The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Kirkland (J. Brackin) Papers
Collection Number: M15
Gathered together in this series are handwritten autobiographical
notes and reminiscences, biographical notes from publications, newspaper clippings,
and obituaries of J. Brackin and Eleanor George Kirkland, together with files
of clippings, ephemera, and occasional notes by Mrs. Kirkland on each of their
four children and the two grandchildren who grew up near them in Moselle, Mississippi.
SERIES II: CORRESPONDENCE
The Correspondence Series is the largest series of the Kirkland collection, comprising some 11 cubic feet of material. Most of this correspondence concerns personal and family affairs; it chronicles in great detail the private lives of four generations of an American family from the 1920's to the 1970's. The correspondence is divided into six subseries: 1) Correspondence of the immediate family, 2) Correspondence with Esther Brewster George, 3) Correspondence with the George family, 4) Correspondence with the Kirkland family, 5) Personal correspondence (letters from friends), and 6) Letters of sympathy. It should be noted that there is little professional correspondence in this series. J. Brackin Kirkland kept those letters with his other professional papers; they may be found in the appropriate professional series.
Correspondence of the Immediate Family
Correspondence of the immediate family consists chiefly of letters to J. Brackin and Eleanor George Kirkland from their adult children, chiefly 1950-1978. There are approximately four hundred of these letters; they concentrate on personal and domestic concerns such as early married life, births and education of their own children, family life and celebrations, illnesses, moves, and job changes, over a period of almost thirty years. Many of the letters were written by their spouses; also included are a number of letters by their children. The earliest of the letters from the Kirklands' grandchildren are Christmas thank-you notes written in childish script; the latest are from their teen and young adult years. The other correspondence in the immediate family subseries consists of a few letters by J. Brackin Kirkland, poetic Christmas greetings composed by the Kirklands, and carbons of approximately thirty typewritten general letters (1944-1950) sent by Mrs. Kirkland to family members. Mrs. Kirkland called these general letters "rounders." She sent copies to her mother, each of her children, and a few other close relatives; they are a rich source of family news, as Mrs. Kirkland summarized the doings of each member of the family for all the others. Some of those letters are three or four pages long, typed single-spaced.
Correspondence with Esther Brewster George
The largest subseries of correspondence is the second subseries, Correspondence with Esther Brewster George (Mrs. Kirkland's mother). This subseries consists of several thousand letters exchanged between Mrs. George (in Freeville, New York) and Eleanor George Kirkland and her children. The letters by Mrs. George, written semiweekly and sometimes daily over a period of forty years, are rich in news of the George family and the George Junior Republic. They are also full of comments on politics and current events reflecting Mrs. George's conservative Republican views; and her letters from the late 1950's chronicle the decline and death of her grandson Kenneth Urquhart from multiple sclerosis. Most of the letters are personal ones to Eleanor George Kirkland, but a good number are copies of typewritten "rounders" Mrs. George sent out to close relatives. These "rounders" often summarize news of the Kirklands as well as the Georges. Mrs. Kirkland also filed occasional letters from other relatives in Freeville, New York (particularly her sisters and nieces) into this file of letters from her mother.
The letters to Mrs. George from Mrs. Kirkland (comprising a separate file) are particularly detailed for the 1940's, when the Kirklands lived in Camp Hill, Alabama, and they contain family news as well as much news of the Southern Industrial Institute. The letters to Mrs. George from the Kirkland children (like those of their own children in the previous subseries) begin with childhood Christmas thank-you notes and extend into their young adulthood. Letters to Mrs. George from the Kirkland boys during and after World War II describe their military service in some detail. The most numerous are from the oldest, William George Kirkland, with descriptions of life as a ski trooper at the U.S. Army Ski Cantonment at Camp Hale, Colorado, and later as an equipment and transportation officer with the 1192nd Engineers in the South Pacific, chiefly at Noumea, New Caledonia (Box 15, Folders 5 to 7). Together, the letters written by the Kirkland children to their grandmother (this subseries) and parents (previous subseries) span their lives from childhood to middle age.
The Esther Brewster George subseries also includes a few letters to Mrs. George from other persons. Nine letters (1939) from Grace Jacoby (Box 15, Folder 15) describe the daily activities of the Kirkland children while she stayed with them during their parents' trip to California. It should also be noted that several early letters to J. Brackin Kirkland from Esther Brewster George are filed in the George Junior Republic series (Box 38, Folder 9); so too are a number of early letters (particularly from the 1920's) from Eleanor George Kirkland to Mrs. George (Box 38, Folders 11 and 12).
