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Overview of the Collection

Repository: McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi

Creator: Donated by Miss Virginia Isabelle Felder, July 1983; donated by the President’s Office, Dr. Aubrey Lucas, February 1988, March 1988, and August 2010.

Collection Number: M197

Collection Title: Felder (Virginia Isabelle) Papers 

Size: 2.5 cubic feet

Language: English

Dates: 1922 – 1986 and Undated

Collection Status: Processed

Abstract:The collection contains information concerning the personal and professional life of Virginia Isabelle Felder. Items range from her personal life and teaching career to she and her family’s involvement in the Methodist church to genealogical records.


2. Subjects

Teacher – Mississippi – United States

Teacher – Texas – United States

Teacher – Japan

Delta Kappa Gamma – International Society – United States

Daughters of the American Revolution – United States

The Order of the First Families of Mississippi 1699-1817 – Mississippi – United States

Genealogy – United States

Methodist – Church – United States


3. Biographical/Historical Note

Virginia Isabelle Felder was born November 8, 1905, the first of seven children born to Vernon Young Felder and Mamye Barksdale Felder. She was raised near Magnolia, Mississippi and attended the public schools there. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the Mississippi State College for Women. In 1926 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in mathematics and minoring in physics. After teaching mathematics for one year at the Quitman, Mississippi, high school, she enrolled at Tulane University to pursue a Master of Science degree. Due to financial constraints, she joined the faculty of the newly opened Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in the fall of 1928. For the next fourteen years she taught mathematics there and coached the debate team. In addition, she finished the work for her master’s degree which was awarded by Tulane University in 1931.

Between June 1942 and August 1948 Miss Felder held a variety of teaching positions with the armed services and junior colleges in both Mississippi and Texas. Then in September 1948 she accepted a position with Mississippi Southern College as an assistant professor of mathematics. The following year she became the first Panhellenic advisor for sororities and the assistant dean of women. In 1953 she received a two-year leave of absence to teach for the United States Armed Forces Institute in Japan. Upon returning to Mississippi Southern College in March 1955 she resumed full-time teaching of mathematics, her first love. In 1958 she was promoted to the rank of associate professor. Then, following the receipt of her doctoral degree from Columbia University in 1959, she was promoted to a full professorship in 1960. She continued to serve as a professor of mathematics until her retirement in June 1972.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Felder has been an active member of numerous professional associations. She has written more than a dozen articles and book reviews for professional journals and has edited two state publications. In 1978 she was the recipient of both an award for Excellence in Achievement by the Mississippi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and a Certificate of Commendation from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In 1983 the Hattiesburg Exchange Club honored her as their "Woman of the Year."

On March 26, 1992, Dr. Virginia Felder passed away in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at Convarest Nursing Home. Steve Doblin, Dean, College of Science and Technology, from The University of Southern Mississippi stated that “she made a positive difference in the lives of many people, something few can claim. I consider myself fortunate to have known her. She was a very special person.”

4. Scope and Content Note

The Virginia Isabelle Papers are an intriguing group of materials that document the life and career of one of The University of Southern Mississippi’s faculty members. This collection included Dr. Felder's doctoral dissertation (education); master’s thesis in mathematics; several term papers on the subjects of religion, mathematics, and agriculture; and copies of book reviews and journal articles which she authored. The reviews and articles are concerned primarily with newly published textbooks and the teaching of mathematics. They appeared in such publications as The Mathematics Teacher, The Arithmetic Teacher, and Mississippi Educational Advance. In addition, the collection included several articles pertaining to college sororities, predominately the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society, and the Mississippi Southern College Panhellenic House. The collection is divided into five series and an oversized folder which are as follows:

Series I: Biography

Series II: Education

Subseries I: DKG

Subseries II: Mathematics

Subseries III: Educational

Subseries IV: Personal Education

Subseries V: Japan

Series III: Church

Series IV: Genealogy

Series V: Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous Material

Additionally, there are correspondences throughout the collection.

5. Arrangement

The collection is arranged in five series: Biography, Education, Church, Genealogy, and Miscellaneous. Series II, Education, is the only series that has five subseries. The collection contains a variety of records ranging from book reviews to speeches to family genealogical and church records. An oversized folder contains diplomas and certificates.

