Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Lea family letters

Abstract

The Lea family letters (dated 1845-1857, 1882-1897, undated; 0.45 cubic feet; 1 box) comprise letters sent to Frank and George Lea from friends and family, documenting life in Ohio in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Lea family letters
Extent
0.45 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Correspondence.
Domestic Life -- United States
Prohibition
Temperance.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by subject. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0556: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Lea family letters, 1845-1857, 1882-1897, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Lea family of Nevada, Ohio was comprised of Henry G. Lea (1829-1923), his wife Julia Krakau (1836-1913), and their six children: George William (1864-1949), Frank Dudley (1866-1937), Lewis L. (1869-1871), Norba Hoyt (1871-1936), Emma Elizabeth (1874-1912), and Ernest. Henry worked as a blacksmith and machinist, building shipping carts. George and Frank followed in their father's footsteps, both working as machinists. George married Margaret Daisy Turner (1873-1947) in 1892, and the couple had five children together. Frank married Mary Ellen Sigler (1873-1978) in 1899, and together they only had one child. Norba, a manager in a factory, married Mary Augusta Romary (1874-1961) in 1897, and together the couple had six children. Emma married Ralph Beard (1875-1924), a farmer, in 1901, and together the couple had two daughters.
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 Lea family letters (dated 1845-1857, 1882-1897, undated; 0.45 cubic feet; 1 box) comprise letters sent to Frank and George Lea from friends and family, documenting life in Ohio in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Frank received a majority of his letters from two friends, Mayme and Ed Harding. Ed wrote about his business, traveling for work and pleasure, prohibition and the vices of alcohol, visiting Frank and his family, and settling misunderstandings between himself and Frank. Mayme wrote about attending school, listening to public lectures, social visits from friends and family, relationship gossip about mutual friends, her personal health, and plans for them to visit each other. George mainly received letters from a woman named Carrie; she wrote about attempts to visit each other, social events attended, visits from friends, moving frequently to different cities, local gossip, and her struggles with not having a permanent home. Letters from friends and family to George and Frank discuss daily life, personal health, employment, rude customers, favors requested, domestic life, education, travel, and money. Also included in the collection are papers from the Lea and Krakau families, namely receipts, prescriptions, calling cards, and short notes.
The Lea family 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 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

Ed R. Harding letters to Frank Lea, 1888-1891

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Mayme letters to Frank Lea, 1895-1897

  • Box 1, folder 2-3
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Letters to Frank Lea, 1884-1889

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Letters to Frank Lea, 1890-1896, undated

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Carrie letters to George William Lea, 1885-1886, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Letters to George William Lea, 1883-1888

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Letters to Wilbur Lea, 1887, undated

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Lea family letters, 1857, 1882-1888

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Lea family papers, 1845, 1894, undated

  • Box 1, folder 10
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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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