Portraits

Editor’s Note: The blog has been neglecting the task of announcing additions to our digital holdings (usually non-digitized items that have recently been scanned). The rest of this month’s blog posts will be dedicated to updating readers about collections that are now available to view online!

"The Wilkinson family." Call Number: PI/1994.0001 Number 12 (MDAH Collection)

"The Wilkinson family." Call Number: PI/1994.0001, No. 12 (MDAH Collection)

This collection consists of nineteen photographs, mostly turn-of-the-century portraits of young people and families. View the photographs via the Daisy Community Photograph Collection catalog record (PI/1994.0001). Click “Create set of down-linked records” to view the records for the digitized images.

"The Bride and Groom - Alvin and Eula Flurry waited upon them." Call Number: PI/1994.0001 Number 18 (MDAH Collection)

"The Bride and Groom - Alvin and Eula Flurry waited upon them." Call Number: PI/1994.0001, No. 18 (MDAH Collection)

 

This series explores the life of Dunbar Rowland (1864-1937), first director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. He served from 1902 to 1937. This post will be the last of the series.

We close this series with an entry by guest writer William F. Winter, governor of Mississippi 1980-84 and the former president of the MDAH board of trustees, who met Dunbar Rowland.

Dunbar Rowland’s portrait in the Hall of Fame, Senate Gallery, Old Capitol Museum (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

Dunbar Rowland’s portrait in the Hall of Fame, Senate Gallery, Old Capitol Museum (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

Among the pleasant memories of my boyhood was a meeting in November 1935 with Dr. Dunbar Rowland, who was then the Director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  I was visiting my father who was a member of the State Senate.

My father was a long-time friend of Dr. Rowland and thought that I should meet him.  His office was located on the first floor of the New Capitol.  The entire department consisted of only three people.

Dr. Rowland greeted my father and me most graciously and spent a generous amount of time discussing his work in the Department of which he had served as Director since its founding some thirty years before.

As we got up to leave, Dr. Rowland took from a shelf behind his desk a rather large book entitled Andrew Jackson’s Campagin Against the British written by Dr. Rowland’s wife, Eron Rowland.

He handed it to me but not before writing on its title page these words:

“To William F. Winter, with the best

wishes of his friend, Dunbar Rowland”.

I was just twelve years old, and to have Dr. Rowland refer to me as “his friend” impressed me very much.

That book has been a prized possession ever since.  The meeting with Dr. Rowland did much to inspire my life-long interest in history.

–William F. Winter

Tagged with:
 

Peter Whitman Rowland

On March 25, 2011, in Portraits, by Amanda
0

This series explores the life of Dunbar Rowland (1864-1937), first director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. He served from 1902 to 1937. Rowland’s siblings are the subject of this post.

Portrait of Dr. Peter W. Rowland hangs in the Rowland Medical Library, Verner S. Holmes Learning Resource Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Courtesy of the Rowland Medical Library.

Dr. Peter W. Rowland. Portrait hangs in the Rowland Medical Library, Verner S. Holmes Learning Resource Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Courtesy of the Rowland Medical Library.

Dunbar Rowland’s older brother Peter Whitman Rowland (1861-1943) followed in the footsteps of their father and entered the medical profession.1 He graduated from Memphis Hospital Medical College in 1882 and practiced in Coffeeville for fifteen years before moving to Oxford, where he was a professor at the newly created school of medicine at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Rowland was also one of the founding members of the university’s pharmacology department. He was president of the Mississippi Medical Association in 1894 and was appointed to the state board of health in 1900 by Governor Andrew Longino.

Peter married Eugenia Susan Herron in 1885 and had four children. His son, Peter Whitman Rowland, Jr., also became a physician, graduating from the University of Virginia Department of Medicine in 1919.2

Just as Dunbar Rowland left an enduring legacy at the state archives, Peter founded what would become the Rowland Medical Library at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC). Rowland toured the state asking for donations of materials and money. The library was named in his honor in 1939 and is today located on the campus of UMC in Jackson.3

Other Siblings

Of Dunbar Rowland’s other three brothers, Creed Walker Rowland (1852-1922) became an accountant and lived in Coffeeville, where he married Corinne Herron (sister of Peter’s wife Eugenia) in 1885 and had two children. Robert Walter Rowland (1855-1923) also became a physician and practiced in Oakland, Livingston, and Flora. He married Sarah Robinson in 1879 and had six children.4

The eldest brother was William Brewer Rowland, Jr., (1850-1881). On the 1870 census William’s occupation was listed as “Clerk in Store.” William died on October 13, 1881 in Senatobia. Newspaper notices published in the weeks preceding his death mention that he was ill with “malarial fever” and “congestion.” They also say that he was attended by his “three faithful brothers,” two of whom were physicians (of the four brothers, it was most likely that Dunbar was absent since he was only 17 at the time).5 Current research has revealed no further information on William or the circumstances of his death. Oddly, Mary Rowland, the mother of Dunbar Rowland and his siblings, was not buried next to her husband, but next to William Jr., who died prematurely at about thirty-one.6


1 Biographical information from “Rowland, Peter Whitman,” Subject File, MDAH.

2 “Deaths.” Journal of the American Medical Association 121, no. 10 (March 6, 1943): 780. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/121/10/780.full.pdf (accessed December 16, 2010).

3 “Deaths.” Journal of the American Medical Association 123, no. 10 (November 6, 1943): 651. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/123/10/651.full.pdf (accessed December 16, 2010).

4 Dunbar Rowland, ed., “Contemporary Biography,” vol. III of Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (1907; repr., Spartanburg, South Carolina: The Reprint Company, Publishers, 1976), 707-8, 730.

5 “Personal,” Tate County Observer, October 7, 1881, page 3 and “Local News,” Tate County Observer, October 14, 1881, page 5. MDAH roll number 20119.

6 Grave information from C. H. Spearman, arr., Yalobusha County, Mississippi Cemetery Records, vol. II “Eastern Yalobusha County” (Coffeeville, MS: The Yalobusha County Historical Society, 1980), 32, 53 (MDAH).

Tagged with:
 

Women in Mississippi

On March 22, 2011, in Paper Archives, Photographs, Portraits, by Amanda
0

March is Women’s History Month and we are recognizing Mississippi women here on the blog! Read on to find out more about some of Mississippi’s notable women and their records at MDAH.

Governor William F. Winter, Eudora Welty, Leontyne Price, and Mrs. William Winter at Governor Winter's inauguration in 1980. Call Number: PI/PER/1981.0024 Item 2 (MDAH Collection)

Governor William F. Winter, Eudora Welty, Leontyne Price, and Mrs. William Winter at Governor Winter's inauguration in 1980. Call Number: PI/PER/1981.0024 Item 2 (MDAH Collection)

Eudora Welty (1909-2001) was a major American writer who published novels (including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Optimist’s Daughter), short stories, a memoir, and photographs, and wrote all of her fiction in her family home at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson. She left her home and collection of books to the state of Mississippi and the home is now open to the public as the Eudora Welty House. The house was restored by MDAH to its mid-1980s appearance, the last period when Welty was still writing daily. Her papers are cataloged in the MDAH collection as the Welty (Eudora) Collection, Z/0301.000/S

Soprano Leontyne Price (1927-) was born in Laurel, Mississippi. As a young woman, she moved to New York City to study at Juilliard and there began a singing career that eventually won her eighteen Grammy awards. In 1955 Price was engaged to sing the lead for the National Broadcasting Company’s production of Puccini’s Tosca. There were strenuous objections, and some cancellations, from local affiliates; nonetheless, her performance was a critical success. By the mid 1960s, Price was considered one of the world’s great divas. Price retired from the opera stage at the Met in 1985 with her signature role, Aida. The live telecast was viewed by millions. There are many photographs, books, and subject files about Price in the MDAH collection.

