Adeline King Papers

Adeline King

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Title: Adeline King Papers

Dates: 1920’s-1990’s (Bulk: 1931-1989)

Creator: Adeline King

Summary/Abstract: These are the papers of Adeline King, a well-educated and well-published Middle Tennessee woman. They document her life and career in Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Smyrna. Of particular interest are her Smyrna Bulletins, written bi-weekly during World War II to local servicemen serving overseas.

Quantity/Physical Description: Approximately 3 linear feet

Language(s): English

Repository: Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, (615) 898-2632

Restrictions on Access: None

Copyright: It is presumed that corporate and individual copyrights in manuscripts, photographs, and other materials have been retained by the copyright owners. Copyright restrictions apply. Users of materials should seek necessary permissions from the copyright holders to comply with U.S. copyright laws.

Preferred Citation: (Box Number, Folder Number), Adeline King Papers, Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Acquisition: Adeline King, July 1996

Processed By: Marianne Dudley, July 1996

Arrangement: As much as possible, the current arrangement of these papers reflects their original order. There are five series: her articles from the Courier; her unpublished writings; her published writings; Na-Bri-Co News; and the Smyrna Bulletin, letters written to active servicemen during World War II. Files within boxes are arranged either alphabetically by title or, in the case of Na-Bri-Co News and the Courier articles, chronologically.

Biographical Note: Adeline King was born January 12, 1906. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in June 1927 from the Tennessee College for Women and did graduate study at the University of California, Berkeley and George Peabody College, Nashville. She worked as a high school teacher, a secretary for the National Youth Administration in Nashville, chief clerk of the civilian engineering department at Smyrna Air Force Base, and secretary of the Nashville Bridge Company.

She was also well-published, writing trade articles for The Maritime Reporter, feature stories for The Tennessean, the Nashville Bridge Company’s Na-Bri-Co News, and weekly articles for the Rutherford Courier. She also wrote many published and unpublished short stories, a pageant about Sam Davis, and several histories and biographies.

Twice a month for nearly two years, King mailed an informal newsletter to men from Smyrna who were serving with the armed forces in all theaters of World War II. During the early months of 1945, with combat intensifying everywhere, King issued the bulletin weekly. Many of the young men wrote back to King and expressed to her their appreciation for her morale-boosting letters, which they often received under the direst circumstances: in snow-banked foxholes in Germany, in the first mail delivery that came to the Marines who captured Iwo Jima, or during a London air raid.

The idea began on Christmas Day, 1943.  King was working in a stand-by assignment at the Smyrna Army Air Field. She decided to use her spare time to write to some of her cousins and friends overseas. After writing six letters, she realized that she had practically the same news from home to tell them all. She then decided to write a group letter using carbon paper to make the copies.  The recipients of her next letter numbered ten.  Within a few weeks, parents were asking her to include their sons.  King found her list growing until, at the end of the project, it contained approximately 125 names. After the initial letters, King began mimeographing and numbering each issue. She titled the newsletter The Smyrna Bulletin. A part of each was devoted to news from home and chatty reports of activities of the home folks in the little town of Smyrna. In another section, men from Smyrna serving in different theaters of the war could exchange news with each other. King often quoted from their letters to her and reported the promotions, distinctions, and honors that they had received. In a third section, she related humorous anecdotes that she had collected about the men's school days or about some interesting character or well-known community member. Occasionally, she took a more serious tone and spoke of the future of America, challenging the men to be as diligent in their citizenship when they returned home as they had been in answering their country's call to arms.

Scope and Content:The Adeline King Papers contain King's writings from 1931 to 1989. A series of newspaper columns published in the Rutherford Courier from 1982 to 1989 comprise the bulk of the collection. The rest of the collection consists of her literary efforts, some of which were published in both local and national publications. From 1946 to 1969, King was employed by the Nashville Bridge Company as secretary to the chairman and president. During this time she edited and wrote for the company's monthly publication, the Na-Bri-Co News. The Adeline King Papers contain every issue of this magazine from that time period, as well as earlier issues. Perhaps most significant to local history, King wrote a pageant entitled "Son of This House" detailing the story of her relative by marriage, Sam Davis, a Confederate spy and fallen hero. An unpublished story called "The Town Pump" contains a lengthy collection of anecdotes about the town of Smyrna, King's hometown. During World War II, Ms. King conducted an extensive letter writing campaign to American servicemen. These letters are included in this collection.

Series I consists of nine folders of Courier Columns from 1982 to 1989. In the 1980s, The Rutherford Courier featured a weekly op/ed column written by Ms. King entitled "Things Past and Present." These articles often dealt with anecdotes and local humor. The files are in Ms. King's original, chronological order and the series contains an index created by her.

Series II contains the unpublished writings of Ms. King during her life. Most of the works are in completed form and deal with a wide range of subjects. In some cases, correspondence with prospective publishers is included. The folders are in alphabetical order according to the title of the work. When the work has no title, the first line of the story is used in place of the title.

Series III contains published writings by Ms. King, excluding articles in the Rutherford Courier and The Na-Bri-Co News. A sub-series of writings appear in their published form, and these publications include religious material, newsletters from both Smyrna High School and the Tennessee College, and issues of The Tennessean Magazine. The folders are in order according to the title.

