Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, 1923-1998, bulk 1970-1981

Summary
Collection ID:
ACMA.06-012
Creators:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard
Dates:
1923-1998
bulk 1970-1981
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2.32 linear feet
3 boxes
Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
The collection, which dates from 1923 to 1998 and measures 2.32 linear feet, documents the career of community activist, Ella B. Howard Pearis The papers are comprised of correspondence with and documents from community organizations, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, scrapbooks, and photographs.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This collection documents the activities of Ella B. Howard Pearis between 1923 and 1998. It contains materials related to Mrs. Pearis's work with local and national civic organizations. Included in the collection are awards, correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, and scrapbooks.
The papers are organized into five series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:
Series I: Biographical Series II: Civic Organizations Series III: Photographs Series IV: Scrapbooks Series V: Miscellaneous

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The papers are organized into five series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:
Series I: Biographical Series II: Civic Organizations Series III: Photographs Series IV: Scrapbooks Series V: Miscellaneous

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Ella B. Howard Pearis was born in 1905 in Washington, DC. She graduated from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High in 1923 and then went on to attend Miner Teachers College. For fifteen years she taught 1st and 2nd grade in Maryland and Virginia and later she worked fifteen years at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, from where she retired in 1956.
Mrs. Howard had deep roots in the Anacostia community; her great-grand parents moved to Anacostia in 1863. Macedonia Baptist Church was founded by her great-grandfather in 1866, and her great-grandfather's niece was one of the founders of St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867. Mrs. Pearis's house on Elvans Road was built by her grandfather in 1876. As a result of this history, Mrs. Pearis felt that it was her duty to be an advocate for and promoter of the Anacostia community. She volunteered her time to work with community groups and neighborhood civic associations. Her community work brought changes to Anacostia including getting new schools established and getting more public transportation in the area.
In 1974 she and other community activists founded the Anacostia Historical Society. The Society was established in partnership with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum's Center for Anacostia Studies. Mrs. Pearis said that the idea for the Society started when, "…a group of us started to get together one Saturday and bring any family heirlooms that you had. " From there the group began to work with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Together they developed the exhibit, "Anacostia Story," which opened at the Museum in March 1977.
In addition to her work with the Anacostia Historical Society, Mrs. Pearis served on the advisory board of the Anacostia--ongress Heights Red Cross Service Center. This center was a part of the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Red Cross. Later in her life, Mrs. Pearis remarked that physical limitations limited her ability to make it to all of the community functions. Yet she found others ways to contribute to her community.
Mrs. Ella B. Howard Pearis died on February 23, 1998 and her funeral service was held at St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church --the church founded by her family in 1867.

Administration
Processing Information note
Finding aid prepared by Vuanya T. Cyrus, 2009.
Author
Vuanya T. Cyrus

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Preferred Citation note
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Arcihval Materials note
Finding Aid to the Anacostia Historical Society located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Finding Aid to the Alice Bell Finlayson Papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Finding Aid to the Charles Qualls Papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
Finding aid

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papers Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
District of Columbia Art Association Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
D.C. Community Humanities Council Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pearis, Ella B. Howard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Red Cross Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
ACMArchives@si.edu