Troy-Bumpass Papers

1851-1961 [bulk 1900-1958]. ½ box (22 folders), ca. 50 items.MSS. COLL. #72

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series #: Folder# in which that name or topic will be found.


The principal names associated with this collection are Bumpass and Troy. The bulk is composed of items produced by or for members of these two family groups.

Researchers will find it strong in materials related to the Bumpass-Troy House, a Greensboro residence which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the family history of the two families for whom the home is named. Also of interest may be a circa 1912 hand drawn map of Greensboro showing areas occupied by the “colored population” and the “Private Journal” of Trinity College professor and Confederate officer O.W. Carr, which he kept sporadically between the years 1855 and 1878.

Arrangement: The materials that compose the Troy-Bumpass Papers are arranged alphabetically into the following nine series: Correspondence, n.d.; Drawings, ca. 1900-1958; Literary, 1955-1961; Maps, ca. 1912-1961; Miscellaneous, n.d.; Photographs, ca. 1898; Printed, 1851-1954; Scrapbook, ca. 1928-1930; and Sketchbook, ca. 1900-1902.

Provenance: The two accession numbers associated with this collection are 1973.174.48 and 1995.167.1-3. The Museum also possesses the 26 October 1860 edition of the Weekly Message (1998.70.1) and a printed version of the diary of Daniel Dantzler (GHM Vertical File), a Confederate soldier who mentions dining in the Bumpass home just prior to the Army of Tennessee’s surrender in April 1865. In addition to these materials, researchers may want to consult the inventory for the Bumpass Family Papers (Collection #1031) held by the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A copy of that inventory can also be found in the first folder of this collection.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid was prepared by Francis D. Pitts III in January 2000.


In 1847 the Reverend Sidney D. Bumpass moved his family into a new home in Greensboro that he had built on a hill adjacent to the Methodist Female College (now known as Greensboro College). Four years later he suddenly died, but his wife, Frances M. Bumpass, continued to live in the house on South Mendenhall Street until her death in 1898. During her life there she published for twenty years a religious newspaper called the Weekly Message, which her husband had begun shortly before his death.

The home remained in the possession of Frances Bumpass’s sister and brother-in-law, Robert Troy, and their descendants until 1975. When the last family member to occupy the home died, the property was left to either the West Market Street Methodist Church or Greensboro College, whichever wanted it, “to be maintained as it was.” Both declined the responsibility. Eventually the executor of the estate sold the property. Because of its historical significance in the community, the Bumpass-Troy House was added to in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It served visitors to Greensboro as the Troy-Bumpass Inn Bed and Breakfast from about 1992 to 2016.

Other members of the Bumpass and Troy families and at least one person whose relationship to them is unclear are represented in the collection. For example, a sketchbook contains the drawings of Lota Troy – a granddaughter of Frances M. Bumpass – who produced them while studying art at Columbia University around the turn of the twentieth century. In addition, the collection contains a copy of the “Private Journal” of O.W. Carr, which he kept sporadically between the years 1855 and 1878. Carr, a professor at Trinity College at the outbreak of the Civil War, was elected Captain of Company G, 46th Regiment, NC Troops, in March 1862. In November 1863 he resigned his commission due to a chronic debilitating illness. After the war, in 1871, he established an insurance company in Greensboro. An advertisement for the company in Maloney’s 1901 Greensboro City Directory stated that “[w]e insure against fire in this world only. Beyond this we claim no protection for you.”

For those researchers interested in additional family history, the collection contains ample genealogical material.

Biographical Sources: In addition to the material in the collection, a number of secondary sources provided useful information. The following titles proved to be the most helpful: Greensboro: An Architectural Record, by Marvin A. Brown (Greensboro: Preservation Greensboro, Inc., 1995); Founders and Builders of Greensboro, 1808-1908, compiled by Bettie D. Caldwell (Greensboro: Jos. J. Stone and Company, 1925); and North Carolina Troops, 1861-65: A Roster, Vol. XI, compiled by Weymouth T. Jordan Jr. (Raleigh, NC: Division of Archives and History, 1987).


Types of materials in this collection include blueprints, a certificate, correspondence, drawings, literary documents, maps, photographs, printed material, a scrapbook and a sketchbook.

The bulk of materials in this collection were created by or produced for members of the Bumpass or Troy families. Much of this material pertains to the family home, which is located on South Mendenhall Street in Greensboro, NC, or the family history of various branches of the two families. In the former group, noteworthy materials include fourteen architectural drawings of the house at different points in time (2:1). In particular, researchers may want to see the seven blueprints produced by James J. Hopkins, an architect who practiced in Greensboro around the turn of the twentieth century, in which he proposed alterations for the house. A brief written history, entitled “With a Century of Accumulated Good Wishes from the Bumpass-Troy Home,” can be found in folder 3:1. Researchers interested in family history materials should see the literary series (3). A highlight of the collection is a typed version of O. W. Carr’s “Private Journal,” which he kept between the years 1855 and 1878 (3:4).

