Dorr Family Added Papers, 1836-1979

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Dorr family

Title:  Added Papers, 1836-1979 (bulk: 1900-1979)

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection:  2.0 cu. ft.

Location Number:  Mss. A D716a

Scope and Content Note

Papers consist of correspondence, greeting cards, business records, genealogical materials, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous materials compiled by the Dorr family.  Papers were largely created and compiled by William Meriwether Dorr (1896-1978), June Mitchell Dorr (1907-1989), and their son, Samuel “Sam” Dorr (1943-).

Folders 1-11 consist of correspondence to William Meriwether Dorr, 1901-1979, chiefly from Edwin S. Gorham (a New York book seller), Dorr’s mother Hannah Dorr, his sister Susan Dorr Mcpherson, Alice Quaid (a friend living in Washington, D. C.), his second wife June Mitchell Dorr, and their son Sam Dorr.

Folders 12-18 consist of correspondence to June Mitchell Dorr, 1925-1962, chiefly from her family (including her mother Sarah Mitchell, her grandmother Elizabeth Hatcher, and her brother Ralph Mitchell), and her suitor-then-husband William Meriwether Dorr. A small amount of material related to the death of her brother, Francis Mitchell, in a plane crash and greeting cards from William Meriwether Dorr sent before and during their marriage are included.

Folders 19-24 consist of greeting cards dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, and letters of condolence to June Dorr upon the death of William Meriwether Dorr.  Many of these cards were sent between members of the Dorr family to each other.

Folder 25 consists of a few personal notes, undated, created by William Meriwether Dorr describing his thoughts on his two marriages, and how his use of alcohol affected his life; these are identified as a “diary” in the folder list.

Folders 26-27 consists of business papers, 1845-1901, chiefly related to land ownership, mortgages, and taxation in Louisville, Kentucky.  These papers were likely compiled in the course of genealogical research.

Folder 28 consists of poems, a small amount of prose erotica, rules for a strategy game, and an address by James A. Dorr entitled “Justice to the South.”

Folder 29 consists of recipes for various sweets, pigeon, and a cure for cholera.

Folder 30 consists of newspaper clippings, mostly undated, and chiefly consisting of genealogical material such as obituaries or family members mentioned in the news.

Folder 31 consists of miscellaneous material, largely undated.  There is material related to Harvard College and University, a book plate for John P. Hazen of Boston, Massachusetts, and various catalogs and programs.

Folder 32 consists of ephemera such as business cards, political ephemera, a prescription for whiskey, paper dolls and a tracing book, religious ephemera, selective service registration cards, and a 25 March 1869 passport made out to Samuel Dorr.

Folder 33-43 consists of genealogical material concerning a wide variety of families including the Chipman, Dorr, Drake, Hazen, McLean, Mengel, Meriwether, Mitchell, Price, Ransom, Warren, White, Wilson, and Winslow families.  There is additional material for a number of families which do not appear to be closely related to the Dorr family.

Folder 44 consists of five issues of Twenty-One, 1935-1936, the Journal of the American Institute of Banking.

Volume 45 consists of a list of books read by William Meriwether Dorr, 1922-1974.

Volume 46 consists of fashion news clippings, illustrations, and church correspondence compiled by June Dorr, 1935, 1939, and undated.

Volume 47 is a scrapbook compiled by Samuel Fox Dorr, 1943-1959, which contains poems written to Sam Dorr at the time of his birth, greeting cards, theater and circus programs, photos of Sam Dorr in the church choir, menus, a 1955 issue of The Bowery News printed by the Hobo Press, picture postcards of Fort Knox, Ky., wedding photos, St. Mark’s Church material, and the scripts to various plays.

Volume 48 is a scrapbook compiled by Samuel Fox Dorr, 1960-1962, which contains material related to high school theatre, greeting cards, high school graduation, pictures of his girlfriend, menus, vacation photos, and material related to the University of Kentucky.

Volume 49 is a compendium of poems transcribed by William Meriwether Dorr with some illustrations and photographs, 1962, and undated.

Volume 50 consists of what appear to be original poems written by William Meriwether Dorr, undated.

Volume 51 consists of a narrative description of the Meriwether family genealogy, and excerpts from the Page and Hughes family books describing their genealogy, undated.

Volume 52 is a book of sketches by William Wilson Mitchell (father of June Mitchell Dorr), undated.

