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Collection Title: Price (James Earl) Mississippi History Collection

Collection Number: M 397

Dates: 1943- 2000

Volume: .40 cubic feet

Provenance: Mr. James Earl Price

Donor: Donated by Mr. James Earl Price between 2000 and 2004

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:

James Earl Price was born on September 3, 1936, in Hinds County, Mississippi. When he was eight years old, Price’s family moved to a farm in Carpenter, Mississippi (a couple of miles down the road and across the county line), in Copiah County. Following his graduation from Utica High School in 1955, Price was employed as a Relief Train Order Operator and Depot Agent with the Central Illinois Railroad. At the time, steam engines were just being phased out and diesel engines were very popular. The Central Illinois Railroad parallels what is now Interstate 55. Much of Price’s employment with the railroad was at the Vicksburg office, although he had many temporary positions in other towns during this time. He was promoted to Train Dispatcher and worked this position from time to time on a temporary basis. He married his wife, Carol, at Hawkins United Methodist Church in 1964. After the Vicksburg railroad office closed in 1968, Price began working in the timber industry where he has remained to this day. Sadly, his wife died of lymphoma in 1994.

While rearing two children in the 1960s and ‘70s, he and his wife struggled with the many changes occurring within the United Methodist church. At the time he and many of the followers of the United Methodist church felt that the church may have lost its way. Many people split from the church at this point, but Price chose to stay and work for change within the church he had always loved.

Price is a Past Master (1983) of W. H. Stevens Lodge # 121 of the Free and Accepted Masons in Vicksburg. He also served his Lodge as treasurer for 20 years. He is also a Knights York Cross of Honor Mason and a member of the Red Cross of Constantine.

Price has been a member of Hawkins Methodist Church since 1966, and he researches various subjects of Mississippi history in his spare time. He served as chairman and vice-chairman of the Methodist Mississippi Conference Commission on Archives and History from 1996 to 2004. Price has served as president of the Mississippi Methodist Historical Society since 1997. He is also on the executive committee of the UMC Southeastern Jurisdiction Historical Society. In 2000, he was honored at the Annual Conference with the Tobias Gibson Award for his significant contributions to the preservation of Methodist history in the Mississippi Conference.

Sources:

contents of the collection

Scope and Content:

The James Earl Price Mississippi History Collection is comprised of diverse materials and subject matter. The collection is divided into six series, which are arranged by subject matter. :

  • Series 1: Alleged Slaughter at Camp Van Dorn
  • Series 2: History and Struggles of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi
  • Series 3: President Theodore Roosevelt’s Bear Hunt in Mississippi
  • Series 4: History and Records of Mississippi Lodge #56 of the Free and Accepted Masons, Rodney, MS
  • Series 5: Ku Klux Klan materials
  • Series 6: Miscellaneous Clippings and Personal Musings on Historic Events

Most series include correspondence, essays, and photocopied newspaper clippings. Some of the larger series contain interviews, newsletters, maps, photocopied texts, and internet print outs as well.

Related Collections:

Case (Carroll) Papers AM 99- 38
Civil Rights in the South M 406
Citizens Council Civil Rights Collection M 99
Methodist History Collection AM 90-15

Other Finding Aids:

Box and Folder List

Box and Folder List

Box 1  
Folder 1: Alleged Slaughter at Camp Van Dorn
 

essays, correspondence, interviews, website print outs, photocopied newspaper clippings, Ebay listings of memorabilia, data on 63rd, 99th, 254th Infantry Divisions, Honorable Discharge and Service Record of William P. Martzall, 4 Company Reports of the 63rd Infantry Division (Sept. 12, 13, 1943), review of The Slaughter: An American Atrocity, and photocopied texts:

-Chapter 4 of Battle Babies: The Story of the 99th Infantry Division in World War II
-pages 1-15 of The 63rd Infantry Division Chronicles June 1943- September 1945
-Chapter 1 of The Trail of the 254 Thru Blood and Fire
-Chapter 1 of With the 63rd Infantry Division in World War II
-Part I of The Slaughter: An American Atrocity
-pages 9-35 of “Dauntless”: A History of the 99th Infantry Division
-Camp Van Dorn Centerville, Mississippi 1942- 1947
-Chapter 12 of The Employment of Negro Troops

Folder 2: History and Struggles of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi
 

essays, correspondence, photocopied newspaper clippings, handout literature of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and photocopied texts:

-Report of the Commission on Religion and Race
-“Information Bulletin” of the Mississippi Association of Methodist Ministers and Laymen
-The Chairmen’s Final Report to the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America
-Southeastern Jurisdictional Historical Society Proceedings 1999
-Tents and Tabernacles: Methodist Camp Meetings in the Mississippi Conference 1804 – 1956

Folder 3: President Theodore Roosevelt’s Bear Hunt in Mississippi
  essays, correspondence, photocopied newspaper articles, speeches, map of the Delta and Homochitto National Forests, and a calendar page with a picture and description of a black bear
Folder 4: History and Records of Mississippi Lodge #56 of the Free and Accepted Masons, Rodney, MS
  timeline of Lodge #56, summaries of the records, deeds, and history of
Lodge #56
Folder 5: Ku Klux Klan materials
  4 page handout of the Ku Klux Klan, photocopied text of The Constitution of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of the Sovereign Realm of Mississippi [1964] and correspondence concerning the acquisition thereof
Folder 6: Miscellaneous Clippings and Personal Musings on Historic Events
  -research, essays, photocopied photo and newspaper clippings on Casey Jones
-correspondence and photocopied newspaper clippings on current racial issues in Mississippi (including the Raynard Johnson suicide)
-essay on Price’s personal memories concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
-essay on the 1960 Democratic Convention
-essay on Price’s family background


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Revised: October 13, 2004