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Special Home > Guide to the Bickford-Leary Family Letters, 1938-1945

Guide to the Bickford-Leary Family Letters, 1938-1945

Collection number: MC 162

Size: 2 boxes (1.0 cu.ft.)

About Bickford-Leary Family

The Bickford family lived in Laconia, New Hampshire. Karl H. and Helen (Denny) Bickford had four children: Arlene P. (born 1922), Karl H., Jr. (b. Nov. 23, 1923 in Sandwich, NH), Thelma, and Betty (birthdates unknown). Arlene married Sgt. Richard K. Leary of Northfield, NH on Sept. 5, 1942 in Portsmouth, both aged 20. Karl entered the U.S. Army in 1943 and married Alma Fogg (date unknown). After the war he worked for 32 years for New England Telephone-Telegraph, retiring as control foreman in Jan. 1979. He died Oct. 6, 1979 in Strafford, NH, where he and his wife had lived for four years. They had two children, Karl H. III and Karen.

About the Bickford-Leary Family Letters

The Bickford-Leary Family letter collection consists of almost 350 letters written between 1938 and 1945, primarily between Sgt. Richard K. Leary and his wife, Arlene Bickford Leary (117 letters), and to and from Karl Bickford (170 letters). The letters, written between people in their late teens and early twenties, often on a daily basis, are somewhat repetitive and reveal little about wartime conditions.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Bickford-Leary Family Letters, 1938-1945, MC 162, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchased: Charles Apfelbaum, Watchung, NJ, February 20, 1998 (Accession #: 98.003)

Collection Arrangement

The collection has been arranged in three series, as follows: Series I comprises letters written between Sergeant Richard K. Leary and his wife, Arlene Bickford Leary between 1938 and 1945; Series II lists letters to and from Karl Bickford during the same period, and Series III conatins letters between various others written between 1940-1945.

Collection Contents

Series I: Letters between Sgt. Richard Leary and Arlene Bickford Leary, 1938-1945

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 17, 1941-June 19, 1944 (6 letters)

Box 1, Folder 2 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, July 2, 1944-July 28, 1944 (7 letters)

Box 1, Folder 3 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Aug. 11, 1944-Aug. 24, 1944 (6 letters)

Box 1, Folder 4 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Aug. 25, 1944-Aug. 31, 1944 (5 letters)

Box 1, Folder 5 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 1, 1944-Sept. 13, 1944 (7 letters)

Box 1, Folder 6 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 14, 1944-Sept. 22, 1944 (9 letters)

Box 1, Folder 7 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 23, 1944-Sept. 30, 1944, (7 letters)

Box 1, Folder 8 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Oct. 1, 1944-Oct. 31, 1944 (7 letters)

Box 1, Folder 9 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Nov. 1, 1944-Nov. 15, 1944 (8 letters)

Box 1, Folder 10 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Nov. 16, 1944-Nov. 23, 1944 (7 letters)

Box 1, Folder 11 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Nov. 24, 1944-Dec. 31, 1944 (8 letters)

Box 1, Folder 12 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Jan. 2, 1945-Jan. 16, 1945 (8 letters)

Box 1, Folder 13 Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 2, 1945-Oct. 5, 1945, two undated (6 letters)

Box 1, Folder 14 Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Nov. 3, 1944-Nov. 11, 1944 (6 letters)

Box 1, Folder 15 Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Nov. 13, 1944-Nov. 21, 1944 (9 letters)

Box 1, Folder 16 Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Nov. 22, 1944-Nov. 29, 1944 (6 letters)

Box 1, Folder 17 Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Dec. 1, 1944-Dec. 8, 1944 (5 letters)

Box 1, Folder 18 Letters to Richard Leary from Mrs. Sue Leary (mother), Nov. 25, 1944-Dec. 11, 1944 (2 letters)

Box 1, Folder 19 Letters to Richard Leary from Robert Leary (brother), Oct. 14, 1942-May 3, 1943 (3 letters)

Box 1, Folder 20 Letters to Richard Leary from various soldiers, 1942-1943 (6 letters)

Pvt. John Bell, Nov. 27, 1942
Pvt. Emery St. Cyr, Nov. 29, 1942
Jim Saunders, Feb. 21, 1943
Pvt. Lawrence Sanders, March 29, 1943
Pvt. Norman Dionne, March 21, 1943
Pvt. Russell Berry, April 17, 1943
Box 1, Folder 21 Letters to Richard Leary from various others, June 30, 1943; Nov. 23, 1944 (4 letters)

Margaret Bickford, June 30, 1943
Doris McDermott (cousin), and Christmas card, Nov. 23, 1944
Mrs. Clara C. Simpson, Christmas card
Box 1, Folder 22 Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Lil Frye, July 22, 1938-July 7, 1944 (8 letters)

Box 1, Folder 23 Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Gwen Leary, Dec. 30, 1942-May 10, 1943 (2 letters)

Box 1, Folder 24 Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Sue Leary, Dec. 30, 1942-Dec. 4, 1944 (4 letters)

Box 1, Folder 25 Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Eleanor Picard, Nov. 9, 1941-Nov. 26, 1944 (3 letters)

Box 1, Folder 26 Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from various others, 1938-1943 (10 letters)

Ray F. [Stone?], Dec. 24, 1938
Pete Tessier, May 4, 1939
Bud, Nov. 26, 1939
Grannie, Sept. 27, 1941
El, March 20, 1942
April 26, 1943
Lucien Groleau, July 24, 1943
Roland Duffy, Sept. 23, 1943
Private Emery St. Cyr (“Lou”), undated
“Flash” and Lucia Wakeman (“Windy”), undated