Boxes 5 to 12: Correspondence with Esther Brewster George
Box 13: Correspondence with Esther Brewster George
Box 14: Correspondence with Esther Brewster George
Box 15: Correspondence with Esther Brewster George
Correspondence with the George family
The third subseries, Correspondence with the George family, consists mainly of letters to Mrs. Kirkland from her sisters, Esther George Urquhart and Edith George Freeborn, as well as a number of nieces and cousins. The letters from Mrs. Kirkland's sisters contain both family and George Junior Republic news. Their husbands, Donald T. Urquhart and Malcolm J. Freeborn, were executive director and school principal, respectively, of the Republic over many decades. Mrs. Kirkland did not establish files for her sisters until her mother died in 1962; occasional earlier letters from them are interfiled among Mrs. George's letters. Like her mother, Edith George Freeborn was a conservative Republican; comments on Republican Party affairs in New York and the nation, politics in general, and the disturbances at Cornell University (1960's and 1970's) may be found in her letters. One letter of particular note in this subseries is a fourpage typewritten letter to the Kirklands dated February 29, 1968, from Mrs. Kirkland's cousin, C. Wesley Brewster, a Foreign Service Officer in Saigon, South Vietnam, describing in detail his experiences during the Vietcong Tet Offensive (Box 16, Folder 7).
Box 16: Correspondence with the George family
Box 17: Correspondence with the George family
Box 18: Correspondence with the George family
Correspondence with the Kirkland family
The Kirkland family subseries consists chiefly of letters to J. Brackin Kirkland from his parents, brothers and sisters (and their spouses), and nieces and nephews, with a few letters by Kirkland himself. There are also quite a few letters to Eleanor George Kirkland after her husband's death. Most letters relate to family affairs and are written from Mississippi; however, a good number come from El Paso, Texas, where two of Kirkland's brothers (Hascal and Burruss) and several children of one of his sisters (Lula Kirkland Shows) relocated. The Kirkland family letters are generally arranged by correspondent; however, J. Brackin Kirkland placed most letters about his parents (their homelife, health, final days, and estates) in the file with their own letters, no matter who the correspondent.
The earliest letter in the Kirkland family subseries is dated 1886; it is a typewritten transcript of a letter to Kirkland's father, Elijah Thomas Kirkland, from his uncle, Josiah Brackin, back in Alabama (Box 19, Folder 16). The original letter is also available at the McCain Library and Archives in the L. Clinton Kirkland papers (M244). A good portion of J. Brackin Kirkland's early correspondence with family members (particularly his brother Clayton) relates to his land investments in Jones County (1920's); these letters concern taxes, prospective land deals, and relations with tenants on the land. Letters from Kirkland's brother Hascal (a widower with two daughters in El Paso) chronicle his struggle with tuberculosis in the mid-1930's (Box 19, Folder 15). Hascal was probably the most introspective of the Kirkland brothers; his letters, as he knew he was dying, contain reflections on life, suffering, and death, as well as details of the progress of the disease, financial difficulties, and plans for his children.
The largest file in the Kirkland family subseries, consisting of several hundred letters, is the file of correspondence between Kirkland and his younger brother Clinton. Kirkland kept carbons of many of his letters to Clinton, so in this file both sides of the correspondence are represented. The earliest letters from Clinton are approximately thirty he wrote during World War I from Camp Dix (New Jersey), Camp Greene (Charlotte, North Carolina), and from France and Andernach, Germany. He served with the Medical Detachment of the 7th U.S. Infantry. Like his older brother, Clinton attended Cornell University, but he returned to farm in Mississippi. Many of his letters from the late 1920's until 1950 (when J. Brackin Kirkland himself returned) describe in some detail his farming activities and the state of agriculture in south Mississippi generally; they very often read like reports from an agricultural agent. Included in Clinton Kirkland's file are many letters transmitting family news written by his wife Betty, a cousin of Eleanor George Kirkland. Clinton Kirkland is also represented by a small manuscript collection (M244) in the McCain Library and Archives.
