Skip to main content

Mary Reamey Thomas Few and Randolph Few papers

Identifier: NCC-0078

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, scrapbooks, clippings and ephemera from members of the Few family, primarily Mary Reamey Thomas Few and Randolph (Ran) Reamey Few, with some items from Kendrick Few. The materials document some of Mary's activities in Durham, Ran's education and career, and the real estate development projects undertaken by Mary, Ran, and Kendrick. The correspondence is primarily among Mary, Ran, and Ken about real estate matters, with some personal letters, as well. Included in Mary's papers are documentation and original materials related to the renovation of a Civil War site, the Alexander Dickson house/Johnston Headquarters, which Mary and her brother-in-law Col. John Ross-Duggan spearheaded. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston stayed in the home while negotiating with Union General William T. Sherman in 1865. It was purchased by Mary Few and Col. Ross-Duggan in 1938, rented out, and then donated to the town of Hillsborough in the 1980s.


  • 1911 - 2016

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Personal family letters may be used for research and quoted, but not digitized and made public. There are no additional restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Reamey Thomas Few was born in 1885 in Martinsville, VA. She graduated from Trinity College (now Duke University) in 1906, earned a master's degree in English from Columbia University, and taught at Southern Seminary in Buena Visata, Virginia, for several years. While at Trinity College she met William Preston Few, who became president of Trinity College in 1910, and they married in 1911. Mrs. Few was active in the Republican Party, as well as in real estate and historic renovations in Durham. She died in 1971. Randolph (Ran) Reamey Few was born in 1920, the fourth of William Preston and Mary Few's five sons. He grew up in Durham, attending Durham High School and Duke University. He then served in the Navy during World War II and in the Naval Reserve until 1961. After the war he went into real estate development in Durham with his mother and his brother Kendrick Sheffield Few. Ran was actively involved in various community groups, including Kiwanis Club and Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, until his death in 2008. Ran's daughter Dana Few Pope donated the collection.


5 Linear Feet (12 containers: 6 document boxes, 4 flat boxes, 2 oversize folders)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into the following series: 1. Correspondence 2. Mary Reamey Thomas Few papers 3. Randolph Few Papers 4. Real Estate and Development 5. Books and newspapers 6. Oversized materials

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dana Few Pope

Related Materials

Lakewood Park Community Association Records (NCC.0105)

Up-To-Date Club Collection (NCC.0189)

Few Family Papers (Duke University – Rubenstein Library)

William Preston Few Records and Papers (Duke University – Rubenstein Library)

Kendrick S. Few Papers (Duke University – Rubenstein Library)

Finding Aid for the Mary Reamey Thomas Few and Randolph Few Papers
Kristen Merryman and Jamie Patrick-Burns
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Kristen Merryman and Jamie Patrick-Burns
  • Gift Agreement

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States