Burnita Sheldon Matthews. Accession Number: 1993.14.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

Burnita Sheldon Matthews. Accession Number: 1993.14.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894-1988) was the first woman to be appointed and confirmed as a federal trial judge in the United States. Born in Copiah County, she received her law degree from the National University Law School in Washington, D. C., and was admitted to the bar in 1920. Unable to find a private firm or government agency that would hire a woman, Matthews opened her own practice. She became an ardent suffragist and feminist. In 1949 President Harry Truman appointed Matthews to the United States District Court in Washington, D. C., where she served until taking senior status in 1968. During this time Matthews served by designation on the United States Court of Appeals as well as on the U.S. District Court. She retired from the bench in September 1983 and died in 1988.

During her distinguished career Matthews presided over several noteworthy legal actions including the bribery trial of Jimmy Hoffa and the passport denial of singer and communist activist Paul Robeson. Her papers are cataloged in the MDAH collection as the “Matthews (Burnita Shelton) Papers,” Z/1965.000/S.

Charlotte Capers

Charlotte Capers

Charlotte Capers (1913-1996) was the first female head of a state agency in Mississippi. She began working at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1938 under director Dr. William D. McCain (1907-1993). When Dr. McCain was called to active military service from 1943-45 and 1951-53, Capers was acting director of MDAH. After McCain stepped down to become president of Mississippi Southern College, Capers became director, serving from 1955-69. Her major projects included the restoration of the Old Capitol from 1959-61, the construction of a new archives building (completed in 1971 and named the Charlotte Capers Building in 1983), and the restoration of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion from 1972-75. After resigning as department director Capers became Special Projects Assistant and continued working for MDAH, editing the Mississippi History Newsletter until 1987.  MDAH has many of her publications, including The Capers Papers, in the collection. Her papers are cataloged as Capers (Charlotte) Papers, Z/0958.001 and Capers (Charlotte) Scrapbook, Z/0958.000.

For more on Women’s History Month, check out these pieces from the blog-o-sphere:

Mrs. Dunbar (Eron) Rowland

On March 17, 2011, in Photographs, Portraits, by Amanda
0

This series explores the life of Dunbar Rowland (1864-1937), first director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. He served from 1902 to 1937. Rowland married Eron Moore Gregory on December 20, 1906.

Mrs Dunbar Rowland from <em>The Story of Jackson</em>, vol. II by William D. McCain, 1953. Call Number: 976.2511/St7  (MDAH Collection)

"Mrs. Dunbar Rowland," from The Story of Jackson, vol. 2 by William D. McCain. Call Number: 976.2511/St7 (MDAH Collection)1

Eron Opha Moore (1861/2-1951)2 was the daughter of Major Benjamin B. Bratton (c. 1815- unknown) and Ruth Stovall Rowland Moore (c. 1832-1889),3 who was the sister of Dunbar Rowland’s father. Eron, who went by the childhood nickname “Dixie,” was first married to Andrew E. Gregory (1849-1900) in 1885 in Monroe County. Gregory died in 1900 and according to one online source, was treated during his terminal illness by Dr. Peter Whitman Rowland (Eron’s cousin and Dunbar Rowland’s brother).4

The widowed Eron was employed as an assistant at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History on October 6, 1902. In his second annual report, Rowland said, “Mrs. Gregory has given faithful and efficient service for the past year, and I feel it my duty to say that her services are worth more than the amount paid her.” Her salary was $480, and in the report, Rowland asked the board to increase it to $700.5

Dunbar Rowland and Eron Gregory marriage license, Madison County, page 153, 1906 (MDAH roll #13558)

Dunbar Rowland and Eron Gregory marriage license, Madison County marriage book W, page 153, 1906 (MDAH roll #13558)

Dunbar Rowland married Eron on December 20, 1906, at the Flora home of his brother Dr. Robert Walter Rowland. The marriage was performed by Bishop Theodore DuBose Bratton, who later became a member of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History board of trustees. Of her marriage to Rowland it was said, “Their beautiful devotion to each other and steadfastness of purpose in their work have been a subject of comment among their friends and acquaintances.”6

Rowland-Gregory wedding notice in Daily Clarion Ledger, December 23, 1906, page 9. MDAH roll number 20488.

Rowland-Gregory wedding notice in Daily Clarion Ledger, December 23, 1906, page 9. MDAH roll number 20488.