Folder 53 contains photocopies of loose photos found in the collection.  The original photos were transferred to The Filson Photo Collection (011PC21).

Oversized 53 and 54 consist of broadsheets with images of Sam Dorr promoting First National Bank of Louisville, undated.


Biographical Note

In the antebellum era the Dorr family lived in Massachusetts and New York, primarily working as merchants.  Samuel Fox Dorr and Elizabeth Chipman Hazen married in 1835 and had two children, Samuel and Hazen. Samuel F. Dorr died in 1844, and Elizabeth Dorr moved to France shortly thereafter.  Hazen Dorr died in the 1850s while a student at Harvard.  Samuel Dorr, the son of Samuel F. and Elizabeth Dorr, moved to Louisville, Kentucky after the Civil War where he practiced law.  Samuel Dorr (1837-1913) and Hannah Travilla Meriwether Dorr (1858-1946) married and had a daughter, Susan Elizabeth Dorr McPherson (1889-1935), and a son, William Meriwether Dorr (1896-1978).

William Meriwether Dorr began his career as a banker in 1919 with Citizen’s Fidelity Bank and Trust Company of Louisville, Kentucky, and retired in 1963.  Dorr was an officer in the Louisville Chapter of the American Institute of Banking and married twice, first to Martha Long McLean (1902-????) on 5 June 1918.

William Meriwether and Martha Dorr had two children, an unnamed child who was stillborn on 30 April 1919, and William “Billy” Meriwether Dorr II (26 November 1928-1999).  They were divorced sometime between 1930 and 1938.

William Meriwether Dorr remarried to June Mitchell (29 September 1907-September 1989) on 10 September 1938.  June was the daughter of William Wilson Mitchell and Sarah H. Mitchell, and worked as an interior decorator and design consultant in Louisville, Kentucky.

They had a single child, Samuel “Sam” Fox Dorr, born 6 December 1943.  Sam Dorr served in the United States Army and later became a banker. He married Jane Frederica Orr on 12 June 1965.


Folder List

William Meriwether Dorr Correspondence

Folder 1: Correspondence, 1901-1920

Folder 2:  Correspondence, 1921-1925

Folder 3: Correspondence, 1926-1927

Folder 4: Correspondence, 1928

Folder 5: Correspondence, 1929-1935

Folder 6: Correspondence, 1936

Folder 7: Correspondence, 1937

Folder 8: Correspondence, 1938

Folder 9: Correspondence, 1939-1964

Folder 10: Correspondence, 1965-1979

Folder 11: Correspondence, undated

June Dorr Correspondence, 1925-1946

Folder 12: Correspondence to June Mitchell from Her Mother and Telegrams Regarding Ralph Mitchell’s Fatal Plane Crash, 1903-1945

Folder 13: Correspondence to June Mitchell from William Meriwether Dorr, 1925-1937

Folder 14: Correspondence, Elizabeth Hatcher to June Mitchell, 1933-1939

Folder 15: Correspondence to June Dorr from Ralph Mitchell, 1933-1946

Folder 16: Correspondence to June Dorr from William Meriwether Dorr, 1937-1938

Folder 17: Correspondence to June Dorr while at Western State Hospital, 1961-1962

Folder 18: Greeting Cards to June Dorr from William Meriwether Dorr, undated

Dorr Family Correspondence (Greeting Cards)

Folder 19: Greeting Cards, 1930s-1970s

Folder 20: Greeting Cards, 1930s-1970s

Folder 21: Greeting Cards, 1930s-1970s

Folder 22: Greeting Cards, 1930s-1970s

Folder 23: Greeting Cards, 1930s-1970s

Folder 24: Greeting Cards, 1930s-1970s


Folder 25: Diary, William Meriwether Dorr, undated

Business Papers

Folder 26: Business Papers, 1845-1891

Folder 27: Business Papers, 1892-1901

Poems and Poetry

Folder 28: Poems, undated

Folder 29: Recipes, undated

Newspaper Clippings

Folder 30: News Clippings, undated


Folder 31: Miscellaneous, undated

Folder 32: Ephemera, undated


Folder 33: Genealogy, Dorr family, 1836-1889

Folder 34: Genealogy, Dorr family, 1904-1924

Folder 35: Genealogy, Dorr family, undated

Folder 36: Genealogy, Meriwether Family 1936-1939, undated

Folder 37: Genealogy, Dorr family, 1957-1972

Folder 38: Genealogy, Governor David Meriwether materials, 1847, undated

Folder 39: Genealogy, Mitchell Family, 1955-1958, undated

Folder 40: Genealogy, Hazen family, undated

Folder 41: Genealogy, Charts, undated

Folder 42: Genealogy, Miscellaneous Families Not Closely Related to the Dorr Family, undated

