Historically Black College
MRS. Lavanda Gassner Murphy
King Home, Marshall, Texas.
There are times when the conflicting emotion of joy and sadness move the heart. This hour is to me such a moment. For fourteen years I have brought to you my annual report of the Bureau for Texas. This will be my last report, as my health demands that I give the work in stronger and more capable hands.
During all these years there has been a healthy and permanent growth in the Bureau. When I took the work in 1896 there was only one school, King Industrial Home. We had twenty-five boarding pupils and one hundred and thirty day scholars. In 1908 we had sixty-seven boarders and over two hundred in the day school, which showed a good advance. A number of improvements were made during these years. A small plot of ground quite necessary to the appearance of our grounds was purchased. The third story of the building was finished and furnished, giving room for twenty-five more girls. The sewing annex was' built and outbuildings erected. Bath-rooms and electric lights were put in, and the premises kept in good condition by minor improvements. Millinery and Domestic Science were added to the course. More than four hundred girls have completed their courses. Misses Elliott and Robinson gave most efficient service, thirteen years of this time as Superintendents. The past year has been our most trying one. In October smallpox broke out in Wiley University; and a little later one case in the "Home;" we still had one case as late as in February. This unsettled condition prevented many from entering the school; and we only enrolled fifty-six boarding pupils during the year; but there were nearly two hundred in the day classes. We close this year with a small debt for the first time. It is a grief to me that this is the situation when I lay down the work. The price of living having advanced so much and the added expense of the quarantine would have taken an expert in finance to have made ends meet. The Superintendent wrote me that every dollar of board and tuition had been paid, which shows a high standard .of ethics and morals. Thirty-seven were graduated from the several departments. One student who has been a beneficiary for nine years completed all the industrial courses and graduated in the regular classical course in the University.
This young woman has a beautiful Christian character, and will be a great influence among her people if she lives, for she has the missionary spirit. She greatly desires to take the Deaconess Course and to enter that work.
There will be a new Superintendent and some new teachers to be appointed for 1910-11.
The property has increased more than one-third in value in the fourteen years, and more than $3,500 have been expended in improvements. There is great need for Domestic Science rooms, which I hope will be built soon. I have sent the General Corresponding Secretary $327.42 for this purpose. I think the addition could be made for from $1,000 to $1,500.
The Eliza Dee Industrial Home, Austin, Texas.
In 1004 I went to Texas and purchased the property known as the "Eliza Dee Industrial Home" for the sum of $4,500.
At that time I had the place repaired and furnished, and some additions made, at a cost of about $1,100.
The school was opened the first Monday in October, 1904, with Miss C. I. King as Superintendent, who had several years experience in King Home. She has rendered the best service during these years. From the very beginning of the school 'we have been overcrowded and we have reached our limit of usefulness unless we build. There is no more imperative need in the Society than a new building here—not in the near future—but now. The matter ought to command your earnest and prayerful attention. We have absolutely no place for our industrial classes, except by the courtesy of Samuel Huston College, which greatly needs the room it gives us. I paid Mrs. D. L. Williams $2.500 towards this building when I rendered to her my accounts. There ought to be a $20,000 building at least erected there. There are more than 300,000 colored people within a radius of one hundred miles, and over 15,000 of these are members of our Church. Sisters, we are laying the foundation of a mighty moral and spiritual empire among these people. When you remember that one in nine of our population is a colored person, and that about one-ninth of the whole mass resides in the State of Texas, and that this great State, the largest in the Union, which is just emerging from her nascent period, and is now not only coming into the gaze of the States, but of the nations also—-and that it is an empire of antitheses, diversities, and distances—that it is a State of treeless plains, and yet abounds in dense forests and rich in its fauna and flora—that it is the largest cotton port in the world, and that its granaries date back to 1623— and that you can have your Christmas dinner of beef and turkey and plum pudding with strawberries garnished with holly, and twenty varieties of fresh vegetables, you can see how wonderful is its climate. Then with its largest school fund in the States and its progressive people there is scarcely a limit to its commercial and educational possibilities.
We have entered this vast field. Shall we not have a share in its conquest ?
The solution of the Negro problem becomes more and more strained in both sections of the country.
Mr. Edgar Gardner Murphy, a Southerner, says, "It can not be denied that the Negro has not been adequately accorded the economic support of the profounder social forces of security, opportunity, and hope, and that the State may largely alter this condition if it will." And he pertinently asks, "Shall ours be a policy of negation or development?" God grant that it may be the latter.
I believe in a cosmopolitan, catholic Christianity, where Caucasian, Chinese, Hindu, Semitic, and Hamitic leaders and seers shall have free scope for development and exercise of all their latent powers.
We as a Society have espoused the cause of the Negro, and I trust nothing will dismay or stop us in our endeavors for their uplift, but that we will go on with our task, patiently waiting God's own good time when liberty, justice, and fraternity will not be ideal conceptions, but absolute realizations.
To say I regret to lay down this work which is so upon my heart does not express the anguish of mind and spirit when the thought first came that I must lay it down. But the work must not suffer though the workman falls. I bespeak the same generous, considerate, and loving cooperation which you have given me for my successor, and trust that the work will be more successful than in my hands. I want to thank all the Conference Secretaries for their sympathy and help. I can never forget the delightful association with you all; and these memories will be among my richest treasures while life shall last.
I want, too, to publicly express my gratitude to Mrs. Delia L. Williams, our beloved Corresponding Secretary, who has so kindly aided me in closing up the year, going over the bills and paying most of them, though her own duties have been very arduous. Doubtless she will hear the Master's
pastures green? Not always; Sometimes He
whether on the hilltops high and fair
MRS. Lavanda Gassner Murphy, Secretary.
West Texas Conference has met every pledge made at the Los Angeles meeting. We retained our Conference beneficiary for 1911. During the summer I visited the five districts and much love for the work was manifest.
I organized the new district "San Angelo." This district is in the far western part of our State and Conference; railroads being laid, give us an opportunity of reaching this new field. I put in some time on this district. We have four Auxiliaries with a membership of forty-eight. The women were easy to convince that they ought to be organized and begin work for the Master. My opinion is that this district will be the banner district of the West Texas Conference. The Eliza Dee Home is in need of more room. We raised more money this year than usual for the Annex. We see plainly we can not prosper without it. Will you please build the Annex?
Miss King, our Superintendent, is faithful; we all love her.
(MRS.) E. Spriggs Ratliff, Corresponding Secretary.
by Woman's Home Missionary Society (Cincinnati, Ohio) - 1910