6. Related Material

Related collections at the University of Southern Mississippi include:

·         M92 Pulley (Mary Winton) Papers

·         M102 Daughters of the American Revolution, John Rolfe Chapter, Records

·         M138 Roberts (Anna Margaret) Papers

·         M289 Fritzsche (Bertha M.) Collection

·         Leverett (Rudy H.) Collection

·         Methodist History Materials

7. Administrative Information

Provenance: Donated by Miss Virginia Isabelle Felder, July 1983; donated by the President’s Office, Dr. Aubrey Lucas, February 1988, March 1988, and August 2010. 

Use Restrictions: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Reproduction of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Provision of photocopies or digital reproductions does not constitute permission to publish, distribute, provide internet access to, or otherwise display images of materials in this collection. Copyright is retained by the lawful copyright holder, and it is the responsibility of the permission seeker to contact and secure permission from the copyright holder. Where copyright permission is not granted, images are only for use in private study subject to the Fair Use exceptions made in U.S. Copyright Law.

Access Restrictions: Available for use by the serious student and scholar.

Preferred Citation Method: In citing these materials, the following information should be included:

Item, title of collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Processing Information: Revised by Shawna Guidry, March 31, 2015.



·Contents of the Collection


8. Container List

Series I: Biography (1914 – 1986; Undated)

Box 1

Folder 1         Biographical Information [Undated]

Folder 2         Certificates [1941; 1969; 1971; 1973; Undated]

Folder 3         Article Clippings [1950; circa 1971; Undated]

Folder 4         Dated Newspaper Clipping [1952 – 1986]

Folder 5         Undated Newspaper Clippings

Folder 6         Ration Books [July 1943; August 1945; September 1945; Undated]

Folder 7         Newsletter: The Generalscope [Undated]

Folder 8         Correspondence: Telegrams are to Dr. Felder from Paul B. Johnson, Governor [September 22, 1964; September 6, 1966]

Folder 9         Correspondence: Dear Dr. Felder Sincerely Paul B. Johnson, Governor [September 7, 1966]

Folder 10       Correspondence: To Dr. Felder from J.C. Redd [January 18, 1983]

Folder 11       Correspondence: To Dr. Felder from Bobby L. Chain Mayor, City of Hattiesburg [July 28, 1983]

Folder 12       Correspondence: To Emma Ruth from Dr. Felder [September 21, 1978]

Folder 13       Personal Property Papers [May 1963; 1976-1977; September 1979; October 1979; November 1979; January 1981]

Folder 14       Map: USM campus map and directory [Undated]

Folder 15       Miscellaneous Grade School Papers including a report card from 1914-1915 [1914 – 1915; Undated]


Series II: Education (1931 – 1978)

Folder 16       Dissertation: A Proposal for a Methods Course to be Used in the Education of Teachers of Secondary-School Mathematics A Report of a Type B Project by Virginia Isabelle Felder [April 17, 1959]

Folder 17       Dissertation: The Mississippi Legislature and Mississippi Public Higher Education: 1890 – 1960 by Aubrey Keith Lucas [1966]


Box 2

Subseries I: Delta Kappa Gamma (1943 – 1971; Undated)

Folder 1         Invitation: National Honor Society in Education [November 17, 1945]

Folder 2         Yearbook: Theta Chapter Mississippi Zeta State The Delta Kappa Gamma Society 1963-1964 [organized February 27, 1943]

Folder 3         Certificates [April 27, 1946; Undated]

Folder 4         Draft Paper: Purposes by Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 5         Draft Paper: Assessing Our Values [Undated]

Folder 6         Draft Paper: Social Responsibility [Undated]

Folder 7         Draft Paper: Title Unknown but appears to be “Women and Education” [Undated]

Folder 8         Paper: Developing Social Competence among the Women Students of Mississippi Southern College by Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 9         Speech and Paper: Women – Advancing Through Personal Contributions by Virginia Felder [November 1962; undated]           

Folder 10       Speech: Women in Higher Education [September 23, 1959]

Folder 11       Speech: An Appraisal of the Teacher Training Program [December 1959]

Folder 12       Speech: title unknown but an annual initiation for Delta Kappa Gamma [Saturday November 11, 1961]

Folder 13       Speech: Respect for Women’s Capabilities – How Can Respect Be Strengthened? [March 3, 1963]

Folder 14       Speech: An Assessment of Values [1970-1971]          

