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Alma (Mich.) Miscellaneous Collection, 1918, 1935, and undated

.25 cubic foot (in 1 box, 1 Oversized folder)

This artificial collection consists of Alma (Mich.) miscellaneous.

The collection, 1918, 1935, and undated, includes internal business correspondence and purchase receipt documents for Gamble-Skogmo in the Great Lakes area. Additionally, there are documents pertaining to Alma Masonic Lodge Membership, which includes the application and acceptance certificate of Alma College’s President Harry Crooks. One oversized folder of photographic portraits of men (3), undated, unidentified completes the collection. This is an artificial collection of material found in an Alma (Mich.) building while it was being renovated.

Processing Note: .25 cubic foot of duplicates, including copies of materials from the Clarke, reading materials, and blank cards were removed from the collection during processing. Also, some documents were photocopied, the copies were retained and the originals were removed.


Charles W. Marvin Family papers, 1850-1948, and undated

2 cubic ft. (in 5 boxes, 1 Oversized folder)

The collection includes the family papers of Dr. Charles W. Marvin, an Assistant Surgeon of the 26th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War, and his children, Louis, Ella, and Burr.

The collection consists mostly of Dr. Marvin and Louis Marvin’s papers, with a few items of other family members. They offer a view of family life and work in Ithaca.

The papers consist of Dr. Marvin’s Civil War papers (mostly forms for supplies, ordnance, muster roll, and his muster-out certificate from 1864-1865; Family Biographical Materials, 1850, 1869-1902; Family Correspondence, 1850, from Rough and Ready, California, describing gold mining conditions, 1890-1900, and undated; Family Legal Papers (mostly land records), 1850-1899; Burr Marvin’s poetry booklet, undated; and diplomas of Burr, Ella, and Dr. Marvin, and a chemistry certificate of Burr’s, 1851, 1887-1908. A few published items complete the papers. One is about Northern Michigan Medical Association prices and resolutions (1864) and the other is about Ithaca’s Common Council (1881).

The volumes include Dr. Marvin’s account books (general), 1853-1869; and (doctor’s), 1884; and diaries, 1868-1901 (4 volumes). Louis Marvin’s account books, 1902-1904 and 1944-1946; diaries, 1875-1944 (76 volumes), a Blacksmith’s account book, 1852-1856; and the account books of Marvin Bros., 1863-1948 (5 volumes) complete the volumes.

Of particular interest here are the doctor’s account book giving dates, names, and health problems of patients, and fees. Dr. Marvin’s diaries have scattered entries noting some church and school activities and patients’ cases. In August 1885, he traveled to the Dakota Territory and Nebraska, writing detailed entries in his diary.

Louis’ diaries detail his various interests and pursuits including school, his experiences teaching in Frankenmuth (January-March 1882), and Ithaca; work in Texas (1883) and later as a printer in Ithaca; Dr. Marvin’s death (1902); service in county offices (1903); and service as a delegate to the Republican County Convention. His diaries, 1902-1944, mostly note farm work and events in Ithaca, his work to erect the H. R. Pattengill Monument on the lawn of the Ithaca City Hall (1924); and his organization of the H. R. Pattengill Reunions, 1888-1938.


Collet Family Papers, 1840, 1936, and undated

.75 cubic feet (in 1 box)

The papers consist of family papers of the Collet and Hall families, including personal, business, legal papers and account books.

The Collet-Hall papers consist of correspondence, financial, business, and legal papers, certificates, and account books. Sections of the William and Sarah Hall correspondence note views on politics, the Civil War, and slavery. Letters from William Collet to his parents describe working at the Pere Marquette Railroad offices in Michigan City, Ind. A letter to Emma from her brother James tells about the fluctuating currency situation in Indiana, 1860. One document grants Emma Collet legal guardianship of her children, William Hastings and Emma Jane, after the death of her husband (their father), Stephen. Genealogical materials include records of births, deaths, and marriages, notebooks, certificates, and newspaper clippings.


Dr. Alpha "Doc" Clark PBB Collection, 1951, 2022, and undated

15 cubic ft. (in 30 boxes, 1 Oversized Folder)

This collection includes 15 cubic feet (in 30 boxes, 1 Oversized folder) of PBB-related material of Dr. Alpha “Doc” Clark.

