MSU Special Collections Library

Early photograph from ca 1902 Hinds County – Jackson Courthouse (courtesy of USGW archives)

I look forward to future opportunities to explore the forgotten back rooms, the storage closets, the musty basements, and the stale, dusty attics of courthouses across the Southeast.   Those are the places where valuable relics of the past will be found and resuscitated back to a new life.  But today, we at The American History Guild are excited that one of those treasure troves was unlocked this week allowing the study of the professional architectural processes of days past, as well as a detailed glimpse into the civic traditions of 100+ years ago.

1902 Hinds County - Jackson

This Neoclassical structure was designed by William S. Hull in 1902 but was demolished less than 30 years later. (courtesy MSU Special Collections)

We are proud The American History Guild could play a small role in the preservation of these documents by ‘footing the bill’ to have seven courthouse sets of original drawings scanned by Jackson Blueprint.  Now saved electronically for future research, reference and enjoyment are beautiful hand drawn artful construction drawings for these courthouse structures –

Alcorn County.  Corinth, Mississippi.  1918, N.W. Overstreet
Bolivar County.  Cleveland, Mississippi. 1922, N.W. Overstreet
Franklin County.  Meadville, Mississippi.  1921.Overstreet and Spencer Architects
Hinds County, Jackson, Mississippi. 1902, William S. Hull, Architect
Humphreys County.  Belzoni, Mississippi.  1921. Kramer and Lindsey
Pontotoc County. Pontotoc, Mississippi.  1915.  N.W. Overstreet.
Tunica County.  Tunica, Mississippi.  1920. Frank P. Gates Co., Architects

A special thanks to Mattie Abraham, Manuscripts Coordinator, Special Collections Department of Mississippi State University Libraries.  Her careful protection of these invaluable documents was pleasantly apparent as she personally showed them to me on campus, and then recently carried the fragile linen artwork to Jackson to be scanned.

Reminder, our first publication of Mississippi courthouse research is tentatively available this October 2012 as an E-book…perfect for those of us that call Mississippi “home” and want to learn more about our history…and our future!

Mr. D. Tracy Ward, Architect
Architectural Historian for The American History Guild
Mississippi Chairman for The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

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