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Carr family papers

Identifier: AMN 1073

Collection Overview

Correspondence, photographic materials, printed materials, and financial documents (1671-2009) document the history of the Lords Proprietors Plantation and Maryville collected by members of the Carr Family. The collection is divided into two series: The Carr Family and Town of Maryville, South Carolina.

The Carr Family holds documents pertaining to Thomas Tobias Carr, III (son of Mary and Thomas T. Carr, Sr.), illustrating his education, military service, organizational affiliations, and career as an optometrist. There are also documents relating to Carr, III wife, Rosemary, his brother, John Wesley Carr, Sr., and his wife, Mildred. Of special interest is a scrapbook (disassembled) pertaining mostly to John Wesley Carr, Sr. and his years at Hampton Institute, Virginia (1936-1938), with programs from school events, plays, concerts and postcards of the campus. There are items (programs and certificates) from Carr, Sr.'s last year at Avery Institute. The remainder of the scrapbook holds family photographs (mostly unidentified), but features his father, Thomas Tobias Carr, Sr.(former Maryville mayor) with family members; a separate enlarged photograph of his wife, Mary Green Carr; and a folder regarding son, Leroy Ashley Carr, with his graduation diplomas from Avery Institute and Fisk University.

The second series, Maryville, South Carolina, contains records relating to the history of the Lords Proprietors Plantation (original site of Maryville); various maps, plats, and surveys (photocopies); an undergraduate thesis regarding the establishment of Maryville; photocopied newspaper clippings regarding Thomas Tobias Carr, Sr. as deposed mayor (c.1930s), and the eventual annexation of the town (1993). Also, included is brief information through letters by the Maryville/Ashleyville Neighborhood Association, an organization devoted to preserving the memory of this community, and materials regarding the Township of Maryville Historical Marker Dedication (1996).


  • Creation: approximately 1671-2009
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1920-1995

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.

Historical Note

The Carr Family were central members of the African-American community of the Town of Maryville, SC. Thomas Tobias Carr, Sr. and his wife Mary Green Carr relocated to Maryville from Charleston in 1904. The Honorable Thomas T. Carr, Sr. (b. 1863) a carpenter, was the last Mayor to serve the town. Wife, Mary, referred to as "Mamie," (d. 1963), was a dressmaker turned licenced midwife. They had fourteen children.

Their son, John Wesley Carr, Sr. (1916-2005) was educated at Denning School and Avery Institute in Charleston, South Carolina and Hampton Institute, Virginia. He became an educator who taught at Burke High School, and became the first principal of Wallace Consolidated, Wallace Middle, and Springfield Elementary Schools in Charleston, SC. He married Mildred Ellison in 1953 and raised five children.

Thomas Tobias Carr, III (1930-), was educated at numerous institutions including Immaculate Conception High School, Charleston, SC (1947); South Carolina State College, Orangeburg, SC (1951); and Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, Illinois (1956). After serving in the United States Army (1951-1953), Dr. Carr, III worked as a Head Chemist at the Charleston Naval Shipyard, SC and a as Staff Optometrist at the Dorchester Training Center, Summerville, SC. He married Rosemary Johnston.

The Town of Maryville, chartered in 1886, included the site of the original English settlement in South Carolina and the plantation owned by the Lords Proprietors (1670-1699). The former plantation was subdivided into lots and sold to African Americans in the 1880s. After her husband, Charles Frazer Just died, Mary Mathews Just, saved her wages earned from the local phosphate mines and purchased land from the Hillsborough Plantation. Located "West of the Ashley River," Just named Maryville after herself, eventually establishing a school while governing the town. Noted biologist, Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941) is her son. Though Maryville was widely seen as a model of African-American "self-government," the South Carolina General Assembly revoked the town charter in 1936. The Town of Maryville is remembered in the current Ashleyville-Maryville neighorhood (City of Charleston), as a African-American municipality important to the history of South Carolina.


Historic Markers Across South Carolina. "Maryville Marker." Web. 8 Apr 2014.

House of Representatives, State of South Carolina. "A Concurrent Resolution: Saluting the Maryville Community in Charleston County..." 2 Jun 1999.

Medical University of South Carolina. "Ernest Everett Just: Outstanding African American Biologist of the 20th Century." Charleston: MUSC, 2013.


0.75 linear feet (3 archival boxes)

Language of Materials



The Carr Family were central members of the African-American community known as Maryville, South Carolina. Thomas Tobias Carr, Sr. (b. 1863) was the last Mayor to serve the town. His wife, Mary Green Carr (d. 1963) was a dressmaker and licenced midwife.

The Carr Family Papers include correspondence, photographs, school related materials including diplomas, a family scrapbook, and other materials collected and/or generated by family members: Rosemary and Thomas Tobias Carr, III, and Mildred and John Wesley Carr, Sr. among others. Included is a section regarding the formation and history of Maryville, South Carolina (originating from the former Lords Proprietors Plantation), by founder Mary Mathews Just, with brief information on Mayor Thomas T. Carr, Sr. Also, included are documents generated from the Maryville/Ashleyville Neighborhood Association with materials regarding the Township of Maryville Historical Marker Dedication (1996).

Collection Arrangement

1. The Carr Family

2. Town of Maryville, South Carolina

Acquisitions Information

Donated by Sylvia Carr, John W. Carr, Sr., and Dr. Thomas T. Carr, III

Processing Information

Processed by Georgette Mayo, 04, 2014

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, 04, 2014

Encoded by Aaron Spelbring, 04, 2014

Carr Family Papers AMN 1073
Finding aid prepared by Georgette Mayo
April 2014
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

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

125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States