Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Milan Shields letters

Abstract

The Milan Shields letters (dated 1918-1919, 1934; 0.06 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprises letters from Milan Shields to his family members that document his experiences touring across France with the YMCA as an entertainer for the soldiers stationed overseas.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Milan Shields letters
Date
1918-1919, 1934 (inclusive)
Creator
Shields, Milan
Extent
0.06 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Correspondence.
World War, 1914-1918.
Family.
Musicians -- Correspondence.
Entertainment events
Travel.
Health
Ocean travel
Railroad travel.
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
2009ms132.0691: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Milan Shields letters, 1918-1919, 1934, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Milan Shields (1874-1935) was born in Washington, Iowa to John Shields (1846-1936) and Clara Armstrong (1855-1889). In 1900, he married Nettie Anderson (1875-1912) and together the couple had three children, Robert (b. 1905), John (1908-1965), and William (1912-1968). During World War I, Shields was an entertainer with the YMCA performing for soldiers in France in 1919. In 1920, Shields remarried to Laura Zoe Spenser (1879-1925), and in 1934, he married a third time to Mary Melvina Hunter (1904-1957). His regular profession was as a coal dealer and merchant.
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 Milan Shields letters (dated 1918-1919, 1934; 0.06 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprises letters from Milan Shields to his family members that document his experiences touring across France with the YMCA as an entertainer for the soldiers stationed overseas. In the letters, Shields writes about his training before sailing overseas, traveling to New York to get his orders from the YMCA, running into old friends, and finding appropriate cases for his instruments. Once overseas, he writes about the different cities he visits, the weather, how much he misses his children, the price of goods in France, visiting different battle sites, the destruction of cities by the Germans, receiving letters from friends and family stationed nearby, and his desire to return home quickly.
The Milan Shields 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
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

Milan Shields to family, 1918-1919, 1934

  • Box WH-71, folder 8
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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 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.

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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.