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Morley Brothers (firm: Saginaw, Mich.) Papers, 1833, 1976, undated

3.5 cubic ft. (in 7 boxes, 2 Oversized volumes)

The collection includes: letters, catalogs, photographs, personal and business correspondence, clippings (copies), specifications, time books, scrapbooks, genealogical materials, and other materials.

The collection was process by different groups of student processors over years. Series 1 Papers, 1833, 1976, undated, 3.5 cubic ft. (in 7 boxes, 2 Ov. v.)

Series 1 contains account books, biographical information, catalogues, correspondence, financial and insurance documents, receipts, photographs, the Wedgeway Service Letter and yearly planners. Material also covers the city of Saginaw and various institutions within the city. Newspaper clippings include articles related to Saginaw, the Morley Brothers, the fire of 1949, and advertising. Various recipes within the collection offer remedies for physical ailments. Memorabilia includes materials from the National Rifle Association and World War II. The Lest We Forget 1952 includes an entry on October 17, 1952 about Representative Richard Nixon running for office.

Processing Note: Published materials of a substantial nature were separately cataloged.


Morley Brothers (firm: Saginaw, Mich.) Papers, 1833, 2009, undated

6.5 cubic ft. (in 13 boxes, 3 Oversized volumes)

The collection includes: letters, catalogs, photographs, personal and business correspondence, clippings (copies), specifications, time books, scrapbooks, children's homework and handmade cards to Santa, genealogical materials, and other materials.

The collection was process by different groups of student processors over years. Series 1 Papers, 1833, 1976, undated, 3.5 cubic ft. (in 7 boxes, 2 Ov. v.); Series 2 Papers, 1833, 2009, undated, 6.5 cubic ft. (in 13 boxes, 3 Ov. v.).

Series 2 includes materials mostly in English, but some are in German or Russian, which is noted in the Box and Folder Listing.

In Series 2 notable correspondence includes Rep. J.W. Fordney, Governor Chase S. Osborn, President Herbert Hoover and letters and Christmas cards to and from World War II servicemen. Material also covers Reuben Hitchcock Morley’s murder in China, the city of Saginaw, various institutions within the city and other companies owned by Morley relatives in the United States. Newspaper clippings (copies) include articles related to Saginaw, the Morley Brothers, the fire of 1934 and the Morley Family.

There are photographs in Series 2 Box 4 of the Morley Brothers at DuMont Television, an early manufacturer of televisions.

Personal Correspondence of various family members is found in Series 2 Boxes 5-10. Of note here are charming, homemade notes to Santa created by children Abigail, Charles, Mary and Paul Morley, Jr., undated. The notes are handwritten or printed, signed, on red cardboard and decorated with drawings and stickers.

Series 2 Box 6 includes correspondence between Paul Morley and the British Embassy, 1916.

Series 2 Box 8 includes correspondence from between P.F.H. Morley and the editor of the Horseless Age, the “first Motor Vehicle Journal in the English language.” Correspondence notes that Morley had troubles with his gasoline engine and inquired about a fuel source called “energine”. In Box 8 there is also correspondence between Paul Morley recommending possible donors to support The National Home Finding Society for Colored Children (copies, originals), 1916. Correspondence in Box 8 about the New York Times is about the purchase of a subscription for Fred Ecton and complaints about a late paper.

Series 2 Box 11 includes materials of the Menominee Hardware Company which was either owned or co-owned by the Morleys. Box 11 also includes correspondence between the Morley Brothers and the U.S. War Department, 1919, noting how they are trying to hire veterans, and War Department requests for Morley to complete a questionnaire re: company war efforts. It appears that they supplied war products.

Series 2 Box 12 includes Morley Brothers Patents, 1886-1956. Several of these patents were purchased by the Morleys, while the rest of the folders concerns trademarks.

Series 2 includes one Oversized Folder with a Goodridge Bros. photograph of a house with four children, a man and a horse. The photographers, notable African-Americans, are identified on the back of the image.

