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Abel Bingham Family Papers, 1765-1964, and undated

Approximately 14 cubic ft. (in 29 boxes)

The papers include correspondence, diaries, journals, accounts books, tintypes, prayerbooks, sermons, hymns in Ojibwa, a New Testament in English and Seneca, and photographic images.

Family papers, 1765-1964, and undated, include: correspondence relating to Rev. Bingham's associations with the Baptist Missionary Society, Boston, his ministry at the Tonawanda Indian Mission in New York State, the Baptist Indian Mission at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and his social activities in Grand Rapids, Michigan; diaries of Bingham and his wife, journals, account books, and tintypes. Also included are prayer books and hymns in Ojibwa, Bingham's sermons, in English, and a New Testament in both English and Seneca. Among his correspondents is John Claude Buchanan, his son-in-law, whose letters relate to Buchanan's service with the 8th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War, 1861-1864. Three boxes of photographic images complete the collection.

The collection includes correspondence relating to Bingham’s associations with the Baptist Missionary Society, Boston, his ministry at the Tonawanda Indian Mission in New York State, the Baptist Indian Mission at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and his social activities in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Correspondents include John Claude Buchanan, Bingham’s son-in-law, relating to his service with the 8th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War.

The collection is also available on 19 reels of positive microfilm Acc# 359 (Section 4, 1 reel) and 444 (18 reels). Some letters are available on 2 reels of positive microfilm Acc# 614 of the American Baptists Foreign Mission Society, 1800-1900, American Indians and 1814-1900, France.


Addison D. and Minerva Skinner collection, 1864

9 items

This collection is made up of letters that Minerva Fox Skinner received from and about her husband, Addison D. Skinner of the 8th Michigan Infantry Regiment, in 1864. Skinner's letters describe his travels and discuss his homesickness; the remaining letters pertain to his death and burial.

This collection contains 9 letters that Minerva Fox Skinner of Parshallville, Michigan, received from and about her husband, Addison Dwight Skinner, in 1864. He wrote 6 letters to his wife while serving with the 8th Michigan Infantry Regiment from March 1, 1864-March 29, 1864. He described his travels to Flint, Michigan; Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; and Annapolis, Maryland, and wrote of his homesickness and his love for his wife and children. In his letter of March 23, 1864, he complained that he had not yet been paid; on March 29, 1864, he reported on the spread of measles throughout the regiment and confided to his wife that the death of George Griswold, a soldier from his regiment, had been caused by a case of "clap."

Minerva Fox Sinner received 2 letters from her brother, Wells B. Fox, about her husband's failing health and death (April 24, 1864, and May 30, 1864). In his second letter, Fox expressed his sympathy and offered reassurances that Skinner had thought often of his family during his final days. He also noted his resolve for the army to march to Richmond. Helen M. Noye (later Hoyt), a nurse at the Naval Academy Hospital in Annapolis, Maryland, wrote to Minerva Skinner on May 11, 1864, offering condolences for the death of A. D. Skinner, and discussing his burial. Noye, who believed that Minerva Skinner had yet learned of her husband's death, informed Minerva that the remains could be exhumed, but advised against doing so.


Amasa B. (Amasa Brown) Watson Family Papers, 1854-1932

2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes, 1 Oversized folder)

Family papers of Amasa B. Watson are divided into the following series: Amasa B. Watson Papers, Amasa B. Watson Family and Associates Papers, Mrs. Martha A. (Brooks) Watson Papers, and Miscellaneous Papers The papers include: biographical materials; family correspondence; business correspondence, mostly related to lumber and timber, but also the Republic National Convention, 1888; education of his nephews at the Michigan Military Academy (Orchard Lake, Mich.); General Orders, 1861; and after his death, his wife's correspondence related to the building of his mausoleum and the Amasa B. Watson Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post No. 395.

Family Papers, 1854-1932 and undated. The collection is divided into the following series: Amasa B. Watson Papers, Amasa B. Watson Family and Associates Papers, Mrs. Martha A. (Brooks) Watson Papers, and Miscellaneous Papers. Most of the collection documents Watson's business interests in pine lands and lumber sales.There are five folders of lumber correspondence with Hull and Watson; later M. B. Hull and Company, and finally Hull, Ulrich, and Company, 1879-1888, and four folders of related receipts and land taxes, 1860-1888. Eventually, Hull became executor of Watson's estate.

