The Journals of William Minor Lile
Personal journals written between 1882-1932. The diaries are especially valuable for their impressions of life at the University of Virginia.
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Scope & Contents
This collection of eleven bound, handwritten journals date from 1882 to 1932. Lile began keeping a journal when he was struggling to establish himself in law practice in Lynchburg and to woo the Methodist minister's young daughter, Maud Carson. He wrote regularly until he began teaching law at the University. At that point he stopped for about twenty-five years and resumed near the end of World War I. For the most part the journals are focused more intently on Lile's personal and family life than on law practice or teaching. The later volumes, however, provide invaluable vignettes on the Law School and University life in the 1920s and early 1930s.
This collections consists of eleven bound, handwritten journals.<extent>1 arbitrary_unit</extent>
Conditions Governing Access
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Conditions Governing Use
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The Journals of William Minor Lile, 1882-1932, MSS 89-1, University of Virginia Law Library
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was given to the library in 1989 by Lile's first grandchild, Maud Tucker Drane, and her husband Walter Harding Drane, who completely transcribed the journals.
Biographical / Historical
William Minor Lile, who was born in Alabama in 1859, earned his LL.B. from the University of Virginia in 1882, and practiced law in Lynchburg before joining the law faculty in 1893. Lile's uncle, John Barbee Minor, had served as unofficial head of the Law School since 1845, and when Minor died in 1895, Lile assumed the role. He was not an advocate of the case method, the late-nineteenth-century innovation in legal education, but his lecture-and-textbook method of teaching was nonetheless effective, and his students loved him. After the University appointed its first president, Edwin A. Alderman, in 1904, Lile became the first dean of the Law School.
During Lile's term the Law School underwent greater changes than at any other period. Thanks to his persistent leadership, the required length of the law course was extended to two, and eventually three, years, and the admission requirement increased from a high school diploma to two years of college. Because Virginia did not adopt these higher standards as rapidly as other law schools, this school was not a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools; however, Virginia did gain membership in 1915. The year Lile joined the faculty, there were 139 law students, and by his retirement there were 257. In 1920, the first women students were admitted to the Law School, and in 1923 Elizabeth Tompkins became the first woman to earn an LL.B. Lile oversaw the construction of Minor Hall, the Law School's first building, which opened in 1911, as well as Clark Hall, which opened in 1932. During his deanship, the faculty grew from three to five as the curriculum greatly expanded. As soon as Clark Hall opened, Lile, age 73, retired. He died in 1935.
The journals are arranged chronologically.
|fileJournal 1. 1882, Entries sandwiched between equity notes from law school and poetry and miscellaneous notes, 1882||MSS 89-1, Box 1|
|fileJournal 2, 1883 November 1 -- 1884 June 27||MSS 89-1, Box 1|
|fileJournal 3, 1885 May 1 -- December 24||MSS 89-1, Box 1|
|fileJournal 4, 1886 January 16 -- June 2||MSS 89-1, Box 1|
|fileJournal 5, 1886 August 22 -- 1887 July 8||MSS 89-1, Box 1|
|fileJournal 6, 1887 July 13 -- 1889 July 13||MSS 89-1, Box 2|
|fileJournal 7, 1889 August 3 -- 1898 January 1; 1913 January 25 -- 1922 September 13||MSS 89-1, Box 2|
|fileJournal 8, 1922 October 1 -- 1926 April 21||MSS 89-1, Box 2|
|fileJournal 9, 1926 May 10 -- 1929 January 25||MSS 89-1, Box 2|
|fileJournal 10, 1929, January 30 -- 1930, November 10||MSS 89-1, Box 3|
|fileJournal 11, 1930 November 20 -- 1932 January 25||MSS 89-1, Box 3|
|fileTranscripts of the Lile journals made by Maud Tucker Drane, granddaughter of WML, and her husband, Walter Harding Drane 1987. 2 bound volumes Alternative form available as a 5 1/4'' computer disk containing the transcripts., 1987||MSS 89-1, Box 3|
|fileXerox copy, Memories of a Happy Life at the Dear Old U.Va, by Eleanor Lile Tucker, daughter of WML, 1968||MSS 89-1, Box 3|
|seriesThe Diaries of William Minor Lile, 1882-1898, 1913-1932|
|file"Trout Fishing on the Flathead River, Northern Montana" by WHL Pulled from the 8th Diary , n.d.||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileMap of Canadian Rockies with Lile's route marked by WML Pulled from the 8th diary , 1927-08||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileClipping from The Butte Miner- description of fishing trip WML made with W.A. Clark, Sr. by William I. Lippincott who went along too Pulled from the 8th diary , 1925-04-05||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileLile, Wm. Minor (portrait of, in the library) , n.d.||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileLile family, 1923, including William Minor Lile and Maud Carson Lile with their grandchildren, Lile Tucker, Eleanor Selden Tucker, Gretchen Lile, Allison Lile, Maud Carson Tucker, Charles Edgar Lile and Beverly D. Tucker III; taken at Pavilion X, 1923||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileLile, William Minor in his office negative , 1920s?||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|filePres Alum Assoc. negative , 1911||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileNotes made by Mr. and Mrs. Drane copies , 1923||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|filecopies of photos , 1896, 1911||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileObituaries and Memorial for Will, 1935 - 1936||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileNotes on a Course of Equity , 1921-1932||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileObituaries and Memorial for WML, 1935-1936||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileLile diary background material- on William Minor and Maud C. Lile , 2011||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileLile Diary background material- places and events , 1882, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1964, 1965, 1984, 2002, 2011||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileLile diary- biographical sources for people other than WML and Maud , 1898, 1930, 1944, 2010, 2011||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileDiaries Transcripts Vol. 1 , 1883-1888||MSS 89-1, Box 4|
|fileDiaries Transcript Vol. 2 , 1888-1932||MSS 89-1, Box 4|