Hoge, William E. Family Papers

A Guide to the William E. Hoge Family Papers 1810-1933 Ms.2003.019


Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Clayton McGahee

Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
William E. Hoge Family Papers1810-1933
1.2 Cubic Feet 3 boxes
The materials in the collection are in English.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], William E. Hoge Family Papers, Ms2003-019, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Biographical Note

The Hoge Family was one of the earliest settlers of the New River area of southwest Virginia. William Edward Hoge and his family resided in Point Pleasant, Bland County Virginia, where William Hoge began his medicinal practice in 1855. Hoge was married to Jane L. Meek, and they had three sons and one daughter.

The Hoge family were all well educated and respected individuals in the community. In 1878, William Hoge assumed the responsibility of Sophia and Eugene Edmondson, his wife's niece and nephew. The Edmondsons lived in Memphis, Tennessee, at the time a town crippled by the yellow fever epidemic which took the lives of Sophia and Eugene's parents and brother Tommie. William Hoge travelled to Memphis and took the children under his care, concealing them under his buggy seat through the Memphis quarantine until he arrived in Broadford where their grandmother resided.

William Hoge died on February 3, 1885, leaving his three sons land in Burke's Garden, Pulaski, and Bland County. His daughter Olivia (Ollie) inherited land in Abbs Valley near Pocahontas, Virginia which became a thriving territory for coal mining, leaving Ollie and her husband James S. Browning substantially wealthy.

Scope and Contents

The Hoge Family papers consists of 164 letters and 65 deeds, along with financial papers, postcards, and extensive genealogical research. The letters detail the lives of the Hoge family, specifically the children, from the 1830s through the 1880s. Several of the letters in the collection are written by Ollie Hoge, spanning from the time when she was a young girl enrolled in the Wytheville Female College to her later days as a wife and mother living in Richmond.

Prevalent in the Hoge collection through all decades is the frequency of sickness and death. Word of a death in the family was sent out by postcard; commonly followed by a long, lamenting letter describing the lives of those lost in a beautifully poetic fashion.

One of the most interesting parts to the collection is the letters written by the Hoge family during the time of the Civil War. The letters are from friends of the Hoge family letting them know they are seeking enlistment, and from both Confederate soldiers and Virginians who are terrified to see Union soldiers travelling through their land. One letter in the collection involves a vivid description from Caroline Meek Thomas describing Union soldiers who were camped in the Blacksburg area.

Also included in the Hoge collection is genealogical material comprised by Dorothy Bodell. Material includes photocopied pictures of several southwest Virginia families and family trees from the Hoge, Meek, and Thomas families. In addition to Bodell's work, transcriptions and summaries of selected letters are included.


This collection is arranged according to subject matter.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Civil War
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the William E. Hoge Family Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Container List

box-folder 1 folder: 1
Hoge Letters (1830s)
Arrangement note

Five letters.

box-folder 1 folder: 2
Hoge Letters (1840s)
1844, 1848
Scope and Contents note

One character bill of Serah Hoge from Wytheville Female College, and three letters.

box-folder 1 folder: 3
Hoge Letters (early 1850s)
Scope and Contents note

16 letters, including a letter from Eleanor Hoge telling of the accidental shooting death of her son Samuel Meek. Letters include general family news, follow up responses to Samuel Meek's death, farm matters, mostly dealing with cattle, and school matters. Also includes a legal note from Samuel and Robert Meek directing that William Hoge get a decree against James Meek and Thomas Boyd to sell land in Burkes Garden to settle estate, and a letter from a homesick Caroline Meek explaining school life in Wytheville.

box-folder 1 folder: 4
Hoge Letters (late 1850s)
Scope and Contents note

31 letters, pertaining to mostly family news, school, a legal note, and a settlement with William Hoge's father-in-law. Letters pertain to property agreements and management, seed bushels, family news, the legal management of the "Abingdon Suit", and church matters. Includes a letter from Giles D. Thomas explaining a troublesome debt between James W. Sheffey and a Richmond firm, along with church affairs and business dealings.

box-folder 1 folder: 5
Hoge Letters (early 1860s)
Scope and Contents note

15 letters, mostly relating to the outset of the Civil War and wartime. Letters are from both Confederate soldiers and Virginians who are frightened to see Yankees travelling through their land. Includes two letters from Giles D. Thomas to William Hoge; one criticizing Hoge for allowing himself to be taken by tories, and the other citing the outbreak of small pox which had spread into Blacksburg. Also includes a mournful letter from P.B. Snapp telling of the death of his son Johny, and a letter from Jane Hoge's mother Jestianna Strother which tells of the death of John M. Preston, as well as informing Jane Hoge that her brother has joined in the War Between the States.