Series II: Private Karl Bickford, 1938-1945

Box 1, Folder 27 Letters, Karl Bickford to Arlene Bickford, Feb. 1, 1943-Oct. 31, 1943 (4 letters)

Box 1, Folder 28 Letters, Karl Bickford to Richard Leary, July 30, 1943-Oct., 1944 (3 letters)

Box 1, Folder 29 Letters, Karl Bickford to various others, 19403 letters
Marjorie Scott (“Scotty”), June 6, 1940, Undated
Lucia Wakeman (“Windy”), Undated
Box 1, Folder 30 Letters to Karl Bickford from Nanna Bickford (grandmother), Aug. 5, 1940-Aug. 23, 1940 (3)

Box 1, Folder 31 Letters to Karl Bickford from Ralph Morrissette, May 10, 1942-Dec. 16, 1942 (5 letters)

Box 1, Folder 32 Letters to Karl Bickford from Rita “Q”, Oct. 19, 1942-Jan. 5, 1943 (7 letters)

Box 1, Folder 33 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, 1939; June 4, 1940-July 30, 1940 (16 letters)

Box 1, Folder 34 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Aug. 2, 1940-Aug. 27, 1940 (9 letters)

Box 1, Folder 35 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Sept. 2, 1940-Sept. 30, 1940 (8 letters)

Box 1, Folder 36 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Oct. 2, 1940-Dec. 13, 1940 (9 letters)

Box 1, Folder 37 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, June 17, 1941-June 21, 1942 (9 letters)

Box 1, Folder 38 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, July 7 1942-Oct. 6, 1942 (6 letters)

Box 1, Folder 39 Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Nov. 10, 1942-Jan. 14, 1943 (9 letters)

Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1 Letters to Karl Bickford from Ray Stone, Jan. 13, 1941-Aug. 11, 1941 (7 letters)

Box 2, Folder 2 Letters to Karl Bickford from Ray Stone, Jun. 21, 1942-Jan. 6, 1943 (5 letters)

Box 2, Folder 3 Letters to Karl Bickford from Nancy Tupper, Oct. 21, 1941-Nov. 11, 1942 (9 letters)

Box 2, Folder 4 Letters to Karl Bickford from Nancy Tupper, Nov. 14, 1942-Nov. 29, 1942 (5 letters)

Box 2, Folder 5 Letters to Karl Bickford from Nancy Tupper, Dec. 3, 1942-Jan. 14, 1943 (5 letters)

Box 2, Folder 6 Letters to Karl Bickford from Lucia Wakeman (“Windy”), July 11, 1940-Jan. 8, 1943 (8 letters)

Box 2, Folder 7 Letters to Karl Bickford from Chet -?, July 11, 1940-Aug. 14, 1940 (5 letters)

Box 2, Folder 8 Letters to Karl Bickford from Ole -?, July 2, 1940; July 6, 1940-Dec. 9, 1941 (9 letters)

Box 2, Folder 9 Letters to Karl Bickford from Sid -?, Aug. 8, 1940-Aug. 22, 1940 (6 letters)

Box 2, Folder 10 Letters to Karl Bickford from various others, 1939-1942 (20 letters)

Anna -?, July 1941-May 17, 1942
Bertha Jollimore Plourde, undated and Oct. 2, 1939
“Babe,” undated
Betty Bickford, Aug. 8, 1940
Gramie and Grampa Bickford, undated
Celeste Dickie, undated
Connie – ?, undated
Dot -?, undated (2 letters)

Ginny -?, Aug. 23, 1940, undated
Mary Lewis (invitation to graduation), June 1942
Roger -?, undated
Millie Scott, Dec. 21, 1942
Mrs. Scott (Marjorie’s mother), July 30, 1940
Stella -?, Dec. 4, 1942
Y.P.R.U., Sept. 30, 1940

Series III: Miscellaneous, 1940-1945

Box 2, Folder 11 Correspondence between others, 1940-1945
To Karl Bickford, Sr. from Margaret Bickford (mother), Aug. 23, 1940; Aug. 19, 1942
To Omer Dostie from Evelyn (daughter), Aug. 19, 1940
To unidentified correspondent from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bolduc, Oct. 14, 1940.
To unidentified correspondent from “Kans”?, Dec. 25, 1941
To unidentified correspondent from Lorraine and a Valentine’s card, Dec. 18, 1942
To unidentified correspondent from Patrica O’Toole, Dec. 18, 1942
To unidentified correspondent from Inez, Dec. 19, 1942
To unidentified correspondent from Ora, Christmas 1942
To Mrs. Leary (Richard’s mother) from H.E. “Soup” Madison, Dec. 10, 1944
South Baptist Church, Laconia, NH newsletter, Dec. 15, 1941
Subscription form sent to Richard Leary from the Laconia Evening Citizen, Dec. 15, 1942
Veteran’s Administration Authorization for Allotment of Pay form completed by Richard K. Leary, Jan. 1, 1945
Newsclipping (probably from the Laconia Evening Citizen) about the selection of Mrs. Patrick J. Cushing of Franklin, NH to christen the U.S.S. Tucana. Pictures of her seven sons and one daughter all serving in the Armed Forces accompany the article. Undated
War bonds flyer; state health department flyer about health care for servicemen’s wives who are pregnant or are young mothers re: hospital care; numbered card from Coe Candid. Undated
Photos of Old Orchard Beach, Maine; relocation of business card from Martin J. Hegarty, C.P.A., 113 Locust St., Dover NH. Undated
Negative of four airmen, unidentified, undated

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