Finding Aid for the Ernest W. Pettis Collection


Summary Information

University of Mississippi Libraries
Pettis, Ernest Wardlaw
Ernest W. Pettis Collection
1920-1945; 2001
0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
Ernest Wardlaw Pettis of Mississippi, an expert in the field of geology, was active in the oil industry. The collection contains letters written by Ernest to his brother Charles, largely concerning the family's businesses.

Preferred Citation

Ernest W. Pettis Collection, Archives and Special Collections, J.D. Williams Library, The University of Mississippi

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Biographical Note

Ernest Wardlaw Pettis was born 2 May 1890. He was the brother of Charles, Will, and Marquerite (Patterson), and the son of William S. Pettis and Ada Roberts Pettis of Oxford and Ellisville, Miss. Pettis received a liberal arts education at Southwestern Presbyterian University, Clarkesville, Tenn., from 1910-1914. Pettis acquired considerable knowledge in the field of geology. He died 30 August 1938. Pettis was active in the early days of the “oil game” in Mississippi.

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Scope and Content

The collection chiefly contains letters written by Ernest W. Pettis to his brother Charles. These letters largely concern the family businesses--namely, Lowry Mercantile Co., Elton Lumber Co., and oil exploration on the property where the family owned the mineral rights in various parts of Mississippi--which Ernest was left in charge of.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Mississippi Libraries October 2012

Access Restrictions

The Ernest W. Pettis Collection is open for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


No further additions are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Archives and Special Collections staff. Finding aid created by Kathryn Michaelis, October 2012.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • correspondence
  • legal documents


  • Families -- Mississippi
  • Lumber trade -- Mississippi
  • Petroleum industry and trade -- Mississippi

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Collection Inventory

 Folder 1.1 Introduction Note by Mrs. Ernest Pettis, Jr., 7 March 2001 

 Folder 1.2 Balance sheet drawn up by William Gray Abernethy, 29 November 1920 

 Folder 1.3 Letter from Ernest [Pettis] to Charles [Pettis], 21 March 1921 

 Folder 1.4 Letter from William Gray Abernathy to Gentlemen of Estes Lumber Company, 22 December 1920 

 Folder 1.5 Partnership agreement for Elton Lumber Company between Floyd Herrington, C.T. Smith, Mrs. Ada C. Pettis, Charles R. Pettis, William S. Pettis, Jr., Ernest W. Pettis, and Mrs. Marguerite M. Pettis Patterson, 1 February 1923 

 Folder 1.6 - 1.20 Letters from Ernest W. Pettis to Charles Pettis and Maggie Pettis [Patterson], 13 February 1924-8 April 1930 

 Folder 1.21 Letter from C.G. Jr. to Charles [Pettis], 22 April 1930 [letter originally attached to correspondence in folder 20] 

 Folder 1.22 - 1.24 Letters from Ernest Pettis to Charles Pettis, 29 July-20 November 1930 

 Folder 1.25 Legal agreement between Charles R. Pettis, William S. Pettis, Jr., and Mrs. Marguerite M. Pettis Patterson regarding Elton Lumber Company, December 1930 

 Folder 1.26 - 1.29 Letters from Ernest Pettis to Charles Pettis, 6-17 February 1931 

 Folder 1.30 Excerpt from the Minutes of the Directors meeting of Royalties, Incorporated, 1 March 1932 

 Folder 1.31 - 1.44 Letters from Ernest Pettis to Charles Pettis, 16 March - 23 December 1931 

 Folder 1.45 The Oil and Gas Journal, 21 January 1932 

 Folder 1.46 - 1.78 Letters from Ernest Pettis to Charles Pettis and Maggie Pettis [Patterson], 25 February 1932-10 July 1945