Skip to main content

Peyton Norvell Wiggins papers

Identifier: MSS-3706

Scope and Contents

The collection is primarily the correspondence between Peyton Norvell Wiggins and his father and stepmother, Charles Ruben Wiggins, Sr. and Elizabeth Toombs Wiggins. The almost daily letters cover Peyton's first years at the University of Alabama (1950-1953) and his stint in the U. S. Army (1955-1956). In almost every letter from Peyton to "Papa and Elizabeth" encourages them to get some rest or to take a vacation to Florida, New Orleans, or to the Hill Country in Texas.

There is also correspondence from other family members, particularly his brother, Charles "Butch" R. Wiggins, Jr., in Florence, Alabama, and his aunt, Eula Maye Wiggins Galloway in Burnet, Texas. Also included are letters from Peyton's fraternity brothers (Phi Gamma Delta) and a few miscellaneous documents and photographs.


  • 1942-1974
  • Majority of material found within 1950 - 1956


Biographical / Historical

Peyton Norvell Wiggins, second son of Charles Ruben Wiggins and Sarah Nelson Norvell, was born on 18 December 1932 in Jasper, Alabama. His mother died in 1935 and his father married again in 1942 to Elizabeth Dawson Toombs. From the tone of their letters, Peyton and Elizabeth were good friends. And although he was the second son, his father often referred to Peyton as "Junior." He was educated in the Jasper public school system and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1954 with a B.A. in English.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in January of 1955. He trained at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, before being shipped to Heilbronn, Germany, where he spent the entire 16 months of his service as the supply sergeant in the 9th Division of the 60th Infantry Regiment, Company M.

After his discharge from the Army at the end of 1956, Peyton returned to the University of Alabama and was enrolled in law school for one semester and then in the University's graduate school in the fall of 1957. He graduated in 1959 with a masters degree in English. He taught at Marion Institute, Marion, Alabama, from September 1959 until May 1961. He returned to the University in September 1961 to teach English and intending to return to graduate school for his Ph.D. in English. He taught at the University until July 1965 when he left to teach reading and report writing for government employees based in Huntsville, Alabama. In September 1966, he joined the faculty at Walker Junior College in Jasper as head of the English Department where he remained until his death on 9 December 1974.

Peyton married Sarah V. Woolfolk on 25 November 1967; the couple had one daughter, Henrietta.


1.6 Linear Feet (496 letters and postcards; 3 folders of additional materials; misc other items.)

Language of Materials



Letters between Peyton Norvell Wiggins and his father and stepmother, Charles Ruben Wiggins Sr. and Elizabeth Toombs Wiggins.


Gift of Sarah W. Wiggins, 2012

Related Materials

Charles R. Wiggins papers (mss_1553 ), University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2013



Guide to the Peyton Norvell Wiggins papers
May 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266