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Guide to the William Alfred Dockery family papers
MSS.507


Summary Information

Repository
Mississippi State University Libraries
Title
William Alfred Dockery family papers
ID
MSS.507
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1887-1906
Date [inclusive]
1881-1980
Extent
1.0 Cubic feet : 1 record carton; 1 SMO folder; VMP; SMOP
Language
English

Preferred Citation

William Alfred Dockery family papers, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

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Biographical Information

William Alfred “Will” Dockery was born November 10, 1865, at Love’s Station in DeSoto County, Mississippi, to Thomas Covington Dockery (1826-1911) and Mary Atkins. After attending Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College (1880-1881) and graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1884, Dockery worked as a bookkeeper for Dockery Brothers in Hernando. He was promoted to his own branch of the company in Cleveland, Mississippi, in 1888. In 1890, Dockery began planting cotton and was successful enough over the following years to purchase thousands of acres of land and to marry Hughla McKay Rice (1870-1919) in 1896. He was instrumental in transforming the area of Dockery into a thriving community with a railroad connection. William Alfred Dockery died in Baltimore in 1936, leaving two children: Frances, and Joe Rice (1906-1982) who had become his father’s business partner. His first son, William Alfred, Jr., died in a tragic fall in Chicago at age five.

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Scope and Contents

The William Alfred Dockery family papers document the establishment and management of William Alfred Dockery’s cotton plantation in the town named after him: Dockery, Mississippi. Most of the collection consists of family correspondence from 1887 to 1906 and undated, particularly between Dockery and his wife, Hughla Rice Dockery. There is a great deal of content about the business of managing a large farm. The letters also contain numerous references (many disparaging) to Dockery’s African-American workers. Miscellaneous materials include biographical information, newspaper clippings, articles, and photographs.

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Arrangement

Series 1. Biographical Information- Box 1

Series 2. Family Correspondence- Box 1

Series 3. Miscellaneous- Box 1; Small Oversize Box 41

Series 4. Photographs- Box 1; Visual Materials: Photographs Box 3; Small Oversize Photographs Box 2

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Mississippi State University Libraries 

P.O. Box 5408
Mississippi State, MS, 39762
662-325-7679
sp_coll@library.msstate.edu

Publication date: February 2010

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.

Processing Record

Processed by DeeDee Baldwin, February 2010.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Confederate States of America. Army. Mississippi Infantry Regiment, 22nd.
  • Trulight Baptist Church (Dockery, Miss.).

Family Name(s)

  • Dockery family.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Dockery (Miss.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Dockery, Hughla Rice, 1870-1919.
  • Dockery, Joe Rice, 1906-1982.
  • Dockery, Thomas Covington, 1826-1911.
  • Dockery, William Alfred, 1865-1936.

Subject(s)

  • African Americans--Mississippi--History.
  • Agriculture--Mississippi--History.
  • Cotton.
  • Courtship--Mississippi--History.
  • Farm tenancy--Mississippi--History.
  • Racism--Mississippi--History.

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Collection Inventory

 Box 1. Folder 1. Series 1. Biographical information, 1881-1980. 

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Series 2. Family correspondence. 

 Box 1. Folder 2. 1887-1888. 

 Box 1. Folder 3.  1889. 

 Box 1. Folder 4. 1890-1891. 

 Box 1. Folder 5. 1892. 

 Box 1. Folder 6. 1893. 

 Box 1. Folder 7.  1894-1896. 

 Box 1. Folder 8. 1897 January-April. 

 Box 1. Folder 9. 1897 May-August. 

 Box 1. Folder 10. 1897 September-December. 

 Box 1. Folder 11. 1898 January-September. 

 Box 1. Folder 12. 1898 September-October 8. 

 Box 1. Folder 13. 1898 October 10-28. 

 Box 1. Folder 14. 1898 November-December. 

 Box 1. Folder 15. 1899 January-March. 

 Box 1. Folder 16. 1899 April-December. 

 Box 1. Folder 17. 1900. 

 Box 1. Folder 18. 1901. 

 Box 1. Folder 19. 1902. 

 Box 1. Folder 20. 1903 May-July. 

 Box 1. Folder 21. 1903 August-December. 

 Box 1. Folder 22. 1904 January-June. 

 Box 1. Folder 23. 1904 July-December. 

 Box 1. Folder 24. 1905. 

 Box 1. Folder 25. 1906. 

 Box 1. Folder 26. 1911-1945. 

 Box 1. Folder 27. Undated. 

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Series 3. Miscellaneous. 

 Box 1. Folder 28. Joe Rice Dockery: letters, resume, speech, articles, 'George Rifles' list and other materials, 1924-1979 and undated. 

 Box 1. Folder 29. Articles and other materials concerning Dockery Farms and other Mississippi plantations, gin tag, 1905, 1938-1980. 

 SMO 41. 'Plat showing land which Mr. Dockery proposed giving to the Y&M.V.R.R.', 1905 April 7 (photocopy). 

 Box 1. Folder 30. Miscellany, undated. 

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Series 4. Photographs. 

 VMP 3. Photographs, 1924-1939 and undated. 

 Box 1. Folder 31. Photographs (photocopies), 1924-1939 and undated. 

 SMOP 2. Composite photograph, 'Survivals, 22nd Mississippi Infantry Volunteers, Civil War', undated. 

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