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Ballard Family Collection

Identifier: MSS 0056

Scope and Contents

The Ballard Family Collection details the life and career of Lillie M. Ballard and the Ballard Family of Houston, Texas. This, which dates from 1940 to 1985 contains photographs, certificates and newspaper clippings. As a child growing up in segregated Houston during the 1940s and 50s, much of the photos and materials within the collection chronicle her educational and professional development from kindergarten to her career and retirement from nursing. She was able to overcome and achieve academic and professional excellence with accolades during a time when opportunities for African Americans were few and unequal.


  • 1940 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1944 - 1982

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Ballard Family Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Lillie Mae Ballard is a native Houstononian born on January 20, 1940 to David Ballard Jr. and Lillie (Leah) Johnson Ballard. Lillie attendedGregory Elementary School in Freedmen's Town, Fourth Ward, Phillis Wheatley Senior High School (both part of HISD), Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she recieved a B.S. in nursing. She continued her graduate education at the University of Houston, and Texas Woman's University where she recieved a master's degree in Psychiatric Nursing and for her doctoral studies.

The recipient of numerous awards, scholarships, and honors, Ms. Ballard's professional experiences included being the evening charge nurse in the Thoracic Surgery Unit of M.D. Anderson Hospital's Tumor and Research Institute, School Nurse at Houston ISD, Assistant Professor of the Department of Nursing at Radford College (now Radford University, in Virginia), Graduate Teaching Assistant at Texas Woman's University Department of Nursing, and Night Relief Nurse in the Psychiatric Unit of Flow Memorial Hospital in Denton, Texas. Having spent close to 40 years in nursing she retired from her profession on November 10, 2001. Since her retirement she has spent time assisting her church, Sloan Memorial United Methodist Church, as a church historian in documenting and preserving their history. She currently resides and maintains a home in Houston, Texas.


0.5 Linear Feet (2)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged by subject and material type.

Processing Information

Processed by: Erin Norris, August 2011; Updated by Sheena Wilson, October 2017.

MSS 0056 Ballard Family Collection
An Inventory of their Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Erin S. Norris
August 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002