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Barrow (Abram Feltus) and Family Papers

(Mss. 3696, 3745)



Biographical/Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

List of Groups, Series, and Subseries

Series Description

Index Terms


Size. 6 linear feet.


Locations . West Feliciana and New Orleans, La.

Inclusive dates. 1804-1982.

Bulk dates. 1880-1960.

Languages. English.

Summary. The collection consists of business papers of the Barrow family, records of their participation in fraternal orders and photographs. There are also papers of People's Bank, Creole Oil and Mineral Co. and St John's Church, Laurel Hill .

Source . Placed on deposit February-August 1983.

Copyright . Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of the original materials is retained by the creators, or their descendants, of the materials in accordance with U.S. Copyright law.

Citation . Abram Feltus Barrow Family Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana..

Stack locations. Range 7: 60-62, OS: B, Vault: 70.


Biographical/Historical Note

The Barrow family moved to the area of Louisiana known as Nuevo Feliciana in 1799, and built several plantation houses in the area, including Highland, Ambrosia and Afton Villa. They were known as one of the wealthiest families in Louisiana in the antebellum period. Highland Plantation was built ca. 1804 by William Ruffin Barrow, and originally named Locust Ridge. It was eventually occupied by the Barrow Norwoods, descendants of John Joor Barrow through his daughter, Margaret Leake Barrow Norwood, the sister of Abram Feltus Barrow. In 1973 it was sold by the Barrow family to Theodore G. Solomon.

Abram Feltus Barrow (1868-1928) was the son of John Joor Barrow (1833-90) and Eleanor Eliza Ruffin (n.d.). He married Camilla Leake (ca. 1873-1957). They had five children: Eleanor Eliza (1894-1983), Frank Leake (1898-1948), who married Lora Maye Schober, Johnston Armstrong (ca.1903-1968), Margaret, who married Joseph A. Pullen, and Amelia Armstrong, who married Robert Beale. Camilla Leake Barrow was the daughter of Judge William Walter Leake (1833-1912) and Margaret Emmet Mumford (d. 1904). She had two sisters, Amelia Leake (who married Johnston Armstrong) and Belle Leake (who married Lauren J. Bradley), and one brother, John.

Abram Feltus Barrow graduated from Louisiana State University and earned a medical degree at Tulane University. He practiced medicine in St Francisville, where he maintained a sanitorium and served as a member of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (1894-1907). He was mayor of St Francisville and served on the West Feliciana Parish School Board (1916-24), where he was succeeded by his wife. He was a Captain in the United States Army Medical Corps in 1918, and was stationed at Camp Logan, Texas. Barrow was prominent in masonic life, being Master of Feliciana Lodge No. 31, representative of the Louisiana Grand Lodge, Grand Master of the Louisiana Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star (Grand Chapter), High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter and Chancellor in the Knights of Pythias. He was also a member of the Jerusalem Temple of the Mystic Circle, Woodmen of the World, Woodmen Circle and Rebekah Lodge.

Camilla Leake Barrow was Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star (Laurel Chapter No. 44), and Grand Secretary of its Grand Chapter, and held offices in the Baton Rouge and Louisiana divisions of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

William Walter Leake was a partner in the law firm of Collins and Leake, with J. Hunter Collins. He was a Master of Feliciana Lodge No. 31 and Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. He was President of the People's Bank, St Francisville (1905-12).

The records of St John's Church, Laurel Hill, West Feliciana, are largely comprised of the papers of the churchwarden, John Burruss McGehee (1836-1913). McGehee was a churchman and agriculturalist, and owned Woodlawn Farm, West Feliciana. He established St John's in 1872.

Scope and Content Note

Papers mainly document the business interests of the Barrow family and their involvement with masonic and other fraternal orders. Records of the People's Bank, St Francisville, and the Creole Oil and Mineral Co. reflect the involvement of the Barrow and Leake families. Also included are records of St John's Church, Laurel Hill, which consist of receipts, letters and histories of St John's. Photographs represent family members and fraternal and masonic gatherings.

