Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William D. Powell papers

Abstract

The William D. Powell papers (dated 1873-1912, undated; 0.68 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters, financial records, and other ephemera pertaining to William D. Powell's efforts as an American Baptist missionary in Mexico during the late 19th century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William D. Powell papers
Creator
Powell, William D., 1854-1934
Extent
0.68 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Baptists -- Missions.
Baptists -- Missions -- Cuba.
Baptists -- Missions -- Mexico.
Baptists -- Missions -- Mexico -- History -- 19th Century.
Church work
Correspondence.
Education -- Mexico.
Education -- Women.
Letters.
Missionaries
Missionaries -- Correspondence.
Spanish language
Spanish mission buildings.
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
Jennifer Rawe
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0330: [identifiication of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: William D. Powell papers, 1873-1912, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William D. Powell was born in 1854 in Madison County, Mississippi. He soon moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee with his parents and later attended Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Later, Powell graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville in 1874. He then married Florence Maberry and the pair had 5 sons and 5 daughters.
In 1882, Powell worked as Sunday School Secretary in Texas and as a result of this work was appointed to a missionary position under the Foreign Missionary Board of Richmond, VA. He served as a missionary for 16 years in Mexico. While in Mexico, Powell founded the Primera Iglesia Bautista and the Madero Institute for Girls in Saltillo, Coahuila. Over his life he built and dedicated 733 churches in the United States, Mexico, and Cuba. In 1906, Powell worked as the corresponding Secretary and Treasurer of the Baptist State Board of Kentucky, later serving in other positions across the southern United States. Powell died in Alabama in 1934.
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 William D. Powell papers (dated 1873-1912, undated; 0.68 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprises letters, financial records, and other ephemera pertaining to William D. Powell's efforts as an American Baptist missionary in Mexico during the late 19th century. The collection contains documents that chronicle the opening of a girls school in Saltillo, supporting native missionaries, and personal correspondences to W.D. Powell. The majority of the material in the collection is addressed to Powell and the content consists of discussion of the missionary efforts, financial aid provided to Powell, or Baptists in the U.S. requesting a position at Powell's Saltillo Mission. One folder includes correspondence entirely in Spanish, with Powell being referred to as Guillermo in place of William. These documents were primarily written by Powell, Mexican government officials, or other native missionaries. Other folders include information that gives insight into the cost of the mission, legal holdings of land, and the materials brought or imported by Powell to Saltillo. Items of note include: A letter W.D. sent to then-head of the Mexican State, Porfirio Díaz, sermon written by Powell, copy of El Heraldo (the first Baptist paper published in Mexico), and government documents stipulating land given to the Saltillo mission must also be used for a school.
The William D. Powell 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

Correspondence, 1873-1912, undated

American Baptist Publication Society, 1884-1891, undated

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Correspondence with William D. Powell, 1873-1884

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Correspondence with William D. Powell, 1885-1887

  • Box 1, folder 3
To top

Correspondence with William D. Powell, 1888-1889

  • Box 1, folder 4
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Correspondence with William D. Powell, 1890-1912, undated

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Letters from J.G. Chastain, 1884-1898, undated

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Letters from T.T. Eaton, 1882-1893, undated

  • Box 1, folder 7
To top

Letters from W.M Flournoy, 1882-1889, undated

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Spanish correspondence, 1883-1899, undated

  • Box 1, folder 9
To top

Church ephemera, 1887-1895, undated

  • Box 2, folder 1
To top

Financial records, 1882-1906, undated

  • Box 2, folder 2
To top

Government papers and contracts, 1882-1890, undated

  • Box 2, folder 3
To top

Instituto de Madero, 1884-1886

  • Box 2, folder 4
To top

W.D. Powell writings, 1877-1890

  • Box 1, folder 10
To top

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is 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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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.