Box 19: Correspondence with the Kirkland family
Box 20: Correspondence with the Kirkland family
Box 21: Correspondence with the Kirkland family
The Personal correspondence files consist almost exclusively of letters to the Kirklands from old friends from their days at the George Junior Republic, Cornell University, Southern Industrial Institute, and the towns of Radburn, New Jersey and Camp Hill, Alabama. Also included are cards and letters from their children's in-laws. The original association of each correspondent with the Kirklands is indicated in the folder listing; Mrs. Kirkland also identified some of the correspondents in annotations on their letters. The largest single file (ca. 250 letters) came from Ellen and Marian Rawlinson, two elderly sisters who were friends of the George family. Residents of Brooklyn, New York, almost all of their lives, they relocated to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1965, to be near the Kirklands, their closest friends. Many of the letters from former teachers and citizens of the George Junior Republic contain reminiscences of their lives there. Several other correspondents were Alpha Phi sorority sisters of Mrs. Kirkland; other correspondence with them (chiefly letters by Mrs. Kirkland, rich in family information) may be found in the Cornell series (Box 36, Folders 1 to 6).
Box 22: Personal correspondence
A code appears after most names indicating the original association of the individual with the Kirklands. CHA denotes friends from Camp Hill, Alabama; CU, Cornell University; GJR, George Junior Republic and Freeville, New York; RNJ, Radburn, New Jersey; and R, friends and relatives of the Rawlinson sisters.
Box 23: Personal correspondence
Box 24: Personal correspondence
Box 25: Personal correspondence
Box 26: Personal correspondence
Letters of Sympathy
The last subseries in the Correspondence series is the file of Letters of sympathy received by Mrs. Kirkland on her husband's death in 1974. Many contain recollections of their associations with the Kirklands as well as assessments of his life and character. Most of the individuals in the personal correspondence subseries are also represented here by letters of sympathy, as are many of the George and Kirkland relatives. Also placed in this file is the Memorial book from Mr. Kirkland's memorial service.
Box 26: Letters of sympathy, 1974
Box 27: Letters of sympathy, 1974
SERIES III: FAMILY AND PERSONAL PAPERS
The Family and Personal Papers Series is divided into four subseries: Personal papers, Estate papers, Records of Holly Pine Farm and earlier land acquisitions, and Travel files.
The Personal papers subseries contains a variety of items of both J. Brackin and Eleanor George Kirkland. Perhaps most noteworthy are the speeches and debate notes Kirkland assembled into one notebook, chiefly from his student years at the Southern Industrial Institute and Cornell University (1911-1918). They reveal his youthful opinions on a number of issues of the day; topics include women's suffrage, problems of the South, lynching, prohibition, the tariff, capital punishment, yellow pine, and George Junior Republic. There are also two diaries (19271931) with very short entries, covering work with the Boys Clubs and at George Junior Republic; two address books, one of which contains several pages of transcribed stories and jokes Kirkland used to begin speeches; and a file of financial records, besides other items listed below. The Christmas card scrapbook contains cards received by the family, chiefly 1935-1937 in Radburn, New Jersey, as well as copies of those they sent. The photo album contains approximately 500 small snapshots (1912-1924) of persons and scenes in Mississippi and at the Southern Industrial Institute, Cornell University, and the George Junior Republic. The papers from Kirkland's clipboard and briefcase were found there at his death. A few items (chiefly letters) were replaced into the files from which he withdrew them;
a list of those items is kept in this series.
Box 27: Personal papers
Box 28: Personal papers
This subseries contains files on the estates of six individuals, including William R. and Esther Brewster George, Mrs. Kirkland's parents. John F. George was a relative of Mrs. Kirkland; the Gerrit S. Millers, father and son, were friends of the George family. Mrs. Kirkland was a beneficiary in the will of Gerritt S. Miller, Sr.; she was born Eleanor Miller George.
Miss Julia Lathers (d. 1935) was a wealthy New York heiress who was a longtime friend of the elder Georges and the Kirklands. J. Brackin Kirkland exercised power of attorney for her in her last months; as a consequence of his involvement he found himself the victim of a suit by Miss Lathers' estranged sister Ida. The story of the sisters' estrangement was published in the New York Herald Tribune; clippings are included. Among Ida Lathers contentions was that her sister owned a pecan grove (purchased through Kirkland) and that Kirkland was concealing it from the estate. There is correspondence regarding the suit in this file; Kirkland in fact had invested in some pecan trees for Julia Lathers, not in any land.
Biographical material on William R. and Esther Brewster George may be found in the George Junior Republic series, as can information on Gerrit S. Miller, Sr.
Box 29: Estate papers
During the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's, J. Brackin Kirkland bought and sold several tracts of land near Moselle, Mississippi, in the neighborhood of his childhood home. He intended to return home to take up farming after he earned his degree from Cornell in 1918, but he did not do so until he retired from the presidency of the Southern Industrial Institute in 1950. At that time he purchased land from his brother Clinton, land that he had owned once before. He named the farm he developed on that land Holly Pine Farm. In the early years he raised beef cattle; later he concentrated on growing pines. In 1970 he harvested 10,000 pine trees.
