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Valley Chemical Company (Mount Pleasant, Mich.) Organizational records, 1927-1962, and undated

1.25 cubic ft. (in 2 boxes, 4 Oversized volumes)

The collection, 1927-1962, and undated, documents the company history of Valley Chemical Company, through meeting minutes, photographs, company history, forms, bylaws, accounts, and stock certificates.

The collection, 1927-1962, and undated, totals 1.25 cubic feet (in 2 boxes, 4 Oversized volumes,), and documents the company history of Valley Chemical Company, through meeting minutes, photographs, company history, forms, bylaws, accounts, and stock certificates. All the boxes in the collection are .5 cubic foot letter-size boxes. Loose stock certificates within scrapbooks were collected, sleeved, and placed in a folder in box 2.

The collection is organized by size and then alphabetically and chronologically.

Researchers may also be interested in the Muskegon Rendering Company (Muskegon, Michigan) organizational records, 1937, 1939 which are also housed at the Clarke.

Processing Note: During processing a small number of duplicates and blanks were removed from the collection and returned to the donor as per the donor agreement.


Van Lieu Minor Papers, 1907, 1946, and undated

2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes)

Papers document Minor's academic career, tests, syllabi for his many classes, and some Central Michigan University committee meeting minutes, lists of members, constitutions, and related correspondence, as well as some biographical and family materials.

The majority of the collection documents Professor Minor’s academic career at University High School, Chicago, 1907, 1912-1917, and 1921-1922; Kalamazoo Central High School, Kalamazoo, 1921-1924; and CMU, at least 1924 through 1946. The Kalamazoo and Chicago materials are mainly tests and some syllabi for the many classes he taught, and a few pieces of correspondence. Among the CMU academic materials in this collection are tests for many courses, meeting minutes and related materials of the Curriculum Committee, departmental correspondence and correspondence to Professor Larzelere, as well as other related materials. Also included are lists of members, constitutions, and related correspondence, 1927-1942, of the CMU. Cliophiles Club, a student history organization. Some History 201/English 416 student papers from an extension course Professor Minor taught in Bad Axe, Michigan, in 1945 are also included. One of the paper researched Ora Labora, a German communal settlement that existed in Huron County, Michigan, from 1862 to 1871.

One of the more interesting topics documented in Professor Minor’s CMU academic papers is the League of Nations Association assemblies. Related correspondence, notes, and other materials on the assemblies exist for 1929 through 1935 and 1939. Participating Michigan students and professors attended an annual meeting at the University of Michigan, where they represented various countries they had studied and about which the participants had accumulated data. For international peace advocates, like CMU President Anspach, this was an important event for both students and professors to attend.

Also of interest are Naturalization Educational Record Cards, 1916-1924. These mainly blank form cards document twelve immigrant men who took night courses from Professor Minor while he taught in Kalamazoo. Basically names and addresses are given, as well as some notation of their attendance in classes. One card notes that the man documented is a German mechanic. Additional biographical notes on six of the men as found on AncestryPlus are included.

Professor Minor is personally documented in the Biographical Materials, 1924, 1927, 1934 [2005] (copies); a few of his Publications; and some generic Correspondence with the Boys Brotherhood Republic in Chicago, an organization which helped juvenile delinquents find satisfying and honest employment, 1914, 1916. The only material of a somewhat personal nature is that Professor Minor’s family Budgets for 1921 and 1923.


Velma L. Ross Damoth Photographic collection, 1889, 1927, and undated

1 cubic foot (in 2 boxes)

Collection includes various sizes and types of photographic materials of people, buildings, and logging and lumbering in Beaverton, Michigan.

The collection consists of various size and types of photographic materials of people, logging and lumbering, the Ross Bros.’ store and mill, school children, dams, water scenes, and buildings of Beaverton, Michigan. Tintypes, postcards, Kodak prints, and cabinet card style photographs are included in the collection. The collection is in very good condition. Some of the people and buildings are identified. Mrs. Velma Ross Damoth collected the materials that comprise this collection.

A number of loose scraps of paper with identification information have become detached from the photographs and were found in the bottom of box during processing. These have been copied and put in the front of the first folder of Box 1. Many of the photographs in the collection were reproduced in the book Beaverton: a century in the making (2003), copies of which are available both in the Park and the Clarke.


Vernon (Isabella County, Mich. : Township) Township records, 1868, 1969, and undated

Approximately 3 cubic feet (in 4 boxes, 1 Oversized Folder)

This is an incomplete, unofficial set of Vernon (Isabella County, Mich. : Township) Township records. Also included are three oversized scrapbooks and a copy of the graves in a cemetery.

