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Theodore B. Fitz-Simons papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0002

Scope and Contents note

Transcripts of letters, photocopies of newspaper articles, original photographs, copies of photographs, slides, reel-to-reel tapes, ledger books, magazines, pamphlets, and other materials.

This collection contains documents collected by Fitz-Simons throughout his life for both his professional research and his personal interests. The majority of the collection focuses on Georgia’s political history, from primary documents collected about Reconstruction Gov. Rufus B. Bullock to newspaper articles about current events. Besides his interest in Georgia’s period of Reconstruction, Fitz-Simons’ secondary research area was the history of the Ku Klux Klan in the state.

Dates

  • 1780s-1990s

Creator

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights have been transferred to the University of West Georgia.

Biographical/Historical note

Theodore Barker Fitz-Simons, Jr. was born on May 13, 1923 in Savannah, Georgia. After graduating from high school, he attended Armstrong Junior College in Savannah from 1945 to 1947 before transferring to the University of Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1949 and his Master of Arts in 1957, majoring in history with a political science minor. Fitz-Simons was admitted into the University of Georgia’s Ph.D. program for history, attending from 1957 to 1961, but he never completed the program.

Before teaching at West Georgia College, Fitz-Simons taught history at Commercial High School in Savannah, Georgia from 1953 to 1956. He also taught at Armstrong Junior College in 1953 and was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Georgia from 1956 to 1961. Fitz-Simons was hired by the History Department at West Georgia College for the 1961-1962 school year.

Fitz-Simons remained at West Georgia College for the rest of his career, retiring in 1986. Soon after, he earned the status of Associate Professor Emeritus and continued to teach part-time at the college through 1991. While at West Georgia College, Fitz-Simons lectured at various schools and organizations (civic, patriotic, and historical) in the community about Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, and the Progressive Era. He also participated in the Georgia’s Political Heritage Project with Dr. Mel Steely, conducting interviews with former and current Georgia politicians. Fitz-Simons had several publications in the Georgia Historical Quarterly. “The Camilla Riot,” in June 1951, was his only article to be printed, but he wrote several book reviews. His unpublished masters’ thesis was about the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.

Fitz-Simons joined several academic organizations during his school years and teaching career. While at the University of Georgia, Fitz-Simons became a member of Phi Alpha Theta (history), Phi Kappa Phi (scholastic), Kappa Delta Pi (education), and Phi Beta Kappa (scholastic). As a historian, he also joined the Georgia Historical Society, the Southern Historical Society, and the Organization of American Historians. Fitz-Simons held positions in several of these organizations including being a member of the Board of Curators of the Georgia Historical Society, district chairman for the Georgia League of Historical Societies, and military historian in a reserve capacity with the U.S. Army Continental Army Command.

Fitz-Simons was a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. He was a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army from 1942 to 1946. Between the two conflicts, from 1946 to 1951, he was in the United States Army Reserve and was given a commission in the infantry in 1948. Fitz-Simons was in active duty again in 1951, but from 1952 to 1961, he was in reserve duty. He retired in May 1983 and received the Meritorious Service Award for his work in military history.

Fitz-Simons married Mary Jane Flanagan, and they had two children: Timothy Paul Fitz-Simons and Margaret Anne Fitz-Simons. He was an Episcopalian, but attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Carrollton, Georgia. He died on December 6, 1999 and is buried at the Catholic Church he attended.

The Theodore B. Fitz-Simons Public History Award was established at the University of West Georgia in 2001 “in recognition of Mr. Fitz-Simons’s commitment to community outreach during his tenure teaching at the University of West Georgia.” It is given annually to a junior or senior history major who displays excellence in the field of public history through scholarship and service activities.

Extent

6.35 Linear feet (16 boxes and 2 map folders)

Language

English

Overview

The papers of Theodore B. “Ted” Fitz-Simons, a former history professor at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. Fitz-Simons arrived at West Georgia College in 1961 and remained there for the next twenty-five years. He had two main areas of interest: the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia and Georgia’s Reconstruction.

Arrangement note

Organized into nine series: I. General Files; II. Family Histories; III. Heard County Historical Center and Museum; IV. Georgia Politics; V. Ku Klux Klan; VI. Reconstruction in Georgia; VII. Ledgers and Date Books; VIII. Reel-to-reel Tapes; IX. Oversize.

Arranged alphabetically by file title

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Received from Margaret A. Fitz-Simons, daughter of Theodore B. Fitz-Simons, in August 2004.

Separated Materials note

The following materials have been separated from the collection in order to be catalogued: The Southern Chronicle, 1850 July 9; The Banner-Messenger, 1894 Nov 22; The Haralson County Tribune, 1917 June 7, 1918 March 28, 1918 July 4, 1920 April 1, 1927 Jan 21, unknown date; The Tallapoosa Journal, 1919 27 November.

Processing Information note

Processed by Sarah Warren in 2009 and Candice Larson in 2015.

In February 2015, the collection was partially reprocessed. Four small boxes containing bibliographic index cards were discarded due to a lack of research value. The majority of the citations found on these cards were to the Georgia Historical Quarterly.
Title
Guide to the Theodore B. Fitz-Simons papers MS-0002
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Written by Sarah Warren in 2009 and Candice Larson in 2015
Date
2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States