Compton Family Papers

MC 1453

Special Collections
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444
Email: specoll@uark.edu

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Elaine Roser, 2018.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Creator
Compton Family
Title
Compton Family Papers
Inclusive Dates
1807-1980
Identification
MC 1453
Extent
18 boxes (14 Linear feet)
Language
Materials are in English.
Repository
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Use restrictions apply: Series 1, Subseries 2. Correspondence cannot be reproduced in any form without permission of donor.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).)

Acquisition Information

The Compton Family Papers were donated to Special Collections by Ellen Compton on March 1, 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Ellen Compton, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in October, 2002.

Preferred Form of Citation

Compton Family Papers (MC 1453), Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The papers consist of correspondence, documents, genealogical material, and images related to the family of David Compton, Sr. (1850-1923) and his wife, Mary Eyre Haller Compton (1851-1934) as well as their sons, David Compton, Jr. (1885-1959) and William Eyre Compton (1890-1981). There is also documentation concerning the lives of Neil Ernest Compton (1912-1999) and his wife Laurene Putman Compton (1916-1991).

Related Materials

Records relating to the Compton Family Papers include:

Putman Family Papers, 1900-1990 (MC 1452)

Swift Family Papers, 1876-1976 (MC1451)

Neil Compton Papers, 1912-1998 (MC 1091)

Decatur All-America City Award Papers, 1954-1955 (MC 837)

Arrangement of the Papers

  1. Series 1. Correspondence, Boxes 1-8
    1. Subseries 1. Compton Family, 1807-1933
    2. Subseries 2. Neil and Laurene Compton, 1934-1982.Includes family World War II letters.
    3. Subseries 3. William Eyre Compton, 1960-1979
  2. Series 2. Documents. Boxes 9-13
    1. Subseries 1. Genealogical Material
    2. Subseries 2. David Compton, Sr. Professional Records, Journals, Notebooks, 1870-1910
    3. Subseries 3. Family Writings, Narrative Family History, Taped Interviews
    4. Subseries 4. Family Documents, ca. 1876-1980s
  3. Series 3. Images. Boxes 14-16
  4. Oversize Material: Boxes 17-18

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection:

series 1: Correspondence

The letters dated from 1807-1933 consist primarily of news and comments recorded by members of the Compton family of New Jersey as they wrote each other and their son David Compton. Further correspondence from the same period is between members of Mary Eyre Haller Compton's family in Pennsylvania, most of it to Mary.

The earliest Compton letter is from an imprisoned Jacob Compton to his wife Rachel. Several of the older Compton sons of the next generation ventured to California in the 1840s and 1850s. Some letters are about these moves. The youngest, David, was educated at Princeton. He won a scholarship to Heidelberg in the 1870s and letters follow him in his student life. In 1876 he married Mary Haller and became a schoolmaster, serving schools in Illinois and Iowa. While living in Keokuk, Iowa in 1880, three of their children died of scarlet fever within a day's time. In 1891 the Comptons moved to near Gentry in Benton County, Arkansas, seeking a pastoral life and a warmer climate for their four remaining children, Chester, David, Jr., Mary, and William Eyre (Bill). Letters from family in Pennsylvania and New Jersey express concern about the fate of the family and their move to Arkansas.

David Compton, Sr. developed orchards and vineyards. He made wine and cider, grew melons and strawberries and had hayfields. He educated the children at home and Mary lead the family in private Episcopalian church services. Family correspondence reflects life in Arkansas and news of family events in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Two folders of letters are from Senator John Sharp Williams of Mississippi who was a friend of David's from Princeton and Heidelberg days.

Later family correspondence is concerned with the activities of David Compton, Jr. He married a local girl, Ida Etta Wilmoth in 1911 and they had two children, Neil and Edra. He was a rural postmaster and part-time farmer. In 1923 they moved to Bentonville. David, Jr. was elected County and Probate Judge in Benton County for several terms and served briefly as Postmaster in Bentonville..After Ida died in 1945, David, Jr. married Rose Clem. He became director of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce in the 1940s and 1950s. He died in the Bentonville hospital in 1959.

The correspondence concerning William Eyre (Bill) Compton, is primarily from his retirement years. After serving in the army in France in World War I, he remained at home with his mother until her death in 1934. He and his brother sold the farm and orchards and in 1940 Bill moved to Fayetteville where he was a sextant at St.Paul's Episcopal Church. He and David, Jr. worked for a short time in California in World War II. In retirement, he lived in Springfield, Mo., Fayetteville, and Bentonville. He died in 1981.

