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Fisk-Chalker family collection, 1849-1898 (majority within 1859-1890)

91 items

The Fisk-Chalker family collection is made up of letters, land indentures, tax receipts, tintype photographs, and a tavern keeper's license, related to the Fisk and Chalker families of Junius, New York; Livingston County, Michigan; and (briefly) Chamberlain, South Dakota. The collection includes five Civil War letters, with content on the Michigan First Regiment of Engineers and Mechanics; and three letters by Sarah J. Fisk Chalker following her arrival on Bailey's Ranch near Chamberlain, South Dakota, January 1890.

The Fisk-Chalker family collection is made up of 36 letters, 10 land indentures, 42 tax receipts, 2 tintype photographs, and 1 tavern keeper's license, related to the Fisk and Chalker families of Junius, New York; Livingston County, Michigan; and (briefly) Chamberlain, South Dakota.

The Correspondence is largely incoming and outgoing letters of John Fisk, his brother Sumner Fisk, his wife Judith "Judah" Fisk, and his daughter Sarah J. Fisk Chalker. Five Civil War date letters include two letters by Sumner Fisk (August 4, 1862, and June 20, 1864), in which he offers news on Seneca County, New York, soldiers Charley Bush and Capt. Ira Munson (probably of the 126th New York Infantry). John Fisk received two letters from Private George Turk of the First Regiment Michigan Engineers and Mechanics, Company A (June 18, 1864, and July 23, 1864), with content on soldiers' pay, camp life, and augmenting his military wages by chopping cord wood for the railroad in Calhoun, Georgia, and Bridgeport, Alabama.

In the early days of January 1890, Sarah J. and John Chalker moved to the newly organized state of South Dakota and settled on the Bailey Ranch on the Missouri River, near Chamberlain. In three letters to her mother, Sarah described their arrival, their house, the terrible "gumbo" mud, and other aspects of the "disagreeable country." She wrote of a visit with "an old squaw and Indian" for meat and coffee in their teepee near the Bailey Ranch stable--"the old squaw smoked while we was in there. She carried her pipe on her back." After a month, they received fewer visits from Native Americans. In summation, she wrote "Mother, I would not live here and make it my home for all the land in Dakota." John and Sarah returned to live in Putnam, Michigan.

The Documents series includes 10 land indentures dating between 1849 and 1884 (bulk 1849-1851) largely for property in Seneca and Ontario County, New York. Forty-two receipts for John and Judith Fisk's property taxes in Putnam, Michigan, 1865-1892, and John Fisk's Junius, New York, tavern keeper's license (May 1, 1854) complete the series.

The collection's photographs depict the parents of Sarah J. Fisk and of John G. Chalker. One tintype portrait shows John S. and Judith "Judah" Fisk and another tintype shows Abner and Deliah Patterson Chalker.


Gerald T. and Charlotte B. Maxson Printed Ephemera Collection, ca. 1750s-1999 (majority within 1850s-1900)

approximately 5,000+ items in 23 volumes

The Gerald T. and Charlotte B. Maxson printed ephemera collection contains over 5,000 pieces of assorted ephemera, the majority of which were commercially printed in the United States during the mid to late 19th-century.

The Gerald T. and Charlotte B. Maxson printed ephemera collection contains over 5,000 pieces of assorted ephemera, the majority of which were commercially printed in the United States during the mid to late 19th-century.

The Maxson collection provides a valuable resource for the study of 19th-century visual culture, commercial advertising, and humor in addition to the role of gender, ethnicity, and race in advertising. American businesses are the predominant focus of the collection, though many international businesses are also represented. While trade cards are by far the most prevalent type of ephemera found in this collection, an extensive array of genres are present including die cut scrapbook pieces, photographs, engravings, maps, serials, and manuscript materials.

The 23 binders that house the Maxson collection were arranged by the collectors themselves. Items are organized somewhat randomly in terms of topical arrangement. While pockets of related materials can be found here and there (for instance, the entirety of Volume 16 contains circus-related items while Volume 11 contains an extensive number of Shaker-related materials), for the most part any given subject may appear in any given volume. In some cases, items are clustered as a result of having been acquired together or due to a documented common provenance. Occasional typed annotations written by the Maxsons help provide additional context for certain items.

The Maxson Collection Subject Index serves as a volume-level subject index for materials found throughout the binders. The subjects indexed here are generally representative of both visual and commercial content. In addition to more general subjects, many names of specific people, places, buildings, events, and organizations that appear in the materials have also been listed. Researchers engaging with this collection should be aware that they will encounter numerous examples of racist caricatures, especially ones depicting African American, Native American, Irish, and Chinese people.


