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Leona Strickland Hudson Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description


Slides, Photographs, and Scrapbooks

Books and Artifacts

The American College of Life Underwriters Certificate

Contact us about this collection

Leona Strickland Hudson Collection, 1870-2007 | Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections

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Collection Overview

Title: Leona Strickland Hudson Collection, 1870-2007Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: MS/50

Primary Creator: Hudson, Leona Strickland (1920-2008)

Extent: 98.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 00/00/2008

Subjects: Leona Hudson, Leona Strickland Hudson, World War II

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Leona Hudson Collection held at the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections contains information relevant to topics as diverse as South Georgia History, the Valdosta Social Scene, Missionaries in China, a history of devotional literature, Nazi trials, the military in Korea, and images from years of travel around the world. The collection spans a long time period, from 1884-2008, and is equally rich across those time periods. Since both Rosa Strickland and her daughter Leona Hudson were energetic “savers” who kept everything and passed it on, we have letters that span at least four generations of this family. The family names of Hill, Hudson, and Strickland are the most prominent. The collection is comprised of three series: Letters and Documents, Photographs and Scrapbooks, and Books and Artifacts. The letters are very extensive, housed in over 50 archival boxes. To make the letters more easily searched and retrieved, we indexed most of the letters, including all of the older ones, to the item level. You may search our Archon system for an individual letter. Letters indexed individually run from 1884 to the 1960’s. At least forty boxes are taken up by pictures, slides, and scrapbooks. Seven of those scrapbooks can be found on our Hudson website. These scrapbooks document everything from college in the ‘teens, to the war years and travels around the world. Overall there are over 20 scrapbooks and photograph albums in this collection. Seven large boxes of slides, which seem to be from the 1940’s and later, are part of this collection. Because so many of the slides seemed to be deteriorating, we have digitized them, and the images are currently available from the Archives. As our digital repository, Vtext, develops, these images will find a permanent home and will be remotely retrievable. This series also includes many framed pictures and formal photographs of family members from approximately the 1870’s to the 1970’s. A selection of the formal photographs has been scanned and is part of our Leona Hudson online exhibit. Several boxes of old and oversized negatives are part of the collection. A few boxes of loose pictures documenting family events and travels are in this series. The Books and Artifacts part of the collection is much smaller. Many of the artifacts will be in the display case for the Hudson Collection found in Archives. This collection contains materials that could be interesting to researchers in Military History, 20th century American and World History, South Georgia History, Valdosta, Georgia, Women’s Studies, photography, genealogy and many with other interests as well. The strength of this collection is that it documents all of these areas so thoroughly. To aid researchers we have created very detailed records of this collection.

Biographical Note

Born in the spring of 1920, Leona Roberts Strickland began life in a promising Era. In many ways she temperamentally embodied the hopeful expectations of the Twenties, a time in which abundance seemed to prevail. She lived the first decade of her life in the beautiful home her father built in 1916 at 1006 North Patterson Street. Both parents loved, adored and doted on Leona, their only child. Leona’s mother, Rosa Hill Strickland (1892-1981), was a graduate of Agnes Scott College where she mastered voice and piano training. On November 14, 1916 Rosa Hill married Leona’s father William Roberts Strickland (1888-1960), banker, entrepreneur and cotton broker. At the age of six Leona entered the Training School at GSWC (Georgia State Women’s College, later Valdosta State College then Valdosta State University) where she remained until 1933. Except for a recurrence in 1924 of an illness her father contracted during his Army service in 1918, and an accident at the end of the decade in 1929 in which he was nearly blinded by a prescription mishap, the first decade of Leona’s life was a model of childhood abundance and security. The Stricklands often traveled to Washington, Georgia where Rosa’s family lived and with whom they kept close kinship ties.


As the seeming prosperity of the 1920s gave way to the dire realities of the 1930s, so the second decade of Leona’s life changed dramatically. At the beginning of the decade, Will Strickland experienced a number of significant financial losses exacerbated by the Depression. Both his assets and livelihood were adversely affected. In the middle of the decade, Will also developed debilitating health problems that were later diagnosed as chronic encephalitis. The combination of financial and health reverses strained the family’s unity. While her parents were involved in finding proper diagnosis and treatment for Will, Leona moved to her grandmother, Annie Lee Hill’s home in Washington, Georgia. She enrolled in Washington High School where she remained until she graduated in 1937. Afterward she returned to Valdosta to live with her parents then residing at 404 North Patterson Street. From 1937 to 1938 Leona attended GSWC. In 1938, she took a job at Varnadoe’s, a local clothing store, where she worked first as a sales person, and then as a buyer, until 1945.


The decade of the Forties began with Leona devoted largely to her immediate family and her job. The decade would end quite differently. In the early 1940s, Leona enjoyed the benefits of being a single career woman and largely avoided some of the incumbent responsibilities as she lived the first five years of the decade with her parents, and carried on an active social life with friends and relatives. Colored by  world war II, the decade shaped a generation of young people, including Leona, and friends deployed in both the European and Pacific Theaters. Beginning shortly after his entry into the Army in mid 1944, Dugald Hudson became her favorite correspondent. Distant cousins, Leona and Dugald knew each other and were friends from childhood. During the course of their correspondence over 1944 and 1945 the friendship evolved into a romantic relationship.


