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Brodie S. Crump Family Papers

Identifier: MSS-654

Scope and Contents

The Brodie S. Crump family papers contain materials relating to both the Crump and Adams families, although there is little that predates the 1944 fire. The collection includes a significant group of correspondence, addressed to Lula Cain Crump from friends, to Brodie S. Crump from friends and readers, and to Brodie and Mary Adams Crump from the Adams family and others. The large collection of Brodie Crump’s columns covers his career and is an invaluable record of the people and events of Greenville. There are also photographs and photograph albums assembled by Mary Adams Crump which document her life and her family.

The collection is divided into six series. The first, William L. and Lula Cain Crump, is small, containing some correspondence to Lula Cain Crump between 1944 and 1955 and her yearbook from 1951/1952. A Bible given by Brodie S. Crump to his mother and a stock certificate owned by his father are also included.

Series two, Brodie S. Crump, is the largest, containing correspondence with friends and readers, including two folders of letters from Evelyn Fox, correspondence with Brodie Crump’s daughter and grandchildren, and one folder of correspondence from Fred Chaney, a patient at Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield. There are 29 folders of photocopies of Brodie Crump’s ‘Mostly Old Stuff’ and ‘Old Stuff’ columns between 1946 and 1980, although they are not complete and include some other materials such as such as ‘Delta Scene’ columns, editorials, death notices and other articles. In addition there is a daybook in which his activities are recorded between 1945 and 1950, some financial records and clippings about his theatrical activities, weather observations and writing. Among the miscellany is a civil war story written by Confederate Captain Thomas H. Dickson, and an oil painting and a caricature of Brodie Crump.

The third series, Brodie S. and Louise Eskrigge Crump, includes a small number of letters, a piece of writing about Louise Crump’s first flight in an airplane, some legal documents including Louise Crump’s book contracts and a folder pertaining to Richard Eskrigge which includes correspondence and vital records.

Series four, Brodie S. and Mary Adams Crump, contains a large group of letters to the Crumps from members of the Adams family and friends. There are also letters to Mary Adams Crump and two scrapbooks compiled by her which include letters, photographs, clippings and miscellany.

The fifth series, Publications, comprises copies of newspapers, including the Greenville Times from 1910, photocopied clippings, and some pamphlets and booklets relating to Morristown, Tennessee, Eskrigge genealogy, and a 1936 history of Napoleon Avenue Presbyterian Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. A program from the 1968 Mississippi Junior Miss Pageant won by Mary Adams Crump’s niece is also included.

Series six, Photographs, contains photographs and photograph albums, mostly compiled by Mary Adams Crump, covering the years 1947 to 1983 and focusing on herself and her family. A small number of photographs of Brodie S. Crump and his family are included.


  • 1906 - 1994
  • Majority of material found within 1947 - 1980


Access Restrictions

Open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions

Any requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from this collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian for Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Mississippi State University as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical Information

Brodie Strachan Crump was born in Morristown, Tennessee, on October 17, 1898, the only child of William Lewis Crump (1867-1944) and Lula Kenner Cain Crump (1872-1959). His parents were living in Helena, Arkansas, at the time but his mother had returned to her parents’ home for the birth. Brodie often spent his childhood vacations with his Cain grandparents. William Crump’s family moved from Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in the 1830s to Marshall County, Mississippi to plant cotton. His father was Brodie Strachan Crump (1833-1878), who graduated from the University of Mississippi before serving in the Civil War, rising to the rank of major. Brodie married Helen Louisa Edmondson (1842-1871) in 1864. He worked with his brother William (1836-1878) in the mercantile business, becoming cashier of the Holly Springs Savings and Insurance Company and the first president of the Bank of Holly Springs. Brodie, William, and another brother, Edward Hull Crump (1838-1878) died in the yellow fever epidemic of 1878. Edward was the father of Edward Hull Crump (1874-1954), the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, and U.S. congressman.

William and Lula Crump moved to Greenville, Mississippi, the year after Brodie was born. William was a cotton broker who became vice-president of the Greenville Compress Company established by planters and cotton men in 1918. He was involved in civic events, such as the Delta Fair in 1909, and local politics. He contested the first local postmaster election in 1913 but was best-known for his role as LeRoy Percy’s campaign manager in the races for the U.S. senate in 1910 and 1912 against James Vardaman. He was Senator Percy’s secretary in Washington in 1912 and remained close to the family after Percy’s defeat.

Brodie Crump attended Central School and Greenville High School. He enrolled at Mississippi A&M College in 1914 and graduated with a BS in 1917. He then obtained a BA from Cornell University in 1918 before joining the Marine Corps. Crump trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but the war ended before he could serve. After his return to Greenville, Crump joined his father’s small cotton buying business but had to clerk at a cotton compress for three years during the cotton slump of early twenties. He became a partner in the Crump Cotton Company with his father and around 1923 they bought the 50 acre Peacedale farm. Crump lived there with his parents and his first wife Mary Augusta Gee (1904-1992). A daughter, Mary Augusta Crump, was born in 1926. During the flood of 1927, which inundated the farm, Mary took their daughter back to live with her parents in Carrollton, Mississippi. Crump had little contact with his daughter after the marriage broke down. Mary married an Air Force officer, Samuel B. Adams, and it was not until the late 1950s that Crump re-established regular contact with Mary and her family.

