A Guide to the

Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family Papers, 1816-1977

SC 0241

Compiled by: Tiffany Cole, July 2017

 

Descriptive Summary

 

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family Papers, 1816-1977

Collection No.: SC 0241
Creator: Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family

Extent: 7 boxes; 3.0 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family Papers, 1816-1977, are comprised of correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, legal documents, and miscellaneous papers relating to Charles L. Davis of Singers Glen, Virginia and his descendants. Some documents are seemingly unrelated to the aforementioned families, but concern other local persons.

 

Administrative Information

 

Access Restrictions: Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Box 3 of this collection which contains seven ledgers and notebooks is inaccessible due to ongoing preservation treatment. The ledgers within exhibit evidence of mold and are being treated accordingly. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family Papers, 1816-1977, SC 0241, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Acquisition Information: The materials in this collection were purchased by Special Collections at the April 8, 2017 estate sale of Mary Hutton. The sale took place in Elkton, Virginia and was auctioneered by Charley Whetzel.
Processing Information: This collection was originally housed in a photo album with most documents placed in Mylar sleeves. The materials were without a clear arrangement scheme. The archivist removed the documents from the album and imposed an artificial arrangement based on person or group of persons. However, it is unclear how some of the family names represented in this collection relate to the Davises, Klines, or Huttons. Box 3 which contains seven ledgers and notebooks is inaccessible due to ongoing preservation treatment. The ledgers within exhibit evidence of mold and are being treated accordingly.

Bio/Historical Note:

Charles L. Davis (1874-1960) was born to John Conrad Davis and Mahulda Simmons Davis of Lewis County, West Virginia. Davis moved to Broadway, Virginia in 1892 and to Singers Glen, Virginia in 1896 where he lived the remainder of his life. While in West Virginia, Davis was a school teacher. He pursued the carpentry trade after moving to Virginia. Additionally, Davis served his community as a clerk, judge, and county committeeman for Singers Glen. He was a member of the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church in Singers Glen. Davis married Edith Belle Long (1876-1965) of Singers Glen and together they had three children – Letha (1899-1986), Charles Russell (1906-1976), and Price Albert (1907-1979). Edith was born to Conrad Long and Phoebe Catherine Burgendine Long. Like her husband, Edith was a member of the local EUB congregation.

Their daughter Letha, a lifelong member of the Singers Glen EUB church and a member of the Disabled American Veterans auxiliary, went on to marry Earl Alpheus Kline (1896-1967). Kline was born to Benjamin B. Kline and Ella Mae Wilkins Kline. He was employed as one of the first electrical contractors in Rockingham County and later worked at REA and Madison College. The Klines had three children – Earl Jr., Eleanor Aletha (1922-2016), and Mary Davis (1934-2017).

On June 22, 1957, Mary Davis Kline married Ralph Bartlett “Penny” Hutton (1923-1993). The couple had one child, born Ralph Bartlett Hutton II (November 12, 1958-November 13, 1958), who died in infancy. Mary graduated from Broadway High School and from Madison College in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in home economics education. She taught at Elkton High School for 10 years before working as a home economist for VEPCO (now Virginia Power) and went on to serve as the first school food service supervisor for Harrisonburg City Schools. She retired in 1991 after 17 years with the Virginia Department of Education. She was a member of the American Home Economics Association and the American School Food Service Association. Mary was a prolific scrapbooker and chronicled much of her adult life in this way.

Scope and Content:
The Davis, Kline, and Hutton Family Papers, 1816-1977, are comprised of correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, legal documents, and miscellaneous papers relating to Charles L. Davis of Singers Glen, Virginia and his descendants. Some documents are seemingly unrelated to the aforementioned families, but concern other local persons. Correspondence between Charles and Edith Long Davis and letters from their daughter Letha to Earl Kline comprise the bulk of the collection. Scrapbooks created by Mary Kline Hutton also make up a significant portion of the collection.

Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in five series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1891-1919, 1940
Series 2: Ephemera, 1911-1967
Series 3: Ledgers and Papers, 1816-1945
Series 4: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1919-1977
Series 5: Oversize, 1816-1966

Series 1 is arranged by letter recipient and further arranged chronologically. Series 2 is arranged chronologically. Series 3 is arranged by form due to ongoing preservation of the ledgers and further arranged chronologically. Series 4 is arranged by form and further arranged chronologically. Series 5 is arranged by item size.

Bibliography:

Obituary for Charles L. Davis, Daily News-Record, July 6, 1960.

Obituary for Edith Long Davis, Daily News-Record, April 12, 1965.