Folder 15       Speech: Two Years at the Helm by Virginia Felder, President of Zeta State accompanied with May We Lift Up Our Heads [Undated]

Folder 16       Speech: May We Lift Up Our Heads [Undated]

Folder 17       Speech: Title Unknown but appears to be Key Women Teachers [Undated]

Folder 18       Bulletin and Article: The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin [Spring 1949]

Folder 19       Bulletin: The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin [Winter 1957]


Subseries II: Mathematics (1931 – 1978; Undated)

Folder 20       Certificates [May 21, 1949; April 8, 1978]

Folder 21       Master’s Thesis – Mathematics, Tulane University [1931]

Folder 22       Paper: The Use of the Slide Rule by Harold L. Leone editor – Miss Virginia Felder [March 21, 1949]

Folder 23       Professional Journal and Papers: Workbook vs. Work [March 1949; April 1949; Undated]

Folder 24       Professional Journal and Paper: Training for Teachers of Mathematics by Virginia Felder [November 1956; Undated]

Folder 25       Professional Journal and Book Review: Modern Fundamentals of Algebra and Trigonometry [January 1962; Undated]

Folder 26       Professional Journal: Subsets of the Plane: Plane Analytic Geometry [February 1965; Undated]

Folder 27       Professional Journal: Geometry Concepts in Grades K-3 [May 1965]

Folder 28       Professional Journal: What’s the Problem [October 1965, Undated]

Folder 29       Professional Journal: Plane Trigonometry with Tables [March 1966]

Folder 30       Professional Journal: Fundamentals of Modern Mathematics [January 1968]

Folder 31       Professional Journal: Modern Trigonometry [November 1968]

Folder 32       Professional Journal: Algebra, Trigonometry, and Analytic Geometry [December 1970]


Series II: Education Continues (1931 – 1978)

Box 3

Subseries II: Mathematics Continues

Folder 1         Draft Paper: Mathematics for the Modern Elementary School [circa 1961]

Folder 2         Draft Paper: 20th Century Mathematics for the Elementary School by Dr. Henry Van Engen [Undated]

Folder 3         Draft Paper: Title Unknown but appears to be Description of Math [Undated]

Folder 4         Newsletters: Science and Math Newsletter [November 1967; May 1972]

Folder 5         Term Paper and Published Article with Supporting Documents: The Training of Mathematics Teachers for Secondary Schools by Virginia Felder [1956]

Folder 6         Book Reviews:  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics National Council of Teachers of Mathematics The Eleventh Yearbook and Title Unknown [1936; 1963; Undated]

Folder 7         Book Review: Plane Trigonometry, A.W. Goodman [Undated]

Folder 8         Book Review: Plane Trigonometry, Nathan O. Niles [Undated]

Folder 9         Book Review: Modern Plane Trigonometry, William L. Hart [Undated]

Folder 10       Correspondence: To Dr. Felder from Robert E. Pingry [June 16, 1959; July 29, 1959]

Folder 11       Miscellaneous: Title unknown but appears to be about Mathematical Thinking [Undated]


Subseries III: Educational (1930s – 1981; Undated)

Folder 12       Certificates [1946; 1950; 1957; 1958; 1967; 1981; Undated]

Folder 13       Program: The University of Southern Mississippi Affiliates with The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi [April 18, 1967]

Folder 14       Professional Journal: Seven Under One Roof published in The Shields of Delta Sigma Epsilon [November 1951]

Folder 15       Professional Journal: Toward Social Competence published in The Eleusis of Chi Omega [November 1952]

Folder 16       Paper: Government Intervention in Agriculture by Virginia Felder [circa 1930s]

Folder 17       Paper: I Take My Stand [circa 1942]

Folder 18       Paper: Lift Up Your Heads [circa 1950]

Folder 19       Paper: The Educator’s Responsibility with Respect to the Frontiers of Modern Knowledge by Virginia Felder [February 24, 1959]

Folder 20       Paper: Changing Educational Patterns [Undated]

Folder 21       Paper: Have You Got A Glory? [Undated]

Folder 22       Paper: Challenges from a Has Been by Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 23       Paper: You Can Lead a Horse to Water [Undated]

Folder 24       Paper: Choose You This Day by Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 25       Speech: College of Arts and Sciences and the Community AAUP [January 26, 1960]

