Turner Family Papers
Scope and Content
The Turner Family Papers consists of multiple sets of correspondence to members of generations of the extended Turner family written between 1830 and 1944. The bulk of the collection is letters between Lexie Fox and his wife, Bessie, written during World War I. Late 19th century correspondence is written to Bessie’s cousin, Minnie Rawlings. Minnie's letters describe the daily life of family, friends, and Miles Taylor, the man whom she would eventually marry. There is a small group of Civil War correspondence written to different people (Turner ancestors).
In their love letters, Lexie and Bessie Fox frequently talked about how much they missed one another. Lexie remained homesick while in France, and discussed his health, longing for home, travels in France, and asked for news about family and friends. Bessie praised her husband in her letters and kept him updated on life at home.
In addition, the collection contains military documents and a notebook Lexie purchased in France. These documents include a notice from the Treasury Department’s Bureau of War Risk Insurance, a certificate of Farm War Service, a note from the Adjusted Service Bonds, and a letter from the Commander in Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces.
- 1830 - 1944
The collection is open for research.
Permission to publish material from Turner Family Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Lexie B. Fox was born February 15, 1896 in Roxboro, North Carolina, to John Younger Fox and Rosalie Alice Royster. Bessie (Oakley) Fox was born to Calvin Lester Oakley and Sarah Shelmoa Virginia Harris. Lexie and Bessie Oakley began corresponding in 1916. Throughout his service in World War I, he and Bessie kept in constant contact and were married on January 18, 1918.
Family connections to the extended Turner family and ancestors for the earlier letters are somewhat unclear, but in the course of processing the collection, Special Collections staff completed some additional research, which is available at the end of Box 2.
0.6 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Turner Family Papers consists of multiple sets of correspondence to members of generations of the extended Turner family written between 1830 and 1944. The bulk of the collection is letters between Lexie Fox and his wife, Bessie, written during World War I.
Letters in the collection are in chronological order. Military papers are in a separate folder.
The Turner Family Papers were donated to Special Collections in December 2016.
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Turner Family Papers was completed in May 2019.
- Turner Family Papers, 1830-1944
- Kathryn Walters, Graduate Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
- 2019 (CC0 1.0)
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US