This subseries contains correspondence relating to Kirkland's various land transactions (1920's to 1940's) as well as records relating to the operation of Holly Pine Farm (1950's to 1970's). More correspondence regarding land deals and the management of Kirkland's lands before his return to Mississippi can be found in the correspondence with his brothers Clayton and Clinton, who looked after his properties while he was gone (Boxes 20 and 21).
Included in this subseries is correspondence (1924-1942) between Kirkland and Calvin Bender, a black man who both purchased and rented land from him and who occasionally worked for the family. Some of this correspondence is of a personal nature, although most relates to Bender's financial obligations to Kirkland. There are other references to Bender in the correspondence of Clinton Kirkland (Boxes 20 and 21). Bender's son Singleton Bender later became principal of the Piney Woods School in Mississippi, a black institution similar in purpose to the Southern Industrial Institute; more information on the family may be found in the Piney Woods School series (Box 51, Folder 12). Another file of correspondence (Brunson acreage) documents complicated negotiations in clearing up a question of title to eighty acres of land.
Kirkland sold timber from his land on several occasions, both before and after his return to Mississippi. Included in the Masonite Corporation file (concerning a possible timber sale) is a 1935 color catalog of Masonite products and their application in home design (Box 30, Folder 29). Now a nationally known firm, Masonite Corporation is a south Mississippi institution; Kirkland corresponded directly with Mr. Mason.
The records of Holly Pine Farm are not extensive, but they do include plans for the house and barn (which he designed), correspondence and receipts for timber sales, and other miscellaneous records.
Box 30: Records of Holly Pine Farm and earlier land acquisitions
Files on several major trips taken by the Kirklands, consisting chiefly of travel brochures, tourist information, and postcards, are preserved in this small subseries. Many of the items were annotated by Mrs. Kirkland. Further information on their 1938 Caribbean cruise may be found in the Boys Clubs of America series, William E. Hall correspondence (Box 41, Folder 9). Hall was president of the Boys Clubs and a close friend of the Kirklands; he booked the cruise for them. The Kirklands' friends Ellen and Marian Rawlinson accompanied them on the 1962 trip to New England and eastern Canada.
The Kirklands also undertook several fundraising trips for the Southern Industrial Institute during the 1940's. Records of those trips (chiefly of a financial nature, but also recording their itineraries) are found in the Southern Industrial Institute series (Box 48).
Box 31: Travel files
Box 32: Travel files
SERIES IV: CORNELL UNIVERSITY PAPERS
J. Brackin Kirkland entered Cornell University as a freshman in the fall of 1914 and was awarded the bachelor of science degree from the New York State College of Agriculture in May 1918. For the next two years he was enrolled in graduate work in agriculture and served as an instructor in farm practice. He left Cornell to become superintendent of the George Junior Republic in 1920, but returned to resume graduate studies in 1925. He was awarded the master of science degree in 1926. Kirkland held a variety of odd jobs to finance his undergraduate education, participated in numerous activities and organizations, and, in general, was a B and C student. He was active in alumni affairs until his death in 1974. From 1929 to 1930 he was president of the College of Agriculture's alumni association.
Eleanor George Kirkland was a member of the Class of 1920 Women, receiving a bachelor's degree in home economics. The four Kirkland children were also Cornell graduates, as was Kirkland's younger brother Clinton.
This series documents J. Brackin and Eleanor George Kirkland's associations with Cornell as both students and alumni. It is divided into four subseries: General material (Box 33), J. Brackin Kirkland alumni activities (Boxes 34 and 35), Eleanor George Kirkland alumni activities (Boxes 36 and 37), and University publications (Box 37).
The General material includes correspondence, reminiscences, academic records, subject files, clippings, and photos. Most of the correspondence relates to Cornell or Cornell associates. It includes letters relating to Kirkland's consideration for the positions of Cornell alumni secretary (1939) and counselor of students (1941), as well as letters of recommendation for admittance into the Air Corps (1918) and negotiations for a possible position at Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College (1920). Kirkland was most proud of a letter of recommendation written for him in 1917 by former Cornell president Andrew D. White; a transcript is kept in this subseries (Box 33, Folder 3). Also placed in this series is a copy of his masters thesis, "An Economic Survey of Receipt and Distribution of the Perishable Fruit and Vegetable Supplies of Binghamton," and subject files on student organizations to which he belonged. The reminiscences contained within this subseries were written for the journal Cornell Countryman in 1941 and relate to his student days at the university.
