Mrs. Carrie A. Tuggle was born on May 28, 1858, in Eufaula, Alabama,
where she grew up and married John Tuggle. She was the mother of four children.
The Tuggles migrated to Birmingham around the turn of the century in search of
enhanced job and cultural opportunities.
Mrs. Tuggle was a person of unique strengths. She excelled in the areas
of education, social work, and religion.
As a citizen of Birmingham, she worked with delinquent boys and as a
welfare officer often appeared in court in their behalf. Following one
appearance in behalf of a ten year old boy, Mrs. Tuggle conceived the idea of
providing housing facilities for orphaned black children. At first, children
were taken into her home. After a great struggle and continuous effort to raise
funds for this project, she and her supporters opened a one-building school and
residence for homeless black boys on September 3, 1903.
As a result of inspiration from the same courtroom experience, Mrs.
Tuggle was instrumental in the formation of the Jefferson County Juvenile and
From its beginning, the orphanage and school rapidly grew. The children
called Mrs. Tuggle "Granny" and adults called her "Old Lady
Tuggle" with both terms used affectionately. Tuggle Institute won high
regard among the citizens of Birmingham. It contributed substantially to the
advancement of black people. Many outstanding Birmingham citizens graduated
from this Institute, including Dr. A. G. Gaston, John T. Whatley, and Ersking
In 1926, Tuggle Institute became affiliated with the Birmingham City
Public Schools. In 1934, the City Board of Education purchased the Institute
and named it Enon Ridge School. In 1936, the name was changed to Tuggle
Elementary School by the Board of Education. Inscribed on the memorial plaque
are these words: "Carrie A. Tuggle, a scholar, educator and servant of