Meldrim family papers, 1809-1973

Meldrim, Peter Wiltberger, 1848-1933


7 boxes, 1 volume, 1 oversize folder, 1 tube (4.60 cubic feet).
This collection consists of the papers of Peter and Frances Meldrim and their children, as well as Peter's father, Ralph Meldrim. Peter Meldrim's papers consist of correspondence, commissions and membership certificates, stock certificates, sketches and tributes, memorials, invitations, programs, and addresses. Frances Meldrim's papers contain correspondence, Christmas, birthday, and Easter greetings, essays, including some relating to the Arlington House and the City of Savannah Commission to plan the 150th Anniversary of the death of Brigadier-General Casimir Pulaski. Jane Meldrim Hewitt's papers contain family wedding invitations and her sketches of the Meldrim home, servants, and "Daisy" Low. Frances Meldrim Jones' papers contain family wedding invitations and correspondence regarding the Casey and Berrien miniatures owned by the family. Some papers in the collection concern Dr. Henry R. Casey, including letters and commission. Also included are genealogies, photographs, clippings, and a scrapbook relating to Caroline Louis Meldrim.
Peter Wiltberger Meldrim (1848-1933) was the son of Ralph (1823-1882) and Jane Fawcett Meldrim (Ralph was a businessman in Savannah. His daughter, Margaret, married Thomas F. Thomson and was the grandmother of Meldrim Thomson, Jr., a former Governor of New Hampshire). He received his early education in the Savannah, Georgia, school system; he received his A.B., L.L.B., and LL. D. from the University of Georgia. During the Civil War, Meldrim (at the age of 16) fought with local defenders of Savannah against General Sherman's forces. He began his successful law practice in Savannah in 1869. He was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives and the Senate, a Mayor of Savannah, and president of the American Bar Association (1914-1915). He was a member of many social and philanthropic societies in Savannah and held office in most of them. From his youth, Meldrim was a member of the Georgia Hussars; he rose to the rank of Colonel of the 1st Regiment, Georgia Cavalry and became Brigadier-General of the Georgia National Guard. He also served as Major-General of the Georgia Division of Confederate Veterans. He actively supported the extension of education in Georgia and was instrumental in the establishment of the Georgia State Industrial School (now Savannah State College) in 1891. He served as its Chair of the Board from 1891 until his death. Meldrim was appointed Judge of the Superior Court of the Eastern Judicial Circuit in 1917 and was still on the bench at the time of his death. He was a well-known orator and some of his addresses were published. In 1881, he married Frances Pamela Bird Casey. Frances Pamela Bird Casey Meldrim (1853-1949) was born in Columbia County, Georgia, the daughter of Dr. Henry Rosier Casey (1816-1884) and Caroline Rebecca Harriss (1820-1856). She was a granddaughter of Dr. John Aloysius Casey (1799-1819) and his wife, Sarah Lowndes Berrien Casey, and of the Rev. Juriah Harriss (1784-1868) and Elizabeth Shaw d'Antignac Harriss. After her marriage to Peter Wiltberger Meldrim in 1881, she spent the rest of her life in Savannah. She was known throughout the city and state as a great beauty and a gracious hostess. She was instrumental in having the bill introduced in Congress to restore Arlington, the home of General Robert E. Lee; she promoted the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sailing of the steamship Savannah (the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean), and the erecting of commemorative tablets on City Hall to this vessel and the steamship John Randolph (the first successful iron vessel in American waters). She was president of the Georgia Society of Colonial Dames of America, vice-president of the Federation of Women's Clubs, and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Peter and Frances Meldrim had many children. Caroline Louise Meldrim (1882-1974) was active in civic, social, and cultural affairs in Savannah. Sophie d'Antignac Meldrim Coy Shonnard (1887-?) married twice: first to Edward Harris (Ted) Coy, and second to Horatio Seymour Shonnard. Jane Meldrim Hewitt (1888-?) married Erastus Henry Hewitt of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Frances Casey Meldrim Jones (1883-1965) was the wife of George Noble Jones (1874-1955).
Collection is open for research.
[Item identification], Meldrim family papers, MS 1288, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Samuel Barnard Adams papers, MS 1559.
Garrard and Meldrim property title abstracts, MS 272.
Collection materials are in English.
Finding aid is available in repository.

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