Series 2 Processing Note: During processing approximately 5 cubic feet of materials, mostly duplicates or materials which were copied and the copies retained, were withdrawn from the collection. In addition, approximately 2 cubic feet of general Saginaw history materials, general Michigan photographs and postcards were added to the Michigan vertical files, Michigan photographs or Michigan postcards collections in the Clarke. Published materials of a substantial nature in both series were separately cataloged.


Morley Brothers (firm: Saginaw, Mich.) Papers, 1903, 1940, undated

Approximately 6.25 cubic ft. (in 14 boxes, 3 Oversized folders, 1 legal-size folder)

The collection includes: personal and business correspondence, financial statements, contract information, certificates, sales reports, Christmas cards, Saginaw social club information, World War I information, and other materials.

The collection was process by different groups of student processors over years. Series 1 Papers, 1833, 1976, undated, 3.5 cubic ft. (in 7 boxes, 2 Ov. v.); Series 2 Papers, 1833, 2009, undated, 6.5 cubic ft. (in 13 boxes, 3 Ov. v.); Series 3 Sections 1-4 Papers, Approximately 6.25 cubic ft. (in 14 boxes, 3 Oversized Folders, 1 folder).

Series 3 includes materials mostly in English, but some are in German, which is noted in the Box and Folder Listing.

Section 1 consists primarily of business correspondence, 1903, 1940, and a few are undated. Boxes 1-3 are letter-size boxes, Box 4 is legal-size, and all are .5 cubic foot boxes.

Box 1 consists primarily of business correspondences, with a slight deviation from Abbie Glaize, even though her correspondences are business related, and from responses to job advertisements. The business correspondences primarily date from 1905 to 1910, with a sudden deviation at the end with late a folder consisting of 1916-1917 materials. The Abbie Glaize materials bring about a peak of interest, as later on her husband ends up filing for bankruptcy and the correspondence she sends out afterwards have a different tone to them.

Box 2 contains material from 1903 to 1917. While the box consists primarily of personal and family correspondences, there is one folder containing financial correspondence. But even the personal and family letters tend to have their own twists to them. Some folders consist of largely single-family subjects or persons of interest, such as the correspondence folders between Edward and Paul Morley.

Box 3 contains material from 1903 to 1918. The box contains a variety of materials, including continuing correspondences, financial statements, miscellaneous items, contract information, certificates, sales reports, and even a sarcastic response to the Women’s Rights movement by Walter Morley himself. The Sales Report folder consists of a sampling of reports that were saved, in which roughly 20% of the original documents were recovered.

Box 4 contains material from 1905 to 1918, with one item from 1940. This box contains a variety of materials, including correspondences, financial statements, and mixed materials. There are a few notable pieces to mention, however, including a special piece of correspondence from the mayor of Saginaw, William B. Baum, and a list of members of the Board of Trade.

Section 2 consists primarily of Business and Personal correspondence by Paul F.H. Morley in 1909, and 1911-1914. There is also one box of 1909 correspondence from Edward W. Morley. The collection is arranged chronologically and alphabetically.

Paul’s correspondence varies from personal letters to his wife, to a confrontation with Charter Features regarding one of their employees and his attempt to scam the Morley family (in box 6). Paul also corresponded frequently with John Prindle Scott, a composer from New York who would periodically visit Saginaw and teach voice lessons. He also received a poem written by Edwin L. Sabin, a poet from Clinton, Iowa (in box 2). This poem is not duplicated in the collection on Edwin Sabin at the University of Iowa. It is a witty piece commenting on advertising in the twentieth century.

Bert also sent his brother a series of sketches attributed to a D. Nelson (in box 6) demonstrating theater fashion. Bert’s letter indicates the artist wished to become a costume designer and hoped the Morleys would help him in this endeavor. No further correspondence with Bert or the artist regarding this matter was found in the collection.