Neil Compton was a prolific correspondent, particularly writing his wife, Laurene Putman, after they married in 1935. She also was a steady correspondent. Another special group of letters are those between Neil and Laurene during World War II. He was a Navy doctor with medical units stationed in Florida, California, and the South Pacific.He wrote down his thoughts about life and descriptions of daily activities on the base on Guadalcanal. She moved to Bentonville with their two children, Ellen Kay (b.1938) and Edra Ann (b.1941). They lived with her mother, Edna Putman, owner of Putman's Ready-to-Wear. David and Ida Compton lived nearby. Laurene's letters are almost daily accounts of her extended family, news of friends in Fayetteville and Warren, news of the children, activities of her women friends and their children, and news of Bentonville people. Post-war correspondence is concerned with social and civic events in Bentonville, Naval Reserve duty, Putman's Ready-to-Wear, and news of their children, including their son, William David (b. 1946).

subseries 1: Compton Family Correspondence,

1807-1933

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 1

Compton Family Correspondence, 1807

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 2

Compton Family Correspondence, 1808

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 3

Compton Family Correspondence, 1809

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 4

Compton Family Correspondence, 1840-1867

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 5

Compton Family Correspondence, 1874-1877

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 6

Compton Family Correspondence, 1880-1881

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 7

Compton Family Correspondence, 1884-1887

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 8

Compton Family Correspondence, 1888

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 9

Compton Family Correspondence, 1889

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 10

Compton Family Correspondence, 1890-1891

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 11

Compton Family Correspondence, 1893

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 12

Compton Family Correspondence, 1894

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 13

Compton Family Correspondence, 1894

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 14

Compton Family Correspondence, 1894

series I: 1 Box 1 Folder 15

Compton Family Correspondence, 1894

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 1

Compton Family Correspondence, 1895

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 2

Compton Family Correspondence, 1897-1900

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 3

Compton Family Correspondence, 1901-1902

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 4

Compton Family Correspondence, 1902

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 5

Compton Family Correspondence, 1902-1904

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 6

Compton Family Correspondence, 1905-1906

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 7

Compton Family Correspondence, 1907-1908

series I: 1 Box 2 Folder 8

Compton Family Correspondence (Envelopes, Fragments), n.d.

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 1

Compton Family Correspondence, 1909-1912

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 2

Compton Family Correspondence, 193-1915

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 3

Compton Family Correspondence, 1916-1917

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 4

Compton Family Correspondence (World War I), 1918

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 5

Compton Family Correspondence, 1919

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 6

Compton Family Correspondence, 1920-1921

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 7

Compton Family Correspondence, 1922-1923

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 8

Compton Family Correspondence, 1923-1928

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 9

Compton Family Correspondence, 1930-1933

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 10

Compton Family Correspondence - John Sharp Williams, 1876-1904

series I: 1 Box 3 Folder 11

Compton Family Correspondence - John Sharp Williams, 1905-1923

subseries 2: Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence.

Includes family World War II letters.

Use restrictions apply: Correspondence cannot be reproduced in any form without permission of donor.

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 1

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1934-1936

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 2

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1937

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 3

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1938

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 4

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1939

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 5

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1939-1940

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 6

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence - cards, 1939-1940

series I: 2 Box 4 Folder 7

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence - cards., 1941-1945

series I: 2 Box 5 Folder 1

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., February - July 1942

series I: 2 Box 5 Folder 2

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., July - August 1942

series I: 2 Box 5 Folder 3

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., September 1942

series I: 2 Box 5 Folder 4

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., October 1942

series I: 2 Box 5 Folder 5

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., November-December 1942

series I: 2 Box 5 Folder 6

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., December 1942

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 1

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., January 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 2

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., February 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 3

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., March 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 4

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., April - May 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 5

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., June 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 6

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., July 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 7

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., August 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 8

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., September 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 9

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., October 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 10

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., November 1943

series I: 2 Box 6 Folder 11

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., December 1943

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 1

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., January 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 2

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., February 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 3

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., March 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 4

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., April 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 5

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., May 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 6

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., June 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 7

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., July 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 8

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., August 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 9

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., September 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 10

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., October 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 11

