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Clarke Historical Library, DigMichNews Contest, Children's Art Postcards, 2015-2019

15.5 cubic ft. (in 32 boxes)

This collection includes postcards nostly created by children and teens in various Michigan cities which competed in the Clarke Historical Library DigMichNews Contests, 2015-2019.

This collection includes postcards created by children and teens in Alpena, Milford, and Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, from the 2015 competition 1 cubic ft. (in 2 boxes). Milford won the competition in 2015. A folder of information about the 2015 competition is in the front of box 1.

The 2016 competition postcards 6.75 cubic feet (in 14 boxes) include those created by children and teens in pre-schools, and both public and private schools in Alpena, Clinton County (supporting DeWitt Public Library), Houghton Lake, L’Anse. In addition to children’s postcards there are several folders of homemade crafty postcards created by adults in the Houghton Lake Public Library Craft Group. All of the Polish News competition postcards were homemade by adults associated with the Polish News in Detroit. Alpena won the competition in 2016. Schools were identified whenever possible. When identification was not specific minors are identified as students. A folder of information about the 2016 competition is in the front of box 3.

The 2017 competition postcards, 4.25 cubic feet (in 9 boxes), include those created by children and adults in L’Anse, Leelanau, New Baltimore, Oceana, and Utica. Three-dimensional, art, reproduced art, and composite image postcards are included. Specific schools or institutions were not identified. L’Anse won the competition in 2017 with Utica a close second. A folder of information about the 2017 competition is in the front of Box 17.

The 2018 competition postcards, 2 cubic feet (in 4 boxes), include those created by children, and a couple of adults, in Albion, Detroit, East Grand Rapids, Pontiac, Saugatuck, and Utica. Art and reproduced art postcards are included. While no specific schools were identified as contributors, Saugatuck District Library was identified as an institution were children created children’s art postcards for the competition. Saugatuck won the competition in 2018 while Utica came in second. A folder of information about the 2018 competition is in the front of Box 25.

The 2019 competition postcards, 1.5 cubic feet (in 3 boxes), include postcards mostly created by children. Postcards created, or probably created, by adults include some in the Grandville folder, including five reproduced historical photographs, and postcards in the Sparta Retirement Community and Sparta adults folder. Identified Sparta schools or school districts include: Algoma Christian Schools, Appleview Elementary, Kent City Schools, Ridgeview schools, and Sparta Middle and High schools. Sparta won the competition over Grandville. A folder of information about the 2019 competition is in the front of Box 30, and a folder about the 2020 competition is in the back of Box 32. Only a few people people identified themselves by first names in the Algoma, Kent City, Ridgeview, Sparta schools, and Sparta Retirement Community folders.

The collection is organized alphabetically by year of competition, city, then by topic. The collection is ongoing.

Processing Note: Duplicate mass-produced postcards were sorted and withdrawn from the collection. This includes approximately 4 cubic feet (2015), 1 cubic foot (2016), 1.5 cubic (2017), 1 cubic foot (2018), and 1.5 cubic feet (2019). The remaining postcards were compared to the existing Michigan postcards in the Clarke. Non-duplicates were then filed into the Michigan postcards collection. None of the children’s postcards were duplicates.


David Blank Family Papers, 1854, 1933, and undated

1 cubic foot (in 2 boxes)

The papers include family, personal and business correspondence, church records, and materials documenting the Greenback Party and the history of Clinton County, Michigan.

The collection includes: family, personal, and business correspondence includes letters from his brothers, Amos and William, about their inheritance, farm products, the sale of grain, a new steam grist mill and railroads in Ohio, outrageous prices for dry goods during the Civil War, school life in Ohio, elections (1877), land prices, drought (1886), church life, Standard Oil Company drilling, etc., 1848-1892. Also included are miscellaneous church records of the Greenbush Christian Church, 1858-1908. Political correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting the National Greenback Party, 1882-1887, and undated are also included. Lastly, Blank’s diaries describe expenses, the weather, personal activities, churches in Greenbush and Eureca, Clinton County, Michigan, the death of his wife, Lydia, his childhood in Ohio (recounted in 1879), Greenback activities (1880-1881), death of his child (August 1882), suicide of his friend Britton (September 18, 1885), and Prohibitionists’ activities (1887-1888).


Minnie A. Van Deusen Family Papers, 1842-1969 (Scattered)

3 cubic ft. (in 6 boxes)

The papers include mostly Minnie's diaries, 1901-1905, 1922-1923, 1924-1969; a 1902 embalming course workbook of her husband, E. G. Van Deusen, 1902; R.G. Van Deusen's account book,1842-1849, and meeting minutes of the Knights of the Modern Maccabees Tent 419 (Elsie, Michigan), 1910, 1915.

The collection consists mainly of Minnie’s diaries from 1901-1905, 1922-1923, and 1925-1969. She recorded the weather; her and her family’s daily activities; and local marriages, births, and deaths. Also included are her World War II ration books, 1943-1944; her miscellaneous correspondence; stock certificates; and copies of family-related newspaper clippings, 1899-1944 scattered). E. G.‘s embalming course workbook, 1902; his father’s account book, 1842-1849; meeting minutes of the Knights of the Modern Maccabees Tent 419 (Elsie, Michigan), 1903-1913; and some related correspondence, 1910 and 1915, are also included. E. G.’s brother, Milo R., was Commander and Secretary of Tent 419 from 1903-1913. Some clippings and biographical information on Milo R., Roe G., and E. G. Van Deusen are in the miscellaneous folder.


Nelson W. Bebee Family Correspondence, 1850-1865

1 cubic foot (in 1 box)

Family Correspondence of Nelson Bebee

Most of the letters between John and Nelson and their sisters and friends concern their health, the weather, and news of family and friends both at home and in the service. John also wrote about picket duty (December 31, 1861); “killing niggers” (January 14, 1862); visiting girls (January 17, 1862, January 25, 1862); Jefferson Davis (February 17, 1862); George B. McClellan (April 23, 1862); and the Mechanicsville Battle (June 27, 1862).

Nelson wrote briefly and mostly that he was often ill and had the mumps and about Rebels fighting (both on April 16, 1863); the draft and the dead on battlefields (November 3, 1863, October 2, 1864); about Rebel POWs, some of whom joined the US Navy (“Navie”) (October 31, 1862, November 18, 1862, June 12, 1864, June 22, 1864, December 9, 1864); Copperheads and the 1864 convention (September 4, 1864, November 9, 1865). Letters about John’s death can be found from July 4 and 19, 1865.

There are also letters about Grant and Lee and fighting in Virginia, from Harrison to Nelson (1864?); about General Hooker, from Ferdon to Maggie (March 8, 1863); and about taking goods from Southern plantations (October 31, 1862).

John and Nelson both had bad penmanship and spelling skills. Several of the letters are badly faded and one is stained. One letter is only a fragment.


Ormsby Farm Records, 1930-1975, and undated

2 cubic feet (in 2 boxes)

The collection includes financial records, photographs, and reports of the Ormsby dairy farm.

The collection includes mostly financial reports, such as: expense and income reports, 1957-1964; comparison of annual farm business reports, 1930-1938; inventory reports, 1964-1975; and farm account books, 1930-1948, undated. Two aerial photographs of the farms are also included. Many of the financial records and forms are from Michigan State University’s Cooperative Extension Services or Main-In program.