Architect Pics: Young N.W. Overstreet

I recently stumbled across the digitized versions of Reveille the Mississippi State yearbook. These digital books are part of the Special Collections of the University Archives Division. It looks as though I’ll have many hours to spend mining those documents for information about Mississippi’s home-educated designers. In the past we have seen photographs of architects or builders at the peak or end of their careers, such as this image of architects Naef, Gates, Matthes, Overstreet. While we often find obituaries or memorials for architects, this 1908 Reveille year book entry give us some mirthful insight that N.W. Overstreet‘s successful architecture career may have come as no surprise to his college classmates.

N.W.Overstreet c1908 from Reville 1908 MSU yearbookNoah Webster Overstreet,

Eastabutchie, Miss.

Mechanical Engineering.

Captain and Ranger Officer.

Not only over “street”, but over two big feet he towers over everybody else. He hails from Eastabutchie, wherever that is. His entanglement with the clouds is his ever-ready excuse for being late. It has recently been discovered that the block on his shoulders is a three- story office building designed by R. H. Hunt, architect, Chattanooga, and the projection on the left of his head is a portico of “Billie’s” office. Love-affairs many, but he has so far kept them from his classmates. Hobby, using up any-body’s blueprint paper he     happens to come across. Chief occupation, drawing.

Lee Guard; Jones County Club; M. A. S. E. Parliamentarian First Term, Vice-President Second Term; Gridiron Club; Sword Company.

Overstreet’s physical stature has been a topic of discussion before on Misspres and it sounds like the first impression he would have left on anyone. One of the most interesting tidbits is that we learn a bit more about Overstreet’s work for the architect R.H. Hunt. I looked into R.H.Hunt’s records on the MDAH HRI database. The most likely structure that involves Overstreet’s hand mentioned in the yearbook entry is the I.O.O.F. building in Columbus. Or possibly the demolished Lemon/Noble Hotel in Jackson. The yearbook entry depicts a young man who loved to design & draw, one whose talents were obvious to his classmates.

Categories: Architectural Research, Historic Preservation

Tags: , , , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I encountered a warning when I attempted to use the link to the four–person photo you mentioned. with a slash mark through the https and a statement that I had been redirected to a SITE that could be a cyber attacker. You might want to check the link.

    Interesting posting, BTW, and congratulations on finding possibly many more hours of fun “mining”!


    • I corrected the problem. Let me know if you experience that same problem or any other malfunctions with the site.


      • It works! Many thanks for your kindness! The photo richly deserves the link.


      • Bloody Kemper gave our State both born and bred N. W. Overstreet and contractor/brick manufacturer T. P. Crymes.
        N.W.’s father H. H. was what we would call an Agri-Business man today. Both architect and builder gravitated to Hattiesburg and left their mark. Maybe it was the “teachers college.”
        Bettie Floore Overstreet was quoted as saying that she bore and raised seven children in Eastabutchie before the family moved to Clinton in 1924 .
        I can account for Noah and his two brothers L.L. and Hosea,…and for the three girls, but no seventh sibling.
        BTW, forgot to menttion Senator John Stennis from DeKalb Kemper county.
        I will never forgive him for his part in the U.S. S. Liberty coverup..
        Nuff said.


  2. What an amazing find–picture and text!


    • Isn’t it great? Earlier year books include group photos of engineering students, but I haven’t been able to identify Overstreet as an underclassman. Its interesting to see him with out his flattop hairstyle.

      I really wracked my brain over which Hunt building he might have worked on. Maybe there is a structure somewhere that hasn’t made its way to the MDAH HRI yet.

      The reference to “portico of Billie’s office” was less clear. I think it might refer to a portico on the office of College Vice-President William H. Magruder. I am not familiar enough with State to know which building that might have been!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s the Six-story Columbus Insurance & Bank building by Robert Hunt.

        The top two floors were later destroyed in a fire:Or destroyed during the construction phase.


        • Rufus Ward in his weekly column for the Commercial-Dispatch gave a lengthy detail of the fire that destroyed businesses.
          The bank building is located at the downtown intersection of Main & North Fifth Street.


      • Refer to Columbus Weekly Dispatch, 28MAR1907
        Pg. 1


      • Macon native T.P. Crymes, Jr. was s civil /mechanical engineering graduste at A&M circa 1915.
        T. P. Crymes, Sr. was hired by W.S.F. Tatum to provide the stone an brick for Tatum’s Robert E. Lee design Main Street Methodist Church. Tatum ended up firing his Knoxville contractor and hiring Crymes to complete the building project. At that time looking at my 1934 Sanborn map that Hattiesburg structures were mostly built of heart pine lumber.
        Tatum referred to it as Shanghi architecture.
        The R. E. Lee Komp Equipment Co. building
        was built by Crymes Contracting with Crymes brick. Now vacant. That building had an hydraulic lift elevator no cables. Maybe munition handling required such.


  3. This is awesome for me to see. Robert William Naef was my grandfather. I passed away before I was born so I never got the opportunity to meet him.


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