MS 41 Mary Williams Bearden Cazalas Collection

Mary Williams Bearden Cazalas Collection
MS 41

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Cazalas, Mary Williams Bearden
Title: Mary Williams Bearden Cazalas Collection
Dates: 1971-2015

Abstract: The collection includes articles that describe Mrs. Mary Cazalas and her family.

Processed By: La’ Quisha Chaffin
Accession Number: 2009

Administrative History

Known for her rebuttals, appeals, and lawsuits in the court of law, Mrs. Mary Cazalas made quite a name for herself. She attended several institutions, including Oglethorpe University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Med. Since the beginning of her academic career in Louisiana, she focused solely on nursing as it applies to the law. She wrote numerous articles and a book on the intertwining of the two subjects. Along with writing, she oversaw mock trials, participated in trials, and consulted with other lawyers. She died on September 20, 2013, leaving behind almost seven decades of legal triumphs as her legacy.


The collection includes Mrs. Mary Cazalas’ obituary and written documents. In addition, there are also photos and articles of her family in the collection.



Subject Headings

Coffee Family

Slappey Family

Twiggs County (GA.) — History

Payne, R.E.

Volz, John

Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 Articles written by Mary Cazalas

Folder 2 Biographical material on Mary Cazalas

Folder 3 Above the Law: The Hidden Career of John Volt, USA (copy)

Folder 4 History of Twiggs County, Georgia (copy)

Folder 5 Coffee Family Genealogy

Folder 6 Coffee, John A. – Civil War Record (copy)

Folder 7 Slappey Family

Folder 8 Visuals – Coffee Family and Slappey family (copies)

Administrative Information

Mary Williams Bearden Cazalas (1927-2013) was a learner, a leader, and an all-around involved individual. A direct descendant of General John A. Coffee, who fought in the Battle of New Orleans and the Indian Wars, Cazalas was extremely proud of her family heritage. She was very studious, graduating from St. Joseph’s Infirmary School of Nursing in 1948 to become an RN. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in pre-med studies at Oglethorpe University (class of 1954) while working nights at St. Joseph’s Infirmary School of Nursing. Grateful for her professors’ understanding when it came to her being tired in class, Cazalas later donated to Oglethorpe and several other schools and organizations. After she graduated from Oglethorpe, she completed her masters in anatomy at Emory University in 1960 and later went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree at Loyola University in 1967, graduating fifth in her class. In 1978, Cazalas blended her experience in the medical field and law in her book Nursing and Law, the seminal work on the subjects.  From 1967-1971 she ran a private law practice before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney in New Orleans. She later sued the United States Department of Justice for discrimination based on her sex when she was terminated from that position. Later in life, she owned multiple properties that she rented to low-income tenants, often allowing them to forge payment if they could not afford it.

Preferred Citation:
Please cite Mary Cazalas Collection, MS 41, Archives, Philip Weltner Library, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia. Permission to publish from this collection must be approved in writing by the Director of the Library, Oglethorpe University.