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], [Folder number], [Box number], 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 1: Letters between Sgt. Richard Leary and Arlene Bickford Leary, 1938-1945

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 17, 1941-June 19, 1944
Box 1, Folder 2Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, July 2, 1944-July 28, 1944
Box 1, Folder 3Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Aug. 11, 1944-Aug. 24, 1944
Box 1, Folder 4Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Aug. 25, 1944-Aug. 31, 1944
Box 1, Folder 5Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 1, 1944-Sept. 13, 1944
Box 1, Folder 6Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 14, 1944-Sept. 22, 1944
Box 1, Folder 7Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 23, 1944-Sept. 30, 1944,
Box 1, Folder 8Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Oct. 1, 1944-Oct. 31, 1944
Box 1, Folder 9Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Nov. 1, 1944-Nov. 15, 1944
Box 1, Folder 10Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Nov. 16, 1944-Nov. 23, 1944
Box 1, Folder 11Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Nov. 24, 1944-Dec. 31, 1944
Box 1, Folder 12Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Jan. 2, 1945-Jan. 16, 1945
Box 1, Folder 13Letters, Richard Leary to Arlene Bickford Leary, Sept. 2, 1945-Oct. 5, 1945, two undated
Box 1, Folder 14Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Nov. 3, 1944-Nov. 11, 1944
Box 1, Folder 15Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Nov. 13, 1944-Nov. 21, 1944
Box 1, Folder 16Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Nov. 22, 1944-Nov. 29, 1944
Box 1, Folder 17Letters, Arlene Bickford Leary to Richard Leary, Dec. 1, 1944-Dec. 8, 1944
Box 1, Folder 18Letters to Richard Leary from Mrs. Sue Leary (mother), Nov. 25, 1944-Dec. 11, 1944
Box 1, Folder 19Letters to Richard Leary from Robert Leary (brother), Oct. 14, 1942-May 3, 1943
Box 1, Folder 20Letters to Richard Leary from various soldiers, 1942-1943
  • 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 21Letters to Richard Leary from various others, June 30, 1943; Nov. 23, 1944
  • Margaret Bickford, June 30, 1943
  • Doris McDermott (cousin), and Christmas card, Nov. 23, 1944
  • Mrs. Clara C. Simpson, Christmas card
Box 1, Folder 22Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Lil Frye, July 22, 1938-July 7, 1944
Box 1, Folder 23Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Gwen Leary, Dec. 30, 1942-May 10, 1943
Box 1, Folder 24Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Sue Leary, Dec. 30, 1942-Dec. 4, 1944
Box 1, Folder 25Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from Eleanor Picard, Nov. 9, 1941-Nov. 26, 1944
Box 1, Folder 26Letters to Arlene Bickford Leary from various others, 1938-1943
  • 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 2: Private Karl Bickford, 1938-1945

Box 1, Folder 27Letters, Karl Bickford to Arlene Bickford, Feb. 1, 1943-Oct. 31, 1943 (4 letters)
Box 1, Folder 28Letters, Karl Bickford to Richard Leary, July 30, 1943-Oct., 1944
Box 1, Folder 29Letters, Karl Bickford to various others, 1940
  • Marjorie Scott ("Scotty"), June 6, 1940, Undated
  • Lucia Wakeman ("Windy"), Undated
Box 1, Folder 30Letters to Karl Bickford from Nanna Bickford (grandmother), Aug. 5, 1940-Aug. 23, 1940
Box 1, Folder 31Letters to Karl Bickford from Ralph Morrissette, May 10, 1942-Dec. 16, 1942
Box 1, Folder 32Letters to Karl Bickford from Rita "Q", Oct. 19, 1942-Jan. 5, 1943
Box 1, Folder 33Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, 1939; June 4, 1940-July 30, 1940
Box 1, Folder 34Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Aug. 2, 1940-Aug. 27, 1940
Box 1, Folder 35Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Sept. 2, 1940-Sept. 30, 1940
Box 1, Folder 36Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Oct. 2, 1940-Dec. 13, 1940
Box 1, Folder 37Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, June 17, 1941-June 21, 1942
Box 1, Folder 38Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, July 7 1942-Oct. 6, 1942
Box 1, Folder 39Letters to Karl Bickford from Marjorie Scott, Nov. 10, 1942-Jan. 14, 1943
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Letters to Karl Bickford from Ray Stone, Jan. 13, 1941-Aug. 11, 1941
Box 2, Folder 2Letters to Karl Bickford from Ray Stone, Jun. 21, 1942-Jan. 6, 1943
Box 2, Folder 3Letters to Karl Bickford from Nancy Tupper, Oct. 21, 1941-Nov. 11, 1942
Box 2, Folder 4Letters to Karl Bickford from Nancy Tupper, Nov. 14, 1942-Nov. 29, 1942
Box 2, Folder 5Letters to Karl Bickford from Nancy Tupper, Dec. 3, 1942-Jan. 14, 1943
Box 2, Folder 6Letters to Karl Bickford from Lucia Wakeman ("Windy"), July 11, 1940-Jan. 8, 1943
Box 2, Folder 7Letters to Karl Bickford from Chet -?, July 11, 1940-Aug. 14, 1940
Box 2, Folder 8Letters to Karl Bickford from Ole -?, July 2, 1940; July 6, 1940-Dec. 9, 1941
Box 2, Folder 9Letters to Karl Bickford from Sid -?, Aug. 8, 1940-Aug. 22, 1940
Box 2, Folder 10Letters to Karl Bickford from various others, 1939-1942
  • 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
  • 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 3: Miscellaneous, 1940-1945

Box 2, Folder 11Correspondence 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