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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William Titus Rigby Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1830-1989
Creator: Rigby, William Titus (1814-1881)
Extent: 4.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0082
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Civil War veteran and Vicksburg National Military Park Commissioner. Correspondence, clippings, photographs, diaries, genealogical material, relating the Rigby family.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Boxes 8, 9

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa in two parts: the first in 1963 by Isabel Rigby and the second by C.Edward Rigby in 1994.

Preferred Citation: William Titus Rigby Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Washington Augustus Rigby (1814-1881) was born in Ohio. He came to Iowa in 1836. The following year he married Lydia Barr (1817-1896) in Bloomington (now Muscatine) in what was the first wedding in the county. They moved to Red Oak Grove (north of Tipton) where they farmed. The couple had four children, William Titus, Joshua Hopkins, Rhoda (1848-1863), and Ellen Sarah. Washington Augustus Rigby was one of the first elected clerks of Cedar County and helped form the M.E. Society in Tipton. Washington A. Rigby, his wife, and daughter Rhoda are buried in Red Oak Cemetery, south of Stanwood, Iowa.
William Titus Rigby (1841-1929) was the eldest son of Washington and Lydia. He served in the Civil War as a second lieutenant in the 24th Iowa Infantry, Company B. Later he attained the rank of captain. He was involved in the Coldwater Expedition and the Vicksburg campaign. After the war he attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, gaining his A.B. degree in 1869. It was at Cornell that he met Eva Cattron whom he married in 1869. They then went to farm his father's land and he became a banker at Mechanicsville. William T. and Eva Cattron had three children, William Cattron, Charles Longley, and Grace Kendrick. Rigby was deeply involved with veterans affairs. In 1895, he was elected secretary of the Vicksburg National Military Park Association. In 1899, he became the park's resident commissioner. He is buried at the Vicksburg National Cemetery.
Joshua Hopkins Rigby (1844-1892) was the second child of Washington and Lydia Rigby. He too attended Cornell College and became a Methodist minister. He married Alice Fellows in 1870 and they had seven children, five of whom lived to maturity. Joshua Hopkins Rigby died from diphtheria which he contracted while aiding sick parishioners. He is buried at Mt. Vernon Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
Ellen Sarah Rigby Davis (1850-1943) was the youngest of Washington and Lydia's children. Like her brothers she was educated at Cornell College, graduating in 1871. She taught school at various locations until 1878. Ellen Sarah Rigby married Frank Davis and they lived for some time in Jewett City, Connecticut. They had two daughters.
William Cattron Rigby (1871-1946) was the eldest child of William T. Rigby and Eva Cattron. He attended Cornell College and served in the army as a lawyer. He was the Chief of Insular Affairs in the Judge Advocate General's office and argued several cases before the Supreme Court on behalf of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. He married Grace Gilruth in 1893 and they had three daughters. William Cattron Rigby is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Charles Longley Rigby (1874-1949) was William Titus Rigby's younger son. Following the rest of the family he graduated from Cornell College in 1894. He managed the family farm and was chief executive officer for the Union Savings Bank. In 1898, he married Jennie Billings. They had two children, C. Edward and Isabel. Charles Longley Rigby served as an Iowa State Senator from District 24 from 1925-1931. He is buried at Red Oak Cemetery, south of Stanwood, Iowa.
William Titus Rigby's youngest child and only daughter was Grace Kendrick Cameron (1876-1960). Grace married Edward Cameron; they had no children. She cared for her father in his declining years and after his death moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
William Titus Rigby
[Reference: Herman Hattaway, General Stephen D. Lee, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1976]
1841 Born in Red Oak Township, Cedar County, Iowa
1862 Second Lieutenant in 24th Iowa Infantry Regiment, Company B
1863 Promoted Captain
1865 Mustered out of Army in Savannah, Georgia
1869 Graduation from Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and marriage to Eva Cattron
1872 A.M., Cornell College
1878 Farmer and stock raiser, Section 14, Fremont Township, Cedar County, Iowa, P.O.

