The Gillespie Women

By Mary Adams Kuhn

The Gillespie Scrapbook collection has been and is an ongoing effort. The first to begin this collection was Carrie Blanche Gillespie. Carrie Blanche Johnston was born in Walker County Georgia on August 8, 1856, to Hugh Boudinot Johnston and Clarentine Lemira Kelly. Her family survived the Civil War in Georgia but the effects left deeply imprinted memories on Carrie Blanch. 

While visiting relatives in Raymond after the war she met and married a Confederate veteran of the 12th Mississippi, Cade Drew Gillespie. She spent much of her life trying to preserve the history and memories of the soldiers of the Confederacy. She was a founding member of the Raymond Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It was Carrie Gillespie who got the tombstones set for the unknown soldiers in the Confederate Cemetery and also made sure the fence was preserved. 

 

Mary White Gillespie, daughter-in law of Carrie Blanche Gillespie, loved history and writing. When repairs were being made to the Raymond Courthouse hundreds of old newspapers were found molding in the attic. Plans had been made to thrown them away when Mary Gillespie rescued them. She spent much time reading and saving articles that dealt with Raymond, Hinds County, and the people of Raymond. Most of these articles were from the Hinds County Gazette and a few from the Vicksburg paper and some from the Jackson papers. It is this body of material that make up the Gillespie scrapbook collection

Mary spent hours in the archives as well as searching through many of the old records in the court house and the newspapers she had saved. She wrote a history of Raymond that has been used over and over as a source for later histories writing on Raymond.  She also wrote a history of Hinds County and the Raymond PTA. Many genealogists and authors have perused her large scrapbook searching out family histories and facts about Raymondís past.

 

Mary Gillespie Adams, wife of Raymondís mayor, Hermon Adams,  became the guardian of all the information stored by her mother, Mary White Gillespie. She also began adding more current articles about people of the town to the scrapbooks. The custom of welcoming people into her home to study these collections was continued. She was involved in creating the Scrapbook of Raymond that has been housed in the Raymond Library since 1976.

The love of history didnít stop with the three Gillespie women for whom this collection is named. Currently, Martha Gillespie Ferguson, Mary Adams Kuhn, Pattie Adams Snowball, and John P. Gillespie continue the efforts started by these three Gillespie women. It is in their memory that the scrapbook is being made available to the public.