Millsaps College, opened in 1892, was established by the former Mississippi and North Mississippi Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for the education of young men. It became co-educational in 1899 and continues as a liberal arts college under the auspices of the United Methodist Church.
The Millsaps College Archives preserves the administrative records of the College and collects faculty, student and college publications and private papers. Most of the records of the early period of the College were destroyed in a fire which leveled the main building in 1914. The Archives contains few records prior to that time. In 1982 the library staff began collecting the college records which had been stored in the attic of Murrah Hall until its renovation and combining them with material already in the library. Organization of these records is still in progress. The College Archives holds a small collection of papers from Grenada and Whitworth Colleges, Methodist institutions which closed and transferred their students to Millsaps in 1938. The J.B. Cain Archives of Mississippi Methodism, which shares space with the Millsaps Archives, complements this collection since the two institutions share much history.
The Millsaps College Archives are open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the regular sessions of the College. The library provides reference service during those hours and personal visits are encouraged for the most effective research. The manuscript collections may be used only under the supervision of the College Archivist. Some private papers are available to the public only with specific, written permission of the author or his estate. Some faculty, student and clergy records remain confidential. Simple requests for information received by mail will receive prompt attention. Inventories and indexes for the collections have been, or are being prepared. Appointments are strongly recommended.
"Major Reuben Webster Millsaps (1833-1916), American layman and philanthropist, was born May 30, 1833, in Copiah County, Miss., a son of Reuben and Lavinia Clowers Millsaps. Young Reuben left his home at the age of seventeen, walked to Natchez, a distance of about sixty miles, where he took passage on a steamboat for Madison, Ind., to enter Hanover College. After two years at Hanover he transferred to DePauw University, from which he graduated in 1854. He went back to Mississippi and taught school for two years, saving every penny he made so he could go to Harvard Law School. After receiving his law degree at Harvard, he practiced law in Pine Bluff, Ark., from 1858 to the beginning of the Civil War. He saw extensive service in the Confederate Army and came out at the close of the conflict with the rank of major. After his discharge, he returned to south Mississippi and entered the business of cotton buying and transporting. From that he entered merchandising at Brookhaven. In 1880 he sold his business and went to St. Louis, Mo., where he established a wholesale grocery and cotton commission business. In 1885, he returned to Hazlehurst, Miss., and established the Merchants and Planters Bank, then moved to Jackson, Miss., in 1887 and became president of the Capitol State Bank.
In 1869 he married Mrs. Mary F. Younkin, daughter of Horace Bean, a wealthy banker of New Orleans. They had no children, but reared a niece whom they adopted.
Major Millsaps was a stalwart Methodist and a loyal churchman. He was a constant attendant at the business meetings of the church from the local Church Conference to the General Conference. No layman in Mississippi was more frequently elected a delegate to the General Conference than he.
His great work was in laying the foundation for Millsaps College with an initial gift of $50,000, in 1889. All told, he gave more than ten times that amount to the college which bears his name and took a prominent part in its first Board of Trustees. In addition, he gave the property on which the Mississippi Methodist Children's Home was located, and gave financial help to other educational and religious institutions.
He died on June 28, 1916, and was buried in a mausoleum on the campus of Millsaps
Lindsey, J.A. "Millsaps, Reuben Webster." Encyclopedia of World Methodism. Ed. Nolan B. Harmon. Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1974.
Board of Trustees
Office of the President
Office of the Dean
Business Manager and Comptroller's Office
Photographs, audio and video tapes of campus life and activities, and memorabilia from alumni are among the special collections of the Millsaps College Archives.
Interlibrary loan requests, when made through a public or private library or archive, for printed sources will be honored when possible. Photocopies of manuscript items will be made available for interlibrary loan if their condition and ownership permits such handling. The Millsaps-Wilson Library has photocopy facilities for public use.
The Millsaps College Archives welcome gifts of materials which supports it's mission. The Millsaps College Archives accepts materials and memorabilia generated by or related to College activities. The library is unable to provide evaluation of gifts for tax reporting purposes but will be happy to acknowledge accepted donations
There is no charge for reference service to persons who come to the Millsaps-Wilson Library to use the Archives collections.