Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Harriet Poynter family papers

Abstract

The Harriet Poynter family papers (dated 1877-1943, 1980-1982, undated; 5.25 cubic feet; 12 boxes) comprise letters, photographs, booklets, and interviews that document the Poynter family in Shelbyville, Kentucky and their operation of Science Hill School in the early twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Harriet Poynter family papers
Extent
5.25 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Education, Higher.
Education -- Kentucky -- Shelbyville
Education -- Women.
Letters.
School principals.
Teachers -- Interviews.
Women in education.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged into five series: Harriet Poynter letters, Horace Poynter letters, Juliet Poynter letters, Poynter family letters, and Poynter family papers. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0480: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Harriet Poynter family papers, 1877-1943, 1980-1982, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Harriet Poynter (1884-1982) was born in Shelbyville, Kentucky to Reverend Wiley T. Poynter (1838-1896) and his third wife, Clara Martin (1846-1937). She was the youngest of Wiley's six children - he had three with his first wife Patty Poston (b. 1838); Annie (1858-1930), Henry (1860-1919), and Taylor Fletcher (1866-1927); and three with his third wife Clara; Horace (b. 1879), Juliet (1881-1974), and the aforementioned Harriet. Poynter's second wife, Kate Winn (1836-1874), passed away without having any children with him. The Poynter family owned and ran the Science Hill School, a school for women, from 1879 to its closure in 1939. After its closure, Harriet remained living on the property and rented out the dorm rooms as apartments.
Science Hill School, originally known as the Science Hill Female Academy, was founded by Julia A. Tevis in 1825 as a female preparatory school. It was one of the first schools founded for girls west of the Allegheny Mountains, and along with teaching the social polishing courses of many preparatory schools, Tevis also taught science, math, history, rhetoric, and Latin. In 1879, Tevis sold the school to Wiley Poynter, who operated the school as a secondary academy to prepare young women for further education at colleges such as Vassar and Wellesley. Poynter and his descendants operated the school until financial difficulties during the Great Depression caused the school to close in 1939. Upon the school's closure it was the oldest Protestant female academy in continuous operation in the country, as well as in Kentucky.
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.
Source: Science Hill School (Shelbyville, Kentucky). (2019). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Hill_School_(Shelbyville,_Kentucky)
Scope and Content
The Harriet Poynter family papers (dated 1877-1943, 1980-1982, undated; 5.25 cubic feet; 12 boxes) comprise letters, photographs, booklets, and interviews that document the Poynter family in Shelbyville, Kentucky and their operation of Science Hill School in the early twentieth century. The majority of the collection consists of letters between the Poynter family members discussing visits from friends, trips taken, personal health, the death of friends and neighbors, new pupils attending the school, tuition payments, and general operating news about the school. The photographs are all of Harriet Poynter, most likely from an interview she gave in 1980. The booklet is from one of the last years the school was in operation, listing graduates, attendees, the history of the school, and the faculty and administration. The interview consists of two audio tapes and typed transcripts of the interviews between Wade Hall and Harriet, discussing what the school was like, her family history, and aspects of her life.
The Harriet Poynter 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 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

Harriet Poynter letters, 1896-1925, undated

Annie Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1901-1909, undated

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Clara M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1897-1905

  • Box WH-32, folder 3
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Clara M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1907

  • Box WH-32, folder 4-5
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Clara M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1908

  • Box 1, folder 1-3
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Clara M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1909

  • Box 1, folder 4-7
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Clara M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1910

  • Box 2, folder 1-2
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Clara M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1911-1922, undated

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Henry P. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1906-1917

  • Box 2, folder 5-6
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Horace M. Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1898-1901

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Juliet Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1905-1907

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Juliet Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1908

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Juliet Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1909

  • Box 3, folder 2
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Juliet Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1910-1922, undated

  • Box 3, folder 3
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Mary Evans to Harriet Poynter, 1897-1904

  • Box 3, folder 4
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Robert Logan to Harriet Poynter, 1906-1907

  • Box 3, folder 5
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Robert Logan to Harriet Poynter, 1908

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Robert Logan to Harriet Poynter, 1909

  • Box 3, folder 7
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Robert Logan to Harriet Poynter, 1910-1912

  • Box 4, folder 1
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Robert Logan to Harriet Poynter, 1913

  • Box 4, folder 2
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Robert Logan to Harriet Poynter, 1914-1918

  • Box 4, folder 3
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Taylor Fletcher Poynter to Harriet Poynter, 1907-1910

  • Box 4, folder 4
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Letters to Harriet Poynter, 1896-1904

