Puryear-Rodes Family Letters

Identifier: MSS.0737

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

This small collection of letters and transcripts is comprised of 1.04 linear feet of manuscript material, ranging in date from 1892 until the death of Sara Puryear Rodes on August 21, 1997.

Other important dates for this collection are the time around the wedding of Sara Puryear and Allan Battle Rodes on October 8, 1929.

This collection of correspondence chronicles the everyday business and lives of Sara Puryear Rodes and her husband Allan Battle Rodes and their daughter Sally. It includes letters from friends and other family members. The collection numbers approximately 230 letters.


  • 1892-1997

Language of Materials


Biographical Notes

Sara McKennie Puryear Rodes was born in 1900 and died on August 21, 1997 at the age of 97. She was a native of Nashville and lived all her life in middle Tennessee. She was the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus Puryear (1850-1936) and Rena McKennie Puryear. She graduated from Miss Annie Allison’s Girls Preparatory School in 1918. She received her BA from Vanderbilt in 1922 where she was a member of Tri Delta Sorority and the YWCA cabinet. She had a sister and two brothers all of whom attended Vanderbilt. She married Allan Battle Rodes on October 8, 1929, and they had one daughter Sara Rodes Lee, Sally, who was born on January 5, 1932.

She was a member of West End Methodist Church, a member of the Query Club, co-director of Camp Monterey for 44 years and secretary for the Cumberland Science museum for more than 50 years. She was president of the YWCA in Nashville during World War II, a founding member of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, and a Daughter of the American Revolution.

Allan Battle Rodes, (known as Battle) was the son of H. E. Rodes and Mary Battle Rodes. He received his BA from Vanderbilt in 1924. He married Sara Puryear on October 8, 1929, and they had one daughter Sara Rodes Lee who was born in 1932. He was a business man with his own company Franklin Building Supply. In the early years of their marriage he travelled often on business. He died on January 20, 1989. Many of the letters in this collection were written by him to his wife, Sara.

Sara Rodes Lee (Sally) lives with her husband John Lee, an architect, in Williamson County. They have 3 children.

She grew up in Nashville, and received BA (1953), MA(1956) and her Ph.D (1989) degrees from Vanderbilt. She divides her time between horses and writing, and she has taught English literature at Middle Tennessee State University.

Sally Lee is the donor of this collection, and prepared the transcripts of the letters.


2.50 Linear Feet

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Puryear-Rodes Family Letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


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