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William Penhallow Henderson and Alice Corbin Henderson family papers

Identifier: MSS-1095-BC

Scope and Contents

Correspondence between William Penhallow Henderson (WPH), Alice Corbin Henderson (ACH), and their families comprises the bulk of this collection. There are also letters from William O. Henderson to his wife, Sallie Henderson (Mrs. William O. Henderson) as well as letters from others to each of them. A file contains letters from William Edward Norton to William O. Henderson. The bulk of the letters are written by William Penhallow to his parents, but primarily to his mother (Sallie). Letters describe his travels, education, artwork, and exhibitions, as well as catching up on family matters. Many of his letters contain small drawings or paintings. Alice Corbin Henderson writes her own letters to WPH’s mother and also to her family. Other Corbin family correspondence relates primarily to family genealogy. Family ephemera and documents are also contained in the collection. A scrapbook belonging to ACH and WPH’s daughter, Alice Oliver, contains letters from ACH and WPH, as well as calling cards, holiday cards from Santa Fe personalities including Will Shuster and Gustave Baumann, and sketches by WPH. Congratulatory telegrams on the occasion pf Alice Oliver and John Evans’ wedding and upon the birth of their children are also included.


  • 1880-1950

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

William Penhallow Henderson (WPH) was born to William O. and Sallie Henderson on June 4, 1877 in the Boston area. The family settled near Uvalde, TX in 1879 to raise cattle. WPH went to Europe on a scholarship to study art from 1901-1903. He returned to Boston in 1904, and then accepted a teaching position at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Alice R. Corbin was born on April 16, 1881 in St. Louis, MO. After the death of her mother and 2 brothers, she lived with her father’s cousin Alice Richardson (1884-1891). When her father (Fillmore) remarried in 1891, Alice went to live with them in Kansas City. She returned to Chicago in 1895 to attend high school, again living with the Richardsons. She attended the University of Chicago from 1899-1902, then moved to New Orleans where she attended Sophie Newcomb College and worked as a book reviewer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. She returned to Chicago in 1903 and began writing reviews for the Chicago Tribune and the Evening Post. ACH and WPH met in Chicago in 1904. They were married in 1905, and lived in a house given to Alice by the Richardsons in Lake Bluff, IL, while also maintaining a studio in Chicago. WPH's father, William O. Henderson died in 1906. Alice Oliver Henderson was born to WPH and ACH in 1907. Alice, William, and Alice Oliver travelled in Europe for 10 months, 1910-1911, returning to Chicago in September 1911. They moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1916 for ACH’s recovery from tuberculosis at Sunmount Sanatorium. WPH, John Evans, and Edwin Brooks began the Pueblo-Spanish Building Co. in 1925. ACH had been working in the literary milieu from circa 1908-. She published her own works, created the Poet’s Round-up, helped form the Writer’s Edition, and was editor for the Federal Writers Project's, New Mexico: A Guide to the Colorful State. Together, WPH and ACH helped initiate the Eugene Manlove Rhodes Memorial Association, with WPH designing the monument. WPH also designed what is now the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian; ACH became its curator. WPH died of a heart attack on October 14, 1943. ACH died of heart failure on July 18, 1949. Alice Oliver Henderson (AOH) married John Evans in December 1922. Their daughters Natalie, Nancy, and Letitia were born in 1924, 1925, and 1926, respectively. The family moved to Buffalo, NY in the fall 1925. AOH and daughters went to Europe in the fall, 1931. The children generally spent summers with ACH and WPH. The Evans divorced in 1933. AHR and the daughters moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1934. AOH married Edgar Lewis Rossin in 1936. Edgar Rossin died in 1948. AOH later married Carlton Colquitt. She died of cancer in February 1988.

Source: Alice Corbin Henderson Finding Aid.


2 boxes

Language of Materials


Finding Aid of the William Penhallow Henderson and Alice Corbin Henderson family papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131