Hello from Nancy Picchi.  I’ve done a little searching on this question for you and so far have found only this in the Willard Family Papers Finding Aid:

"Elisa and her sister Mary were friends with author Willa Cather in Pittsburgh and Charles' letters mention Cather a few times.

You’ll find the Willard Family Papers Finding Aid in PDF format here:


From: 5Bankstreet Listserv <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Andrew Jewell <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: 5Bankstreet Listserv <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, November 18, 2019 at 12:51 PM
To: 5Bankstreet Listserv <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [5BANKSTREET] Location of letter about Cather

Dear Collective Wisdom of 5 Bank Street:

Though it may be a long shot, I'm hoping someone out there can steer me in the right direction about a small matter. Somewhere out there is a letter that May Willard wrote to H Dwight from the Hotel Griffou in NY in June 1906, one where she mentions being with Cather during her early days at McClure's, and I am trying to locate it. Woodress alludes to the information in the letter without fully citing it (though he calls the hotel "Griffon," probably because of confusion over the handwriting). I haven't found another citation, but I'm guessing one is out there somewhere.

I have looked for the letter in Harrison Dwight's papers at Amherst (which does have letters from Cather to Dwight and from Cather to May Willard), and I've done some looking in Woodress's papers and the Slote collection at UNL. Nothing so far.

Does anyone know where this letter may be? Has anyone had occasion to read or cite it?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,

Andrew Jewell, PhD
Professor, University Libraries
Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections
Editor, Willa Cather Archive (
306 Love Library
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE  68588
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