The subseries on J. Brackin Kirkland alumni activities is almost equally divided between material relating to his candidacy for Cornell's Board of Trustees and the affairs of the Class of 1918. Several positions on the Cornell Board of Trustees were elected by the alumni. Kirkland unsuccessfully sought election to the board in 1939 and 1941, and his friends waged active correspondence campaigns on his behalf. Included in this subseries are letters of endorsement,letters discussing campaign strategy, campaign material, and financial records. An extensive biographical summary was printed for the 1941 campaign; he used it as a resume for the rest of his life.
Mrs. Kirkland was also active in alumni affairs; her work is the subject of the third subseries. Included here are approximately 100 letters (19401978) she wrote to four fellow members of Alpha Phi sorority, Ruth Irish, Marian Irish Hodgkiss, Genevieve Krey Loomis, and Genevieve Sprague. They were "round robin" letters circulated to each of the former classmates; the original letters came back after making the circuit. The letters are rich in Kirkland family information, usually written at intervals of two or three months. Mrs. Kirkland also corresponded with each of the classmates on an individual basis; those letters may be found in Personal Correspondence (Boxes 22-25). Personal correspondence with other associates from the Kirkland's Cornell days may also be found there.
In 1941 Mrs. Kirkland served as a class representative for the Alumni Fund campaign. Placed in this subseries are correspondence, reports, and a manual from that campaign, as well as scattered material from other campaigns. The series of Cornell material concludes with various university publications and event programs the Kirklands collected over the years.
Box 33: Cornell University: General material, 1914-1967
Box 34: Cornell University: J. Brackin Kirkland alumni activities
Box 35: Cornell University: J. Brackin Kirkland alumni activities
Box 36: Cornell University: Eleanor G. Kirkland alumni activities
Box 37: Cornell University: Eleanor G. Kirkland alumni activities
Box 37: Cornell University: Publications
SERIES V: GEORGE JUNIOR REPUBLIC PAPERS
J. Brackin Kirkland worked twice at the George Junior Republic, the first time under the title of superintendent (1920-1925), the second time as executive director (1928-1931). In each instance he was the director of the institution, which included a school, farm, and several small industries as well as residential facilities for the citizen-students. The papers in this series, comprising correspondence, memos, reports, minutes, subject files, publications, clippings, and photos, document Kirkland's administrative work at the GJR, his relationship with the institution's founder, William R. George (his father-in-law), activities at the republic during his tenure and after, and his earliest associations with the George family during his courtship of Eleanor Miller George, later his wife.
The series is divided into three subseries: General material (Box 38), Records and Publications of the George Junior Republic (Box 39), and Subject files (Box 40). The General material subseries includes files of correspondence with specific individuals as well as a chronological file of correspondence, memos, reports, and other papers arranged by Kirkland himself. Within these files is considerable correspondence relating to Kirkland's acceptance of the appointments at the GJR in 1920 and 1927. The negotiations over powers and duties, particularly in 1927, were long and protracted, and that process is reflected in correspondence between Kirkland and the Board of Trustees (Box 38, Folders 2 and 4) and between Eleanor George Kirkland and her parents (Box 38, Folders 11 and 12). Correspondence in the general chronological file also reflects Kirkland's dissatisfaction that led to his resignation in 1931.
The file of correspondence with Esther Brewster George contains Mrs. George's personal letters to Kirkland before he married her daughter. Here also is the card introducing Mrs. George's niece, Elizabeth "Betty" Brewster, to Kirkland and his brother Clinton; Clinton later married her. Business correspondence between Kirkland and his mother-in-law is contained in the general chronological file; several thousand letters from Mrs. George to her daughter Eleanor George Kirkland may be found elsewhere in the collection (Boxes 5 to 12). The General material subseries also contains letters of reminiscence of life at the Republic from various individuals; more reminiscences may be found in the Personal correspondence elsewhere in the collection, particularly in the letters of Charles Dawson, Eddie Garimaldi, Bess E. Lancaster, and Betty LeRoy (Boxes 22 and 23). The General material subseries concludes with information regarding the large George Junior Republic and William R. George manuscript collection at the Cornell University Collection of Regional History and University Archives; this file includes a copy of its finding aid.
