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Edythe Evelyn Gandy Collection

Identifier: M367

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials from Evelyn Gandy’s personal and political life, speeches, women’s advancements, newspaper articles, Gandy family information, property information, films and tapes, photographs, memorabilia, and scrapbooks.


  • Creation: 1910-2011


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

Kearney C. Gandy (born January 5, 1890) and Abbie Whigham Gandy (born June 12, 1892) were married in Wayne County on September 23, 1911. They moved to Hattiesburg in 1916. Mr. Gandy was a farmer who was also employed throughout his life by Forrest County, the Hattiesburg Production Credit Association, and the State of Mississippi. Mrs. Gandy was a homemaker. The couple had three daughters, Edythe Evelyn Gandy; Mary Katherine Gandy, born on April 22, 1925 and died on April 28, 1925; and Martha Frances Gandy. They resided at 105 South 26th Avenue and later at 265 Monroe Road in the Glendale community. Kearney Gandy, Abbie Gandy, and Frances Gandy traveled throughout the state frequently to help Evelyn Gandy campaign for her political offices. They made worthy contributions to the campaigns which attributed to the success of Evelyn Gandy’s political career. Kearney Gandy died on August 9, 1970 and Abbie Gandy died on November 12, 1988. They are interred in Roseland Park Cemetery in Hattiesburg.

Edythe Evelyn Gandy was born on September 4, 1920. She graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1938 and went on to complete her Pre-Legal coursework at State Teachers College/Mississippi Southern College (now The University of Southern Mississippi) in 1940. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1943, where she was the only female student in her class as well as the first female president of the law school student body. She served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Theodore Bilbo for three years following her graduation from law school. In 1947, she returned to Hattiesburg to practice law and was also elected as a State Representative in the Mississippi Legislature in which she served from 1948 until 1952. After her term in the Legislature, she was appointed assistant Attorney General. She also served as attorney for the state welfare department. In 1959, Evelyn Gandy became the first woman in Mississippi to be elected to a statewide constitutional office when she was elected to State Treasurer. In 1963, Evelyn Gandy unsuccessfully campaigned for Lieutenant Governor, losing to Carroll Gartin. She served in the appointed position of commissioner of public welfare from 1964 to 1967. Evelyn Gandy was once again elected to State Treasurer in 1967 in which she served from 1968-1972. In 1971, she became the first woman in Mississippi to be elected to the position of Commissioner of Insurance in which she served from 1972-1976. In 1975, she became the first woman in Mississippi to be elected to the position of Lieutenant Governor in which she served from 1976 to 1980. Evelyn Gandy was unsuccessful in two campaigns for Governor in 1979 and 1983, losing to William Winter and William Allain, respectively. In 1984, she returned to the private law practice with the firm of Ingram, Matthews, and Stroud. In 1994, she joined the Ingram and Associates law firm. Ms. Gandy was a member of University Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, where she served as a Deacon. Evelyn Gandy died on December 23, 2007. She is interred in Roseland Park Cemetery in Hattiesburg.

Evelyn Gandy was the recipient of numerous awards and achievements during her lifetime. These include the Service of Humanity Award from Mississippi College in 1976; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Law in 1977 from Blue Mountain College; Paul Harris Fellow-Rotary Club in 1978; the Humanitarian Award in 1979 from the Mental Health Association; the Mississippi Woman of the Year Award in 1980 from Mississippi State University; Mississippian of the Year in Government in 1981; the Exchange Club "Golden Deeds" Award in 1982; Mississippi College School of Law Award for Excellence in Law in 1984; The Mississippi Women's Political Caucus Susan B. Anthony Award for Outstanding Service to the State of Mississippi in 1984; The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame in 1985; the Mississippi University for Women Medal of Excellence in May 1991; Executive of the Year-Sales Marketing Executive, International 1991; Holder of the Jamie L. Whitten Chair of Law and Government at the University of Mississippi School of Law, Spring Semester 1994; Lifetime Achievement Award, The Mississippi Bar 1994; First Annual Award for Distinguished Service, Women's Political Network 1994; Democratic Party James O. Eastland Award 1995; American Bar Association Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award 1997; Lifetime Achievement Award, Mississippi Association of Women Lawyers 1998; Hattiesburg Women's Forum Leadership Award 1998; Lindy Boggs Women in Public Service Award 1998; The Chief Justice Award, The Mississippi Bar 1998; and The Susie Blue Buchanan Award, The Mississippi Bar 2003.

Martha Frances Gandy was born on May 4, 1926. She graduated from Drew High School in 1943 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Millsaps College in 1947 as well as a Master of Social Work Degree from Louisiana State University in 1962. She was employed at the Mississippi Department of Public Welfare for many years; serving as Hearing Officer from 1954 to 1962, District Supervisor from 1962 to 1964, Director of the Division of Administrative Services from 1964-1967, Commissioner from 1967 to 1968, Director of the Training Department from 1968 to 1983, and Court Coordinator from 1983 to 1985. She also served as Associate Professor for The University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work, Jackson Branch from 1980 to 1981. In 1983, she was the Statewide Coordinator for Evelyn Gandy’s gubernatorial campaign. In 1985, Frances Gandy became a private practitioner where she was a consultant to hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement centers. Frances Gandy died on July 26, 2007. She is interred in Roseland Park Cemetery in Hattiesburg.


67 Cubic Feet : MC2/D11

Language of Materials



The Edythe Evely Gandy Collection contains Gandy family materials, historical manuscript materials, photographs, films, and memorabilia.


The materials in the collection were organized by subject, grouping items by organization when possible (family, political, etc.).

Photographs are located in boxes 29-42 and 128-129; Memorabilia is in boxes 44-56, 58-59.


Donated by Evelyn Gandy in 1988, 1989, 2003, and 2007.

Donated by Carroll and Annelle Ingram in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Donated by Linda K. Ginn in 2010.

Donated by W.A. Payne in 2013.

Donated by Brad Touchstone in 2017.

Existence and Location of Copies

For Digitized Materials from this collection, see: External Documents link at bottom of page.

Related Materials

M2 Theodore G. Bilbo Papers

M208 Hattiesburg Municipal Records

M504 Carroll Ingram Papers

M509 Edythe Evelyn Gandy Personal Collection

M518 Fannie Kyker Collection

Record Group 1 – Volume 1221 Parts 1 and 2 – Oral History with Edythe Evelyn Gandy

Edythe Evelyn Gandy Collection
Under Revision
Collection processed and finding aid written by Brandon Ball. However, he received invaluable assistance from: Yvonne Arnold, Christin Booker, Jessica Clark, Shawna Guidry, Carroll and Annelle Ingram, Cindy Lawler, Jim Madden, Angelica McIntire, LaQuanda Moffett, Charity Obuya, Jennifer Payne, Diane Ross, Janet Vital, Carol Walker, and Shugana Williams.
April 2016
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001