Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Rancho Piocha diary

Abstract

The Rancho Piocha diary (dated 1945; 0.04 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprises one diary that documents the day-to-day operations on a large cattle ranch, recorded by secretary Virginia Sepanek, located in the Santa Ynez Valley in California during 1945.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Rancho Piocha diary
Creator
Sepanek, Virginia, 1917-1976
Extent
0.04 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Cattle -- Breeding.
Farm life
Horse breeders.
Polled Hereford cattle
Ranching
Tennessee walking horse
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0239: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Rancho Piocha diary, 1945, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Col. Lucius Bass Manning (1894-1944) founded Rancho Piocha in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. The ranch was a 4000-acre operation well known for its purebred polled Herefords and Tennessee Walking Horses. Manning was born in Tacoma, Washington to Lucius Ralph and Lucy Manning. He attended Yale School of Science and Engineering but had to leave during his senior year due to a lack of funds and returned to Washington where he began to work for Griffith Motor Company. When WWI was declared he joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Riverside, California where he became a flight instructor and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant. In 1918, Manning married Katherine Whitney (1896-1964) and together the couple had three children: Gene Elizabeth (1920-1989), Meredith (1922-1997), and Katherine Kay Whitney (b. 1926). He was president of Century Airways, Chairman of the board of American Airways, and president of the holding company of American Airways called Aviation Corp. Manning returned to service during WWII and expedited the process of preparing combat crews to fly to England. Manning died in a weather-related B-26 crash in Alabama in 1944, and was awarded the Medal of Merit and rank of Brigadier General posthumously.
Virginia Sepanek (1917-1976) was born in Michigan to Oscar F and Marie M Sepanek. In 1945, Sepanek had moved to California and was working as the secretary for Rancho Piocha. She was terminated from her position on September 23, 1945 for allegedly having an affair with another ranch employee. She remained in California for the rest of her life, and had a son, Shane Harry Corkin (1953-1976)
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 Rancho Piocha diary (dated 1945; 0.04 cubic feet; 1 folder) comprises one diary that documents the day-to-day operations on a large cattle ranch, recorded by secretary Virginia Sepanek, located in the Santa Ynez Valley in California during 1945. The entries discuss the hiring and firing of employees, arrival of contractors, travels of managers and owners, and practices in relation to the breeding and vaccination of livestock. Multiple entries detail what specific cattle were treated for by the veterinarian, when calves were born, and when cattle was sold. Much of the diary's purpose was to keep the ranch owners aware and knowledgeable on the ranch operations. The diary is mainly authored by Sepanek, until her termination in September 1945 where two other secretaries begin writing entries.
The Rancho Piocha diary 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

Rancho Piocha diary, 1945

  • Box 267, folder 6
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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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