Mrs. Alfaretta Ruth O’Ferrall Aubry (1878-1960), First President of the Marble Heart Club
The Marble Heart Social Club was founded in 1895 in New Orleans among ladies who were wives of colored men engaged in the medical profession. The club sponsored a gala party each year during the early Carnival season and as one would expect among society ladies, bridge was a perennial favorite on their agenda. The founding officers were Mrs. Alfaretta O’Ferrall Aubry, President; Mrs. Nellie Dejoie Palfrey, Secretary; and Mrs. Lena Toups Butler, Treasurer.
The Louisiana Weekly of 29 February 1936 reported on the gay affair the ladies arranged for Saint Valentine’s Evening of that year. The Colored Y.M.C.A. Building was arrayed in the colors of red and white with hearts of all sizes. In addition to the serving of sumptuous victuals, several rounds of bridge were enjoyed with prizes being won by Mrs. Marion Levy, Miss Mamie Watson, Mrs. Helen King, Mr. Jesse O. Richards, Mr. A. Cloud, and Dr. Clarence C. Haydel.
The members of the Marble Heart Club at the time were Mrs. L. McDonald, President; Mrs. L. Watkins, Vice-President; Mrs. L. Dright, Secretary; Mrs. M. Hernandez, Treasurer; Miss Nelle Geddes, Mrs. J. Perkins, Mrs. Benjamin Easter, Mrs. A. Rousseau, Mrs. M Davis, Mrs. L. Davis, Mrs. H. Blanchet, Mrs. Aristide Dejoie, Mrs. B. Huntley, Mrs. Emile LaBranche, Mrs. D. Jones, and Mrs. L. Wilson.
Pictured above is Mrs. Alfaretta Ruth O’Ferrall Aubry, who was the wife of Dr. Albert Joseph Aubry, M.D., and was the first president and principal organizer of the Marble Heart Social Club.
Mrs. Aubry was a native of Natchez, Mississippi, born to Richard O’Ferrall, the son of a local family of merchants, and Mrs. Mary Blanche Martis Johnston Gilmer. Mrs. Aubry moved to New Orleans at an early age, where her mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Johnston had migrated. She received her high school education at the old Southern University on Magazine Street and later entered New Orleans University from which she graduated on 25 May 1898.
She married Dr. Albert J. Aubry on 12 June 1900 at Saint Katherine’s Church, from which union came twelve children, five of whom lived to maturity. Dr. and Mrs. Aubry resided for a time in New Orleans and then Plaquemines Parish before settling in Algiers. They were among the founding members of All Saints Parish. Mrs. Aubry was a woman gifted with a skill for leadership. She served as National Secretary of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary for one year, prior to serving as Supreme Lady, an office she held honorably for twenty-four years from 1928 to 1952. She was an ardent worker and Past President of the Ladies of Progress and the Sacred Heart Society in Algiers. Mrs. Aubry departed this life on 9 November 1960 at the age of eighty-two years.
Source: The Louisiana Weekly, 29 February 1936, p. 3; Manuscript Biography of Mrs. Alfaretta Aubry (photocopy in possession of author).