A Guide to the Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers, 1922-1987 Adams, Elizabeth Kent Papers Ms1990-045

A Guide to the Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers, 1922-1987

A Collection in
Special Collections
Accession Number Ms1990-045


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2007 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Accession Number
Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers 1922-1987
Physical Characteristics
1 container; 0.2 cu. ft.
Papers of Elizabeth Kent Adams (1908-1994), resident of Radford, Virginia and local historian. Correspondence, newspaper clippings, genealogical charts, essays, and other materials related to the history of Southwest Virginia and of her ancestral lines, especially the Cloyd, Kent, McGavock and Putnam families. Includes photocopy of the handwritten autobiography of A. W. Putnam, photocopies of James Randal Kent's will and inventory of debts, and photocopies and originals of other family papers.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers, Ms1990-045 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers were donated to Special Collections in 1990.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the Elizabeth Kent Adams Papers commenced in November 2007 and was completed in December 2007.

Biographical Information

Elizabeth Kent Adams, resident of Radford, Virginia and local historian, was born on June 1, 1908 in Pulaski County, Virginia. The daughter of John Putnam and Elizabeth Kent Cowan Adams, she was a graduate of Radford College, a member of Radford Presbyterian Church and of the William Campbell Chapter of the D. A. R. As evidenced by her papers, Adams maintained throughout her life an interest in the history of Southwest Virginia, especially as it pertained to the history of her own ancestral lines. Adams died on April 3, 1994 and was buried at Sunrise Burial Park in Radford, Virginia.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of Elizabeth Kent Adams (1908-1994), Radford, Virginia resident and local historian. The collection contains such materials as correspondence, newspaper clippings, unpublished writings, and miscellaneous records, all relating to the history of Southwest Virginia and Adams' ancestral lines, particularly the Cloyd, Kent, McGavock and Putnam families.

Much of the correspondence in the collection focuses on Kentland, the Kent family home at Whitethorne (Montgomery County), Virginia--specifically the inclusion of Kentland on historic landmark registers the maintenance of Kentland's cemetery. (Other correspondence relates to the papers of A. W. Putnam at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.) Also relating to Kentland is a history of the plantation, written by Louisa Dekker and annotated by Adams.

Adams' subject files, arranged here in an imposed alphabetical order, consist largely of newspaper clippings, the majority of these being of Goodridge Wilson's long-running "Southwest Corner" newspaper column. Among the topics addressed within the subject files are the Adams, Bingamin, Cloyd, Harman, Heavin, Howe, Ingles, Kent, McGavock, and Sifford families; and the communities of Alleghany, Catawba, Dunkard's Bottom, Elliston, Fort Chiswell, Highland, and Whitethorne, with the latter receiving the most extensive coverage (particularly relating to Whitethorne history and latter-day development proposals for the area). Included also is a special issue of Virginia and the Virginia County (July 1949) devoted to Wythe County. Several items relate to Radford residents Saul Simon and Mary Ledger "M'Ledge" Moffett.

The miscellaneous file contains a number of items relating to the Kent family, including a Kent coat of arms certification, a photocopy of the will of James R. Kent, and photographs of the ferry and mill at Whitethorne. Together with these Kent family items is a small collection of ephemera, including a poem about Mountain Lake by Carolee Pleasants Otey, notes on the Cowan family, a 1922 letter from Elizabeth Kent Cowan Adams to her son, Richard Putnam Adams, genealogical notes on the Cloyd, Cowan, and McGavock families, and an early description of the resort at Montgomery White Sulphur Springs.


The collection is arranged by document type. Documents within the subject files have been arranged in an imposed alphabetical order.

Index Terms

    Family Names:

  • Cloyd family
  • Kent family
  • McGavock family
  • Subjects:

  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Location of Originals

The original A. W. Putnam autobiography is held by the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Contents List

Correspondence 1964-1987, n.d.
Box-folder 1-1
"Kentland" by Louisa Dekker [1987?]
Box-folder 1-2
[2 copies]
A. W. Putnam autobiography n.d.
Box-folder 1-3
Subject files 1930-1987, n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-4
  • Box-folder 1-5
  • Box-folder 1-6
Miscellaneous 1922-1981
Box-folder 1-7