Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Mary Frances Cottom letters

Abstract

The Mary Frances Cottom letters (dated 1907-1959, undated; 0.35 cubic feet; 8 folders) comprise letters that document the relationship between Frank Cottom and his wife and children in Montana and Ohio in the early twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Mary Frances Cottom letters
Creator
Cottom, Mary Frances, 1911-1996
Extent
0.35 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Alcoholism.
Depressions -- 1929
Great Depression
Medical care
Medicine -- Practice -- Montana
Medicine -- Practice -- Wyoming
Medicine, Rural
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by recipient. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0171: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Mary Frances Cottom letters, 1907-1959, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Mary Frances Cottom (1911-1996) was born in Great Falls, Montana to Dr. Frank W. Cottom (1881-1931) and May Cleona Uhrig (1881-1963). She had one younger sister, Rebecca Jane (1914-1992). The family resided in Montana until Dr. Cottom's alcoholism pushed May to leave with their two children back to her family home of Dayton, Ohio. While the girls attended school in Ohio, their father operated at least two hospitals in Montana and served as the city health officer for Shelby, Montana. Upon Mary's graduation from high school in Dayton, she attended Miami University for one year before transferring to Western College for Women, which her father paid for. After completing her education, Mary went on to work as a postal clerk for the United States Postal Service.
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 Mary Frances Cottom letters (dated 1907-1959, undated; 0.35 cubic feet; 8 folders) comprise letters that document the relationship between Frank Cottom and his wife and children in Montana and Ohio in the early twentieth century. The letters are mainly from Frank Cottom to his daughters, but there are also some letters from friends and acquaintances to May, Mary, and Rebecca. The letters discuss Dr. Cottom's activities in a variety of small oil boomtowns in Montana and Wyoming. He discusses his medical practice, nurses who worked for him, his dogs, financial situation, cases he treated, vacation plans, gifts sent to Mary and Rebecca, and entertainment. He also details his sobriety in reply to inquiries sent by his estranged wife, May. A few letters from Cottom's wife and daughters describe their bitterness towards him for not providing financial support for his family while they resided in Ohio.
The Mary Frances Cottom 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

Letters to Frank W. Cottom, 1912-1928, undated

  • Box 247, folder 1
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Letters to May Cottom, 1907-1930, 1958-1959, undated

  • Box 247, folder 2
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Letters to Mary Frances Cottom, 1920-1931, undated

  • Box 247, folder 3-5
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Letters to Rebecca Jane Cottom, 1923-1937, undated

  • Box 247, folder 6-7
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General letters, 1923, undated

  • Box 247, folder 8
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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.