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Bolles and Bull families papers

Identifier: SCL-MS-15004

Chiefly correspondence and personal papers of William Clare Bull and his wife, Hessie Travis Bull, when separated due to work-related travel or visits with extended family. William Clare Bull served in the US Navy and the South Carolina National Guard for a brief period in 1915-1917. Due to his father’s terminal illness, the Navy released him to care for his family. Bull later joined the South Carolina National Guard, Company L, 2nd Regiment, but received an honorable discharge by reason of physical disability, 10 April 1917. In civilian life, Bull worked as a salesman for the Kingan Company, a wholesale meat distributor and his territory included the S.C. Counties of Spartanburg, Union and Laurens. In the course of business travel or during Hessie Bull’s visits with relatives in North Carolina, Clare Bull wrote frequently to his wife about his activities, finances, purchase of gifts, and how he missed his family. In a letter written on stationery of the Hotel Clinton (Clinton, S.C.) dated 18 Dec. 1924, he stated,"Well Honey had my first puncture on the road this afternoon in eight months got out & fixed it & didn’t ‘cuss’ was quite an improvement don’t you think…” Circa 1938-1939, the Bull family moved from Spartanburg to Columbia, S.C. Bull continued his employment with Kingan, while Hessie Bull worked as a telephone switchboard operator at Fort Jackson and downtown at the Belk Department Store, where she also worked as a personal shopper. Papers dating to the 1940s and 1950s document the family’s purchase of a house and furniture, payment for a daughter’s wedding, the funeral of William Clare Bull in 1953 and other activities. Photographs include images of William Clare Bull, Hessie Travis Bull, Eusebia Bachman Bolles Bull, Mary Dotha Bull, William Connor Bull, and other family members. This collection also includes an 1876 scrapbook with autographs, titled “Friendship Album,” and a family history published in 1865, “The Genealogy of the Bolles Family in America.”


  • 1865-1978


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All rights reside with creator. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact The South Caroliniana Library.


1.25 Linear Feet (2 v. 60 photographs)

Biographical Note

Edwin Abiel Bolles, clergyman of the Evangelical Lutheran church and agent for South Carolina of the American Bible Society, resided in Orangeburg, S.C. Bolles’ daughter, Eusebia Bachman Bolles married Henry Bull. Rev. Bolles’ granddaughter, Mary Dotha Bull, married William Connor Bull, a union that produced a son named William Clare Bull, who married Hessie Travis of North Carolina.

Physical Location

This collection is held by the South Carolinina Library. Contact the library at 803-777-3132 or to inquire about scan-and-deliver options or to set up a research appointment. Please provide at least three business days’ notice for in-person appointments.


Repository Details

Part of the South Caroliniana Library Repository

910 Sumter St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-5747 (Fax)

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