UAH Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives

Eleanor Hutchens Collection

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Eleanor Hutchens Collection


Eleanor Hutchens Collection


Eleanor Newman Hutchens (October 9, 1919 to November 9, 2016) attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, majoring in English and Greek. After receiving her B.A. in 1940, she attended the University of Pennsylvania, acquiring an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature (“Eleanor Hutchens - Obituary”).

Hutchens first held a part-time teaching position at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1955, then joined the faculty with a full-time position in 1957. She taught English, her specialties the English novel, literary criticism, and 18th century literature. Hutchens also chaired the steering committee “for its initial accreditation and the first committee for the selection of majors,” and served as the first elected president of the Faculty Senate. She moved to Agnes Scott College in 1961, remaining there until 1966. She eventually returned to UAH and remained a member of its English department until her retirement in 1979 (“Eleanor Hutchens - Obituary”).

Hutchens wrote prolifically over and after her career, publishing Irony in Tom Jones, Writing to Be Read, and “numerous articles in national and international journals” (“Eleanor Hutchens - Obituary”).

Hutchens was very active even outside of her academic career, serving as "president of the Huntsville Hotel Company, owner of the Russell [sic] Erskine Hotel, and as a director of the Huntsville Land Company, the West Huntsville Land Company, and the Mountain Heights Development Company.” She was "a founder and charter member of the board of Randolph School," a board member of the Huntsville Public Library and the Huntsville Symphony, and "an active member of the [Episcopalian] Church of Nativity.” Hutchens was also a member of "the Historic Huntsville Foundation, the Huntsville Historical Society, the Botanical Garden, the Burritt Museum of Art, the Huntsville Museum of Art, and the Friends of the Huntsville Public Library” (“Eleanor Hutchens - Obituary”).


“Eleanor Hutchens - Obituary.”, 3 Jan. 2019,

Collection Items

  • loc_hutc_001000_001010.pdf

    This appraisal contains the wholesale and retail value of various items in the property at 300 Williams Ave. SE, Huntsville, Alabama in August 1970. Various items belong to Eleanor N. Hutchens, Ellen W. Newman, Margaret H. Henson, Margaret N. Hutchens, Susie N. Hutchens, and William W. Newman. The appraisal also contains images of the rooms appraised in the estate that show the corresponding items within. The appraisal is signed by Susie N. Hutchens and Margaret N. Hutchens along with the appraiser, A. L. Compton.
  • loc_hutc_000225_000226.pdf

    Will writes to Ellen about his trip to Canada. He includes various activities and details of the weather.
  • loc_hutc_000223_000224.pdf

    This letter marked "confidential read and burn," this letter is in response to a telegram sent earlier by William P. Newman. Garth states that he promised to appoint "Jno". He further writes that when "Jno" is notified of this, Newman is to say nothing as Garth does not with anyone to know he had anything to do with it. He writes that the only chance he has of defeating Moore in the convention is a "solid vote of Madison, Jackson, and Morgan." He concludes by stating that he wanted "simply to ask you" to help him obtain this "solid vote in Madison" and to put in a good word for him in Jackson as well. He reitterates that the letter is confidential and should be burned.
  • loc_hutc_000222_000222.pdf

    Pictured is an illustration of an airplane flying over the Tennesee Valley. Sponsored By The Huntsville Salesman's Club. Via Air Mail. L.G. Collier Postmaster Chamber of Commerce
  • loc_hutc_000218_000221.pdf

    Written on Phoenix Assurance Co., Ltd. letterhead, these pages contain handwritten notes and calculations by W. W. Newman that begin in the 1890s and runs through 1903.
  • loc_hutc_000206_000217.pdf

    Most likely William Wyeth Newman, these various checks are signed by W. W. Newman from the W. R. Rison Banking Company to various recipients.
  • loc_hutc_000204_000205.pdf

    Written on Wheeler Construction Company (Vicksburg, Canton and Yazoo City Rail Road.) letterhead, this letter addressed to "Gentlemen" is badly burnt and difficult to discern the subject matter. It appears to have been signed by Crawden & Newman of Huntsville, Alabama. The back contains a handwritten note that reads, "Papers relating to Richmond Steele Matters."
  • loc_hutc_000193_000203.pdf

