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Collection

Frederick W. Spencer Papers, 1931, 1970, and undated

2 cubic feet (in 5 box)

Papers consist mostly of business correspondence related to the oil drilling business in mid-Michigan, as well as related plat books, forms, genealogical materials, and miscellaneous.

The collection consists mostly of business correspondence to/from Will Spencer, 1934-1938 (1.5 cubic ft. in Boxes 1-3). Will signed his letters as F.W. Spencer. The correspondence is in alphabetical order by surname or company name. Most of the correspondence is from Will to people who owned property in mid-Michigan inquiring if they would like to lease their land for gas/oil drilling to Phillips Drilling Company of Butler, Pennsylvania. Some of the correspondence is between Will and county officers about land that might be purchased for taxes, inquiries re: ownership of certain property, and requests to the Department of Natural Resources for plat maps. There are also some bills and receipts for maps or mapping. There are also occasionally requests to Spencer for some of his farm products. There is no personal correspondence in the collection.

Plat books in which specific properties are marked are found in Box 4 (a letter-size .25 cubic foot box). Also in this box is a publication on Fringe Wells of the Crystal-New Haven Files and the Beaverton Area, 1936, by C. Roe.

Box 5 (a legal-size .25 cubic foot box) includes miscellaneous materials related to Michigan oil exploration and leasing. Of note are lists of properties owned by Indigenous people in Denver and Isabella townships, Isabella County, which were available for oil or gas leases, 1934, 1936. People listed as holding this land include: Wellington, Joseph, and Israel Collins; Mary Conley; George Corbin; Mary Egleston; Mary Isaac; Johnson Jackson; Emma McClure; Jane Nottawa; Eliza and Mary Ann Pay-she-min-nee; Maria Pelcher; Lucy and E.(Earnest) Pontiac; William and Albert Strong. The 2021 addition is mostly housed in Box 5 and includes: 1934 miscellaneous; typed lists of oil well permits issued by the Michigan Department of Conservation, 1938; materials Spencer collected, created, or signed for Paul Odil including mostly copies of oil and gas leases and agreements, and correspondence, 1931-1933. ALso included are typed English 201 papers that Hazel Spencer wrote while attended Central State Teachers College, now Central Michigan University, in 1934.