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Duenner-Young Families Collection

Identifier: MSS 80-10

Content Description

The collection concerns two families, the Young family of Bakersville, NC, and the Duenner family of Knoxville, TN.

Correspondence constitutes the bulk of the collection, particularly letters from Frederick Otto ("Fritz") Duenner to his stepmother, Ella Young Duenner (the link between two families). The letters begin in 1898, just after Fritz Duenner had graduated from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville, and gone "on the road" in search of jobs as a civil engineer. Duenner's letters tell of his life in boarding houses and hotels, as his work took him throughout the Southeast. For the next six years, Fritz Duenner sent an average of one letter per week to his stepmother, who lived in Knoxville with Fritz's younger brother, Robert, and two younger sisters, Aurelia and Cecilia.

The addition to the Duenner-Young Families Collection contains photographs of members of the Young family of Bakersville, NC, and the Duenner family of Knoxville, TN, at the turn of the 20th century. Also included is an "In Memoriam" card on the death of Ella Young Duenner Boyd.


  • 1891 - 1908

Conditions Governing Use

No publication fee is made for use of Western Carolina University Library special collections material in scholarly publications. The Library retains sole right to judge what constitutes a non-scholarly or commercial publication. Permission to publish commercially, in circumstances where the Library is qualified to grant it, requires proper authorization. Please contact Special Collections at for more information.

Biographical / Historical

Ella Young Duenner was one of six children of Reuben J. and Nancy W. Young, the proprietors of the Penland House (later the Young Hotel) in Bakersville, NC. According to Reuben Young's great-granddaughter (and Ella's grandniece), Mrs. Mary Lee Barron of Bakersville, Robert Henry Duenner met Ella Young when he stayed at the Penland House as a traveling salesman. His wife had died, leaving four children. After their marriage, Ella returned to Knoxville with Duenner. She raised his children after his death in April, 1898.


4.25 Linear Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the Hunter Library - Special Collections Repository

Cullowhee United States