University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia Libraries
hargrett library :: university archives :: guide to print collections :: william holman sorrells papers

Finding Aid for The William Holman Sorrells Papers (c. 1911-2008)RG 2-1-1-1

One Bankers Box, One Oversized Box and One Oversized Photograph Located in Map Drawer
Approximately 3 Linear Ft


William Holman Sorrells (April 1890-September 1969) attended the University of Georgia from 1912 until his graduation in 1916 with a degree in Agriculture. During his time at UGA, Sorrells managed to support himself through odd jobs while at the same time participating in numerous student activities.

He was a skilled debater who won numerous awards for his efforts and served as president of Demonsthenian (one of UGA's literary societies) in 1916. Some of his other college era activities included being the treasurer of the Agricultural Club in 1913-1914 and a member of the Junior Cabinet Club, Senior Round Table (Sigma Upsilon) and Pi Kappa Delta. Sorrells was also the first agricultural student to be elected into the Sphinx Honorary Society and was a charter member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

During his busy and productive life, Sorrells had numerous interests and did many things including being a school teacher, community leader, insurance salesman and farmer. In 1917, he married Lola Ruth McLeroy who was a graduate of the Georgia State Normal School. The couple returned to Athens in 1966 where they attended Sorrells' 50th UGA class reunion.

The Sorrells had 2 children, both college graduates of Georgia schools. Their son, William McLeroy Sorrells, served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years retiring as a LT Col. followed by other work before his death in 1977. He left behind a wife and 3 sons. The sons are William McLeroy Sorrells of Pultneyville, NY, John Stark Sorrells of Roberta, GA and Dan Richard Sorrells of Somerville, AL. Their daughter, Martha Sorrells Hymerling, lives in Albany, GA near her daughter Marsha Young Johnston.

Scope and Content:

Most of the materials in "The William Holman Sorrells Papers" date from his time at UGA and include 10 original debates prepared and presented by Sorrells as well as photographs and other artifacts. In addition to materials from his school years, the collection contains such items as a 50th class reunion badge and correspondence with Benjamin E. Mays in regards to Mays 1968 eulogy at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral.

Sorrells wife, Lola Ruth (McLeroy) Sorrells, is also represented in the 'The William Holman Sorrells Papers". Mrs. Sorrells' Normal School diploma and a CD containing scans of her early 20th century "Memory Book" are found in this collection.

For preservation purposes the Sorrells papers have been scanned and saved on CD. Materials were refoldered, metal paperclips removed and photographs placed in archival sleeves. In addition, several large documents have been placed flat into an oversized box and one photograph was moved to a map drawer.

Content Inventory:

Box 1 (Bankers Box)

  1. "Biography Of William Holman Sorrells" By Martha S. Hymerling (1 Item). Biography Written By Sorrells' Daughter.
  2. [Photocopies - From Pandora] [1913-1916] And [Photocopy From History Of The University Of Georgia] [c. 1949] (14 Items).
  3. [Photographs-Sorrells, Family And Friends] [c. 1912-1917] (5 Items).
  4. Orations/Debates [1911] (2 Items). "The Federal Income Tax-Affirmative" And "...U.S. Government Should Own And Control The Railroads Of The U.S.".
  5. Orations/Debates [1912] (3 Items). "Farewell Address - Philomathean Society" And "...Gunpowder Has Been More Beneficial To Mankind Than Literature" And "...Graduated Income Tax, Constitutionally Granted, Would Be A Desirable Part Of Our Present Scheme Of Taxation".
  6. Orations/Debates [1915] (3 Items). "Spirit Of Justice" - (Argument Relating To Representative Government), "Digressive Tendency In Our Government: A Plea For Cuba" And "...The Agricultural Interests Of The South Would Be Subserved By Bringing Foreign Immigration To The South".
  7. Orations/Debates [No Date] (2 Items). "Cotton School Debate" And Debate On U.S. Government.
  8. "Valedictory Address"-On Locust Grove Institute Letterhead [191?] (1 Item).
  9. Student Notebook 1916 (1 Item).
  10. [Certificates-Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity And Sigma Upsilon Fraternity] [1915] (2 Items).
  11. [Broadsides, Notes, Newspaper Clippings And Programs] [c. 1915-1920] (33 Items).
  12. [Newspaper Clippings] [c. 1913-1914] (1 Item).
  13. Othello-[Annotations By Sorrells] (1 Item).
  14. "A Message" By Carroll R. Folsom-[Handwritten] (1 Item).
  15. "Mazeppa"-Annotated By Sorrells (1 Item).
  16. RUS: A Biographical Register Of Rural Leadership In The United States And Canada (1925) [Includes Listing For Sorrells] (1 Item).
  17. RUS [CD And Printouts] (6 Items).
  18. Photograph And Blueprint Of Sorrell's Macon, Georgia Property [1934] (2 Items).
  19. 50th Reunion Badge-Class Of 1916 (1 Item).
  20. [Scans Of Mrs. Sorrells' Memory Book (Includes Photographs) And Other Materials From W.H. Sorrells Collection] (2 Items).
  21. Benjamin E. Mays Acknowledgement Letter And Copy Of MLK, Jr. Eulogy [1968] (2 Items).
  22. [Misc.-Newspaper Clipping [1966] And Envelope Addressed To "Miss Ruth McLeroy"] [1917] (2 Items).
  23. [Scans Of Materials - CD (PDFs)].
  24. [Newspaper Clippings - Anniversary And Obituary Notices] (2 Items).

Box 2 (Oversized Flat Box)

  1. Demosthenian Certificate [1916] (1 Item).
  2. Sorrell's UGA Diploma [1916] (1 Item).
  3. Lola Ruth McLeroy's [Mrs. Sorrells] State Normal School Diploma [1917] (1 Item).

Map Cabinet - Drawer #6

[Photograph Of UGA Student Body 1915-1916] (1 Item).

UGA 08-029
UGA 08-038
UGA 08-053