In 1938 Crump married Louise Worthington Eskrigge (1903-1968), who had a son, Richard Eskrigge (1928-1995) from a previous marriage to William R. Smith. Louise had worked for the Delta Star newspaper since 1936 and then became woman’s editor for the Delta Democrat-Times established by Hodding Carter in 1938 until her retirement in 1965. Active in civic affairs, she founded the Greenville Junior Auxiliary in 1935, and was elected president of the national organization in 1941. She was also a supporter of local literary and drama organizations. Louise wrote two novels: Helen Templeton’s Daughter, 1952, and The Face of Fear, 1954.

The Crump family continued to live at Peacedale until their house burned down in 1944 when they moved back to town. By 1946 Crump had retired from the cotton business and was farming 250 acres. He had a small beef cattle herd but rented out much of the farm under the government cotton allotment scheme. He occasionally wrote Louise’s 'Delta Scene' column and in 1946 Carter offered him his own thrice-weekly column which Crump began writing in December. Originally called ‘Mostly Old Stuff’, later ‘Old Stuff’, the column focused on the activities of local people and related incidents both contemporary and historical about the town and Washington County until Crump’s retirement in 1980. Describing himself as an “old time southerner”, he held conservative ideas about politics and race which did not accord with those of Carter or his son. Crump won the Mississippi Press Association best original column award in 1956. He became an institution in Greenville, famous for driving his old truck around town reputedly at a top speed of 10 mph. He acted in local productions of the Twin City Theatre Guild and the Little Theater and had a small part in the 1956 movie ‘Baby Doll’ shot in Benoit, Mississippi. As a member of the Red Cross, he taught first aid classes to student nurses at King’s Daughters Hospital, and was a weather observer for many years. He loved dogs, playing the banjo, and was a proud Presbyterian.

Louise died in 1968 and the following year Crump married Mary Alice Adams (1929-1995). Mary was the daughter of teacher Everett Louis Adams and Ruth Riley Adams and had two sisters, Betty and Dorothy, and three brothers, Charles, William and Everett, Jr. She attended Kosciusko High School and trained at King’s Daughters Hospital Nursing School in Greenville and the Charity Hospital Nursing School in New Orleans, Louisiana, before qualifying as a registered nurse in 1950. Mary was living in Greenwood, Mississippi, when she married Crump and moved to Greenville. Crump sold most of his farm in the 1970s but continued to raise a few cattle on the land he retained until the end of the decade. On his 80th birthday the mayor of Greenville proclaimed ‘Brodie Crump Day’. He died on May 30, 1990, after being in declining health for some years.


Brodie S. Crump family papers

Brodie S. Crump Oral History, 2/26/1974. Interviewed by Dr Orley B. Caudill. Center for Oral History and Cultural History, University of Southern Mississippi.

Baker, Lewis. The Percys of Mississippi: Politics and Literature in the New South, 1983, pp. 41, 52-53.

Halloran, Mary Helen Griffin. A Mississippi Family: The Griffins of Magnolia Terrace, Griffins Refuge, 2009, pp.228-230.

Lloyd , James B. (ed.) Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967.

Nowell, Princella W. A Closer Look: A History and Guide to The Greenville Cemetery, 2004, pp. 16-17.


6 Cubic Feet (: 5 record cartons; 2 VMP boxes, 1 SVMP box, 1 SMO folder, 1 OS folder, 1 VMArt folder, Wr/Fr/Bd, OSN)

Language of Materials



Series 1. William L. and Lula Cain Crump - Boxes 1, 4

Series 2. Brodie S. Crump - Boxes 1-3, 5; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 43 Visual Materials: Art Box 1; Wrapped/Framed/Bound

Series 3. Brodie S. and Louise Eskrigge Crump - Box 3

Series 4. Brodie S. and Mary Adams Crump - Boxes 3-4; Small Oversize Manuscripts Box 43 Series 5. Publications - Box 4; Oversize Manuscripts Box 14; Oversize Newspapers

Series 6. Photographs - Small Visual Materials: Photographs Box 5; Visual Materials: Photographs Boxes 36-37

Related Archival Materials

Brodie S. Crump Oral History, 2/26/1974. Interviewed by Dr Orley B. Caudill. Center for Oral History and Cultural History, University of Southern Mississippi.

Brodie S. Crump Oral History (1927 flood), 12/3/1970. Interviewed by Henry Kline. Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Brodie S. Crump Oral History, 6/1/1977. Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Brodie S. Crump Oral History (Percy family), 10/22/1976. Interviewed by Lewis Baker. T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, Louisiana State University.

Separated Materials

The following, an extra copy of a booklet in the collection, was separated to Special Collections:

Bayless E. Hardin, Dr. Preston W. Brown 1775-1826: His Family and Descendants, 1945.

Processing Information

Clippings were copied and disposed of. The contents of twenty-seven scrapbooks of columns were copied and twenty-five scrapbooks (3.5 cubic feet) disposed of. The contents of two deteriorating scrapbooks were removed, after the pages were copied. The covers and empty pages of one were disposed of. Photographs in frames were unframed and two wooden frames were disposed of. The photographs in five magnetic albums were removed and placed in photograph series, and the albums (1 cubic foot) disposed of.

Brodie S. Crump Family Papers
Gerald Chaudron
March 30, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts Repository