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Guide to the [C.] Everett Turling Letters from Oakdale Sanatorium

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1906-1934
Creator: Turling, [C.] Everett (1906-1934)
Extent: 2.00 folders.
Collection Number: MsC0971
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Pucharsed in 2013.

Preferred Citation: [C.] Everett Turling Letters from Oakdale Sanatorium. The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

C. Everett Turling was born in 1906, probably in Monroe, Iowa. Information on him is hard to locate, but in the collection there is a clipping from 1932 which states that he, two female cousins, and two other men were about to enjoy a picnic when a storm blew up. Since there was no shelter, they got drenched. They rowed their canoe back down the river and were rescued and taken home to dry out. However, in one letter from 1934 he said that he had been in one sanatarium or another for eight years. He must have been in and out of these sanatoria, depending upon his conditon. Prior to his time at Oakdale, he had been at Sunnyslope in Ottumwa.

In September 1933, Everett Turling began writing a weekly letter to his mother and father from Oakdale Sanatorium, where he stayed while suffereing from tuberculosis. These letters, plus a few others and some recipes, presumably included by his mother, make up this collection.

In these letters he talks of his condition, the state of the sanatoroium, the weather (there are quite a few dust storms), the treatment he receives, some fellow residents, the staff, and old acquaintances. He infrequently addressed political issues, though one exception is a letter of July 9 in which he said, "See if you can scrape me up some sort of a Bible and mail it to me. I promised Rev. Voss I would study up on some things we were discussing and it is quite impossible to study wihout a book. I have read about everything else so I guess it willl do no harm to see what the Bible has to say. It should be right down my alley, for Christ was certainly the greatest Socialist ever." Mostly upbeat, these letters try for lightness and they often succeed, though at times one feels as if he is making light of his situation so as not to worry his parents.

He submitted articles to the Stethoscope and eventually carried the title of Assistant Editor.

At the end of July, he switched to writing post cards, probably because writing letters was too taxing. On August 10 he wrote his last post card, and his mother Ellen took over, writing letters to her husband, Charles, updating him on Everett's condition and making requests on Everett's behalf.

Everett died at Oakdale on August 24, 1934, at the age of 27.
Records of Oakdale Sanatorium RG 27.20

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Letters from Oakdale Sanatorioum
  • Letters to Mrs. Charles (Ellen) Turling
  • Supporting documentation

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.