List of Groups, Series and Subseries

Group 1. Abram Feltus Barrow Family Papers

I. Business and Legal Correspondence and Papers, 1804-1978 (box 1, folders 1 and 2, vault)

Subseries 1. Abram Feltus Barrow, 1886-1957

Subseries 2. Camilla Leake Barrow, 1905-66

Subseries 3. Eleanor Eliza Barrow, 1936-78

Subseries 4. Barrow and Leake Families, 1804-1960

Subseries 5. Creole Oil and Mineral Company, 1900-29

Subseries 6. People's Bank, St Francisville (La.), 1905-13

II. Correspondence, 1890-1971 (box 1)

Subseries 1. Camilla Leake Barrow, 1901-54

Subseries 2. Eleanor Eliza Barrow, 1907-78

Subseries 3. Leake and Barrow Families, 1890-1973

III. Fraternal Orders Records, 1854-1969 (box 1, folder 3)

Subseries 1. Membership and Correspondence, 1890-1958

Subseries 2. Addresses, Resolutions, Articles, 1912-56

Subseries 3. Printed Items, Newspaper Clippings and Realia, 1850-1969

IV. Printed Items and Newspaper Clippings, 1865-1982 (box 1)

V. Manuscript Volumes, 1851-1970 (boxes 2 and 3, oversize volumes 1-3)

VI. Photographs, ca. 1882-1937 (box 4, oversize folders 1 and 2)

VII. Realia, 1908-ca. 1964 (box 4)

Group 2. St John's Church, Laurel Hill (La.) Records, 1874-1936 (box 1)

Subgroups, Series and Subseries Descriptions

Group 1. Abram Feltus Barrow Family Papers


I. Business and Legal Correspondence and Papers, 1866-78

Subseries 1. Abram Feltus Barrow, 1886 -1957

Of significance are papers relating to property owned by the Leake and Barrow families. Two acts of sale (1906) transfer property belonging to members of the Leake family, fronting Royal Street, St Francisville, to Abram Feltus Barrow; there is a suit (Nov. 23, 1915) brought against Abram Feltus Barrow on behalf of the Leake family for mortgage notes held on their property. A lease contract between Abram Feltus Barrow and George K. Force (Oct. 10, 1911) allowed the latter to quarry sand and gravel on Highland Plantation. Also of note is the sale of a lot in Grace Church cemetery to the Barrow family (Jan. 21, 1904). Other papers relate to policies with the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Union Mutual Insurance Co.

Military service papers (1918-57) relate to Abram Feltus Barrow's service as Captain of the Medical Corps, 15th Division, 57th Infantry at Camp Logan, Texas, and to claims for disability compensation by his family. There are certificates of appointment as Captain (24 Sept., 1918) and as a reserve officer in the Voluntary Medical Service Corps (Nov., 1918). Correspondence covers notices of appointment, honorable discharge (Dec. 10, 1918), special orders and problems concerning an inventory of army medical property after the closure of Camp Logan (1919). Other material includes a copy of a first-aid lecture (n.d.), compensation claims made after the death of Abram Feltus Barrow by members of his family (1931-57) and a service ribbon (unidentified, n.d.).

Medical papers (1910-28) document Abram Feltus Barrow's membership of various medical societies. Certificates and licenses include certificates of practice for Louisianian and American Medical Societies (1920-28), a physician's license (1920), and a certificate of registration to dispense and use narcotics, issued by the Louisiana State Board of Health (July 1, 1925). There are several passes as local surgeon for the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Co. (1910-28), and two pamphlets explaining fees and regulations for surgeons working for the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Co. (1900, 1908).

