Ethel Hyer Family Papers
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Ethel Hyer Family Papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Hyer family.
Creator: Hyer, Ethel, d. 1980.
Title: Ethel Hyer Family Papers
Dates: 1924-1980
Extent: 1.8 cubic feet (3 boxes, 1 folder)
Identification: MS 2117

Biographical/Historical Note

Sherman Hyer (b. July 3, 1899) married Ethel Thurman (d. 1980) of Floyd County, Georgia and the couple lived in Rome, Georgia. Ethel was a member of the Rome Public School Class of 1915. She had a sister, Pearl, who married Henry Morris (d. 1958), also of Rome. Ethel's obituary lists her parents as Mr. and Mrs. Ivison Thurman. Pearl's obituary lists her mother as Mrs. Mary Shropshire (d. May 30, 1958). Both Ethel and Pearl were long-time members of Thankful Baptist Church.

Ethel Hyer was the first woman to serve as president of the Rome Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a position she held for 15 years. She was a member of many religious, civic, and social organizations, including the Georgia Council of Human Relations and the Rose Garden Club. She was very active in the civil rights movement during the late 1950s and early 1960s. She was honored by the city of Rome for her community work on July 15, 1973 and given the key to the city. She died in November 1980 and was buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery in Rome.

Scope and Content Note

Most of the papers in this collection pertain to Ethel Hyer and her work as president of the Rome (Ga.) Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. during the 1960s. There are also some of Ethel's personal and financial papers and materials relating to other organizations with which she was involved. There is an obituary for Ethel and Sherman Hyer in folder 1 of Box 1. Box 2 contains a folder with a few papers relating to Mary Shropshire and Pearl Morris, including Pearl's obituary.

There is also a family Bible in this collection. The book is falling apart and the couple of pages in it that contain family information were placed in folder 3 of box 2. It is uncertain whether this bible belonged to the Hyer family or the Shropshire family.

This collection contains four black-and-white photographs. One is a picture of Ethel Hyer, probably from the 1960s or 1970s. Two of the others are images of unknown African American men, one from the late 19th century and one from about the 1930s. The final picture is of a woman and three men, all African Americans and all unidentified. It is probably also from the 1930s.

Index Terms

African Americans--Georgia.
Civil rights movements--Georgia--Rome.
Civil rights--Georgia.
Financial records.
Hyer family.
Hyer, Ethel, d. 1980.
Letters (correspondence)
Morris, Pearl, d. 1958.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Rome Branch (Rome, Ga.)
Rome (Ga.)--History.
Shropshire family.
Shropshire, Mary, 1887-1958.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Ethel Hyer family papers, MS 2117, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Minnie Mae Carter, 1981.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Separated Material

Artifacts were separated and cataloged with the Georgia Historical Society Artifacts Collection. View digital images of artifacts at the end of this collection inventory or search the Digital Image Catalog for further information.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

Ethel Hyer
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items



11Personal papers
2Other Organizations
3Church and Music Papers
4Correspondence from NAACP View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
5NAACP newsletters and flyers View online.
6Other materials relating to the NAACP View online.
7NAACP reports and manuals. View images: 1 | 2.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items



21 Crisis magazine, (not continuous-only 11 issues), April 1967- April 1969
2Papers of Mary Shropshire and Pearl Morris
3Family Bible pages
4Ethel Hyer, Financial Papers
5Guest book for the Black Co-ordinating Committee, dated April 16, 1972


3Family Bible


1Photographs. View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
A-2117-001 Key to the City of Rome, Georgia. View online.
A-2117-002 Trophy awarded to ”Ethel Hyer, NAACP Past President’s Award View online.
A-2117-003 Small unidentified cloth cover with crocheted lace edging View online.