Leona and Dugald were married December 28, 1945 as Dugald’s career in Army investigative services was in its early stages. Dugald Walker Hudson was born July 25, 1919 to Wilton Tyler Hudson and Coline Munroe Hudson in Greenville, South Carolina. In 1940 he graduated as first honor student from Presbyterian College. His distinguished and impressive career in law, the military, and higher education began with training and service as Special Agent in the F.B.I. from 1941-1944. Dugald’s military career as an Army officer spanned well over a decade from 1944-1958. He served in Europe during and after WWII, and later, during some of the most intense years of the Cold War, he served in Korea. While in the Army Dugald served the Judge Advocate General’s Office and taught for the Maryland Counter Intelligence Corps School, the University of Georgia, and University of Maryland’s Far East Programs in Korea. In the first five years of their marriage, and the second half of the 1940s, , Leona and Dugald lived in and around the Washington, D.C. area including residences in Baltimore and Virginia. During these years Dugald completed graduate and post graduate law degrees at University of Maryland, American University, and George Washington University.


The 1950s proved among the most rewarding and exciting of Leona’s life. The decade began with the couple’s move to Heidelberg, Germany for Dugald’s assignment with JAG. They spent the next four years living in Heidelberg and traveling throughout Europe. In fall, 1953 the couple returned to the States and lived several years in Charlottesville, Virginia , most likely where Dougald got his JD,and Camp Stewart, Georgia. From late fall, 1956 through spring 1958 Dugald served and taught business law for the Army in Korea. While Dugald served in Korea, Leona lived with her parents in Valdosta. In 1957 Rosa and Will Strickland purchased 902 Wildwood Drive in Valdosta, their residence for the remainder of their lives in Valdosta. In the fall of 1958 Dugald retired from the Army and began a full-time academic career in Business Law at Georgia State University. The couple moved in fall 1958 to Battleview Drive in Atlanta, the address they would occupy until Dugald’s death. In 1959 Leona began a career at C & S Bank in Atlanta , where she worked for the next fifteen years.


In the spring of 1960, Will Strickland died. During the 1960s and 70s Leona and Dugald established themselves and became an active part in the communities of their jobs, their neighborhood, and their church home, the First Presbyterian Church where they served in many capacities. They traveled routinely back to Valdosta to visit with Rosa and with friends. They also continued to travel abroad extensively in Europe, Greece, Mexico, and the Caribbean.


Sometime in 1980 Dugald founded the Legal Studies Program in the Department of Risk Management and Insurance at Georgia State University, a highlight of his long and impressive academic career. In 1981 Rosa died in Valdosta of heart related illness. Dugald retired in 1988 from thirty years teaching and administration at Georgia State University. Leona and Dugald continued to travel throughout the 1980s and 90s. However, they took fewer trips abroad and confined themselves more to extensive travel in the eastern and western United States. They traveled to Austria in 1984, ‘87, and ’89; to France in 1986 and ’88; to Ireland in 1986; to the Caribbean in 1984 and 1990. They traveled in Canada and Alaska in 1985, and throughout the northeastern and northwestern United States in the years they did not go abroad. After Rosa’s death in 1981 Leona and Dugald continued to return frequently to Valdosta. They maintained the 902 Wildwood Drive residence along with their Atlanta residence until Dugald’s died in 2005 from complications he sustained from an injury from a fall at the couple’s home in Atlanta. In November 2006 Leona moved permanently back to 902 Wildwood Drive in Valdosta where she was living when she died of heart-related illness March 6, 2008. Leona and Dugald bequeathed their generous estates to local charities in Valdosta and Atlanta.

Subject/Index Terms

Leona Hudson
Leona Strickland Hudson
World War II

Administrative Information

Repository: Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections

Acquisition Source: Agreement between Foundation and VSU

Acquisition Method: unsigned copy of agreement (signed copy kept by foundation)  that agreed we would process the collection and recieve 21,433 to the Archives for doing so.

Appraisal Information: Folder inthe Director's office detailing the proposal, budgets, email and recipts of this grant of money.  It also has biographical sketches and timelines that Catherine Oglesby created.

Other URL: http://archives.valdosta.edu/hudson/index.html

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Letters],
[Series 2: Slides, Photographs, and Scrapbooks],
[Series 3: Books and Artifacts],
[Item 1: The American College of Life Underwriters Certificate, September 26, 1969],

Item 1: The American College of Life Underwriters Certificate, September 26, 1969Add to your cart.
For the creation of the American College of Life Underwriters headed by Dugald Walker Hudson who is promoted to Chartered life Underwriter.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Letters],
[Series 2: Slides, Photographs, and Scrapbooks],
[Series 3: Books and Artifacts],
[Item 1: The American College of Life Underwriters Certificate, September 26, 1969],

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