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Guide to the Lois P. Dowdle "Mrs. Cully" Cobb papers

Summary Information

Mississippi State University Libraries
Lois P. Dowdle "Mrs. Cully" Cobb papers
Date [inclusive]
0.6 Cubic feet  : 2 ms. boxes; 1 VMP folder

Preferred Citation

Lois P. Dowdle "Mrs. Cully" Cobb papers, Special Collections Department, Mississippi State University Libraries.

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Biographical Information

Lois Pauline Dowdle was born in Rome, Georgia, on August 1, 1889, the daughter of Lovett (sometimes Lovic) Pierce and Ella Watkins Dowdle. Dowdle began her career as a teacher, eventually becoming Georgia’s 4-H State Girls’ Club agent. During the First World War she was appointed by Herbert Hoover to direct Food Production and Food Preservation for the Federal Food Administration in the state of Georgia. Following course work at Shorter College in 1904 and Cornell University in 1915, Dowdle earned her B.S. degree at the University of Georgia in 1920, part of the first class of women to attend that university. She went on to do some graduate work as well.

Dowdle was hired as the Home Department editor of the Southern Ruralist in 1927, a position she held until 1933. From 1932 to 1933, Dowdle served as the first and only female president of the Association of Southern Agricultural Workers. During this time, she also directed the American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils. While working for the Wesson Oil Company, she achieved the distinction of being the highest paid home economist in the country.

She married Cully Alton Cobb (1884-1975), director of the Cotton Division of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and future owner of the Ruralist Press, in 1934.

Mr. and Mrs. Cobb were ardent supporters of church work and biblical archaeology. They provided housing on their property at “The Parsonage” for theology students at Emory University, they traveled often in Europe and the Holy Land, they donated to Atlanta’s Druid Hills Baptist Church and other churches, and their patronage led to the establishment of Mississippi State University’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology in 1971.

Mrs. Cobb died on August 9, 1987 in Decatur, Georgia.

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Scope and Contents

The collection documents the life and career of Lois Pauline Dowdle (1889-1987), the wife of agricultural leader and publisher Cully A. Cobb.

Series 1, Personal, 1915-1987, includes documents, many photocopies, related to Mrs. Cobb’s travel, interest in ‘The Parsonage’ families and their careers, social events, and church involvement (including a religious poem written and autographed by General William Brougher), along with biographical and memorial materials. Among the correspondence is a letter from Mrs. Cobb to Mamie Eisenhower, encouraging her and her husband to join a church, along with the First Lady’s reply. This series also includes photocopies of a scrapbook related to the Cobb Institute of Archaeology at Mississippi State University.

Series 2, Professional, 1904-1976, documents Mrs. Cobb’s education and work with the American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils, Association of Southern Agricultural Workers, and Southern Ruralist, including some of her own publications.

Visual materials include a photograph of Mrs. Cobb sitting in front of her home, the Briar Patch.

Some documents in the collection appear to have been damaged by fire, possibly the one at the Cobbs’ home, the Briar Patch, but readability is not affected.

The collection is related closely to the Cobb Ruralist Press papers and the Cully A. Cobb papers. All three collections overlap in subject matter and in chronological period.

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Series 1. Personal, 1915-1987. - Boxes 1-2; Visual Materials: Photographs Box 41

Series 2. Professional, 1904-1976. - Box 2

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Mississippi State University Libraries 

P.O. Box 5408
Mississippi State, MS, 39762

Publication date: May 2012

Access Restrictions

Open to all researchers.

Use Restrictions

Any requests for permission to publish, quote, or reproduce materials from this collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian for Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Mississippi State University 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.


Lois P. Dowdle Cobb, 1969-1987.

Processing Information

The papers were placed in acid-free folders and the original folders disposed of. Extra photocopies and one extra pamphlet were disposed of.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Institute of Home-Grown Fats and Oils.
  • Association of Southern Agricultural Workers.
  • Druid Hills Baptist Church (Atlanta, Ga.).
  • Mississippi State University. Cobb Institute of Archeology.
  • Shorter College.

Family Name(s)

  • Cobb family.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Georgia.

Personal Name(s)

  • Brougher, William Edward, 1889-1965.
  • Cobb, Cully Alton, 1884-1975.
  • Cobb, Lois D., (Lois Dowdle), 1889-1987--Photographs.
  • Cobb, Lois D., (Lois Dowdle), 1889-1987.
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. , (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
  • Eisenhower, Mamie Doud, 1896-1979.
  • Harris, Corra, 1869-1935.


  • 4-H clubs.
  • Agricultural education.
  • Agricultural journalists.
  • Agriculture.
  • Archaeology.
  • Cotton.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1. Personal, 1915-1987. 

 Box 1. Folder 1. Correspondence and social materials, 1915-1971 and undated. 

 Box 1. Folder 2. Pocket calendar and appointment book, 1966. 

 Box 1. Folder 3. Church involvement and religious materials, 1963-1967 and undated. 

 Box 1. Folder 4. “The Parsonage” and its tenants, 1955-1975. 

 Box 1. Folder 5. Travel documents, 1960-1969. 

 Box 2. Folder 1. Cobb Institute of Archaeology, 1973-1987 and undated. 

 Box 2. Folder 2. Biographical and memorial materials, 1934-1987 and undated. 

 VMP 41. Photograph: Lois Dowdle Cobb at the Briar Patch, undated. 

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Series 2. Professional, 1904-1976. 

 Box 2. Folder 3. Education and career, 1904-1976. 

 Box 2. Folder 4. Publications, 1934-1935. 


Lois P. Dowdle, The Smith-Kleberg Bill, American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils, 1934.

Lois Dowdle Cobb, The Wholesomeness and Food Value of Margarine, American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils, 1934.

Revenue Revision, 1934: Hearings before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, 1934.

Oleomargarine: Hearing before a Special Subcommittee of the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, 1935.

Lois Dowdle Cobb, Margarine on Hot Biscuits: Superior also for Cooking, American Institute of Home Grown Fats and Oils, 1935.

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