Wall Family Papers 1900-1992

Creator
Wall Family
Size
11 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00329

The Wall Family Papers document the lives of John Nelson Wall; his wife, Frances MacGregor Wall; their son, John Nelson Wall Jr.; along with various members of their extended family, friends, and professional acquaintances, between 1900 and 1992. The bulk of the collection is correspondence written between the years of 1920 and 1960, much of which was exchanged between John and Frances from 1933 to 1949, during their extended courtship and early years of marriage.

The Wall family of Morven, North Carolina, includes John Nelson Wall (1904-1992); his wife, Frances MacGregor Wall (1909-1949); and their son John Nelson Wall Jr. (1945- ). John Nelson Wall Sr. worked for the North Carolina Transportation Department in Anson County, North Carolina. Frances MacGregor Wall taught home economics and was a 4-H home demonstration agent in Cleveland County, North Carolina, then assistant 4-H club leader for the state of North Carolina. John Nelson Wall Jr. was a faculty member in the English Department at North Carolina State University.

Biographical/historical note

The Wall family of Morven, North Carolina, includes John Nelson Wall (1904-1992); his wife, Frances MacGregor Wall (1909-1949); and their son John Nelson Wall Jr. (1945- ).

Frances Smith MacGregor Wall was born on August 22, 1909, in Lilesville, North Carolina. Her father, John MacGregor, was a farm demonstration agent employed by the Cooperative Extension Service in North Carolina; her mother, Georgia MacGregor, operated a boarding house for school teachers living in the area. Frances attended the North Carolina College for Women (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), where she received a degree in education. After graduating, she taught home economics at Lilesville High School. In 1935, she began work as a 4-H home demonstration agent for Cleveland County. She remained with the organization and was promoted to assistant 4-H club leader for the State of North Carolina in 1937. Her chief obligations were to organize local 4-H club functions, demonstrate to young women on the domestic arts, write newspaper articles, and deliver radio broadcasts to promote the 4-H program.

John Nelson Wall was born on February 20, 1904, in Morven, North Carolina, to Edwin and Inez Wall. He was the youngest of their ten children. Wall enrolled in North Carolina State College (later North Carolina State University) in 1923 and 1924 to study mechanical engineering.

In the late 1920s, John Nelson Wall organized work parties that traveled to the midwestern United States to participate in summer wheat harvests. The groups were known as the "Wheatfield Gang."

After 1929, Wall settled permanently in Morven, taking a job with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. He attended the Morven Presbyterian Church, eventually becoming a Ruling Elder, and was also an active member of the Kilwinning Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge.

John Wall and Frances MacGregor met in 1933 and maintained a correspondence throughout their courtship. They married in 1944, and the correspondence continued as Frances's work with the 4-H association often kept them apart. In 1945 the couple had a son, John Nelson Wall Jr., and Frances resigned her post with 4-H and was, in 1946, working as a home economics instructor at Morven High School. In April 1949, Frances was hospitalized and treated for cancer. After experiencing a brief period of recovery, she died that August at the age of forty.

John Nelson Wall Sr. worked for the North Carolina Department of Transportation in Anson County for more than forty years. He died on September 29, 1992, at the age of eighty-eight.

John Nelson Wall Jr. graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BFA in English in 1967 and earned his master's degree in English in 1969 from Duke University. He received a doctorate in English from Harvard in 1973 and joined the faculty of North Carolina State University's English Department that same year.

Scope/content

The Wall Family Papers document the lives of John Nelson Wall; his wife, Frances MacGregor Wall; and their son, John Nelson Wall Jr.; along with various members of their extended family, friends, and professional acquaintances between 1900 and 1992. The bulk of the collection is correspondence written between the years of 1920 and 1960, much of which was exchanged between John and Frances from 1933 to 1949, during their extended courtship and early years of marriage. There is also a good deal of correpsondence sent to John Nelson Wall by women that he most likely met while traveling to wheat harvests in various locations throughout the 1920s, as well as photographs taken durring these travels.

