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Joanna Eppard collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Collection number: MSS-026

Scope and Contents

This collection documents Joanna Eppard’s professional affiliation with Southern Bell and membership in the Telephone Pioneers of America, including photographs from the Athens office of Southern Bell; and programs, photographs, and other materials from the 1952 and 1953 meetings of the Telephone Pioneers of American General Assembly. Also included are two issues of Southern Telephone News, dated November 1923 and November 1927; and Eppard’s personal photographs.


  • 1908-1953

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection has no restrictions. This collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required. Apply in the Heritage Room for access.

Biographical / Historical

Joanna Eppard (née Gibson), born in Athens, Georgia on July 28, 1892, worked at the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company from 1907 to 1937. She married Lester L. Eppard in 1918. Southern Bell began operations in Athens in August, 1882, with thirty-six subscribers. It changed locations over its years, moving from the rear of Scudder’s jewelry store to a location at the corner of College and Clayton in 1889, then to the Talmadge Building in 1906, and finally to its own building at 183 West Clayton Street in 1918. A 1922 issue of Southern Telephone News notes that Eppard has worked at the company for fifteen years; she is listed there with the abbreviation “supr,” or supervisor. She was also categorized as a supervisor in the Piedmont Directory Compnay’s 1931 Athens directory. By 1930, there were more than three thousand telephones in the city. After her retirement in 1937, Joanna Eppard continued to be an active member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a charitable organization comprising active and retired telecommunication professionals, attending national meetings, as documented in this collection. She and Lester had no children. Lester Eppard passed away in 1944, Joanna Eppard in 1968.


1.04 Linear Feet (One half legal document box and one box measuring 15 by 10 by 3)


Photographs and other materials document Joanna Eppard’s work at the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company and her involvement with the Telephone Pioneers of America.


The collection is organized in a single series.

Related Materials

Beusse-Gibson-Eppard Families collection, Small collections, MSS 016

Separated Materials

Beusse Family collection, MSS 041


Athens City Directory, 1889. M. C. Pope & Co., 1889.
Athens, Georgia City Directory. Vol. IV, 1912-13. Piedmont Directory Co., 1912.
Athens, Georgia City Directory. Vol. VII, 1923-1924. Piedmont Directory Co., 1923.
Athens (Georgia) City Directory, 1931. Piedmont Directory Co., 1931.
Mathias, Wendy. “Sunday’s Obituary: Lester Leonard Eppard.” Jollett’s Etc., Accessed 2 Mar. 2020.
“Long Service Wins Honor Badges.” Southern Telephone News, Nov. 1922, p. 21.
Wells, Jack R. Athens, Georgia: Home of the University of Georgia, 1801-1951. City of Athens, 1951.

Physical Description

Fair to good

Joanna Eppard collection
Beth Whitlock, Mikaela LaFave, Justin Kau
June 2016, March 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Heritage Room, Athens-Clarke County Library Repository

2025 Baxter Street
Athens GA 30606