Obituary for Earl A. Kline, Daily News-Record, September 22, 1967.

Obituary for Letha Davis Kline, Daily News-Record, March 5, 1986.

Obituary for Mary Kline Hutton, Daily News-Record, May 18, 2017.

Program for the Forty-sixth Annual Commencement Exercises, Madison College, June 5, 1955.

Contents:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1891-1919, 1940

Series 1: Correspondence, 1891-1919, 1940, is comprised of approximately 180 handwritten letters, most with corresponding envelopes, between Charles Davis and Edith Long Davis, and letters from their daughter Letha Davis Kline to her future husband Earl Kline. The bulk of these letters were written between the two couples during their respective courtships, though some letters between the Davises post-date their marriage when Charles was staying in Harrisonburg and likely working in some capacity at the new Masonic Temple. The subject matter of the letters is generally romantic in nature. Both couples talk about missing each other and anticipating the next time they will see each other. The letters provide regular updates on family and community news, reports on the frequency of church and prayer meeting attendance, and are generally newsy and gossipy in their overall tone. The Charles Davis correspondence includes a few letters from his friends, both male and female, in West Virginia written prior to his relationship with Edith. The lighthearted nature of these letters is exemplified in a December 9, 1894 letter from his friend Albert in which he asks Charles, “Are the girls as good looking over there [in Broadway] as they are in old Pend[leton County]?”

Occasionally, the letters touch on relevant political and social topics of the time. In a November 3, 1896 letter from Charles Davis to Edith, he comments on his election fatigue in light of the recent presidential election: “Well the election is over and I have a McKinley headache already.” In Letha Davis Kline’s February 11, 1917 letter to Earl Kline, she describes her internal struggle with the morality of dancing: “Dancing isn’t a sin is it? Sometimes I think it is and then again I think different for if you wished to you could make a sin out of everything.”

Folder Title Box : Folder
Charles Davis, 1891 1:1
Charles Davis, 1894 1:2
Charles Davis envelopes, 1894-1896, undated 1:3
Charles Davis, 1895 1:4
Charles Davis, 1896 (Folder 1 of 3) 1:5
Charles Davis, 1896 (Folder 2 of 3) 1:6
Charles Davis, 1896 (Folder 3 of 3) 1:7
Charles Davis, 1897 1:8
Charles Davis, 1902, 1906 1:9
Charles Davis, undated 1:10
Edith Long Davis, 1895 1:11
Edith Long Davis, 1896 (Folder 1 of 3) 1:12
Edith Long Davis, 1896 (Folder 2 of 3) 1:13
Edith Long Davis, 1896 (Folder 3 of 3) 2:1
Edith Long Davis, 1897 2:2
Edith Long Davis, 1900, 1906 2:3
Edith Long Davis envelopes, 1906, undated 2:4
Edith Long Davis, undated 2:5
Earl Kline, 1915 2:6
Earl Kline, 1916 2:7
Earl Kline, 1917 (Folder 1 of 2) 2:8
Earl Kline, 1917 (Folder 1 of 2) 2:9
Earl Kline, 1918 2:10
Earl Kline, 1919 2:11
Earl Kline/Letha Davis Kline, undated 2:12
Ella Kline, 1940 2:13

Series 2: Ephemera, 1911-1967

Series 2: Ephemera, 1911-1967, contains two programs from Broadway High School – one including a cast of characters and synopsis of “The Deacon” and one outlining the May 10, 1911 commencement exercises. Miscellaneous religious tracts and clippings are also included.

Folder Title Box : Folder
Broadway High School Programs, 1911 2:14
Continuing “The Fellowship” by Samuel S. Hough, 1930 2:15
Miscellaneous ephemera, 1951, 1967, undated 2:16

Series 3: Ledgers and Papers, 1816-1945

Series 3: Ledgers and Papers, 1816-1945, contains seven ledgers and notebooks related to Charles Davis, a plat, legal documents, indentures, stock certificates, and financial documents. The ledgers and notebooks are only minimally described as they undergo preservation treatment. They include a notebook, 1892-1893; a memorandum and account book, 1888-1889; an account book, 1895-1923; an account book, 1897; a time book, 1904-1912; a fertilizer notebook, 1907; and a daybook, 1912-1925.