Paul also seems to have been particular about the nationality of individuals in his household employ. Throughout 1914, he requested the service of an agency specializing in the procurement of German governesses as well as soliciting for the position himself. He seems very particular in his letters (in box 6) that he wants a governess of German origin who also spoke English extremely well. Some of these letters are in German. Paul also enjoyed having a Japanese cook and butler, and advertised for the positions when his old employees resigned (in box 3).

In 1911, Paul hired the Mooney and Boland Agency to send an “operative” to observe employees in the Saginaw Hardware store. The reports (in box 3) detail the actives in the store while the operative was there. The reports do not include any incidents of stealing, but there are a few references to employees work ethic and wasting time.

Section 3 includes Personal and Business Correspondence, 1914-1915, and 1920. In Box 1 (Box 11 in the encoded finding aid) are the following: Folder 1. Among the Business Correspondence there is a copy of a letter from a Mr. Smith, Register of Deeds suggesting that A.J. Morley list his wife on his personal property deeds.

Folder 2. Mr. A.J. Morley’s business correspondence shows him to be a rather amiable person. His business related letters often include personal anecdotes and personal inquiries after his employees and business partners. This is most apparent in A.J. Morley’s communication with his Secretary, Charles C. Rose, which he often signs as “Your Sincere Friend.” For further reference see Morley’s telegram to the Rose family in the Holiday Letters folder.

Folder 3. Among the Christmas Cards are many selections of non-denominational holiday greetings. Included in this folder is a card from a business associate, E.C. Atkins and Company Inc. Also included is an invitation to a holiday ball from the Gray Harbor Shriners Club. Another item of note is a card showing a racist rendering of an African-American “Mammy” looking after some affluent Caucasian children.

Folder 4. The Holiday Letter correspondence also includes interesting insights into the Morley family. Again we see A.J. Morley mixing personal and business correspondence in his holiday letters to family as well as business partners. Most of the letters give an update to the family’s status, such as where the children are attending schools and what achievements they have accomplished. Included is an interesting letter written by Mr. Morley to Headmistress A.G. Hensley regarding the grades his daughter, Helen, received. The report card is included. There are also several letters that A.J. Morley writes to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Hicok, referencing sending her to Hinsdale Sanitarium of Illinois. Additional letters regarding his wife, Elizabeth/Bessie/Betsy remark upon her ill health and “slight derangement” during the holiday season.

In Box 2 (Box 12 in the encoded finding aid)are found the following: Folder 1. Among the General Business Correspondence are several letters regarding the Wright, Stone and Wells Estates.

Folder 2. The Club Member Materials were kept of note to indicate the level of involvement Paul Morley had within his community as part of the Um-Zoo-Ee Dance Club, Saginaw Country Club and the Saginaw Canoe Club.

Folder 3. Paul Morley’s Hotel Requests indicate the high manners of the time period and the high status that his position demanded.

Folder 4. The correspondence between Paul Morley and his brother, Walter Morley, often reference the events of World War I, including an inquiry by Paul as to whether a war film would be made about the incident. There is also a mention of the scarlet fever. We also learn that Walter Morley had his car stolen in Detroit.

Folder 5. Paul Morley’s correspondence with George F. Schreiber is extensive. Paul supported George financially both during and after his college education, the reason for which is unknown. Included are a voluminous number of letters written by George as he traveled across country and by sea to Alaska. The two men wrote often in regards to World War I. Their correspondence revealed that Paul Morley Jr. contracted stipe anterior poliomyelitis, also known as polio. (For more information on George F. Schreiber refer to Elizabeth Edward’s Morley Finding Aid.)

Folder 6. There are also a significant number of letters written between Paul Morley and John Prindle Scott. Scott was a voice teacher in Saginaw before becoming the famous author, lecturer, educator, singer and composer. A photograph of Mr. Scott is included in the collection. (For more information on John Prindle Scott refer to Elizabeth Edward’s Morley Finding Aid.)

