St. Joseph, Berrien County, Michigan family. Papers of family members, primarily correspondence of Ann G. Loomis Preston with her father, Jonathan Loomis, and with her sons Wallace and Fowler, sailors in the Union navy during the Civil War; typescript of excerpt of Civil War diary of Wallace Preston; paper, 1978, of Harriet N. Preston based upon family Civil War experiences; photographs, clippings and miscellanea concerning family and St. Joseph, Michigan.
In 1972, a bundle of over forty Preston family letters, dating mainly from 1850 to 1870, were discovered in the attic of the family home in St. Joseph. Over the next few years, Harriet N. Preston, wife of Arthur G. Preston, Jr. (grandson of Wallace Preston), took an interest in these letters and the Preston family history. Mrs. Preston arranged the letters, compiled typed transcripts, and authored several papers based on the letters.
The Preston family papers document Great Lakes shipping in the nineteenth century, the Union Navy during the Civil War, and daily life in St. Joseph, Michigan during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The collection has been divided into five series: Correspondence; Legal Documents; Newspaper Clippings, Scrapbook and Miscellaneous Materials; Family Histories; and Photographs.