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Eber B. Ward Family Papers, 1807-1875, and undated

.25 cubic ft. (in 1 box)

The papers include mostly transcripts of Ward family correspondence, 1807-1875, and undated, genealogical notes, and memoirs of Emily Ward, both undated.

Except for one original letter dated Aug. 23, 1850, the Family Papers consist of typed transcripts of family genealogical notes, family correspondence, and the undated memoirs of Emily Ward, sister of Eber B. The correspondence, 1807-1875 and undated, is mostly between Ebe B.r; his father; his sister, Emily; and business associates. The correspondence discusses family news, business, traveling, fishing, and other business interests of Eber B. Ward and his son, Eber Ward, Jr.

The Clarke also has the published remonstrance concerning Eber B. Ward’s will (1875) and an account book from Jos. S. Stearns Lumber Company. Stearns worked early in life as an errand boy for Eber B. while the latter was President of the Pere Marquette Railroad. Eventually, Stearns married Catherine Lyon, Eber’s sister-in-law.


Millard D. Olds Papers, 1855-2000, and undated

54 cubic ft. (in 36 boxes, 335 volumes, 1 Oversized folder)

Numerous business records of lumber company and family papers of Millard D. Olds.

This collection consists mostly of the Business Records of M. D. Olds and Co. (Boxes #4-36 and 335 volumes) and some personal Family Papers (Boxes #1-3). All aspects of the business interests of Millard D. Olds, including timberlands, timber, lumber, coal and wood delivery, lumber camps, ferryboats, railroads, poultry and oranges, sugar, apartment buildings, etc. are documented. Also documented are private real estate deals, loans, mortgages, and court cases in which he was involved. There are also materials relating to the estates of several people that Olds was involved with, including Julia and Robert B. Small, Horace N. Olney (who may have been a cousin), and Valentine Fries. He became involved with these estates and with several small businesses because he was financially invested with the deceased person or troubled business. He also advised Lillian Robinson, widow of his one-time business partner, about business matters.

Family Papers (3 boxes or 1.25 cubic ft.) is organized alphabetically by topic. It includes biographical materials, family deeds, house plans, M. D. Olds’ estate materials, two photographs, and personal correspondence. The largest section is the personal correspondence, 1908-1945 and undated (9 folders), which includes letters to and from Olds, Ora, and their daughters and sons-in-law, as well as other relatives.

Business Records is divided by format (Papers and Volumes) and then by function. Papers include Subject Files and Business Correspondence. The Volumes are mostly financial Account Books, although some Non-Financial Volumes are included.

The Subject Files (23 boxes or 11.5 cubic ft.) include: reports, legal records, court cases, estate records, statistics, meeting minutes, and government forms such as accident reports or coal proposals. All of M. D. Olds’ business and legal interests are documented here, as are his Michigan, Ohio, California, and Oregon concerns.

The Subject Files are boxed by size (Legal Size in Boxes #4-18 and Letter Size in Boxes #19-26) to best use limited space. There is an alphabetical run of topics in each set of boxes. In a few cases, related correspondence has been interfiled there.

The Business Correspondence (11 boxes, #27-36, or 5.5 cubic ft.) is organized chronologically by people or companies with lots of correspondence in a given year meriting its own folder(s). Both Art Schupp and Lou Buhrman wrote to Olds about business or legal concerns. Lou wrote about the Pacific and Eastern Railway Court Cases while Art wrote about the Columbia or Paulding Sugar Co.

The Business Correspondence documents various business concerns including lumber camps; Olds’ Scalers, notably John Lyberg; tugboats; government relations; the business interests of Olds’ sons-in-law, and the Olds Bros. General Store (1931). Most of the folders are thin.

The Volumes (335 Oversized volumes or 36 cubic ft.) vary greatly in size. For the sake of convenience, they are housed together. Most of the volumes are Account Books. This subgroup is further divided by function. Each function group is organized chronologically on paper, although they may actually be shelved by size, with extremely heavy or large volumes located on the bottom of a stack of volumes.

The Non-Financial Volumes include: Township Survey Books, 1897-1922, undated; Field Report Sheets, 1919; Real Estate Book, 1894-1903; Letterpress Books, 1901-1907; Telegram Books, 1909-1918, undated; Memo and Steno Books, 1897-1918, 1923

The Account Books include: Account Books, 1898-1921; Apartment Books, 1924-1937; Bank Accounts, 1923-1944; Cash Books, 1904-1931; Companies Olds Purchased, 1885-1924; Lumber Accounts (various), 1893-1936; Ledgers, 1893-1938; Trial Balance Books, 1907-1917; Payroll Books, 1910-1955; Lumber Camp Books (various), 1895-1913; Coal Shipment Books, 1936-1950; Coal and Wood Delivery Books, 1904-1964; Log Scale Book, 1891-1893; Scale Weight Books, 1906-1965, undated; Steamer Books, 1900-1925

Blueprints (8), undated, mostly of the Olds' residence are found in 1 Oversized folder.

Processing Notes: The collection originally included 119 cubic ft. of papers in oversized boxes and 309 volumes. Duplicates, most tax materials, receipts, bills, generic correspondence, publications, and other peripheral materials were returned to M. D. Olds’ descendants as per their request. Also returned were photocopies of all personal correspondence retained by the Clarke. 54 cubic ft. of material (in 36 boxes, 335 volumes, and 1 Oversized volder) has been retained by the Clarke.


Otto Supe Sault Sainte Marie (Michigan) glass-plate negatives, 1894,1938, and undated

1.5 cubic feet (in 3 boxes)

Glass-plate negatives (76) include views of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, businesses, steamboats, the Soo Locks, school children, parades, including a circus, and miscellaneous images, 1894, 1938, and undated.

The collection is organized by size first and then numerical order. There are 17 glass-plate negatives, each measuring approximately 8 inches by 10 inches, 24 glass-plate negatives, each measuring approximately 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches, and 35 glass-plate negatives, each measuring 5.5 inches x 7.5 inches.

The collection documents businesses (often two businesses are photographed on one plate), various steamers, the Soo Locks, notably Weitzel Lock, lock construction, school children, parades (6 images), of which one is a circus parade with elephants and camels, and a few miscellaneous topics, in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, 1894-1900s. Some of the images are dated with two dates, the later being 1938, when they were owned by Gordon Daun. Other images are undated, but they clearly date from the 1894-1900s period.

The descriptions of the negatives are from the original sleeves. Further notation, in square brackets, has been made by the Archivist when there was no original description, when the original description is insufficient to understand what the image is, or when negative is damaged. Abbreviations in the original descriptions are spelled out for ease of use by researchers.

Fifteen of the plates were badly crushed, broken into numerous pieces, or had emulsions that were severely damaged, in several cases peeling off so badly that it looked like a cat had shredded the image. Pat Thelen, Clarke digitizer, had a Herculean task to piece the images back together again and clean up as many problem spots as possible. The badly damaged negatives were withdrawn from the collection. The scanned copies are on a disc and printouts of the images are filed in the rear of Box 3 according to the size of the original plate, and then numerically. These printed images are the best images that could be created from the pitiful remains of the negatives.