Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Erwin A. Thomas papers

Abstract

The Erwin A. Thomas papers (dated 1915-1926, undated; 0.32 cubic feet; 8 folders) comprises letters and papers that document the military experience and life of Erwin A. Thomas in Michigan and California in the early twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Erwin A. Thomas papers
Date
1915-1926, undated (inclusive)
Creator
Thomas, Erwin A.
Extent
0.32 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Military life.
World War, 1914-1918.
Friendship.
Families.
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919
Moving, Household
Hospital patients.
Autograph albums.
Notebooks.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.1010: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Erwin A. Thomas papers, 1915-1926, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Erwin A. Thomas (1893-1980) was born in Brown City, Michigan to John Thomas (b. 1866) and Lucy A. Foster (b. 1865). From 1917 to 1919, Erwin served in the US Army. In 1927, he married Grace E. Joslin (1906-1992) and together they had two children, Clarence (b. 1928) and Erwin Jr. (1930-2013). The couple divorced in 1933. By 1940, Erwin was living in California and had married a second time, to Pearl Thomas (b. 1897).
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 Erwin A. Thomas papers (dated 1915-1926, undated; 0.32 cubic feet; 8 folders) comprises letters and papers that document the military experience and life of Erwin A. Thomas in Michigan and California in the early twentieth century. The letters are sent between Erwin, his family, and friends, discussing life in the military, the influenza epidemic, moving to different camps, daily life back home, personal health, plans to visit, spending time in a hospital, moving to California, and being part of veteran's organizations. Papers include an autograph album to Erwin signed by family and friends, a notebook recounting important events from Erwin's military service and addresses of friends and persons to contact, newspaper clippings, and informational pamphlets.
The Erwin A. Thomas papers collection 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.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
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

Erwin A. Thomas to family, 1917-1921, undated

  • Box WH-131, folder 5
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Eloise to Erwin A. Thomas, 1922-1923

  • Box WH-131, folder 6
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Family to Erwin A. Thomas, 1917-1924

  • Box WH-131, folder 7
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Letters to Erwin A. Thomas, 1917-1924, undated

  • Box WH-131, folder 8
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General letters, 1918, undated

  • Box WH-131, folder 9
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Autograph album, 1915

  • Box WH-131, folder 10
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Notebook, 1922

  • Box WH-131, folder 11
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Erwin A. Thomas papers, 1926, undated

  • Box WH-131, folder 12
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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

Requests

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.