that achieved successful sports careers, including Art Shell and Jim Jackson.

The collection includes materials related to the Graves family of Charleston, South Carolina, chiefly James R. B. Graves, his wife Rose L. Graves, and their children J. Michael, Pauline, Annette, Robert, and Eugene. The James R. B. Graves series includes correspondence, photographs, and artifacts chiefly related to his career as a porter with the Pullman Company as well as his association with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters labor union. The Rose L. Graves series documents her work for the USO and the Charleston Area Civilian Defense Council. The J. Michael Graves series is the largest in the collection. This series includes correspondence, memory books, event programs, and other materials related to his education, teaching career at Avery Normal Institute and Burke High School, membership in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the Elder Watson Diggs Award, and Charleston area organizations and events. The Annette Graves Chambers' series includes materials related to Annette's education and professional activities. The Robert Blackburne Graves series includes materials related to his education, chiefly at Avery Normal Institute, and his affiliation with Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. The Eugene Graves series includes largely photographs and sports memorabilia related to his coaching career at Bonds-Wilson High School. Materials also relate to Rose's sister Etta Winds Wilson, Etta's husband John T. Wilson, and members of the Winds and Wilson side of the family. Photographs and slides include Graves family members, Avery Institute, Burke High School, Bonds-Wilson High School, and other images. Also included are materials related to the Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture (AIAAHC), clippings related to the Avery Institute and African American heritage, and other materials.

Collection Arrangement

1. James R. B. Graves, 1918-1954

2. Rose L. Graves, 1911-1946

3. J. Michael Graves, 1927-1998

4. Pauline R. Graves, 1917-1984

5. Annette Graves Chambers, 1930-1983

6. Robert Blackburne Graves, 1942-1974

7. Eugene G. Graves, 1935-2004

8. Etta Winds Wilson and John T. Wilson, 1944-1991

9. Other Family Members, 1884-1948

10. Photographs and Slides, circa 1930s-1990s

11. Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture (AIAAHC), 1981-1993

12. Clippings and Other Materials, 1942-1999

Acquisitions Information

Received from J. Michael Graves in October 1988 and from Eugene Graves in July 1997, February 1998, and August 2004.

Separated Material

Yearbooks from Bonds-Wilson High School (1972-1976, 1979, and 1982) and South Carolina State College (1974 and 1984) have been removed from the Eugene Graves series and placed in the Avery Yearbook Collection.

Special Formats

Audiocassettes (1081-CAS/1-5)

Image Folders (1081-IFO/1-22)

Scrapbook (1081-SCR/1)

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa Bronheim and Amanda Ross, September 2009

Encoded by Amanda Ross, September 2009

Edited by Amanda Ross, November 2009

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

Title
Inventory of the Graves Family Papers, 1884 - 2004 AMN 1081
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Melissa Bronheim and Amanda Ross; machine-readable finding aid created by: Amanda Ross
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English
Sponsor
Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608