William Perry Stamps, Jr. Collection
Western Kentucky University Library special CollectionsBowling Green, Kentucky, 42101-3576 USA
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], William Perry Stamps, Jr. Collection, 1942-1945, MSS 102,Library Special Collections, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green.
1 box, 8 folders, 150 items
William Perry Stamps, Jr., was born on December 20, 1914, at Bowling Green, Ky., the son of Esther Pearl (Hills) Stamps, a Bowling Green native, and William Perry Stamps, an Allen County, Ky. native. His mother died in childbirth with William, and his father died in 1919 from influenza. His maternal aunt, Sallie Hills, and her husband, George Hills, brought William into their home (849 Fairview Avenue) with their three children, Henry, Laura ("La"), and Ashley. George Hills was employed by the Turner Day Woolworth Axehandle Factory. Although he used the name William "Billy" Hills during his public school days, the Hills never officially adopted William. Upon entering the Army, he was required to assume his legal name, William Perry Stamps, Jr. Stamps worked for Deemer's Floral Company of Bowling Green prior to his military service and returned to work there afterwards. He later worked for Bowman Kelley Printing and retired from that business. He married Rosalyn Marie Gourley, a social worker, on August 23, 1947.
This collection of letters date from 1942 to 1945. The bulk of the letters (99) were written by Stamps to Sallie Hills of Bowling Green, his adopted mother, and letters (37) to Laura Hills Savord of Lakeland, Florida. The letters describe military life in the U.S. Army, particularly Stamps' training in Indiana, Texas and Mississippi. His letters from 1944 through 1945 describe his service in Italy and in French Morocco. The letters frequently inquire about family members and local happenings.
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