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Ella B. Howard Pearis papers

Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Names:
American Red Cross  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
2.32 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Clippings
Papers
Correspondence
Photographic prints
Scrapbooks
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Date:
1923-1998
bulk 1970-1981
Summary:
The collection, which dates from 1923 to 1998 and measures 2.32 linear feet, documents the career of community activist, Ella B. Howard Pearis The papers are comprised of correspondence with and documents from community organizations, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the activities of Ella B. Howard Pearis between 1923 and 1998. It contains materials related to Mrs. Pearis's work with local and national civic organizations. Included in the collection are awards, correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, and scrapbooks.

The papers are organized into five series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:

Series I: Biographical Series II: Civic Organizations Series III: Photographs Series IV: Scrapbooks Series V: Miscellaneous
Arrangement note:
The papers are organized into five series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:

Series I: Biographical Series II: Civic Organizations Series III: Photographs Series IV: Scrapbooks Series V: Miscellaneous
Biographical/Historical note:
Ella B. Howard Pearis was born in 1905 in Washington, DC. She graduated from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High in 1923 and then went on to attend Miner Teachers College. For fifteen years she taught 1st and 2nd grade in Maryland and Virginia and later she worked fifteen years at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, from where she retired in 1956.

Mrs. Howard had deep roots in the Anacostia community; her great-grand parents moved to Anacostia in 1863. Macedonia Baptist Church was founded by her great-grandfather in 1866, and her great-grandfather's niece was one of the founders of St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867. Mrs. Pearis's house on Elvans Road was built by her grandfather in 1876. As a result of this history, Mrs. Pearis felt that it was her duty to be an advocate for and promoter of the Anacostia community. She volunteered her time to work with community groups and neighborhood civic associations. Her community work brought changes to Anacostia including getting new schools established and getting more public transportation in the area.

In 1974 she and other community activists founded the Anacostia Historical Society. The Society was established in partnership with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum's Center for Anacostia Studies. Mrs. Pearis said that the idea for the Society started when, "…a group of us started to get together one Saturday and bring any family heirlooms that you had. " From there the group began to work with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Together they developed the exhibit, "Anacostia Story," which opened at the Museum in March 1977.

In addition to her work with the Anacostia Historical Society, Mrs. Pearis served on the advisory board of the Anacostia--ongress Heights Red Cross Service Center. This center was a part of the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Red Cross. Later in her life, Mrs. Pearis remarked that physical limitations limited her ability to make it to all of the community functions. Yet she found others ways to contribute to her community.

Mrs. Ella B. Howard Pearis died on February 23, 1998 and her funeral service was held at St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church --the church founded by her family in 1867.
Related Arcihval Materials note:
Finding Aid to the Anacostia Historical Society located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.

Finding Aid to the Alice Bell Finlayson Papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.

Finding Aid to the Charles Qualls Papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
District of Columbia Art Association  Search this
D.C. Community Humanities Council  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Clippings
Papers
Correspondence
Photographic prints
Scrapbooks
Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-012
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