Inventory of the Francis L. Ross Coble Papers, 1900 - 1997

Winston-Salem State University

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Contact Information:

Winston-Salem State University Archives
C.G. O'Kelly Library
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27110

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Winston-Salem State University. Archives
Creator: Coble, Francis L. Ross, 1908-1998
Title: Francis L. Ross Coble Papers, 1900-1997
Language of Material: Material in English
Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Winston-Salem State University Archives.
Abstract: Francis L. Ross Coble (1908-1998) served as secretary to famed African-American educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown at Palmer Institute for three years before serving as registrar at Winston-Salem State University for 36 years (1938-1974).
The Coble Papers date from 1900 to 1997 and contain correspondence, printed materials, her thesis, and memorabilia that primarily document Coble's education and interests in Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Palmer Memorial Institute, and the Forsyth County Experiment in Self-Reliance.
Extent: c. 2.4 linear feet, 3 archival boxes
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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research

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Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. However, some material is in the public domain

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Francis L. Ross Coble Papers (MS 8), Winston-Salem State University Archives, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

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Acquisitions Information

Gift of Simona Atkins Allen, 1998.

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Processing Information

Processed by Cat S. McDowell, April 2005

Encoded by Cat S. McDowell, April 2005

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Biographical Note

Francis Louise Ross Coble was born in 1908 to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Henderson Wayman Ross in Washington Court House, Ohio. She attended the public schools of Denver, Colorado, and graduated from Denver High School in 1925. Coble received the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Colorado State Teachers College (now University of Northern Colorado.)

In 1930, Coble began work as secretary to the dean and registrar at Winston-Salem Teachers College (now WSSU). After two years, she left WSTC to pursue further education and a position as secretary to famous African-American educator Charlotte Hawkins Brown at the school Brown founded, Palmer Memorial Institute (Sedalia, N.C.) After three years at Palmer Institute, Coble returned to WSTC in 1938, where she was appointed registrar. She remained in that position for 36 years, until her retirement in 1974. However, she was invited to remain at WSSU to assist in the school's affirmative action implementation. She resigned from that position the following year. In 1983, she was honored with the title Professor Emerita, and in 1991 was named to the Centennial Commission. As a member of the commission's History Committee, Coble was instrumental in planning an exhibit and in writing a book celebrating WSSU's 100th anniversary.

Francis L. Ross Coble was married to Hoyt L. Coble. In addition to 40 years of service at WSSU, she was also active in the Wentz Memorial United Church (Winston-Salem), the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and the Forsyth County Experiment in Self-Reliance. Coble died on February 18, 1998

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Collection Overview

The Francis L. Ross Coble Papers document several of her interests and activities from junior high school in 1917 through Winston-Salem State University's commencement exercises in 1997, nine months before her death. Prominent subjects include Charlotte Hawkins Brown and the Palmer Institute, where Coble taught for three years. The collection also includes two reports from the Forsyth County Experiment in Self-Reliance organization, as well as materials related to a program honoring Christian women, "Our Heritage of Faith," that Coble participated in on several different occasions. Photocopies of old letters and other archival materials in this collection indicate that Coble was performing archival research, probably of a genealogical nature. Other materials in the Coble Papers include a copy of her master's thesis, correspondence and clippings related to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre dancer Liz Williams, and a brief document she prepared in 1992 as a part of the Centennial Celebration, containing anecdotes from her 40 years at WSSU. The Coble Papers also contain three certificates related to Coble's father A.H.W. Ross, dated 1900 and 1910. Textual materials in this collection are arranged alphabetically by subject, with memorabilia and oversize materials located in boxes 2 and 3.

Online Catalog Headings

Brown, Charlotte Hawkins, 1883-1961.
Coble, Francis L. Ross, 1908-1998.
Palmer Memorial Institute (Sedalia, N.C.).
Winston-Salem State University.
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Container List

Coble Papers
Box Folder Description
1 1 Awards - Alphi Phi Omega, 1974
2 Awards - WSSU Professor Emeritus, 1983
3 Charlotte Hawkins Brown Annual Dinner - programs, 1985-1986, 1993-1994
4 Charlotte Hawkins Brown Memorial State Historic Site - printed materials and correspondence, 1987, 1994
5 Charlotte Hawkins Brown, misc.
6 Experiment in Self-Reliance - survey/informational packet, n.d.
7 Experiment in Self-Reliance - report, c. 1964
8 "Our Heritage of Faith" program, 1946, 1960
9 Palmer Institute - catalogs, 1968
10 Palmer Institute - correspondence, 1985
11 Palmer Institute - photograph of baseball team, n.d.
12 Programs - WSSU events, 1997
13 Research - genealogy(?)
14 Research - genealogy(?)
15 Speech - Reminisces of WSSU (by F. Coble), 1992
16 Thesis - Basic Business Facts and Skills Everyone Should Know As Indicated By a Survey of Businessmen's Organizations (Colorado State University), 1930
17 Williams, Elizabeth Anne
18 Misc.

Box Folder Description
2 Caps, gown, and hood
Plaque - 40 years of service at WSSU

Educational documents and Oversize materials
Box Folder Description
3 The Forcean (Wilberforce University yearbook), 1938
Francis L. Ross (Coble) certificates and diplomas
promotion to Junior Department, 1917
Promotion from Junior Department, c. 1921
Denver High School diploma, 1925
Palmer Method of Business Penmanship certification, 1926
Gregg Shorthand certification, 1927
A. H. W. Ross certificates and diplomas
Admission to medical school, 1900
Bowersville (Ohio) High School Diploma, 1900
Grand United Order of Odd Fellows membership, 1910