Subseries 2. Camilla Leake Barrow, 1905-66

Business papers include share certificates for the Tunica-Homer Oil Co. and the Bayou Sara CottonCompress Co., and correspondence relating to the Feliciana Realty Co., the successor of the CreoleOil and Mineral Co. (1928-39). Papers relating to the sale of property concern a deed of gift from William W. Leake to Camilla Leake Barrow of property on Royal Street, St Francisville, and an act of sale from Amelia Leake to Camilla Leake Barrow, also for property fronting Royal Street. There is a datien en paiment made out to Camilla Leake Barrow by Abram Feltus Barrow (Nov. 8, 1913). Other legal papers include a copy of a donation of rights of inheritance to a nephew, William Stone Leake (Dec. 1, 1947) and notes of oaths of office for the Louisiana State School Board 1952-4). Certificates document Camilla Leake Barrow's memberships on the School Board of West Feliciana (1924-42) and the State Parks and Recreation Commission (1952-4). There are receipts for articles placed on indefinite loan to Oakley House in Audubon State Memorial Park, St Francisville (Feb. 25, 1956). General business papers are comprised of dividend checks, banking receipts and letters.

Subseries 3. Eleanor Eliza Barrow, 1936-78.

Papers of note are those concerned with the sale of Highland Plantation to Theodore G. Solomon (Aug.-Oct., 1973) and with the probate matter of Mary B. Mumford who died intestate (April, 1975-Feb., 1978). There is also correspondence dealing with the distribution of profits from a timber sale after the death of Johnston Armstrong Barrow (1970) and a copy of Eleanor's delayed certificate of birth (July 30, 1946).

Subseries 4. Barrow and Leake Families, 1804-1960.

Of note is the contract between William Barrow and John Arick to build Highland Plantation, which includes the payment of $800, Arick's board, and the loan of three slaves (1804). Deeds exist for a lot fronting Ferdinand Street in St Francisville (copy of deed dated June 7, 1869) and property on Royal Street made over to William W. Leake (copy of deed dated Jan. 1, 1868). There is also a deed of a burial plot bought by William W. Leake for his family in Grace Church cemetery, St. Francisville (June 18, 1897). An agreement between John F. Joor Barrow and his two eldest sons, Bennet L. Barrow and Elwyn Barrow transfers land on Highland Plantation in payment of a debt of John Barrow to his sons (Jan. 9, 1882). Also included are share certificates, Medical School lecture passes for John J. Barrow (1853-55), bills of lading for the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Co. (1924) and a list of supplies taken to Port Hudson during the Civil War (July 31, 1863).

Subseries 5. Creole Oil and Mineral Company, 1900-29.

This company was formed to manage land in the Parish of Calcasieu, but the property remained undeveloped. Abram F. Barrow was president of the company from 1900-22. The bulk of the material consists of tax receipts and stock certificates. A letter (May 16, 1922) discusses an apparently unauthorized sale of the land, which was eventually bought up by the Percy Co. A new company was formed 1928-9 (see above, business papers of Camilla Leake Barrow).

Subseries 6. People's Bank, St Francisville (La.) Records, 1905-13.

The records were filed under "claims for collection", and are retained in this unit. They relate to the operation of the People's Bank and include some personal papers. William W. Leake was president from 1905-12, and was succeeded by the cashier, Kemp C. Smith. The majority of the materials consist of receipts, customer's drafts, promissory notes, share certificates, mortgages and deeds of sale made over to the bank for collateral and keeping. Of note are the papers detailing the abstract of title, warranty deed and authorization for sale of a lot in Davidson, Oklahoma (Feb.,1909-Aug.,1910). There is correspondence concerning notes held by other banks (1912), including Commercial-Germania Trust and Savings (New Orleans, La.), Hibernia Bank and Trust Co. (New Orleans, La.) and National Park Bank (New York) (1912). There is a banking license for 1911. Personal papers belonging to Kemp C. Smith include correspondence (June 15, 1908) and stock certificates.

II. Correspondence, 1890-1971.

Subseries 1. To Camilla Leake Barrow, 1901-54.

Correspondence includes several recipes (n.d.), a letter from Abram Feltus Barrow on Camilla Leake Barrow's birthday (Aug. 21, 1913) and circulars from the Louisiana State Department of Health (April 7-8, 1943).

Subseries 2. To Eleanor E. Barrow, 1907-78.

There are several postcards from Morocco, Spain and the United States. Material from the Daughters of the American Revolution includes certificates of 25 years' service and membership of the National Society and the Alexander Stirling Chapter (Oct. 10, 1940) and a copy of the Mumford family tree, used by Camilla Leake Barrow to establish the family claim for membership. Other genealogical material concerning members of the Mumford and Pope families is found with correspondence (March 19, 1971).

Subseries 3. Leake and Barrow families, 1890-1973.

A letter to William W. Leake includes genealogical material on the Leake family (Nov. 7, 1898). Barrow correspondence includes telegrams sent on the occasion of the marriage of Frank Barrow and Lora Maye Scholber (Dec. 10, 1919) and claims for service disability allowance made by Frank Barrow after the death of his father (March 19, 1933). Also of note are envelopes from the first air-mail service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans (June 4, 1932).

III. Fraternal Orders Records, 1854-1967.

Summary: Members of the Barrow, Leake, Armstrong and Mumford families belonged to various fraternal orders, most notably Feliciana Lodge No. 31 (St Francisville, La.), Bayou Sara Lodge No. 50 (Bayou Sara, La.), Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (New Orleans, La.), Knights of Pythias and the Order of the Eastern Star, Laurel Chapter No. 44 (St Francisville, La.). Their membership and the history of these orders is documented through correspondence, records of lodge business, newspaper clippings, printed items and realia.

Subseries 1. Membership and Correspondence, 1890-1958.

Correspondence includes letters concerning dues, the cornerstone for a new masonic temple in New Orleans (1927) and Hunter C. Leake's fifty years of membership (1937-42).

A large amount of membership material is concerned with dues. These include William W. Leake's dues to the Knights of Pythias (1888-1906), Johnston A. Barrow's dues to Feliciana Lodge No. 31, Abram Feltus Barrow's dues to the Tuberculosis Hospital Association of Masons and Frank L. and Lora S. Barrow's dues to Laurel Chapter No. 44. Also present are records of Camilla Leake Barrow's insurance with the Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle, and correspondence concerning its payment after her death (1923-57). Certificates of membership include Johnston A. Barrow, for the Guam Square and Compass Club (1945) and Abram Feltus Barrow, for the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (20 Dec., 1902). Certificates of extended membership belong to Camilla Leake Barrow and Eleanor E. Barrow for the Order of the Eastern Star (16 Nov., 1939), Johnston Armstrong Barrow for the Grand Lodge of Louisiana (24 Oct., 1957) and Hunter C. Leake for Feliciana Lodge No. 31 (1942). There are certificates of degrees for Camilla L. Barrow as a Master Mason's daughter in Feliciana Lodge No. 31 (1901) and for Hunter Collins Leake in the 32nd degree of the Scottish Rite (Feb. 20, 1910).

Subseries 2. Addresses, Resolutions, Articles, 1912-56.

Speeches include a copy of the address for Hunter C. Leake's fifty years as a mason and a notebook of various ceremonial speeches (n.d.). A typed copy of the article "A War Episode", relates the story of the masonic burial of a Union soldier conducted by Confederate masons under the leadership of W.W. Leake (ca. 1956 - see below). Other articles include a copy of the resolution on William W. Leake's death by Bayou Sara Lodge No. 11 (1912) and a description of artifacts held by Feliciana Lodge No. 31 (1942).

Subseries 3. Printed Items, Newspaper Clippings and Realia, 1850-1969.

Printed items include a thesaurus of the Order of the Eastern Star (1850), a program for the sesquicentennial celebrations of Feliciana Lodge No. 31 and sheet music and lyrics, mostly written for the Order of the Eastern Star. Serials include several issues of the Square and Compasses (1909-1932), The Royal Arch Mason (1949) and Master Mason (1917). Magazine articles on Freemasonry include offprints from the Square and Compasses: "A War Episode" (July, 1908), a supplement to the Times Picayune: "Masonic Showcase" (Sept. 26, 1971) and Life (Oct. 8, 1956).