This collection includes approximately 15 cubic feet (in 29 boxes and one oversized folder) of PBB-related material of Dr. Alpha “Doc” Clark. This significant collection is of critical national and international historical research importance of PBB related materials. The collection is in original order and includes: court documents, mostly depositions and exhibits for many court cases at various levels; correspondence and memorandum between Doc Clark and farmers, physicians, clinicians, lawyers, and state and other officials involved in the PBB crisis; human* and animal medical test results; publications, including magazine and academic journal articles, parts of books, reports, and numerous clippings (copies) from Michigan newspapers and magazines; and two VHS videotapes. There are also photographs in the collection, which are of particular importance as they document the results of the direct consumption of PBB on the bodies and internal organs of animals, mostly cows and calves, but also laboratory monkeys, fish, birds, pigs, beagles, family pet dogs, and other farm animals which either ate contaminated feed or were exposed to it through the manure of affected animals. (Note: *In 2021 Archivist Marian Matyn obtained permission from Hughston family members to retain and make available for public research the family’s medical test results, of living and deceased family members. Copies of the permission form are in the relevant Hughston family folders in Box 9.)

Of particular importance are the several documents detailing the aftermath and remediation procedures undertaken by the state, insurance agencies, and other involved parties to clean up PBB contaminated sites. This includes documentation of the logistical operations of moving and slaughtering contaminated livestock and products to a secure dump site located in Kalkaska, Michigan. For example, Exhibit #356 in Box 10 is the State of Michigan Environmental Impact Study for disposal of PBB cattle in Kalkaska, 1974. There is additional information about the waste dump site located near the former Velsicol Chemical factory in St. Louis, Michigan.

The numerous letters, correspondence, and memorandums between farmers of McBain and Falmouth, Michigan, and Doc Clark prove the close personal connections and friendships he had with them. Many of the various documents and other pieces of evidence within the collection were sent to Doc Clark through these friendships, or from others involved in investigating the contamination and resulting litigation. It is through these correspondence, and the rich variety of materials in the collection, that researchers will gain an impression of the overall character Doc Clark’s character, as someone trustworthy and knowledgeable. Memos, notes, and other documentation in the collection in Marlene's handwriting, demonstrate her significant support and contributions to this history.

The exhibits within the collection were used to support some of the numerous claims and cases that were filed after the resulting PBB contamination. One case of vital importance to note was that of the Tacoma farm. Many other class-action lawsuits (of which the materials within this collection document and support) were comprised of several farmers filing on the same suit, in the hopes of receiving compensation for their loss of livelihoods, resulting from the forced destruction of thousands of animals and animal food products. Also included are papers from the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission hearing of Wm. Oeverman v. Gary P. Schenk, File No. 3044183 (in Box 20.) Gary Schenk was a Grand Rapids attorney who represented the farm families.

The collection also includes PBB herd test results, organized by farmer name. These test results come from numerous sources with varying degrees of information. Additionally, many different publications which Doc Clark accumulated and retained for PBB reference purposes are also in the collection, including: conference proceedings and presentations, journal and magazine articles, newspaper clippings and political cartoons, and books. The collection also includes material related to PBB poisoning or testing in Montana, China, England, France, Germany, India, Israel, the Netherlands, and Scotland. Box 30 includes Veterinary Examinations from Robert Benson’s herd. Notably that two cows were autopsied at Purdue University.

Note: In 2021 the surviving Hughston family members signed a permission form allowing their and their deceased family members’ PBB test results to remain in this collection and be available for public research. Copies were filed in the front of each relevant folder.

The majority of the collection is in good, readable condition sans a bit of dust. Many papers had to be pulled from the collection and photocopied due to rust, water, staining, or other damage. Strategic decisions were made to retain documents that were mildly stained, ripped or torn due to the large volume of photocopying that would be necessary. Good quality photocopies were retained in the collection. All of the photographs in the collection were archivally sleeved to ensure their integrity, and damaged photographs were copied and sleeved.

The collection is organized by series, exhibit numbers in numerical order with Doc Clark’s reference information in the folder label; PBB herd test reports by farmer name, and newspaper clippings (to be copied).

Abbreviations on the folder labels include the following: FB, FBu Services; MCC, ; MDA, Michigan Department of Agriculture; MDPH, Michigan Department of Public Health; MSU; MDNR, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; MDHEW, Michigan Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