    This envelope contained various receipts and handwritten calculations and notes pertaining to the building and assessment of the new street proposed by William Thomas Hutchens. Receipts include totals for paving the streets of Monroe and West Clinton, and the assessment notices of the completed streets.
  • loc_hutc_000191_000192.pdf

    Brandon, contractor and builder, writes to Hutchens about a petition to be signed by the people in the neighborhood that will allow a water pipe to stretch to the end of Conley Street. The letter includes an illustration of the proposal.
  • loc_hutc_000187_000190.pdf

    This letter details a compromise regarding the railroad and buildings on the ground deeded to the railroad. The author states that this will not affect Benedict's purchase price. It also includes information regarding the Coxe Estate. The memo included from the Report of Railroad Officials further details the available lots and those that belong to the railroad and the Coxe Estate.
  • loc_hutc_000185_000186.pdf

    This document shows a hand-drawn layout for the Hutchens Company. Drawn on the back of The Hutchens Company letterhead.
  • loc_hutc_000183_000184.pdf

    This official agreement states that Laura M. Powell will pay 6.5 percent interest instead of 8 on her note of June 14, 1920, to be due on December 14, 1929. Written on The First National Bank in Huntsville, Alabama letterhead.
  • loc_hutc_000180_000182.pdf

    This letter from W. E. Hodges discusses his current health stating that the doctor said it would be a "long time" before he is able to work all day again. He asks for any old clothes that Hutchens and his family no longer need and he will be glad to get them.
  • loc_hutc_000177_000179.pdf

    This letter from W. E. Hodges details current happenings in cousin Hodges life. He requests coats and pants and writes that he "will glad get them." Hodges ends by stating he will be 70 years old the next year.
  • loc_hutc_000176_000176.pdf

    This brief notice states that the firm of Hutchens and Montgomery is dissoved by "mutual consent." It is signed by William Thomas Hutchens and J. E. Montgomery.
  • loc_hutc_000167_000175.pdf

    Dr. Wyeth writes to a "friend" about working, asks about Sam Russell and requests that the enclosed letter is given to him. He also asks for any information about Meck Robinson. The recipient, possibly W. P. Newman, responds that he gave the letter to Russell. He discusses their friendship and thanks Wyeth for the "Expressions of friendly, sweet, and tender miracles" for his family. He also discusses working and life struggles, calling the world "cold." The author shares various verses and personal information through his lengthy letter. The seventh and final page is missing the bottom part. The back of the final page includes a drawing, presumably by a child, and a handwritten note.
  • loc_hutc_000163_000164.pdf

    This newspaper clipping contains the obituary for Mary Elizabeth Newman, wife of Dr. Francis H. Newman and great-grandmother of Eleanor Hutchens. Includes the scan of the reverse side of the newspaper clipping.
  • loc_hutc_000159_000162_000165_000166.pdf

    Gleason writes to Newman about the letters from Mrs. Pitcher, asking if she could borrow them. She also mentions her brother, Robert, and his health. Gleason attaches a copy of a notice of land for sale in the letter that was taken from the Washington Intelligencer a few years earlier. The notice of land for sale details a tract of land "being in the whole about one thousand acres," called Benfield located in Charles County, Maryland by private contract. This document gives insight into land value in the area, as well as the neighborhood and house that sits on the land. The end of the document includes the next three owners that the land was sold to in 1817, 1835, and 1935.
  • loc_hutc_000157_000158.pdf

    This envelope has "old family papers" written on the front as well as multiple stamps. The back includes three stamps from Huntsville, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia.
  • loc_hutc_000156_000156.pdf

    This letter states that Baxter Brothers will furnish the material and labor for the construction of the Hutchens' building for $23,000.00.
  • loc_hutc_000152_000155.pdf

    This letter to Senator Hundley discusses Hutchens' thoughts of Hundley's political actions and also tells Hundley that the board unanimously agreed to request Hundley to have the part of their new charter.
  • loc_hutc_000147_000151.pdf

    This contract outlines the purchase and installation of automatic sprinklers for the sum of $1,674.00. The contract outlines the agreement of how the Huntsville Ware-House Co. will pay after the installation and the promises made by Hutchens & Murdock of products and techniques used. These scans include the handwritten notes on the backs of each page.
  • loc_hutc_000146_000146.pdf

