Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters
- Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters
- Rooksberry, Lena, 1893-1987
- 3.29 Cubic Feet
- Courtship -- 1890-1930
- Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919
- Steel industry and trade -- United States.
- World War, 1914-1918.
- World War, 1914-1918 -- France.
- Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
- Preferred Citation
- 2009ms132.0120: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1904-1921, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
- University of Kentucky
- Biography / History
- Lena Darnall Rooksberry (1893-1987) was born in Mays Lick, Kentucky to Gilbert M. Darnall (1846-1927) and Sallie Darnall (1852-1937). On August 29, 1917, she married Raymond Rooksberry (1891-1987), just prior to him entering the Army in September. Prior to entering the military, Raymond worked at a steel mill for railroads. Once in the army, he was stationed at Camp Sherman near Chillicothe, Ohio and Camp Mills in Hempstead, New York where he graduated from Cooks and Bakers school. Ray was deployed overseas to France in September of 1918, and after the armistice, he remained stationed in France at Camp Montoir to help rebuild. He returned home in 1919, settling back in Mays Lick with Lena and became a grocery owner.
- 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 Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters (dated 1904-1921; 3.29 cubic feet; 10 boxes) comprise letters between family and friends that document familial relations, courtship, military experience, and employment during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Early letters, 1904-1914, are mainly from a schoolmate and a cousin, Leslie Darnall, who was serving on the USS North Dakota. These letters discuss elementary education, life aboard a ship, politics, the Titanic, and the Panama Canal. Letters from 1915-1917 are mainly from her future husband, Ray Rooksberry, while he was working in Gary, Indiana at a steel mill. They discuss his work, prohibition, smallpox, and railroad strikes. From late 1917 onwards, Ray's letters discuss his experiences in army camps (stateside and overseas), the armistice, events in Europe, racial tensions in the army, and his visits to several of the major battle sites of World War I. Lena writes to him discussing everyday life in Kentucky and the United States as it is affected by the war and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Upon his return to the United States, he writes about strikes and employment in Indiana and Kentucky.
- The Raymond and Lena Rooksberry 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 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
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1904-1907
- Box 186, folder 1
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1910-1911
- Box 186, folder 2
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1912
- Box 186, folder 3-4
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1913-1914
- Box 186, folder 5
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1915
- Box 186, folder 6-7
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1916
- Box 187, folder 1-2
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1917
- Box 187, folder 3-8
- Box 188, folder 1-10
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1918
- Box 189, folder 1-10
- Box 190, folder 1-10
- Box 268, folder 7-15
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1919
- Box 191, folder 1-10
- Box 192, folder 1-8
- Box 193, folder 1-4
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1920
- Box 193, folder 6-8
- Box 194, folder 1-7
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, 1921
- Box 194, folder 8
Raymond and Lena Rooksberry letters, undated
- Box 194, folder 9
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Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.