Mississippi County Manuscript Collections

Mississippi County, named after the Mississippi River on its eastern border, was organized in 1845. The county seat is Charleston. These collections deal in some manner with Mississippi County, Missouri. This list is not comprehensive, so be sure to browse Manuscript Collections by subject.

*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.

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Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service Aerial Photographs, (P0335)
107.5 linear feet
Missouri county aerial photographs produced by the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service.

American Revolution Bicentennial, Missouri Committee for Agriculture, Papers, 1974-1976 (C4276)
1.2 cubic feet (42 folders), 1 audio tape
The papers of the committee contain correspondence, newsletters, reports, updates, events awards programs, lists of elected members, historical information on "Centennial Farms," and "Liberty Trees," meeting minutes, announcements, newspaper clippings, and audio-visual material for a slide presentation entitled "The Spirit of 76."

Athena Club, Charleston, Missouri, Records, 1941-1992, (R0666)
7 volumes
These are the records of the Athena Club, a women's club at Charleston in Mississippi County, Missouri. The records consist of minute books, 1953-1992; and scrapbooks, ca. 1941-1985.


Barnett, Mary Jane (1908-1997), Papers, 1913-1997, (CG0004)
2.2 cubic feet (24 folders), 1 film reel, 1 videocassette
The collection of Mary Jane Barnett contains correspondence, photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, business-related trade journal materials, a Narcotic Register, and miscellaneous papers for Mary Jane "Miss Jane" Barnett and her life and business partner, Elaine "Tommie" Davis.

Bird Family, Papers, 1831-1959, (R0170)
5 folders, photocopies
This collection includes miscellaneous correspondence, estate papers, land papers, business records, and biographical material pertaining to the Bird, Byrd, Moore, and Hunter families of southeastern Missouri. The papers concern business and estates in Mississippi, New Madrid, and Scott counties in Missouri, and the Bird estate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Bird's Warehouse, Ledger, 1830-1836, (R0269)
1 volume
This is an account ledger of a freight warehouse, steamboat landing, and general merchandise business operated by the Bird family at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The warehouse was located at Bird's Point, Mississippi County, Missouri, or at Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois. An index to the accounts is available.

Bootheel Project, Records, 1993-1997, (C3928)
3.2 linear feet, 161 audio cassettes, 9 records, 2 video cassettes
The records of the Bootheel Project document the art, culture and heritage of the Missouri Bootheel. The records include photographs, color slides, audio cassettes, transcripts, and video cassettes of interviews with Bootheel residents. Sound recordings, planning documents, field workers' notes, and miscellaneous items collected throughout the project are also included.

Bryant, E.E., “Early Times,” 1961, (C2719)
2 folders
The papers contain a personal reminiscence and historical anecdotes collected by author since 1895, dealing with Mississippi County and Charleston, Missouri.

Bryant, E.E., Photographs, (P0760)
14 photographs
Photographs of houses and churches in the rural and Charleston areas of Mississippi County.

Bryant, E.E., History of Anniston School and Community, (C2129)
1 folder
The collection contains a brief history of Anniston, MO, describing its founding, name changes from Shellys Ridge to Hainleys Switch to Anniston, businesses, schools, students, teachers, churches, roads, recreation, and occupations of residents. Also included are lyrics of the Anniston PTA song, Anniston school songs, and cheers.


Cooper, Allen Britten, (CG0033)
0.4 cubic foot (4 folders)
The Allen Britten Cooper Papers contain 527 sermon notes from 1934 to 1955. The majority have no year associated with them. Also included is a manuscript of Old Testament sermon notes transcribed by May Lawrence Cooper.


Dalton, T. J., Record Book, ca. 1863-1865, (R0323)
1 folder, photocopies, typescript
This is a Civil War memoranda book of Thomas J. Dalton, a resident of Mississippi County, Missouri, and non-commissioned officer of Co. E, 8th Missouri Cavalry (CSA). The miscellaneous entries include a roster of Co. E, notes on arms and accouterments issued to the company and matters of personal finance. An indexed typescript is available.

