[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 43 No. 7  |  July 2001

Gifts from Friends of MDAH

MacNeil Bequeathal
The Department has learned that the late Grace M. S. MacNeil bequeathed the sum of $10,000 to MDAH for use in maintaining historic sites and materials in the Natchez/Adams County area. Mrs. MacNeil was an outstanding steward of the state's cultural resources and was primarily responsible for the preservation of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, a National Historic Landmark property administered by MDAH. She also spearheaded the movement to acquire and preserve as part of the Natchez National Historical Park the William Johnson House and played a prominent role in organizing the Historic Natchez Foundation, that has done so much to preserve the beauty and the history of Natchez. "We were blessed in having had the opportunity to know Mrs. MacNeil," said Elbert R. Hilliard, MDAH director, "whose acts of cultural resource stewardship have been unsurpassed in our state's history. Mrs. MacNeil was truly a remarkable lady."

Pioneer Settlers Papers
A collection of eighteenth-century colonial documents and the nineteenth-century letters and documents of the Bouton and Gibson families, pioneer settlers in north Mississippi who resided in Tippah and Benton counties, has been donated to the Department by Emma Rogers of New Albany.

Suzie V. Powell Papers
The papers of Suzie V. Powell, Mississippi's first state home demonstration agent and a leader in the temperance and women's suffrage movements, have been presented to the Department by Katherine Hinds Smythe of Memphis. According to Ms. Smythe, Miss Powell employed Eudora Welty to work on the WPA Federal Writers Project.

Woman's College Diploma
A diploma presented to Victoria Elizabeth Walton on May 19, 1903, by the Woman's College at Oxford, Mississippi, has been donated by Van R. Burnham, M.D., of Clarksdale, a member of the MDAH Board of Trustees. According to WPA accounts, the Oxford Female College, founded in 1836, was rechartered in 1854 as the Union Female College, which closed in 1898 during the yellow fever epidemic and did not reopen. "About 1901 or 1902," the account states, "Dr. Malone and McIntosh bought the college form the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and established the Woman's College." In 1905 the Woman's College in turn became the University Training School for boys. With its three- or four-year history, the Woman's College probably issued few diplomas; we appreciate Dr. Burnham's rescuing this one from a garbage can.

Winterville Mounds Brochure Support
The Department is indebted to the Greenville/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau for contributing half of the cost of printing the Department's new promotional brochure for Winterville Mounds, the newest MDAH site. The Winterville brochure project was given high priority so that brochures would be ready for the Delta Council's annual meeting on May 24.

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Published by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History • Elbert R. Hilliard, director • Chrissy Wilson, editor
Please send correspondence to: MHN, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205 or email to pubinfo@mdah.state.ms.us