The collection also contains photographs, papers and correspondence related to Frances MacGregor Wall's work for the 4-H organization and the various educational and promotional events she conducted over the course of her travels as demonstration agent. Of particular interst are the transcripts of her radio broadcasts for 4-H.

Clippings and photographs related to the childhood and education of John Nelson Wall Jr. are included as well.

Physical description

22 archival boxes

Arrangement

The collection is divided into three series:

  • 1. Personal Papers
  • 2. Correspondence
  • 3. Photographs
An addition of May 2007 was arranged in the same way but was not incorporated into the original deposit.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Wall Family Papers, MC 00329, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of John Nelson Wall Jr., 2002 December (Accession no. 2002-0018) and 2007 April (Accession no. 2007-0126)

Processing information

Processed by Michael Watts and Dani Nation, May 2007

Encoded by Dani Nation, May 2007

The collection is organized into four principal series:

Correspondence 1920-1992 (Series 1)
Size: 4.5 linear feet

This series contains the letters written by and to members of the John Nelson Wall family. Primarily, it contains letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall dating from 1920 to 1946 and depicting their courtship and marriage, as well as describing Frances Wall's career with the 4-H organization. Also included are letters received by John Nelson Wall from friends and acquaintances from 1920 until 1992. Of particular interest are letters from women he most likely met during his travels across the United States in the 1920s.

See also the addition of May 2007.

