University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Morris Allen Smith collection, 1917-1936, 1968



Creator Smith, Morris Allen
Title: Morris Allen Smith collection
Dates: 1917-1936, 1968
Dates (Bulk): 1918,
Abstract: The bulk of the Morris Allen Smith collection is comprised of letters Smith wrote to his wife, Purity, between 1917 and 1919, while he was serving in the military during World War I. The rest of the collection consists of a small amount of correspondence from Purity to Morris, in addition to some third party letters, newspaper articles, photographs, and legal documents pertaining to Smith's time in the military. There is also a bound volume of typed transcription titled "Always Yours, Daddy: The World War I Letters of Morris Allen Smith to his Bride, Purity Cornelia Brock," which includes all correspondence included in the collection, as well as scanned images of documents from the Smith family.
Identification: camh-arc-004046
Extent: 10 inches
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Biographical Note

Morris Allen Smith was born in Bluff Springs, Texas, on September 22, 1889. He was the oldest of seven children. His family moved to Los Angeles, California, for a brief period so Smith's father could operate a photography studio he inherited. But most of his young life was spent on a farm, which Smith took over when his father passed away in 1911.

Purity Cornelia Brock was born on July 31, 1891, in Travis County, Texas. She was the eldest child in her family and was the first to attend school, where she attained a certificate in stenography. She would go on to work at the University of Texas at Austin. While there, her father murdered his mistress and was hung as punishment. Purity left Austin for a short time to avoid embarrassment but moved back and met Morris. The two married on October 13, 1917.

Within two months of marriage, Smith was sent off to aid in the war effort. He served in the American Expeditionary Forces until he was discharged on July 3, 1919. Smith and Purity would go on to have three daughters, Kathy, Ruby, and Billie, as well as one son named John, called "Jack." Smith died in 1935.


Content Description

The bulk of the Morris Allen Smith collection is comprised of letters Smith wrote to his wife, Purity, between 1917 and 1919, while he was serving in the military during World War I. The rest of the collection consists of a small amount of correspondence from Purity to Morris, in addition to some third party letters, newspaper articles, photographs, and legal documents pertaining to Morris' time in the military. There is also a bound volume of typed transcription titled "Always Yours, Daddy: The World War I Letters of Morris Allen Smith to his Bride, Purity Cornelia Brock," which includes all correspondence included in the collection, as well as scanned images of documents from the Smith family.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Personal Names
Smith, Morris Allen
Smith, Purity Cornelia Brock, 1891-
Subjects
World War (1939-1945)
Places
Texas

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Morris Allen Smith Collection, 1917-1936, and 1968 (bulk 1918), Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Amanda Reyes, August 2018.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Inventory 1917-1936

box
2018-093/1 Correspondence from Morris Smith to Purity Smith
December 1917 - November 19189
box
2018-093/2 January 1919 - June 1919
1935
1920
Correspondence from Morris Smith to his family 1935
Postcards from Morris Smith to Purity Smith 1918
Correspondence from Purity Smith to Morris Smith 1935
Correspondence from Arthur Hale to Purity Smith 1936
Third party correspondence, shopping list, and receipt
Morris A. Smith newspaper articles
Military certificates, paperwork and correspondence 1917-1935
Portraits of Purity Smith
"Always Yours, Daddy: The World War I Letters of Morris Allen Smith to his Bride, Purity Cornelia Brock," transcribed and written by Mary Jo Stark