  • Box 4, folder 5
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Letters to Harriet Poynter, 1905-1909

  • Box 4, folder 6
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Letters to Harriet Poynter, 1910-1915

  • Box 4, folder 7
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Letters to Harriet Poynter, 1917-1925, undated

  • Box 4, folder 8
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Horace Poynter letters, 1898-1901, undated

Annie McKenny to Horace Poynter, 1899-1900, undated

  • Box 5, folder 1
  • Box 10, folder 1
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Clara M. Poynter to Horace Poynter, 1898-1899

  • Box 5, folder 2
  • Box 10, folder 2-4
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Clara M. Poynter to Horace Poynter, 1900

  • Box 5, folder 3-4
  • Box 10, folder 5-6
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Clara M. Poynter to Horace Poynter, 1901, undated

  • Box 5, folder 5-6
  • Box 10, folder 7
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Juliet Poynter to Horace Poynter, 1898-1901, undated

  • Box 5, folder 7
  • Box 11, folder 1-2
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Poynter family to Horace Poynter, 1898-1901, undated

  • Box 5, folder 8
  • Box 11, folder 3
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Letters to Horace Poynter, 1898-1901, undated

  • Box 6, folder 1-2
  • Box 11, folder 4-5
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Juliet Poynter letters, 1893-1910, undated

Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1897-1899

  • Box 6, folder 3
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Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1900

  • Box 6, folder 4
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Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1901

  • Box 6, folder 5-7
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Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1902

  • Box 7, folder 1-2
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Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1903

  • Box 7, folder 3-4
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Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1904

  • Box 7, folder 5-6
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Clara M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1906-1909, undated

  • Box 7, folder 7
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Harriet Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1897-1900

  • Box 7, folder 8
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Harriet Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1901

  • Box 8, folder 1
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Harriet Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1902

  • Box 8, folder 2
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Harriet Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1903-1910

  • Box 8, folder 3
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Henry Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1893-1902

  • Box 8, folder 4
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Horace M. Poynter to Juliet Poynter, 1894-1903

  • Box 8, folder 5
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Poynter family to Juliet Poynter, 1894, 1903-1904

  • Box 8, folder 6
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Letters to Juliet Poynter, 1896-1906, undated

  • Box 8, folder 7-8
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Poynter family letters, 1877-1922, 1942-1943, undated

Letters to Clara M. Poynter, 1877, 1896

  • Box WH-32, folder 1
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Letters to Clara M. Poynter, 1900-1916, undated

  • Box WH-32, folder 2
  • Box 11, folder 6
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Letters to Juliet and Harriet Poynter, 1893-1922, undated

  • Box 9, folder 1
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Clara M. Poynter to Wiley T. Poynter, 1877-1893

  • Box 9, folder 2
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Poynter family letters, 1896-1917, 1980, undated

  • Box 9, folder 3
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Alexander family letters, 1899-1916

  • Box 9, folder 4
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Letters to Mary A. Buckner, 1916, 1942-1943, undated

  • Box 9, folder 5
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Dahmen family letters, 1906-1915, undated

  • Box 9, folder 6
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General letters, 1896-1899, 1920, undated

  • Box 9, folder 7
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Poynter family papers, 1900, 1935-1936, 1980-1982, undated

Newspaper clipping re: Harriet's death, 1982 October 27

  • Box 9, folder 8
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Science Hill School booklet, 1935-1936

  • Box 9, folder 9
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Interview questions and transcript, 1980 August 18

  • Box 9, folder 10
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Interview audiotapes (2), 1980 August 18

  • Box 9, folder 11
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Photographs, 1980, undated

Portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter on patio, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter with eyes closed, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Blurry portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Blurry portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter on patio, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Side-profile portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter seated on patio chair, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Harriet Poynter [L] with an unidentified woman, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Portrait of Harriet Poynter, undated

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative of Harriet Poynter standing on patio, 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip I: Harriet Poynter and unidentified woman [no. 8 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip I: Harriet Poynter and unidentified woman [no. 7 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip I: Portrait of Harriet Poynter [no. 6 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip I: Portrait of Harriet Poynter [no. 5 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip II: Science Hill School historical marker [no. 12 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip II: Harriet Poynter with an unidentified man [no.11 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip II: Harriet Poynter with an unidentified man [no. 10 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Negative strip II: Harriet Poynter with an unidentified man [no. 9 on strip], 1980

  • Box 9, folder 12
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Handwritten notes, 1900, undated

  • Box 9, folder 13
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Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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