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Verner family papers

Identifier: MSS-3741

Scope and Contents

The collection contains two scrapbooks created and maintained by Julia Oliver Verner and her daughter, Clara Verner. Julia Verner's scrapbook was given to her as a New Year's gift in 1888 by her husband, William Henry Verner, and is filled mainly with newspaper clippings of articles about family members; there are a number of obituaries and tribute columns. The scrapbook also serves as Julia's commonplace book with numerous poems and religious articles. Although Julia died in December 1922, her scrapbook has material in it well into the second half of the twentieth century, including her own obituary and tribute articles. Presumably, it was completed by one of her daughters, Clara or Mary.

Clara Verner's scrapbook contains the correspondence between Clara, W. B. Oliver, and other University of Alabama alumni relating to the 1936-1937 campaign to raise $500 to present a portrait of Amelia Gayle Gorgas to the University. It also contains many letters of thanks for a booklet about Mrs. Gorgas written by Clara that she sent to donors. Many of the letters are loose in the front of the scrapbook, but most are taped in.

There is also a folder of materials discussing the Verner Elementary School and the sale of the 10th Street property to the University. There is a badly faded article about the proposed UA residence hall to be built on the site of the Verner Elementary School. Two enhanced photocopies and a partial transcription of the article are includes as well.


  • 1888-1968


Biographical / Historical

The Verners were a prominent in the educational development of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Julia Oliver, daughter of Judge Isaac and Julia Murphy Oliver, was born on 23 February 1856 in Eutaw, Alabama. She met William Henry Verner when he moved to Pleasant Ridge, Alabama, to begin teaching. The couple married on 22 July 1875, and moved to Tuscaloosa in 1877 where Verner opened the Verner Military Institute, a school for boys. William and Julia had five children: (1) William H., Jr.; (2) Clara L.; (3) Mary B.; (4) James P.; and (5) John H. Julia Verner died in Tuscaloosa on 30 November 1922 after a lengthy illness. Daughter Clara, known throughout Tuscaloosa as Miss Clara, was principal of Tuscaloosa High School for many years. She lived with her sister, Mary, and younger brother, John, in the family home on 10th Street in Tuscaloosa, until her death on 25 July 1967.


1 Linear Feet (2 scrapbooks and 1 folder)

Language of Materials



Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings about this prominent Tuscaloosa, Alabama, family.


gift of the Tuscaloosa Public Library, 2013

Related Materials

Sarah Verner paper, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


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Processed by

Martha Bace, 2013



Guide to the Verner family papers
September 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266