Former editor's daughter donates documents to archives


Mabel Anne Ashmore Harjes, daughter of Sam and Ann Ashmore, and her husband the Rev. George Harjes have donated a collection of approximately 300 letters and other documents to the J. B. Cain Archives of the Mississippi Conference housed at Millsaps College as the “Dr. Sam E. and Ann Lewis Ashmore Papers.” 

Most of the collection consists of letters written to the Mississippi Methodist Advocate on a wide variety of matters between 1960 and 1966. The letters offer insight into a difficult time for Mississippi Methodism and for the Advocate. In 1965, Sam Ashmore was named “Editor of the Year” by the Methodist Press Association, mainly in recognition of the courageous witness he and his wife offered through their willingness to stand for what they believed was right in the troubled 1960s.

Sam Ashmore was a clergy member of the North Mississippi Conference and served as pastor of a number of congregations and superintendent of the Aberdeen District from 1923 through 1955, when he was named editor of the Advocate. His wife, Ann Lewis Ashmore, assisted him with the work at the Advocate. They remained at the Advocate until 1966 when they retired.

Sam Ashmore, who was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree by Millsaps College in 1955, died in 1968. Ann Lewis Ashmore, who participated in work related to the United Nations and Church Women United and wrote a number of books on Mississippi Methodist missionaries, continued to live in Jackson and to attend Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church until her death in the early 1990s.

Their daughter and only child, Mabel Anne Harjes, was a minister’s wife for years in the Illinois-Great Rivers Conference (now Central Illinois Conference) and served as a local pastor for a number of years in the Springfield, Ill., area. The Harjeses are now retired and living in the Atlanta area.