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CSU Archives

Brown-Gunnels Collection (MC 394)


Biographical Note

     This collection spans two generations of the Brown and Gunnels family of Columbus, GA beginning with the marriage between John "Wright" Brown and Laura Elizabeth "Betsy" Gunnels in 1928.  The bulk of the information relates to the following family members:

John "Wright" Brown was born in Louisville, Jefferson County, Georgia on June 27, 1897 to James Franklin Brown and Julia Hunter.  He graduated from Louisville Academy and a received a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1920.  He worked as an insurance agent and a movie theater manager before taking a position with the Woodruff Company, which he later became partner.  Wright Brown passed away on September 30, 1964 in Columbus, Georgia. He was 67.

     Laura Elizabeth "Betty" Gunnels was born in March 1900 in Georgia to Columbus Lee Gunnels and Mae Corrine McCarity.  Columbus Lee dies in 1905 and mother Mae remarries to Robert Bailey . Betty married Wright Brown on December 22, 1928 and together settled in Columbus, Georgia to begin their family.  She died in a car accident on March 2, 1956 while coming home from Macon, Georgia.

     Robert "Bob" Lee  Gunnels is the older brother of Betty Gunnels.  He was born January 9, 1903 in Tignall, Wilkes County, Georgia . He married Jane Branson Fox on February 12, 1947. They had no children.  Bob retired as Executive of International Operations for the Coca-Cola Company in 1966, a job which required extensive travel to destinations such as Berlin, South Africa, and London.  Robert Lee Gunnels died on January 20, 1985 and is buried at Riverdale Cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.

     Barbara Hunter Brown was born on February 16, 1931 in Columbus, Georgia and is the oldest daughter of Wright and Betty Brown.  She is a 1948 graduate of Columbus High School and a 1952 graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.  She married first, Elliott Spear Waddell, Junior in 1956 and together have two children, Wright Brown Waddell and Elliott Spear Waddell, III.  Elliott Waddell, Jr. passed away in 1977 and she married William Marion Page in 1985.  Barbara worked at the United Nations in New York and served in many society associations and groups and was a talented artists.

Scope and Content

Materials include personal correspondence, family photographs, and other memorabilia associated with the Wright and Betty Brown, their two daughters, in-laws, and friends.

This collection is arranged in the following series:

1. John "Wright" Brown (1898-1964)
2. Elizabeth "Betty" Gunnels (1903-1985)
3. Robert Gunnels (1903-1985)
4. Barbara Gunnels Waddell Page (1931-2017)
5. Miscellaneous/Multiple Generations
6. Photographs and Negatives (1930-1945)

1900-2017 11 boxes (6 l.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Brown-Gunnels Family 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:

Brown-Gunnels Family Collection (MC 394)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia

Provenance

Gift of Katherine Waddell.

Box and Folder List

Series 1 – John "Wright" Brown (1989-1964)

Box 1:

Folder 1. Address Book belonging to J. Wright Brown, c. 1955

Folder 2. American Legion Trip and publications

Folder 3. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, I

Folder 4. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, II

Folder 5. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, III

Folder 6. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, IV

Folder 7. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, V

Folder 8. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, VI

Folder 9. Cards and Letters to J. Wright Brown while at Emory Hospital, May - June 1964, VII

Folder 10. Correspondence of J. Wright Brown to W.C. Bradley regarding plants in the Oldstead Garden of the Bradley Estate, 1931

Folder 11. Checks from J. Wright Brown to local businesses, 1923-1924; 1958

Folder 12. Christmas Cards to Wright Brown family

Folder 13. Death of J. Wright Brown, September 1964

Folder 14. Georgia Institute of Technology ephemera for John Wright Brown
     This folder contains a handkerchief and lapel pin and a copy of the Student Handbook

Folder 15. Georgia Institute of Technology Textbooks, Notes, GA Phi Fraternity Photographs, 1917-1920; 1963
     Note - letters in this folder relate to the purchase and funding for a fraternity house

Folder 16. Georgia Institute of Technology ROTC, Provisional Training Regiment for Military and Photographs

Folder 17. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, May 1920
     Note: The letter in this folder relates to J. Wright Brown's acceptance into the Sales School in Akron, Ohio

Folder 18. Insurance and Banking Receipts for J. Wright Brown

Folder 19. Letters to Betty from Wright Brown

Folder 20. Letters to Wright Brown from Betty

Folder 21. Letters to Wright Brown, 1914-1917

Folder 22. Letters to Wright Brown from Friends and Family, 1919-1920

Folder 23. Letters to Wright Brown from Friends and Family, 1921

Folder 24. Letters to Wright Brown from Friends and Family, 1922

Folder 25. Letters to Wright Brown from Friends and Family, 1923-1924

Folder 26. Letters to Wright Brown from Friends and Family, 1925

Folder 27. Letters to Wright Brown from Friends and Family, 1926, 1928, 1939, 1941, 1964
     Postcards of area landmarks, some are left blank