9 archival boxes

Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1933-April 1933
Box 1, Folder 1
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall May 1933- October 1933
Box 1, Folder 2
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall November 1933-December 1933
Box 1, Folder 3
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1934
Box 1, Folder 4
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall February 1934
Box 1, Folder 5
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall March 1934-April 1934
Box 1, Folder 6
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall September 1934-December 1934
Box 1, Folder 7
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall May 1935-July 1936
Box 2, Folder 1
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall August 1935-December 1935
Box 2, Folder 2
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1936-March 1936
Box 2, Folder 3
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall May 1936-August 1936
Box 2, Folder 4
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall September 1936-December 1936
Box 2, Folder 5
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall March 1937-July 1937
Box 2, Folder 6
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall August 1937-December 1937
Box 2, Folder 7
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1938-May 1938
Box 2, Folder 8
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall June 1938-December 1938
Box 3, Folder 1
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1939-August 1939
Box 3, Folder 2
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall September 1939-December 1939
Box 3, Folder 3
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1940-May 1940
Box 3, Folder 4
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall June 1940-December 1940
Box 3, Folder 5
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1941-April 1941
Box 3, Folder 6
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall May 1941-August 1941
Box 4, Folder 1
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall September 1941-December 1941
Box 4, Folder 2
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1942-March 1942
Box 4, Folder 3
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall April 1942-June 1942
Box 4, Folder 4
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall July 1942-October 1942
Box 4, Folder 5
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall November 1942-December 1942
Box 4, Folder 6
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1943-February 1943
Box 5, Folder 1
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall March 1943-April 1943
Box 5, Folder 2
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1943-February 1943
Box 5, Folder 3
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall May 1943-July 1943
Box 5, Folder 4
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall August 1943-October 1943
Box 5, Folder 5
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall Jan 1944-February 1944
Box 5, Folder 6
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall March 1944-April 1944
Box 5, Folder 7
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall May 1944-August 1944
Box 6, Folder 1
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall September 1944-December 1944
Box 6, Folder 2
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall January 1945
Box 6, Folder 3
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall No date
Box 6, Folder 4
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall No date
Box 6, Folder 5
Letters from Frances MacGregor Wall to John Nelson Wall No date
Box 6, Folder 6
Frances MacGregor- Personal Correspondence (other)
Box 7, Folder 1
Letters from John Nelson Wall to his Mother 1928-1940
Box 9, Folder 2
John Nelson Wall Sr. to John Nelson Wall Jr. 1967-1990
Box 9, Folder 3
Letters to Family Members 1922-1979
Box 9, Folder 4
John Nelson Wall Personal Correspondence (General) 1932-1954
Box 9, Folder 5
John Nelson Wall Business Correspondence (General)
Box 9, Folder 5
Wheatfield Gang Correspondence 1925-1932
Box 9, Folder 6
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Agnes 1924-1925
Box 9, Folder 7
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Ann 1933
Box 9, Folder 8
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Elizabeth Braswell 1924
Box 9, Folder 9
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Bright 1924
Box 9, Folder 10
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Cornelia 1927
Box 9, Folder 11
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Evelyn 1928-1934
Box 9, Folder 12
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Edna 1932-1935
Box 9, Folder 13
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Fanny 1930
Box 9, Folder 14
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Frances Kelly 1930-1944
Box 9, Folder 15
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Hattie
Box 9, Folder 16
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Hester 1927 -1928
Box 9, Folder 17
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Inez Boone 1928 -1929
Box 9, Folder 18
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Jean 1927-1930
Box 10, Folder 1
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Jimmie 1922
Box 10, Folder 2
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Leona 1922
Box 10, Folder 3
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Lilly 1941
Box 10, Folder 4
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Louise 1937
Box 10, Folder 5
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Margaret 1932-1941
Box 10, Folder 6
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Marie 1922
Box 10, Folder 7
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Mary 1922-1929
Box 10, Folder 8
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Mary Alice 1926-1927
Box 10, Folder 9
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Mary E. 1929
Box 10, Folder 10
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Mary Shaw 1931
Box 10, Folder 11
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Mary Taylor 1928
Box 10, Folder 12
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Merle 1927
Box 10, Folder 13
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Sarah 1925
Box 10, Folder 14
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Viola 1925
Box 10, Folder 15
Letters to John Nelson Wall from Virginia 1940
Box 10, Folder 16
Letters to John Nelson Wall from unknown 1927 1940
Box 10, Folder 17
Ruth 1930-1931
Box 10, Folder 18
John Wall Sr. Letters concerning John Jr's relationship with Terry Cobb 1967 -1970
Box 11, Folder 1
Letters from Family Members
Box 11, Folder 2
Postcards 1925-1949
Box 11, Folder 3
Postcards and Greeting Cards (1 of 3) 1900-1950
Box 11, Folder 4
Postcards and Greeting Cards
Box 10, Folder 6
Greeting Cards
Box 10, Folder 7
Postcards and Greeting Cards (2 of 3) 1900-1950
Box 11, Folder 5
Postcards and Greeting Cards (3 of 3) 1900-1950
Box 11, Folder 6
Letters from John Wall Jr. to John Wall Sr. 1969-1983
Box 16, Folder 5
Letters from Terry Cobb Wall John Wall Sr. 1967
Box 16, Folder 6
Letters to John Wall Sr. 1980-1992
Box 16, Folder 7
Personal Papers 1906-1992 (Series 2)
Size: 2.5 linear feet

This series contains news clippings, financail documents and printed materials. Of particular interest are compiled histories of Frances MacGregor Wall's ancestors of the names Smith and MacGregor as well as radio broadcast transcriptions, organization literature and notes amassed by Frances MacGregor Wall durring her career with 4-H.

See also the addition of May 2007.