Series IV, Na-Bri-Co News, includes issues of the Nashville Bridge Company’s newsletter. From 1946 to 1969 Ms. King worked for the Nashville Bridge Company. Her job included writing for and editing the Na-Bri-Co News. Over the years she saved every issue and, in some cases, two of every issue, including a few issues published before her employment. This series includes an index and a group of photographs used in the magazines. These folders are arranged in chronological order.

Series five, Smyrna Bulletin, is comprised of letters Adeline King wrote to men from her hometown serving in World War II.

Associated Materials: There are no known associated materials.

Related Collections: There are no known related collections.

Subject Terms

Persons
Adeline King

Places
Smyrna, Tennessee

Subjects (General)
World War II
Nashville Bridge Company
Journalism

Material Types
Clippings
Newsletters
Correspondence

Inventory:

Box

Folder

Series

Description of Contents

1

1

Courier Columns

1982

1

2

Courier Columns

1983

1

3

Courier Columns

1984

1

4

Courier Columns

1985

1

5

Courier Columns

1986

1

6

Courier Columns

1987

1

7

Courier Columns

1988

1

8

Courier Columns

1989

1

9

Courier Columns

About Adeline King

2

1

Unpublished

“The 500th Antimacassar”

2

2

Unpublished

“A Tribute to Bill Neely”

2

3

Unpublished

“Baptist Church”

2

4

Unpublished

“The Blue China Cup”

2

5

Unpublished

“Christmas at Olmity’s”

2

6

Unpublished

“Here at Last was my Opp…”

2

7

Unpublished

“Into my Keeping”

2

8

Unpublished

“Justifying a Minor Contempo”

2

9

Unpublished

“The Lamp Vendor”

2

10

Unpublished

“Love Lifted me”

2

11

Unpublished

“Miss Eula and Sam Pearson”

2

12

Unpublished

No title

2

13

Unpublished

“Nobody Really Knows what”

2

14

Unpublished

Old Hickory Review

2

15

Unpublished

“The Old man’s Red Pencil”

2

16

Unpublished

Poetry

2

17

Unpublished

“The Shuck Doll”

2

18

Unpublished

“Strangely enough she did…”

2

19

Unpublished

“Then the peaches in the tree in the…”

2

20

Unpublished

“Three Magic Words”

2

21

Unpublished

“Tomorrow always comes”

2

22

Unpublished

“The Town Pump” No. 1

2

23

Unpublished

“The Town Pump” No. 2

2

24

Unpublished

“The Walk”

2

25

Unpublished

“Word as the Communication”

2

26

Unpublished

“You know it is funny how…”

2

27

Unpublished

Major General Lew Wallace

2

28

Unpublished

1956 and 1961 World Series Stats

3

1

Writings

Index to writings 1927-1959

3

2

Writings

“A Christmas Miracle”

3

3

Writings

“A Tribute”

3

4

Writings

“Biography of AJ Dyer”

3

5

Writings

Christmas Letters

3

6

Writings

History of the Cumberland

3

7

Writings

History of Na-Bri-Co

3

8

Writings

“ In Tribute to Mrs. Ida David”

3

9

Writings

“La Derniere Classee”

3

10

Writings

Materials on Ernest King

3

11

Writings

Poetry

3

12

Writings

Letters to Servicemen

4

1

Writings

Industrial

4

2

Writings

Religious “Classmate

4

3

Writings

Religious (Various #1)

4

4

Writings

Religious (Various #2)

4

5

Writings

Tennessean mag. ’51-‘52

4

6

Writings

Tennessean mag. ’59-‘64

4

7

Writings

Rutherford Courier

4

8

Writings

Tennessee College for Women

4

9

Writings

Smyrna High News

4

10

Writings

“Son of this House”

4

11

Writings

“The White Family of Dav...”

4

12

Writings

“History of Smyrna United Methodist Church”

4

13

Writings

“The Airforce Base” (Sewart)

4

14

Writings

“First Baptist Church Smyrna”

5

1

Na-Bri-Co News

Index of 1942-63

5

2

Na-Bri-Co News

1942

5

3

Na-Bri-Co News

1943

5

4

Na-Bri-Co News

1944

5

5

Na-Bri-Co News

1945

5

6

Na-Bri-Co News

1946

5

7

Na-Bri-Co News

1947

5

8

Na-Bri-Co News

1948

5

9

Na-Bri-Co News

1949

5

10

Na-Bri-Co News

1950

5

11

Na-Bri-Co News

1951

5

12

Na-Bri-Co News

1952

5

13

Na-Bri-Co News

1953

5

14

Na-Bri-Co News

1954

5

15

Na-Bri-Co News

1955

5

16

Na-Bri-Co News

1956

5

18

Na-Bri-Co News

1958

6

1

Na-Bri-Co News

1959

6

2

Na-Bri-Co News

1960

6

3

Na-Bri-Co News

1961

6

4

Na-Bri-Co News

1962

6

5

Na-Bri-Co News

1963

6

6

Na-Bri-Co News

1964

6

7

Na-Bri-Co News

1965

6

8

Na-Bri-Co News

1966

6

9

Na-Bri-Co News

1967

6

10

Na-Bri-Co News

1968

6

11

Na-Bri-Co News

1969

6

12

Na-Bri-Co News

Photos

Binder

Binder

Smyrna Bulletin

1943-1945, This series is comprised of letters Adeline King wrote to men from her hometown serving in World War II.