Folder 28. Louisville Academy, 1914-1916, Report cards of J. Wright Brown

Folder 29. Louisville, Georgia, home town of J. Wright Brown

Folder 30. Monday Morning Quarterback Club news clippings and programs, 1946-1947

Folder 31. Motor Vehicle Tag, 1925

Folder 32. Movie Palace career of J. Wright Brown, Jacksonville, FL, Columbus, GA, and Greenville, S.C., 1924-1925
     This folder contains original, unique photographs of the Rialto Theater in Columbus, GA

Folder 33. Newspaper articles and photos of J. Wright Brown, 1940s - 1950s

Folder 34. Photographs of J. Wright Brown

Folder 35. Tax Information for J. Wright Brown, 1948, 1951, 1954, 1956

Folder 36. 32 Degree, Scottish Rite, 1926
     Note to researcher: The Scottish Rite is a fraternal organization associated with Freemasonry. The 32nd Degree is the second to highest level in the organization and is known as the Master of the Royal Secret with the title of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.

Series 2 – Elizabeth "Betsy" Gunnels Brown (1900-1956)

Box 1:

Folder 1. "Betty" Gunnels Wright's Social Affiliations, c. 1950s

Folder 2. Brown-Gunnels Wedding, December 2, 1928

Folder 3. Genealogy Charts of Judy Brown, Barbra Brown, and James Franklin

Folder 4. Genealogy of Gunnels Family

Folder 5. Funeral and Medical Bills for Betty Brown, April – May 1956

Folder 6. Letters to Betty from her mother Mae, 1930s

Folder 7. Letters to Betty Brown from others, 1940s-1950s

Folder 8. Letters to her mother, Mae, from Betty; 1936, 1938, 1941

Folder 9. Letters to the Brown Family, 1940s

Folder 10. Letter and Postcards to Mrs. Brown, from Axel Lauge, Kobenhavn, Germany, 1936

Folder 11. Lynda Gunnels Arnold DAR Application
     Lynda Gunnels Arnold is the daughter of Columbus Lee Gunnels and Mae McGarity, sister to Elizabeth "Betsy" Gunnels Brown

Folder 12. Mae McGarity Gunnels Obituary and Photographs

Folder 13. Sympathy Cards on Death of Betty Gunnels Brown's mother, Mae, 1942

Series 3 – Robert L. Gunnels (1903-1985)

Box 1

Folder 1. Charitable Donations in Memory of Robert Gunnels, 1985

Folder 2. Condolence Cards for Death of Robert "Bob" Gunnels, January 1985

Folder 3. Condolence Letters for death of Robert "Bob" Gunnels, 1985

Folder 4. Get Well/ Birthday/ Holiday Cards to Robert Gunnel and family, 1984-1985

Folder 5. Jane Fox Gunnels death Notice and Obituary, April 1986

Folder 6. Letters from Robert "Bob" Gunnels to Family Members, 1940s

Folder 7. Mercer University Diploma for Robert L. Gunnels, 1928

Folder 8. Obituaries, Memorials, and Funeral Book for Robert "Bob" Gunnels, 1985

Folder 9. Tax Report for Robert Gunnels and Jane Fox Gunnels, 1984
     This report contains mention of Coca-Cola Shares

Series 3 -- Box 2: Photographs

Folder 1. Aboard U.S. Manhattan, Robert L. Gunnels and the Shriners, 1940s

Folder 2. Gunnels Family (Robert L. and Jane Gunnels), 1950s-1960s

Folder 3. Miscellaneous Photographs of Robert L. Gunnels and Friends

Folder 4. Robert L. Gunnels at Banquet, C. 1960-1965

Folder 5. Robert L. Gunnels and Coca-Cola Company Employees, c. 1940s

Folder 6. Robert L. Gunnels, Travels for Coca-Cola Company, Germany, Italy, and South Africa, 1938

Folder 7. Robert L. Gunnels Trip to Hamilton, Bermuda, January 1959

Folder 8. Photographs of Robert Gunnels in Manila, Pre-WWII

Folder 9. Photographs of Robert L. Gunnels Receiving Accommodation Pin ND

Folder 10. Unidentified Gunnels Family, c. 1890s-1910

Folder 11. Vacation and Family Photographs, Robert & Jane Gunnels, 1950s

Folder 12. Young Robert L. Gunnels Photographs While in School & Family Members

Folder 13. Scrapbook Contents belonging to Robert Gunnels
     Processors Note: The contents from the scrapbook contains photographs and newspaper clippings from the Gunnels, Fox, and their friends.  There are two photographs of Robert and Jane's wedding included.  Scrapbook was in poor condition and contents were removed.

Item 1. Large Photograph of Robert and Jane Gunnels with another couple, c. 1950

Item 2. The Cauldron, Mercer University Yearbook, Macon, Georgia, 1928

Series 4 – Barbara Brown Waddell Page

Box 1

Folder 1. Agnes Scott College Memorabilia, 1949-1952

Folder 2. Agnes Scott College Reunion Photos, October 1995

Folder 3. Album of Photographs taken while at Agnes Scott College by Barbara Brown, 1949-1952

Folder 4. Anniversary & Birthday Poems by W. Marion Page to Barbara Brown W. Page

Folder 5. Barbara Brown at the United Nations

Folder 6. Barbara Hunter Brown Birth Certificate, Feb. 16, 1931

Folder 7. Barbara Hunter Brown Photos as an Adult

Folder 8. Barbara Brown Waddell Bank Books, 1950, 1964

Folder 9. Barbara Hunter Brown Autobiography up to 17-18 Years

Folder 10. Chautauqua Lake Camp

Folder 11. Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C., 1954

Folder 12. Childhood Photographs of Barbara Brown

Folder 13. Day Planner & Financial Bond Tracker used as Sketchbook by Barbara Brown, 1938

Folder 14. Diary of Barbara Brown, 1951 and Contents between Pages

Folder 15. "Follies", Columbus, GA Catalogue, 1959

Folder 16. High School Years at Columbus High School, 1943- 1948

Folder 17. Holiday Cards and Notes to Mr. & Mrs. Wright Brown, from Barbara Brown

Folder 18. Letters from Barbara Brown (Waddell) to Her Parents while Attending Agnes Scott College, 1949-1952

Folder 19. Letters to Barbara Brown (Waddell) Regarding the International Order of the King's Daughters and Sons Convention, Columbus, GA, 1953

Folder 20. Letters to Barbara Brown Waddell from Friends & Family, 1957

Folder 21. Letters to Barbara from Friends & Family, 1948-1993

Folder 22. Maid of Cotton Competition, Memphis, TN, 1953 (Barbara Brown)

Folder 23. Metropolitan Opera Programs

Folder 24. Newspaper Clippings about Barbara Brown Waddell

Folder 25. "One Girl's Saga," "A True Story" by Shirley Hemmingway, (Short Story about Barbara Brown), nd

Folder 26. Photographs of Barbara Brown and Friends, "Susie", 1949

Folder 27. Postcards, Blank & Completed, From All Over the World & US

Folder 28. Postcards to Members of First Presbyterian Church, Columbus

Folder 29. Postcards to Mr. & Mrs. W. Marion Paige & Others, 1987-2004

Folder 30. Receipts for Goods & Services Incurred by Barbara Brown Waddell, 1950's, 1971

Folder 31. School Photos of Barbara H. Brown and Friends

Folder 32. Sympathy Cards on Death of "Butch" Page to Barbara B.W. Page

Folder 33. Travel Postcards Keepsakes; Canada, Sandringham & Canterbury

Folder 34. Yearbook Pages, Agnes Scott College, 1949 and 1950

Folder 35. Yearbook Pages, Columbus High School, 1948 and its contents
     Contents include photograph taken October 2004 and an obituary for Dr. James H. Sullivan (October 2008)

Folder 36. Yearbook Pages, Columbus High School, 1948- belonged to Helena D. Hill

Series 4 -- Box 2: Photographs of Barbara Brown on Europe Tour with friends, 1951
     Processors Note: This collection of photographs were taken aboard the S.S. Volendam, a steamship between Montreal, Canada and Rotterdam, Netherlands.   Barbara and her friends traveled around England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. Trip was for three months, July through September 1951.

Series 5 – Miscellaneous/Multiple Generations

Box 1: Columbus, GA Social Clubs

Folder 1. Charter Garden Club Yearbooks, 1946-1949

Folder 2. Charter Garden Club Yearbooks, 1950-1960

Folder 3. Charter Garden Club Yearbooks, 1960-1962

Folder 4. Elliott S. Waddell Sr., born 26 Jan. 1862, died 20 Aug 1957

Folder 5. Elliott Spears Waddell Jr. (1918-1977), first husband of Barbara Brown

Folder 6. "Follies of 1933", Community Service League program, Laura Young performer

Folder 7. Hunter Brown and family- Cornelia Brown, Beverly Brown (Hunter is brother to J.
Wright Brown)

Folder 8. Judy H. Brown- Letters, school advancements and newspaper clippings (daughter of J.
Wright Brown)

Folder 9. Judy H. Brown's Valentine cards and letter from "Guess Who?"