The collection includes a miscellaneous group of incomplete township records. Most of the records are some type of election records, including absentee voter applications and lists, appointments, board of election inspectors miscellaneous, bonds, caucus meeting minutes, election returns, instruction ballot, oaths of office and acceptances, resignations and tally sheets, some of which are in book form. Other township records include Board of School Inspectors petitions, a dog tax list, meeting minutes, one set each) for the highway commissioners and township board, miscellaneous correspondence and receipts, and sheep damage bills.

Also included with the donation are three oversized volumes, all scrapbooks of mostly newspaper articles. Volume I, 1915-1969, mostly undated, includes mid-Michigan births, deaths, marriages, and events from local newspapers. Volume II, 1961-1966, documents mostly news of Shepherd high school, including sports, homecoming, and students. Other articles document soldiers, babies, some Winn, Michigan, news, two images with text of Representative Al Cederberg, and articles by Ruth Lau and Ida Clark. Volume III, 1914-1918, and 1941-1945, mostly document Isabella County, Michigan news articles of World War II soldiers, women who served, their letters, obituaries, and related article. There are two pages of WWI material, including an image with text of members of the Mount Pleasant Indian School who enlisted with a list of WWI dead soldiers from Isabella County on the back.

An oversized copy of the graves of Woodland Cemetery (Rosebush, Michigan), undated, on greased paper completes the collection. The location of the cemetery was identified by the donor. The copy includes names from gravestones but not the dates. The copy was repaired at one point with scotch tape, which was removed by the archivist, so now the copy is in two pieces. The copy has sustained some stain damage from water and perhaps mildew, although there is no odor.

Processing Note: Three live birth certificates were sent to the Michigan Department of Health. According to the township record schedule most of these records should have already been destroyed. However, they are now kept as examples. Acidic materials or those with mold were copied and the originals were withdrawn from the collection, totaling approximately .25 cubic feet.


Victoria Brehm Brehm, Campbell, Davenport, and Bliss Family papers, 1819-2021 (Scattered), and undated

4 cubic ft. (in 2 boxes, 1 small box, 2 Ov. v., 1 v.)

The family papers, 1819-1979 and undated, include materials from the late 1880s to the 1950s and contain photographs, calling cards, genealogical materials, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and personal writings.

The family papers include photographs, calling cards, genealogical materials, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and personal writings. Many of the photographs are of immediate family (Campbell and Davenport) as well as more distant family members (Wells, Turk, Bliss, Allen, and Brehm). There are tintypes, daguerreotypes, and ambrotypes, in addition to later photographs. Many photography studios are represented in the collection. Also included is the Campbell Family Bible, published by Geo. W. Ogilvie in Chicago, 1892. The collection is organized by size and alphabetically. There is a small box containing a small wooden desk, that has no reference in any of the papers or photographs but was included with the collection. This is a homemade piece, perhaps for a doll. It is not professionally crafted.

The 2021 addition includes: Helen Brehm account book, undated and insurance card, 1939; correspondence of Elizabeth J. Humphrey to Earl Campbell, 1898-1899, with a 2021 transcription; Helen Campbell correspondence, 1932-1969 (Scattered); Campbell genealogical information; and Earl Campbell’s membership card for the Organization of Railroad Telegraphers, 1939, and two related pins, a moose emblem, and mother of pearl pocket knife, all undated.

A white cotton table scarf with the letter F, and a white linen table cloth with the letter C embroidered into it have been transferred to the Central Michigan University’s Museum of Cultural and Natural History.


Videotape Collection, 1989-1995, and undated

10 cubic feet (in 10 boxes)

The collection includes videotapes of Central Michigan University events, units, buildings, programs, activities, research, and people at CMU.

Videotape collection, 1989-1995 and undated, includes Central Michigan University (CMU) campus scenes, numerous campus buildings, sports, alumni, professors, commencements, 1990 and 1995, students, Clarke Historical Library, theatre, dance, music, woodshop, Beaver Island (Mich.), Music Building ground breaking, 1994, and the centennial of CMU, 1992-1993. Titles are taken directly from video labels. Videos are 3/4inch videotapes (71/4x5x11/4inch Ampax 197 Master Broadcast Videocassettes).


Walter P. Nickell Papers, 1922-1995, and undated

Approximately 13 cubic feet (in 9 boxes, 2 Oversized folders, 3 Slide Cabinets, 2 Slide Boxes)

The collection includes correspondence with George Washington Carver and Rachel Carson, an autobiography, correspondence, scrapbooks, artifacts, biographical materials, certificates, photographs, and slides of Michigan plants, views, and ornithology.

