Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Suttle family letters

Abstract

The Suttle family letters (dated 1926-1931, bulk 1928; 0.35 cubic feet; 1 box) comprise seventy-nine letters that document strenuous marriage and eventual divorce of Burnelle and Florence Suttle.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Suttle family letters
Extent
0.35 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Divorce -- Costs
Divorced mothers
Divorce settlements
Divorce -- United States
Family.
Letters.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0132: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Suttle family letters, 1926-1931, bulk 1928, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Suttle family of Wisconsin consists of Burnelle Suttle (1895-1947), his wife Florence Barnett Suttle (1895-1974), and their only child Catherine Suttle (1920-1998). Burnelle and Florence married in 1918. Burnelle worked as a traveling appraiser for the Cleveland, Ohio-based Manufacturer's Appraisal Company. His job required him to be on the road often, so he lived apart from his wife and daughter for most of their married life. By 1927, the distance between the couple had put a strain on the marriage and in September of 1928, Burnelle filed for divorce in Michigan. Burnelle accused her of deserting him because she refused to leave her ailing parents' home to travel with him. Florence, however, suspected he had been having an affair with a woman named Kathleen since early 1928. The court found Florence guilty of extreme cruelty and desertion in 1929, yet they did grant her $10 a week in alimony in support of their daughter, Catherine. In September 1930, Burnelle had stopped paying the alimony and could not be located. When a court official finally located him in Los Angeles, California, he argued he had been out of work since October 1930 and had no funds, but a 1931 document showed proof that Burnelle was working for an appraiser with the Cook County Board of Assessors in Chicago. In October of 1928, Burnelle remarried to a Kathleen O'Leary (1901-1989), of Ontario, Canada, and moved to Los Angeles. Florence did not remarry.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held 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 was 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 Suttle family letters (dated 1926-1931, bulk 1928; 0.35 cubic feet; 1 box) comprise seventy-nine letters that document strenuous marriage and eventual divorce of Burnelle and Florence Suttle. The letters between 1926 and 1928 are primarily sent from Burnelle to Florence, and they discuss extreme dissatisfaction with his job and the amount of time he spent away from his wife and daughter. A few letters from Florence either discuss Catherine or ask for money for necessities. By the end of 1928, the letters turn to handling the divorce proceedings, mostly done through lawyers; however, there are some letters that discuss searching for Burnelle after he stopped paying alimony. Additionally, there are court documents that were sent to Florence notifying her of the divorce filing and alerting her to the necessity to appear in court.
The Suttle family letters are 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.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access The collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Suttle family letters, 1924-1925

  • Box 223, folder 1
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Suttle family letters, 1926

  • Box 223, folder 2-3
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Suttle family letters, 1927

  • Box 223, folder 4
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Suttle family letters, 1928 April-November

  • Box 223, folder 5-8
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Suttle family letters, 1928 December-1931

  • Box 223, folder 9
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Suttle family letters, undated

  • Box 223, folder 10-11
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Requests

No items have been requested.