The subseries Records and publications of the George Junior Republic consists largely of J. Brackin Kirkland's copies of Board of Trustee minutes and copies of GJR publications the Kirklands collected over the years. The Subject files subseries includes writings of William R. George in typescript form, clippings about him and other Republic personalities, and material on junior republics in California and Pennsylvania as well as other GJR-related topics. The subject files on Gerrit S. Miller, a close friend and supporter of William R. George, include clippings and publications relating to his role in the founding of the Oneida Football Club of Boston (1862), the first organized football club in the United States, and also to his famous herds of dairy cattle. Material relating to Miller's estate may be found among the Estate papers elsewhere in the collection (Box 29, folder 11).
Box 38: George Junior Republic: General material
Box 39: George Junior Republic: Records and publications
Box 40: George Junior Republic: Subject files
SERIES VI: BOYS CLUBS OF AMERICA PAPER
This series documents J. Brackin Kirkland's two periods of service with the national office of the Boys Clubs of America, 1926-1928 and 1931-1941. During the first period of service he worked as director of divisions, chiefly as liaison between the national office and the organization's divisions around the country. His duties included extension, expansion, and fundraising work. Even after he returned to the George Junior Republic in February 1928, he remained under contract with the Boys Clubs and for a while devoted one week a month to Boys Club work. In February 1931 Kirkland returned full time to the Boys Clubs national office and served for ten years as its chief financial officer, responsible for fundraising and budgeting. His title changed occasionally to reflect accumulated seniority and added responsibilities; he worked lastly under the title of Associate Director, second in command in the office to the Executive Director. In 1940 he was offered the title of Acting Executive Director upon the resignation of the incumbent, but he declined it. He left Boys Club work abruptly in July 1941 after several months of conflict with the new Executive Director. The organization's president, his good friend William E. Hall, was forced to choose between them, and Kirkland was fired.
This series includes correspondence with Boys Clubs officers and supporters around the country both during Kirkland's Boys Club service and after. Along letter, never mailed, to Board Chairman Herbert Hoover outlines Kirkland's point of view of the differences that led to his firing (Box 41, Folder 13); correspondence with Boyd Hinds and Jack Harris documents the reestablishment of communications with the national office in the 1970's after thirty years of silence (Box 41, Folders 11 and 12). The subseries of memoranda, chiefly between Kirkland and other Boys Clubs officers, is rich in detail of Boys Clubs programs, national office operations, and organization politics. In 1939 Kirkland considered returning to Cornell University as its alumni secretary; he recorded points for and against that move, as well as grievances against the Boys Clubs at the time, in a memo to himself (Box 42, Folder 13).
As chief fundraiser, Kirkland solicited both the business community and charitable foundations for support; work on specific projects in those areas is documented in the subseries of Finance papers and Projects. Programs for the several fundraising dinners he organized are preserved in the Dinners subseries. Each program includes a lengthy list of Boys Club supporters in the city, a virtual "Who's Who" of its business and social leaders. There are also numerous publications from the Boys Clubs national office preserved here, many of which were prepared by Kirkland himself. Included are two presentation sketchbooks (plans and color drawings) of a model Boys Club facility illustrating the architecture and the activities within for potential Boys Club supporters (Box 45, Folders 1 and 2).
Personal correspondence with Thomas Dartnell and Edna Hunsicker, two associates from Kirkland's Boys Clubs work, is included elsewhere in the collection in the Personal correspondence subseries (Box 22 and 23). Correspondence regarding a visit of Boys Clubs executive director C.J. Atkinson to E1 Paso, Texas, in 1927 is included in the file of correspondence with his brother Hascal in the Kirkland family correspondence subseries (Box 19, Folder 14).
Box 41: Boys Clubs of America, Inc.
Box 42: Boys Clubs of America, Inc.
Box 43: Boys Clubs of America, Inc.
Box 44: Boys Clubs of America, Inc.
Box 45: Boys Clubs of America, Inc.
SERIES VII: SOUTHERN INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE PAPERS
In November 1941 J. Brackin Kirkland returned to his alma mater, the Southern Industrial Institute, to succeed Dr. Lyman Ward as its president. The papers in this series document, in the main, Kirkland's administrative, promotional, and fundraising work during his nine years as president of the coeducational, vocational and agricultural school. There is little in the way of curricular material or student records; however, the many school and student publications do provide much information on school life. Also preserved in this series are notes and texts for many talks and addresses; subjects range from Kirkland's philosophy of education to student guidance, morality, discipline, value of work, and the like. There are also some records, arranged year by year, for the summer camp he instituted at the school, together with material on buildings and grounds and a photo album. Many of the correspondents in this series are former students; other associates from the Kirklands' years at Camp Hill are represented in the Personal correspondence subseries elsewhere in the collection. The only significant file of student records included here is a set of student cards, 1941-1950, recording primarily student transgressions and punishments (Box 48, Folders 19 to 21).
