Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Bargis family papers

Abstract

The Bargis family papers (dated 1862-1911, bulk 1867-1895; 0.7 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters, poems, and newspaper clippings that document the affects that the Reconstruction era and beginning of the twentieth century in Chicago, Illinois and Richmond, Indiana had on the Bargis family.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Bargis family papers
Extent
0.7 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Debtor and creditor.
Family.
Letters.
Mental health
Merchants.
Technological innovations
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
2009ms132.0127: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Bargis family papers, 1862-1911, bulk 1867-1895, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Homer J. Bargis (1842-1891) was born in Richmond, Indiana to Thomas J. Bargis (b. 1813) and Scrella Bargis (b. 1812). Homer's father, Thomas, was the well-known owner of T.J. Bargis Stoves Tin and Copperware store in Richmond, Indiana. Homer worked as a stove salesman. On May 22, 1866, Homer married his first wife Mary E. Bell (1847-1927), with whom he had two children – Gertrude Bargis (1871-1930) and Estella M. Bargis (1873-1946). In 1868, Homer and Mary move from Richmond to Brownsville, Nebraska, however they return to Richmond to live with family in 1871. Homer left his family on two occasions, in 1871 he left to San Francisco to avoid mounting debts but returned by 1873, and in 1880 he left to Chicago where he found employment selling stoves across the country for the Michigan Stove Company. Mary and Homer divorced sometime between 1880 and 1884, for in 1884 Homer married his second wife, Ella Rosalia Clark (b. 1852). In 1891, feeling the stress of unemployment, Homer committed suicide by drinking an unspecified poison.
In 1891, Gertrude married Harry Lynde (1861-1935), a musician living between Chicago and Richmond. They settle permanently in Chicago where Harry works as a realtor. Together they had one child – Herbert Bargis Lynde (1897-1960).
Estella married John A. Spekenhier (b. 1866) in 1890, however the couple divorced shortly after. By 1930, Estella worked as a music teacher in Snohomish, Washington.
Mary E. Bargis remarried in 1892, to John C. Hollopeter (1856-1927) of Chicago, Illinois.
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 Bargis family papers (dated 1862-1911, bulk 1867-1895; 0.7 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters, poems, and newspaper clippings that document the affects that the Reconstruction era and beginning of the twentieth century in Chicago, Illinois and Richmond, Indiana had on the Bargis family. Up through 1891, the letters are sent primarily between Homer Bargis and his parents, Mary Bargis and her father, Homer and Mary, Homer and Ella, and Homer and his daughters. These letters discuss the economic downturn after the Civil War, the struggles Homer had with debts and employment, his travels for both work and avoiding debts, and his suicide. Following 1891, the letters focus on the courtship between Gertrude, Homer's oldest daughter, and her future husband, Harry Lynde. Their letters discuss their marriage, Harry's employment, and the birth of their son. Additionally, there are some newspaper clippings of Homer's and Abraham Lincoln's deaths, poems written by family members, and locks of hair from Mary and Homer.
The Bargis family papers 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

Correspondence, 1862-1911, undated

Bargis family correspondence, 1862

  • Box 217, folder 1
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Bargis family correspondence, 1863-1865

  • Box 217, folder 2
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Bargis family correspondence, 1867-1868 August

  • Box 217, folder 3
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Bargis family correspondence, 1868 September-December

  • Box 217, folder 4
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Bargis family correspondence, 1869 January-April

  • Box 217, folder 5
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Bargis family correspondence, 1869 June-December

  • Box 217, folder 6
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Bargis family correspondence, 1871

  • Box 217, folder 7
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Bargis family correspondence, 1874-1876

  • Box 217, folder 8
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Bargis family correspondence, 1877

  • Box 217, folder 9
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Bargis family correspondence, 1878-1879

  • Box 217, folder 10
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Bargis family correspondence, 1880-1881

  • Box 217, folder 11
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Bargis family correspondence, 1882-1883

  • Box 217, folder 12
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Bargis family correspondence, 1884

  • Box 217, folder 13
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Bargis family correspondence, 1885-1887

  • Box 218, folder 1
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Bargis family correspondence, 1889

  • Box 218, folder 2
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Bargis family correspondence, 1890

  • Box 218, folder 3
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Bargis family correspondence, 1891-1892

  • Box 218, folder 4
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Bargis family correspondence, 1893-1894

  • Box 218, folder 5
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Bargis family correspondence, 1895-1896

  • Box 218, folder 6
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Bargis family correspondence, 1897-1899

  • Box 218, folder 7
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Bargis family correspondence, 1905-1911

  • Box 218, folder 8
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Bargis family correspondence, undated

  • Box 218, folder 9
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Poems, undated

  • Box 218, folder 10
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Newspaper clippings, 1865, 1890-1891

  • Box 218, folder 11
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Account books, 1868-1869

  • Box 218, folder 12
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Notes, calling cards, and locks of hair, undated

  • Box 218, folder 13
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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.

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