Newspaper clippings (1938-72) mostly reflect masonic events. There are several articles on William W. Leake's burial of the union soldier (see above), and on the ceremonies honoring Hunter C. Leake's long membership.

There are two leather aprons belonging to William W. Leake and A. Villaret, which record their rise through the three degrees of masonry in Feliciana Lodge No. 31 (1854-92).

IV. Printed items and Newspaper Clippings, 1865-1980.

Printed items relating to the Barrow and Leake families include death notices for Abram Feltus Barrow (1928), and publications for the annual Audubon Pilgrimage (1972-3, 1975-6, 1979-80) which often included homes linked to the Barrow family; included in this material is an article describing the Camilla Leake Barrow home for pilgrimage tours. There is also a typed copy of an ordinance for a market in St Francisville taken from The Louisianian (Oct. 9, 1819), which cites a W. Leake as President of Trustees and a commencement program for Catholic High of Point Coupee (May 17, 1979). There are also two metal printing plates (n.d.) depicting Abram Feltus Barrow.

Serials include an offprint from the Louisiana Historical Quarterly (July, 1927), "The Louisiana Planter and his Home", the Louisiana Genealogical Register, Vol. I, No. 1 (July, 1945) and Extension Circulars 118-119 (1932) from Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Division of Agriculture. Ephemera includes "Hitler's Last Will" (1942), blank postcards, programs and song sheets. Books and monographs include Angels' Record (Eleanor Barrow's yearbook from All Saints Episcopal College, Miss., 1913), Mount Vernon Silver (1957) and Facsimile Reproductions of the Principal Labels of Specific Medicines (1927).

Newspaper clippings relating to the Barrow, Leake and Armstrong families include obituaries of Margaret E. Leake (1904) and Abram Feltus Barrow (1928). There are also several articles on the golden wedding anniversary celebrations of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston Armstrong (1937). General newspaper clippings include a large amount of poetry and local history and society news.

V. Manuscript Volumes, 1851-1970

Business books include a "Cotton Book" (1889) which lists accounts and wages (owned by a member of the Barrow family), Highland Plantation accounts kept by Fisher Hilliard (1891) and a "Militia Roll" for the parish of West Feliciana (July 16 1878), compiled by C.M. Barrow, a clerk, which lists men of the parish between the ages of 18 and 45, alphabetically and with a note of color. Medical notebooks relate to supplies and prescription formulas, and include two mss. volumes entitled "Original Formulas Used by Dr A. Maguire" (n.d.) and general medical notes (1891-1907). There is the clinical notebook of J.A. Leake and J.A. Holt for a Charity Hospital (1883), and doctors' appointment records and account books belonging to Abram Feltus Barrow (1893-1927); that dated 1893-99 has a silver list on the back pages. Abram Feltus Barrow's class book (1889-90) for Tulane Medical College also includes material on masonic speeches and ceremonies.

The scrapbook of Alice Powell, later used by Mrs. J.A. Pullen, (ca. 1882-1970) includes newspaper clippings that concern family members, such as J. Leake and the Mumfords. Another scrapbook (1926-55) relates to the Protestant Home for Babies (New Orleans, La.), one of whose founders was Mrs. Johnston Armstrong. There are autograph albums belonging to Amelia Barrow Armstrong (1881-3), to John Joor Barrow (1851-55) from his years at the University of Virginia, and a matching album owned by Eleanor Eliza Barrow (ca. 1852) inscribed by members of Patapsco Institute, Maryland. There is also a baby record book for Lucy Belle Armstrong (1894).

