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Margaret Reed Collection

Identifier: SC 0093
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Margaret Reed Collection, 1902-1914, consists of three items, with thirteen pages total, in one legal-sized folder. The items included are a hand written letter from Charles T. O'Ferrall to Mayme Clarke Robinson, a typed transcript of this letter composed by Isabelle Robinson Reed, daughter of Mayme, and a photocopy of Mayme's application to the Walter Burdick chapter of the DAR. The letter provides a genealogical history of the O'Ferrall family and its extensions, it is seven pages in length on four sheets of paper; the original pages three and four are missing. A handwritten surrogate for page three is provided. The typed transcript is also missing page four. The application to the DAR is four pages in length and provides genealogical information about the applicant dating back to her great-grandfather James Clarke who served as a Quartermaster under Captain Fox in the American Revolution, and a branch of Charles T. O'Ferrall's family.


  • 1902-1914


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Biographical Note

Charles Triplett O'Ferrall (October 21, 1840 - September 22, 1905) was born in Frederick County, Virginia and spent much of his youth residing in Morgan County, Virginia (now West Virginia). After his father's death, when O'Ferrall was fifteen, he took over his father's position as clerk pro tempore of the circuit court in Morgan County. At age seventeen he was elected as the Clerk of the Court and held that position until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Although O'Ferrall and Morgan County were supporters of the Union, he joined the Virginia Cavalry in 1861 as a private. By 1865 O'Ferrall was an acting colonel, managing the forces in the Shenandoah Valley. During the war he sustained eight injuries and during his year-long recovery he met his future wife, Annie McLain. The couple was married on Feb. 8, 1865. After the war O'Ferrall and his wife briefly ran an inn in Staunton, Virginia. In the fall of 1868 he enrolled in Washington College (now Washington and Lee) to study law. He graduated in August 1869 and settled in Harrisonburg, Virginia where he began his active political life. As a democrat he represented Rockingham County in the House of Delegates, 1871-1873; in 1874 he became the judge for the county court; was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1884-1893; and served as governor of Virginia, 1894-1898. In 1898 he retired from public and political life. He wrote his autobiography, Forty Years of Service, in 1904 and died a year later in Richmond.

Mary "Mayme" Clarke Robinson was not as prominent a public figure as C. T. O'Ferrall, but she led an important and interesting life nonetheless. At the time of her application to the DAR in 1914 she was thirty-nine years old. She was married to Francis A. Robinson and they resided in Marshall, Illinois. She was born in Parker City in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania in 1875. Francis (Frank) Robinson worked for an oil company so they moved and traveled often. She and Frank had two daughters, Isabelle and Helen Jane. Isabelle is the grand-mother of the donor, Margaret Reed. Frank passed away in the 1930s of heart disease; Mayme never remarried. As a widow Mayme (also known as "Dee Dee") lived in Westfield, and Chautauqua, NY, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. She would often visit and stay with friends in different places for a year or so. She spent the last years of her life in a nursing home in Erie, Pennsylvania. She passed away in the middle to late 1960's when she was in her 90s.


0.08 cubic feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of three items: a letter from Charles T. O'Ferrall to Mayme Clarke Robinson concerning the family history; a transcript of the aforesaid letter typed by Isabelle Robinson Reed, the daughter of Mayme Clarke Robinson; and a photo copy of Mayme Clarke Robinson's application to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).


One legal-sized folder arranged chronologically.

Location of Originals

The original application and transcript have been retained by the donor.


  • Malone, Dumas, editor. Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934, pp. 633-634.
  • Younger, Edward, editor. The Governors of Virginia 1860-1978. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1982, pp. 135-141.
  • Biographical information about Mayme Clarke Robinson was provided by the donor, Margaret Reed, Mayme's great-granddaughter and Truman P. Reed, the donor's uncle and grandson of Mayme.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2041.


A Guide to the Margaret Reed Collection, 1902-1914
Heather Browne
January 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017: Collection renumbered.

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612