Papers, 1922-1975 and undated, approximately 13 cubic ft. (in 9 boxes, 2 Oversized folders, 3 slide cabinets, 2 slide boxes) include: correspondence with George Washington Carver, 1930-1939; and with Rachel Carson, 1958-1963; an autobiography of Nickell; correspondence arranged by subject, 1937-1974; correspondence arranged alphabetically by surname, 1932-1975; scrapbooks, 1922-1969, artifacts, including an academic hood presented with his honorary LL.D. from Central Michigan University; biographical materials; certificates of membership, 1960-1970; photographs of Nickell; approximately 1,250 slides of Michigan plants and animals; approximately 700 slides of views of Michigan; and approximately 1,000 sides of ornithology. Thirty-five books about Michigan topics from the collection have been added to the Clarke Historical Library's holdings. A later addition includes two slide boxes of pre-European contact Native American archaeological excavations, arrowheads, and other artifacts. Nickell collected these later slides.


Walter Scott Ryder Papers, 1909-1956, and undated

2.5 cubic feet (in 5 boxes)

Collection contains biographical materials, photographs and postcards, cash book, diaries, photographs, and writings.

The collection includes: Biographical Information about Ryder, mainly in newspaper clippings (copies); his Cashbooks, 1931-1944; Diaries, 1909-1956; some Photographs and Postcards made from photographs of him while attending Acadia University; Sermons, 1910-1919; Writings, 1933, undated; and church-related miscellaneous.

The diaries document Ryder’s years at Acadia University, 1910-1915, in great detail. The other diaries vary in amount of detail and document his stay in various places, including: as minister of Havelock Baptist Church, 1915-1916; and living in Parma, New York, 1916-1921; Vancouver, 1919; Chicago and Savanna, Illinois, 1919-1924; Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1925-1927, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928-1934, Flint, Michigan, 1935-1942, and Mount Pleasant, Michigan, 1942-1956.

Ryer’s correspondence file is very thin consists mostly of brief notes from CMU President Charles L. Anspach or Business Manager Norval C. Bovee.

The index of Ryder’s sermons includes a list of baptisms, marriages, and funerals he performed, 1919-1921.

The Clarke Historical Library also has copies of a number of Ryder’s publications including: Men and religion, a functional approach (1932); Society in the making; an introduction to sociology volumes 1-2 (1934); Sociological surveys of Iosco County, Michigan (1948); and Studies of economic and social aspects of Montcalm County, Michigan (1950).


Wells Family Papers, 1823-1946

11 cubic feet (in 23 boxes, 4 Oversized folders, 2 Oversized v.)

Papers of the Wells family of New York (State) and Saginaw, Michigan, include business records, correspondence, diaries, genealogy notes, photographs, oversized materials, and Eclipse Motor Car Company vouchers.

The Wells Business Records, almost all legal-size (2 cubic feet in 5 boxes), is divided into Eclipse Motor Car Company Vouchers, 1906-1911 (3 boxes), and Traverse City Iron Works Estimates, 1931-1942, except for 1940. Eclipse Motor Car Company was an automobile company based in Saginaw and operated by the Smith family that was later purchased by General Motors Company. It ordered iron supplies from Traverse City. Also included is one folder of letter-size business correspondence requesting catalogs and information on machinery of the Brady Cooperage Machinery Company, which was located in Manistee and Traverse City, Michigan, 1911-1916. This was apparently a company that supplied machinery to make barrels. Apparently, Brady Cooperage Machinery Company made round wooden tire spokes for the Eclipse Motor Car Company.

The Wells Family Correspondence, 1823-1947 (Scattered), and undated (5 cubic feet in 10 boxes), is composed almost entirely of letter-size correspondence between Wells family members and their extended relatives, Cochranes, Smiths, Wadhams, and Wells, and their friends and some business associates. Correspondence is filed alphabetically by surname, then first name of the writer of the letters, and chronologically within each folder. Additional miscellaneous items that do not fit elsewhere in the collection, such as locks of hair, report cards, etc. are also filed with correspondence. It is clear that for the most part the families through the generations cared about each other. Most of the letters concern family news of birth, deaths, marriages, news of illness and social events. Letters that may of particular interest to researchers include: A letter to Mrs. Wallis Craig Smith (nee Jean Wadhams Wells, daughter of C. W. Wells) from Mrs. Jefferson Davis, 1905, with an undated clipping of Jefferson Davis’ signature; Civil War correspondence of C. W. Wells to his parents, siblings, and friends, 1861-1865, particularly a letter discussing a battle with Confederate General James Longstreet’s troops, April 23, 1863; Correspondence from California discussing earthquakes, business, and gold mining, from Chester (Chet) Wells to his parents and siblings, 1853-1886; To Wells, Ermina, from William and Col. Luman Wadhams (cousin) and L. Wadhams (nephew), mostly in San Francisco, 1850-1882 (scattered). The Wadhams operated a general store in San Francisco; Correspondence from Wells, Jane A., to Benjamin and Charlie (sons) and Charlie’s wife, Mollie, June 3 and 14, 1876 re: death of their daughter Mattie of Scarlet; a letter from Mollie Wells to Mr. Paxson regarding Women’s Temperance, November 11, 1870; a letter from C. W. Wells to daughter, Jean W. Wells, October 10, 1893 while at the World’s Fair in Chicago; and Correspondence from Cochrane, John to Jane Cochrane (mother), James C. (brother), and sister, 1848-1862 (This includes an 1849 letter from Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1850 from San Francisco, and an 1851 letter from Panama.)