Family correspondence often relates to pine and land interests inherited from Watson. Family correspondence from his siblings concerns lumber and shingle sales. Correspondence from Watson's adopted sons, James and John Mead, is more personal in nature, and quite warm. In the correspondence, the boys describe their lives and experiences at school.

In the family and associates papers, there is correspondence with the family lawyer (and son-in-law) Thomas F. Carroll, and Watson's Mississippi agent, D. D. Carter, concerning land and estate concerns, 1903-1923. Correspondence to James and John Mead also concerns these issues, 1892-1894. The papers of Philander J. Mead (d. 1853), paternal grandfather of the Mead children and father of William J. Mead, are of little interest except where they concern pine and land interests. The papers of William W. Mead, 1888-1932, cover mostly his and his aunt/ mother's business concerns, estates, and the building of Amasa Watson's mausoleum. William was his aunt/ mother's right hand man. Mrs. Watson's papers cover her husband's estate, mausoleum, and land and timber business concerns. The Amasa B. Watson Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.) Post 395 correspondence documents Mrs. Watson's donations, both to Post 395 and to individual Civil War veterans. The G. A. R. letterhead has an illustration of Watson as an older man. Also included is a 1912 meeting booklet listing the Post's officers and regular meetings, held on the first and third Friday of each month at 325 Central Avenue. The booklet has an oval portrait of Amasa B. Watson on the title page.

Additional family and miscellaneous papers relate to land patents, mostly copies, 1884-1919, and abstracts of titles of Amasa B. Watson's land, created for his heirs and for legal purposes. Biographical information and a carte-de-visite of Amasa B. Watson in his Civil War uniform complete the collection.


Chase S. Osborn Papers, circa 1870-1949 (majority within 1889-1949)

149.9 linear feet ((in 152 boxes)) — 3 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Governor of Michigan, writer, businessman; papers include correspondence, business records, speeches, writings, visual materials, diaries.

The Osborn collection consists of correspondence, diaries, business papers, scrapbooks, photographs, and other materials accumulated during his life. Materials prior to 1889 are scarce possibly because of a fire which destroyed Osborn's home; thereafter and up to the time of his death in 1949, the Osborn papers are voluminous, documenting each of this man's varied activities. Although his career as elected public official was limited to one term as governor, the collection reflects the importance of his life in areas beyond politics alone. His voice was heard, in letters and speeches and monographs, speaking out on the issues of the day - prohibition, conservation, the New Deal, and of course his life-long interest in the development of Michigan's Upper Peninsula economy and natural resources.


McCreery-Fenton Family papers, 1818-1948 (majority within 1860-1940)

12 linear feet (in 13 boxes) — 1 oversize folder

The McCreery and Fenton families were prominent Genesee county, Michigan residents some of whose members distinguished themselves in local and state government, as soldiers during the Civil War, and in the United States diplomatic service. Papers include diaries, correspondence and other material relating to the Civil War, local and state politics and aspects of diplomatic service in Central and South America.

The McCreery-Fenton family collection documents the individual careers of family members who served their community and their nation in a variety of roles. Through correspondence, diaries and other materials, the researcher will find information pertaining to the Civil War, to the history of Flint and Fenton in Genesee County, Michigan, and to facets of America's diplomatic relations with some of the countries of Central and South America. Arranged by name of the three principal family members represented in the collection - William M. Fenton, William B. McCreery, and Fenton R. McCreery, the papers also include series of general family materials, business records, and photographs.


McCreery-Fenton family papers, 1842-1935 (majority within 1860-1865)

2 microfilms

Microfilm of a selection of the papers of the McCreery-Fenton families of Genesee County, Michigan. Civil War correspondence and other papers of William M. Fenton of Fenton and Flint, Michigan, Democratic state senator, and lieutenant governor, later colonel with the 8th Michigan Infantry; correspondence, diaries, and other materials of William B. McCreery of Flint, Michigan, Colonel in the 21st Michigan Infantry during the Civil War; and photographs.

This microfilm edition of a portion of the McCreery-Fenton family collection includes only materials relating to the Civil War service of William M. Fenton and William B. McCreery.