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The Somerville-Howorth papers span six generations of Mississippi women, but are primarily the papers of Nellie (Nugent) Somerville (1863-1952) and her daughter, Lucy (Somerville) Howorth (1895- ).

Nellie Nugent Somerville was born September 25, 1863, on a plantation in Mississippi; her father was serving in the Confederate Army at the time. Her mother died two years later, and her father was widowed again after a brief second marriage; NNS was raised primarily by her grandmother, S. Myra (Cox) Smith, until her father's third marriage in 1870. NNS spent two years at a Mississippi boarding school and graduated from Martha Washington College in Abingdon, Virginia, in 1880. She married Robert Somerville in 1885; they had four children: Robert, Abram, Eleanor, and Lucy.

NNS became active in suffrage and temperance work in the early 1890s, becoming corresponding secretary of the Mississippi Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1894 and organizing the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association in 1897. By 1915 she was a vice president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1923 she became the first woman to be elected to the Mississippi legislature, serving until 1927. NNS died in Mississippi in 1952. For additional biographical information, see Notable American Women: The Modern Period (Cambridge, Mass.: 1980), which also includes a list of sources.

Lucy Somerville Howorth was born July 1, 1895, in Greenville, Miss., the youngest of the four children of Robert Somerville and Nellie Nugent Somerville. Educated at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, LSH did postgraduate work at Columbia University and received her J.D. from the University of Mississippi in 1922; she was admitted to the Mississippi bar the same year. LSH practiced law in Mississippi, 1922-1934, and was admitted to the bar before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1934. In 1928 she married Joseph Marion Howorth; they had no children.

LSH served as the chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Law Examiners, 1924-1928; the U.S. commissioner of the Southern Judicial District of Mississippi, 1927-1931; a member of the Mississippi state legislature, 1932-1936; associate member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, 1934-1943; legislative attorney in Virginia, 1943-1949; general counsel to the War Claims Commission, 1949-1954; attorney, Commission on Government Security, 1956-1957; and a member of the President's Commission on the Status of Women, 1962-1963. She has maintained a private law practice in Mississippi since 1958. In 1977, LSH co-edited Dear Nellie: The Civil War Letters of William L. Nugent, correspondence between her maternal grandparents.

LSH has been a member of the Federal Bar Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mississippi Historical Society, and numerous other organizations. For additional biographical information, see Who's Who of American Women, 1987-1988 (Wilmette, Ill., 1986).