Notable items in this series include a school history written in 1973 (Box 46, Folder 1); biographical items on Dr. Lyman Ward (Box 49, Folder 23); World War II letters from former students in the armed services (Box 47, Folder 4); and plans for the barn Kirkland built on campus, judged by many as the finest in Tallapoosa County (Box 49, Fodler 2). A photo of the barn was featured in an advertisement by United States Steel, also included here. This series also includes letters chronicling lengthy automobile trips taken by the Kirklands to call upon financial supporters, many of whom were old friends of Dr. Ward (Box 48). On one such trip to New York City some of their luggage, including a typewriter, was stolen from their car (Box 48, Folder 9). Speeches and debate notes from Kirkland's student days at the Southern Industrial Institute are filed in the Personal papers subseries elsewhere in the collection (Box 28, Folders 1 to 5).
With the improvement of public education in Alabama in the post-World War II era, the need for private vocational and agricultural schools such as the Southern Industrial Institute faded. During the 1950's, after Kirkland left, the trustees transformed the school into a military academy for boys only and renamed it the Lyman Ward Military Academy.
Box 46: Southern Industrial Institute
Box 47: Southern Industrial Institute
Box 48: Southern Industrial Institute
Box 49: Southern Industrial Institute
The files in this series, consisting chiefly of correspondence, newsletters, and
memorabilia, relate to a number of organizations and causes supported by J. Brackin
and Eleanor George Kirkland from the 1930's on. They include civic and fraternal
organizations such as the Camp Hill Kiwanis Club (Alabama) and First Radburn Citizens
Association (New Jersey), both of which Kirkland served as president, as well
as The Study Club, a women's club in Camp Hill, Alabama, to which Mrs. Kirkland
belonged. Documented also is Kirkland's membership on the Jones County (Mississippi)
Republican Executive Committee (1968-1972), his many years of service to the Burruss
Memorial Universalist Church in Ellisville, Mississippi, and his work as a director
of the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation. The only records pertaining
to employment in this series are those relating to the Lutheran Hospital Campaign
in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Kirkland was hired by a national fundraising firm (headed
by an acquaintance from his Boys Clubs-New York City days) to manage the local
end of a fundraising campaign for a new Vicksburg hospital in 1953. The campaign
was not successfully organized, however; Kirkland's frustration with those with
whom he was supposed to work in Vicksburg is quite evident in his letters back
to New York.
Notable items in this part of the collection include Kirkland's correspondence relating to the Watergate affair (Box 51, Folder 25); a lengthy file of correspondence with Rev. Leonard Prater, a Universalist clergyman once pastor of Burruss Memorial Church (Box 52, Folder 5); two circular letters from Unitarians for Political and Economic Liberty, a politically conservative group within a religiously liberal denomination (Box 52, Folder 18); correspondence with officers of the Ford Foundation (again, former New York acquaintances) on behalf of grant proposals for the University of Southern Mississippi (Box 53, Folder 13); and letters from him soliciting scholarships and donations for the University.
Kirkland's building and construction skills, evident in the records of Holly Pine Farm and in the Southern Industrial Institute papers, are also revealed in the Universalist Church files in this series; included are detailed specifications he drew up for the Burruss Memorial Church's renovation project, 1951-1953 (Box 52, Folders 12 to 15).
Box 51: Miscellaneous small series
The Study Club (Camp Hill, Alabama)Box 53: Miscellaneous small series
University of Southern Mississippi Foundation
Children and Grandchildren of J. Brackin Kirkland
J. Brackin Kirkland and Eleanor Miller George were married on April 20, 1921,at Sage Chapel, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
They had four children (all born in Ithaca, N.Y.) and nine grandchildren.
1. William George Kirkland (born May 20, 1922) married Shirley Rowan Dawson on June 14, 1952, in New York, N.Y.
a. Keith Brewster Kirkland (born November 30, 1955) married Jane Alison MacIntyre on December 20, 1980, in New Providence, N.J.2.Julia Tucker Kirkland, known as Judy (born April 21, 1924) married Joseph Leidy IV on December 29, 1950, in New York, N.Y.
a. Joseph Leidy V (born July 5, 1955)3. Joseph Brackin Kirkland, Jr. (born April 5, 1926) married Charlotte Johnson on February 27, 1953, in Dallas, Texas.