The remainder of the series is comprised of miscellaneous papers with some directly relating to the Davis and Kline families and some documents seemingly unrelated, but still concerning other local persons. Other family names include Billhimer, Harrison, Ewin, Long, Lanahan, Waterman, Hall, Burtner, and Gambill. Items include five indentures, Charles Davis’ 1891 teaching certificate for Pendleton County, West Virginia, a June 26, 1897 plat proposing a public road from Port Republic Road to Rockingham Turnpike (Rt. 33), six stock certificates issued to H. L. Burtner for Valley Supply Company, Inc. in Harrisonburg, and the will of D. A. Eppard of Elkton.

Folder Title Box : Folder
Notebook, 1892-1893, undated 3
Memorandum and account book, 1888-1889 3
Account book, 1895-1923 3
Account book, 1897 3
Timebook, 1904-1912 3
Fertilizer notebook, 1907 3
Daybook, 1912-1925 3
Indenture between William & Elizabeth Ewin of Rockingham County and George Harrison of Rockingham County, 1816 OV 1:1
Land indenture between George W. Harrison of Rockingham County and John H. Pence of Rockingham County, 1819 OV 1:1
Land indenture between John H. Pence of Rockingham County and Thomas Lanahan of Rockingham County, 1819 OV 1:1
Land indenture between Thomas & Margaret Lanahan, Henry J. Gambill, Augustus Waterman, & James Hall of Rockingham County and James Hall of Rockingham County, 1830 4:1
Land indenture between James & Caroline Hall of Rockingham County and Joseph Billhimer of Rockingham County, 1832 OV 1:1
Charles Davis teaching certificate, 1891 4:2
Plat of proposed public road from Port Republic Road to Rockingham Pike through the lands of Moses Wenger, Robert Cummings, & others, 1897 4:3
Cancelled checks, 1899, 1945 4:4
H. L. Burtner stock certificates for Valley Supply Co. Inc., 1923-1926 4:5
Will of D. A. Eppard, 1938 4:6

Series 4: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1919-1977

Series 4: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1919-1977, is comprised of five folders of photographs and eight scrapbooks compiled by Mary Kline Hutton. With a few exceptions, the photographs are primarily unidentified and undated. The 1943-1956 photo album includes images of Mary Hutton’s graduation from Madison College in 1955. She is pictured in front of Wilson Hall in her cap and gown.

The scrapbooks are compiled in both three-ring and spiral-bound photo albums with adhesive pages and traditional scrapbooks with paper pages. The scrapbooks are generally ephemeral in nature, containing photographs, wedding napkins, postcards, greetings cards for various occasions, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and programs documenting holidays, vacations, and local events. Material related to the town of Elkton and the Elkton Volunteer Fire Company are included in many of the scrapbooks, as are newspaper clippings spotlighting the Huttons and their friends and family. The 1957-1958 scrapbook documents the Huttons’ wedding and honeymoon. The subsequent scrapbook includes sympathy cards and letters sent to the Huttons after the death of their newborn child. During the summer of 1976, the couple visited Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam. Postcards, a plane ticket, keno slips, and brochures document the trip. Also documented are the Huttons’ 1959 trip to New York City, their 1968 vacation to the Alamo, and their 1977 vacation to Plymouth and Boston, Massachusetts.

Folder Title Box : Folder
Photographs, 1919-1967 4:7
Photo album, 1943-1956 4:8
Photographs, undated (Folder 1 of 3) 4:9
Photographs, undated (Folder 2 of 3) 4:10
Photographs, undated (Folder 3 of 3) 5:1
Scrapbook, 1957-1958 OV 2
Scrapbook, 1958-1959 OV 2
Scrapbook, 1965-1966 OV 2
Scrapbook, 1968 5:2
Scrapbook, 1968 5:3
Scrapbook, 1969 5:4
Scrapbook, 1976 OV 1
Scrapbook, 1977 OV 1

Series 5: Oversize, 1816-1966

Series 5: Oversize, 1816-1966, consists of materials that have been physically removed from their intellectual arrangement due to their size. As a result, this series functions only as a container list.

Folder Title Box : Folder
Indenture between William & Elizabeth Ewin of Rockingham County and George Harrison of Rockingham County, 1816 OV 1:1
Land indenture between George W. Harrison of Rockingham County and John H. Pence of Rockingham County, 1819 OV 1:1
Land indenture between John H. Pence of Rockingham County and Thomas Lanahan of Rockingham County, 1819 OV 1:1
Land indenture between James & Caroline Hall of Rockingham County and Joseph Billhimer of Rockingham County, 1832 OV 1:1
Scrapbook, 1976 OV 1
Scrapbook, 1977 OV 1
Scrapbook, 1957-1958 OV 2
Scrapbook, 1958-1959 OV 2
Scrapbook, 1965-1966 OV 2