Adeline Wiseman was born on 31 October 1883 in Cotton Plant, Mississippi. After graduating from college in Mississippi, she a became a schoolteacher until her 1905 marriage to David W. McBryde. She returned to teaching in 1927 after her husband’s death. Two years later, she resigned to work for the Commission for the Blind, serving as its assistant executive secretary until 1938, when the commission was abolished and its work transferred to the State Department of Public Welfare. During these nine years she traveled across the state, teaching skills to blind Mississippians and encouraging them to feel that they had a right and opportunity to go forth and earn their livelihood. In 1932, when the appropriation for her work was cut from thirty thousand dollars to fifteen thousand dollars, she voluntarily cut her salary in half to seventy-five dollars per month. She also helped set up and maintain a school at Piney Woods.
In 1938 McBryde was appointed director of the Department of Public Welfare’s Division of Services for the Blind, a position she held until her retirement on 31 December 1953. Under her stewardship, the division grew, and in 1942 it established the Mississippi Industries for the Blind (1942). Near the end of her life, she created the Addie Wiseman McBryde Fund for the Needy Blind. She died on 23 October 1958.
A decade after her death, the Mississippi legislature created an adjustment center for blind persons at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. In 1970 the facility was named the Addie McBryde Memorial Rehabilitation Center for the Blind, and it began operating in May 1972. Over the ensuing half century, the center’s numerous clients have included Martha Wiseman, Addie McBryde’s youngest sister.
- Addie W. McBryde File, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
- Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services Facebook Page, www.facebook.com (23 March 2016)