Now that Mrs. Butler has retired from her library position at the age of 69 she plans to travel and to continue much of the church and community work in which she has always been engaged. Today she resides in Charleston in her home, on the corner of Bogard and Kracke Streets, directly across the street from the Dart Hall Branch. The sight of patrons, young and old, coming to the library is an inspiring one. Her lifelong friend, Mrs. Albertha Johnston Murray, lives nearby and a favorite pastime of these two is friendly reminiscence of the changes that have taken place in this Charleston community and the influence of the library on the entire Charleston county. In her home, Mrs. Butler has what she considers a valuable collection of photographs of family and friends. She has in her plans for the future a reorganization of these mementos in books designed for photographs.
Mrs. Butler’s interests outside her home and church have centered in the main upon various programs of civic organizations. A recent enthusiasm of hers has been the promotion of the Marion Birnie Wilkinson Home for Orphans at Cayce, South Carolina. This is one of the projects of the South Carolina Federation of Colored Women which, with the help of friends, donated $30,000 for the erection of this home. Mrs. Butler accompanies members of the Charleston Chapter of the Federation on frequent visits to the home in spite of the fact that it is located more than 100 miles from Charleston near Columbia, South Carolina. She has always liked to look up historical facts so her office as historian of the Women’s Federation affords her an excellent opportunity to continue her interest along this line. In 1959 the South Carolina Branch of the Federation will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Mrs. Butler is one of its few living early members and she is eagerly anticipating the approaching celebration.
With a great deal of enthusiasm, Mrs. Butler related her plans for organizing a group of Grey Ladies to serve the recently built McClelland-Banks Hospital for Negroes in Charleston which will be one of the projects of the Charleston County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Inasmuch as Mrs. Butler is the only Negro member of the board, the responsibility of leadership in this project will be hers. She is also intensely interested in seeing to it that libraries are established where they are needed in Charleston and in neighboring counties. This is evident by the fact that she is busily engaged now in assisting the leadership in starting a small library for Negroes in a community in Summerville, which is in Dorchester County, South Carolina. The population of this community is scattered but the interest of the people is high.
Whatever Mrs. Butler has done or plans to do monetary compensation has not been a factor of need or interest to her. Even on her regular job at the library her salary was always below a living wage. The annual salary for the branch librarian in 1945 as shown by the Ricketts’ Survey was $960. When she retired Mrs. Butler stated, that she had received several raises in pay since 1945. Her greatest compensaton for whatever she did was the satisfaction in knowing that she was lifting the educational, cultural and religious level of the youth of her community and state.
Mrs. Butler attributes much of her success and her continued interest in people to the contacts she had with her father. She is grateful for the assistance given her by her family and Mrs. Celia P. McGowan and the late Mrs. Samuel Stoney of the Medway Plantation, as well as community groups.
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Appendix | Bibliography
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