Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Pearl Robards letters

Abstract

The Pearl Robards letters (dated 1904-1948, undated,bulk 1904-1909; 1.35 cubic feet; 3 boxes) comprises letters, papers, and clippings that document the relationship between Pearl Robards and her future husband, Clement Earl Studebaker, in Indiana and Washington in the early twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Pearl Robards letters
Creator
Robards, Pearl, 1885-1970
Extent
1.35 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Correspondence.
Long-distance relationships.
Love-letters
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically and by subject. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0555: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Pearl Robards letters, 1904-1948, undated (bulk 1904-1909), University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Pearl Robards (1885-1970) was born in Indiana to John Robards (1848-1917) and Sarah Dermit (1852-1934). In 1909, she married Clement Earl Studebaker (1885-1967), and together the couple had six children; Kermit (1911-1999), Robert (1913-1978), John (1916-1958), Thomas (1918-1919), Maurice (1919-2003), and Elizabeth (1922-2016). Clement, a native of Indiana, moved to Washington between 1900 and 1910 and worked in real estate initially, later finding work as an inspector for the U.S. Customs Office. When Clement and Pearl married, she moved to Washington, and the couple lived there for the remainder of their lives.
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 Pearl Robards letters (dated 1904-1948, undated, bulk 1904-1909; 1.35 cubic feet; 3 boxes) comprise letters, papers, and clippings that document the relationship between Pearl Robards and her future husband, Clement Earl Studebaker, in Indiana and Washington in the early twentieth century. Studebaker writes to Pearl consistently between 1904 and 1909 during their long-distance relationship and subsequent engagement prior to their wedding in late 1909. The letters discuss the scenery of Washington State, missing Indiana University sports events, finding jobs as a teacher, thoughts on returning to school, social visits from friends and colleagues, opinions about his room and board, events and activities he attends, how much he misses Pearl, plans to visit Indiana, excitement about their engagement, and his support for her finishing college and wanting to work after they are married. Other letters to Pearl came from friends, mainly discussing daily life, social events, and local gossip. There are letters from Pearl, one written to Studebaker saying she appreciated receiving his letter. The rest she wrote to her mother and sisters thanking them for sending her money and updating them on her daily life. There are letters to and from Ruth Robards, Pearl's sister, to friends and family discussing daily life, social events with friends, attending college, and money issues. Additionally, the collection contains newspaper clippings detailing life in Washington and a photograph of an unidentified couple.
The Pearl Robards 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

C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, 1904

  • Box 1, folder 1
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C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, 1905

  • Box 1, folder 2
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C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, 1906

  • Box 1, folder 3-4
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C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, 1907

  • Box 1, folder 5-7
  • Box 2, folder 1
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C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, 1908

  • Box 2, folder 2-4
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C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, 1909

  • Box 2, folder 5
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C. Earl Studebaker letters to Pearl Robards, undated

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Pearl Robards letters to mother, 1904-1932

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Letters from Pearl Robards, 1904-1907, 1928-1948

  • Box 3, folder 2
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Letters to Pearl Robards, 1904-1914, 1939, undated

  • Box 3, folder 3
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Letters from Ruth Robards, 1908, 1929, undated

  • Box 3, folder 4
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Letters to Ruth Robards, 1911-1929, 1948, undated

  • Box 3, folder 5
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General letters, 1907-1928, undated

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Clippings and papers, 1908, undated

  • Box 3, folder 7
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Beginning August 11, 2020, the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center will be open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

Beginning August 11, 2020, the UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center will be open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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