Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Couch family letters

Abstract

The Couch family letters (dated 1927-1948, undated; 0.03 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprise letters between Couch family members – Bessie, James, Margaret, and Agnes – an African-American family living in Kentucky in the early-to-mid twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Couch family letters
Extent
0.03 Cubic Feet
Subjects
African American farmers
African Americans -- Kentucky
Agriculture -- Farming
Correspondence.
Family.
Farm life
Friendship.
Health
Letters.
Marriage
Marriage licenses.
Rural African Americans.
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
2009ms132.0432: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Couch family letters, 1927-1948, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Couch family of Sebree, Kentucky included parents William Couch (1859-1931), Bessie Finch (1882-1967), and their children: James (1911-2002), Margaret (1913-1996), William (1915-1925), Houston (1917-1939), and Agnes (1922-2000). Both William and Bessie came from farming families, and so they owned and operated their own farm just outside Sebree, Kentucky. Margaret married Louis Woolfolk (1893-1964) and worked as a school teacher. Agnes married William McFarland (1915-2010), whom she later divorced, and worked in the nursing industry. James was married for a time, but divorced in 1986, and worked in farming.
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 Couch family letters (dated 1927-1948, undated; 0.03 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprise letters between Couch family members – Bessie, James, Margaret, and Agnes – an African-American family living in Kentucky in the early-to-mid twentieth century. The letters primarily discuss the family farm, personal health, finding employment, and marriage. Margaret and Agnes write to their mother most often about finding spouses and the possibility of being married, along with later descriptions of their lives once married. In letters sent to James by Margaret and Agnes, they ask him about his plans to find farming land and his health. The collection contains a few letters to the family from friends discussing daily life, running into friends and members of the Couch family, and personal health.
The Couch 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

Letters to Couch family, 1927-1948, undated

  • Box WH-23, folder 7
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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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