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: , , , , , , ,

5 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”!


  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!


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