Carrie A. Tuggle has spent her entire life working with troubled and homeless black boys and girls. In 1903, she established The Tuggle Institute. The institute was founded with only $2.50 to provide a home and education to destitute children.
Tuggle was born in Eufaula, Alabama, on May 28, 1858. Her father was a Mohawk Indian chief and a former slave. In the early 1900s, she married John Tuggle, a native of Columbus, Ohio, and moved to Birmingham in search of better economic opportunities and a social life.
Tuggle held the position of Grand Worthy Councilor in Birmingham from 1891 to 1899. After her husband refused to run for the position of Supreme Worthy Councilor, she was appointed to it in 1901.
Between 1902 and 1910, Tuggle founded and edited the black newspaper Birmingham Truth. Tuggle pleaded before a court in her early career as a social worker to release two juvenile delinquents from prison, volunteering to take them under her care and reform them. Residents such as A. G. Gaston applauded the action, which inspired her to establish the Jefferson County Juvenile and Domestic Court.
Tuggle contributed significantly to the cause of women’s suffrage in Jefferson County, encouraging many other black women, including teachers, to register to vote. During this time, Tuggle also experienced major personal setbacks, including the death of one of her daughters, Mamie Adams, a prominent social activist. Tuggles’ health began to deteriorate as he continued to struggle to raise funds for the institute. She was bedridden for six months before dying in 1924. Following her death in 1926, the Tuggle Institute was absorbed into the Birmingham City Public Schools.