Other noteworthy materials include a map of Greensboro drawn around 1912 that shows railroad lines and areas occupied by the “colored population” (4:1). The photograph series contains an image of a group of soldiers in camp at Panama Park, FL, in 1898 (6:1) and two images of Greensboro attorney and Congressman Charles M. Stedman (6:2). The printed series contains a number of items that researchers may find useful. Of these materials, perhaps the most interesting item is the certificate that was given to Mrs. F.M. Bumpass by the American Bible Society in 1854 (7:1).

The collection also contains an 1851 obituary notice for the Reverend Sidney D. Bumpass (7:3); a scrapbook that has articles by the Reverend Robah F. Bumpas and a printed excerpt from a letter written by Mrs. F.M. Bumpass in 1897 (8:1); and a sketchbook produced by Lota Troy while she was a student at Columbia University around the turn of the twentieth century.

The collection does not include any original material created by either the Reverend Sidney D. Bumpass or Mrs. Frances M. Bumpass.


1. Correspondence. 1 folder (1 item). n.d.

The one item in this series is a fragment of a letter that contains information on people whose relationship to the subjects of this collection is not easily discerned.

2. Drawings. 2 folders (15 items). ca. 1911-1958.

The bulk of this series consists of architectural drawings of the Bumpass-Troy house (2:1). Of these drawings, seven were executed by James H. Hopkins (ca. 1911) and six by John McRae (1958). Another drawing, a blueprint of a section of Greensboro with the heading “Property of Mr. Melville Troy,” was made by W.H. Sullivan in 1920 (2:1). Folder 2:2 contains an undated ink drawing of Judah P. Benjamin.

3. Literary. 5 folders (ca. 11 items). ca. 1900-1960.

A highlight of this series is a copy of O.W. Carr’s “Private Journal,” which he kept sporadically between the years 1855 and 1878 (3:4). In particular, researchers should see the entries between 1855 and 1865, which provide Carr’s observations on Trinity College and the Civil War. The remaining items of this series consist of family history materials pertaining to the principal subjects of the collection. Folder 3:1 contains historical information relative to the Bumpass-Troy home and the surrounding area. The Civil War activities of Confederate officer Robert Preston Troy are recounted in a portion of a typed manuscript and a chapter, titled “Forty-sixth Regiment,” from an unidentified publication (3:2). Folder 3:3 contains what appear to be chapters of a larger work on Webb family life in the nineteenth century. Genealogical material on the Troy family can be found in folder 3:5.

4. Maps. 2 folders (2 items). ca. 1912-1961.

This series consists of two hand drawn maps. Folder 4:1 contains a map of Greensboro that shows railroad lines (highlighted in red) and areas occupied by the “colored population” (shaded portions of map) around 1912. The second map (4:2) contains information on a variety of things in sections of Virginia and North Carolina.

5. Miscellaneous. 1 folder (2 items). n.d.

This small series contains a cover, with R.F. Bumpass’s address inscribed on the front, and a cutout in the form of a caterpillar affixed to a piece of stationery from The Inn at Buck Hill Falls (PA).

6. Photographs. 2 folders (3 items). ca. 1898.

This series consists of three photographs taken around the turn of the twentieth century. One image is of a group of soldiers in camp at Panama Park, FL, in 1898 (6:1); the other two are of Greensboro attorney and Congressman Charles M. Stedman (6:2).

7. Printed. 6 folders (ca. 14 items). 1851-1954.

The printed series contains an interesting assortment of items. Items worthy of note are a lifelong membership certificate given to Mrs. F.M. Bumpass by the American Bible Society in 1854 (7:1); an 1851 obituary notice for the Reverend Sidney D. Bumpass (7:3); a 1943 newspaper article on Nina Troy’s ordeal in a Japanese concentration camp (7:2); a pamphlet that includes excerpts from reviews of Helen Keller’s “My Religion” (7:5); and a U.S. Senate chamber pass bearing Clyde Hoey’s signature (7:6).

8. Scrapbook. 1 folder (1 item). ca. 1928-1930.

The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings on a wide range of subjects. The most noteworthy items are a number of articles by the Reverend Robah F. Bumpas and a printed version of extracts of a letter written by Mrs. F.M. Bumpass in 1897.

