Mary L. Beasley collection: 1930-1950
Summary Information
Title: Mary L. Beasley collection
Creator: Beasley, Mary L.
Inclusive dates: 1930-1950
Extent: 0.3 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize folder
Extent: 1 oversize volume
Detroit resident and president of Unit 7, Detroit Housewives' League. Collection includes scattered issues of Detroit-published African American newspapers and other publications and printed ephemera, a scrapbook with articles about African American business in Detroit, and two photographs.
Call number: 2014090 Aa 2 Ac
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Olga Virakhovskaya in December 2016.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Carol D. LaSalle (donor no. 11102) in May 2014 and October 2016.

Access Restrictions:

This collection is open without restriction.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Mary L. Beasley collection, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.


Mary L. Beasley (Mary Mattie Lou Beasley, née Green) was president of Unit 7, Detroit Housewives' League, a womemen's organization that supported Black-owned businesses and helped train Detroit's young African Americans for careers in business in the 1930s.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Collection contains Detroit-published printed material related to Detroit African American business, entrepreneurship, and religious life; Beasley's scrapbook with newspaper clippings about successful African American entrepreneurs, scholars, athletes, religious leaders, lawyers, and representatives of other professional and civil circles, as well as a clipping with Beasley's portrait and biographical sketch; and two photographs, including a signed portrait of Coleman A. Young.

Printed ephemera materials include the Detroit Housewives’ League programs of events held in honor or in commemoration of Rev. William H. Peck and in honor of Fannie B. Peck, dated between 1941 and 1950; a 1936 Negro Business on Parade program; and the Detroit-Tuskegee Alumni Home Dedication program dated 1945.

Newspaper titles include several scattered issues of “The Voice of Negro Business” dated between 1936 and 1941; and single issues of “The Independent Tribune” (May 5, 1934) and “Trade Week Guide” (November 18, 1942). Of note is a small collection of scattered 1931-1934 issues of “The Pythian Sister Tidings,” the official monthly of the Supreme Temple Pythian Sisters, edited by Laura L. Gillette of Ann Arbor, Mich.

The "miscellaneous publications" folder contains two items that were published outside of Michigan, one dedicated to an African American business in Illinois.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • African American business enterprises -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • African American business people -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • African American women -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • Women's resources.
  • African American newspapers -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • Newspapers.
  • Black-and-white photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Beasley, Mary L.
  • Gillette, Laura L.
  • Booker T. Washington Trade Association.
  • National Housewives' League of America.
  • Young, Coleman A.
  • Peck, William H.
  • Supreme Temple Order of Pythian Sisters.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Collected materials [series]
Box   1  
Photographs 1947, undated
Box   1  
The Pythian Sister Tidings 1931-1934 (scattered issues)
Box   1  
Miscellaneous publications circa 1930s, 1945
Oversize Folder   1  
Newspapers 1934-1942
Oversize Volume   1  
Scrapbook 1930s
Additional Descriptive Data
Related Materials

The Bentley Historical Library holds related materials in the National Housewives' League of America records, Order of Pythian Sisters, Huron-Arbor Temple no. 66 records, and Order of Pythian Sisters, Arbor Temple no. 80 records (call no. 85248 Bd 2).