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Sergeant William J. Leggett correspondence with students of Oil Hill Elementary School, El Dorado, Kansas

Call Number: RH MS 1525


Copies of letters between Sergeant William (Bill) Leggett while stationed in Iraq and 5th and 6th grade students from Oil Hill Elementary School in El Dorado, Kansas. The collection also includes a DVD of movies and images from Sgt. Leggett's visit with the students in May 2008 after returning to the United States.


  • 2007 - 2008


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William James Leggett (1964-2020)

William (Bill) J. Leggett was born in Queens, New York on October 16, 1964, the son of Nancy Annette (Murray) and Gerald Allen Leggett. He joined the United States Air Force in 1984, retiring from service in February 2015. He served several deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Leggett was married to Laura Leo, after a first marriage that ended in divorce. William James Leggett died in Columbia, South Carolina on June 29, 2020.


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case + 1 DVD)

Scope and Contents

In the fall of 2007, students in 5th and 6th grade at Oil Hill School in El Dorado, KS, wrote letters to a generic "Dear soldier" in Iraq. Several of these students had written before to soldiers serving in Iraq, but usually to soldiers their teachers or family members knew. Sergeant Leggett found these letters and decided to respond to each student, individually. The correspondence carried on in the spring of 2008 before Leggett returned to the United States in May 2008. He then visited Oil Hill Elementary School after his return to the U.S. and spoke with the classes. Movies and images from this visit are available in the collection, in addition to the copies of the letters between the students, teachers, and Leggett.

Students wrote about relationships with friends and family, pets and farm animals, classwork and teachers, activities and hobbies, the weather, etc. They asked about the weather and life in Iraq, Bill's family and life in the military, and thanked him for his service to the United States. There are also some letters from some of the teachers. Some letters from the students include drawings or "homework" problems for Bill to solve. All the students call Leggett "Bill" throughout their letters.


Collection is organized by letters from students first, then Sergeant Legget's replies. Both sets of letters are in chronological order. At the end of the collection is a news article regarding Leggett's visit to Oil Hill Elementary School.

Physical Location

RH MS 1525

Physical Location

KC AV 95

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Kathy Lafferty, 2011.



Guide to the William J. Leggett Collection
Sergeant William J. Leggett correspondence with students of Oil Hill Elementary School, El Dorado, Kansas
Finding aid prepared by kl, 2011 and mwh, 2020. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Sergeant William J. Leggett correspondence with students of Oil Hill Elementary School, El Dorado, Kansas, RH MS 1525, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States