FINDING AID

AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES

Guide to the Denson Family Papers, RG 514

Date Span: Date Span: 1861-1990

Volume: 5.5 cu. ft.

Biographical Sketch:

The Denson family has been prominent in east Alabama for well over a century. Members have been involved in the legal profession, academic affairs, and business and civic activities.Nimrod Davis Denson, Sr., and his sons, John Vernon Denson and Nimrod "Nim" Davis Denson, Jr., were prominent attorneys in Lafayette and Opelika, Alabama. Nimrod Denson, Sr., was judge of the Alabama 5th Circuit Court and an associate justice of the Alabama Supreme Court from 1904 to 1909. He married Carrie E. Vernon in 1883. John Vernon Denson and Nim Denson both attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute, later Auburn University, and the University of Alabama law school. Nim Denson married Annie Elizabeth Rush.

Scope/Content:

Family correspondence (1870-1978), including correspondence of N.D. Denson, Sr., Carrie Vernon Denson, John Vernon Denson, N.D. "Nim" Denson, Jr., Carrie Luphelia Denson Hine, and Mary Denson Sanford; correspondence (1902-1919) to and from John and Nim Denson while attending college and law school, and from their military service in World War I; business and political correspondence (1861-1929); Genealogical material on the Denson, Vernon, Ivey and Rush families; typescript of diaries (1863-1865) of James Daniel Hardy , who served in the 98th New York Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and later settled in Alabama; family photographs; postcards; clippings; and scrapbooks.

The collection is arranged by series starting with family and individual's materials and ending with materials from the other families.

Access:

Correspondence between Nimrod Davis Denson, Jr., and Annie Elizabeth Rush (married 1920) shall be open only to their children: Elizabeth D. Lipscomb, Nimrod Davis Denson III, Caroline D. Channon, and John V. Denson. After the death of the children, this correspondence will be open to the public. Elizabeth D. Lipscomb and John V. Denson retain the option of borrowing materials from the Denson papers for limited periods of time.

SERIES I: Family Background

Folder Lists:

BOX 1

  1. Denson Family Records
  2. Denson Genealogy -- Records from Family Bible
  3. Newspaper Clippings about Denson Family
  4. Ivey Family History
  5. Vernon Family Correspondence

SERIES II: Denson Family

  1. Denson Family Correspondence, 1895-1929
  2. Denson Family Correspondence Relating to Genealogy, 1917-39
  3. Certificates of Registration, Poll Tax Receipts, 1920-21

SERIES III: Nimrod D. Denson, Sr.

A. Family and Friends:

  1. Correspondence, Family -- 1890-1915
  2. Correspondence, Friends
  3. Book of Poems, "Reflections," collected by Virginia Clarke (1914). Presented to Mr. and Mrs. N.D. Denson, Sr, by Frank W. Barnett

B. Legal:

  1. Correspondence, Legal
  2. Legal Papers
  3. Ledger Book (oversized), 1881-86
  4. Docket and Brief Books for Randolph County, 1891
  5. Court Briefs, 1876-90
  6. Nimrod D. Denson, Sr.'s Article, "Evils of Mob Law," Montgomery Advertiser, October 30, 1898
  7. Newspaper Accounts of Nimrod D. Denson, Sr.'s 1904 Election to Alabama Supreme Court

C. Political:

  1. Correspondence, Political
  2. News Article, "Denson and White are Mentioned for Governor," Montgomery Times, March 6, 1918
  3. Campaign Flyer Mentioning Nimrod D. Denson, Sr.

D. Business/Financial:

  1. Correspondence, Business
  2. Notes Payable to N.D. Denson, Sr.
  3. Notes Receivable from N.D. Denson, Sr.
  4. Certificate of Stock
  5. Canceled Checks, 1900-02
  6. Bank Books, 1901, 1909-10

E. Miscellaneous:

  1. Correspondence, Miscellaneous

SERIES IV: John Vernon Denson

A. General:

  1. Completed Spelling Competition Form, April 1899
  2. Correspondence, 1906-17

B. Academic:

  1. Correspondence, College -- 1902-05
  2. Catalogue of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Class of 1905 -- includes Statement by John V. Denson

C. Political:

  1. Newspaper Article (1933), "Lee County Offers Real Man for Governor," about John V. Denson

SERIES V: Nimrod D. Denson, Jr.

A. Family and Friends:

  1. Correspondence before 1903
  2. Correspondence, Family -- 1906
  3. Correspondence, Family -- 1907-08
  4. Correspondence, Family -- 1909-12
  5. Correspondence, Friends -- 1906-13
  6. Correspondence, Family -- 1913
  7. Correspondence -- 1914
  8. Correspondence, Family -- 1915
  9. Correspondence, Friends -- 1915
  10. Correspondence, Family -- 1916

BOX 2

  1. Correspondence, Family -- 1917
  2. Correspondence, Friends -- 1916-18
  3. Correspondence -- 1934-37
  4. Correspondence -- 1959 (Posthumous letter to N.D. Denson, Jr.)