DeField, Ed, "Remembrance of World War II," 1996, (R0681)
1 folder, photocopies
This is a memoir of World War Two by a native of Mississippi County, Missouri. DeField was a member of the 397th Antiaircraft Battalion. He served in Wales, Normandy, France, Belgium, and Germany, and in the Allied occupation force.


East Prairie Lions Club, booklets and photographs, 1947-1996, (R0682)
2 folders, photocopies
These are program booklets for annual rodeos (1947 and 1948), minstrel shows (1952, 1955-1958, 1960-1962, with photographs), "Jubilee" (1973), and the 70th Anniversary (1996) of the Lions Club chapter in East Prairie, Mississippi County, Missouri.


Gravel Ridge Baptist Church, Charleston, Missouri, Records, 1925-1990, (R0609)
6 volumes
These are the record books of the Gravel Ridge Baptist Church at Charleston in Mississippi County, Missouri. The records consist of minutes of church business meetings, membership information, and financial records.

Guitar, Sarah (1892-1963), Collection, n.d., (C3391)
1.5 cubic feet, 5 card boxes
Card file compiled by Sarah Guitar, reference librarian of the State Historical Society of Missouri, as a guide to county boundaries of Missouri, 1812-1929; Missouri congressional district boundaries, 1845-1933; Missouri senatorial districts, 1820-1931; and Missouri judicial circuits, 1815-1915.


Henry, Mattie, Grammar Notebook, n.d., (R0191)
1 folder
This is a grammar notebook used by Mattie Henry to instruct grade school students at Charleston, Mississippi County, Missouri. The book includes rules and examples for English grammar and sentence diagramming. The book was edited by Benjamin Bird Moore and was published by the Mississippi County Historical Society in 1983.

Hopgood, Dr. James, Photographs, (P0152)
8 photographs
8- 35mm slide transparencies showing Mississippi River, migrant workers' housing near Belmont and Dorena, February 1970, and a black housing area in Charlestown


Ivie, W. J., A Message To The Homeseeker, Booklet, 1939, (R0679)
1 booklet, photocopies
This is a booklet published to promote economic development in southeastern Missouri. Sections are devoted to the communities of Sikeston, Charleston, Dexter, Malden, East Prairie, and New Madrid.


James, David A. (1937- ) Papers, 1790-2008, (C4126)
5 cubic feet
The research material of a hotel management instructor whose work resulted in the publication Historic Hotels of Missouri: Hotels, Inns, and Taverns of 19th Century Missouri.


Lee, Richard L. (1925-2011), County Courthouse Photographs, ca. 1955, (P0003)
210 photographs
The collection includes photographs of county courthouses for the state of Missouri, taken in the mid-twentieth century by Richard L. Lee.

Levee District No. 3, Mississippi County, Missouri, History, ca. 1923, (R0326)
1 folder, photocopies
This is a history of the levee district based in Mississippi County, Missouri, including a summary of levee construction prior to the flood of 1913 and improvements made after that date, with recommendations for future construction. The report was submitted to Little, Vardaman & Ditting of St. Louis, purchasers of the district's construction bonds.

Little River Valley Land Company, Booklet, ca. 1908, (R0946)
1 folder, photocopies
This is a promotional booklet for the Little River Valley Land Company, which marketed land made available by the drainage of the swamps in southeastern Missouri. A. L. Harty served as president and W. F. Smith served as secretary of the firm, which was based at Cape Girardeau in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

Long, J.H., Photographs, (P0554)
24 photographs
Photos by Long of boats, particular emphasis on steamboats. Images of the St. Louis waterfront, Tower Rock in Perry County, and levee (mattress) construction near Birds Point.


Mark Twain National Forest, Historical Photographs, ca. 1900-1985, (R0485)
These are photographs copied from holdings of the Mark Twain National Forest in Rolla, Missouri. Topics include National Forest facilities and projects; forest and wood industries; water mills; lakes, rivers, and springs; mines; dams; and the Civilian Conservation Corps and Youth Conservation Corps.

Millar Family, Papers, 1840-1899, (R0162)
2 folders, photocopies
These are miscellaneous papers of the Millar family of Mississippi County, Missouri. The collection includes a diary of a trip from Scioto County, Ohio, to Mississippi County in 1840, land and tax papers, slave papers, and receipts issued by the Missouri State Guard at New Madrid during the Civil War.