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., November 1944

series I: 2 Box 7 Folder 12

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., December 1944

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 1

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., January 1945

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 2

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., February - April 1945

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 3

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., July and November 1945

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 4

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1948-1949

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 5

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1954

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 6

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1958-1960

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 7

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1961-1966

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 8

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence., 1971-1982

series I: 2 Box 8 Folder 9

Neil and Laurene Compton Correspondence ( N.D., Fragments, Envelopes ), n.d.

subseries 3: William Eyre (Bill) Compton

series I: 3 Box 8 Folder 10

William Eyre (Bill) Compton, 1960-1977

series I: 3 Box 8 Folder 11

William Eyre (Bill) Compton, 1978-1979

series I: 3 Box 8 Folder 12

William Eyre (Bill) Compton (cards), n.d.

series 2: Documents

This series includes material collected by family members in the categories of genealogy, certificates and receipts, notebooks and journals, and printed material. Most of the documents and notebooks are related to David Compton,Sr. Family histories were written by Neil Compton and his father, David Jr. Taped interviews were made with William Eyre (Bill) Compton in the 1970s.

subseries 1: Genealogy

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 1

Compton Family

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 2

Compton Family

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 3

Compton Family

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 4

Compton Family Tree (made in 1920s)

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 5

Compton Family - copied documents from George Compton

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 6

Eyre/Haller Families

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 7

Hankinson/Baird

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 8

Wilmoth/Proctor Families

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 9

"Comptonology" newsletter

series II: 1 Box 9 Folder 10

Notebook kept by David Compton, Jr

subseries 2: David Compton, Sr. Professional Records, Journals, Notebooks,

1869-1923

series II: 2 Box 10 Folder 1

Bound notebooks and journals related to class work, ca.1870-1874

series II: 2 Box 10 Folder 2

Class record for Princeton, 1874

series II: 2 Box 10 Folder 3

Account Books, ca. 1874-1882

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 1

Letters of Application and Recommendation, 1870s-1920

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 2

Recommendations

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 3

Recommendations from Mt. Sterling, Ill.

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 4

Documents from Iowa schools

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 5

Documents from Iowa schools

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 6

Printed material from Heidelberg

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 7

Essays and notes

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 8

Essays and notes

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 9

High School Examinations

series II: 2 Box 11 Folder 10

Envelope containing 4 diaries kept by David Compton, Sr (Fragile), 1869-1885 Fragile

subseries 3: Family Writings,

1940s-1980s

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 1

Essays, articles, notes by Neil Compton, Laurene Compton, Edra Ann Compton

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 2

Notes for "The Way to Go," a family history by Neil Compton

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 3

"Way to Go"

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 4

"Way to Go"

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 5

"Way to Go" fragments

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 6

Notes about William Eyre Compton

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 7

Speeches, essays, notebook, by David Compton, Jr

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 8

Essays by William Eyre Compton on a variety of social and historical issues

series II: 3 Box 12 Folder 9

4 cassette tapes of interviews with William Eyre Compton made in the 1970s

subseries 4: Family Documents,

ca 1876-1980s

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 1

Miscellaneous

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 2

Taxes and Receipts

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 3

Property

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 4

Property

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 5

Marriage Licenses

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 6

Wills

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 7

Military Records

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 8

Arkansas Politics

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 9

Benton County

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 10

Clippings and articles about deaths of Compton children in 1880

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 11

Mary Compton, funeral information

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 12

Eulogies, obituaries, death notices, most for David Compton, Jr

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 13

Sympathy cards for David Compton, Jr

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 14

Sympathy cards for David Compton, Jr

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 15

Floral cards for David Compton, Jr

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 16

Clippings

series II: 4 Box 13 Folder 17

Printed Material

series 3: Images

Images are predominately of family members. They range from large, tinted portraits to snapshots. There are numerous scenes of Bentonville from the 1940s to the 1970s,including pictures of the family home at 312 N. Main. Also of interest are pictures of the David Compton, Sr. family in various school groups, and on the farm in Benton County. A significant number of pictures are of Neil Compton in the service in California and on Guadalcanal, and pictures of the family in Bentonville during the same World War II period.

