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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the Ethel Marie Armes papers MSS.0087


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

May 2009


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-06-14T09:33-0500

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard

June 2013
Collection Title:

Ethel Marie Armes papers

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.4 Linear feet


between 1890 and 2002


Personal letters written by Ethel Armes, a Birmingham journalist and author, primarily to Alice Wiggin of Franklin, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains personal letters written by Ethel Armes from the late 1800s through the 1940s. The bulk of the letters are to Alice Wiggin of Franklin, Massachusetts, longtime friend and confidant. There are also photocopies of newspaper articles about the death of Ethel's younger brother, Edmund C. Armes of Birmingham, Alabama, as well as those about her death in 1945, and a variety of articles about her books. There is also one unidentified photo.

Acquisition Information:

Cather and Brown Books

Biographical/Historical note

Ethel Marie Armes, second daughter of George Augustus and Lucy Hamilton Kerr Armes, was born on 1 December 1876 in Washington, D.C. She was a journalist and author who wrote for the Chicago Chronicle, Washington Post, and the Birmingham Post-Herald. She also wrote several books, including The Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama and Stratford Hall: The Great House of the Lees.

Although she never married, in 1925 she adopted Catherine Claiborne, a ten year old girl for whom she'd been a foster parent. According to Ethel's letters, Catherine was a beautiful and talented girl, much courted by beaus and Hollywood. In the early 1930s, Ethel signed a contract with Paramount Studios (Mrs. Cecil B. de Mille was her chaperone!). Catherine went to Hollywood in 1933. By May of 1945, Catherine had married Richard W. Millar and had two sons, Richard Jr. and Roger.

Ethel Armes died on 28 September 1945 in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Preferred Citation:

Ethel Marie Armes papers University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processing Information:

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2013

Access Restrictions:


Usage Restrictions:



Armes, Ethel, 1876-1945 (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

Wiggin, Alice (local)

Authors, American--Alabama (lcsh)

Clippings (information artifacts) (aat)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Personal correspondence (aat)

Photographs (aat)

Women (localbroad)

Women--Alabama (lcsh)

Correspondence, Outgoing - 1901-1905 Box 87.001 Folder 1

Correspondence, Outgoing - 1906-1914 Box 87.001 Folder 2

Correspondence, Outgoing - 1932-1933 Box 87.001 Folder 3

Correspondence, Outgoing - Not Dated Box 87.001 Folder 4

Correspondence, Incoming Box 87.001 Folder 5

Correspondence - Alice Wiggin's "Grand Tour," Summer 1910 Box 87.001 Folder 6

Correspondence to Alice Wiggin Concerning Ethel Armes Box 87.001 Folder 7

Envelopes Box 87.001 Folder 8

Photograph Box 87.001 Folder 9

Order of Adoption - Catherine Claiborne Box 87.001 Folder 10

Wiggin Genealogies Box 87.001 Folder 12

Newspaper Clipping Box 87.001 Folder 11

Newspaper Clippings (Photocopies) about Armes' Robert E. Lee book Box 87.001 Folder 13

Research Material (Photocopies) on Ethel Armes Box 87.001 Folder 14