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Gregory Winters, Compiler, Papers of William Wayt Family of Marshall County

 Collection
Collection Number: A&M.3696

Scope and Contents

William Davenport Wayt (1846-1913) of Marshall County, West Virginia, was a country doctor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection, in six series, contains the papers of William Davenport Wayt (Series 1) and several of his descendants, including his son, William Blaine Wayt (1879-1956), a teacher and farmer (Series 2); his daughter, Jessie Logan Wayt (1888-1965), a teacher (Series 3); and his granddaughter, Margaret Wayt DeBolt (1931-2009), a journalist, author, and genealogist (Series 4), all of Marshall County. The twenty-two volumes of William Blaine Wayt's diaries form the bulk of this collection and document his life from his youth in the 1890s to his death in 1956, offering details of his family's daily activities and providing insight into the life of a rural West Virginia farmer and teacher during the first half of the 20th century. The collection also includes several files of notes and materials collected by Gregory Winters during his research on the Wayt family.

Much of the material in this collection has been scanned, though it is not available online. Electronic materials include pdf files of William Blaine Wayt's diaries (from Series 2, includes the complete set of 22 volumes, 1903-1956). Digital files also contain some of the materials from Series 4, including jpg files of Margaret Wayt DeBolt's Hillbilly columns on the Wayt family (1975-2001); jpg and pdf files of "Hill Cookin'"; columns (1990s); and some pdf files of the Hillbilly columns. A detailed inventory of the digital Hillbilly materials is available in the library. These digital files have been consolidated on DVDs in Series 6.

Series 1. William Davenport Wayt Papers, 1867-1913 is located in Box 1 and Box 2. This series contains photocopies of his daily diaries from 1905 to 1913. These short daily entries are usually no more than several sentences and chiefly describe Wayt's work on the farm, his duties as a country doctor, and the weather. Primary topics include the weather; Wayt's daily activities (visits with friends and neighbors, work on the farm and in the garden, the animals, church); food; health; his children's activities (church, school) and health; people coming for medicine; and his work as a doctor. Excerpts of the diaries have also been transcribed and published in Margaret Wayt DeBolt's Hillbilly column, "The Wayts of Millsboro." Most of these columns are also part of this collection; see Series 4.

Letters from 1867 to 1877 chiefly document William and Elizabeth's courtship and the early years of their marriage while he was in medical school in Cincinnati in 1871 and practicing medicine in Greggsville, West Virginia, in 1877. Subjects include their relationship; his medical school (students, classes, dissecting, expenses); his practice in Greggsville; and news of friends and family. Also contains one folder of miscellaneous papers from 1880 to 1913, including notes and a fire insurance policy.

Series 2. William Blaine Wayt Papers, 1897-1956 is located in Box 2-Box 5. The 22 volumes of his diaries have been scanned and are available in pdf format in the library (they are not available online); see Series 6. Excerpts of the diaries have also been transcribed and published in Margaret Wayt DeBolt's Hillbilly column, "The Wayts of Millsboro." Most of these columns are also part of this collection; see Series 4.

William Blaine Wayt's materials include original volumes of his diaries from 1892 to 1956; miscellaneous notes and post cards, 1907-1913; miscellaneous financial papers, 1902-1945; and literary and composition books, literary clippings, and other material related to his home and church life, including during World War II, from 1897 to 1943. Miscellaneous financial materials are primarily tax receipts and retirement papers.

Twenty-two volumes of William Blaine Wayt's diaries form the bulk of this collection and document Will's life from his youth in the 1890s to his death in 1956, offering details of his family's daily activities and providing insight into the life of a rural West Virginia farmer and teacher during the first half of the 20th century. The diaries give an extensive picture of Wayt's agricultural activities; family and religious life; and social surroundings. They cover his youth, education, and teaching career; the daily operations of his farm; the youth and adult life of his three children; and local and national political activities.

Volumes 1-5 cover the years from 1892 to October 1915, when Wayt moved between the family farm in Millsboro and school in Moundsville, West Virginia, and then began his teaching career in Moundsville. They give frequent accounts of his youthful social activities (swimming, fishing, dances, and picnics; political, literary, and league meetings; playing games, baseball, and hunting; and meeting and courting different girls), school (studies, exams, and his early years teaching), the weather, and his work on the farm and in the fields (cutting apples and corn, plowing, potatoes, picking berries, etc.). There are significant gaps in the diaries from 1907 to 1909, when Will suffered from serious bouts of rheumatism. Beginning in 1913, when Will starts teaching, entries comment more frequently on school (meetings, procedures, student behavior and discipline) and his courtship with his future wife, Margaret "Maggie" Allen.

