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Collection Number: 04753

Collection Title: Louisa Reid Wilcox Papers, 1917-1945

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 2.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 480 items)
Abstract Louisa Reid Wilcox received an A.B. degree from Queens College, Charlotte, N.C., in 1917 and a B.A. (1917) and M.A. (1921) from the University of North Carolina. While pursuing the M.A., Louisa was a leader in the successful fight to fund a women's dormitory at the University. In 1923, Louisa married James S. Wilcox of Charlotte, vice-president and treasurer of Johnson Mills, and became a community leader in Charlotte. Marion Wilcox of Charlotte, N.C., was the sister of James S. Wilcox. She was a Presbyterian missionary in Jiangyin, China, 1924-1942, providing care for poor and orphaned young girls at the Jiangyin mission, teaching literacy courses across the countryside, and providing other services. She moved back to Charlotte, N.C., in 1942, but may have returned to China after World War II. Anna Boyce Lineberger of Belmont, N.C., was a pilot, a Presbyterian, and a donor to the Jiangyin mission. She was the wife of Joseph William Lineberger, a prominant figure in North Carolina's textile industry and an alumnus of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The Lineberger family formed a foundation in 1944 that dispensed many gifts to the University's medical school and libraries. The collection contains correspondence, 1917-1919, between Louisa Reid Wilcox (then Louisa Reid) and her future husband James S. Wilcox. Letters from Louisa chiefly document her activities as a co-ed at the University of North Carolina and discuss classes and exams; relations with other students, male and female; participation in social and sporting events; observations on training activities during World War I; and many other topics relating to general campus life. Early letters from James discuss daily life in Charlotte, N.C. In July 1919, James joined the United States Army and included among this correspondence is his Order of Induction. Later letters document his service as a clerical worker at the Debarkation Hospital in Virginia, as well as his attempts at discharge, which were finally successful in April 1920. Correspondence also documents the growing friendship and romance between Louisa and James, who often sent her candy and other gifts. Also included are several papers Louisa wrote for English classes; Louisa's diaries, one of which documents a trip to England; and photocopies of biographical materials. The Addition of November 2012 is comprised of letters to Anna Boyce Lineberger in Belmont, N.C., chiefly from Marion Wilcox. The letters document Wilcox's experience as a missionary, including her relationship with the residents of Jiangyin, China; individual conversion narratives; and literacy education for Bible study. There are also a few handwritten letters to Anna Boyce Lineberger from Chinese medical student Harriet Chen, thanking Lineberger for checks and discussing school and personal life in Jiangyin, and Shanghai, China. There are also a few letters from Presbyterian minister missionary William M. Miller, who was based in Tehran, Iran; his letters chiefly relate to his travels, both by sea to the United States and Asia and overland within Iran and the Middle East, undertaken during the course of his missionary work. The letters provide Miller's detailed observations of the people and cultures he encountered.
Creator Wilcox, Louisa Reid, 1898-1945.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Louisa Reid Wilcox Papers #4753, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Benson R. Wilcox of Chapel Hill, N.C., in 1990 (Acc. 95058), 2007 (Acc. 100707), and April 2007 (Acc. 101574).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Louisa Reid Wilcox was born 15 May 1898 in Gastonia, N.C., the daughter of James Pressley and Cynthia Louisa Kirkpatrick Reid. She received an A.B. degree from Queens College, Charlotte, N.C., in 1917 and a B.A. (1918) and M.A. (1921) from the University of North Carolina. While pursuing the M.A., Louisa was a leader in the successful fight to fund a women's dormitory at the University. Louisa taught at Peace Institute in Raleigh, N.C., 1919-1920, then worked as a substitute teacher at Chapel Hill High School until 1922, when she went to Oxford, England, and the Sorbonne in Paris to continue her studies.

In 1923, Louisa married James S. Wilcox of Charlotte, N.C., vice-president and treasurer of Johnson Mills. The couple had three sons: James Simpson Wilcox, Jr.; Robert Pressley Wilcox; and Benson Reid Wilcox, who became chair of the Surgery Department at the University of North Carolina Medical School. After her marriage, Louisa became a community leader, active in church and civic affairs, especially as a founder of the Charlotte Little Theater. She died in 1945.

