Selby family Papers, 1863-2001

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Selby family

Title:  Selby family Papers, 1863-2001

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

Size of Collection:  1 cubic foot

Location Number:  Mss. A S464


Biographical Note

William David Selby and Lula Harris

William David Selby was born ca. 1877 in Vine Grove, Hardin County, Kentucky, to Dr. Thomas James Selby (1841-1900) and Martha Emily Nall (1847-1933). On February 18, 1904, he married Lula Harris.  Harris was born September 3, 1878, to James Augustus Harris and Laura Frances Webb in Brandenburg, Kentucky. While still in Vine Grove, they had three children: Minnie Rodman, William Dyer, and Martha Katherine.

William David Selby trained as a mortician in Elizabethtown before moving with his family to Paducah in 1912 to join Guy Nance and Company funeral directors. He later started his own company, the Selby Undertaking Company, located at Sixth and Monroe Streets in Paducah. For the last few years before his death, he was funeral director at Johnson Brothers and Selby. Selby died suddenly of a blood clot in May 1938. After his death, Lula moved to Louisville, where she died on January 16, 1966.

Minnie Rodman, William Dyer, and Martha Katherine Selby

Minnie Rodman Selby was born August 5, 1905, in Vine Grove, Kentucky. In 1927, she graduated from the Louisville Conservatory of Music, where she studied singing and piano. She worked on various musical programs and performances in Louisville throughout the next few years. On February 16, 1929, she married Edward W. Lurton in Louisville. According to her father’s obituaries, in 1938, she and her husband were living in Charlotte, North Carolina. By 1964 they were living in Birmingham, Alabama. They had two children, Katherine S. Lurton and Alleine Lurton Schroyens.

William Dyer Selby was born September 4, 1909, in Vine Grove, Kentucky. He lived in Louisville and served in the Air Force during World War II. He died in Louisville in 1997.

Martha Katherine Selby (often just called by her middle name, Katherine), was born on November 30, 1910, in Owensboro, Kentucky. She attended Paducah Tilghman High School. She died on July 17, 2001, in Louisville.


Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of material related to the Selby family of Paducah and Louisville, Kentucky. Most of the material concerns mortician and funeral director William David Selby (1877-1938), his wife Lula Harris Selby (1878-1966), and their children Minnie Rodman Selby (b. 1905), William Dyer Selby (b. 1909), and Martha Katherine Selby (1910-2001). Material includes birth records, marriage records, wills, obituaries, scrapbooks, and correspondence.

Related Collections:

Minnie Selby’s Senior Yearbook from the Louisville Conservatory of Music, Crescendo, 1927 [Transferred to Library Collection]

Separate photograph collection in process [accession # needed]

Museum items, including linens, pins, a beaded purse, a medicine kit, etc. [2013.3.1-38, 2013.5]


Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1: Correspondence from William Dyer Selby, Martha Katherine Selby, and others, 1929-1992 and n.d.

Folder 2: William David Selby obituaries and sympathy cards, April-July 1938 and n.d.

Folder 3: Lula Harris Selby birth record, marriage certificate, and widow’s application for Social Security, 1904-1943

Folder 4: Mother’s Day cards for Lula Harris Selby, ca. late 1920s and early 1930s

Folder 5: William Dyer Selby birth record, military service records, will, etc., 1942-1994

Folder 6: Minnie Rodman Selby birth and marriage records and will, 1925-1964

Folder 7: Martha Katherine Selby birth record and will, 1943-1995

Folder 8: Martha Katherine Selby funeral scrapbook, including photos and school report cards, 2001

Folder 9: Martha Katherine Selby graduation memory book from Paducah Tilghman High School, 1927

Folder 10: “Family Roll” certificate for “Kentucky Baptist Centennial Memorial,” 1876

Folder 11: Confederate bond, 1863

Folder 12: Selby family genealogical material, “First and Second Generations,” n.d.

Folder 13: Selby family genealogical material, “Third Generation,” n.d.

Folder 14: Nall family genealogical material, n.d.

Volume 15: Minnie Rodman Selby musical career scrapbook, 1924-1939

Item 16 (rolled document): Minnie Rodman Selby diploma for a bachelor’s degree in voice, Louisville Conservatory of Music, 1927

Item 17 (rolled document): Minnie Rodman Selby diploma from the Two-year Public School Music Course, Louisville Conservatory of Music, 1927


Subject Headings

Concerts – Kentucky – Louisville.

Confederate States of America. Department of the Treasury.

Forks of Otter Creek Baptist Church (Vine Grove, Ky.)

Funeral homes – Kentucky – Paducah.

High school girls – Kentucky.

Lurton, Minnie Rodman Selby, b. 1905.

Money – Confederate States of America.

Mother’s Day.

Music instruction and study – Kentucky – Louisville.

Nall family – Genealogy.

Paducah Tilghman High School (Paducah, Ky.)

Selby family – Genealogy.

Selby, Lula Harris, 1878-1966.

Selby, Martha Katherine, 1910-2001.

Selby, William David, 1877-1938.

Selby, William Dyer, 1909-1997.

Undertakers and undertaking – Kentucky – Paducah.

Women – Education – Kentucky.

World War, 1939-1945.