Norma Greiner and William R. Kent collection, 1942-1945

0.5 linear feet

This collection is made up of the World War II-era correspondence of Norma Greiner, her husband William R. Kent, and the Greiner family. The papers include letters that Norma Greiner wrote to her family while serving as a United States Navy nurse in San Francisco, California, in 1943; letters that William R. Kent wrote to his wife Norma while serving onboard the USS Cape Esperance in the South Pacific from August 1944-November 1944; letters that the Greiner family received from various servicemen during the war; and letters that Norma Greiner Kent received from her mother- and sister-in-law.

This collection (79 items) contains the World War II-era correspondence of Norma Greiner of La Grande, Oregon; her husband, William R. Kent; and the Greiner family. One receipt pertains to a small payment from Mrs. R. C. Greiner to C. E. Branner (July 9, 1942).

Norma Greiner wrote 38 letters to her parents while working as a United States Navy nurse at Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, in 1943. She described her experiences treating wounded servicemen and sometimes provided details about specific patients. In one letter, she discussed a set of photographs shown to her by an officer returning from Guadalcanal (February 13, 1943, mailed with letter dated February 11, 1943), and in another, she described her wedding (August 3, 1943). Some letters refer to Greiner's dating life and several from late July and early August concern her marriage to William R. Kent. Her final letter, dated February 19, 1945, pertains to life in San Diego, California. Three of her letters have enclosures: a newspaper clipping about nurses (March 15, 1943), 4 snapshots of natives in an unidentified location (May 27, 1943), and bicycle licenses for Norma Grider [sic] and Wanda Tucker (June 4, 1942). One item is an illustrated printed form letter 2'8" long, including grains of sand glued to one page, that Norma sent to her brother Lawrence (March 27, 1943).

William R. Kent sent 26 letters to his wife Norma Greiner Kent while serving on the USS Cape Esperance in the South Pacific from August 1944-November 1944; these letters form part of a much larger series (not present). Kent discussed navy life, anticipated the birth of their first child, and counted down the days remaining in his enlistment. While stationed on an unidentified island, he described his health difficulties, including a sprained ankle and a diminished appetite, and responded to Norma's news of her hospital work and pregnancy. He mentioned his initiation as a "shell back" after crossing the Equator and encloses a humorous mock subpoena for a related ceremony (August 14-15, 1944). On October 19, 1944, Kent reflected on the death of a friend named Hallowell, enclosing his obituary. Other enclosures include letters and V-mail from the Kent family (September 20, 1944; September 29, 1944; and October 15, 1944); 3 snapshot photographs of an unidentified man with a dog and horse (September 14, 1944); a notice that his subscription to Parents' Magazine would soon expire (September 14, 1944); a cartoon (October 16, 1944); and a list of recommended Bible verses (November 19, 1944). Norma also received letters from her sister-in-law, "Jay" Kent, and from her mother-in-law, Helen Kent.

In addition to Norma's letters, the Greiner family received correspondence from William R. Kent (1 item, March 22, 1945) and other servicemen. Private Dale Greiner, a relative, wrote about his experiences while training with the United States Air Forces in Miami Beach, Florida, and Gulfport, Mississippi; David G. Weathers wrote twice of his love for Norma (April 4, 1943, and July 11, 1943); Norman E. Olson mentioned his participation in naval campaigns near the Philippines on the USS Heywood (February 27, 1945); and Private Chester J. Hoab discussed tank training at Fort Knox, Kentucky (ca. March 25, 1943). Private Bryce E. Miller wrote his letter of March 4, 1943, on stationery bearing printed images of military aircraft.


Robert Lucas collection, 1810-1822 (majority within 1810-1816)

11 items

This collection contains correspondence and documents related to Ohio Governor Robert Lucas, particularly relating to his service in the state militia during the War of 1812. Materials include incoming and outgoing letters, military orders, and legal documents.

This collection (11 items) is made up of materials related to Ohio Governor Robert Lucas. Seven items, including one undated set of orders, pertain to aspects of his service in the state militia before and during the War of 1812. The manuscripts pertain to his promotion to brigadier general, the necessity of raising troops to fight hostile Indians, and the role of state militias in providing troops for national service (letter to Secretary of War James Monroe, December 26, 1814). The collection contains a license for Lucas to sell wine and spirits (June 10, 1816), his letter about the deaths of "Mr. and Mrs. Sumner" (March 15, 1822), and an undated court document concerning and containing a copy of John Brown's will.