From the guide to the Papers, 1850-1974, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Papers, 1850-1974 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abram Douglas Somerville person
associatedWith Abram Fulkerson Smith person
associatedWith Aimee Webb Nugent person
associatedWith Alpha Omicron Pi corporateBody
associatedWith Amelia Thomson Watts person
correspondedWith American Association of University Women corporateBody
correspondedWith American Legion Auxiliary corporateBody
associatedWith Anne Lavinia Lewis Nugent person
associatedWith Anne L. L. Nugent person
associatedWith Assembly of Women's Organizations for National Security corporateBody
associatedWith Bilbo, Theodore Gilmore, 1877-1947 person
correspondedWith Brewer, Minnie person
associatedWith Buck, Pearl (Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 person
associatedWith Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Jackson, Miss. corporateBody
associatedWith Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Washington, D.C. corporateBody
associatedWith Central Committee for an Economic Survey of Mississippi corporateBody
associatedWith Civic Improvement Club corporateBody
correspondedWith C. J. Nugent person
associatedWith Columbia University corporateBody
correspondedWith Commission on Government Security corporateBody
associatedWith Cox, Alfred person
correspondedWith Daughters of the American Revolution corporateBody
associatedWith Dewson, Mary Williams, 1874-1962 person
correspondedWith Donlon, Mary person
correspondedWith D. Priscilla Edgerton person
associatedWith Edwards, India person
associatedWith Eleanor F. Smith Nugent person
correspondedWith Eleanor Fulkerson Smith Nugent person
correspondedWith Elizabeth B. Borden person
associatedWith Ella Knox Keener person
correspondedWith Eudora Ramsay Richardson person
correspondedWith Faulkner, William person
associatedWith Faulkner, William, 1897-1962 person
correspondedWith Federal Bar Association corporateBody
associatedWith Federation of Women Shareholders corporateBody
correspondedWith Florence Simms person
correspondedWith Frances E. Willard person
associatedWith Frazier, Keith person
associatedWith Greenville Civic Improvement Club corporateBody
associatedWith Greenville (Miss.) First Methodist Episcopal Church corporateBody
associatedWith Greenville Women's Club corporateBody
associatedWith Hannah More Academy corporateBody
associatedWith Harrison, Ella, 1859-1933 person
correspondedWith Harrison, Pat person
associatedWith Helen R. Carloss person
correspondedWith Helm, Lucinda person
correspondedWith Helm, Mary person
associatedWith Howorth, Lucy (Somerville), 1895- person
correspondedWith H. R. Shands person
associatedWith Hughes, Sarah Tilghman, 1896- person
associatedWith Hypatia Club corporateBody
associatedWith Institute of Women's Professional Relations corporateBody
associatedWith International Congress of Working Women corporateBody
associatedWith International Council of Women corporateBody
associatedWith International Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs corporateBody
correspondedWith J. Allison Hardy person
associatedWith James E. Edmonds person
correspondedWith James O. Eastland person
correspondedWith John E. Rankin person
associatedWith John Pratt Nugent person
correspondedWith John Stennis. person
associatedWith John Wesley person
associatedWith Joseph Marion Howorth person
associatedWith Kate Cox Kretschmar person
associatedWith Kathleen Sexton Holmes person
associatedWith Kendall, Mary Louise person
correspondedWith Kirby Page person
correspondedWith Kjelsberg, Betzy person
associatedWith Kross, Anna Moscowitz person
associatedWith Lewis, Seth person
correspondedWith Lindsay, Malvina person
associatedWith Lucy L. Barton person
correspondedWith Lucy Randolph Mason person
correspondedWith Margaret Wells Wood person
associatedWith Maybel McDaniel person
correspondedWith McHale, Kathryn person
associatedWith Methodist Industrial Association corporateBody
correspondedWith Mississippi State Democratic Party corporateBody
associatedWith Monteagle Equal Suffrage Club. corporateBody
associatedWith Multi-Party Committee of Women corporateBody
correspondedWith National Consumers' League corporateBody
associatedWith National Council of the National Planning Association corporateBody
associatedWith National Nursing Council corporateBody
associatedWith Nugent, Eleanor Fulkerson (Smith), 1844-1866 person
associatedWith Nugent, William Lewis, 1832-1897 person
correspondedWith Olive O. Van Horn person
associatedWith Parsonage Aid Society corporateBody
associatedWith Parsonage and Home Mission Society corporateBody
correspondedWith Phi Beta Kappa corporateBody
associatedWith Phi Delta Delta Legal Fraternity corporateBody
associatedWith Posey, Zoe person
associatedWith Randolph-Macon Woman's College corporateBody
associatedWith Rawalt, Marguerite, 1895- person
correspondedWith Robert Nugent Somerville person
associatedWith Robert R. Bowie person
associatedWith Robert Somerville person
correspondedWith Shands, Dorothy person
correspondedWith Shands, Nugent person
associatedWith Shaw, Anna Howard, 1847-1919 person
correspondedWith Sherwood Eddy person
associatedWith Smith, Evelina person
associatedWith Smith, S. Myra (Cox), 1822-1887 person
associatedWith Somerville, Keith (Frazier) person
associatedWith Somerville, Nellie (Nugent), 1863-1952 person
associatedWith Somerville, Robert person
correspondedWith Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference corporateBody
associatedWith Thomson, Amelia Lewis, 1799- person
correspondedWith United Daughters of the Confederacy corporateBody
associatedWith United Nations League of Lawyers corporateBody
associatedWith University of Mississippi corporateBody
associatedWith U.S. Veterans Administration corporateBody
associatedWith Washington County Council of Defense Woman's Committee corporateBody
correspondedWith White, Sue person
associatedWith Wilson Primm Kretschmar person
associatedWith WJYN corporateBody
associatedWith Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Societies corporateBody
associatedWith Woman's Home Mission Society corporateBody
associatedWith Woman's Missionary Society corporateBody
associatedWith Woman's National Committee for Law Enforcement corporateBody
associatedWith Woman's National Convention for Law Enforcement corporateBody
correspondedWith Women in World Affairs corporateBody
associatedWith Woodward, Ellen (Sullivan), 1887-1971 person
associatedWith World Center for Women's Archives corporateBody
associatedWith Young Women's Christian Association corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States Veterans Administration
Mississippi Woman's Suffrage Association
National Association of Women Lawyers
Mississippi Woman's Christian Temperance Union
National American Woman Suffrage Association
Mississippi. House of Representatives
National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs
Democratic National Convention, 1924, New York, N.Y


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Ark ID: w6zq9435

SNAC ID: 2217513