Marion Wilcox of Charlotte, N.C., was the sister of James S. Wilcox. She was a Presbyterian missionary in Jiangyin, China, 1924-1942, providing care for poor and orphaned young girls at the Jiangyin mission, teaching literacy courses across the countryside; and providing other services. She moved back to Charlotte, N.C., in 1942, but may have returned to China after World War II. Anna Boyce Lineberger of Belmont, N.C., was a pilot, a Presbyterian, and a donor to the Jiangyin mission. She was the wife of Joseph William Lineberger, a prominant figure in North Carolina's textile industry and an alumnus of University of North Carolina. The Lineberger family formed a foundation in 1944 that dispensed many gifts to the University's medical school and libraries.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Correspondence, 1917-1920, is chiefly between Louisa Reid Wilcox (then Louisa Reid) and her future husband, James S. Wilcox. Early letters are from Louisa at home in Gastonia, N.C. Beginning in September 1917, most letters are from Louisa at school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. In her first letter from Chapel Hill, dated 24 September 1917, Louisa wrote, "Really, I never have seen so many boys in my life." Subsequent letters detail Louisa's activities, 1917-1919, as a co-ed at the University. Letters discuss Louisa's classes and exams; relations with other students, male and female; participation in social and sporting events; observations on training activities during World War I; and many other topics relating to general campus life. Early letters from James discuss daily life in Charlotte, N.C., where he was vice-president and treasurer of Johnson Mills. In July 1919, James joined the United States Army and included among this correspondence is his Order of Induction. Later letters document his service as a clerical worker at the Debarkation Hospital in Virginia, as well as his attempts at dischargement, which were finally successful in April 1920. The correspondence also documents the growing friendship and romance between Louisa and James, who often sent her candy and other gifts. Also included are paper and electronic transcriptions of Louisa's diaries, 1922-1945. The 1922-1923 diary documents a trip to England, while the later volumes include brief entries about daily affairs. There are also several papers Louisa wrote for English classes and copies (handwritten and typed transcription) of a play about Flora MacDonald that Louisa appears to have written and presented as a final project (see letters beginning on 14 April 1919). There are also a few biographical materials, including photocopies of information about Louisa from the alumni office at the University of North Carolina and photocopies of clippings relating to the Wilcox's marriage in 1923 and Louisa's death in 1945.

The Addition of November 2012 contains letters to Anna Boyce Lineberger in Belmont, N.C., from Marion Wilcox, written while she was a missionary in Jiangyin, China. There are a few letters written from small neighboring villages and a few letters from Shanghai, China. The letters document Wilcox's experience as a missionary, including her relationship with the residents of Jiangyin, China; individual conversion narratives; and literacy education for Bible study, including learning and teaching a phonetic character system in 1940. The letters often thank Lineberger for sending checks, which were possibly intended to assist Harriet Chen, a young Chinese woman pursuing a medical education in Shanghai. There are only passing references to political matters, but a letter of 7 December 1945, written from Charlotte, N.C., indicates that Wilcox left China for the United States in June 1942, with plans to return post-World War II. There are also a few handwritten letters to Anna Boyce Lineberger from Harriet Chen, thanking Lineberger for checks and discussing school and personal life in Jiangyin and Shanghai. There are a few letters from Reverend William M. Miller, apparently retyped and distributed by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, New York, N.Y. Miller was a missionary based in Tehran, Iran; his letters chiefly relate to his travels, both by sea to the United States and Asia and overland within Iran and the Middle East, undertaken during the course of his missionary work. The letters provide Miller's detailed observations of the people and cultures he encountered. A letter of 12 October 1943 briefly discusses the impact of World War II on Iran.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Original Deposits, 1917-1945.

About 450 items.

