Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gordon family letters

Abstract

The Gordon family letters (dated 1889-1904; 0.7 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters that document the movement and growth of the Gordon family in Pennsylvania and Kentucky at the turn of the twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gordon family letters
Extent
0.7 Cubic Feet
Subjects
College teachers.
Education, Higher -- Kentucky
Education, Higher -- United States
Family.
Football
Letters.
Medical education.
Presbyterian Church -- Clergy.
Presbyterian Church -- History.
Religion
Arrangement
Collection is arranged alphabetically by recipient's first name. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0207: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gordon family letters, 1889-1904, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Gordon family, of Fannettsburg, Pennsylvania, includes Reverend Jeremiah Smith Gordon (1829-1904), his two children from his first marriage to Mary Catherine Montgomery (1840-1864): Robert Fullerton (1861-1864) and James Alexander (1861-1932); Gordon's second wife Margaret Beatty Kyle (1839-1923), and their four children: Mary Beatty (1868-1956), Clarence McCheyne (1870-1962), Clementine Kyle (1874-1950), and John Kyle (1877-1958). Jeremiah was the pastor at Lower Path Valley and Burnt Cabins Presbyterian churches.
Both Clarence and John attended Princeton University in New Jersey, with John becoming a medical doctor and Clarence becoming a professor of chemistry and physics; Clementine attended Wilson College. It is unknown whether Mary attended college or not. John, Clementine, and Mary stayed in Pennsylvania, while Clarence moved to Danville, Kentucky to teach at Centre College.
In 1909, John married his first wife, Eleanor Wood (1872-1919) and together they had two children: Joh Jr. (1910-1969) and Louis Chancellor (1912-1964). After the death of his wife in 1919, John remarried in 1926 to Alice Hibberd Childs (1891-1972). By 1910, Clarence had returned home to Pennsylvania and had married Annie B. Lanier (1881-1950). In 1911, they welcomed their only child, Lanier Margaret (1911-1981). Clementine married steel construction company manager William Johnson McAllen (1867-1927) in 1906, and together they had three children: Robert Gordon McAllen (1907-1971), Donald Kyle McAllen (1910-2000), and William McAllen (1913-1984). Mary never married and remained at home with her parents while working as a housekeeper.
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 Gordon family letters (dated 1889-1904; 0.70 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters that document the movement and growth of the Gordon family in Pennsylvania and Kentucky at the turn of the twentieth century. The letters are primarily between members of the Gordon family, but there are also a few letters from friends in the collection; the collection is organized alphabetically by name of recipient. The letters to Clarence are from friends and family, the majority coming from his two sisters and mother. The letters discuss social visits, Clementine's thoughts on school, opinions on Kentucky, family health, and the weather. The letters from friends discuss antics gotten up to at Princeton, agreements to dates, social clubs, and visits from other classmates and friends. Letters to Clementine are also from friends and family, the majority from her brother John. The letters discuss Clarence's experiences working at Centre College and his thoughts on Kentucky, John's work as a doctor in Philadelphia, the weather, the health of their parents, fashion, food, and social visits. The majority of the letters in the collection are sent to Jeremiah and Margaret Gordon from three of their four children, Clarence, Clementine, and John. Clarence and John are the more prolific writers, Clarence writes about Centre College's consolidation with Central University in Richmond, Kentucky, social visits with former Governor J. Proctor Knott, social events for professors, trips taken with colleagues, the changes in his department, and politics. John discusses his work in a convalescent home for children and their families, sports involving Yale, Harvard, and Princeton; his health, and visits from friends and family. There are two letters to John from his brother Clarence, one congratulating him on his graduation and the other discussing how they can help their sisters and how his work at Centre is coming along. John and Clarence both write to their sister Mary, discussing work, nights out on the town, social visits, and sermons heard at church. There are three additional letters in the collection, one is from James Gordon to his parents (Jeremiah and his step-mother Margaret) that discusses him and his family settling into a cottage in Indiana and the possibility of visiting family back in Pennsylvania. The second is between Donald Gordon and Clarence where Clarence asks Donald to either sell his bike and send him the money or to send his bicycle to him, and the third letter is between George and Hugh McMitch that is donating money to student mission work.
The Gordon 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 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

Letters to Clarence Gordon from Clementine Gordon, 1892

  • Box 261, folder 1
To top

Letters to Clarence Gordon from Mary Gordon, 1891

  • Box 261, folder 2
To top

Letters to Clarence Gordon from Mamma, 1900, undated

  • Box 261, folder 3
To top

Letters to Clarence Gordon from Bess Spicer, 1891

  • Box 261, folder 4
To top

Letters to Clarence Gordon from Bossy, 1890-1891

  • Box 261, folder 5
To top

Letters to Clarence Gordon from friends, 1891-1894, undated

  • Box 261, folder 6
To top

Letters to Clementine Gordon from Clarence Gordon, 1899-1901

  • Box 261, folder 7
To top

Letters to Clementine Gordon from John Gordon, 1898-1903

  • Box 261, folder 8
To top

Letters to Clementine Gordon from Mary Gordon, 1900, undated

  • Box 261, folder 9
To top

Letters to Clementine Gordon from parents, 1900

  • Box 261, folder 10
To top

Letters to Clementine Gordon from friends, 1898-1900, undated

  • Box 261, folder 11
To top

Letter to Donald Gordon from Clarence Gordon, 1898 September 19

  • Box 261, folder 12
To top

Letters to Papa from Clarence Gordon, 1898-1901, undated

  • Box 261, folder 13-14
To top

Letters to Papa from Clementine Gordon, undated

  • Box 261, folder 15
To top

Letters to Father from John Gordon, 1898-1903, undated

  • Box 261, folder 16
  • Box 262, folder 1-2
To top

Letters to John Gordon from Clarence Gordon, 1899-1900

  • Box 262, folder 3
To top

Letters to Mamma from Clarence Gordon, 1898-1904

  • Box 262, folder 4-5
To top

Letters to Mother from John Gordon, 1898-1904, undated

  • Box 262, folder 6-7
To top

Letters to Margaret Gordon, 1889, 1902, undated

  • Box 262, folder 8
To top

Letter to parents from James Gordon, 1901 August 8

  • Box 262, folder 9
To top

Letters to Mary Gordon from Clarence Gordon, 1898-1903

  • Box 262, folder 10
To top

Letters to Mary Gordon from John Gordon, 1900-1902

  • Box 262, folder 11
To top

Letter from [George Malakie?] to Hugh McMitch, 1891

  • Box 262, folder 12
To top

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.

Requests

No items have been requested.