B. Academic:

  1. High School Report Card -- 1901
  2. Alabama Polytechnic Institute Report Cards -- 1904-06
  3. Correspondence, Academic (API) -- 1903=06
  4. API Students' Hand-Book, 1902-03
  5. YMCA Invitation -- includes Auburn Yells and Football Songs
  6. Auburn Glee Club Concert Program, 1906-07
  7. Dance Cards, circa 1906-09
  8. Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Magazine, "The Shield and Diamond," 1903-04
  9. Pi Kappa Alpha Memorabilia and Correspondence, 1913
  10. Graduation Invitation, API -- June 3-6, 1906
  11. Bulletin of Class of 1906, API (June 1907) -- mentions Nimrod Denson, Jr.
  12. Correspondence -- Alumni Association of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 1909-16
  13. API Class Reunion and Commencement Programs, 1910
  14. The Auburn Alumnus (October 1928)
  15. Orange and Blue, API Student Newspaper, various issues, 1906-08
  16. The Plainsman, API Student Newspaper, October 6, 9, and 20, 1942
  17. Drafting Set, with Case
  18. Watch Fob, API, 1906
  19. Glasses Case -- "Auburn" Homecoming, June 1-4, 1913
  20. Correspondence, Academic, University of Alabama Law School, 1912-14
  21. Tuition Bill, University of Alabama, 1913-14
  22. Alabama Alumni News, May 1928
  23. Correspondence, UA Alumni, 1916

C. Business/Financial:

  1. Canceled Checks, 1907-12
  2. Various Receipts, 1901-29
  3. Bank Account Books, 1907-11
  4. Land Purchase -- Southern Land Improvement Company, 1907
  5. Land Purchase -- Stafford Publishing Company, 1909-12
  6. Bill of Lading, Stoughton Wagon Company, 1911
  7. Civil Cost Bills Received, 1911
  8. The Great Southern Life Insurance -- Forms and Sample, 1928
  9. Corporate By-Laws -- Lafayette Mercantile Company
  10. Certificates of Capital Stock -- Collateral to Lafayette Company
  11. Crop and Mortgage Notes -- Collateral to Lafayette Mercantile Company, 1906-10
  12. Promissory Notes and Related Receipts -- Lafayette Mercantile Company, 1908-12
  13. Various Receipts -- Lafayette Mercantile company - 1909-11
  14. Property Tax Assessment -- Lafayette Mercantile Company, 1911
  15. Lafayette Mercantile Company Correspondence, 1909-11
  16. Cash Book (oversize), Lafayette Mercantile Company, 1909-10 (stored outside of box)
  17. Cash Book (oversize), Lafayette Mercantile Company, 1910-11 (stored outside of box)
  18. Correspondence, Business -- 1909-11

D. Medical -- 1915-17:

  1. Correspondence

E. Military:

  1. Nimrod Denson, Jr's World War I Military Classification Card
  2. Nimrod Denson, Jr's (and two other men) -- Applications for Naval Enlistment, June 22, 1917
  3. Military Transportation Orders, March 7, 1918
  4. Correspondence, Military -- 1917-19
  5. Discharge Papers, December 3, 1919
  6. Train Schedules, France, 1919

BOX 3

  1. French-English Language Books -- issued to Soldiers in World War I
  2. Tourist Guide Books -- Locations in France during World War I
  3. Opera Program, "Samson and Delilah," Paris, 1919
  4. Remains of Nimrod D. Denson Jr's World War I Scrapbook
  5. Book -- History of the Emory Unit, U.S. Army, 1917-19

F. Political/ Legal:

  1. Correspondence, Political -- 1908-37
  2. Legal Papers
  3. Political Cartoons, Prohibition, 1936

G. Miscellaneous:

  1. "My Sunday Girl," Song (Written by N.D. Denson, Jr?), circa 1901
  2. Correspondence, Miscellaneous, 1906-1909
  3. By-Laws and Constitution, Order of Elks, Opelika Lodge #90, 1907-09
  4. Miscellaneous Coupons and Ticket Stubs, circa 1915
  5. Miscellaneous Self-Improvement Brochures, circa 1917-18
  6. Miscellaneous Invitations
  7. Souvenirs of Trip West, 1939
  8. World War II Ration Book, 1943

SERIES VI: Other Denson Family Members

  1. Mrs. Nimrod D. Denson, Jr. -- Red Cross Meritorious Service Award, July 4, 1946
  2. Nimrod D. Denson III -- Correspondence, Boy Scouts, 1935-37
  3. Elizabeth Denson Lipscomb -- Correspondence, 1968-78
  4. Virginia M. Atkinson -- Correspondence to
  5. Virginia M. Atkinson -- Human Rights Violation Bulletin, Shanghai, China, April 1932
  6. Remains of Virginia M. Atkinson's Scrapbook