a. Joseph Brackin Kirkland III (born December 21, 1953) married Beverly Denise Howell on March 2, 1975, in Ellisville, Miss. Children: Cortney Amanda Kirkland, Joseph Brackin Kirkland IV, Taylor Lee Kirkland4.Richard Ide Kirkland (born September 24, 1927) married Alice Creel
on July 29, 1950, in Talladega, Alabama
a. Richard Ide Kirkland, Jr., known as Rik (born May 11, 1951) married Jo Ann Fulk in 1973; divorced. Married Virginia Gonzales on January 30, 1982, in New York, N.Y. Children of second marriage: Matthew Creel Kirkland
Brothers and Sisters of J. Brackin Kirkland and their families
J. Brackin Kirkland's parents, Elijah Thomas Kirkland and Samantha Ardelah Tucker, were married on January 3, 1878, in Jones County, Mississippi. Ten children were born to them; J. Brackin Kirkland was the ninth. All of the children, with the exception of daughters Delia and Hilda, were generally known by their middle names or a derivative thereof.
1.Sarah Vilula Kirkland, known as Lula (born 1878; died 1978) married John Franklin Shows in 1897
Myrtie Lenora Shows (born 1898) married Rev. Norman L. Roberts2.Delia Ardelah Kirkland (born 1880; died 1974) married Robert J. Stringer in 1897
Clayborn Stringer3.Lora Corine Kirkland, known as Rena (born 1881; died 1943) married William R. Jones in 1898
Irven Thomas Jones (married Annie Stennis, sister of U.S. Senator John C. Stennis)4. Bowen Travis Kirkland (born 1882; died 1884)
5.Charles Hascal Kirkland (born 1884; died 1937) married Alice Elizabeth Self in 1913; moved to E1 Paso, Texas
Anne Blythe Kirkland (married John Smith Faulk, Jr.)6.Hilda Eran Kirkland (born 1886; died 1921) married Buford T. Collins in 1904
Verlan Collins7.John Burruss Kirkland (born 1888; died 1934) married Jewel Lenora Smith known as Nora in 1922; moved to El Paso, Texas
John Thomas Kirkland (married Gerry ----)8.Lyonel Clayton Kirkland (born 1890; died 1964) married Mamie Meyer in 1917
L. Clayton Kirkland, Jr. (married ----) Peggy Kirkland (married ---- Sims)9.Joseph Brackin Kirkland (born 1892; died 1974) married Eleanor Miller George in 1921. SEE APPENDIX I
10. Luther Clinton Kirkland (born 1894; died 1979) married Elizabeth Brewster cousin of Eleanor Miller George) in 1923. They adopted two children and raised another.
Eleanor Jo Kirkland (born 1929) married Orrin S. Wanker in 1955
Sisters of Eleanor George Kirkland and their families
Eleanor George Kirkland's parents, William Reuben George and Esther Ide Brewster, were married on November 12, 1896,in New York, New York, and spent most of their lives at the George Junior Republic in Freeville, New York, an institution for youth founded by William R. "Daddy" George in 1895. They had three daughters.
1. Eleanor Miller George (born 1897; died 1983) married J. Brackin Kirkland on April 20, 1921. SEE APPENDIX I
2. Esther Arminqton George (born 1904) married Donald Theodore Urquhart on December 28, 1926.
Esther Carol Urquhart (born 1928) married Victor Powell in 19513. Edith Van Etten George, known as Edo (born 1908) married Malcolm Jonathan Freeborn on July 25, 1930. They had no children.
Cousins of Eleanor George Kirkland on her mother's side
1. Children of her uncle,George Tyson Brewster and his wives Jane Lavinia Burke and Laura M. Jackson
*Freeman Tyson Brewster (born 1894) married Hermine ----2.Son of her uncle, Charles Wesley Brewster (1880-1938) and his wifeElin Henrietta Fredin
*C. Wesley Brewster, Jr. (born 1910) married Esther Knickerbocker, 1932* Represented by a file of letters in George family correspondence subseries
** Represented by a file of letters in Kirkland family correspondence subseries
Cousins of Eleanor George Kirkland on her father's side
Eleanor George Kirkland's father, William Reuben "Daddy" George, was an only child, so she had no first cousins on her father's side. Several of her more distant George relatives, however, worked with her father at the George Junior Republic, including his first cousin, Edgar Fulkerson George, who died in 1936, three months before "Daddy" George himself.
Children of Edgar Fulkerson George (died 1936) and his wife, Alfhild Maria Axelina Johansson (died 1960)
*Edgar George (born 1896) married Maidell ----* Represented by a file of letters in George family correspondence subseries