Mary Louise Carr Greer

Mary Carr

Mary Louise Carr Greer

The value of education has played an integral role in the history of the Carr family. Hugh Carr‘s eldest daughter, Mary Louise Carr would become in her lifetime a prominent local educator. Like her sisters and brother, Mary Carr attended the Union Ridge Graded School, a primary school established shortly after Emancipation which later became the Albemarle Training School after Union Ridge burned in 1893. The Carr children continued their education at Piedmont Industrial Institute in Charlottesville. Mary Carr taught school locally for several years before attending Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in Petersburg, Virginia, now known as Virginia State University. Upon returning from college, she joined the faculty at Albemarle Training School, located within sight of her home at River View Farm.

Following a program advocated by Booker T. Washington, the Albemarle Training School trained Black children in a trade such as “vocational agriculture,” “domestic science,” and “industrial education”, offering coursework through the ninth grade.

In December, 1913, she married Conly Greer, who took over the responsibilities of River View Farm, and who later became Albemarle County’s first Black agent of the Virginia Agricultural Extension Division. They had one child, Louise Evangeline, who also pursued and worked in higher education.

In 1931, after teaching domestic science at ATS for 15 years, Mary Carr Greer became its third principal and oversaw a period of both physical and academic expansion and growth.

During her tenure, she initiated a formal four-year high school curriculum and pushed for the merging of the Albemarle Training School with the Charlottesville-Albemarle school system. A year after her retirement in 1950, ATS merged with the newly opened Jackson P. Burley comprehensive high school in Charlottesville.

In 1979, Albemarle County memorialized her dedication to education with the opening of the Mary Carr Greer Elementary school on Lambs Road.

Mrs. Greer is buried in the family cemetery at the Ivy Creek Natural Area.