A Guide to the Papers of Josephine Rucker Powell 1929-1996 Powell, Josephine Rucker, 1929-1996 014

A Guide to the Papers of Josephine Rucker Powell 1929-1996

A Collection in
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives
Collection Number 014


Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, Washington and Lee University

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives
Washington and Lee University
School of Law
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0303
Phone: (540) 458-8969
Email: powell@wlu.edu
URL: http://law.wlu.edu/library/powell/

© 2002 By Washington and Lee University

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives Staff

Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, School of Law, Washington and Lee University
Collection number
Josephine Rucker Powell Papers 1929-1996
Physical Characteristics
This collection is 9 cu. ft. in extent.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Josephine Rucker Powell Papers, 1929-1996, Ms 014, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Archives, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

Processing Information

Though this collection has not been fully processed, it is open for research use.

Biographical/Historical Information

Josephine Pierce Rucker Powell was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1911. She attended the Collegiate School for Girls and graduated from Sweet Briar College. She participated in multiple varsity sports excelling at swimming and diving. She was a model at Miller & Rhoads Department Store in Richmond and worked for three years in the office of her physician father Dr. Marvin P. Rucker.

In 1936 she married Lewis F. Powell Jr. They had four children. They lived in Richmond all their lives until Lewis Powell joined the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. Thereafter, they maintained residences in both Washington and Richmond.

Active in community and cultural activities, Mrs. Powell was a member of The National Society for Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the National Society of the Barons of Runnemede, the Sulgrave Club, International Neighbors Club #1 (president), Junior League of Richmond (vice president), board member of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Poe Foundation, Children's Theatre of Richmond Inc., Three Chopt Garden Club, and the Woman's Club. She died July 24, 1996.

Scope and Content Information

These papers document Josephine R. Powell's personal and social life. There is also a substantial record of the condolences extended to her family on her death and of her funeral service.


These papers have been preliminarily sorted into eleven series: Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Christmas Cards, Invitations, Postcards, Subject Files, Printed Materials, Photos, Clippings, Appointment Calendars,and Funeral. Several of the series have significant subseries components.

Related Material

Researchers should note that the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Papers Ms 001, also at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, contain a substantial volume of correspondence and records by and about Josephine Rucker Powell and her immediate family. Note especially, that all of the voluminous correspondence between Josephine Powell and her husband Lewis, is in the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Papers.

Contents List

Biographical Materials, 1882-1996. 1, Carton
  • General, 1929-1996. 1, Carton
  • Parents, 1932-1978. 2, Carton
  • Children, 1955-1995. 2, Carton
Christmas Cards c. 1957-1995. 3, Carton

These Christmas cards complement those contained in the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Papers, Ms 001.

  • General, c. 1955-1996. 4-5, Carton
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 1972-1991. 5, Carton
  • The White House, 1972-1988. 5, Carton
  • Presidential Inauguration, 1973. 5, Carton
Postcards 1932-1948. 6, Carton

These postcards were apparently assembled by the donor as a collection of images. Most, however, bear messages. Some were addressed to the donor or members of her family. Others are to and from unknown third parties.

Subject Files c. 1936-1984. 7-8, Carton

Subjects include: American Bar Association, 1961-1971; Auto Accident, 1966; Guest Lists; Notes re Justice Powell's Surgery, 1985; Poe Foundation/Old Stone House; Receipts; Recipes; Directories and Directions; Visit of Queen Mother, 1953; and Writings, 1965-1977.

Printed Materials c. 1929-1995.

Forms of materials include: General Materials, Memorial Services, Menus, Place Cards, and school yearbooks (The Torch, 1929; Collegiate School for Girls. and The Briar Patch, 1933: Sweet Briar College.

Photos, c.1929-1988. 8, Carton
Clippings, 1932-1983. 8, Carton
Appointment Calendars 1962-1993. 9, Carton
Funeral 1996. 10, Carton