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Wicker Buydden Family Papers

Identifier: MSN/MN 10034

Scope and Contents

This collection centers on the familial correspondence of Clifford Wicker Buydden, Wade James Buydden, Rachel Reno Wicker, and other members of the Wicker and Buydden families in the early twentieth century. Over a third of the collection is devoted to courtship correspondence between Clifford Wicker Buydden and Wade James Buydden. Of particular note within the collection are Clifford’s manuscript on health and food, Wade’s college application materials, Wade’s letters from Masonic organizations, Wade’s letters from the Tuskegee Institute, notes to and from Wade and Clifford’s young daughter Candace, as well as a letter from Mary Taylor Falt to Matilda Dunbar, mother of Dayton poet Paul Dunbar.

Correspondence is present in the format of handwritten and typescript letters, greeting cards, holiday cards, valentines, invitations, and postcards. Notes, manuscripts, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, drawings, advertisements, articles, black and white photographs, and a marriage certificate are also present.


  • Creation: 1898 - 1919
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1901 - 1909


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Clifford Wicker Buydden (14 February 1881 – 3 April 1918) was the daughter of Rachel Reno Wicker (1840 – 1910) of Ohio and William Wicker of Alabama (1836 – 1907), a Civil War veteran of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and bricklayer. While laboring as a domestic servant for Horace and Anna Gordon of Dayton, Ohio, she met Wade James Buydden whom she later married on 25 November 1903.

Clifford had general interests in art, illustration and poetry, as well as informed interests in history and health. While living in Dayton Clifford frequently returned to Catawba, Ohio to visit her family. Clifford had several sisters with whom she corresponded, Lucie Wicker Cain (9 February 1879 – Unknown), Mary Wicker Pritchett (1872 – 1933), sister-in-law Edith Mae Cain Wicker (12 April 1878 - 15 June 1966), as well as her niece Alice Carnay (1890 – Unknown).

Wade James Buydden (1 September 1876 – 27 April 1949), an African-American attorney in early twentieth century Dayton, Ohio, was the son of Sarah Lawrence Buydden of Ohio and Rufus Buydden of Santo Domingo. Wade studied law at Ohio State University and was admitted to the bar in 1904. As evinced by his own letters and a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher, Wade had a Latin education and frequently drew on it in his writings. He was also interested in freemasonry and trying to improve the lives of his fellow African-Americans.

Following Clifford’s death in 1918, Wade spent twenty-seven years as a widower before remarrying Erva Byrd Watkins (1910 – Unknown) on 7 September 1945. Clifford and Wade had three children who predeceased them, Sarah Rachel Buydden (1905 – 1907), an unnamed child (1907 – 1907), and Candace Buydden (1909 -1917). Wade additionally had several brothers with whom he corresponded, Joseph Buydden, James Buydden, Ulysses Buydden, and Clarence Buydden.


1.5 Cubic Feet (1 record storage box)

Language of Materials



Material has been arranged primarily by creator, subdivided into sections of correspondence, manuscripts, and ephemera. Correspondence is internally arranged by correspondent and ordered chronologically with postcards interfiled chronologically as well.

Processing Information

Designation 'outgoing' or 'incoming' used on phyisical folder titles within the collection.


Lauren Jean
12 January 2022
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556