Mississippi County Teachers Association Records, (R1468)
0.01 cubic foot (1 folder)
The Mississippi County Teachers Association Records contain a program for the Mississippi County Teachers Association event held October 29, 30, and 31, 1903, at the courthouse in Charleston, Missouri.

Missouri Extension Homemakers Association, Inc., "Sacred Stones and Stained Glass Windows," Project, 1977-1980, (C3723)
7.1 cubic feet
Statewide documentation of local churches by county. Includes cultural arts reports, church histories, floor plans, architectural details, clippings, slides, photographs, and miscellany.

Missouri, Mississippi County, Act, 1845, (C1751)
1 folder
Act by the general assembly to provide for the organization of Mississippi County. Signed by C[laiborne] F[ox] Jackson, speaker of the house; James Young, president of the senate; and John C[ummins] Edwards, governor, 14 February 1845.

Mitchell, Ewing Young, Jr. (1873-1954), Papers, 1840-1949 (C1041)
0.4 linear feet
Papers of a Springfield, Missouri, lawyer active in Democratic Party politics, who served as assistant secretary of commerce in Franklin Roosevelt's first administration. Material concerns family affairs, law practice with emphasis on county indebtedness, Ozark land speculation, and Democratic politics on the state and national levels.

Morrow, Lynn, Papers, (R1000)
21 cubic feet (964 folders, 4 oversize)
The papers of Lynn Morrow contain correspondence and research papers, with an additional significant collection of late twentieth-century promotional and advertising items. The papers reflect major areas of Morrow’s research on the southwest Missouri region; Iron, Shannon, and Washington counties; Theodore Pease Russell and his writings; and the writings of Silas C. Turnbo. The collection also includes a large selection of promotional publications and ephemera associated with late 20th century tourism in Missouri and Arkansas.


Nelson, Alfred N., Letter, 1861, (R0311)
1 folder, photocopy
This is a letter written on 25 November 1861 by Alfred N. Nelson of Co. F, 10th Iowa Infantry, at Birds Point in Mississippi County, Missouri. Nelson mentioned camp sickness and operations in southeastern Missouri.


Papineau, Quintin, Photographs, (CG0034)
0.01 cubic foot (1 folder)
Thirty-five photographs of agricultural machinery harvesting cotton, rice, and potatoes. Also included in this collection are photographs of natural springs, steamboats, ferry, and buildings in southeast Missouri, Oregon County and Marion County, Missouri.

Perkins, Adam (1834-1891), Journal, 1861-1871, (R1335)
1 folder
The typescript copy of Adam Perkins' journal, a farmer from Bollinger County, Missouri, is dated from January 1861 through December 1871. The journal was discovered in 1990 in Plainfield, Illinois. It was then transcribed by Jean Scott of Orlando, Florida and sent to Lorena S. Eaker of Bollinger, Missouri for editing.

Presbytery of Missouri, Minutes, 1920-1943, (C1353)
0.2 linear feet
The records contain official copies of minutes of the Presbytery of Missouri. Minutes for 1920-1939 are bound; others are in pamphlet form.

Presbytery of Missouri Records, 1817-1920, (C1354)
1.4 linear feet, 6 oversize volumes
The records of the Presbytery of Missouri contain minutes, reports, and other records of an organization composed of ministers and representative elders of Presbyterian churches in Missouri. Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed. Volume 7 is available onsite. See also collection C1353.


Ramsay Place Names File 1928-1945, (C2366)
12 cubic feet
Card file of origins of Missouri place names, compiled by students of Robert L. Ramsay, University of Missouri professor of English.

Rodney Family, Papers, 1854-1874, (R1329)
0.1 cubic foot (1 folder)
These are mostly legal papers regarding the probate of various estates within the inter-related families of Rodney, Garrett, Ramsey, Walls, and Whitelaw of Cape Girardeau and Mississippi Counties, Missouri. There is also a postwar letter from J. M. Brown at Charleston, Missouri to William F. Rodney about establishing Rodney's loyalty to the Union during the Civil War.


