Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Frank and Bertha Topp letters

Abstract

The Frank and Bertha Topp letters (dated 1941-1946, undated; 0.27 cubic feet; 5 folders) comprises letters and postcards sent to the Topps from soldiers stationed stateside and abroad that document their service during World War II.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Frank and Bertha Topp letters
Creator
Topp, Bertha Meuter
Extent
0.27 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Correspondence.
Military correspondence.
Military life.
Basic training (Military education)
Ocean travel
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American.
Friendship.
Health
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
2009ms132.0591: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Frank and Bertha Topp letters, 1941-1946, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Frank Topp (1898-1952) was born in Los Angeles, California to LeRoy Topp (1850-1901) and Katherine Eicher (1861-1957). After his father's death, Frank and his mother moved to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky where he then grew up. Frank got a job as a clerk for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, later moving on to work as a manager in a manufacturing business. In 1931, Frank married Bertha Meuter (1910-1985). The couple had no children and remained in Louisville.
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 Frank and Bertha Topp letters (dated 1941-1946, undated; 0.27 cubic feet; 5 folders) comprises letters and postcards sent to the Topps from soldiers stationed stateside and abroad that document their service during World War II. The majority of the letters come from one soldier, who affectionately signs his letters as Put. In the letters he writes about his health, training in the Navy, spending time on ships, serving in the Pacific, his thoughts on the war, how he misses being close enough to visit the couple, and questions on where other soldiers they know might be so he can find them. Other letters written to the couple discuss military life, basic training, attending various schools, thanks for the Topps hosting them at their house, invitations for Frank and Bertha to visit, and their experiences while on deployment.
The Frank and Bertha Topp letters 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
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

R.D. Putnam to Frank and Bertha Topp, 1943-1945

  • Box WH-53, folder 2-3
To top

Letters to Frank and Bertha Topp, 1941-1943

  • Box WH-53, folder 4
To top

Letters to Frank and Bertha Topp, 1944-1946, undated

  • Box WH-53, folder 5
To top

Letters from Bertha Topp, 1942-1945

  • Box WH-53, folder 6
To top

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

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.

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 by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

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

No items have been requested.



  1. Schedule an appointment. Properly fitting masks are required.

  2. Submit a request for SCRC materials.



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.