9. Sketchbook. 1 folder (1 item). ca. 1900-1902.

The sketchbook contains roughly twenty drawings by Lota Troy – a granddaughter of Frances M. Bumpass – who produced them while she was a student at Columbia University around the turn of the twentieth century. Included are many sketches of New York scenes as well as a few of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


11Correspondence (n.d.)
21Drawings-- Architectural (ca. 1911-1958)
2-- Benjamin, Judah P. (n.d.)
31Literary-- "Bumpass-Troy Home" (ca. 1961)
2-- "Forty-sixth Regiment" (n.d.)
3-- Miscellaneous (n.d.)
4Literary-- "The Private Journal of O.W. Carr" (1855-1878)
5-- "The Troys: We, Us, and Ours" (1955)
41Maps-- Greensboro, NC (1912)
2-- Miscellaneous (ca. 1961)
51Miscellaneous (n.d.)
61Photographs-- Soldiers at Panama Park, FL (1898)
2-- Stedman, Charles M. (n.d.)
71Printed-- Certificate -- American Bible Society (1854)
2-- Miscellaneous (1936-1943)
3-- Newspaper clippings (1851)
4Printed-- Newspaper clippings from scrapbook (ca. 1929-1931)
5-- Pamphlet -- "My Religion" (ca. 1927)
6-- U.S. Senate chamber pass (1954)
81Scrapbook (ca. 1928-1930)
91Sketchbook (ca. 1900-1902)

Index to the Troy-Bumpass Papers

Note: The numbers following the name/subject entry –e.g. 1:1 – indicate in which Series#:Folder# (or, if no “:”, Series only) that name/topic can be found. Dates of the items are given in parenthesis for an individual Series/Folder or, if at the end, for the entire subject/name entry. The abbreviation GSO indicates a Greensboro association.

African Americans: Greensboro map, 4:1 (1912)
American Bible Society: certificate, 7:1 (1854)
Architecture: drawings, 2:1 (ca. 1911-1958); history, 3:1 (ca. 1961)
Art: 2:2 (n.d.); 5:1 (n.d.); sketches, 9:1 (ca. 1900-1902)

Benjamin, Judah P.: 2:2 (n.d.)
Bumpass, Frances M.: 7:1 (1854); 8:1 (1897)
Bumpass, Robah F.: cover, 5:1 (ca. 1866); newspaper clippings, 8:1 (ca. 1930)
Bumpass, Sidney D.: 3:5 (1955); obituary, 7:3 (1851)
Bumpass Family: house, 2:1 (ca. 1911-1958); 3:1 (ca. 1961); history, 3:5 (1955)

Carr, O. W.: journal, 3:4 (1855-1878)
Chapel Hill (NC): drawings, 9:1 (ca. 1900-1902)
China: 7:2 (ca. 1936)
Civil War: 3:2,4 (1861-1865)
Confederate Army: 46th Regiment NC Troops history, 3:2 (n.d.)

Greensboro (NC): blueprint, 2:1 (1920); map, 4:1 (1912)
Guilford County Bible Society: 7:1 (1854)

Hoey, Clyde R.: autograph, 7:6 (1954)
Hopkins, James H.: 2:1 (ca. 1911)

Keller, Helen: pamphlet, 7:5 (ca. 1927)
Korea: postcards, 7:2 (n.d.)

McRae, John: 2:1 (1958)
Maps: GSO, 4:1 (1912); NC/VA, 4:2 (ca. 1961)
Montague, James J.: poetry, 7:4 (1931)

New York (NY): 3:3 (n.d.); sketches, 9:1 (ca. 1900-1902)

Panama Park (FL): photo of U.S. army camp, 6:1 (1898)

Railroads: map, 4:1 (1912)
Religion: 7:1,5 (1854-1927); 8:1 (ca. 1897-1930)

Stedman, Charles M.: photos, 6:2 (n.d.)
Sullivan, W.H.: 2:1 (1920)

Trinity College (NC): 3:4 (1855-1874)
Troy, Arthur Lane: 3:5 (1955)
Troy, Lota: sketchbook, 9:1 (ca. 1900-1902)
Troy, Melville: 2:1 (1920)
Troy, Nina: 7:2,6 (1943-1954)
Troy, Robert Preston: 3:2 (1861-1865)
Troy Family: history, 3:5 (1955)

U.S. Army: photo, 6:1 (1898)
U.S. Senate: chamber pass, 7:6 (1954)

Virginia: map, 4:2 (ca. 1961)

Webb Family: history, 3:3 (n.d.)
World War II: Japanese concentration camps, 7:2 (1943)