Folder 10. Laura Yonge Spencer postcard from the Chicago World Exposition, 1893
(Daughter of R.P. Spencer and wife of Elliott S. Waddell)

Folder 11. National Society Colonial Dames of America, 1957-1956
(Includes Laura Yonge Spencer, Mrs. Elliott S. Waddell)

Series 5 -- Box 2: Miscellaneous/ Multiple Generations

Folder 1. Anne Pekor, Mrs. Guy Pekor

Folder 2. Bradley Theatre Grand Opening program and press coverage, 1940

Folder 3. British Royals visit to Washington D.C. news clippings, June 1939

Folder 4. Boy Scout Troop 2, First Presbyterian Church, June 1, 1922

Folder 5. Corra Harris (author) Memorial Chapel dedication, June 15, 1936

Folder 6. Dr. Crawford W. Long postal stamp news clippings, 1937

Folder 7. Empty envelopes and stamps in Brown family

Folder 8. First Presbyterian Church bulletins, 1943, postcard and note on tuning fork

Folder 9. German travel memorabilia, 1927, 1939, 1952

Folder 10. "League Life", Junior Service League publications, 1938; 1954-1955; 1981-1987

Folder 11. Maps of Columbus, Georgia, c. 1980s-1990s

Folder 12. Maps of the Netherlands, c. 1930s-1940s, Map of Martinique, 1990-1991

Folder 13. Miscellaneous programs and clippings

Folder 14. Photographs of old Columbus

Folder 15. Savannah, Georgia tourist brochures and postcards, 1946

Folder 16. Wedding invitations and social invitations 1956-1985

Folder 17. Yearbook Photograph of Girls Basketball Team, Columbus High School, 1923
     Processors Note: This photograph was used in the yearbook in 1923 and a copy is located in the Reading Room of the Archives with other Columbus High School yearbooks.

Folder 18. Yearbook Photographs of Glee Club and the Dramatic Club
     Processors Note: This photograph was used in the yearbook in 1934 and a copy is located in the Reading Room of the Archives with other Columbus High School yearbooks.

Series 5 -- Box 3: Oversized

Folder 1. Deed of sale for property inherited by Barbara and Judy Brown from estate of their father, J. Wright Brown, 1988

Folder 2. First Presbyterian Church records of promotion for Barbara H. Brown, 1931-1942

Folder 3. The New Art Coloring Book, features story and color pages of Dutch scenes

Folder 4. Maid of Cotton Contest, Memphis, TN, 1951 (Barbara Brown)
     This folder contains photographs and news clippings of the event

Loose items:

Office of Selective Service Records, Certificate of Merit for J. Wright Brown, signed by Harry Truman, March 29, 1944 to March 31, 1947.

Diploma, Louisville Academy, J. Wright Brown, May 3, 1916

Diploma, Georgia School of Technology (GA Tech), J. Wright Brown, June 8, 1920

American Legion News, September 20, 1920

"New Song of the Chattahoochee," The Atlanta Journal Constitution Magazine, July 20, 1947

Georgia Tech 75th Anniversary Issue, The Atlanta Journal Constitution Magazine, Sept. 15, 1963

The News and Farmer, Louisville, GA, August 27, 1947

The News and Farmer, Louisville, GA, September 3, 1964

The News and Farmer, Louisville, GA, September 10, 1964

"Women's News" section of The Sunday Ledger-Enquirer, Sept. 18, 1966

This section highlights the artistic talents of Barbara Waddell and includes photograph

Yank, The Army Weekly: Continental Edition, May 6, 1945
     This newspaper was printed in English, but the price was in French currency, Francs

Series 6 – Photographs and Negatives

Box 1

Folder 1. Negatives-Brown family, 1932, 1933, 1938

Folder 2. Negatives-Brown family, 1941, 1942, 1943

Folder 3. Negatives- Brown family, no dates (1)

Folder 4.Negatives-Brown family, no dates (2)

Folder 5.Negatives- Brown family, no dates (3)

Folder 6. Negatives of Mrs. Gunnel's family

Folder 7. Photographs of the Brown family, Barbara, Judy and parents, 1930s

Folder 8. Photographs of the Brown family, Barbara, Judy and parents, 1940s

Folder 9. Photographs –Judy Brown, 1934 (born 7 Feb 934)  

Loose Item: Panorama photograph of Agnes Scott College Class of 1952 (Barbara Brown)