The most recent addition to the Union University Archives is a bound volume of the Private Papers of John Jeter Hurt. Hurt was president of Union University from 1932-1945. A graduate of Richmond College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Hurt pastored churches in Conway, AR; Durham, NC; and Wilmington, NC before coming to Jackson as pastor of First Baptist Church. In 1932 he became president of Union and led the university through the Great Depression and World War II.
As a pastor, Hurt was known as a powerful orator and was not afraid to delve into politics. He counted among his friends and acquaintances: Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson and Ambassador to Mexico under Franklin Roosevelt; Kenneth McKellar, United State Senator from Tennessee; and Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States.
Hurt was also respected among Southern Baptists and other denominational leaders often sought his counsel. This volume, includes letters from Roosevelt, Daniels, and McKellar as well as Warren G. Harding, Nelson Rockefeller, Kennesaw Landis, Federal judge and first Commissioner of Baseball, and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck and Company. Letters from Southern Baptist leaders include those from W. O. Carver, M. E. Dodd, Herschel Hobbs, R. G. Lee, Duke McCall, E. Y. Mullins, John R. Sampey, George W. Truett and Theron Rankin.
Union University is grateful to the family of John Jeter Hurt for donating this volume to the archives. It will soon be processed and available to researchers.
*article written by Archivist Jenny Manasco