series III Box 14 Folder 1

Beta Sigma Phi women's group, Rogers and Bentonville, 2 images, ca. 1944

series III Box 14 Folder 2

Bentonville scenes, 11 images, ca. 1944

series III Box 14 Folder 3

Bentonville scenes, 15 images, ca. 1954

series III Box 14 Folder 4

Bentonville Rotary Club Halloween Party, 13 images, ca. 1958

series III Box 14 Folder 5

Beta Sigma Phi party, 35 images, ca. 1960

series III Box 14 Folder 6

Bentonville scenes, 47 images, ca. 1975

series III Box 14 Folder 7

Bentonville snow scenes, 10 images, ca. 1962

series III Box 14 Folder 8

312 N Main in Bentonville, snow scenes, 11 images, ca. 1962

series III Box 14 Folder 9

Bentonville scenes, 36 images, ca. 1982

series III Box 14 Folder 10

"Tree Massacre on Bentonville Square," 6 images, 1960s

series III Box 15 Folder 1

Compton family, 14 images

series III Box 15 Folder 2

Haller family, 11 images

series III Box 15 Folder 3

Forrest family, 14 images

series III Box 15 Folder 4

Wilmoth family, 67 images

series III Box 15 Folder 5

Benton County agricultural scenes, 21 images, ca. 1916

series III Box 15 Folder 6

Compton family recreation, ca, 28 images, ca. 1918

series III Box 15 Folder 7

School groups in Iowa and Benton County, Arkansas, ca, 7 images, ca. 1889-1910

series III Box 15 Folder 8

David Compton, Jr, Ida, Neil, Edra, 14 images

series III Box 15 Folder 9

David Compton, Jr, 23 images

series III Box 15 Folder 10

William Eyre Compton, 11 images

series III Box 15 Folder 11

Neil Compton as a baby and young man, 10 images

series III Box 15 Folder 12

Edra Compton Lumsden, 12 images

series III Box 15 Folder 13

Family of David Compton, Jr in Oklahoma,, 25 images, ca 1920

series III Box 15 Folder 14

Unidentified , 17 images

series III Box 16 Folder 1

Neil Compton family in Warren and Pine Bluff, ca, 2 images, ca. 1940

series III Box 16 Folder 2

Neil Compton at University of Arkansas, , 11 images, 1933-1935

series III Box 16 Folder 3

Neil Compton As a young man and medical student, 25 images

series III Box 16 Folder 4

Neil Compton, Guadalcanal, , 48 images, 1943-1944

series III Box 16 Folder 5

California, ca, 31 images, ca. 1943

series III Box 16 Folder 6

Bentonville, ca, 38 images, ca. 1943

series III Box 16 Folder 7

Bentonville, ca, 44 images, ca. 1943-1944

series III Box 16 Folder 8

Laurene and Neil, , 3 images, 1966-1980

series III Box 16 Folder 9

Edna Putman and others at 312 N Main, Bentonville,, 9 images, 1960

series III Box 16 Folder 10

Neil Compton, , 3 images, 1989-1999

series III Box 16 Folder 11

Ozark Society activities, 8 images

series III Box 16 Folder 12

Ken Smith, 5 images

series 4 : Oversize Materials

series IV Box 17 Folder 1

Tintypes of individuals, unidentified - 3 images

series IV Box 17 Folder 2

Neil Compton's honorary LLD. robes, University of Arkansas

series IV Box 17 Folder 3

Neil Compton's stethoscope

series IV Box 17 Folder 4

David Compton, Jr., woodblock

series IV Box 18 Folder 1

Commemorative Calendar, Bank of Bentonville, scenes of Bentonville , ca 1930

series IV Box 18 Folder 2

Neil and Edra Compton, 1 image, ca. 1917

series IV Box 18 Folder 3

Neil Compton, 1 image, ca.1914

series IV Box 18 Folder 4

Princeton Diploma, David Compton, Sr., 1879

series IV Box 18 Folder 5

Bentonville, Jefferson County, Ozarks, 5 images

series IV Box 18 Folder 6

Dubuque, Iowa High School, 1 image, 1889

series IV Box 18 Folder 7

Meteor Bible Class, Bentonville, 1 image, 1929

series IV Box 18 Folder 8

Naval Reserve group, 1 image, 1960

series IV Box 18 Folder 9

Arkansas postmasters group, 1 image, 1937

series IV Box 18 Folder 10

Arkansas' Postmaster's License

series IV Box 18 Folder 11

Licenses and certificates- Benton County Judge David Compton, 1923-1931

series IV Box 18 Folder 12

Letter to David Compton, Sr, 1901

series IV Box 18 Folder 13

Family Tree for Eyre, Compton, Wilmoth, Swift, Risley, Putman families

series IV Box 18 Image 1

Dedication of Veteran's Memorial, Kansas City, Mo., 1921

series IV Box 18 Image 1

Construction of Benton County Courthouse, 1931

END OF COLLECTION

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