History and Genealogy


The Foster-Woods Papers are divided into two series: Foster family papers (Series 1) and Woods family papers (Series 2). Although the families intermarried, the papers have been divided for ease of understanding. Correspondence makes up the largest part of the papers, but accounts, land records, legal documents, and sketches are also included. The Foster family series includes letters of Ephraim H. Foster, prominent in Tennessee politics in the 1830s and 1840s and one of the founders of the Whig Party in Tennessee. The papers also include letters written by the children of Ephraim H. and Jane Dickinson Foster, particularly Robert III, John D., Julia, and Sallie. The double connection between the Foster and Woods families comes in the marriages of Robert Coleman Foster IV to Julia Hannah Woods and Joseph Leonidas Woods to Francis (Fanny) M. Foster (see attached family charts). Julia and Joseph Leonidas Woods were children of Robert Woods and Sarah West, thus connecting the West family. Julia eventually became the owner of her parent’s home, “Westwood.” Featured in the Woods family series are letters of Julia’s brother, James A. Woods, to his father, Robert Woods. There are also items in the papers relating to painter William E. West, brother of Sarah West Woods, and to Charles Armistead and his wife, Mary Robina Woods.


Samuel A. Champion was a lawyer in Paris, Tenn. and a Tennessee State Senator, 1883-1884. This collection includes business letters and postcards. Correspondents include W.H. Cherry, Charles M. Ewing, W.B. Grizzard, James M. Head, W.E. Reigh, A. Rosecrans, F.M. Thompson, A.G. Travistree, John M. Taylor, John R. Thomason, W.L. Utley, John J. Vertrees, R.A. Wade, William H. Washington, and L.R. Willis.


The papers of the Butler family of Sumner County, Tenn., contain approximately 90 items and cover the period 1834-1949. Most of the papers are land records and receipts related to the life of William F. Butler (1855-1926), a resident of Fountain Head, Sumner County, Tennessee, and his wife Fannie A. Pond Butler. Also included are the following: (1) accounts documents regarding Federal government promises to pay for corn, etc., appropriated during the Civil War (1862-63) that are made out to Oliver Porter Butler (1818-1875), father of William F. Butler and a merchant and farmer of Fountain Head; (2) various land records of Sumner County, many concerning the Fountain Head / Myers Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church South; (3) various receipts; and, (4) genealogical data. The genealogical data includes: photocopies of the will of Aaron Butler (ca. 1782-1848), a pioneer settler in Sumner County; a biographical sketch (source unknown) of his son, Oliver Porter Butler; records of 2 Butler family Bibles (7 pages); and a typed pedigree chart of William F. Butler.


This collection consists of ca. 150 Biographical Questionnaires sent to prominent Tennesseans around 1920 by the State Librarian and Archivist, John Trotwood Moore. These questionnaires were returned by 1922. The questionnaires contain information on place and date of birth, ancestry, education, profession, official positions, political and religious affiliations, organizational memberships, publications, names of spouses and children, and military service.


The Anne Porterfield Rankin Papers, numbering approximately 2000 items, is composed largely of manuscripts of Mrs. Rankin’s writings, newspaper clippings, and personal letters. There are also some business letters, poems, rough drafts of manuscripts, and published articles in the papers. The bulk of the material falls within the period 1910-1930, but the inclusive dates range from 1887-1941. The materials are arranged alphabetically by series, e.g., Articles and Statements, Checks and Bills, Correspondence. Following the container list, there is located a list of the manuscripts of Mrs. Rankin as well as a partial listing of newspaper articles that may be found in the papers.


The Andrew Jackson Papers, approximately 1,500 items (originals, photostats, and photocopies) dating from 1788 to 1942, are composed of correspondence; legal documents; clippings; documents about the Dickinson duel; articles about Andrew Jackson; biographical data concerning Andrew Jackson; biographical data concerning Ralph Earl (portrait painter); John H. Eaton's manuscript life of Jackson in French; script for radio programs on Jackson; Jackson's scrapbook; war records including orders, muster rolls, orderly book (Company H, 4th U. S. Infantry, 1820-1821), and Quartermaster Account Book of William B. Lewis, 1812-1814; copy of John Donelson's Journal while aboard the ship "Adventure;" Donelson children's homemade arithmetic book; wills; photographs; sketches about Rachel Jackson; military papers of Andrew Jackson III; and some papers of Andrew Jackson, Jr.


The L.C. Tiller Piano Company Papers, containing .5 cubic feet of material, 1 oversized box and 41 volumes, span the period 1919 through 1967, although the bulk of the material is concentrated between 1929 through 1967. The collection is composed of agreements, certificates, correspondence, financial statements, income tax returns, photographs, printed materials and account and payment books. There is very little correspondence or other loose papers in the collection.


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