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ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
Mss. 4879
1919-1927
ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
(Mss. 4879) Inventory
Compiled by Neil Guilbeau
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library
Louisiana State University Libraries
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2006
1
ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
Mss. 4879
1919-1927
Summary
1 linear foot
Size.
Gainesville, Georgia; Rayville, Louisiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Geographic
locations.
1917-1931
Inclusive dates.
English
Languages.
This collection consists primarily of correspondence between Evelyn Abell
Summary.
Norman, her brother, Edward C. Abell, III, and their mother, Annie Mamie Womble
Abell during the early 1920s when Evelyn and Edward were attending Brenau
College and Louisiana State University respectively.
None
Access
Restrictions
Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright is retained in
Copyright.
accordance with U.S. copyright laws.
Abell Family Papers, Mss. 4879, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley
Citation.
Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
M:27
Stack location.
2
ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
Mss. 4879
1919-1927
Biographical/Historical Note
Annie Mamie Womble Abell (1880-1973) was a teacher in northeast Louisiana and the mother of Evelyn
Abell Norman (b. 1902) and Edward Charles Abell, III, also known as "Bub." Evelyn grew up in northeast
Louisiana's Winnsboro/Rayville area and attended a private college for women called Brenau University
in Gainesville, Ga., from 1919-1922. At Brenau, she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and active
in sports and the Glee Club. In 1922, Evelyn married Earnest Barry Norman, Jr. of Louisville, Ky., and
moved with him to Kansas City, Mo., in 1923. She would later establish a public welfare department in
Opelousas, La., where she became a well-known local, working with the programs of the New Deal era
and writing a column for the Opelousas Daily World newspaper. Evelyn's older brother, Edward, attended
Louisiana State University where he became a member of the Friar's Fraternity and also sang in the Glee
Club but apparently did not complete school. In their correspondence, both Evelyn and Edward mention a
younger half-brother, Frank, nicknamed "Bunsie" or "Sonnyman," who was just beginning grade school
during their attendance at college.
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ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
Mss. 4879
1919-1927
Scope and Content Note
The Abell Family Papers consist primarily of two sets of correspondence: one from Evelyn Abell Norman
to her mother, Annie Mamie Womble Abell, and the other set belonging to Evelyn's brother, Edward
Charles Abell, III (Bub). Evelyn's letters to her mother are dated 1919-1927, and were written during the
time Evelyn attended Brenau College in Gainesville, Ga. She relates news of her life at Brenau, including
her classes, sorority activities, day trips to Atlanta, and her travel by train between her home in Louisiana
and school. Evelyn frequently wrote of needing money and clothes from her mother, permission notes to
date or take day trips off campus, and included measurements and sketches of dresses that she
requested her mother to make for her. Evelyn mourned her grandmother's death in 1920 in a few letters
to her mom, referring to her as "Bemammy." The last two letters were written from Kansas City, Mo.,
where she and her husband had moved to in 1923. In these letters, Evelyn speaks of the apartment they
found, descriptions of Kansas City, and events that she and her husband had been to, including an auto
race. Throughout her correspondence, Evelyn occasionally includes a note to her little half-brother, Frank,
whom she called "Bunsie" or "Sonnyman." Included are an invitation to tea (1917), a photograph (1921) of
Evelyn and her friends at Brenau College, and a transcript (1931) of Evelyn's grades.
Edward's correspondence (1919-1926) includes letters to and from his mother, grandmother, Evelyn
(from Brenau College), his young half-brother, Frank or "Bunsie," Uncle Percy, his fraternity brothers, and
various friends around the country. Irma Buie, a mutual friend of Evelyn and Edward, wrote to him on
several occasions asking him to persuade Evelyn to join her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, at Brenau
College. In his letters to his family, Edward discussed playing baseball, attending track meets, undergoing
ROTC inspections, and going to a few fraternity and sorority dances. He also mentioned receiving money
and clothes from them while attending LSU. In addition to regular correspondence, Edward received a
few invitations to country clubs, weddings, parties, and holiday celebrations. Also included are two
postcards, three clippings (1921) of accidents in the Rayville area, a camp training certificate (1921) from
the Reserve Officer Training Corps, two stubs for wages and payments (1922), and a photograph (1922)
of Edward during his time at Louisiana State University.
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ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
Mss. 4879
1919-1927
Index Terms
Annie Mamie Womble Abell (1880-1973)
Evelyn Abell Norman, b. 1902
Edward Charles Abell, III
Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. Lambda Chapter (Brenau College)
Delta Kappa Epsilon. Zeta Zeta Chapter (Louisiana State University)
College students--Georgia--Gainesville--Social life and customs--20th century
College students--Louisiana--Baton Rouge--Social life and customs--20th century
Brenau College--Students
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College--Students
personal correspondence
black-and-white photographs
receipts (financial records)
clippings
invitations
certificates
transcripts
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ABELL FAMILY PAPERS
Mss. 4879
1919-1927
Container List
Location
Box
Folder
Contents
M:27
1
1
Invitation (1917)
M:27
1
2-9
Correspondence: Evelyn Abell Norman (1919-1927), includes
photograph of Evelyn and friends
M:27
1
10
Brenau College Transcript (1931)
M:27
2
1-7
Correspondence: Edward C. Abell, III (1919-1925), includes
clippings, photograph of Edward, and payroll stubs/receipts
M:27
2
8
Reserve Officer Training Corps Certificate (1921)
6