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Collection Title: Hammond (Kelly James) Papers

Collection Number: M185

Dates: 1956-1962

Volume: 2 folders (1 oversize)

Provenance: Donated by Mrs. Kelly J. Hammond in December 1980.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Kelly James Hammond was born in 1901 in Marion County, Mississippi. He attended Mississippi Southern College, received a degree from the University of Mississippi and his law degree from Cumberland University in Tennessee. He was a lawyer, farmer, and merchant in Marion County. Serving in the Mississippi House of Representatives, 1928-1932, he was a member of the "Little Three", a group that fought for Governor Bilbo's programs against the ultra-conservative bloc. The last colorful exponent of the Bilbo school, he often sported a red tie, red hankerchief, and horseshoe diamond stickpin. Hammond ran for the governorship of Mississippi in 1951, placing sixth in a field of seven candidates. In 1956, he was elected senator from the 39th district, representing Walthall, Marion, and Jefferson Davis counties. In the Senate he was chairman of the Constitution Committee, vide-chairman of the Corporations Committee, and a member of the Highways, Insurance, Judiciary, Universities and Colleges, and State Library Committees.

He was in favor of segregation, liberalization of social security, reform of the Columbia Training School, and the Homestead Exemption benefit. He opposed a new Mississippi constitution and was successful in blocking Governor Coleman's attempts to call a constitutional convention in the late 1950's. He was also opposed to consolidation of public schools.

Hammond died in 1960 in a Louisiana hospital after an illness of several weeks. His wife, Otelia, served the remainder of his senatorial term and in 1962 was elected to the House of Representatives. Kelly J. Hammond was a memberof the Baptist Church, Farm Bureau, Disabled American Veterans, and Mississippi Bar Association.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of three memorial tributes, two papers (one by Mrs. Hammond arguing against compulsory unitization), various newspaper clippings dating 1956-1962, and two certificates. The clippings form the largest part of the collection. Several of the clippings are newspaper photos of Kelly J. Hammond and his wife. There are two untitled articles on Governor Coleman and his attempts to call a constitutional convention. The majority are articles covering Hammond's stand of the issues of the times. After his death, there were numerous memorials. Most of these clippings, which have been photocopies, were in poor condition; many were incomplete, including only page one, while others were ripped, rather than clipped, from the paper.

The two certificates issued by the State of Mississippi reflect Hammond's positions as Assistant Attorney General and State Senator.


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Revised: December 13, 2004