Reutlinger Family Added Papers, 1910-1986

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Reutlinger family

Title: Added papers, 1910-1986 (bulk: 1930-1944)

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

Size of Collection: 1 cubic foot plus 1 wrapped vol. and 1 ovsz. fld.

Location Number:  Mss. A R447a

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents student life and dating customs in the mid-20th century, providing insight into student activities on high school and college campuses prior to World War II.  The collection centers on the relationship of Elizabeth “Libby” Miller and her longtime boyfriend Albert Reutlinger, both natives of Louisville, Kentucky.  A small portion of the collection also relates to Albert Reutlinger’s service in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II in the Pacific Theater.

Folders 1-15 contain letters written to Elizabeth “Libby” Miller, dated 1934-1941.  Miller frequently receives letters from her longtime boyfriend, Albert Reutlinger, as well as a few other friends.  Reutlinger was a student at the University of Virginia from 1934-1940, and his letters primarily concern social life in college, especially fraternity activities and parties.  Reutlinger also writes about college football games, his attraction to Miller, and their plans to see each other on the weekends.  Also included in the correspondence are letters Miller receives from her parents while she attends Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts from 1936-1940.  Letters from her parents, particularly her mother, are full of advice about her classes and romantic relationships, her clothing and personal appearance, upcoming travel plans, and reminders about social obligations during her school breaks.

Folders 16-19 contain additional school-related materials.  A diary contains a daily record of Miller’s social life and school experiences, mostly for the 1932 school year.  Also present is a minute book of the secretive Nu Lambda Alpha club, a girls’ group that Miller was a member and president of during her high school years.  Several posters depict high school girls as arrogant, lazy, and unstudious.

Folder 20 contains a register which lists wedding gifts received by Elizabeth Miller and Albert Reutlinger.

Folder 21 contains Christmas notes from Liberty Insurance employees to Albert Reutlinger.  Albert’s father, who was the president of the company at the time, encouraged his employees to write notes to his son prior to his deployment in World War II.

Folder 22 contains a radio broadcast transcript regarding the landing at Peleliu Island in the Pacific in 1944 and the ensuing fight with its Japanese defenders.

Folder 23 contains various certificates, mostly belonging to Albert Reutlinger.  They recognize his accomplishments as a high school member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, as well as his participation in football and his membership in fraternities.

Folder 24 contains newspaper clippings, 1937-ca. 1960.  Included are clippings about Miller and Reutlinger’s engagement and wedding, as well as Reutlinger’s military service during World War II.  Additional clippings discuss Reutlinger’s service on the Children’s Hospital board and his involvement in the Louisville Urban League.

Folder 25 contains genealogical notes and heraldry of the Hancock family.  Also included are newspaper clippings relating to the death of John H. Hancock; and a photocopied letter and newspaper article regarding the elopement of Harold Miller and Elizabeth Hancock.

Folder 26 contains miscellaneous materials, including a few news clippings about Fontaine Fox and his “Toonerville Folks” cartoon.

Volumes 27-28 are scrapbooks.  A scrapbook created by Elizabeth Miller, 1930-1940, contains clippings about her family and friends; social news; and a few family photographs (vol. 27).  A scrapbook of newspaper clippings, 1942-1943, regards World War II in the Pacific, especially the battles in the Solomon Islands (vol. 28).

Folder 29 contains two oversized certificates.  They recognize Reutlinger’s involvement in Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

With the exception of the photographs in Elizabeth Miller’s scrapbook (vol. 27), all images have been transferred to the Filson’s photo collection (015PC47).

Related Collections:

Reutlinger family papers (Mss. A R447)

Fox-Reutlinger family papers (Mss. A F791a)

Biographical Note

 Elizabeth “Libby” Miller was born in 1918 to Harold and Elizabeth (Hancock) Miller.  She was a 1936 graduate of Louisville Collegiate School.  During her high school years, she went on a world cruise visiting Cuba, Hawaii, and Japan, among other countries.  Following high school, Miller attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, graduating in 1940.  In 1941, Miller married her longtime boyfriend Albert F. Reutlinger.  The couple had three children: Mary, Barton, and Elizabeth.

