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Ruby Mulloy Collection

Identifier: M670

Scope and Contents

This collection contains historical records for the First-Trinity Presbyterian Church.


  • Creation: circa 1920s-circa 1980s


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

Laurel was established in 1882 as a frontier town and grew tremendously from the timber industry in the latter part of the nineteenth century. When the timber industry in Iowa was beginning to slow down, lumber mill owners George Gardiner, bis brother Silas Gardiner, and his brother-in-law Lauren Chase Eastman moved to Laurel, Mississippi in 1893. [1] These men opened The Eastman-Gardiner mill, and became lumber pioneers by successfully growing the first large lumber mill in Laurel, and soon other lumber mills followed suit. [2] By the early nineteen-hundreds, the town of Laurel was shipping more yellow pine than anyone else in the world.

In 1895, there were six Presbyterians living in Laurel when the Rev. Coit of Enterprise, MS visited. Silas Gardiner bestowed the land intended for his own home for the building of a Presbyterian church for the city. In 1901, the First Presbyterian Church ”became the first church between Meridian and New Orleans to hire a minister full time.” [3] In December 1901, a fire destroyed the First Presbyterian Church and it was rebuilt a year later. Lauren Eastman offered to donate $100,000 for a new church for the growing congregation if the church membership could match the funds in 1924; and a year later a new church was completed which is the building today. As the membership continued to grow, the sister church Trinity Presbyterian was formed in 1960. In 1991, the churches merged and now continues as the First-Trinity Presbyterian Church. (Main Source:

First-Trinity Presbyterian Church has some very unique architectural aspects. [4]

• The pointed roof of the Church is 13th Century Gothic Architectural Style.

• The Kirk House has a roof section that reflects 15th century Gothic Architectural Style.

• The church is constructed with “Airdale” brick which is two- toned a gray lavender and a soft red that originated from South Carolina.

• Different designs are carved on the pew ends which originates back to the practice in the early days of each individual making and carving his own pew

• The floor consists of “cork tile” from Wales, Great Britain

• All lumber furnished by local mills

• Baptismal font is carved of Caen stone. (light creamy-yellow Jurassic limestone found in Caen, France)

The stained-glass windows represent some of the following individuals:

• Rose with crossed heart represents Martin Luther

• Cross with serpent entwined represents Melanchthon (Leader of German Reformation)

• Book inscribed represents St. John Chrysothom

• Book and Mitre represents St. Gregory.

• Fleur-de-lis represents the Virgin Mary

• Crossed Keys represents St. Peter

• Hawk with Band represents John Knox

• Flaming Heart represents St. Augustine

• Sword and Book Inscribed represents St. Paul

Ruby Mulloy was born August 31, 1891, in Meridian, MS and passed away on November 3, 1980, in Laurel, MS. She as a member of a pioneer Laurel family and “longtime prominent member of cultural and church circles.”[5] After studying musical training, she joined the faculty of Laurel Schools as the music supervisor. “Generations of Laurel children remember Miss Ruby as the music supervisor. She gave them their first appreciation off fine music and excellence in performance. Her music memory contests were a yearly feature of the school program.” [6] She joined the staff in 1934 at the First Presbyterian Church as an organist and choir director. For many years, she dedicated herself to the church musical programs. In order to better prepare for church activities and Vacation Bible School, Miss Mulloy also studied at other churches and with noted organists in Chicago and New York to improve her talents for the benefit of her church.

She was active in civic and clubs and cultural programs, and president of the Laurel Business of Professional Women one year. During the later part of her life, Miss Mulloy was also a guide at the Lauren Rogers Library and Museum of Art.

George Gardiner was born April 12, 1854, in Pen Yan, New York. His father, Stimson B. Gardiner, was old friends with lumber baron Chancy Lamb who had moved his lumber business to Clinton, Iowa. Gardiner became the cashier and manager of Lamb’s company C Lamb & Sons. He was married in 1877 to Catherine Marshall. George Gardiner was one of the founders of Eastman, Gardiner & Co., along with his brother Silas Gardiner and Lauren Eastman. George Gardiner introduced many methods of improvements working with lumber. Laurel was a shantytown when he arrived; and “it was largely due to his great vision and progressiveness that Laurel developed into the beautiful city of homes, fine schools and churches.” [7] He was elected to the state house of representatives in Clinton, Iowa in 1891. George Gardiner died May 29, 1921, at the age of 67, and is buried in Laurel, Mississippi. [8]

Silas Wright Gardiner was born August 20, 1846, in Illinois. He was an assistant postmaster in Pennsylvania and then worked in Chicago. Gardiner also worked at the lumber company C Lamb & Sons. Silas Gardiner became an Iowa state senator in 1892. He was selected as director of the public schools of Lyons, Iowa. Silas Gardiner was married in 1870 to Louisa C. Henkel. Gardiner donated his land for the construction of the First Presbyterian Church. He died June 13, 1907, at age 60, and is buried in Clinton, Iowa. [9] [10]

Lauren Chase Eastman was born June 19, 1844, in Penn Yan, New York. His ancestry goes back to the Puritans and other ancestors served in the colonial and Revolutionary wars. In 1869, he came to Clinton, Iowa, and began to work as head office man for C. Lamb & Sons. Eastman eventually became vice-resident of the Eastman Gardiner Company in Laurel. He married Sarah Elizabeth Gardiner in 1866, who was the sister of George and Silas Gardiner. Lauren Eastman died at the age of 78, on February 28, 1924, and is buried in Clinton, Iowa. [11] [12]


1 Folder : 302A.B1.A2

Language of Materials



Records, correspondence, church newsletter, a photograph of Ruby Mulloy, menus of dinners served, and food budgets for church dinners served during the food rations of World War II which are all are related to the First-Trinity Presbyterian Church in Laurel, Mississippi.


This small collection consists of one folder.


Donated by Ann Ashmore on December 13, 2018.

Related Materials

AM08-27 Betty Mulloy Collection

AM21-010 International Women's Year (IWY) Collection


• Case File

• Contents from the collection

[5] “Ruby Mulloy Dies Monday.” Leader-Call (Laurel, MS), Nov. 4, 1980.

[6] Ibid.

For Additional Sources, see: EXTERNAL DOCUMENTS link at bottom of page.

Ruby Mulloy Collection
Collection processed and finding aid written by Kimberly Rayborn
May 14, 2021
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001