The following court cases have at least some material in this collection: Box 1: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, FB Bankruptcy Case #84-01478-G; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Wexford County, Roy and Marilyn Tacoma v. MCC No. 2933; Box 9: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, William C. Hughston v. MCC No. 77-000745; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, Will C. Hughston and Bonnie M. Hughston, individually and doing business as Bill Hughston and Sons v. MCC et al. Civil Action No. 77-000 745; Supreme Court of Michigan, PBB Litigation Case No. 60519; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Kent County, Ronald Creighton and Janette Creighton v. Northwest Industries, INC. et al. No. 77-23552NP Complaint for Damages; Box 13: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Kent County, Dale R. Sprik v. Farm Bureau Services Case No. 75-18562-NZ; Box 15: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Kalkaska County, Kalkaska Board of Commissioners v. State of MI Dept. of Agriculture Case #74-619 (testimony on the White Water site); Box 16: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, Gary and Lois Zuiderveen v. MCC #75-000580-NZ; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, Kenneth Zuiderveen v. MCC #75-000579-NZ; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Wexford County, Roy and Marilyn Tacoma v. MCC #76-2933-NZ; State of Michigan District Court, Western Division, District of Michigan, Southern Division, Ingham County, Michigan Farm Bureau v. New Hampshire Insurance Company #G74-372-CA5; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, Roy and Marilyn Tacoma v. MCC #75-000585-NZ; Box 17: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Chippewa County, Hale v. MCC No. 75-2402-NZ and 76-2537-NP; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, Tacoma v. MCC #75-000-585-NZ; U.S. District Court for Western District of Michigan, FB v. Northwest Industries, Inc. No.G-75-225 CA 5; U.S. District Court for Western District of Michigan, Eddington v. Northwest Industries, Inc., Civil Action No. M-75-74 CA 3; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Case NO. 82-0651-W, FB Debtor; Box 18: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Kent County, Kretzman v. FB File No. 74-16383-CE-NO; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, Tacoma v. MCC #75-000585-NZ; United States District Court, Western District of Michigan, Eddington v. Northwest Industries #M-75-74-CA 3; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Lenawee County, Knisel v. FBS #2684 NP; Court of Appeals Docket No. 43323; State of Michigan Circuit Court, Wexford County, No. 76-02933-NZ (Tacoma case); State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, No. 76-000585-NZ (Tacoma case); Michigan Eastern District North Division (Bay City), Bankruptcy Case #82-00651; Box 20: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Missaukee County, No. 77-000745 Hughston v. MCC; U.S. District Court for Western District of Michigan, Southern Division, FB v. New Hampshire Insurance Co., File No. G-74-372-C (counterclaim); Box 19: State of Michigan Circuit Court, Wexford County, Tacoma v. MCC #76-2933-NZ.

Processing Note: Approximately 1 cubic foot of duplicates were returned to Dr. Alpha Clark as per the donor form.

About 1.5 cubic feet of the collection consisted of newspaper clippings which were photocopied and are set to be returned to Dr. Alpha Clark as per his request in the donor form. These newspaper clippings were organized alphabetically, rather than by exhibit number, because not all of the provided newspapers had an associated exhibit number.


Elias W. Smith Family Papers, 1850-1916, and undated

.25 cubic feet (in 1 box)

The papers are mostly Elias' business accounts and legal agreements. Also included are correspondence and accounts of his wife and daughter, Martha and Iola, with lawyers about Elias' estate.

The papers are organized by creator: Elias, Martha and Iola, and Smith Family, and then alphabetically and chronologically. Elias W. Smith’s papers mostly involve his business accounts and legal papers involving business agreements. Materials of his wife and daughter, Martha and Iola Smith, include correspondence and accounts, mostly with lawyers about his estate and debts.


Ellen Perry Papers, 1893-1981, and undated

6 cubic feet (in 6 boxes, 7 Oversized volumes)

Perry's paper include her personal and professional papers, scrapbooks, articles, and correspondence.

The collection is divided by format into papers and then scrapbooks. The papers are organized chronologically. This is a collection of Ellen Perry’s personal and professional papers, scrapbooks, articles, and correspondence. Five scrapbooks include her articles from August 21, 1969 to May 1981. Another scrapbook contains newspaper obituaries and wedding announcements circa 1893-1903, apparently from the St. Louis weekly newspaper, The Independent. Also included are photographs, negatives, church programs, correspondence, stories, and miscellaneous. Some of the stories concern her son, Mearle. The bulk of the collection, however, is the typewritten “Manuscripts” for her submissions to newspapers, which are arranged chronologically. Stories on various subjects are arranged topically.

Processing Note: Scrapbook #9 (Formerly #6) was a part of the original collection. However, when the collection was reprocessed in 2001, it could not be located.


Gerrit S. Ward Family Papers, 1820, 1965, and undated

2.5 cubic ft. (in 4 boxes)

The papers include papers of Charles O. and Gerrit S.Ward, and the Ward and Ely families.

The collection includes genealogical materials for the Ward and Ely families of Alma, Michigan; Ward family photographs (19th-20th centuries), including some of Charles O. Ward in uniform and in local bands. The materials of Gerrit S. Ward include correspondence to/from Gerrit S. Ward to/from family, 1860-1897, and about his various business interests including banking, mines, and timberlands, 1886-1916; deeds and correspondence to Alma and Montcalm County lands, 1883-1911; Gerrit S. Ward’s estate records, 1916-1917 (copy, 1940); an annual report of the First Bank of Alma (illustrated with pictures of the bank and its staff and officers), 1916; legal papers, mostly regarding land, 1886-1910; Civil War artifacts and pension materials, 1862-1928; miscellaneous; and correspondence re: the Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company, 1907-1910.