Folder 43: Genealogy, Miscellaneous Families Not Closely Related to the Dorr Family, undated


Folder 44: Twenty-One, 1935-1936


Volume 45: Volume: William Meriwether Dorr List of Books Read by Year, 1922-1974

Volume 46: Volume: June Dorr fashion news clippings and illustrations, church correspondence, 1935, 1939, undated

Volume 47: Samuel Fox Dorr Scrapbook, 1943-1959

Volume 48: Samuel Fox Dorr Scrapbook, 1960-1962

Volume 49: William Meriwether Dorr Compiled Poems with Illustrations, 1962, undated Volume 50: Original poems by William Meriwether Dorr, undated

Volume 51: Meriwether Family Genealogy, Excerpts from Page and Hughes Family Books, undated

Volume 52: William Wilson Mitchell Sketchbook, undated


Folder 53: Loose Photos (Photocopies) Found in the Papers, Originals Were Transferred to Filson Photo Collection (011PC21).

Oversized Materials

Oversized 54: First National Bank of Louisville Promotional Material Featuring Sam Dorr, undated

Oversized 55: First National Bank of Louisville Promotional Material Featuring Sam Dorr, undated


Subject Headings

African Americans – Politics and government.

Aircraft accidents – Kentucky – Campbellsville.



Art, Amateur – Kentucky – Louisville.

Banks and banking – Kentucky – Louisville.

Basic training (Military education).

Birthday cards – Kentucky – Louisville.

Book catalogs – Kentucky – Louisville.

Camp Perry (Ohio).

Chipman family – Genealogy.


Christmas cards – Kentucky – Louisville.



C. B. Thompson and Company (Louisville, Ky.)

C. C. Mengel & Bro. Co. (Louisville, Ky.)


Dorr, June, 1907-1989.

Dorr, Samuel F., 1943-.

Dorr, William Meriwether, 1896-1978.

Dorr family – Genealogy.

Drawing books.

Eagles in art.

Edwin S. Gorham, Bookseller (New York, N.Y.).

England – Description and travel.

Episcopalians – Kentucky – Louisville.

Erotica – Kentucky – Louisville.

First National Bank (Louisville, Ky.)

Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893.


Fort Dix (N.J.).

Fort Knox (Ky.).

France – Description and travel.



Get-well cards – Kentucky – Louisville.

Greeting cards.

Harvard College (1780-)

Harvard University.

Hazen family – Genealogy.

Hughes family – Genealogy.

Italy – Description and travel.

Kentucky – Poetry.

Ku Klux Klan (1915-) – Kentucky – Louisville.

Land titles – Kentucky – Louisville.



McLean family – Genealogy.

Mengel family – Genealogy.

Meriwether, David, 1800-1893.

Meriwether family – Genealogy.

Mitchell family.

Mitchell family – Genealogy.

Moore family – Genealogy.

Mortgages – Kentucky – Louisville.

Page family – Genealogy.


Pirtle, James S. (James Speed), 1840-1919.


Political ephemera.

Presidents – United States – Election – 1920.

Price family – Genealogy.

Probate courts – Washington (D. C.).


Quaid, Alice B.

Race relations.


Recipes – Kentucky – Louisville.

St. Mark’s Episcopalian Church (Louisville, Ky.)

Stewart Dry Goods Co. (Louisville, Ky.)


Switzerland – Description and travel.


United States. Army – Military life.

United States. Marine Corps – Military life.


Warren family – Genealogy.

Washington (D.C.) – Description and travel.


White family – Genealogy.

Wilson family – Genealogy.

Women – Employment.

Women – Suffrage.

Zapp & Short Co. (Louisville, Ky.).

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2022

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. All events are currently being held virtually; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1623874553aciro1623874553tsihn1623874553oslif1623874553@hcra1623874553eser1623874553.


Brown Forman Logo
Fund for the Arts Logo
Blue Grass Motorsport Logo
PNC Logo
Cave Hill Cemetery Logo
Kentucky Select Properties Logo
JBS Logo
Stock Yards Bank and Trust Logo
The Eye Care Institute Logo