Maud M. Turpin pageant and correspondence
A Guide to the Collection
Maud Mooney Turpin was born in Tennessee in 1878 to the Reverend Wellborn Mooney (1829-1907) and Susan Frances Dromgoole Mooney (1837-1920). She was one of eight children. Reverend Mooney’s ministry included an appointment by Bishop George Foster Pierce as a missionary chaplain to the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
Maud Mooney married Cyrus Wilson Turpin (1854-1935) on January 1, 1900 in Gibson, Tennessee. Her husband worked for the Southern Methodist Publishing House in Nashville as an authority on rare and out-of-print books. They had three children together: Robert (b. 1901), Marianne (b. 1906), and Cyrus Wilson, Jr. (b. 1910).
Turpin was heavily involved in public affairs for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS). She was named editor of the Secular Press Bureau shortly after its development in 1936, and later served as the Bureau’s secretary (director). Turpin was active in the Woman’s Missionary Council (WMC) of the MECS, and served many years as the Church Publicity Agent. Her work on behalf of the WMC included publicity management and editing The Council Bulletin, a summary of the annual WMC reports and proceedings that was disseminated externally to promote the Council’s work. The WMC passed a special resolution of appreciation in honor of Turpin’s outstanding service at its Golden Jubilee celebration in 1928. Turpin served as a delegate from the WMC to the 1936 Conference on the Cause and Cure for War. In 1938 Turpin was unanimously elected editor-in-chief of The Council Bulletin for life.
Beginning in 1936 Maud M. Turpin served as public relations secretary for the Lake Junaluska Assembly, a Methodist conference and retreat center in North Carolina. A special highlight of her career at Lake Junaluska was interviewing Eleanor Roosevelt publicly during the first lady’s visit in 1944.
Turpin was the author of Bessie Brown’s Blessing Box (1917) and The Junaluska Story: a Narrative-pageant Depicting the Inception, Early History, Growth and Development of the Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (1949). In addition Turpin’s essay “Lake Junaluska: The Summer Capital of Southern Methodism” appeared in the tourist souvenir booklet Azure Lure: A Romance of the Mountains(1924).
Turpin died on June 22, 1959 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Clark, Elmer T. Junaluska Jubilee: A Short History of the Lake Junaluska Assembly, Inc. on the Occasion of its Fiftieth Anniversary (1963). New York: World Outlook Press, 1963. https://archive.org/details/junaluskajubilee00elme
“Golden Wedding.” Dresden Enterprise Newspaper. August 3, 1906.
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Twentieth Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Council of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1929-1930. 1930.
Gray, Idyl Dial. Azure Lure: A Romance of the Mountains. Asheville, N. C.: Advocate Publishing Co., 1924.
Roosevelt, Eleanor. “My Day.” United Feature Syndicate, Inc., July 29, 1944.
Tatum, Noreen Dunn. A Crown of Service: a Story of Women’s Work in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, From 1878-1940. Nashville: Parthenon Press, 1960.
Vital Records. "Index to Nashville Birth Records 1881-1913” Metropolitan Nashville / Davidson County Archives
This collection contains a forty-six page typescript historical drama and two accompanying letters. The unpublished pageant, Early Days in Arkansas, is a dramatic retelling of early Methodism in Arkansas. The correspondence documents the sharing of this work more broadly.
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[Identification of item], Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Acquired, circa 1931-2009.
This collection was arranged and described in 2014 by Kelly Baxter and Rebekah Rochte.
Kelly Baxter and Rebekah Rochte, 2014
Ada Negraru, 2015
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