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Ruth Franklin, 1906 - 2001

Ruth Franklin Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Ruth Franklin was in the first graduation class of the Frederick Street School, for blacks, in 1923. In 1927 she became the first local teacher hired at that school, which in 1941 became known as Carver High School.

Ruth Franklin was regarded by her supervisor at the Board of Education as one of the most outstanding teachers in Allegany County. Upon the complete integration of Allegany County public schools in 1959 Ruth Franklin relocated to Allegany High School until her retirement in 1966.

Her obituary from the Cumberland Times-News:

January 11, 2001

Miss Ruth Franklin, 95, residing at the Cumberland Nursing Home, departed this life on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2001, at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Born Jan. 3, 1906, in Cumberland, she was the daughter of the late John L. Franklin Sr. and Anna (Jackson) Franklin. She also was preceded in death by two brothers, George Hubert and John L. Franklin Jr.; and her only sister, Nellie F. Diggins. Miss Franklin was the product of many educators who preceded her in the Allegany County public schools. She attended elementary school at the Mechanic Street School. Quiet and reserved, Ruth grew to accept the challenge of the day. She graduated as valedictorian from Frederick Street High School in 1923. Frederick Street High School was later named the George Washington Carver School. Upon graduation from high school, Ruth was awarded a scholarship to attend Morgan College, now Morgan State University, in Baltimore. Ruth's scholarship was renewable every year provided she remained in the upper ten percent of her class. While attending Morgan, Miss Franklin joined the Gamma Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She was a member of the Pan Hellenic Council, the Young Women's Christian Association, and the El Progresso Social Club. She assisted other students with their studies as a member of the college tutorial system. Ruth maintained her scholarship and majored in English, mathematics and science.

She graduated with honors from Morgan College in 1927 and was certified by the Maryland State Department of Education in all three of her fields. The same year, Ruth was appointed to the English Department at Frederick Street High School by Mr. Webb, Superintendent of Allegany County Public Schools. Ruth kept abreast of changing times by engaging in advanced studies at Virginia State College in Petersburg, Va., and Columbia University in New York City.

Ruth Franklin spent 32 hard, dedicated, and fruitful years at Frederick Street and Carver High. In 1959, when the schools of Allegany County were completely integrated, she moved to Allegany High School. There she received the same respect and appreciation she enjoyed at Carver. She remained there until her retirement in 1966, a span of 39 years of public service.

After her retirement, Ruth was a volunteer at the Allegany County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She was a member of the Executive Board of Directors and was secretary to the Board for five years. She was active in the Service to Military Families and Veterans. She served on that committee and was secretary for part of the time. Aside from being the recipient of several Angels for consistent service, she was honored as Red Cross Volunteer of the Year in 1977 and 1978.

Ruth Franklin was a member of the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. In more recent years, she had been a silent but faithful member. She also was a member of the Allegany County Retired Teacher's Association, the Maryland Retired Teacher's Association, and the National Retired Teacher's Association. She is survived by a very special and devoted nephew, Spurgeon Washington, Baltimore; two sisters-in-law, Mabel Franklin, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Romaine Franklin, Cumberland; one niece, Marjorie Franklin, Pittsburgh; three nephews, John Franklin, Wheaton, Walter Franklin, Pittsburgh, and George Franklin, Cumberland; three great-nieces and two great-nephews.

Friends will be received at the Merritt-Adams Funeral Home, P.A., 404 Decatur St., Cumberland, on Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Services will be conducted at the funeral home on Monday at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Gary N. Curtis officiating. Interment will be in the Woodlawn Cemetery.


Text - Albert Feldstein, photograph - Ruhl Studios

The photograph comes from Allegewi , Allegany High School Yearbook. It was taken by Ruhl Studios and is used with permission.

The obituary ran in the Times-News January 11, 2002.


Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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