Folder 7. The correspondence of lawyer Wallis C. Smith includes several colorful anecdotes, such as the mention of a “German nobleman episode” as well as business with Improvement Co. and Consolidated Coal Co.

Folder 8. There is a very intriguing set of letters from the Morley children’s governess, Sophie Theilheimer, who accounts her life story as a Jewish girl from Germany raised to be a Presbyterian.

Folder 9. The various correspondence from landscape designer Aubrey Tealdi is worthy of note. The descriptions of the garden plans give the reader an idea both of how the grounds of the original state were arranged and the amount of wealth the Morleys had at their disposal. Blue prints of the original estate are included (See Oversized Folder 1).

Folder 13. This is a selection of letters regarding purchases paid from Tiffany’s Co. of New York. Included are several letters in which Paul Morley dictates, extensively, the manner in which his Christmas cards should be made.

In Legal Folder 1 are found the following: Of note are the contents of the Stocks and Statistics Folder. There is a listing of the persons employed by the company for the 1920 year. The listing is extremely detailed and broken up into statistics by month and occupation. There are also two information packets on stock that the company bought in the Heinz Company, of Heinz Ketchup, and Canadian Gold Bonds. This use of company resources to branch out into the world of finance is exemplary of the expanding finance market of the early 1920s. Also included in this section is a pamphlet regarding a status report of trade and goods of America and foreign markets. This is indicative of a growing awareness of global finance and was possibly a contributing factor to the Morley Company’s success.

Section 4 consists primarily of business correspondences, 1915-1919, and 1925. Box 1 (Box 13 in the encoded finding aid) has a variety of notices from several insurance companies (Aetna, the Guarantee Company of North America, and the New England Casualty Company) concerning at-work accidents, including a suspicious case, where a Geo. Gollifer was injured after running a thistle into his foot (1915- New England Casualty Co.). Account ledgers from 1918, list all of the businesses that owed money to the Morley Brothers, as well as reasons why the accounts were not paid. There is a letter from the Michigan Public Utilities Commission stating that the delay in receiving commodities shipped by railroad was caused by railroad car shortages, due to the retention of loaded cars full of coal, which had a poor market in Michigan. Plans on how and when to load cars to maximize efficiency are also included.

Other letters of interest are: a letter from a dissatisfied business, F.J. Reader and Sons, concerning barrels full of rotten apples, and one from the Michigan Inspection Bureau concerning improvements recommended for the sprinkler system.

There are correspondences with the Otis Elevator Company also. Morley hired the company to remove their old elevator and install a new one in the shop. Blueprints and design guidelines were attached and are located in the oversize folder.

A sampling of applications from 1919 has been retained in the collection to show skills and talents that were desired for employees of the Morley Brother’s Company. It appears that Morley Brothers was a popular company for young men, who had just returned home from service in WWI, to seek employment at.

Morley’s proof of membership to the Gateway Movement for the years 1916-1917 is also included. According to the membership form, the Gateway Movement was created to ‘combat Socialism.’

Box 2 (Box 14 in the encoded finding aid) contains materials from the years 1919 and 1925.

Internal notices that were circulated within the company include, one asking employees to stop leaving their bicycles in the storage room, and a reminder that the store closes at 5:00 pm, and, therefore, no one should leave to wash-up before then.

An inspection of the company was made in 1919 by the Standard Accident Insurance Company. Numerous repairs were required for the elevator.

Subscriptions to different labor magazines and to the Bay City Times Tribune to promote the “Buy in Bay City Campaign” of 1919, and the order of one hundred copies of Chet Williams’ book, “The Knack of Getting Ahead” are also included.

