The Mississippi State University Libraries will honor Jorja Lynn of Holly Springs next week for her contribution to the campus-based Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.
At 3 p.m. Thursday [June 13], Lynn formally will donate a Grant collection that belonged to her late husband, Michael Edward Lynn III. Open to all, the ceremony takes place in the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library.
The donation includes a number of Grant busts, lithographs, framed covers of Harper's Weekly magazines, framed mixed media, and a variety of curios.
Published 1857-1916, Harper's Weekly--whose subtitle was A Journal of Civilization--was a leading American political journal based in New York. During the Civil War, it provided extensive battlefield coverage, including numerous illustrations of events from the various fighting fronts.
"Mike and Jorja Lynn's collection spans the different stages of Grant's life and attests to Grant's popularity both in his own time and today," said John F. Marszalek. "Among other items, there are prints and photographs of Grant as a general and commemorative plates made for his (1885) funeral, the largest presidential funeral in American history.
Executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and Presidential Library, Marszalek said there also "are whimsical modern pieces, like the bobble head and paper doll books."
"We're excited to add her important pieces to our existing collection and are very grateful for her generous donation," he added.
Frances Coleman, dean of libraries, joined Marszalek in expressing appreciation.
"This is a significant donation to the Grant Presidential Library and we greatly appreciate Ms. Lynn donating the collection to the Library," Coleman said.
Michael Edward Lynn III was born in Scranton, Pa., in 1936. He attended Pace University in New York and served in Korea with the United States Army.
Moving to Memphis, Tenn., in 1961 to work for Malco Theaters, Lynn went on to become a manager for Dixiemart, where he met his future wife. The couple was married for 44 years until his death last summer.
While in Memphis, Lynn formed Mid-South Sports Action, Inc. to coordinate an effort to bring a professional NFL team to the river city. In 1974, he joined the Minnesota Vikings professional football team, serving as general manager and operational owner. He left the Vikings in 1990 to become the first and only president of the World League of American Football.
After retirement, Lynn moved to Holly Springs, where he and Jorja restored the historic Walter Place, an important Ulysses S. Grant site that inspired their collection. Over the course of 20 years, they renovated the residence, as well as two other antebellum homes.
In 1999, Michael Lynn founded the Oxford University Club in the Lafayette County seat.
For more information on the Thursday event, contact Ben Nagel at 662-325-8183.
For more information on MSU Libraries, visit http://library.msstate.edu/; for the U.S. Grant Presidential Library, www.usgrantlibrary.org/.