Diaries, (.5 cubic foot in 1 box), include those of Mrs. E. J. (Mrs. W. V.) McLean, 1854, 1871 (2 v.) and 1867 (1 v.); her husband, W. V. McLean, W.V., 1855, 1863, 1865, 1869, 1875 (5 v.); possibly Mrs. Henry Prindle?, 1886 (1 v.), and G. W. Smith, 1883 (1 v.). There are also six unidentified diaries, 1862, 1865-1866, 1872, 1884, and 1891. The link between G. W. Smith and Mrs. Henry Prindle and the Wells is undetermined.

Genealogy Notes, 1894-1945 (Scattered), and undated, (1 cubic foot in 2 boxes), are grouped roughly by surname of family members. These notes were definitely generated and gathered by Jean Craig Smith and include a number of her correspondence regarding her ancestry and for admittance into the DAR.

Photographs, 1860s-1915, and undated (1 cubic foot in 2 boxes), consists of various sizes and types of photographic materials, including cabinet cards, albumen image in a case, cartes-de-visites, stereoscopic views, and a variety of other 19th and early 20th century family photographs. Many of the images are partially identified if not both identified and partially dated. Photographs are grouped by type, size, and family groups. Of particular interest to researchers will be the Civil War Cabinet Card Portraits, includes C.W. Wells and Maj. Gen. Joe Hooker (39 total) and Stereoscopic Views, two of the Civil War, and one of C.W. Wells’ House.

Oversized Materials include Legal Documents, 1872-1901 (Scattered) mainly related to the Last Will and Testament of C.W. Wells, deeds, and guardianship legal documents (.5 cubic foot in 2 boxes), Oversized Photographs,1910-1916, and undated (.25 cubic foot in 1 box), and Oversized Miscellaneous including notes, obituaries, undated (.25 cubic foot in 1 box).

Oversized Folders include: blueprints, drawings, and proposals related to the Battle Creek Pump Station 8, 1941; Battle Creek Sewage Plant, 1938, the Midland Chemical Warfare Plant, 1942, and the Traverse City Pump/Lift Station, 1941, and an undated partial map of Essex County, New York State, showing the AuSable River, home of the Benjamin Wells family. The map was probably cut out of a magazine.

Lastly, Oversized Volumes, are the account ledgers of Jean Wells Smith, 1893-1901, and 1898-1906.


Wesley Foundation (Central Michigan University), 1939-2016, and undated

3.5 cubic feet (in 2 boxes, 1 slide box and 2 Oversized folders)

Wesley Foundation (Central Michigan University) includes plans, reports, board meetings, newsletters, applications, photographs, slides, an object, and a CD.

The Organizational Records, 1939-2016, and undated contain the Wesley Foundation (Central Michigan University) (WFCMU)’s plans, reports, board meetings, newsletters, applications, photographs, slides, an object, and a CD. The collection is organized alphabetically. The majority of the collection contains WFCMU minutes, annual reports, and many photographs of different events related to the WFCMU activities including, parties, gatherings, trips, and others. The slide box contains slides of the Wesley Foundation activities including, notably, a mission trip to Jamaica and a metal trading stamp saver with stamp books used in a campaign to purchase a bus to transport students. The oversized folders include a scrapbook, 1948-1950, and loose pages of a scrapbook missing its covers, with photographs of early WFCMU people, places, and events with a description written about each black and white photograph. The Homosexuality folder contains letters of appreciation and welcome flyers that invite all people of various orientation. The CD documents one of the leading pastors, the Rev. Thomas Robert Jones, with a slide show of Jones, the church members and a trip they took to New York City. Another pastor documented in the collection is the Rev. Steven Michael Smith, who was the lead pastor, 1996-2000. The collection also includes newsletters and newsletters about Native American tribes, like the Anishinaabe and the Saginaw Chippewas in the Mount Pleasant area, published by the WFCMU.

Researchers may also be interested in the Above Ground newsletter of the WFCMU and Rev. Thomas R. Jones' collection, which are separately cataloged and housed in the Clarke.