5 archival boxes

Frances MacGregor- Professional Papers
Box 7, Folder 2
Frances MacGregor- 4-H Radio Broadcasts
Box 7, Folder 3
Frances MacGregor- Newspaper Articles
Box 7, Folder 4
Frances MacGregor - 4-H Pamphlets
Box 7, Folder 5
Frances MacGregor - Home Economics Literature
Box 7, Folder 6
Frances MacGregor- Delta Kappa Gamma Society
Box 7, Folder 7
Julia MacGregor
Box 7, Folder 8
Family History Smith/MacGregor
Box 7, Folder 9
Family History- Smith (Book)
Box 7, Folder 10
Coin Purse - Frances MacGregor
Box 7, Folder 11
Wedding Invitation - John Nelson Wall and Frances Smith MacGregor 1944
Box 11, Folder 7
Family History- Wall and Liles
Box 11, Folder 8
Edwin Craig Wall Sr. and Edwin Craig Wall Jr. (Canal Industries) 1980-1987
Box 11, Folder 9
John Nelson Wall Sr. -Deceased 1992
Box 11, Folder 10
John Nelson Wall Travel Journal and Notebooks 1909-1968
Box 9, Folder 1
Loose contents "Mother's Bible" 1940-1950
Box 11, Folder 11
Newspaper Articles 1942-1943
Box 13, Folder 1
Newspaper Articles 1941-1949
Box 13, Folder 2
Newspaper Articles 1958-1987
Box 13, Folder 3
Theological Matters- Church 1922-1962
Box 13, Folder 4
Printed materials 1900-1950
Box 13, Folder 5
North Carolina Highway Map 1948
Box 13, Folder 6
John Nelson Wall Sr. notes (1 of 2) unknown
Box 13, Folder 7
John Nelson Wall Sr. notes (2 of 2) unknown
Box 13, Folder 8
John Wall Sr. Business papers 1937-1986
Box 14, Folder 1
John Wall Sr. bank statements and canceled checks 1944
Box 14, Folder 2
John Wall Sr. bank statements and canceled checks 1946
Box 14, Folder 4
John Wall Sr. bank statements and canceled checks 1948
Box 14, Folder 5
John Wall Sr. bank statements and canceled checks 1950
Box 15, Folder 1
John Wall Sr. bank statements and canceled checks 1951
Box 15, Folder 2
John Wall Sr. bank statements and canceled checks 1956
Box 15, Folder 3
Frances MacGregor Wall bank statements and canceled checks 1944
Box 15, Folder 4
Veterans Loan 1942-1944
Box 15, Folder 5
Insurance 1938-1951
Box 15, Folder 6
Real Estate 1925-1987
Box 16, Folder 1
Sales contract 1941 Pontiac Deluxe 1941
Box 16, Folder 2
Receipts (1 of 2) 1941-1977
Box 16, Folder 3
Receipts (2 of 2) 1941-1977
Box 16, Folder 4
John Wall Jr. newsclippings and scholarly correspondence 1963-1970
Box 16, Folder 8
Photographs 1880-1992 (Series 3)
Size: 1.5 linear feet

This series contains family photographs collected by Frances MacGregor Wall, John Nelson Wall, and John Nelson Wall Jr. as well as photographs of Frances MacGregor Wall (then Frances Smith MacGregor) when she was a student and during her career with the 4-H organization.

See also the addition of May 2007.

3 archival flat boxes

Frances MacGregor Wall and ancestors 1909-1949
Flat box 8
John Nelson Wall and ancestors 1906-1992
Flat box 12
John Nelson Wall Jr. and family 1945-1992
Flat box 17
Addition of May 2007 1920-1992
Size: 2.5 linear feet

The addition of May 2007 contains materials documenting the lives of John Nelson Wall, his wife, Frances MacGregor Wall, and their son John Nelson Wall Jr. along with various members of their extended family, friends, and professional acquaintances between 1900 and 1992. The bulk of this series is comprised of books belonging to Frances MacGregor Wall. Also of interest are the letters, notes and journals written by John Nelson Wall, especially the calendars kept between 1986 and 1991 which describe his day to day life.

5 archival boxes, 1 flat file.

Correspondence 1923-1987 (Series 1)

This series contains the letters written by and to members of the John Nelson Wall family. The addition of May 2007 contains primarily letters, cards, and postcards sent to John Nelson Wall from the 1920s until the time of his death in 1992. This addition of May 2007 has been arranged in the same way but was not incorporated into the original deposit.

