Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Katherine H. Gowdy papers

Abstract

The Katherine H. Gowdy papers (dated 1909-1968, undated; 0.9 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters, notebooks, diaries, photographs, short stories, and speeches that document the life of Katherine Gowdy, an African-American woman, in Springfield, Kentucky in the first half of the twentieth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Katherine H. Gowdy papers
Creator
Gowdy, Katherine Hill, 1889-1981
Extent
0.9 Cubic Feet
Subjects
African Americans -- Kentucky
African American women.
Farm life
Female friendship -- United States.
Journals (notebooks)
Notebooks.
Public welfare.
Rural health -- Kentucky -- History.
Speeches, addresses, etc.
Welfare recipients -- United States
Women in church work.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged alphabetically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0246: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Katherine H. Gowdy papers, 1909-1968, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Katherine Hill Gowdy (1889-1981) was an African-American woman who lived in Springfield, Kentucky.
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 Katherine H. Gowdy papers (dated 1909-1968, undated; 0.9 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters, notebooks, diaries, photographs, short stories, and speeches that document the life of Katherine Gowdy, an African-American woman, in Springfield, Kentucky in the first half of the twentieth century. The letters discuss daily life of friends and family, making payments on taxes, requests for support from prisoners, as well as two letters to Louis Goatley who worked on Gowdy's farm from a spurned lover. The notebooks include account books, farm ledgers, and school work from Gowdy and people in the community she supported. The diaries in the collection detail the last decade of Gowdy's life, with entries describing visits from friends and family, receiving meals from welfare, her personal health, the daily weather, and her thoughts on events happening around her. The photographs document Gowdy and most likely family and friends living in the area around Springfield. The short stories are about Gowdy's childhood, and the experiences she had that either taught her a lesson or stayed with her throughout her life. The speeches are from conferences and organizations she was invited to speak at.
The Katherine H. Gowdy 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 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

Account and memo books, 1967-1968, undated

  • Box 269, folder 1
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Advertisements and pamphlets, 1931, 1951, 1968, undated

  • Box 269, folder 2
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Childhood stories for book, 1934, 1942, undated

  • Box 269, folder 3
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Conference and trip diary, 1943

  • Box 269, folder 4
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Diary, 1968-1972

  • Box 269, folder 5
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Diary, 1973

  • Box 269, folder 6
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Diary, 1977-1978

  • Box 269, folder 7
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Farm ledger, 1937-1947, 1972

  • Box 269, folder 8
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Farm ledger, 1943-1948, 1968-1970

  • Box 269, folder 9
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Katherine H. Gowdy letters, 1927-1939

  • Box 270, folder 1
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Katherine H. Gowdy letters, 1941-1949

  • Box 270, folder 2
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Katherine H. Gowdy letters, 1951-1960, 1968

  • Box 270, folder 3
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Legal documents, 1933, 1968-1979

  • Box 270, folder 4
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Letters to Louis Goatley, 1909-1911

  • Box 270, folder 5
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Newspaper clippings, 1968, undated

  • Box 270, folder 6
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Notebooks, 1945-1972, undated

  • Box 270, folder 7
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Notes and receipts, 1947-1948, undated

  • Box 270, folder 8
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Photographs, 1909-1910, 1941-1945, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9

Tintype of unidentified baby, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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[L to R]: Mary B. Thornton, Richard Thornton, and Eliza Steward, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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[L to R]: May Bell and Aunt Helen Thornton, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of Katherine H. Gowdy, note on back reads: I am deep in debt, no friends but I am happy, 1945

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Katherine riding Dandy, a horse, 1941 May 10

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Mr. and Mrs. Lizzie Ford, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Negative of children playing in a field, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of unidentified African-American boy and girl, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of unidentified African-American couple [man is possibly Joe Goatley], undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Tintype portrait of unidentified African-American woman, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of two unidentified African-American women, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Tintype portrait of unidentified African-American man, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of unidentified African-American woman, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of Dr. Winston [L] and Peet Thornton [R], 1909

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of Mary Bell Thornton as an infant, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of John Taylor, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of an unidentified African-American woman, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of an unidentified African-American woman, undated

  • Box 270, folder 9
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Portrait of two unidentified African-American people in a horse-drawn buggy in front of an unknown house with two unidentified African-American people in the yard, 1910 September 15

  • Box 270, folder 9
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School notebooks, 1937-1938

  • Box 270, folder 10
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Short stories, undated

  • Box 270, folder 11
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Speeches, 1947

  • Box 270, folder 12
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Thresher's record book, 1918

  • Box 270, folder 13
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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.