SERIES VII: Miscellaneous Denson Family Items

  1. Various Receipts, 1888-1913
  2. Undated or Unsigned Correspondence/ Miscellaneous Correspondence/ Miscellaneous Empty Envelopes
  3. Yearbook of the Ad Astra Literary Society, Woman's College of Alabama, 1917-18
  4. History of the Woman's Missionary Union of East Liberty Association
  5. Souvenir Booklet -- United Daughters of the Confederacy, 39th Annual Convention
  6. Alabama Handbook, American Education Week, November 11-17, 1935
  7. Newspaper Articles -- American Revolution History
  8. Newspaper Articles -- Civil War History
  9. Historical Publication -- "Lee at Lexington," by Randolph Preston, 1935 -- Presented to Robert E. Lee Chapter, UDC
  10. Newspaper Articles -- Local History
  11. Reprint Article from Lafayette Sun (April 27, 1910) -- Political Attack on Thomas Heflin
  12. Miscellaneous Newspapers -- Atlanta Journal, Birmingham Age-Herald, Birmingham News (January 6-7, 1918)
  13. Section 3 of the New York Times Book Review (October 19, 1924)
  14. London, England Newspapers -- The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail (August 17 and 18, 1937)
  15. Society Article -- Wedding of Barbara Jo Jackson and Winton Lewis Cobb, June 3, 1972
  16. News Article on Mrs. Edward S. Sledge, Port City (November 1976)
  17. Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings
  18. New Testament, Red Letter Edition
  19. The Baptist World (February 16, 1911)
  20. Western Recorder (February 16, 1911) -- Baptist Newspaper
  21. Church Bulletins, Brantley Baptist Church, 1916
  22. Collected Poems
  23. Miscellaneous

SERIES VIII: Cards, Postcards, Photographs -- Denson Family

BOX 4

    A. Cards

    1. Christmas Cards, 1916 and before
    2. Christmas, 1917
    3. Christmas Cards, 1918
    4. New Year Cards, 1916-17
    5. Valentines Cards
    6. Easter Cards

    B. Postcards

    1. Scenic Postcards -- Halifax, Nova Scotia
    2. French Picture Postcard Books -- Metz, Reims, Savenay
    3. French Picture Postcard Books -- Chateaux de Blesois, Les Eglesis de Paris, Vues de la Somme
    4. French Picture Postcard Books -- Nantes, Strasbourg, Verdun
    5. French Picture Postcard Books -- Chateaux de la Loire, Paris, Chambery
    6. Postcards, 1919 -- Yellowstone National Park and Tennessee Pass

    C. Photographs

    1. Denson Family Photographs (circa 1916-39)
    2. Alabama Polytechnic Institute Photographs (circa 1903-06)
    3. World War I Photographs
    4. Nimrod D. Denson, Jr. -- Photographs and Negatives, 1919
    5. Vernon Castles -- Photograph and Drawing
    6. Vernon Family Photographs
    7. Virginia M. Atkinson Photographs
    8. Miscellaneous Photographs
    9. Photographs and Negatives, Unidentified

    SERIES IX: Rush Family

    BOX 5

      Andrew - Rush - Lipscomb Families:

      1. Booklet -- "John Andrew, Patriot" by Frederick P. Davenport
      2. Poems by James Osgood Andrew
      3. News Article Mentioning Andrew Family -- "The Bishop's Shadow," The Emory Magazine, Summer 1975
      4. News Article, Biography of James A. Lester of Emory College, July 1966
      5. Diaries of James Daniel Hardy, 1863-1865, Company B, 98th Regt., NYC
      6. Rush Family Obituaries
      7. Rush Family Photographs
      8. Phenix City and East Alabama Today (April 24, 1975) -- includes article on Toomer's Drugstore, owned by Mac Lipscomb

      B. Material Relating to Rush Memoirs:

      1. Rush Memoirs by Elizabeth Denson Lipscomb and Rosalind Davison Washington
      2. Notes for Rush Memoirs
      3. Elizabeth Denson Lipscomb Correspondence Relating to Rush Memoirs
      4. Reviews of Rush Memoirs
      5. The Methodist Christian Advocate (October 4, 1977) -- article on Rush Memoirs

      C. Annie D. Mitchell:

      1. Annie D. Mitchell's Recollections
      2. Correspondence, 1938-72 and undated
      3. Correspondence, 1973-78
      4. Annie D. Mitchell's Daily Reminder, The Secret of Keeping Friends, by Emily Post
      5. Account Book, Various Expenses -- Annie D. Mitchell?
      6. Huntingdon College Bulletin, Alumni Issue, 1964
      7. Miscellaneous Material from Annie D. Mitchell's Papers

      D. Miscellaneous:

      1. Collected Clippings
      2. Various Skit Scripts
      3. Accounts of Summer School Trips
      4. Miscellaneous

      Oversize BOX

      1. Photograph, Graduating Class, 1906, Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Includes Nimrod D. Denson, Jr. second row, second from right.
      2. Cartoon book, "Wally," Reprinted from Stars and Stripes, 1917-19.
      3. French Journal, L'Illustration, February 23, 1918.
      4. French Magazine, Le Pays de France, August 1, 1918.
      5. French Magazine, le Miroir, August 4, 1918.
      6. Certificate, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Carrie Vernon Denson, November 7, 1929.