LAVINIA AND TOM MORGAN COLLECTION
SOURCE: Estate of Lavinia Morgan, A. Stephen Johnson
SIZE: .3 lf
SHELVING UNIT: 1 MS Box
PROCESSING: BNJ, 2008; SGH 2010
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Mr. John Thomas (Tom) Morgan, Jr. was born 24 October 1910 to John Thomas Sr. and Bula Edna Warner Morgan. After graduating from West Point High School in 1930, he attended Emory University. At Emory, Morgan served as the president of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He graduated in 1934 with degrees in political economy and engineering. Morgan served in the Navy as commander during World War II and represented Troup County in the Georgia Legislature from 1947 to 1948, later serving as mayor of West Point from 1956 to 1965. In addition to his career as CEO of Morgan Contracting Company and Morgan Real Estate, he was an active member of West Point First Methodist Church. He and Lavinia were married for 66 years before his death 5 February 2004.
Lavinia Buckner, was born on 13 December 1913 in Albany, Georgia, to Benjamin Frank and Clara Belle Currell Buckner. She graduated valedictorian of Waycross High School and continued her education at Georgia State Women’s College, now Valdosta State University. She also attended Perry Business School and Georgia Bankers School at Emory University. After college, she worked as a school teacher, in law offices, First National Bank of West Point and WestPoint Pepperell Corporate office. Like Mr. Morgan, she was active at First United Methodist Church of West Point where she served as Sunday school teacher, mission study teacher, executive committee chairperson, and on other various committees. She was president of the District United Methodist Women and served on numerous district and regional committees. According to her obituary in The Valley Times Newspaper, she edited two books about the United Methodist Women titled, The Journey: United Methodist Women in North Georgia 1879-1983 and A Story Not Yet Over. Mrs. Morgan served in the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, the West Point Women’s Club where she served two terms as president, as a charter member of Pilot Club of West Point, as Governor of Georgia Pilots from 1964-1965 and Georgia Representative of Pilot International Foundation from 1975-1983. In addition, she served on the Troup County Jury Commission and on the West Point Board of Education. Mrs. Morgan passed away 13 November 2005 at the age of 91.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The most notable part of this collection is information on an appeal made in 1977 by Curfew Davis to reverse his murder conviction. In 1974, Mr. Davis was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. His conviction was appealed on various grounds, one of which was that the jury that convicted him was not drawn from a pool representative of his peers. Mrs. Lavinia Morgan had served on the Troup County Jury Commission, which was responsible for selecting citizens to serve as jurors. As a result of this service, she was subpoenaed to testify and produce evidence in the 1977 appeal. In 1979, the jury pool in Troup County was redrawn to more evenly reflect the population of the county “without regard to race, sex or age, except the age limits of 18 to 65.”
Correspondence from notable LaGrange citizens such as First Baptist Church pastor J. Thornton Williams and LaGrange College president Walter Murphy are part of the collection. Other correspondence includes a thank you note to Lavinia Morgan from Ida F.T. Jones and a letter from Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society regarding the life insurance payment upon the death of Marie Utley Morgan. News clippings, and campaign brochures for various Troup County politicians complete the collection.
1 Callaway family, news clippings, 1987-1994
2 Correspondence, 1981-1992
3 Curfew Davis Trial and Troup County Jury Commission, 1977-1979
4 Notes on church services at Pleasant Grove UMC, St. Mary UMC and First Baptist Church, 1984-1994
5 Troup County political campaign brochures, 1954-1996; LaGrange DAR 1977-1988 Yearbook; Chamber of Commerce Brochure, c1960s; Peoples Bank of LaGrange Statement of Condition, 1974
Photographs: West Point, Georgia flood, 1961
MAP-OP-019 City of LaGrange street map, 1988