Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Jessie Willis letters

Abstract

The Jessie Willis letters (dated 1876-1918, bulk 1910-1918; 1.75 cubic feet; 5 boxes) comprise letters that document the family and work relationships held by Jessie Willis in Nebraska from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of World War I. Extended relatives and fellow schoolteachers author the majority of the letters.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Jessie Willis letters
Creator
Willis, Jessie, 1878-
Extent
1.75 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Agriculture -- United States.
Alternative medicine.
Farm management -- Nebraska
Letters.
Rural health care
Technological innovations
Women -- Political activity.
Women and religion.
Women teachers.
Women -- United States -- History.
World War, 1914-1918.
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
2009ms132.0123: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Jessie Willis letters, 1879-1918, bulk 1910-1918, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Jessie Willis (b. 1878) was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to Reverend Elijah J. Willis (1835-1895) and Mary Jane Willis (1841-1930); she was their only child. Willis remained single throughout her life and worked as a school teacher in Lincoln.
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 Jessie Willis letters (dated 1876-1918, bulk 1910-1918; 1.75 cubic feet; 5 boxes) comprise letters that document the family and work relationships held by Jessie Willis in Nebraska from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of World War I. Extended relatives and fellow schoolteachers author the majority of the letters. These letters discuss the struggles of being a single woman in the West, dissatisfaction with pay as a teacher, and deciding between staying or leaving the teaching profession. Jessie also maintained regular communication with her uncle, Tom Marshall, who writes about his struggles raising crops in Colorado, the Democratic National Convention of 1908, and prohibition in the state. Other topics covered by the letters in the collection include illnesses and home remedies, the merits of Christian Science in relation to treating illnesses, the expansion of the railroads, and opinions on the Spanish-American War, Mexican Revolution, and World War I.
The Jessie Willis 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

Jessie Willis letters, 1876

  • Box 195, folder 1
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1889

  • Box 195, folder 2
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1891

  • Box 195, folder 3
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1896-1898

  • Box 195, folder 4
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1899-1900

  • Box 195, folder 5
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1902

  • Box 195, folder 6
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1903

  • Box 195, folder 7
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1904-1906

  • Box 195, folder 8
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1907

  • Box 195, folder 9-11
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1908

  • Box 195, folder 12-14
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1909

  • Box 196, folder 1-3
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1910

  • Box 196, folder 4-8
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1911

  • Box 197, folder 1-7
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1912

  • Box 197, folder 8-9
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1913

  • Box 198, folder 1-2
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1914

  • Box 198, folder 3-6
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1915

  • Box 198, folder 7-12
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1916

  • Box 199, folder 1-5
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1917

  • Box 199, folder 6
To top

Jessie Willis letters, 1918

  • Box 199, folder 7-10
To top

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.