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Lois P. Dowdle "Mrs. Cully" Cobb Papers

Identifier: MSS-48

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the life and career of Lois Pauline Dowdle (1889-1987), the wife of agricultural leader and publisher Cully A. Cobb.

Series 1, Personal, 1915-1987, includes documents, many photocopies, related to Mrs. Cobb’s travel, interest in ‘The Parsonage’ families and their careers, social events, and church involvement (including a religious poem written and autographed by General William Brougher), along with biographical and memorial materials. Among the correspondence is a letter from Mrs. Cobb to Mamie Eisenhower, encouraging her and her husband to join a church, along with the First Lady’s reply. This series also includes photocopies of a scrapbook related to the Cobb Institute of Archaeology at Mississippi State University.

Series 2, Professional, 1904-1976, documents Mrs. Cobb’s education and work with the American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils, Association of Southern Agricultural Workers, and Southern Ruralist, including some of her own publications.

Visual materials include a photograph of Mrs. Cobb sitting in front of her home, the Briar Patch.

Some documents in the collection appear to have been damaged by fire, possibly the one at the Cobbs’ home, the Briar Patch, but readability is not affected.

The collection is related closely to the Cobb Ruralist Press papers and the Cully A. Cobb papers. All three collections overlap in subject matter and in chronological period.


  • 1904 - 1987


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

Lois Pauline Dowdle was born in Rome, Georgia, on August 1, 1889, the daughter of Lovett (sometimes Lovic) Pierce and Ella Watkins Dowdle. Dowdle began her career as a teacher, eventually becoming Georgia’s 4-H State Girls’ Club agent. During the First World War she was appointed by Herbert Hoover to direct Food Production and Food Preservation for the Federal Food Administration in the state of Georgia. Following course work at Shorter College in 1904 and Cornell University in 1915, Dowdle earned her B.S. degree at the University of Georgia in 1920, part of the first class of women to attend that university. She went on to do some graduate work as well.

Dowdle was hired as the Home Department editor of the Southern Ruralist in 1927, a position she held until 1933. From 1932 to 1933, Dowdle served as the first and only female president of the Association of Southern Agricultural Workers. During this time, she also directed the American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils. While working for the Wesson Oil Company, she achieved the distinction of being the highest paid home economist in the country.

She married Cully Alton Cobb (1884-1975), director of the Cotton Division of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and future owner of the Ruralist Press, in 1934.

Mr. and Mrs. Cobb were ardent supporters of church work and biblical archaeology. They provided housing on their property at “The Parsonage” for theology students at Emory University, they traveled often in Europe and the Holy Land, they donated to Atlanta’s Druid Hills Baptist Church and other churches, and their patronage led to the establishment of Mississippi State University’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology in 1971.

Mrs. Cobb died on August 9, 1987 in Decatur, Georgia.


0.6 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Series 1. Personal, 1915-1987. - Boxes 1-2; Visual Materials: Photographs Box 41. Series 2. Professional, 1904-1976. - Box 2.

Related Materials

The following items have been digitized:

Report by Lois Dowdle Cobb, director of the American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils, about her activities promoting the use of margarine in 1934-1935.

"Good Living Our Goal," address of Lois P. Dowdle, President of Association of Southern Agricultural Workers, February 1, 1933, New Orleans, Louisiana.

"The Woman of Powe,r"commencement address by Lois P. Dowdle for alumni, faculty, and students at the Georgia State College of Agriculture, University of Georgia, Athens (Ga.). Fragment; final page(s) missing.

Pamphlet promoting margarine as a good food source.

Pamphlet about the Smith-Kleberg Bill (S. 3203 and H. R. 8050), published by the American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils. The purpose of the bill was to promote the use of margarine and remove some of the restrictions and tariffs on the product.

Program for the 34th annual convention of the Association of Southern Agricultural Workers, held at the Roosevelt hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 1-3, 1933.

Processing Information

The papers were placed in acid-free folders and the original folders disposed of. Extra photocopies and one extra pamphlet were disposed of.

Lois P. Dowdle "Mrs. Cully" Cobb Papers
Dee Baldwin
May 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts Repository