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Moran Pope Collection

Identifier: M592


Memorabilia from Hattiesburg, the Demonstration School, Mississippi Normal College, State Teachers College, and The University of Mississippi.


  • 1900-2015


Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Moran McLelland Pope, Jr. was born in 1922 in Columbia, Mississippi. His family relocated to Hattiesburg in 1927. He attended the Demonstration School, located on the campus of Southern Miss (then Mississippi State Teachers College), from grades 1-12. After earning his high school diploma there in 1940, Pope obtained his bachelor's degree in English from USM (then renamed Mississippi Southern College). Pope entered the U.S. Navy in 1943, attending Mississippi College under the Navy V-12 Program and later received his ensign commission in January 1944 from Columbia University in New York City. He drew attack boat duty in the South Pacific.

He met his wife, Yvonne Eileen Hamilton, at a freshman dance. She was a member of the Sigma Theta Kappa sorority and was Editor of the Student Printz. They married on February 24, 1944, at Riverside Church in New York City, New York, immediately following Moran's graduation from midshipmen's school with the United States Navy. Yvonne taught Sunday School, hosted a Bible-reading program, "The Sword," on First Baptist Church's Channel 6, and wrote a column for the Hattiesburg American in the 1960's under the pen name "Your Humble Palaverer." Her involvement in the community included serving as First Lady of Hattiesburg, while Moran was Mayor from 1953 to 1957, and she was an active member of the The Junior Auxiliary, The Better Homes & Gardens Club, The Sewing Club, and The Southern Miss Alumni Association.

Moran Pope was discharged from the Navy in 1946, and in 1948 earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Shortly after, he opened a law office in Hattiesburg and continued practicing law into his 80s.

He was elected mayor in 1953. While serving his mayoral term (July 1953-January 1957), he was named Mississippi’s Outstanding Young Man by the Jaycees for his accomplishments in the fields of municipal finance and administration, law enforcement, parks and recreation, and industrial development.

Moran Pope was influential at the University of Southern Mississippi, where in 1959 he helped to incorporate the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, serving as that organization's president for more than 20 years. He twice served as president of the Southern Miss Alumni Association, and was a recipient of the USM Inter-Fraternity Council Outstanding Alumnus Award as well as the USM Athletic Department’s Distinguished Service Award.

The Southern Miss Alumni Association’s highest award, the Moran Pope Meritorious Service Award, is named in his honor.

Moran Pope served on the board of directors and as president of the Hattiesburg Area Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Mississippi and South Central Mississippi Bar Associations, in addition to serving as director of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association.

In the early 1980s, Moran Pope chaired a community committee to stage the first weeklong “Good Life Down South Festival” — known today as HUBFEST. Moran Pope served his community as Hattiesburg city attorney, city judge and attorney for Hattiesburg Public School District. He was active in many civic groups and professional associations, including Hattiesburg Kiwanis Club and the Hattiesburg YMCA.

Among Pope's many lasting contributions to the Hattiesburg area was his service on committees for the restoration and renovation of downtown Hattiesburg, the Forrest County Chancery Court Building, and the Forrest County Courthouse. In recognition of his many contributions to the city of Hattiesburg, Pope received the Hattiesburg Rotary Club's Hannah Award for Outstanding Community Service, and the Hub Award.

Moran Pope died on March 2, 2017 at the age of 94.


3 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Donated by Moran Pope and Kaylene Behm.

Related Materials

M208, Hattiesburg Municipal Records; Subseries 2. Mayor Moran M. Pope: Subject Files (1953-1957), Boxes 6 - 12

RG 2, University Photograph Collection, University Archives

The Jolly Boys at the Front Porch, Moran Pope, contributing editor. Available in McCain library, call number Mississippiana F349.H36 J65 2015

Photograph Log

M592-0001 Demonstration School. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0002 Demonstration School. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0003 Demonstration School. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0004 Demonstration School sign. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0005 Demonstration School sign. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0006 Demonstration School plaque. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0007 Demonstration School plaque. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0008 Demonstration School plaques. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0009 Demonstration School collage. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0010 Demonstration School sign. 8 x 10 color 2010

M592-0011 William McCain. 8 x 10 color undated

M592-0012 Mississippi Central railroad car. 8 x 10 B & W undated

M592-0013 From left to right: Fleet Burkett, Eloise Thompson, Moran McLelland Pope, and Florence Burrow Pope sitting beside the Mississippi Central Railroad spur track into Mississippi Normal College. 5 x 7 B & W 1913
Moran Pope Collection
Collection processed and finding aid written by Brandon Ball
February 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001