Materials for Charles O. Ward include Spanish-American War military certificates, 1898-1899; correspondence, mostly between Charles and Gerrit S. or Hugh E. Ward, 1898-1960; and numerous deeds and related legal papers concerning his real estate businesses in Alma, 1887-1961.

The materials of Josephine Ely Ward include correspondence, 1916-1917; estate records, 1940; and the Ely family genealogy.

Also included is an 1820 certificate of military appointment for Sardis Ward as a cornet player for the 6th New York Cavalry.

Two Oversized scrapbooks complete the collection. Volume 1, 1885-1961, mostly consists of newspaper clippings on the Spanish-American War, 1898. It includes telegrams about Charles O. Ward’s health and hospitalization at St. Joseph’s hospital in Philadelphia, November 1898, with typhoid. Telegrams were sent between T.S. Ward, G.S. Ward, Charles Spicer, Sarah Ward, and Josie Ward.

Scrapbook Volume 2, 1885-1941, includes many articles on Charles O. Ward and his wife, and the Ely and Ward families. Two memorial booklets for William Sisson Turck, (August 7, 1839-September 19, 1912), Mason, Major of the 26th Michigan Infantry Regiment, Alma Supervisor, County Treasurer, Michigan Representative, President of Alma, and member of the Board of Managers of the Michigan Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids are also included. Volume 2 also contains an Alma College commencement program, June 22, 1888; Hugh Ward’s recital program, 1918; and a memorial resolution from the Alma Order of the Eastern Star for Electra Brewbaker (died November 20, 1932 at age 81).

Both scrapbooks are quite acidic, but Volume 2 is very acidic, fragile, with detached covers and spine.


Gideon I. Chalker Papers, 1904-1932, and undated

.75 cubic foot (in 1 box)

Papers include diaries, typed transcriptions of diaries, photographs, biographical materials, and materials related to Chalker's work as a Free Methodist minister.

The collection consists mostly of Chalker’s Diaries and some typed Transcriptions of the Diaries, 1904-1932. A few Photographs, Biographical Materials, and materials related to his work as a Free Methodist minister complete the collection.


Grand Army of the Republic. Billy Cruson Post No. 347 (Breckenridge, Mich.) Organizational records, 1892-1919, and undated

2.25 cubic ft. (in 5 boxes, 2 Oversized Volumes)

Records include reports, membership records, receipts, correspondence, books and miscellaneous of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Billy Cruson Post No. 347 and auxiliary Women’s Relief Corps (WRC) No. 95 of Breckenridge, Michigan.

The collection consists of various reports, membership records, receipts, correspondence, books and miscellaneous of the two GAR organizations of Breckenridge, Michigan, 1892-1919, undated. The collection is divided by series into WRC No. 95 and GAR No. 347, then it is organized alphabetically and chronologically.

The WRC’s Membership Records folder contains transfer cards, two rosters and a copy of the organization’s bylaws. The WRC’s Ritual Items folder contains music, songs, programs and ritual leaflets.

Of note in GAR No. 347, Quartermaster Ledger, 1892-1917, there is a handwritten note on the inside back cover in pencil, “Pres shot Sept 14, 1901,” referring to the assassination of President William McKinley. Several pages in this volume are loose.

Henderson-Ames Company was a Michigan-based badge, uniform and patriotic paraphernalia manufacturer. Included are several letters of correspondence (Box 4) and one catalog of badge options (Box 5).

Processing Note: Approximately 1.25 cubic ft. of duplicate books, papers and miscellaneous items were withdrawn and returned to the donor, Breckenridge Public Library, as per the donor agreement. Less than .25 cubic ft. of materials were copied, due to folding damage, the originals were included in the withdrawn and returned items to Breckenridge Public Library. Additionally, four ritual books and two national encampment journals were separately cataloged. The WRC and GAR Applications for Membership were originally pamphlets and were repeatedly folded and unfolded. Particular care should be taken with these documents as they are prone to tearing.


Gratiot County Herald Photographs Collection, 1900-1979, and undated

3.5 cubic feet (in 4 boxes)

The collection includes photographs the newspaper staff took, retook, or collected of town business, people, events, buildings, organizations, schools, school events, accidents, and other topics in or near Gratiot County, Michigan.

The collection includes images that the newspaper staff photographed or collected of town business, people, events, buildings, organizations, schools, school events, accidents, and other topics in or near Gratiot County, Michigan. Some of the images are later copies of pre-1900 images.