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Historical Image and Manuscript Archives


Henry Burwell Marrow Collection

Collection Date(s):   1912  to 1955

Call Number(s):  PC 2.1 - PC 2.4

Physical Description:  Two cubic feet, including correspondence, clippings, speeches, reports, maps, pamphlets, and publications.

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Biographical Sketch:  Henry Burwell Marrow (1887-1978) was an educator and civic leader of great note in Johnston County for much of the 20th century. He was born and reared on a farm in the Williamsburg community of Vance County, the son of Thomas T. and Carrie S. Burwell Marrow. Following graduation from Henderson High School at age 19, he attended King's Business College in Raleigh. From 1908 to 1912 he attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he earned an A.B. degree and also studied law. There he met his wife, Pearl Hildebrand of Hickory, whom he married in 1917.

He served as superintendent of Chapel Hill Schools from 1912 to 1915, Battleboro Schools in Nash County 1915-1917, and Smithfield Schools 1917-1921. Opening a law office in 1921, he was soon called back into the education field in 1922 when he accepted the position of School Superintendent for Johnston County, a post he held for 29 years. In the 1920s and 30s he was largely responsible for consolidating the county's 99 white schools into 17 large ones and 35 Negro schools into just six, a move that put rural schools on a more equal footing with those in towns.

Collection Description:  The collection contains items dating from Marrow's years in Chapel Hill (1912-1915) to his work on the state's public school laws following Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Two letterpress books (PC 2.1 and 2.2) containing letters and memos sent out from the Superintendent's office from 1924 to 1941, provide an excellent source for studying the school consolidation movement of the 1920s and the subsequent impacts of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Several county maps from the 1920s and 1940s are of local interest, particularly a circa 1921 map of the county's white schools and districts before consolidation (placed in Map Collection because of size). Also of local interest are the following pamphlets, booklets, and circulars: "A Select List of Public Speakers Who Offer their Services Free to the People of Johnston County" (1918); The Smithfield Schools: Annual Report of the Superintendent (1918); The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, Short Journey School (1951). The latest items are speeches dealing with the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and materials relating to Marrow's work on the state's public school law revisions (PC 2.3).

Container Contents:
PC 2.1 Books and Pamphlets Letterpress volume , 1924  to 1933
PC 2.2 Books and Pamphlets Letterpress volume , 1933  to 1941
PC 2.3 Clippings Clippings, c. 1907, 1925, 1928, 1947, 1948 , 1907  to 1948
PC 2.3 Records Administrative Records, Examinations , 1939  to 1940




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