Blair Family Papers Now Open for Research

The Blair Family Papers at the Billups-Garth Archives are now open for research. Recently donated by Carolyn Hairston Blair Moorhead Henderson, genealogist and descendant of the Blair family, the collection includes both letters written by Willis Pope Blair to his wife Annie Melvina Smith (Mellie Blair) from 1890 to 1895 as well as genealogical research on the Blair lineage conducted by Carolyn herself.

Archivist Mona K. Vance said, “We are thrilled to make this significant collection available to our patrons. The Blair family has had a long connection to the city of Columbus and played an important role in the economic development of this area.”

Willis Pope Blair was born 12 July 1857 in Columbus, Mississippi to David Paxton Blair (1814-1898) and Elizabeth Armistead Pope Blair (1836-1861).

Willis’ father David P. and paternal Uncle James Blair (1813-1870) were druggists and owned and operated Blair’s Drug Store in Columbus. The store opened sometime around the 1850s and was located on the corner of Main Street and Market Street (now Fifth Street). Willis also worked as a druggist in Blair’s Drug Store.

Willis married Annie Melvina “Mellie” Smith (1870-1945) on 20 October 1891. They had one son named Ralph Pope Blair (1892-1962) who later married Laura May Hairston. Ralph and Laura Blair had one daughter named Carolyn Hairston Blair Moorhead Henderson.

Willis died on 17 July 1895 and is buried in Friendship Cemetery in Columbus.

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Published in: on June 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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