box-folder 1 folder: 6
Hoge Letters (1863-65)
1863-64, n.d.
Scope and Contents note

7 letters and 1 deed for land between Wilburn and Rachel Harman and Thomas B. Harman. Letters include one to Jane Hoge from her mother telling her she is suffering through a long spell of the fever, and a letter written by Caroline Meek Thomas to her sister Jane Meek Hoge providing a vivid description of Averill's raid through Blacksburg. Tells of the pillaging of homes and farms, carrying away negro servants, the deaths in their family and difficult times, and Caroline's forthcoming opinion of Averill. Transcriptions of both letters available in box-folder 2-20.

box-folder 1 folder: 7
Hoge Letters (late 1860s)
Scope and Contents note

16 letters, relating to the purchase and exchange of farm supplies, heads of cattle, description of a surprise party for a Miss Lucie, a letter requesting consideration from Mrs. Nanner & Son, and a letter from R. Hoge to his brother, from the Spencerian Institute.

box-folder 1 folder: 8
Hoge Letters (1870s)
1870-79, n.d.
Scope and Contents note

20 letters, mostly to and from William and Jane Hoge's son Meek. Letters include an account and description of Raleigh, North Carolina in 1871 during William and Jane Hoge's stay during the winter, a letter from Meek's cousin from Texas describing the low prices for cattle, and a letter from attorney Charles SoRelle to J.M. Hoge concerning a misunderstanding over employment and payment for handling legal cases. Also included is a letter from Meek Hoge to his mother explaining that his wife Grace is ill.

box-folder 1 folder: 9-10
Hoge Letters (early 1880s) (2 folders)
Scope and Contents note

33 letters, many of which written by Ollie Meek Thomas to her sister and mother. Letters tell of the Commencement exercises of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College of 1883, and a letter urging her mother Jane Hoge to come visit her in Richmond. Also tells of Ollie's anxiety pertaining to the recent outbreak of vanoloid, as well as a letter from Ellie Dunlap to William Hoge asking Hoge to consider her friend Willie Bowman for a school teaching job at a school near Hoge's home.

box-folder 1 folder: 11
Hoge Letters (late 1880s)
Scope and Contents note

23 letters, including a letter from Ollie Meek Thomas telling her mother that she has sent a basket of fruit on horseback to her. Also includes a letter from Jane Hoge to her sister Jennie concerning the financial trouble their brother James is involved with, a prospectus of parents with children attending the Birch Grove school house, and a letter from G.E. Mahood to his sister and brother telling them is is homesick in Missouri.

box-folder 1 folder: 12
Hoge Letters
Scope and Contents note

12 letters.

box-folder 1 folder: 13
Price sheets, inventory lists, bill summaries
1846-1904, n.d.
box-folder 1 folder: 14
Hoge letters of sale, profit figures, sales sheets
1889-1913, n.d.
box-folder 2 folder: 15
Deeds (Folder 1 of 4)
Scope and Contents note

19 deeds.

box-folder 2 folder: 16
Deeds (Folder 2 of 4)
Scope and Contents note

14 deeds.

box-folder 2 folder: 17
Deeds (Folder 3 of 4)
Scope and Contents note

20 deeds.

box-folder 2 folder: 18
Deeds (Folder 4 of 4)
Scope and Contents note

12 deeds.

box-folder 2 folder: 19
Damaged letters; torn and incomplete
1852-90, n.d.
box-folder 2 folder: 20
Genealogical research notes, transcriptions
Scope and Contents note

Research notes compiled by geneaologist Dorothy H. Bodell. Records include family trees of the Meek, Hoge, and Thomas families, various photos from each family reproduced on paper, a printed bio of William Hoge, transcription of a mournful letter from Thomas Peery telling his brother of recent deaths in his family, a deed of relinquishment of the Jestina Strother estate, and correspondence to and from Dorothy Bodell. Also includes a roll detailing the family trees of the Hoge, Meek, and Thomas families. The roll is located outside of the folder.

box-folder 3 folder: 21
Notes, condensed letters
1850-98, n.d.
box-folder 3 folder: 22
Postcards, 1923 Royster's Almanac, Senate Bill
1882-1933, n.d.
box-folder 3 folder: 23
1883-1901, n.d.