What an exciting time we are having at the Archives!
I have been processing the Virginia Thompson Collection to be used on the Mississippi Digital Library. Miss Virginia was the secretary to President Kethley from 1927-1961. That’s a LONG time! During World War II, Miss Virginia wrote to many of the students. She would send copies of the newspaper, “Miss Delta”, would update them on their fellow classmates, and even wrote about what she had been doing. Miss Virginia treated each of these individuals as her own. She was never married, and did not have children of her own. The collection is nothing but letters, newspaper articles, and Christmas cards she collected from or about these students over the period of World War II. As I read each and every letter, I can feel her spirit, warmth, humbleness, kindness, inspiration and loyalty to Delta State and its students.
Here is a photo of Miss Virginia in her office!
While processing this collection, I have stumbled across a very interesting person, Arthur H. Richter, Jr. In a letter dated September 8, 1943, He wrote President Kethley to express his appreciation for the part he played while he attended Delta State. In the letter, he told President Kethley that he was enclosing a book to be donated to the library. He said, “it is my wish that every student have access to this book, and the sooner it is worn out the better I’ll like it.” The book is entitled, “Christ and the Fine Arts.”
Here is the correspondence between President Kethley and Arthur. Followed by the correspondence to Miss O’Brien, the school’s librarian.
Guess What! The book is still on the shelves at the Delta State Library!
Here is a picture of the book, and Arthur’s message on the front insert of the book which states, “With every best wish to my friends, the faculty, and student body of Delta State.”
I came across another one of his letter’s he wrote to Miss Virginia. He wrote in his letter that he would be going to Emory University for Dentistry School. This fascinated me and I began searching online for more information. It turns out that Dr. Richter was a dentist for over fifty years in Greenwood, MS. The most interesting fact is that he established the Dental Hygiene program at MS Delta Community College and remained the director until 2001. How about that!
See you never know what type of history you will find in the Archives or even in your own backyard! Come join in on the fun! You never know what you will dig up!
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift of God, that’s why we call it the present!” – Bill Keane
Have a wonderful day!
Jessica Tubbs, Delta State Archives Graduate Assistant