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Rucker, Aiken, Mollison, Harper family papers

 Collection — Box: 1-53
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0089

Scope and contents

Rucker, Aiken, Mollison, Harper Family Papers cover the years between 1890 and 1992, with the bulk of the materials dated between 1950 and 1992. The collection consists of materials from each of the eight Rucker siblings. Many of the series include correspondence, legal, and financial documents as well as photographs. In some of the larger series, artwork, information about organizational memberships, medical information and materials from their respective careers are included.


  • Creation: 1890-1992
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930 - 1992


Biographical note

Henry Allan Rucker (1852-1924) was born a slave in Athens, Georgia. While attending Atlanta University, Rucker opened a barber shop in Atlanta. Later, after being appointed clerk in the office of internal revenue by President Grover Cleveland, Rucker sold the shop to work for the office of internal revenue. In 1896, he was appointed by President William McKinley to serve as Collector of Internal Revenue for the District of Georgia. In 1886, Henry Rucker married Annie E. Long (1865-1933) of Macon.

Annie Long was the daughter of Jefferson Long (1836-1901), the first African-American to be elected to Congress. Annie attended Scotia Seminary in North Carolina. She was a founding member of Radcliffe Memorial Presbyterian Church and a member of the Twelfth Club. The Ruckers had eight children: Elizabeth "Bessie," Henry Jr., Lucy, India "Neddie," Alice, Hazel, Ann L. and Jefferson.

"Bessie" Rucker Davis (1890-1931) attended Fisk University. In 1916 she married John W. Davis, who later served as president of West Virginia State College. They had two daughters, Constance "Dit" Davis Welch and Dorothy "Dot" Davis McDaniel.

Henry Allan Rucker, Jr. attended Atlanta University. He left his junior year for Chicago where he finished his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Northwestern. He practiced law in New York, before dying of meningitis.

Lucy Lorene Rucker Aiken(1893-1992) attended Atlanta University. She married Walter Henry “Chief” Aiken (1893-1965) in 1920. After living in Philadelphia, Lucy and Chief moved back to Atlanta where he started a real estate business, Faulkner and Aiken Real Estate. Lucy worked alongside her husband in the business until his death in 1965. At that time, Lucy continued to run the rental business but closed the construction and development portions of the business.

Walter Aiken attended Hampton Institute in Virginia. He was a veteran who worked for a time in the insurance business before getting into real estate. Aiken is responsible for designing the Waluhaje Apartments and the West Lake Court Apartments in Atlanta as well as developing several large subdivisions in the Atlanta Area. As a student, he played on a championship football team at Hampton Institute. He later coached football at Fisk University, Atlanta University and Clark University.

India "Neddie" Rucker Harper (1897-1992) studied at Atlanta University. She married Laurence Harper, Sr., a graduate of Atlanta University who served as Dean of Men at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. They had one son, Laurence Harper, Jr.

Alice Rucker Mollison (1901-1988) graduated from Atlanta University before marrying Irvin C. Mollison (1898-1962), a prominent Chicago lawyer who later became the first African American appointed to the United States Customs Court. Alice served as a supervisor in the welfare department while living in Chicago. In New York, she worked with several charities and also taught English as a second language at their church. When her husband passed in 1962, she returned to Atlanta and became involved in several literacy programs in the city, including one at the YMCA.

Irvin C. Mollison was a graduate of Oberlin College. He received his Juris Doctor from Chicago University and joined the Illinois bar in 1923. He served as treasurer for the Cook County Bar Association. He was appointed by the mayor of Chicago to serve as the Director of Chicago Public Library for a three year term and was the only African Americna serving on the Chicago Board of Education during his term in 1944. In the fall of 1945, he was the first African American appointed to serve on the United States Customs Court in New York.

Hazel E. Rucker (1899-1982) graduated from Atlanta University's normal school before attending Morehouse College for her bachelor's degree. She received her Masters from Atlanta University. Hazel taught at Crogman School in Atlanta until she retired.

Ann R. Anderson studied at Atlanta University and the Hampton Institute. She served as a librarian at Fisk University. She returned to Atlanta in 1932 when her marriage to a doctor from Meharry dissolved. In Atlanta she worked as a librarian at the Auburn Avenue branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library. She worked for Kentucky State College for a few years before moving to New York. She was then offered a position at Maryland State College until 1952, when W.H. Aiken convinced her to return to Atlanta and work for him.

Addie D. Long was a sister of Annie Long Rucker.

Jefferson Long (1836-1901) was born a slave in Crawford County, Georgia. He was elected to Congress in 1870 and became the first African American to serve as a representative from the state of Georgia. He served until 1871 and did not run for a second term. In 1880, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, then returned to Macon, Georgia where he resumed his business as a tailor until his death in 1901.


20 Linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into eleven series based on the creators (each of the Rucker siblings, Mrs. H.A. Rucker, her sister and her father). The series are arranged alphabetically by last name of the creator.

Rucker, Aiken, Mollison, Harper family papers, 1890-1992
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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