    This paper acknowledges Hutchens' payment to J. E. Montgomery for "his interest in said firm." Hutchens paid $70.17.
  • loc_hutc_000144_000145.pdf

    Written on Hutchens & Erwin letterhead, this notice announces the partnership of William Thomas Hutchens and Andrew J. Murdock in the forming of Hutchens & Murdock to "carry on the business of plumbing, gas, and steam pipe fitting." Hutchens previously partnered with Dr. Erwin in his plumbing business.
  • loc_hutc_000143_000143.pdf

    This notice by William Thomas Hutchens written on stationary from the office of the Postmaster describes the dissolving of Hutchens & Murdock due to the "ill health" of Andrew J. Murdock and the recommendation of his physician to "seek a new climate."
  • loc_hutc_000139_000142.pdf

    These documents list the real estate owned by William Thomas Hutchens and Andrew J. Murdock, a list of stocks and bonds, and a contract between Hutchens and Hutchens & Murdock to lease two lower floors, basement, and grounds of a building owned by Hutchens & Murdock for the price of $40.00 per month.
  • loc_hutc_000136_000138.pdf

    This document states that William Thomas Hutchens paid Andrew J. Murdock $4,702.22 for Murdock's half interest in the pluming and heating business. Attached is the insurance agreement of the property of Hutchens & Murdock and the payment agreement for the insurance.
  • loc_hutc_000133_000135.pdf

    Willmore writes that he had lived with grandmother Casey who left a will and mortgaged property to him. He states that he will "make it right with you" if Hutchens investigates and helps him get his estate left to him.
  • loc_hutc_000131_000132.pdf

    This note outlines the procedure that would occur following the payment of all debts against the firm of Hutchens & Murdock.
  • loc_hutc_000111_000130.pdf

    This agreement outlines the debt of Hutchens & Murdock for personal property as described in Schedule A of the document for $1,750.00. Hutchens & Murdock agrees to pay $500.00 in cash and the rest of the debt in "five equal half yearly installments, with interest." Following the written agreement there are pages of inventory of the personal property sold to Hutchens & Murdock.
  • loc_hutc_000109_000110.pdf

    Hutchens & Murdock agrees in the original text to pay $161.73. The text that is written on top of the original states that Plummer had received $25.04 in full payment. Various other illegible notes remain.
  • loc_hutc_000107_000108.pdf

    This document details the settlement of the estate of J. B. Parker. The back has calculations of amount owed to Hutchens & Murdock by Plummer.
  • loc_hutc_000106_000106.pdf

    This written receipt acknowledges payment by Hutchens & Murdock for a purchase for the plumbing shop from Huntsville Gas Light Company.
  • loc_hutc_000101_000105.pdf

    This document contains an illustration of the proposed new street and a written proposal of its location and purpose.
  • loc_hutc_000087_000100.pdf

    This agreement outlines the debt of Hutchens & Murdock of twelve hundred and fifty dollars. The agreement outlines the promise to pay $250.00 every six months until the debt is payed off. The agreement also includes the inventory of Hutchens & Murdocks's personal property at two locations that would be held in mortgage until the debt is paid in full. Following the agreement, handwritten lists detail the personal inventory of two locations: the plumbing shop of Hutchens & Murdock "opposite Easley's Hotel and their plubming shop on W. Clinton Street. The final page shows three of the five promisory notes for the debt to be paid in increments of $250.00.
  • loc_hutc_000085_000086.pdf

    This document contains illustrations of the proposed lot and a rough elevation drawing of the workhouse at platform 8 for the Hutchens Sales Company.
  • loc_hutc_000077_000084.pdf

    These handwritten documents contain the plans and proposal for a new street that would be known as West Arm Street. The documents also include illustrations of the proposed street layout and dimensions.
  • loc_hutc_000074_000076.pdf

    This illustration shows the plans for the Mill Street sewer line.
  • loc_hutc_000072_000073.pdf

    This handdrawn illustration shows the layout of the Hutchens Sales Company in Huntsville, Alabama. The Hutchens Company was founded by William Thomas Hutchens in 1886 and is still in existance today as one of the oldest companies in the city.
  • loc_hutc_000070_000071.pdf

    This invoice outlines the items purchased by William Thomas Hutchens, interest on the items, principal, and total balance. The invoice runs from 1926 to 1933. The back includes various handwritten items.

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