Columbus-Lowndes Public Library

Columbus, MS

The Local History Department was created in the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library (CLPL) in the 1970s and expanded upon in 1992 as a result of a donation from the Snowdoun Foundation. The Department is charged with the mission of documenting the history and culture of Columbus and Lowndes County. The CLPL digital collection contains selections from archival collections located in the Billups-Garth Archives within the Local History Department.

These materials are presented online for educational purposes only. Images may contain copyrighted material. Use of these materials on websites, in exhibits, or in publications requires the permission of Columbus-Lowndes Public Library and/or the legal copyright holder. The user bears full responsibility for securing any and all appropriate permissions. Please contact The Local History Department at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library for further information.

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CLPL Collections

Eugenia (Genie) R. Morgan Letters, 1889-1890. (MS 455)

Eugenia “Genie” R. Morgan was born April 13, 1873 in Columbus, Mississippi to John D. Morgan (1841-1905) and Mary Couch (1845-1924). Her paternal Aunt, Eugenia Morgan Moore (1838-1919), owned Camellia Place and taught dance lessons there. Genie attended Judson College in Marion, Alabama, but became sick in 1889 and could not return to college that year.

The bulk of this collections 79 letters were written during the 1889-1890 period while Genie recovered at home in Columbus. Genie primarily wrote to her second cousin, William Jemison Prowell Jr. (1872-1950) in Birmingham, Alabama. Many of the letters discuss the romantic relationship between Genie and Jemison. Genie also wrote from Asheville, North Carolina where she assisted her father in his recovery from an illness. A few letters were written from when she returned to Judson College that discuss events, students, and teachers. Genie Morgan died on December 30, 1894 when she was 21 years old and is buried in Friendship Cemetery in Columbus.

Lowndes County (Mississippi) Annuals Collection
Annunciation Catholic School Annuals
Caledonia High School Annuals
Columbus High School Annuals
East Lowndes Academy Annuals
Golden Triangle Vocational-Technical Center Annuals
Heritage Academy Annuals
Joe Cook Junior High School Annuals
Joe Cook Middle School Annuals
Robert E. Hunt Junior High School Annuals
Robert E. Hunt Middle School Annuals
Robert S. Caldwell Senior High School Annuals
Stephen D. Lee High School Annuals

Lowndes County Postcard Collection (MS 232)

This collection contains over 270 postcards of different businesses, schools, public buildings, homes, churches, events, and locations around Lowndes County, Mississippi. The postcards date from the 1890s to the 1990s. Both the front and the back of each postcard was scanned for inclusion in this digital collection.

Marion Stark Gaines Photograph Collection (MS 323)

Marion Viola Stark Gaines (1850-1942) is one of Mississippi's earliest published female photographers. Gaines was born in Columbus, Mississippi, but grew up in Mobile, Alabama. After marrying Captain Abner Strother Gaines in 1879, she moved to Peachwood Plantation in State Line, Mississippi. Her photographs capture the flora, fauna, and people of both State Line as well as Mobile. Many of her images are of her three children: George, Viola, and Edmond. She also captured local African Americans as well as Native Americans. Gaines not only exhibited her work, but also published several of her images in popular contemporary magazines such as Photo-Era and Ladies Home Journal. The collection includes over 300 of Gaines' prints and negatives dating from the 1890s-1910s in addition to family papers and photographs.

Wylie Coleman Banks Scrapbook, 1911-1913 (MS 435)

Wylie Coleman Banks was born in Eutaw, Alabama on December 29, 1896 to Willis Alston Banks (1857-1934) and Jennie Dunlap Banks (1867-1950), and the family later settled in Columbus, Mississippi. Throughout his life, Banks was educated at Franklin Academy, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Alabama. Banks also served as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and practiced law. On March 23, 1963, Banks died in DeLand, Florida and was buried in Friendship Cemetery, located in Columbus, Mississippi.

The bulk of this collection is a scrapbook that was created by Banks. This scrapbook contains photographs from Banks’s childhood, which includes images of his family, pets, and local community. Each photograph is accompanied by a short caption and/or date, and dates span from 1911 to 1913. In addition, fourteen loose photographs make up a portion of the collection. These photographs contain images of individuals, animals, dwellings, and automobiles among others.