Volumes 6-8 cover the period from November 1915 to December 1933, approximately the first fifteen years of Will's marriage to Maggie and their family life on their farm outside Moundsville. These diaries contain a full account of Will's daily farming activities (planting fruit trees, working in the garden, buying animals, harvesting crops, selling produce in town, etc.); the weather and its impact on the farm; domestic life (the birth and childhood of his first two children, the family's health and illnesses, Maggie's domestic chores and work at local elections, shopping trips to Moundsville and Wheeling, and holiday celebrations); his teaching jobs; and their social life (church, teaching Sunday school, visits with neighbors and relatives, going for drives, and local elections). Will also comments on major events of the early 20th century, including World War I, the flu epidemic of 1918, the Depression, and the election of President Franklin Roosevelt, illustrating the impact of these national events on his family and local community.

Volumes 9-12 cover the period from January 1934 to March 1943 and continue to document the lives of Will and his family. Major topics remain the same and include the farm, the weather, the children's education and activities, the family's health, and Will and Maggie's social events. Other significant topics include the birth of their daughter, Margaret; New Deal programs and President Roosevelt; World War II; Will's retirement from teaching in 1942; and the death of his mother in February 1943, two years after she suffered a major stroke.

Volumes 13-15, document Wayt's life from March 1943 to May 1947, through Will and Maggie's move from the farm into town, the end of World War II, and daughter Margaret's graduation from high school. Topics from this time period reveal the impact of World War II on Wayt and his family as both his son and son-in-law served overseas. Entries chiefly concern Harman Williams and William Wayt's overseas military service and their return to the States in 1945; Lorna Wayt Williams'; work at a war plant; war news; Will B. Wayt's wartime work in a whip factory; and the family's move from the farm into a house in town. Other topics, including farm and garden chores, weather, and Margaret's social activities, also appear frequently.

Volumes 16-22, cover the period from May 1947 to January 1956, the last ten years of William Wayt's life. Entries continue to focus on household and garden chores (planting, gardening, canning); daily activities (shopping, hunting, church, picnics, fairs, and visits with his children, friends, and other relatives); the weather; family news (weddings, jobs, and grandchildren); holidays; and Maggie's ill health in 1954. The last journal entry is January 22, 1956, two days before William B. Wayt passed away.

Series 3. Jessie Logan Wayt Diary, 1905 is housed in Box 5 and contains a ninety-two page, typed transcript of Jessie Wayt's diary from 1905. She primarily describes social activities and games; the weather; her schoolwork; her friends and local news; and chores at home and on the farm.

Series 4. Margaret Wayt DeBolt's Hillbilly Materials, 1977-2001 is housed in Box 7-Box 10 and consists of articles written and collected by DeBolt from the Hillbilly newspaper, including the "Kitchen in the Hills" column, 1977, 1983-1984, 1986; DeBolt's own column on "The Wayts of Millsboro,"; 1977-1984, 1988-2001 and undated, which chiefly contains transcriptions of William Davenport Wayt's diaries and William Blaine Wayt's diaries; and other articles related to West Virginia heritage. Also includes entire issues of the newspaper from 1986-1990. Much of this material is also available in electronic format in the library; it is not available online. See Series. 6 Digital Files.

Series 5. Wayt Family Research Materials, 1899-1913 and undated is located in Box 6 and primarily consists of files compiled by Gregory Winters during the course of his research on the Wayt and Winters families. Materials include research notes, genealogical notes, photographs, and clippings related to the Wayt family as well as drawings of buildings and homes in Millsboro and other items relating to the town.

Series 6. Digital Files, 2009 is located in Box 6 and consists of more than one thousand jpg and pdf files of material from the collection that was scanned by Gregory Winters for the collection in 2009. These electronic materials include pdf files of the complete set of William Blaine Wayt's diaries from Series 2, 1903-1956. Discs also contain jpg files of materials from Series 4, including miscellaneous Wayt family manuscript materials gathered by Margaret Wayt DeBolt; jpg files of Margaret Wayt DeBolt's Hillbilly columns on the Wayt family (1975-2001); jpg and pdf files of "Hill Cookin"; columns from Hillbilly (1990s); and jpg files of miscellaneous Hillbilly material. These digital files can only be accessed in the library; they are not available online. A detailed inventory of the digital Hillbilly materials is available in the library.