Correspondence, 1917-1920, is chiefly between Louisa Reid Wilcox (then Louisa Reid) and her future husband, James S. Wilcox. Early letters are from Louisa at home in Gastonia, N.C. Beginning in September 1917, most letters are from Louisa at school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. In her first letter from Chapel Hill, dated 24 September 1917, Louisa wrote, "Really, I never have seen so many boys in my life." Subsequent letters detail Louisa's activities, 1917-1919, as a co-ed at the University. Letters discuss Louisa's classes and exams; relations with other students, male and female; participation in social and sporting events; observations on training activities during World War I; and many other topics relating to general campus life. Early letters from James discuss daily life in Charlotte, N.C., where he was vice-president and treasurer of Johnson Mills. In July 1919, James joined the United States Army and included among this correspondence is his Order of Induction. Later letters document his service as a clerical worker at the Debarkation Hospital in Virginia, as well as his attempts at dischargement, which were finally successful in April 1920. The correspondence also documents the growing friendship and romance between Louisa and James, who often sent her candy and other gifts. Also included are paper and electronic transcriptions of Louisa's diaries, 1922-1945. The 1922-1923 diary documents a trip to England, while the later volumes include brief entries about daily affairs. There are also several papers Louisa wrote for English classes and copies (handwritten and typed transcription) of a play about Flora MacDonald that Louisa appears to have written and presented as a final project (see letters beginning on 14 April 1919). There are also a few biographical materials, including photocopies of information about Louisa from the alumni office at the University of North Carolina and photocopies of clippings relating to the Wilcox's marriage in 1923 and Louisa's death in 1945.

Folder 1-3

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Correspondence, 1917 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 1-3

Folder 4-6

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Correspondence, 1918 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 4-6

Folder 7-10

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Correspondence, 1919 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 7-10

Folder 11-14

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Correspondence, 1920 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 11-14

Folder 15-16

Folder 15

Folder 16

Diary, 1922-1923 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 15-16

Transcription included.

Folder 17-18

Folder 17

Folder 18

Diary, 1923-1928 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 17-18

Transcription included.

Folder 19-20

Folder 19

Folder 20

Diary, 1929-1933 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 19-20

Transcription included for 1933.

Folder 21-22

Folder 21

Folder 22

Diary, 1933-1938 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 21-22

Transcription included for 1934-1938.

Folder 23

Diary, 1938-1943 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 23

Folder 24

Diary, 1943-1945 #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 24

Folder 25-26

Folder 25

Folder 26

School work #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 25-26

Folder 27

Biographical materials #04753, Series: "Original Deposits, 1917-1945." Folder 27

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Addition of April 2007: Letters from Marion Wilcox to Anna Boyce Lineberger and Related Materials, 1938-1945 (Acc. 1015574).

About 30 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

Letters to Anna Boyce Lineberger in Belmont, N.C., from Marion Wilcox while she was a Presbyterian missionary in Jiangyin, China. There are a few letters written from small neighboring villages and a few letters from Shanghai, a city that Wilcox's letter of 19 April 1939 describes as "a bit of everywhere [but] certainly not the choice bit of anywhere." The letters document Wilcox's experience as a missionary, including her relationship with the residents of Jiangyin, China; individual conversion narratives; and literacy education for Bible study, including learning and teaching a phonetic character system in 1940. The letters often thank Lineberger for sending checks, which were possibly intended to assist Harriet Chen, a young Chinese woman pursuing a medical education in Shanghai. There are only passing references to political matters, but a letter of 7 December 1945, written from Charlotte, N.C., indicates that Wilcox left China for the United States in June 1942, with plans to return post-World War II. There are also a few handwritten letters to Anna Boyce Lineberger from Harriet Chen, thanking Lineberger for checks and discussing school and personal life in Jiangyin and Shanghai.

Alsoincluded are a few letters from Reverend William M. Miller, apparently retyped and distributed by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, New York, N.Y. Miller was a missionary based in Tehran, Iran; his letters chiefly relate to his travels, both by sea to the United States and Asia and overland within Iran and the Middle East, undertaken during the course of his missionary work. The letters provide Miller's detailed observations of the people and cultures he encountered. A letter of 12 October 1943 briefly discusses the impact of World War II on Iran.

Folder 28

Letters and related materials, 1938-1945 #04753, Series: "Addition of April 2007: Letters from Marion Wilcox to Anna Boyce Lineberger and Related Materials, 1938-1945 (Acc. 1015574)." Folder 28

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include a floppy disk (FD-4753/1) with electronic transcriptions of Louisa Reid Wilcox's diaries, 1923-1945.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 1995; Amy Roberson, April 2008; and Jessica Sedgwick, June 2008

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, January 2007; Amy Roberson, April 2008; and Jessica Sedgwick, June 2008

The Addition of 2007 has been incorporated into the original deposit.

Updated because of addition by Sara Mannheimer, November 2012

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