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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions Grinnell (Iowa) -- History
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Florence Stewart and Robert Kerr Papers 1917-1963 1937-1948

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.24
  • Collection

The collection contains an oral interview with Florence Kerr; photographs, personal correspondence (notably with President and Mrs. Roosevelt), and other items unrelated to her business life; correspondence and other materials relating to her defense activities in 1941; and materials from two productions of the Federal Theater Project.

The bulk of the collection contains correspondence, memos, and reports from her tenure with the Work Projects Administration and includes numerous WPA publications.  There are two photograph albums and ten scrapbooks of newspaper clippings regarding her WPA activities.

Also included is correspondence of her husband, Robert Y. Kerr.

Florence Stewart Kerr (Class of 1912)

George M. