Mary Brackett Willcox papers, 1807-1864 (MC 10)

This collection contains mostly incoming correspondence to Mary Brackett Willcox (1796-1866), wife of James M. Willcox (1791-1854) whose family owned one of the most significant paper mills in the country in Ivy Mills, now Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania. Along with their status in industry, the Willcox family was also one of the most prominent families within the Catholic community in the Philadelphia area. The family’s mansion became the center of Catholicity in Delaware County, and served as the beginnings of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, the oldest parish in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

During the 1840s and 1850s, students and the Vincentian administrators of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary spent their summers at the Willcox estate. The letters in the collection are from Vincentians, seminarians, and other priests serving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who formed close ties with Mary and the Willcox family during this period. A majority of the letters address the topics of religion and spirituality, and more specifically, the teachings of the Catholic Church. These topics were of special interest to Mary. From an old established Puritan family from Massachusetts, she converted to Catholicism after marrying into the Willcox family. The correspondence also documents the Vincentians’ work in the Philadelphia diocese and in other parts of the country; and relates to the Willcox family. Besides correspondence, the collection also includes miscellaneous drafts, notes, and other writings that Mary likely authored.

0.4 linear feet; 1 box

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William J. Lallou papers, circa 1890-1973 (MC 55)

circa 1945

Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of St. Charles Seminary (Overbrook, PA), William J. Lallou (1880-9173) served as an assistant pastor and pastor of several parishes within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including Our Lady of Lourdes, where he served for 17 years. Lallou taught for several years at St. Charles Seminary and at the Catholic University of America where he himself received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate. He authored The fifty years of the apostolic delegation (1943), and was named a domestic prelate by Pope John XXIII in 1959.

This collection contains sermons as well as scrapbooks and picture books, many of which document both Lallou’s travels abroad as well as Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Personal diaries, family photographs, research notes and books on various topics, such as Central High School, Lallou’s alma mater, are also included.

4.4 linear ft., 11 boxes