The letters from the American Bankers League in 1925 are indicative of the Revenue Act passed in 1926 by President Coolidge. The Revenue Act of 1926 reduced inheritance and personal income taxes, cancelled many excise imposts, eliminated the gift tax and ended public access to federal income tax returns, while also levying a rate of 13.5% on the net income of corporations. In the letters, leaders of the organization are arguing for support from members for a tax reduction and the elimination of the Capital Stock Tax.

The bank notices from 1925 announce multiple bankers’ decisions to charge for collections following the “laborer is worthy of his hire” ideology.

Other interesting correspondences include a letter from the Saginaw County Tuberculosis Association, asking the company to donate money for the Christmas season, and an invitation to the Annual Meeting of the Retail Merchants Credit Bureau.

A sampling of business receipts is also part of the collection and include one to the Detroit Police Dept., for shells, and the Adjustment Bureau.

Processing Note: Materials that were withdrawn from the collection include duplicates, peripheral mateirals, and acidic materials, which were copied and the copies then added to the collection, receipts, acknowledgements of payment, and other documents regarding finances. Five cubic feet total of material was withdrawn from Series 3 Sections 1-4 during processing.


Morley Brothers (firm: Saginaw, Mich.) Papers, Series 4, Oversized Volumes, 1835, 1967, and undated

111 cu.ft. (in 187 [mostly Oversized] Volumes, 1 Oversized folder, 1 box)

Morley Brothers Papers, Series 4. This series consists almost entirely of oversized financial volumes. It is organized into two major series: Morley Bros. Company Organizational Records and the Morley Family/ Personal Papers. Together they provide a detailed history of this Saginaw business family. Researchers and staff should exercise caution in lifting the large, heavy volumes!

Morley Brothers Series 4: Volumes, 1836, 1967, and undated, 187 [mostly oversized] volumes. The series consists only entirely of oversized volumes of various types of business financial records. The series is organized into two major subseries: 4-1 Morley Bros. Company Organizational Records and 4-2 Morley Family/ Personal Papers. Together they provide a detailed, although incomplete history of this Saginaw business family.

Overall the materials are in good condition, but a few volumes are dirty or have loose covers or pages. There are also eight locked volumes, likely gross entry journals that could not be unlocked due to the way the lock is attached to the volume. Many of the volumes are very large to huge in size, and weigh a lot, requiring two people to lift safely. A few are missing covers or have some loose pages and are in folders. There are also a few volumes consisting only of loose pages in folders. Researchers and staff should exercise caution in lifting the large, heavy volumes!

Also of note is the beautiful penmanship exhibited in some of the volumes, notably General Gross Entry Book [end of the month, which includes lists of employees], 1900-1903. These volumes all have lovely penmanship. It is obvious that clerks with good penmanship were successfully employed by the company. Eight of these volumes are locked closed.

Some volumes do not have titles. If titles have been added by the archivist, they are in square brackets []. Description, notes, and the contents of the volumes are also described in square brackets [].

Morley Brothers Company Organizational Records, 1836, 1967, and undated, includes 163 [mostly oversized] volumes organized into Companies Morley Bought Out, and then alphabetical by title/ type of volumes Morley generated concerning its own business transactions. Each type of volume documenting functions are then organized chronological, numerically, and/or alphabetical, depending on original order. The company records provide a very complete view of the company’s history, financial practices and business connections. There are three volumes which may be of particular interest to researchers. Scrapbooks of Invoices, 1867-1893, includes the earliest extant company receipts pasted into scrapbooks. The earliest Saginaw Michigan, history, is found in the Day Book and Journal, 1836-1843, which documents a trading store of dry goods, July 1842-1843, and 1836 land sales Saginaw, Michigan, of Day, Little and Company, and the Saginaw City Company, 1836. The Employee Records subseries documents the human aspect of the company and includes employee pay rolls and traveling salesmen records, documenting who worked what job, at what wage, for how long, in what years, in which unit of the business and in which location.