VI. Photographs and Prints, ca. 1882-1937

There are 163 photographs and 24 negatives, mostly undated. There are a large number of cabinet cards many of which depict members of the Leake, Barrow and Mumford families. 36 cabinet cards, cartes de visite and photographs in other formats are from the album of Dr. James Leake, and depict people of note, friends and family and members of a Charity Hospital and Medical College (unidentified). Of note are photographs depicting the Camilla Leake Barrow House on Royal Street, St Francisville (n.d.), Abram Feltus Barrow's residence and sanitorium and various photographs of masonic and other fraternal orders. There are three photographs from the 50th Wedding Anniversary celebrations of Mr. and Mrs. Johnston Armstrong (1937). 5 photographs removed from other parts of the collection represent the scrapbook of the Protestant Home for Babies (n.d.) and correspondence of Eleanor Eliza Barrow (1978). Local photographers' studios represented are E. Simon (183 Canal Street, New Orleans), G. Moses (121 Canal Street, New Orleans), Peyton (147 Canal Street, New Orleans), W.W. Washburn (113 Canal Street, New Orleans) and A.D. Lytle (Baton Rouge).

Seven panoramic photographs represent meetings of various fraternal orders: the Shriners, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Women of the World Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star. There is also a panoramic photograph of Abram Feltus Barrow's Medical Corps Division at Camp Logan, Texas.

There are also two sets of prints (n.d.), apparently portraits of Abram Feltus Barrow.

VII. Realia, 1908-ca. 1964.

Two coins commemorate the centennial of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana (1812-1912). Four medals depict reunions of the United Confederate Veterans Association (1908-11) and the Southern Cross of Honor (n.d.). There is a framed piece of curtain from the Louisiana Old State Capitol (ca. 1964). Also included are nameplates, chargeplates and a phonographic disc (n.d.).

Group 2. St John's Church (Laurel Hill, La.) Records, 1874-1936


These papers appear to relate to J. Burruss McGehee's service as churchwarden, though they include other material relating to the history of St John's. They were "found in Jackson Hall with other papers to be thrown away when Rev. J.A. Keen was leaving" (note on original folder). The material consists largely of receipts for the rectors' salaries, for offerings and purchases. There is a copy of the deed of the land given over to the church by Laura E. Argue (1874). Letters include personal correspondence to J. Burruss McGehee, a letter from the New Orleans Council of Episcopal Churches (May 13, 1878) and discussions on the formation of a Sunday School (1883). Two articles (n.d.) relate the history of the church.

Index Terms

Barrow family 1: I-VII

Barrow, Abram Feltus, 1868-8 1: I.1-2, 5, III.1-2, IV-VII

Barrow, Camilla Leake, ca. 1873-1957 1: I.2, II.2, III. 1-3, IV, VI, VII

Barrow, Eleanor Eliza, 1894-1 1: I.3, II.2, III.1-2, IV, VI

Leake, William Walter, 1833-1912 1: I.4, 6, II.1, III.1-4, IV

McGehee, J. Burruss, 1836-1913 2

Freemasons.  Feliciana Lodge 1: III.1-4

     No. 31 (St Francisville, La.)

Freemasons.  Bayou Sara Lodge 

     No. 15 (Bayou Sara, La.) 1: III.1-3

Order of the Eastern Star.  Laurel 

     Chapter No. 44 (St Francisville, La.) 1: III.1, 3, VI

Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the   

     Mystic Shrine for North America. (New Orleans, La.) 1: III.1

Knights of Pythiassp; 1: III.1

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 1: II.2, VI

Highland Plantation (La.) 1: I.1, 3-4, V

Creole Oil and Mineral Co. 1: I.2, 5

St John's Church (Laurel Hill, La.) 2

People's Bank (St Francisville, 1: I.6

United StatesArmy.  Medical Corps.  

     Division, 15th.  Infantry 1: I.1, VI

Medicine--practice—Louisiana 1: I.1, V

Sanatoriums--Louisiana--Saint Francisville 1: V, VI

Audubon Pilgrimage sp; 1: IV

Cotton growing—Louisiana 1: V

Militia--Louisiana--West Feliciana 1: V

Protestant Home for Babies 1: V

Saint Francis 1: I-VI; 2

Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad 1: I.1, 3

Lytle, Andrew David, 1833?-1917 1: VI

Washburn, William Watson, ca. 1827-1903 1: VI

Simon, Eugene 1: VI

Moses, Gustave, ca. 1836-1915 1: VI