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Eula Mae Massey collection

 Collection
Identifier: Mss.Coll.001

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of letters written to Eula Mae Massey during the 1920s. Some of the letters reflect her time spent at Elon College as a student, as well as romantic relationships she had with various individuals. There is a small amount of printed material reflecting her time at Elon as music major. There is not a significant amount of information within this collection that offers biographical information of Eula Mae Massey.

The collection is arranged alphabetically into four series by type of material, and then chronologically within each series except the Printed Material series. Extensive in both variety of content and number of items, the Correspondence series is one of the most interesting. For example, in the letter Percy Elliott Lindley wrote to Eula Mae Massey on October 7, 1921 (from Branham and Hughes Military Academy in Spring Hill, TN) he writes, “Deed I can’t forget year before last either. In several ways that was the most outstanding year of my life. You know several of the reasons. Graduation, leaving Elon, being there, mother’s death, when you wrote so sweetly, and also the year of your companionship made it unlike anything I ever knew before” (1:1). The other letters contain similar language and writing style to the excerpt above. Each letter reflects a piece of time in Eula Mae Massey’s life and are examples of the romantic interests many men had for her.

The Pamphlet series offers a small glimpse into extra-curricular activities and events Eula Mae Massey was involved with and attended while at Elon in the early 1920s. Of particular interest, is a program titled “Elon College, North Carolina, Department of Music, Diploma Recital” in which Eula Mae Massey was one of the performers singing Mezzo-Soprano (2:1).

One of the smaller and less informative series is the Photographs. The negatives are primarily of unidentified people and places. There are a few negatives portraying a woman dressed in her graduation attire of a cap and gown (possibly Eula Mae Massey) (3:1). Located in the correspondence series, there is a letter from Eula Mae Massey’s good friend, Elise Caddell in which she describes a time when she and some “good looking boys” took a picnic trip to White Lake, NC (1:1). Included with the negatives and print photographs are some images of a group of males and females on a canoe in a lake. These images could be portraying the picnic trip to White Lake, which Ms. Caddell wrote about in her letter. Some photographs of interest include a group of German soldiers (WWI?), a football game on an open field (possibly Elon football), and bunk beds that could have been located in one of the dorms on Elon College’s campus during the 1920s (3:2).

Another small series contains Printed Materials. None of the items in this series relate directly to one another, therefore it is a miscellaneous collection of materials. Of particular interest is the original copy of a “Dean’s Permit”, which is signed by the Dean of Women, Mrs. Catherine L. Sturm, allowing Eula Mae Massey to go home to Mebane, NC for a couple of days. Additionally, there is a paper titled, A Case of Absolute Pitch, which is a love story that contains hand written musical notes and symbols throughout the text (could possibly be a story meant to go with music) (4:1).

Dates

  • 1921-1924

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the 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 of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical / Historical

This collection contains letters written to Eula Mae Massey from a variety of people. There is little to no information pertaining to the biography of Eula Mae Massey and the individuals who wrote to her frequently. However, other sources have been consulted in order to provide some biographical information about Eula Mae Massey, as well as the individuals who wrote to her.

The names that are frequently mentioned throughout this collection include: Joe C. Story, Luther Story [(Luke) (Joe C. Story's cousin)], Nelson Furr Richards, Elise Caddell, Percy Elliott Lindley (P.E.), Louise Massey, and Jordon McCormick (spellings may vary).

Eula Mae Massey was born in Youngsville, NC. According to the Social Security Death Index, she may have been born April 14, 1901 and passed away May 1, 1990. She had a sister by the name of Louise Massey, who wrote her a letter from Youngsville, NC on January 12, 1922 (1:3). Nothing else is known about her sister.

Ms. Massey attended Elon College from 1919-1922, when she graduated from the Department of Music. While attending Elon College, she was involved with many groups and organizations including: Psiphelian; Maroon and Gold Reporter (1920); Psiphelian Entertainment (1920); Class Historian (1921); Marshal Junior-Senior Debate (1921); Chapel Monitor (1922); College Choir (1919-1922); Marshal Lyceum Course (1922); Music Lovers' Club (1922); Glee Club (1920-21). Also, she received a Certificate of Voice in 1921.

Elise Caddell, a friend of Eula Mae, attended Elon College during the same years that Ms. Massey did, but graduated in 1923. More information about what groups and organizations Elise Caddell was involved with during her time at Elon can be found in the Phi Psi Cli yearbook (1916-1923).

Percy Elliott Lindley was a young man who wrote to Eula Mae Massey often, and his letters are found in the majority of this collection. Lindley was originally from Saxapahaw, NC. He attended Elon College from 1917 to 1921, when he graduated. While attending Elon, he was the president of the 1920 ministerial association. Additionally, he was the first editor of the Elon College student newspaper, the Maroon and Gold. After he graduated from Elon College, he attended the Branham and Hughes Military Academy in Spring Hill, TN, where he wrote most of his letters to Eula Mae. According to the Elon Alumni News 1953 publication, Lindley later became a professor of religious education and taught at High Point College in High Point, NC. He died suddenly of a heart ailment in October of 1952.

Another young man who frequently wrote to Eula Mae Massey was Nelson Furr Richards. He was originally from Winchester, VA and attended Elon from 1914-1918. While at Elon he was the assistant manager of the baseball team and was a ball "tosser" for the basketball team. After he graduated from Elon, Richards was an active member in the apple business. He wrote to Eula Mae from Winchester, VA, while he worked for the Northern Virginia Orchard Co., in which he was the Vice-President. In addition to being involved with the apple business, he was a lieutenant in the Air Corps on active duty overseas during World War I. According to the Elon Alumni News 1951 publication, he died January 27, 1951 in Roanoke, VA and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Currently, this is all the information that has been gathered relating to the biography of Eula Mae Massey, and the various people in her life during the 1920s.

Extent

.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

This collection consists primarily of letters written to Eula Mae Massey during the 1920s. Some of the letters reflect her time spent at Elon College as a student, as well as romantic relationships she had with various individuals. There is a small amount of printed material reflecting her time at Elon as music major. There is not a significant amount of information within this collection that offers biographical information of Eula Mae Massey.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by type of material into four series, then chronologically within each series, except for the printed material series. The series are: Correspondence; Pamphlets; Photographs; Printed Material.

Physical Location

The collection is located in Belk Library Archives Satellite Shelving at Elon University. Please contact the Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for further details about the location.

Gift or Purchase note

Gift. Please refer to the Correspondence Legal file for more information.

Accession Information

2005.02.1

Related Materials

Phi Psi Cli yearbook: 1916 pg. 123, 132, 168; 1917 pg. 75-76; 1920 pg. 86, 129; 1921 pg. 77, 81; 1922 pg. 37; 1923

The Elon Alumni Voice: August 1928 pg. 43; March 1951; January 1953

Processing Information

Processed by Katie Nash, October, 2005
Status
Completed
Author
Libby Coyner
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Belk Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Belk Library, Room 204
Campus Box 2550
Elon U.S.A. - North Carolina 27244