Albert F. Reutlinger (1917-1998) was a lawyer, public official, and veteran of World War II.  Reutlinger was born in 1917 to Adolph Reutlinger and Mary Yandell Fox Reutlinger.  He was the grandson of Judge Fontaine Fox, and nephew of the cartoonist Fontaine Fox.  He graduated from Louisville Male High School and attended the University of Virginia, graduating from its Law School in 1940.  While in the University, he joined the United States Marine Corps.  In January 1941, he was called to active duty and was sent to Quantico, Virginia and then Dunedin, Florida for amphibian tractor training.  After Pearl Harbor, Reutlinger was assigned to the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, First Marine Division for the duration of World War II.  Reutlinger entered the war with the rank of Lieutenant, advancing to become the Battalion’s Commanding Officer.  His unit fought in the Pacific Theater, especially the Guadalcanal Campaign of 1942-1943 in the Solomon Islands.  He also was involved in operations at Cape Gloucester, Peleliu Island, and Okinawa.  He retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1957 with the rank of Colonel.

After the war, Reutlinger returned to Louisville where he took up the practice of law.  In 1947, he was elected to office on Louisville’s Board of Aldermen, representing Ward 2.  By the time of his retirement, he was the senior partner in a law firm that had been renamed Middleton & Reutlinger.

Folder List

Folder 1:              Correspondence, 1934

Folder 2:              Correspondence, 1935-1936

Folder 3:              Correspondence, April-October 1937

Folder 4:              Correspondence, November-December 1937

Folder 5:              Correspondence, January-April 1938

Folder 6:              Correspondence, September-October 1938

Folder 7:              Correspondence, November 1938

Folder 8:              Correspondence, December 1938

Folder 9:              Correspondence, January-February 1939

Folder 10:            Correspondence, March-May 1939

Folder 11:            Correspondence, September-December 1939

Folder 12:            Correspondence, January-February 1940

Folder 13:            Correspondence, March-April 1940

Folder 14:            Correspondence, May-June 1940, 1941

Folder 15:            Correspondence, undated

Folder 16:            Diary of Elizabeth W. Miller and daughter Mary Reutlinger, 1932-1933, 1960

Folder 17:            Nu Lambda Alpha club minutes, ca. 1930-1936

Folder 18:            High school posters, ca. 1936

Folder 19:            College report card, graduation program, 1940

Folder 20:            Wedding gift register, 1940-1941

Folder 21:            Liberty Insurance employees – Christmas notes to Albert Reutlinger, ca. 1941

Folder 22:            Radio broadcast scripts re: Marine landing in the Pacific, 1944

Folder 23:            Certificates, 1932-1986

Folder 24:            Newspaper clippings, 1937-ca. 1960

Folder 25:            Hancock family genealogy, 1910-1914, undated

Folder 26:            Miscellaneous

Volume 27:         Elizabeth Miller scrapbook, 1930-1940


Volume 28:         Scrapbook of news clippings re: WWII in the Pacific, 1942-1943

Folder 29:            Albert Reutlinger certificates, ca. 1934, 1951

Subject Headings


Clubs – Kentucky – Louisville.

College students.


Dating (Social customs)

Diseases – Treatment.

Fox, Fontaine, 1884-1964.

Girlie magazines.

Greek letter societies – United States.

Greeting cards.

Guadalcanal, Battle of, Solomon Islands, 1942-1943.

Hancock family.

High school girls – Kentucky – Louisville.

Japan – Description and travel.

Louisville Collegiate School.

Louisville Male High School (Louisville, Ky.)


Miller, Elizabeth Hancock, b. ca. 1896.

Miller, Harold W., b. ca. 1897.

Miller, Harold Whitney, b. ca. 1934.

Peleliu, Battle of, Palau, 1944.

Reutlinger, Albert F., 1917-1998.

Reutlinger, Elizabeth Miller, b. 1918.

Smith College.

Taylor, Louise Van Dyke.

Tracked landing vehicles.

United States. Marine Corps. Armored Amphibian Battalion, 1st.

University of Virginia.

Weddings – Kentucky – Louisville.

Women – Education.

Women – Social life and customs.

World War, 1939-1945 – Battlefields – Pacific Area.

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