From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Stewart, Traquelia T. Riley Wharton

(born: 1890  -  died: 1970) Traquelia T. Riley Wharton Stewart was a recognized teacher at the African American schools in Indianapolis, IN. The Traquelia Stewart Memorial Library in Attucks High School was named in her honor in 1961. Stewart was born in July of 1890 in Kentucky, the daughter of Dovie M. Turner Riley and Walter H. Riley. Her father was a teacher in Cincinnati, OH, in 1900 when the family of six lived on McMillan Street and shared their home with three boarders who were also teachers [source: U.S. Federal Census, name spelled "Traquellia"].

By 1920, the family had moved to Indianapolis where Walter H. Riley was a Methodist minister and Traquelia was a music teacher [source: U.S. Federal Census, name spelled "Traquellia"]. The family lived on Boulevard Place and shared their home with an aunt. Traquelia F. Riley was a graduate of the University of Illinois where she earned her A.M. degree (music) and her A.B. degree in English. She began teaching in Indianapolis in 1914 at School 64. She later taught at School 17 before moving to Attucks High School were she taught English for 35 years. During the summer breaks, she attended Northwestern University and earned a Master of Arts degree in English in 1932. Three years later, Traquelia Wharton and fellow teacher Maude Meriwether, sailed to Europe to study the school systems in eight countries.

Traquelia Stewart retired from the Indianapolis schools in 1958. Her brother Hurlbut T. Riley was a science teacher in the Indianapolis schools for 25 years. Herman M. Riley, twin brother to Hurlbut, was also an educator, he began teaching in 1924 and was principal at several African American schools in Indianapolis. Trequelia T. Riley Wharton was the wife of Rufus Mose Wharton from Pennsylvania, the marriage ended in divorce in 1939. She later married John F. Stewart [source: Polk's Indianapolis (Marion County, Ind.) City Directory, 1957, p.895].

For more see "Mrs. Traquelia R. Stewart's funeral rights Thursday," Indianapolis Recorder, 02/14/1970, p.1; see Traquelia Wharton in "Attucks chatter," Indianapolis Recorder, 09/24/1932, p.4; "Local teachers to study school system abroad," Indianapolis Recorder, 06/22/1935, p.5; "Hurlbut Riley, school teacher 25 years, buried," Indianapolis Recorder, 11/30/1946, pp.1-2; "H. M. Riley's funeral rites held Monday," Indianapolis Recorder, 03/31/1951, pp.1 & 3; and "Wharton case given hearing at Noblesville," Indianapolis Recorder, 11/04/1939, p.7.

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NKAA Source: Polk's Indianapolis (Marion County, Ind.) city directory (serial)
NKAA Source: The Indianapolis recorder (newspaper)

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“Stewart, Traquelia T. Riley Wharton,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-10-19 19:15:40