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Burrow Family Materials

Identifier: MC 1996

Scope and Content Note

Materials in this collection were collected by Margaret Whillock (1935- ), her grandmother, Hattie McClure Gilbert Burrow, and her aunt, Sallie Landis Burrow (1888-1964).

Materials relate to the Burrows family; the Civil War in Tennessee; slavery; the Republican Party; and political campaigns in Arkansas, circa 1904-1926.

Materials include correspondence; family histories and genealogical notes; obituaries; awards and certificates; financial documents; speeches; documents from a life insurance business; essays and poetry; notebooks; greeting cards and postcards; newspaper clippings; family photographs; event programs and menus; and religious periodicals and bulletins. Items include a pictorial family bible recording births and deaths; a Temperance Pledge; an autograph book; a receipt for the sale enslaved person dated 1843; a letter discussing the sectional conflict on the eve of the Civil War; and a Union military pass.


  • Creation: circa 1825-1966


Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Restrictions Apply. Some books restricted due to physical condition. Scans of genealogical information in Burrow Family Bible are located in the Burrow Family Genealogies Folder.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).)

Biographical Note

Nimrod Burrow was born in North Carolina on September 4, 1799, and died in Bedford County, Tennessee on October 7, 1890. He was the son of Phillip Burrow (1774-1872) and Margaret Shofner (1797-1852), a pioneering couple that moved their family from North Carolina to the forests of Tennessee in a prairie schooner in 1806. A house fire in 1808 took the life of one of their children and cost them nearly all that they had, forcing the family to rebuild their lives. Phillip became a volunteer with other Tennessee soldiers under General Jackson during the War of 1812, but his band did not make it to New Orleans before the battle had ended.

Nimrod married Catherine Katie Clardy (1806-1845) in 1825. The couple had 6 kids: Louisa Catherine (1829-1914); James Riley (1830-1915); Frances Emily (1832-1919); Margaret (1834-1899); George W. (1839-1919), and Nimrod Cain (1843-1919). In 1847, two yars after Catherine's death, Nimrod married Sallie Ann Landis Burrow (1822-1894). Nimrod and Sallie would remain in Bedford County throughout their lives. Their union produced 8 children: Mary Melissa (1848-1902), Martha Josephine (1850-1938), Napoleon Bonaparte (1852-1932), John W. (1854-1915), Sarah C. (1856-1929), Elvira Lozena (1858-1945), Phillip Landis (1861-1923), and Hiram (1864-1941).

The loyalties of members of the Burrow family were divided during the Civil War. A Republican and member of the the Southern Methodist Church, Nimrod remained loyal to the Union. Three of his and Sallie's sons fought in the war.

Napoleon Bonaparte Burrow, known as "N.B." or "Na," left home at the age of 21 and spent seven years at the University of Tennessee. There he earned a B.S. degree, his studies focusing on History and Mathematics. Through his connections there he met and married Hattie McClure Gilbert (1865-1955) on November 9, 1887. Upon graduating, N.B. began a teaching career in higher education. He also dabbled in the saw mill and lumber business, and the couple moving to Arkansas in 1901.

N.B. was active in politics, representing his state in five national Republican Conventions as well as and holding various offices in the state's Republican Party. He was also a member of the committee that notified Warren G. Harding of his nomination for the president of the United States. N.B. ran as the Republican candidate for the Secretary of State of Arkansas in 1921 but lost to Ira. C. Hopper. During the latter part of his life, N.B. was an agent of the Mutual Life Insurance Company. During this period he developed a friendship with H.L. Remmel, an ally in both politics and business. N.B. also wrote the histories of earlier Burrow family members.

N.B.'s wife, Hattie, was a graduate of the Murfreesboro Male and Female Institute in Tennessee. She kept up with most of the documents in the Burrow Family Materials after N.B.'s death. The couple had 5 children: Sallie Landis (1888-1964); Viriginia Jennie Vaden (1891-1896); Phillip Gilbert (1864-1896); Frederick Hiram (1897-1929); and Hattie Louise (1905-1985).

In 1896 the couple lost Phillip and Jennie, who died within six weeks of each other; their deaths became the subject of some of Hatties's poetry. Fred, suffering from tuberculosis, also died young. The disease was discovered in 1914 when Fred underwent a physical examination as part of the entrance process for West Point. He attended Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he pledged the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. As his condition worsened, Fred entered the Mountain View Sanatorium for Tubercular Patients in Kerriville, Texas. The 31-year-old man succumbed to his disease in 1929.

Sallie attended Soule College (now a part of Vanderbilt University) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and also the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She became a teacher, and for a time taught in Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Sallie was also a prolific private writer of both essays and poetry. She managed her family's records as well as contributed a large number of items to the Burrow Family Materials.

N.B. and Hattie's youngest child, Hattie Louise, studied music at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She also became a teacher, and taught in the public school system in El Dorado. Along with her father, who was a delegate, she attended the Republican National Convention, serving as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention. At the age of 21, she was the youngest person able to vote on the floor. She married William Rudy Moore Sr., and eventually passed the Burrow family records to Margaret Whillock.


3.25 Linear Feet (4 Boxes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged by family member.

Acquisition Information

The Burrow Family Materials were donated to Special Collections by Harriet Margaret Moore Whillock, the wife of Carl Whillock and daughter of Hattie Louise Burrow Moore and William Rudy Moore Sr.

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Smith; March, 2014.

Finding aid revised by Todd E. Lewis in June 2023 as part of a project to update outdated or harmful description related to slavery or enslaved persons.


Burrow Family Materials
Laura Smith
March 2014
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • June 2023: Finding aid revised by Todd E. Lewis in June 2023 as part of a project to update outdated or harmful description related to slavery or enslaved persons.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444