Letters and Cards sent to John Nelson Wall 1923-1987
Box 18, Folder 1
Letters from John Nelson Wall to family 1928-1939
Box 18, Folder 2
Letters exchanged between Belle Liles and "Aunt Sissy" 1940
Box 18, Folder 3
Personal Papers 1920-1992 (Series 2)

This series contains the personal papers generated by John Nelson Wall, his wife, Frances MacGregor Wall, and their son John Nelson Wall Jr. along with various members of their extended family and friends. The bulk of the series addition is made up of Frances MacGregor Wall's collection of books on gardening, cooking, and collections of poetry and reference volumes printed between 1920 and 1949. Also of interest are the notes and journals written by John Nelson Wall, especially the calendars kept between 1986 and 1991 which describe his day to day life. This addition of May 2007 has been arranged in the same way but was not incorporated into the original deposit.

WWII Ration book 1942
Box 18, Folder 4
Gas Ration issues to M.E. Gardner 1942
Box 18, Folder 5
Address book 1980
Box 18, Folder 6
Gefroj Studio Keepsake Art unknown
Box 18, Folder 7
Marriage License of John and Frances Wall 1944
Box 18, Folder 8
Financial Doccuments 1941-1945
Box 18, Folder 9
Report Card NC State A issued to John N. Wall 1923
Box 18, Folder 10
John Wall Jr. School papers 1963
Box 18, Folder 11
Tax forms 1944-1947
Box 18, Folder 12
John Nelson Wall handwritten will 1964
Box 18, Folder 13
Stamp Collection 1900-1977
Box 18, Folder 14
Newsclippings 1920-1986
Box 18, Folder 15
John Nelson Wall Notes 1927-1988
Box 18, Folder 16
John Nelson Wall Calendar with notes 1986
Box 18, Folder 17
John Nelson Wall Calendar with notes 1987
Box 19, Folder 1
John Nelson Wall Calendar with notes 1988
Box 19, Folder 2
John Nelson Wall Calendar with notes 1990
Box 19, Folder 3
John Nelson Wall Calendar with notes 1991
Box 19, Folder 4
John Nelson Wall memorial service record 1992
Box 19, Folder 5
Frances MacGregor Wall photo stationery unknown
Box 19, Folder 6
Frances MacGregor Wall's "Deadwood, SD" bookmark unknown
Box 19, Folder 7
Lilesville 4-H booklet 1947
Box 19, Folder 8
Wood-covered Guest Log unknown
Box 19, Folder 9
The Morven Highschool Pioneer yearbook 1923
Box 20, Folder 1
Websters Academic Dictionary 1929
Box 20, Folder 2
Handbook of Early American Pressed Glass Patterns by Ruth Webb Lee 1936
Box 20, Folder 3
Songs for Courage by Grace Noll Crowell 1938
Box 20, Folder 4
My Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 1939
Box 20, Folder 5
Verses I Like 1939
Box 21, Folder 1
A Southern Garden by Elizabeth Lawerence 1942
Box 21, Folder 2
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran 1943
Box 21, Folder 3
When We're Green We Grow by Jane Simpson McKimmon 1945
Box 21, Folder 4
Lilesville Echoes yearbook 1946-1947
Box 21, Folder 5
Morven Highschool Yearbook 1947
Box 22, Folder 1
Wadesboro Telephone Directory 1952
Box 22, Folder 2
Clover All Over by James W. Clark Jr. 1984
Box 22, Folder 3
Greensboro College Alumni Directory 1991
Box 22, Folder 4
You Might be a Redneck If... by Jeff Foxworthy 1992
Box 22, Folder 5
Booklet - These Blooming Climbers by l. Young Correthers Unknown
Box 22, Folder 6
The Favorite Recipes of the Cartoogechaye Home Demonstration Club Unknown
Box 22, Folder 7
News photo of Frances Smith MacGregor with school class 1920
Box 22, Folder 8
Oversized Printed Material, Magazine Clippings and Notes removed from Box 18 folder 16 and Box 20 folder 3 1930-1959
Flat file 1

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Wall Family Papers, MC 00329, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.