Milbourne, L. R. Letters, 1886-1906

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Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: L.R. Milbourne Letters, 1886-1906

Collection No.: SC 0108
Creator: Milbourne, L. R., 1855-1906

Extent: 1 folder; .08 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The L. R. Milbourne Papers consist of letters between Lodowic Ralph Milbourne and his fiancée Virginia Ann Strickler documenting day-to-day life and religious topics of the time from 1886 – 1888 in Luray, Virginia as well as a notebook detailing wardrobe expenses from 1893 – 1906.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. Accession file contains photocopies of nine of the letters from January 16, 1888 – February 1, 1888. Use these copies for reproduction. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [box #, folder #], L. R. Milbourne Papers, 1886 - 1906, SC 0108, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: The collection was purchased by Carrier Library in March of 1994 from Bookworm and Silverfish, Wyethville, Virginia.
Processing Information: In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2088.

Bio/Historical Note:

Lodowic Ralph Milbourne was born in Somerset, Maryland on January 18, 1855 and died in 1906. His wife Virginia Ann Strickler was born in Page County, Virginia in 1867 and died in 1948. Lodowic began his life in the Baptist church at an early age; he was the grandson and nephew of Baptist preachers on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, and he entered Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania in 1871 to prepare for the Baptist Ministry. He first preached in Newport News, Virginia, where he was ordained on July 14, 1881 and went on to organize the First Baptist Church in Newport News. In 1884 Lodowic began preaching at the Luray Baptist Church in Luray, Virginia where he remained until 1889. During his time in Luray he married Virginia Ann Strickler. While living and working in Luray, Lodowic also acted as the pastor of a new church in Marksville, (now Stanley) Virginia and helped to organize a church in Rileyville, Virginia. In addition to his pastoral duties, he contributed to missionary work across the state and was involved in the Shenandoah Association. In 1889 Lodowic returned to Maryland and worked as a pastor at churches in Rockville and Barnesville.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of 14 items; thirteen letters from 1886 – 1888 between Lodowic Ralph Milbourne and his fiancée Virginia Ann Strickler, and small notebook belonging to Strickler that lists the wardrobe expenses for her family from 1893 – 1906 while she is traveling and attending Hollins College. All letters are from Milbourne with the exception of one response from Strickler. In many of the letters, Lodowic comments on Virginia's location; in one she is at Hollins College and in others she is traveling in Chicago, Illinois and St. Paul, Minnesota. Lodowic's commentary on Virginia's activities, particularly his disapproval at her attending the theater in Chicago, provides insight into gender relations during the time.

The letters show the workings of the Luray Baptist Church community in Luray, Virginia. Milbourne primarily discusses religious topics through his interpretation of various passages in the Bible and relates day-to-day news of his activities as a preacher in Luray and the surrounding area. Milbourne writes about strictures for a proper Christian life, sermon topics, visits to members of the town, activities of the missionary Sunbeam Society, his interactions as a preacher with various townspeople, and his upcoming marriage to Virginia. Strickler's letter to Milbourne addresses religious topics and a petition for a prohibition amendment.


The thirteen letters and one notebook are arranged within one folder.


Taylor, George Braxton. Virginia Baptist Ministers Fifth Series 1902 -1914 with Supplement. Lynchburg, VA: J. P. Bell Company, Inc., 1915.

Related Material:

Mr. & Mrs. James Hoover Collection of Strickler Family Papers, SC 0098, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.


Folder Title
Box : Folder
L.R. Milbourne Letters, 1886-1906

Compiled by: Kori Martinolich, April 1994; Kate Morris, June 2013