Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Ruth O'Bryan family papers

Abstract

The Ruth O'Bryan family papers (dated 1926-1957; 0.40 cubic feet; 16 folders) comprise letters from friends and family that document experiences in World War II as well as romantic and familial relationships in Indiana, Florida, California, Minnesota, and Ohio.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Ruth O'Bryan family papers
Extent
0.4 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Boardinghouses
Correspondence.
Courtship
Deeds.
Farm life
Love-letters
Presidential elections -- United States -- 1930-1940.
Trials, litigation, etc.
World War, 1939-1945.
Arrangement
The Ruth O'Bryan family papers collection is arranged by sender and recipient if they sent more than one letter. For those who only sent a single letter, or this collection only contains a single letter from them, it is placed in a various letters folder. Each folder then is arranged chronologically. There is a number written on the top right corner of each letter that corresponds to a number written on the bottom right of the letter's envelope. In a few folders, the number on the letter is written on the top left corner, instead of the top right, due to a lack of space on the top right corner of the letter.
Finding Aid Author
Archives Staff
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0002: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Ruth O'Bryan family papers, 1926-1957, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
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 Ruth O'Bryan family papers (dated 1926-1957; 0.40 cubic feet; 16 folders) comprise letters from friends and family that document experiences in World War II as well as romantic and familial relationships in Indiana, Florida, California, Minnesota, and Ohio. The collection primarily consits of letters written to Ruth O'Bryan from friends or family in Indiana, Florida, California, Minnesota, and Ohio. There are many World War II letters from her sons, plus letters from her musician son in Los Angeles after the war. Some of the letters pertain to the problems of a mixed Catholic/Protestant marriage. Included are nine letters from Ruth's sister, E. Tyler who lived in Dayton, Ohio and then Detroit, Michiganand Robert 'Bob' Aebi, from 1943-1945, during his basic training and after. There is one photograph of Bob playing the organ and two letters to Bill (Ruth's son). There is a small group of letters to Jackie O'Bryan from Bud Burger, 1933, discussing their engagement and future plans.
The Ruth O'Bryan family papers 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
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

Purchase receipts, 1940-1942

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Letters to the O'Bryan family, 1926-1941

  • Box 1, folder 2
This folder contains a variety of letters from different people to members of the O'Bryan family, including Ruth, her husband, Gory, and her daughter, Jessie. The letters discuss a lawsuit case of Varble v. Varble at the Jefferson Circuit Court, the management of Ruth's mother-in-law's home, the deteriorating of family member's health, primarily that of her mother-in-law, the management of the board house ran by Ruth, and the possible deployment of family and friends into World War II. Also, included in this folder are two letters from Emma and George, Ruth O'Bryan's sister- and brother-in-law, concerning family problems caused by the marriage of a Protestant and a Catholic. The letter describes the issues between Ruth and her husband and his family concerning her status as a non-Catholic.
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Letters to the O'Bryan family, 1943-1957

  • Box 1, folder 3
This folder contains a variety of letters from different people to members of the O'Bryan family, including Ruth, and her two children, Bill and Jessie. The letters discuss family illness and deteriorating health, primarily that of Ruth O'Bryan, life on a farm, including a discussion of crops, and marriages of family members and their children. There is a selection of letters discussing William 'Bill' O'Bryan's life in the army during World War II, as told by Ruth O'Bryan. There is also a letter from Junior Buckwalter about Bill joining his band to go on tour after World War II.
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Anna Pollock letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1929-1941

  • Box 1, folder 4
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E. Tyler letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1940-1944

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Bud Burger letters to Jackie O'Bryan, 1931-1933

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Mollie Heavrin letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1942

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Jack Miles letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1943

  • Box 1, folder 8
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William H. Hardin letters to Ruth and William Bill O'Bryan, 1943

  • Box 1, folder 9
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William Bill O'Bryan letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1943 April-June

  • Box 1, folder 10
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William Bill O'Bryan letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1943 August-December

  • Box 1, folder 11
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William Bill O'Bryan letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1944-1945

  • Box 1, folder 12
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William Bill O'Bryan letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1946-1947

  • Box 1, folder 13
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Robert Bob Aebi letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1943

  • Box 1, folder 14
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Robert Bob Aebi letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1944-1948

  • Box 1, folder 15
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Lucille Christensen letters to Ruth O'Bryan, 1944-1948

  • Box 1, folder 16
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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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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.