FLETCHER TERRY (FAMOUS), ADOLPHINE - Pulaski County, Arkansas | ADOLPHINE FLETCHER TERRY (FAMOUS) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos


Mount Holly Cemetery
Pulaski County,

03 November 1882 – 25 July 1976

Political Activist – Social Activist – Author

Adolphine Fletcher Terry was born in Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR, the eldest of three children born to John Gould Fletcher and Adolphine Krause Fletcher. Her brother, John Gould Fletcher, Jr., was a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet. When she was 15, her mother encouraged her to enroll in Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, where she graduated in 1902. Her education there and the influence of her schoolmates laid the foundation for her broad views on race relations. She married David Dickson Terry, an attorney and US Congressman, on July 7, 1910. As a recent college graduate, she co-founded a group to encourage women to attend college. This group became the Little Rock branch of the American Association of University Women. Through her activism and influence, she was instrumental in or directly responsible for the establishment of many programs that endure today such as: the juvenile court system in Arkansas; the free, statewide public library system; consolidated school districts; transportation for rural students; hiring professional school administrators; a school improvement association, the forerunner of the Parent Teachers Association; the Pulaski County, Arkansas tuberculosis association; the local Community Chest, the forerunner of the United Way of America; and, the Little Rock Housing Association to secure federal funds under the 1937 Housing Authority Act to combat slum housing. When Governor Orval Faubus activated the Arkansas National Guard in September 1957 for purposes of preventing black students from attending Central High School in Little Rock, Adolphine wrote: “For days, I walked about unable to concentrate on anything, except the fact that we had been disgraced by a group of poor whites and a portion of the lunatic fringe …. Where had the better class been while this was being concocted? Shame on us.” [Note: President Dwight D. Eisenhower immediately federalized the Arkansas National Guard and brought in federal troops from the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division to protect the black students.] Then, in September 1958 after passage of a ballot measure to close Little Rock’s four high schools as a means to avoid desegregation, she and two influential friends formed the Women’s Emergency Committee to Open our Schools (the WEC) that organized a group of white moderates to oppose the governor and demand that the schools be reopened. In May 1959 the WEC, black voters and others campaigned successfully to recall three school board members who were segregationists. The schools reopened in 1959. For her leadership during this racial integration struggle the Arkansas Times Newspaper named her as one of its “Arkansans of the Century.” Adolphine was a trustee of the Little Rock Public Library for more than 40 years. A branch of the Little Rock Public Library is named in her memory. She was active in historic preservation and the arts. The antebellum home, the Pike-Fletcher-Terry Mansion, where she and her siblings grew to maturity and her residence throughout most of her life, was bequeathed to the city of Little Rock. The home now houses the Arkansas Arts Center’s Decorative Arts Museum.

For additional information, see:
Mary Lindsey, 1938. Courage. [Mary Lindsey was a pseudonym used by Adolphine Fletcher Terry.]

Adolphine Fletcher Terry, 1967. Cordelia, A Member of the Household.

Adolphine Fletcher Terry, 1973. Charlotte Stephens, Little Rock’s First Black Teacher

References consulted:

Contributed on 6/3/08 by pvhwdh
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Record #: 26151

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Additional FLETCHER TERRY Surnames in MOUNT HOLLY Cemetery

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Submitted: 6/3/08 • Approved: 11/29/08 • Last Updated: 7/27/12 • R26151-G26150-S3

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