Folder 26       Speech: Physician, Heal Thyself [March 29, 1972]

Folder 27       Speech: The Old Gray Mare VS the Tiger in the Tank by Mrs. John H. Allen and Dr. Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 28       Speech: From the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain [Undated]

Folder 29       Correspondence: To Dean Porter L. Fortune, Jr. from Dr. Felder [Undated]


Subseries IV: Personal Education (1938 – 1978)

Folder 30       The Virginia Felder Faculty Development Scholarship Fund [Undated]

Folder 31       Accomplishments: I think I’m proudest of these two things – Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 32       List Of Speeches, Publications, Articles, Achievements, Activities, Research Goals [1938 – 1978; Undated]

Folder 33       Vitae [Undated]

Folder 34       Correspondence: From the Office of Doctoral Studies to Ms. Virginia stating that she has been recommended for the Ed.D. degree [April 9, 1959]

Folder 35       Correspondence:  Dear Grace from Dr. Felder [October 11, 1959]

Folder 36       Correspondence: to Colonel Roger Johnson from Virginia Felder [April 19, 1961]

Folder 37       Correspondence: Dear Emma Ruth from Virginia Felder [September 3, 1978]


Box 4

Series II: Education Continues

Subseries V: Japan (circa 1950s)

Folder 1         Newsletter: Japan Report Issued by the Consulate of Japan  Vol. II No. 11 [June 15, 1956]

Folder 2         Speech: No title but appears to be Answering of Three Questions [ca. 1950s]

Folder 3         Speech: An American Woman’s Birthright [ca. 1950s]

Folder 4         Speech: Women in Japan [ca. 1950s]

Folder 5         Speech: No title but appears to be What is Japan? [ca. 1950s]

Folder 6         Speech: Silkworms [ca. 1950s]

Folder 7         Speech: Christianity in Japan with news clippings [1954-1955]

Folder 8         Speech: Quaint Habits and Customs of the Japanese [April 7, 1955]


Series III: Church (1948 – 1983; Undated)

Folder 9         Book: Magnolia Methodist Church 1856 – 1956 by J.B. Cain [1956]

Folder 10       Excerpt from book: Methodism in the Mississippi Conference by W.B. Jones [Undated]

Folder 11       Booklet: Tents and Tabernacles Methodist Camp meetings in the Mississippi Conference 1804 – 1956 [1956]

Folder 12       Devotional: Advent Devotionals Parkway Heights United Methodist Church Hattiesburg, Mississippi [1983]

Folder 13       Program: Felder’s Camp Meeting [1977]

Folder 14       Periodical: Wesley Quarterly for Adults International Lesson Series [January – March 1951]

Folder15        Newspaper clipping regarding Felder’s Camp Meetings [1948; 1951; 1958; 1961; 1962; 1965; 1966; 1968; 1970; 1972;  Undated]

Folder 16       Book Review: The Bible’s Timeless-and Timely-Insights, Smiley Blanton, M.D., Reader’s Digest, August 1966, page 93.  [August 1966]

Folder 17       Paper: Title Unknown but appears to be “Future” [Undated]

Folder 18       Paper: What I believe as a Methodist [Undated]

Folder 19       Paper: Leadership by Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 20       Paper: Are the Men Afraid? [Undated]

Folder 21       Paper: Unity Through Spiritual Fellowship by Virginia Felder [Undated]

Folder 22       Professional Journal: Mississippi Methodist Advocate Official Weekly of Mississippi Methodism Old Series – Vol. 98 New Series – Vol. V, No. 8 [August 22, 1951]

Folder 23       Correspondence between Virginia Felder and Elbert R. Hilliard, Department of Archives and History in Jackson, Mississippi [August 1978; September 1978]

Folder 24       Correspondence between Virginia Felder and Dawn Maddox, Director Division of Historic Preservation Department of Archives and History in Jackson, Mississippi [October 1977; December 1977]

Folder 25       Charter Members of Parkway Heights Methodist Church [Undated] Related Material to Felder’s Campground [1977-1978; August 1983; Undated]

Folder 26       Related materials to Felder’s Campground [1977 – 1978; 1983; Undated]

Folder 27       Miscellaneous paper that mentions John Felder [Undated]


Series IV: Genealogy (1891 – 1986)