The organizational records are organized into: Companies Morley Bought Out, 6 volumes, 1836, 1917; Accounts, 5 volumes, 1868, 1950; Bank Books, 4 volumes, 1886, 1940; Business Correspondence, 2 volumes, 1890s; Cash Books, 13 volumes, 1879, 1939; Delinquent/ Suspended Accounts, 2 volumes, 1892-1902; Employee Records, 11 volumes, 1876, 1948; Gross Entry Books/ Journals, 8 volumes, 1866, 1926; Locked Volumes [Gross Entry Books/ Journals [end of the month]], 8 volumes, 1883, undated; Indexes, 10 volumes, 1882, after 1886, undated; Inventories, 13 volumes, 1886, 1900; Journal Entries [General Profits, Losses, Accounts Only], 11 volumes, 1882, 1965; Ledgers, Business, Alphabetical, 16 volumes, 1883, 1892; Ledgers, Business General, Numbered, 6 volumes, 1882, 1912; Ledgers, City, 5 volumes, 1889, 1902, undated; Ledgers, Country, 8 volumes, 1893, 1902, undated; Morning Business Meetings, 2 folders, 1948-1950; Notes and Bills Receivable, 2 volumes, 1870-1886; Oil [Purchased], 1 volume, 1886-1949; Purchases, 5 volumes, 1888, 1901; Visitors Register, 1 volume, 1904-1967; Saddlery Company Statistics, 1 volume, 1901-1903; Sales, Daily/ Monthly, 11 volumes, 1876, 1936; Scrapbooks of Invoices, 3 volumes, 1863, 1867; Stocks and Bonds, 2 volumes, 1901, 1917; Taxes, 1 volume, 1885-1913; Trial Balances, 5 volumes, 1 folder 1886, 1952

The Morley Family/ Personal Papers, 1886, 1953, and undated, includes 24 [mostly oversized] volumes, 1 oversized folder, 1 box (.5 cubic ft.), and are organized alphabetically by the name of Morley family members documented in the collection including: Edward W., George B., Helen Wells, Lucy B., Paul F. H., and Ralph. The family members each either created their materials or someone created the material specifically for them. Materials for each family member are organized by type of material, mostly accounts or legal documents, and chronologically. Material general to all of them or unidentified is in Morley Family (General) Papers. Most of this series is financial, insurance, taxes, or estates related. There is one address book, undated. The box (.5 cu.ft.), 1891, 1934, undated, includes miscellaneous financials or estate records, as well as obituaries of George W. Morley, Sr. (1914) and P.F. H. Morley (1931), an article on their store fire (1934), and a name card and Christmas calling card, both undated.

Edward W. Morley, 5 volumes, 1886, 1919; George B. Morley, 1 Ov. folder, 1935; Helen Wells Morley, 4 volumes, 1906, 1963; Lucy B. (Mrs. R.C.) Morley, 4 volumes, 1917, 1940, undated; Paul F. H. Morley, 2 volumes, 1920, 1950; Ralph (R.C.) Morley, 1 volume, 1928-1939; Morley Family Papers, 1 box (.5 cu.ft.), 8 volumes, 1886, 1953

The Morley Brothers is now completely processed. See also the finding aids for Morley Brothers Series 1-3. Other Morley related collections in the Clarke include: Paul F. H. Morley’s Log of the Lodge collection, the Wells family papers, and the Mershon and Morley Company books of plans for portable buildings.

Processing Note: During processing, any loose, acidic materials, mostly relevant newspaper clippings, were photocopied and the copies retained. The original clippings and any peripheral materials were withdrawn during processing. Materials withdrawn totaled less than .25 cubic foot.

Printed catalogs were separately cataloged.

Also in the collection were catalog pages in large, red, hard plastic loose leaf binders were sent to Morley product distributors. Each distributor kept updating the pages with new products of interest to their customers. As a result, most of the distributors’ were very similar with pages inserted in various orders. A sample of distributors’ volumes were retained and separately cataloged. 20 distributor volumes were withdrawn from the collection during processing.