The William Titus Rigby papers were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in two separate installments. In 1963, Isabel Rigby presented the libraries with the papers of her grandfather, William Titus Rigby. These included four boxes of correspondence, dating from 1859-1941, among which were his Civil War letters. There were also diaries, army rosters, and printed material about the Vicksburg National Military Park. In 1994, C. Edward Rigby donated additional family papers to be added to his grandfather's collection. Included in this addendum were diaries and financial records from William Rigby's father, Washington Augustus; correspondence spanning at least three generations; essays by William's brother, Joshua; numerous photographs; and detailed genealogical records.
The major correspondents were Washington Augustus Rigby and his children William Titus, Joshua Hopkins, and Ellen Sarah. They also include William Cattron Rigby, Charles Longley Rigby, and Grace Kendrick Rigby Cameron.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence: 1859-January 1863 - 1859-1863
  • Correspondence: February-April 1863 - 1863
  • Correspondence: May-December 1863 - 1863
  • Correspondence: January-May 1864 - 1864
  • Correspondence: June-December 1864 - 1864
  • Correspondence: 1865-1868 - 1865-1868
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence: 1869-1891 - 1869-1891
  • Correspondence: 1892-1895, including a letter from Robert Gordon Cousins - 1892-1895
  • Correspondence: January-June 1896, including letters from: Stephen Dill Lee, Frederick Dent Grant, John Brown Gordon, William Dempster Hoard, Robert Gordon Cousins, Stuyvesant Fish, and John A.T. Hull - 1896
  • Correspondence: August-December 1896, including letters from: Stephen Dill Lee, Frederick Dent Grant, Robert Gordon Cousins, Stuyvesant Fish, David Bremner Henderson, William Dempster Hoard, and John A.T. Hull - 1896
  • Correspondence: January-July 1897, including letters from: Frederick Dent Grant, Henry Cabot Lodge, Stephen Dill Lee, Robert Gordon Cousins, and William Dempster Hoard - 1897
  • Correspondence: August-December 1897, including letters from: William Dempster Hoard, Stephen Dill Lee, John A.T. Hull, and Robert Gordon Cousins - 1897
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence: 1898, including letters from Stephen Dill Lee and Thomas B. Reed - 1898
  • Correspondence: January-April 1899, including letters from: W.B. Allison, David Bremner Henderson, Stephen Dill Lee, and Stuyvesant Fish - 1899
  • Correspondence: May-December 1899, including letters from Stephen Dill Lee - 1899
  • Correspondence: 1901-1902, including letters from Stephen Dill Lee and L.M. Shaw - 1901-1902
  • Correspondence: 1903-1919, including letters from Stephen Dill Lee - 1903-1919
  • Correspondence: 1920-1941 - 1920-1941
  • Box 4:
  • Correspondence: undated (61 items)
  • Correspondence: undated (79 items)
  • Epherema, including railroad passes, calling cards, G.A.R. banner, etc. (15 items) - 1892-1909
  • Newspaper clippings, 1863-1928 (166 items) - 1863-1928
  • Vicksburg National Military Park (printed material), 1895-1942 (25 items) - 1895-1942
  • Box 5:
  • Diaries, 1863-1865 (6 items) - 1863-1865
  • Army rosters, 1863 (2 items) - 1863
  • Record book, 1875-1889 (1 item) - 1875-1889
  • Addendum 1994 - 1994
  • Box 6:
  • Correspondence: 1860-1866 - 1860-1866
  • Correspondence: 1867-1874 - 1867-1874
  • Correspondence: 1891-1894 - 1891-1894
  • Correspondence: 1895-1896 - 1895-1896
  • Correspondence: 1900 -1958 - 1900-1958
  • Correspondence: undated
  • Diary, 1830-1834 (incomplete): Washington Augustus Rigby - 1830-1834
  • Diary/Account book, 1870: Washington Augustus Rigby - 1870
  • Essays by Joshua Hopkins Rigby, 1864-1865 and undated - 1864-1865
  • Essays by others
  • Box 7:
  • Estate of Robert Cousins, 1849-1852: William A. Rigby, executor - 1849-1852
  • Expense/Day books, 1848-1870: Washington Augustus Rigby - 1848-1870
  • Financial and Official Records: Washington Augustus Rigby, 1839-1878, including banking records, tax receipts, mortgages, etc. - 1839-1878
  • Financial and Official Records: William Titus Rigby, 1870-1912, including county tax records, mortgages, etc. - 1870-1912
  • Financial and Official Records: Rigby family, 1914-1969, including tax records, warranties, mortgages, etc. - 1914-1969
  • Genealogical materials: 1926-1988, including reminiscences, clippings, etc. - 1926-1988
  • Genealogical materials: Rigbys Across America
  • Genealogical materials: Rigby genealogy prepared by Alice Rigby - 1989
  • Genealogical materials: The World Book of Rigbys
  • Journal/Notebook: George Rigby
  • Newspaper clippings, 1881-1974 and undated - 1881-1974
  • Notebook, 1936-1942, author unknown - 1936-1942
  • Box 8:
  • Photographs: Washington Augustus Rigby; wife Lydia; son Joshua; daughters Rhoda and Ellen; granddaughter Dora
  • Photographs: William Titus Rigby; wife Eva; sons William and Charles; and daughter Grace
  • Photographs: Joshua Hopkins Rigby; wife Alice; sons Samuel, Fred, Clarence, and William A.; and daughters Jessie, Alice and Gladys
  • Photographs: Jessie Rigby (daughter of Joshua H. Rigby)
  • Photographs: Jessie Rigby (daughter of Joshua H. Rigby) with friends
  • Photographs: Rigby cousins. Jessie, William C., Grace, and Isabel
  • Photographs: Rigby family reunion, 1921 - 1921
  • Photographs: Identified people, including some Rigbys
  • Photographs: Unidentified people
  • Box 9:
  • Photographs: unidentified people
  • Photographs: unidentified people (negatives)
  • Photographs: unidentified places
  • Recipes.
  • Stanwood Supply Company Stock certificate - 1914
  • Talk by Colonel William Cattron Rigby at Luncheon of the Columbia University Alumni Club, Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 10, 1942 - 1942
  • The Psalmist: A New Collection of Hymns for the Use of Baptist Churches, with a supplement by Richard Fuller