Baylor University Poage Library

Series Description

I. Correspondence, 1898-1963, 114 files

These 114 letters are mostly between Hatton Sumners, his sister Kate, and his mother. They are largely handwritten. While the earliest letter is dated 1898 from Hatton to his parents, the bulk of the letters are from 1911 to 1926 when Mrs. Hatton died. The letters document the routine daily events of an upper class southern household in correspondence with a family members who is a U.S. Congressman. There appears to have been an unusual bond between Hatton, his sister, and his mother as evidenced by the intimate greetings and salutations in these letters.

II. Personal, 31 files

This series represents a hodgepodge of items that Sumners saved. There are seventeen topical sub-series: Articles, Bank statements, Biography, Campaign card, Check to Sam Rayburn (photocopy), Franking envelope, Insurance policy, Invitations to speak, Itinerary, Loan note, Member Pass, Postcards, Southwestern Legal Center, Speeches, Tax receipts, Warranty deed, and Will. While each of these contain only one or a few items, collectively, they add pieces to the biographical story.

III. Photos, 23 files, 50 items

These fifty photographs represent the Sumners family as well as significant events in Congressman Sumners' life. There are a couple of early studio portraits taken before Sumners became a public figure, a couple of official congressional portraits, several special events photos, and numerous candid snapshots of relatives.

IV. Kate Sumners (Mrs. Willis J. Davis), 67 files

The majority of these papers are letters between Kate and Willis written while Willis is on the road or while Kate is visiting her parents in Dallas between 1917 and 1919. Following the death of Kate's father, her mother moved to Georgia to live with her. The next large segment of correspondence are sympathy cards and letters written to Kate following the death of Willis in Nov. 1963. In addition to letters, these papers contain the condolence pages from Willis" funeral, a lock of brown hair tied with red ribbon, letters dealing with the Legg family genealogy, 1894-1932, and Kate's class notes for Logic in 1905.