Folder 28       Book: Local and Family History in South Carolina: A Bibliography by Richard N. Cote [1981]

Folder 29       Booklet: An Historical Sketch of Magnolia, Miss. Centennial Celebration Magnolia, Mississippi 1856 – 1956 Compiled by Martha Lacy Hall [April 1, 1956]


Box 5

Series IV: Genealogy Continues

Folder 1         Certificates [1974; 1976; 1977; 1982]

Folder 2         Applications for Membership in The Order of the First Families of Mississippi 1699-1817 [Undated]

Folder 3         Virginia Felder applying for membership in The Order of the First Families of Mississippi [Undated]

Folder 4         Correspondence: To Mr. Owen Roberts, Governor General of the First Families of Mississippi from Virginia Felder, from Virginia Felder [March 29, 1976]

Folder 5         Correspondence: To Ruth from Virginia Felder [May 17, 1976]

Folder 6         Correspondence: To Dr. Felder from Mrs. Mary Hendrix [May 19, 1976]

Folder 7         Correspondence: To the Registrar from Virginia Felder [August 1978; July 1, 1985]

Folder 8         Correspondence: To Dr. Virginia Felder From Catherine B. Prince, corresponding secretary from The Order of the First Families of Mississippi [May 30, 1985; June 11, 1985]

Folder 9         Correspondence: To Mrs. R.C. Upton from Virginia Felder [July 1985]

Folder 10       Correspondence: To Ms. Virginia Felder from Mrs. Oliver H. Hopkins, Recording Secretary General [July 31, 1985]

Folder 11       Correspondence: To the Members of The Order of the First Families of Mississippi – 1699 – 1817 [September 27, 1985; September 26, 1986; Undated]

Folder 12       Application: Daughters of the American Colonists [1982; Undated]

Folder 13       Application: National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century [Undated]

Folder 14       Application: National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution [Undated]

Folder 15       Genealogy: Barksdale [1891; 1940; Undated]

Folder 16       Families from the District of Lucerne, Saint-Gallen, Zurich, and Friburg [Undated]

Folder 17       St. Joseph’s Chapel [Undated]

Folder 18       Felder Cemetery [Undated]

Folder 19       History of the Felder Family [Undated]

Folder 20       Genealogical Papers and Records [March 4, 1985; Undated]

Folder 21       Genealogy: Magazine: Better Homes and Gardens: Tracing Your Family Tree by Steven Earl Coulter [June 1977]

Folder 22       Genealogy: Journal: The Journal of Mississippi History: Some Observations of a Genealogist, 1965 – 1973 by William D. McCain [Undated]

Folder 23       Genealogy: Order Form: Alabama and Mississippi Regional Local History [Spring 1978]

Folder 24       Genealogy Correspondence: To Dr. Felder from Mary Walters [April 11, 1970]

Folder 25       Genealogy Correspondence and other papers: To Miss Felder from Bronna J. Hall [August 16, 1977]

Folder 26       Genealogy Correspondence: Between Dr. Felder and Dr. McCain [January 1978]

Folder 27       Genealogy Correspondence: To Dr. Felder from Mrs. Robert E. Drake (JoAnn) [April 16, 1978]


Series V: Miscellaneous (1820 – 1972; Undated)

Folder 28       The Holy Bible Containing The Old and New Testaments [1820]

Folder 29       Speech Presented to the American Association of University Women (AAUW): Women of Stature [1962]

Folder 30       Personal Correspondence: To Virginia Felder [March 21, 1968]

Folder 31       Speech presented at the Business and Professional Women (BP&W) Banquet: Be Involved [October 1972]

Folder 32       Poems: Camille and You Gotta Get a Glory by Berton Braley [Undated]

Folder 33       ‘Unknown Title” but she talks about a variety of books such as Ishi: In Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber and When the Legends Die by Hal Borland [Undated]


Oversized Material

Folder 1         Certificates and Diplomas [1922; 1926; 1927; 1931; 1947; 1959; 1986]


9.  Item List

No photographs

10. Publication Information

Publisher: The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, Special Collections

URL: [

Physical Address:  The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries

McCain Library & Archives

118 College Drive #5148

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148


Email Contact: To email, go to: [

Revision Date: Last revised: March 31, 2015

Prepared and maintained by
The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries Special Collections
118 College Drive #5148   Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5148