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Family--To Porter, 1905-1977 and undated


This subseries contains correspondence between Porter and family members, including blood relatives, her husbands and their families, and close friends of the family who wrote primarily about family matters. The materials are a rich source of not only biographical information on Porter and her family, but are a valuable window on Texas history from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Letters between Porter and Eugene Pressly also provide insight on western Europe in the years immediately preceding World War II.

The letters include those exchanged between Porter and her third cousin, Lily Cahill, including some long genealogical notes; Gertrude Beitel, Lily's sister; Virginia Cahill, mother of Lily and Gertrude; Albert Erskine, her husband from 1938 to 1942; A. R. Erskine, Albert Erskine's father; Nell Campbell, Albert's mother; Jane Gianotti, Albert's sister; Porter's sisters Mary Alice ("Baby") Hillendahl and Gay ("Sister") Porter Holloway; Anna Gay Holloway Heintze, her niece and Gay's daughter, along with her husband Walter and her sons Donald and David; Paul [Harrison Paul] Porter, Sr., her brother, with his wife Connie; Paul [Harrison Paul] Porter, Jr., her nephew and Paul Porter, Sr.'s son; Breckenridge Porter, Sr., her sister Mary Alice's son who was adopted by Paul Porter, Sr.; Harrison Boone Porter, her father; Leo Porter, her cousin; Newell and Ione Funchess Porter, her father's brother and sister-in-law; Eugene Pressly, her husband from 1933 to 1938; Elizabeth Pressly, his mother; and Suzanne Pressly, Eugene's sister. There is a single folder, titled Porter Family, containing letters that Porter addressed to her entire family.

The group also contains letters not written by family members that are retained here because they concern family members and contain important information about them. These correspondents include Alice Ford, who did a great deal of genealogical research on the Porter family in the 1970s; Cora Posey, a close friend of Porter's mother; Charles Kavanaugh, an old friend of Porter's brother Paul who wrote Porter with memories of him; and Sallie Crawford Willson, the daughter of Loula Andrews Crawford, who was a close childhood friend of Porter's mother. A letter from Oveida Woodward, a neighbor of Mary Alice Hillendahl, was written to Porter after her sister's death.

This subgroup originally contained numerous letters not addressed to Porter, some of which were included in other letters as enclosures; those materials were moved to the Family--To Others subseries.

Materials are arranged alphabetically by correspondent's last name.


  • 1905-1977 and undated

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public, non-circulating, and must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.


4.25 Linear Feet

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742