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MSS 0128 Anna Dupree Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0128

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of biographical information on Anna Johnson and C. A. Dupree, as well as information on the Eliza Johnson Home, Camp Robinhood, the children’s orphanage, and the African American Community Council of Houston. The collection also includes newspaper clippings and photographs.

Dates

  • 1900-1977
  • Majority of material found in 1950s-1970s

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Anna Dupree Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Prominent African American philanthropist Anna Johnson Dupree was born in Carthage, Tx in 1891 to Lee and Eliza Johnson. In 1904 her family moved to Galveston where she worked as a nurse maid and domestic house keeper. She moved to Houston in 1911 to be a seamstress. She also continued to do house work and became an apprentice at Ethel Baird’s Beauty Shop. She met Clarence A. Dupree a year later in 1912. He worked at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston. They married in 1916 shortly before he entered the Armed Services for World War I. The Duprees made the commitment early on in their relationship to help African Americans in need. The Duprees saved much of what they made, with Anna working as a residential beautician and C.A as porter at the Brazos and Bender Hotels and the River Oaks Country Club. These savings and eventual business ventures, such as the ownership and operation of the Pastime Theater and the El Dorado Ballroom, allowed the Duprees to make many influential contributions to the African American community in Houston. In the mid-1940s, the Duprees donated $20,000 to the Negro Child Center for the creation of an orphanage cottage. In 1946, along with the help of customers and businesses, they donated $11,000 to the Houston College for Negroes (Texas Southern University) for their first permanent building. Starting in 1948, they began raising money for the development of a nursing home for African Americans. In the meantime, their philanthropy continued with donations to the development of Camp Robinhood, the first Girl Scouts camp for African Americans in Texas, and financed the first little league baseball for African American youth in the city. In 1952, the Eliza Johnson Home for Aged Negroes officially opened on 35 acres off Chocolate Bayou Road (now Cullen Boulevard). C.A. Dupree died in 1959. Anna Dupree’s activity dwindled with the death of her husband. She died a resident of the Eliza Johnson Home after a lengthy illness in 1977.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet (2 doc boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

Arrangement is by box and folder.

Transfer Note

These records were formerly housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library as MSS 0119 General S. and Mary L. Johnson Collection and were transferred to the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library in March 2019.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Willie Lee Gay in 1978 and 1979.

Related Materials

RG 047 Eliza Johnson Home for Aged Negroes Records

MSS 0219 General S. and Mary L. Johnson Papers

Processing Information

Processed by Suzanne Summers, January 1990. Reprocessed by Abra Schnur, November 2017
Title
MSS 0128 Ana Dupree Papers
Subtitle
An inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Author
Abra Schnur
Date
November 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Gregory School Repository

Contact:

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662