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Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Albert J. Worst letters, 1931-1932

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Author

Finding aid prepared by Lincoln Boykin under the supervision of Jeff Suchanek

Title

Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Albert J. Worst letters

Date

1931-1932

Repository

University of Kentucky Special Collections

Arrangement

Collection is arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

2009MS132.0008: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Albert J. Worst letters, 1931-1932, University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Extent

0.45 Cubic Feet

1 box

Abstract

The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Albert J. Worst letters comprises 55 letters written to Albert J. Worst primarily from his brother Eugene Gene Worst in Cincinnati, Ohio, when Albert was at Columbia University in New York City during the 1931-1932 university year.

Biography/History

Albert J. Worst (1907-1987) lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, all his life. A graduate of Xavier (date unknown) and Columbia Universities (1932), he worked as the librarian for Xavier University (dates unknown). He did not marry. Albert’s father, Peter Worst (1868-1939), was a native of Indiana and worked as a clock inspector for Western Union. Albert’s mother, Ellen Ella Sullivan Worst (1879-1958), was a native of Ireland. She immigrated to the United States in 1884. In addition to Albert, Peter and Ella Worst’s children included oldest son Joseph J. Worst (1905-1981), a police officer in Cincinnati, and youngest son Eugene Gene Worst (1910-1995), engineer and surveyor for the city of Cincinnati. Joseph married Rose Rosie Worst. Like Albert, Gene also remained a bachelor. Albert and Gene were about 24 and 21 years old in 1931-1932.

American Letters collector Wade Hall is a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Since 1962, he has lived in Louisville, where he has taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He has also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He holds degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M. A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall is the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher’s Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.

Scope and Content

The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Albert J. Worst letters (dated 1931-1932, 0.45 cubic feet; 55 items) comprises letters written to Albert J. Worst primarily from his brother Eugene Gene Worst in Cincinnati, Ohio, when Albert was at Columbia University in New York City during the 1931-1932 university year. The letters are dated from September 23, 1931, to May 26, 1932, when Albert returned home to Cincinnati. Other correspondents, all from Cincinnati, include Ellen Ella Worst, Albert’s mother, Peter Worst, Albert’s father, and Rose Rosie Worst, Albert’s sister-in-law, who was married to Joseph Joe Worst, Albert’s older brother. Primary topics include advice about personal safety and hygiene (Albert’s mother); books and book buying; and home improvement projects such as painting and tiling (Eugene). Occasionally throughout, there are references to news of the day, such as the Charles Lindbergh baby’s kidnapping, and Charles Bischoff’s confession that he killed Marian Mclean, age six, in Cincinnati. This latter story captivated the nation, newspapers from Northern Kentucky to Brooklyn, New York reported on the confession. However throughout, no correspondent articulates or opinions regularly or comments at length on any topic. In addition, the letters do not contain specific information regarding student life at Columbia University during the Great Depression. The letters are arranged in chronological order.

The Albert J. Worst Letters is part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Subjects

  • Cincinnati (Ohio)--History--20th century
  • Hall, Wade H.
  • Worst, Albert J., (Albert James), 1907-1987
  • Worst, Gene, 1910-1995
  • Letters.
  • Young men--Ohio--Cincinnati--Social life and customs--20th century

Collection Inventory

1931 September-October
[Box: 138, Folder: 1]
1931 November-December
[Box: 138, Folder: 2]
1932 January-March
[Box: 138, Folder: 3]
1932 April-May
[Box: 138, Folder: 4]