The Smith-Tyson Family collection includes thirteen letters written between the years 1901 and 1926, to Mrs. W. E. Smith (née Maud Tyson) and her husband W. E. "Edd" Smith, from various friends and family members, as well as transcripts of these letters. The collection contains letters written by John Tyson, Caroline "Carrie" Tyson, Clarissa Belle Evans, Carl Tyson, Mrs. Alfred Taylor (Maybelle "Belle" Tyson), and Janie Smith, with typed transcripts of the letters. The letters and transcripts are organized in chronological order.
The first letter in the collection, dated 27 January 1901, was written by John Tyson to his sister Maud Tyson. The subject matter of this letter includes a speech given by John Tyson, information about family members, illness, a baptism, and romances. This letter also mentions the names of several people, including Willie Barett and Minie Raspberry.
Three letters were written in 1902 by Caroline "Carrie" Tyson to her daughter Maud Tyson, while Maud was away at Littleton Female College, in Littleton, North Carolina. The subject matter discussed in these letters includes grading tobacco, Maud's friend Nannie, the cost of schooling, clothing items such as a pique waist, and news regarding family members.
A classmate of Maud Tyson's from Littleton Female College, Clarissa Belle Evans from Cisco, N.C., wrote a letter dated 6 August 1902. The information in this letter pertains to Littleton Female College, mutual friends, and various illnesses such as typhoid fever, capillary bronchitis, and malaria. Also written about are topics including the death of Clarissa's siblings, a picnic at Ballard's Bridge with a talk delivered by the Hon. J. C. Scarborough, President of the Baptist Institute at Murfreesboro, mosquitoes, food, and a fire at the water mill owned by Clarissa's father, Z. W. Evans. This letter also mentions the names of various people, including Ethel Briedlove, Eleanor Evans, Zacharia Evans, and Janie Henderson.
Carl Tyson, the younger brother of Maud Tyson Smith, authored four letters written between May and November of 1918, while Carl was enlisted in the Army and stationed at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, during World War I. Three of the letters were addressed to Maud, and one to her husband Edd Smith. The information in these letters pertains to the progress of World War I and the draft, as well as his duties while at Camp Jackson. Additional topics covered in these letters include farming, weather, family, health, and financial issues.
Maud Tyson Smith's sister, Mrs. Alfred Taylor (Maybelle "Belle" Tyson) of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., wrote two letters. One is addressed to Mrs. W. E. Smith (Maud Tyson) dated 1924, while the other is only a partial letter and is undated. The subject matter addressed in these letters includes weather, gardening, making clothing, the purchase of chicks, family, and peaches.
The letter from Janie Smith to Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Smith is dated 1924. The information contained in this correspondence relates to an illness of Edward's, which may refer to Maud's husband Ed or their son Edward. There is another letter from Caroline "Carrie" Tyson to her daughter Mrs. W. E. Smith (Maud Tyson) and family dated 1926. This letter discusses an illness of Carrie's, religious faith, visits to Greenville and Winterville, N.C., produce, and family members. This letter also mentions the names of people and places such as Bust Allerton, E. F. Tucker, Herman Tucker, Aubry's Creek, and Young’s store.