A Guide to the Thomas O. Sandy Papers, 1910-1928 Sandy, Thomas O. Papers Ms2006-022

A Guide to the Thomas O. Sandy Papers, 1910-1928

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2006-022


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Katie Cox, Special Collections Student Assistant; and John M. Jackson, Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Thomas O. Sandy Papers 1910-1928
Physical Characteristics
1 container; 0.5 cu. ft.
Correspondence, receipts, farm records, and other papers of Thomas O. Sandy, a farmer in Nottoway County, Virginia and the first state demonstration agent for agricultural extension in Virginia. Papers relate to Sandy's farm, extension work, and estate.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Thomas O. Sandy Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Thomas O. Sandy Papers, Ms 2006-022 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Acquisition Information

The Thomas O. Sandy Papers were gifted to Virginia Tech and donated to Special Collections in 2006.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the Thomas O. Sandy Papers was completed in October 2008; preliminary work had been performed November 2006-February 2007.

Biographical Information

Thomas Oldham Sandy (better known as T. O. Sandy) was born February 22, 1857, in Essex County, Virginia. He matriculated at Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Tech) in 1875 but did not complete a degree and departed the following year. He married Sallie Thweat Miller, and the couple settled at "Locust Grove, her Nottoway County ancestral farm located a few miles from Burkeville. With their two sons--T. O. (Oldham) and E. S. (Scott)--the Sandys raised Holstein cattle, Burkeshire hogs and Plymouth Rock chickens. Sandy also served as rector of the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute's board of visitors.

In 1907, Sandy was appointed Virginia's first county farm demonstration agent. Working from the state's first extension office in Burkeville, Sandy served a three-county region and hired other agents to assist him. Under his leadership, boys' corn clubs and girls' canning clubs were developed. In 1914, the agency's administration was transferred to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, becoming the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service. Sandy served as a demonstration agent until 1917, when illness and his sons' absence from the farm forced him to retire. Thomas O. Sandy died on June 7, 1919. Sandy Hall, on the Virginia Tech campus, is named in his honor.

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, farm records, receipts and other papers relating to Thomas O. Sandy, a Nottoway County, Virginia farmer and the first state demonstration agent for agricultural extension in Virginia. Sandy's correspondence relates largely to his farm business and extension work, though some personal matters are also addressed--particularly, Sandy's attempt to secure a military discharge for his son to return home and oversee the farm's operation. The collection also contains correspondence (mostly incoming), to Sandy's wife and sons, primarily relating to the settlement of Sandy's estate following his 1919 death. Also included, however, are letters regarding Thomas O. Sandy Jr.'s own farming business, as well as personal matters. Significant correspondents include Ella Agnew, J. D. Eggleston, L. M. Levering, G. S. Ralston, William C. Schmidt, and A. G. Smith Jr. Among the collection of receipts are many from local businesses for household goods, services and utilities, as well as receipts for farming expenses. The collection also contains Sandy's farm record book for 1914, and a published copy of briefs filed in the 1915 right-of-way dispute case of Norfolk & Western Railway Co. v. T. O. Sandy et als. Also included are a few other legal and financial papers, relating primarily to Sandy's estate, and a small set of Cooperative Extension information.


The collection is arranged by document type. Correspondence is divided by family member, then further subdivided by outgoing and incoming, with outgoing mail arranged chronologically; incoming, alphabetically by sender's name. Receipts are arranged alphabetically by name of business, then chronologically. Other papers are arranged chronologically.

Contents List

Thomas O. Sandy outgoing correspondence 1910-1919
Box-folder: 1-1
Thomas O. Sandy incoming correspondence 1914-1919
Box-folder: 1-2
Sallie Sandy outgoing correspondence 1919-1924, n.d.
Box-folder: 1-3
Sallie Sandy incoming correspondence 1919-1924, n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-4
  • Box-folder 1-5
E. Scott Sandy incoming correspondence 1919-1920
Box-folder: 1-6
Thomas O. Sandy Jr. incoming correspondence 1919-1925
  • Box-folder 1-7
  • Box-folder 1-8
Receipts 1914-1924
  • Businesses A-M
    Box-folder: 1-9
  • Businesses N-Z
    Box-folder: 1-10
Farm record book [1914]
Box-folder: 1-11
Norfolk & Western Railway Co. v. T. O. Sandy et als. 1915
General legal and financial papers 1914-1928, n.d.
Box-folder: 1-13
Cooperative extension forms and publications 1912-1922, n.d.
Box-folder: 1-14