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Floyd-Urner family papers

Identifier: MS-0629

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection includes correspondence, ephemera, a small collection of material related to the "Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina," photographs, and a scrapbook.

Correspondence is primarily written by and to members of the Floyd and Urner families from the 1890s to the 1930s. The small collection of materials relating to the "Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina" spans 1896 to 1915 and includes two letters, six postcards, two memorials, and one certificate. Photographs in this collection are of various sizes and types and appear to have been taken in the area surrounding Frederick, Maryland. The scrapbook, a quarto originally titled "Clerk's Trial List," contains 36 pages of pasted newspaper clippings with additional newspaper clippings tucked in.


  • Creation: 1800-1984
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1800 - 1945

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off site and requires 24 hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

The majority of the records in the Floyd-Urner Family Papers relate to a few specific family members, namely General Joseph Walker Floyd (1840-1915); his son-in-law, the Hon. Hammond Urner (1868-1956), and Urner's father, Milton G. Urner (1839-1926), and son Joseph W. Urner (1898-1987).

General Joseph Walker Floyd was born in Northampton County, Virginia on August 16, 1840, to Berry and Lavinia Nottingham Floyd, members of a prominent Virginia family. General Floyd volunteered to fight for the Confederate Army in 1860 and commanded the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues, attached to Alexander's Battalion of Artillery. General Floyd's first skirmish in the war came at the Battle of Hampton Roads (March 8–9, 1862), in the standoff between the USS Merrimac and the USS Monitor.

After the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11–15, 1862), General Floyd continued to fight for the Confederacy until he was wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville (April 30-May 6, 1863). At Chancellorsville, his right arm was shot off at the shoulder by a cannonball, and he received several flesh wounds in addition. According to a memorandum written after his death, Gen. Floyd "remained on the ground in the rain about three days [having been] supposed to be mortally wounded." As soon as he was sufficiently recovered, he was appointed to a position upon the hospital commissary staff, where he remained until the close of the war.

In 1869 General Floyd moved to Liberty Hill, South Carolina, where he married Mrs. Harriet Pettit and engaged in mercantile business and agriculture. An active participant in governmental reconstruction efforts, he served as magistrate at Liberty Hill for a number of years, and was appointed colonel on the staff of Gov. J. G. Evans and as trustee of the Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina at Orangeburg from 1896 to 1915. He was elected to the South Carolina State Legislature by the people of Kershaw County. Later, he was elected by the Democrats of South Carolina to the position of Adjutant and Inspector General and served for two full terms in that office.

General Floyd died at his home in Liberty Hill, South Carolina, on February 24, 1915, after an illness of more than four years. Gen. Floyd was survived by his wife, Mrs. Harriet Pettit Floyd, by six children and eleven grandchildren. His daughter, Mary "Birdie" Lavinia Floyd (1872-1956) went on to marry the Hon. Hammond Urner of Frederick, Maryland.

Milton George Urner was born July 29, 1839, at Frederick County, Maryland, to Samuel Urner and Susan Norris Urner. He was educated at the common schools in Frederick and attended the Freeland Seminary of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania as well as Lycoming College of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was a teacher in Frederick from 1859 to 1862 until admitted to the bar in 1863. On January 10, 1866, Milton Urner married Laura Ann Hammond (May 31, 1845-July 31, 1923), daughter of Richard Thomas Hammond and Mary Agnes Cramer. The Urners were members of the Frederick Methodist Episcopal Church.

Urner commenced law practice in Frederick and served as the State's attorney for Frederick County from 1871-1875. He was elected to the United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1879 to March 3, 1883. After his terms in Congress, Urner resumed his local law practice, became the attorney for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1887, and served as a member of the Maryland State Senate from 1888 to 1890. He was also appointed as a naval officer for the port of Baltimore by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890. In addition to his public service, he was also a Director of the Farmers and Mechanics National Bank at Frederick and the trustee of several educational institutions.

Milton G. Urner died February 9, 1926 at Frederick, Maryland, and was buried with his wife at Mt. Olivet Cemetery at Frederick. The couple had ten children, one of whom was the Hon. Hammond G. Urner.

The Hon. Hammond G. Urner was born December 4, 1868 in Frederick, Maryland, to Milton G. Urner and Laura Hammond Urner. On May 3, 1893, he married Mary Lavinia Floyd (1872-1956), the daughter of General Joseph Walker Floyd and Harriet Frasier Pettit. Urner was a lawyer who also served as Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Maryland from 1909-1938. He was one of Maryland's "Council of Fifty," organized by Governor Harrington upon America's entering World War One. This committee was charged with organizing Maryland and keeping it prepared for war.

Together, Hammond and Mary "Birdie" Lavinia had three children: Joseph Walker Urner, Francis Hammond Urner and Martin Jonas Urner. Hammond died on Sept 27, 1942, survived by his children and by Lavinia who died on December 2, 1956. They are both buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland.

Joseph Walker Urner was born January 16, 1898, at Frederick, Maryland to Hon. Hammond G. Urner (1868-1942) and Mary Lavinia "Birdie" Floyd (1872-1956). Joseph served in both World War I and World War II. While in the service in World War I, he attended the Harvard Radio School at Cambridge, Massachusetts. He enlisted in World War II on July 16, 1942 and was released on Jan 29, 1945. He was an accomplished architect and sculptor, and created the Alabama State Memorial at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He died on July 9, 1987.

-- Information taken largely from dealer description.


1.22 Cubic Feet (2 legal size document boxes, 1 flat box (15.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches))

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into the following series:


Family documents

Colored Normal Industrial Agriculture and Mechanical College of South Carolina



Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchase from Michael Brown Rare Books, LLC., in January 2014.

Processing Information

The collection arrived arranged in an order imposed by the previous owner. These designations were retained during processing.


Floyd-Urner family papers
Under Review
Emily Davidson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA