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CSU Archives

Alfonso Biggs Collection (MC 154)

Biographical Note

According to his obituary in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Alfonso Biggs was born February 14, 1904 in Talbot County, Georgia.  In 1921 he received a Normal Certificate from Central City College, which was then affiliated with Mercer University.  He taught school and worked in cotton mills before becoming a master cook.  In his 65-year catering career, he cooked for five Fort Benning generals and three presidents (Franklin d. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower).  In addition to his catering career, he was also a scholar and an avid collector of black history artifacts and antiques.  He died in Columbus, Georgia on December 29, 2003.

Scope and Content

These materials include information on black religious history, lynching, genealogy, videos, quilts and his family recipes.

1880s-2000s                                                                   4 boxes (3.3 1.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Alfonso Biggs Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University.  Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

The Alfonso Biggs Collection (MC 154)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


The material in boxes 1 through 3 were donated by Alonso Biggs in August of 1979.  The material in box 4 was donated by the Columbus Public Library in 2013.

Note to Researchers

See also:

Fort Valley State College, Georgia, to which Alfonso Biggs donated his collection of ante-bellum furniture and artifacts.

Talbot County (Georgia) Library, to which Alfonso Biggs donated a collection of family artifacts.

Box and Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 – Georgia State Association of Physicians, Dentists and Pharmacists, souvenir program (photocopy), May 1928

Folder 2 – South-west Georgia Annual Conference (of the A.M.E. Church), Souvenir Program (photocopy), October 1953

Folder 3 – South-west Georgia Annual Conference (of the A. M. E. Church), Souvenir Program (photocopy), 1964

Folder 4 – The Columbus Newspaper, May 2, 1964

Folder 5 – Portrait of Alfonso Biggs (copy) done by Columbus Artist Gary Pound, 1980

Folder 6 – Essay on black churches written by Alfonso Biggs (photocopy), March, 1989

Folder 7 – The Museum of African American History Newsletter, March 1989

Folder 8 – Letter from F. N. Boney, history professor at the University of Georgia, to Craig Lloyd regarding Alfonso Biggs, April 15, 1989

Folder 9 – The Columbus Times, January, 1992

Folder 10 – Notes from a telephone conversation between Craig Lloyd and Alfonso Biggs, April 23, 1993

Folder 11 – Newspaper clipping from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution regarding a donation made by Alfonso Biggs to the Talbot County Library, July 11, 1999

Folder 12 – Information on Biggs and his family, n.d.

Folder 13 – Essay on black churches in Columbus, Georgia written by Alfonso Biggs (photocopy), 1989 (?)

Folder 14 – Four hand-written essays by Alfonso Biggs, 1980s-1990s (?)

Folder 15 – Excepts from the Scrapbook of Alfonso Biggs (photocopies), 1930s-1980s

Folder 16 – Alfonso Biggs' family recipes:

Century cake

Crystallizing for fruit-cake

1840 beaten biscuits

Election cake

Hoe cake

Light bread

Plum pudding

Scripture cake

Spoon bread

Sweet wafer

Vanilla sugar

Uncooked fruit cake

Wedding cake

Folder 17 –100 years of Lynchings, (Photocopy of a publication containing information on lynchings in newspapers, 1880-1913), n.d.

Folder 18 – Harper's Weekly article on Early Bridges in Columbus, Georgia (photocopy), 1860s

Folder 19 – Notes made by Alfonso Biggs, n.d.

Folder 20 – Museum of African American History brochure, n.d.

Folder 21 – Photograph of a monument to Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C. (photocopy), n.d.

Folder 22 – Homecoming: African-American Family History in Georgia-Program, n.d.

Folder 24 – Thank-you note from Kim Cofer for assistance in researching Ma Rainey, April 15, 1989

Folder 25 – Transcript of an interview with Alfonso Biggs by Toril Haegeland, Spring 1986

Folder 26 – Homecoming and Men's Day Observing the 116th Anniversary of St. John A.M.E. Church, February 22, 1987

Folder 27 – Funeral Service program for Mrs. Malvenia Walker Gentry, February 5, 1990

Folder 28 – St. Mary's Road United Methodist Church third Annual Men's Day program, February 25, 1990

Item 1: VHS Tape - Biggs Home Tour and Interview

Item 2: VHS Tape - Unlabeled

Item 3: VHS Tape - Mr. Biggs on Quilts, ABC News

Item 4: VHS Tape - Biggs Family History and Tribute to the Black Woman, taped October 31, 1989 by Bobby Biggs

Item 5: VHS Tape - Biggs Family History and Tribute to the Black Woman, taped October 31, 1989 by Bobby Biggs; Biggs on ABC News, April 15, 1990

Boxes 2 & 3 – Five quilts made by ancestors of Alfonso Biggs

Box 4

This material was donated to the CSU Archives in the fall of 2013 when the Columbus Public Library closed its archival collection.  This collection was previously numbered MC 025 at the public library.  It is now interfiled and added to the existing  Alfonso Biggs Collection (MC 154).

Folder 1 – Cartoon-Black American Genocide 1993

Folder 2 – Century Club of First African Baptist Church

Folder 3 – Columbus Public Schools Promotion Certificate for Edith Williams, 1916

Folder 4 – Dedication to D.T. Slater, Spencer High School, 1948

Folder 5 – Eugene Bullard photograph

Folder 6 – Fredye Marshall photograph

Folder 7 – Mae Carol photograph

Folder 8 – Photos- Unidentified children

Folder 9 – Photos- Unidentified females

Folder 10 – Photos-Unidentified males

Folder 11 – Robert Paul Brinson photograph, 1981

Folder 12 – Ruth V. Cobb of O.E.S.

Folder 13 – Taylor's Community Singers

Folder 14 – The Torch, Radcliff high School ( photocopy), 1948

Folder 15 – Unidentified group picture

Folder 16 – CD: Biggs Collection Digital Images