Scott-Mississippi Girls Basketball Tournament, Program, 1936, (R0945)
1 folder
This is a program for the Scott-Mississippi Girls Basketball Tournament, which was held at Charleston High School in Mississippi County, Missouri, on 3-6 March 1936. Teams from Anniston, Charleston, and East Prairie in Mississippi County, and Benton, Blodgett, Chaffee, Diehlstadt, Fornfelt, Illmo, Morley, Oran, Sikeston, and Vanduser in Scott County participated.

Sewell, Betty "Kennedy (1930- ), Genealogical Collection, 1964-2016, (CG0011)
1.4 cubic feet (29 folders, 1 volume)
The collection contains genealogical research and materials, including family group sheets, correspondence, clippings, and photographs, of the Kennedy, Zook, Sheppard, Priest, Renfroe, Whitley, Gisler, Doughty, and affiliated families.

Shinn, George W., Papers (CG0015)
0.11 cubic feet (1 folder)
This collection contains Civil War correspondence from Private George Shinn to his family in Canton, Illinois. Shinn writes about camp life, picket duty, and friends he met while stationed in Cape Girardeau. Shinn enlisted in the Union Army in Company H of the 17th Illinois Infantry. This collection also contains a letter from Solomon Kittrell to his mother and friends. The Kittrell letter was purchased by the donor and included with Shinn letters. There is no known relationship between the two.

Smith, E. Herbert, Autobiography, 1954, (R0184)
1 folder, photocopies
This is a thirteen-page autobiography by a newspaper publisher and editor of southeastern Missouri. At one time or another during his sixty-year career, Smith was associated with the Benton Record, the Charleston Democrat and Enterprise, the Sikeston Star, and the Clarkton News.

Smith, Effie Mozelle, Photograph Collection, (P0761)
7 photographs
Seven photos of Mississippi County and SE Missouri, including images of Whiting Public School ca. 1910.

Smith, Fritz, Log Book, 1892-1900, (R0373)
1 folder, photocopies
This is a daily record of water levels on the Mississippi River at New Madrid, Missouri, 22 November 1892 -- 31 August 1900. There are also occasional notes on the weather, river conditions, and steamboats.

Smith, Nancy K., Postcard Collection, (P0029)
268 postcards
Postcards, all views of hospitals and clinics and some sanitariums across Missouri.

Snow, Thad Papers, (CG0027)
1.31 cubic feet (90 folders, 1 oversize box, 2 microfilm reels)
The Thad Snow Papers include writings, correspondence, scrapbooks, memorabilia and photographs. Snow was a prolific writer during his life. He is best remembered for his column, “Letters from the People” for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch beginning in the 1930s. The topics covered in this collection include politics, foreign affairs, farming, Snow’s family, economics and human nature.

Southeast Missouri Medical Society, Collection, 1877-1967, (CG0003)
0.5 cubic feet (7 folders)
The Southeast Missouri Medical Society Collection consists of miscellaneous records from physicians and hospitals in the southeast region of Missouri.

State of Missouri Collection, (P0018)
486 photographs
Over 400 original photos created for the 1904 publication on Missouri at the time of the World's Fair by Walter Williams; shows all aspects and counties in Missouri.


U.S. Selective Service System, Missouri, Records, 1917-1918, (C2681)
445 folders negative Photostats, 8.7 cubic feet
Lists of persons by county and district selective service boards whose cards were held by those boards. Arranged alphabetically by county.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, "Church Bibliography, Baptist Bodies of Missouri, Associational Minutes," 1941, (C1312)
1 volume
The collection contains a list of the various Baptist associations in Missouri and the dates for which their records are in existence.

U.S. Work Projects Administration, Historical Records Survey, Missouri, 1935-1942, (C3551)
302 linear feet; also available on 817 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, records, and working files. Originally designed to survey and inventory all county government records, the survey finally included inventories of church records, manuscript collections, vital statistics, American imprints, and federal archives. Incorporates records of the Federal Writers Project for Missouri.


Wallis, Anna Mae Armer, Papers, (CG0032)
0.4 cubic foot (2 folders)
Anna Mae Armer Wallis’s Charleston High School scrapbook from 1925 to 1932 and 1971 and “The Blue-Jay” yearbook from 1929.