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Ann Byrne Haile letters

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2022-0018

Content Description

Anna Sue Byrne Haile was born in 1921 to John (1886-1955) and Hattie Louanne Tittle Byrne (1887-1996). She had two brothers, John Marvin (1919-deceased), and Herman Tittle (1929-2017), and six sisters, Carrie Etoile Byrne Bartlett (1908-2000), Willie Franklin (1910-1994), Mattie Mae (Mai) Byrne Carr (1911-2002), Ada Frances Byrne Hensley (1913-1934), Marye Lee Byrne Jennings (1915-1980), and Floy Minnie Byrne Wooten (1917-2001). In this accession, the letters from her sweetheart, Herbert Morris Haile, Jr. (1919-1994), begin in 1939 around when she was still at Gallatin High School, and they continue through her time at Austin Peay Normal School, a two-year junior college and teacher-training institution. In January 1939, Morris writes about teaching students, and in February 1940, he writes about preparing eighth grade students for their standardized exams, so before his work in the United States Navy during World War II, he was likely a teacher at one of the Nashville middle schools. In a letter from March 1940, his return address is listed as 415 25th Avenue S, Nashville, Tennessee, which is right around the modern-day center of Vanderbilt University’s campus. In November 1940, he mentions attending an alumnus banquet a David Lipscomb college and mentions attending there around 1937 in a letter from December 1941. There are also greeting cards and personal letters to and from family and friends, and there is a self-made scrapbook consisting of newspaper clippings and personal, handwritten notes. A couple letters from December 1941 and May 1942 are from Bill Fergusson, likely a family friend, he refers to her as “Skipper” and describes his life as part of the United States Army Air Corps based in Selma, Alabama. Morris wrote to Ann often during his time in the United States Navy. The first talk of marriage occurs in a letter from Morris in early May 1942 where he proposes. In the next letter, late May 1942, it is likely that Ann was reluctant to give him an answer, as he agrees that it is a difficult decision and agrees to her request for an in-person talk. Their marriage ceremony was on September 16, 1942. The letters begin again in 1944 after the birth of their child, Harriet. These are mainly from friends and family inquiring about the new baby and the new family. The letters from 1945 are mostly more correspondence from Morris while he was away serving in the Navy. Any letters dated after 1945 are from friends of Anna Byrne Haile. The Anna Sue Byrne Haile letters date from 1937-1950, with the bulk of the letters dating from 1942-1945. The letters are personal correspondence to Ann from Morris, and mail to Ann from family and friends. It shows the evolution of their relationship from sweethearts, to fiancés, to a married couple with a child. There is also the material to infer Ann’s own initial reluctance to commit to marriage to Morris. The records are arranged in two series: Series I: Letters and Series II: Scrapbook. The letters are batched into three sections (Batch 1-3) according to the way they arrived. Batch 1 was in a Box, Batch 2 was tied, and Batch 3 was in a v-mail envelope. The reasoning for the batches is unknown. The files are arranged chronologically within series.

Acquisition Type



These materials were donated by Michael "Birdie" Birdwell. Upon arrival, there was already records related to the Hailes and Byrnes on premise. It is unknown if they were also donated by Birdwell.

Language of Description


Script of Description


Restrictions Apply



  • 1937 - 1950



1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Series I: Letters, Batch 1, June 1937-March 1950 Box 1/Folders 1-13, Box 2/Folder 1-6, Box 3/Folder 1-2 Series I: Letters, Batch 2, March 1945-July 1945 Box 2/Folders 7-11, Box 3/Folder 3 Series I: Letters, Batch 3: July 1943 January-1945 July, undated Series II: Scrapbook, circa 1930 Box 3