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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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People - Notable Kansans - Williams, Mamie L., 1894-1986

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Distinguished Service Award

Distinguished Service Award
Creator: Medallic Art Company
Date: 1973
Washburn Alumni Association Distinguished Service Medal awarded to Mamie Williams, an African American woman who taught in Topeka, Kansas, schools from 1918 to 1960. Born in South Carolina, Williams moved with her family to Topeka in 1899. She studied mathematics at Washburn College, where she was the only African-American in her class. Williams began teaching in the Topeka area in 1918 and remained there for 42 years. In 1973, she was awarded the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award. The Washburn Alumni Association awarded this medal to Williams in recognition of her contributions to education. The Medallic Art Company of New York manufactured the medal. Founded in 1903, the company was well known for minting prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Peabody Award, and the Newberry Medal.


Mamie Luella Williams

Mamie Luella Williams
Date: Between 1905 and 1911
Portrait of Mamie Luella Williams, 1894-1986, an elementary school teacher and principal in Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


Mamie Luella Williams

Mamie Luella Williams
Date: Between 1915 and 1919
Portrait of Mamie Luella Williams, 1894-1986, an elementary school teacher and principal in Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


Mamie Luella Williams

Mamie Luella Williams
Creator: Christopher Studio, Topeka, Kans.
Date: 1944
This is a portrait of Mamie Luella Williams, 1894-1986, principal of Washington School, Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


Mamie Luella Williams

Mamie Luella Williams
Date: Between 1920 and 1929
This is a photograph of Mamie Luella Williams, 1894-1986, with her students in front of a school, possibly Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


Mamie Luella Williams blueprints

Mamie Luella Williams blueprints
Date: 1928
A set of blueprints included in the Mamie Luella Williams collection. The blueprints include drawings of the front elevation, first floor, second floor, and basement. It is possible that these blueprints are from Mamie's house on Quincy street in Topeka, Kansas, but a large portion of the first page of the blueprints are missing. Mamie was an elementary school teacher and principal in Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


Mamie Luella Williams Journal

Mamie Luella Williams Journal
Creator: Mamie L. Williams, Dec. 12, 1894-Dec. 31, 1986
Date: 1894-1976
A journal created by Mamie Luella Williams. It covers the years of 1894 to 1976 and she breaks them down into sizable chapters of her life. The end of her journal includes a world tour superlative experiences where she names the best parts of her 1956 world tour. Mamie was an elementary school teacher and principal in Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


Mamie Luella Williams Poetry

Mamie Luella Williams Poetry
Creator: Mamie L. Williams, Dec. 12, 1894-Dec. 31, 1986
Date: 1909-1947
A series of poems written by Mamie Luella Williams. The first three poems are titled Red Boots, A Prayer, and Culture Gossip. The fourth and final poem is a couplet written in response to an increase in membership in the Juvenile Samaritan Lodge. Mamie was an elementary school teacher and principal in Topeka, Kansas. In 1965 she was appointed to the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, served as a delegate to the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, and was active on the Senior Citizens Advisory Council for the Republican Party for Kansas, 1974-1976. She received the Washburn University Distinguished Service Award in 1973, and an honorary doctorate in mathematics from Washburn in 1982. Williams Science and Fine Arts Elementary Magnet School at 1301 S.E. Monroe, Topeka, Kansas, was named in honor of Ms. Williams.


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