Addendum of 2011/03/25, ca. 1870-1950, 2 ft. 2 1/2 in. is located in boxes 11-16 and consists of photographs and other material regarding the Wayt family of Marshall County, West Virginia. This addendum also includes digital scans and a digital spreadsheet with corresponding descriptions.

Dates

  • 1867-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1892-1956
  • Majority of material found within 1977-2001

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Biographical / Historical

William Davenport Wayt, the son of Eliza Jane Armstrong Wayt and John Wayt, was born on July 6, 1846, in Kentucky. He settled in Marshall County, West Virginia, where he remained for the rest of his life. On November 21, 1867, William Davenport Wayt married Nancy Elizabeth Null (b. March 6, 1841), and they had five children. William attended medical school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was the country doctor for Marshall County. Nancy Wayt died on September 4, 1877, and on December 25, 1878, William D. Wayt married his second wife, Mary Elizabeth Vessels (b. March 30, 1856), also of Marshall County. They also had five children, including William Blaine Wayt (b. November 29, 1879) and Jessie Logan Wayt (b. September 10, 1888). William Davenport Wayt died on April 27, 1913, and is buried in Marshall County. Mary Elizabeth Wayt died on February 16, 1943.

William Blaine Wayt was born on November 29, 1879, in Marshall County, West Virginia, the son of William Davenport and Mary Elizabeth Wayt. He was a teacher and farmer in Marshall County. On April 5, 1916, William Blaine married Margaret Allen in Moundsville, W.Va. They had three children: Lorna Wayt Williams, William Wayt, and Margaret Wayt De Bolt. William Blaine Wayt died on January 24, 1956. Margaret Allen Wayt died in January 1973.

Jessie Logan Wayt was born on September 10, 1888, in Marshall County, West Virginia, the daughter of William Davenport and Mary Elizabeth Wayt. On June 18, 1910, she married Isaac Christopher Young in Moundsville, W.Va. Jessie Logan Wayt Young died on August 16, 1965.

Margaret Wayt DeBolt, journalist, author, and genealogist, was the daughter of William Blaine and Margaret Allen Wayt. She was born in 1930 and raised in Moundsville, W.Va., and graduated with a degree in journalism from West Virginia University in 1952. Margaret Wayt married Frank DeBolt in 1953 and the couple had three children. Margaret Wayt DeBolt died in Savannah, Georgia, in July 2009.

Extent

5.4 Linear Feet (Summary: 5 ft. 4 1/2 in. (6 document cases, 5 in. each; 2 flat storage boxes, 3 in. each; 2 flat storage boxes, 1 in. each); addendum of 2011/03/25 (4 document cases, 5 in. each; 1 document case, 2 1/2 in.; 1 flat storage box, 4 in.))

Overview

William Davenport Wayt (1846-1913) of Marshall County, West Virginia, was a country doctor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Collection contains papers of William Davenport Wayt and several of his descendants, including his son, William Blaine Wayt (1879-1956), a teacher and farmer; his daughter, Jessie Logan Wayt (1888-1965), a teacher; and his granddaughter, Margaret Wayt DeBolt (1931-2009), a journalist, author, and genealogist, all of Marshall County. Materials include diaries for several family members; transcripts of letters; miscellaneous manuscript materials, literary books and clippings; church and farm books; and articles from the Hillbilly newspaper that relate to the Wayt family in particular and to life in West Virginia in general. Twenty-two volumes of William Blaine Wayt's diaries form the bulk of this collection and document his life from his youth in the 1890s to his death in 1956, offering details of his family's daily activities and providing insight into the life of a rural West Virginia farmer and teacher during the first half of the 20th century. Collection also includes several files of notes and materials collected by Gregory Winters during his research on the Wayt family. There is also an addendum of Wayt family material consisting mostly of photographs. See scope and content note for details.

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/

Creator

Title
Gregory Winters, Compiler, Papers of William Wayt Family of Marshall County, 1867-2009
Author
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
Date
2009/12/02
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

Contact:
1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US
304-293-3536