Jonas Odum papers, 1919-1957 (bulk 1921-1923)

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zqg9

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Odum, Jonas.
Title: Jonas Odum papers, 1919-1957 (bulk 1921-1923)
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 844
Extent: .5 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Papers of Jonas Odum, an African American farmer in Baker County, Georgia which include correspondence, printed material, and legal papers.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Gift, 1999.


[after identification of item(s)], Jonas Odum papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Elizabeth Russey, April 8, 2005.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Jonas Odum, probably born October 21, 1878, was a farmer who lived in Baker County, Georgia. Born to a domestic African American mother and wealthy white landowner of the Odom family, he worked as an overseer of a large plantation in the Beech Grove area in northwest Baker County. In 1889 he married Harriet Jane Mills, with whom he had seven children: Ethel, Jonas, Ennie, Joel, Johny, Ezel, and Joktan. In 1904 his wife died in childbirth. Odum saved his money and in 1906 purchased a 250-acre farm in the northwestern part of Baker County. His farm consisted of cotton fields, pecan orchards, peach, pear, plum, and fig trees, and year-round vegetable gardens. Jonas died July 9, 1954.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains the personal papers of Jonas Odum, primarily from the period 1919 to 1923. The material includes correspondence, printed material, and legal papers. The correspondence mostly concerns the collection of a loan from Mercer Addison with the help of his white half-cousin Robert Benton Odum (who was a lawyer in Newton, Georgia). Jonas Odum also received correspondence during this period from the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Marcus Garvey Defense Fund asking for donations. There are a number of solicitation letters in the collection from various companies (probably sent to many farmers in rural Georgia during the 1920s) that include advertisements for farming products, methods to fight the boll weevil, and medicinal remedies. A small number of pamphlets published by these companies concerning the boll weevil in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, and a number of cotton bale tags from the Georgia Cotton Growers Co-Operative Association are included in the collection as well. The remainder of the Odum papers contains the legal records of Jonas Odum, including his will, fire and life insurance policies, and final estate audit upon his death.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Selected Search Terms

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 1922
1 2 February - May 1923
1 3 July - December 1923
1 4 Marcus Garvey Appeal and Defense Fund, 1923
1 5 Letters of solicitation, 1923
1 6 Letters of solicitation - Atlanta Constitution, 1923-1924
1 7 Letters of solicitation - farming, 1921-1923
1 8 Letters of solicitation - medicine, 1921-1923
1 9 United Negro Improvement Association, 1921
Personal papers
1 10 Farm loans, 1952-1960
1 11 Fire insurance policy, 1923
1 12 Life insurance policy, 1922
1 13 Will, 1918, 1927
1 14 Final estate audit, 1957
Printed material
1 15 Broadside: "A Beautiful Example of Justice," Marcus Garvey conviction broadside, [1923]
1 16 Pamphlet: "Beating the Boll Weevil," Agricultural Service Bureau, Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company and the Southern Cotton Oil Company, 1922
1 17 Pamphlet: "The Department Warns Cotton Planters against Fake Boll Weevil Remedies," U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1923
1 18 Pamphlet: "Growing Cotton under Boll Weevil Conditions at Headland, Ala.," W.F. Covington, [1923]
1 19 Cotton bale tags, Georgia Cotton Growers Co-operative Association, 1923