Interview with Vera Bell Gary (Part 2) - August 4, 2023

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Interview with Vera Bell Gary (Part 2) - August 4, 2023


Vera Bell Gary talks about graduating Prairie View A & M University with a degree in Home Economics in 1946. She tells how blessed she felt that her first job was with Lincoln High School, an all-Black school in her hometown of La Marque Texas. She explains that it was an adjustment going from being a student peer to becoming their teacher. Gary discusses her classroom projects and taking students to state competitions at Prairie View A & M for their clothing designs. Gary worked both in a segregated and integrated school system and describes the difference and similarities between the two. She also talks about the adjustments students had to make during integration and believes there was a positive social attitude shift as time went on. Gary talks about being married, first to Emmet Willard Jr., a mortician by trade, and Mack Galvin Gary, Jr., a professor at College of the Mainland and that she was widowed by both. Gary is a second-generation decedent of freed slaves and shares her memories of both her maternal and paternal grandparents and the legacy of her family living in the 1867 Settlement. She also describes what it was like in La Marque/West Texas City in the aftermath of the 1947 Texas City Disaster and the effect it had on the students, schools, and community. Gary is a charter member of the Gamma Omega Omega Chapter of the AKA Sorority instituted in 1970, which serves La Marque, Texas City, Hitchcock, & Dickinson areas. In 2023 Mrs. Vera Bell Gary celebrated her 75th year as a member.







Oral History Item Type Metadata


Theresa Mayfield


Vera Bell Gary




“Interview with Vera Bell Gary (Part 2) - August 4, 2023,” The Oral History Archive at Moore Memorial Public Library, accessed May 21, 2024,