Manuscript 82-8

Record Group:





Drew family






32.25 cubic ft.



Summary Scope Note:

Organized into three series:

  1. George Franklin Drew Papers
  2. Drew Family Papers
  3. Frances K. Drew Papers

Biographical / Historical Note:

George Franklin Drew was born in New Hampshire in 1827. He moved to Georgia in 1847 and started a lumber business prior to the Civil War. During the war, he moved to Madison County, Florida, and established a saw mill there. He won election as Florida's twelfth governor in 1876, the state's first post-reconstruction Democratic governor. He served until 1881 and was defeated for re-election by William D. Bloxham.

Drew's sons, Frank and George L., continued the family's lumber business and political activities and operated the Florida Railway from the turn of the century until the eve of World War I. Two of the Governor Drew's grandsons, Herbert J. Drew and George F. Drew, served overseas during World War I as officers in the American Expeditionary Force: Herbert, in the Fifth Field Artillery, First Division; and George, in the 327th Infantry, 82nd Division.

In 1929, Frank Drew was appointed State Equalizer of Taxes, a position he held until 1931. Herbert Drew was active in various surveying and business activities, principle of which was the Utoca Meat Packing Plant. Herbert married Isabella Williams, and they had three children: George, Isabella, and Frances.

Frances Drew was a schoolteacher for a very short time before returning to school and earning a library degree from Emory University. She spent most of her library career in Georgia and working at the Georgia Institute of Technology for over 30years before retiring in 1995.

Summary Scope Note:

The Drew family papers trace the activities of a prominent Florida family through more than a century of its history. The collection details the lives of five generations of the Drew family, centering upon Florida Governor George F. Drew.

SERIES 1: GEORGE F. DREW PAPERS. This series contains the personal, political, and business correspondence of Drew and his wife, Amelia. His incoming correspondence from the period, 1877-1880, includes letters from many prominent figures, such as Montgomery Blair, Alfred H. Colquitt, John B. Gordon, Jesse Johnson Finley, Samuel Pasco, and John Jackson Dickison. Drew's later correspondence deals primarily with his lumber business.

SERIES 2: DREW FAMILY PAPERS. This series contains correspondence, business records, State Equalizer of Taxes records, World War I records, and other family papers. The family correspondence dates mainly from 1900 to 1930.

The business records contain papers relating to livestock, lumbering, agriculture, meat packing, surveying, and the Florida Railway. The family papers also include photographs of family members and various business interests.

SERIES 3: FRANCES K. DREW PAPERS. This series contains correspondence, legal documents, photographs, and other materials documenting Frances Drew's career as a librarian, especially at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech); her involvement in settling the estate of her father, Herbert J. Drew; and her genealogical research and membership in numerous lineage societies, including historical information about the Williams, Milling, Starke, and other branches of the family.

Finding Aid:

Folder listing available

Language Note:

Multiple languages


George Franklin Drew Papers and Drew Family Papers: Family memorabilia was donated to the Museum by the Herbert J. Drew Estate; archival materials were then transferred to the State Archives.