Choose from the list of individuals below to view biographical information. Or, scroll down to browse all additional correspondents. These individuals are represented in Katherine Anne Porter's correspondence. Biographical information highlights their their relationship to Porter.
|Cahill Sisters||David Porter Heintze and Donald Boone Heintze||Walter T. Heintze||Walter Merritt Hemmerly, Jr.|
|Mary Alice Porter Hillendahl||Jules Hillendahl||Mary Alice Hollaway||Thomas H. Hollaway|
|Dorothy Rae Porter Parrish||Breckenridge Porter, Sr.||Connie Porter||Harrison Boone Porter|
|Ione Funchess Porter||Harrison Paul Porter, Sr||Leo Porter||Cora Addison Posey|
|Sallie Crawford Willson|
Gertrude Cahill Beitel (1881-1959), Lily Cahill (1885-1955), and Helen Greenwell (1893-1972) were sisters and second cousins of Katherine Anne. Their mother, Virginia Myers Cahill, was the daughter of Eliza Jane Skaggs Myers, a sister of Catherine Ann Skaggs Porter, Katherine Anne’s paternal grandmother. Although they were distant cousins, Katherine Anne felt a familial bond with the sisters, corresponding with and visiting them when she could. Katherine Anne’s letters to Gertrude reveal that they kept up a regular correspondence throughout the 1950s in which she discussed Gertrude’s writing, her own writing, and thoughts about literature, social events, and their family connections. The letters written in 1955 also offer sympathy for Lily’s death and document Katherine Anne’s grief about Gertrude’s loss.
Lily Cahill, a younger sister of Gertrude Beitel, had a successful career as an actress, both on Broadway and in films. While only a few letters to Lily remain, they document Katherine Anne’s sympathy for Lily’s health ailments and her confidence that Lily was a fellow artist. Katherine Anne’s letters to Gertrude following Lily’s death in 1955 also describe what Lily meant to her.
Helen Greenwell is another of Gertrude Beitel’s younger sisters. In the archived letters to Helen Greenwell from the 1950s, Katherine Anne describes the gathering momentum of her career, reflects on childhood memories, and discusses family matters, including the decline of Gertrude Beitel’s health and her death. The letters often include greetings for Helen’s husband, Sam Greenwell, as well.
Lily Cahill, cousin of Katherine Anne Porter, New York, New York, circa May 1946. Front inscription: “For my darling/Katherine Anne/Lily.” Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland Libraries.
Mary Alice Porter Hillendahl (1892-1973), most frequently called “Baby” by her family members, was Katherine Anne’s younger sister. She married Herbert Lee Townsend in 1913, but he died a year later, prior to the birth of their son, Breckenridge. She married Julius Arnold “Jules” Hillendahl in 1916.
In her letters to Baby, Katherine Anne often describes the details of her own life and discusses their immediate family members. The tone of the archived letters is generally friendly and affectionate, but Katherine Anne’s criticisms of Baby are well documented in her other family letters, especially those written to their sister Gay Porter Hollaway. The complaints Katherine Anne had long made against Baby are documented in the last remaining letter she wrote to her younger sister in 1969.
Mary Alice Hillandahl, younger sister of Katherine Anne Porter, Mission, Texas, Spring 1928. Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland Libraries.
Harrison Boone Porter (1857-1942), the father of Katherine Anne, married Mary Alice Jones Porter in 1883. In addition to Katherine Anne (1890-1980), Harrison and Mary Alice had four other children: Gay (1885-1969), Paul (1887-1955), Johnnie (1889-1890), and Mary Alice “Baby” (1892-1973). When his wife Mary Alice died in 1892, Harrison moved his family from Indian Creek, TX, to the home of his mother, Catherine Ann Skaggs Porter, in Kyle, TX, and relied upon her help to care for the children. Harrison read widely and worked as a teacher for a period of time. He also worked for a railroad, as a salesman, and as a farmer.
Katherine Anne’s archived letters to her father are often long, warm and affectionate in tone, and give detailed accounts of her recent experiences. At times Katherine Anne was anxious for his approval, and at other times she could be exacting in her criticisms of his shortcomings, especially in her letters to Gay.
Harrison Boone Porter, father of Katherine Anne Porter, seated in a wicker chair dressed in shirt and tie, Texas, circa June-July 1937. Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland Libraries.
Born Harry Ray Porter before changing his name, Harrison Paul Porter, Sr. (1887-1955), was Katherine Anne’s older brother. He and his wife Connie had four children: Dorothy Rae Porter Parrish (1918-1997), Constance Elita “Patsy/Pat” Porter McClughan (1925-1996), Charles Boone Porter (1933-), and Katherine Anne’s beloved nephew, Paul Porter, Jr.
In the only surviving letter to her brother, written in 1932, Katherine Anne describes her life in Paris and her marriage to Eugene Pressly.
Paul Porter, Sr., brother of Katherine Anne Porter, and his wife Constance Eve Ingalls Porter, at the time of the marriage of their daughter Constance Elita, who was known as Pat, Houston, Texas, July 1942. Back inscription: “When Patricia was married.” Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland Libraries.