Nominations are currently being sought for the 2011 class of the Mississippi Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors women and men who made noteworthy contributions to the state. Consideration for the Hall of Fame takes place only once every five years and any Mississippian—native or adopted—deceased at least five years may be nominated. The deadline for nominations is October 1, and elections will be held at a special meeting of the MDAH board of trustees in December. Click here for complete nomination guidelines.

This series recognizes members of the Hall of Fame, whose portraits hang in the Old Capitol Museum. Special thanks to Anna Todd, University of Southern Mississippi student and MDAH summer intern, for researching this post.

Garvin D. Shands, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession Number: 1978.117 (Museum Division Collection)

Garvin D. Shands, Hall of Fame portrait. Accession Number: 1978.117 (Museum Division Collection)

Garvin Dugas Shands (1844-1917) was a lawyer, Confederate veteran, and statesman. His parents were from South Carolina, but in 1868 the family moved to Mississippi where his father began a medical practice. Shands was attending Wofford College when the Civil War started and he joined the Confederate army. After the war, he moved to Panola County, and later Tate County, where he taught and read the law. He earned a law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1870 and opened a successful practice in Senatobia. He married Mary E. Roseborough and had five children. “Twin Oaks,” the home he built in Senatobia still stands today.

In 1876, he was elected to the state legislature and subsequently served for eight years as lieutenant governor during the administration of Governor Robert Lowery. He is perhaps most widely known for his tenure as professor and as the first dean of the School of Law at the University of Mississippi, serving from 1894 to 1906. He moved to New Orleans and was professor of law at Tulane University beginning in 1906. His portrait was presented to the Mississippi Hall of Fame in 1938 by his descendants.