Eron was educated in part by her father, who had been a professor of Latin and Greek.7 In her youth she contributed poems, stories, and sketches to area newspapers, foreshadowing her productive writing career later in life. After her marriage to Rowland she continued to write and assist him at MDAH.

Mrs. Rowland was extremely active in the community and many of her endeavors were related to the patriotic societies of which she was a part: the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Colonial Dames, and United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Her work with the UDC helped save the Old Capitol from being torn down in the 1910s. She wrote a history of the Natchez Trace and assisted the DAR in marking the roadway. She also chaired the committee that put the “grand central stairway” in the Governor’s Mansion in 1908 and supplied soldiers with books during World War I.8 In 1933, Eron received the honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee.

One writer said of her:

Personally, she is a woman of great charm. Of a happy temperament, with a winsome grace of manner and person, she is absorbed in her work, taking pleasure in her home and flowers.9

After Dunbar Rowland’s death on November 1, 1937, Eron served as acting director of the department until January 1, 1938, when Dr. William D. McCain (1907-1993) became director.10 She then retired to her home at 429 Mississippi Street and gathered their accumulated books and papers to start the “Rowland Historical Library,” where scholars were invited to conduct their research. At the time of her death in 1951 she was working on “The Story of Jackson,” a history of the city. Dr. McCain finished the project, using parts of Eron’s work. Her unfinished manuscript has been preserved in the MDAH holdings.11

Eron died on January 6, 1951.

Eron Rowland's grave at Cedarlawn Cemetary in Jackson

Eron Rowland's grave at Cedarlawn Cemetary in Jackson

Mrs. Rowland’s publications included:

Andrew Jackson’s Campaign Against the British, or The Mississippi Territory in the War of 1812. New York, NY: The Macmillan Co., 1926. MDAH call number 976.2/R79aa/1926.

History of Hinds County, Mississippi, 1821-1922. Jackson, Mississippi: Jones Printing, Co., 1922. MDAH call number 976.251/R79h.

Life, Letters and Papers of William Dunbar of Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland and Natchez, Mississippi: Pioneer Scientist of the Southern United States. Jackson, Mississippi: Press of the Mississippi Historical Society, 1930. MDAH call number B/D91L.

Varina Howell, Wife of Jefferson Davis, 2 vols. New York, NY: The Macmillan Co., 1927-1931. MDAH call number B/D291ros.


1 Full image citation: William D. McCain, “Biographical sketches of the builders of the capital of Mississippi” in The Story of Jackson, vol. 2 (Jackson, Mississippi: J.F. Hyer Publishing Co., 1953), 678. MDAH call number 976.2511/St7.

2 There is inconsistency among sources on Eron Rowland’s date of birth. Biographical sketches in the MDAH subject files list it as June 16, 1861, but her tombstone lists June 1, 1862. In her youth, the age listed in the federal census supports 1861 or 1862, while in her later years, it supports a date between 1865-1867.

3 Benjamin and Ruth Rowland Moore buried in Chickasaw County, see Cemeteries in Chickasaw and Surrounding Counties, 2 vols. (Houston, Mississippi: Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1992), vol. I, page 30 and vol. II, page 179 (MDAH). Benjamin’s tombstone listed no dates, just his status as a Confederate veteran.

4 http://www.gregoryfamily.com/chaptr6-165.htm#Andrew Eusebus Gregory (accessed December 17, 2010).

5 Dunbar Rowland, Second Annual Report of the Director of the Department of Archives and History of the State of Mississippi from October 1, 1902, to October 1, 1903 (Nashville, Tennessee: Press of Brandon Printing Company, 1904), 49.

6 “Rowland, Dunbar Biographical Sketches,” Subject File, MDAH.

7 Biographical information for Eron Rowland from “Rowland, Dunbar Death” Subject File, MDAH.

8 “Mrs. Dunbar Rowland” in “Rowland, Eron Opha 0-1939,” Subject File, MDAH.

9 Ibid.

10 “Dr. and Mrs. Dunbar Rowland” in “Rowland, Dunbar Death,” Subject File, MDAH.

11 The manuscript is in the “Rowland (Mrs. Dunbar) papers [manuscript]1908-1938″ collection, MDAH call number Z/0591.002/S.

Tagged with: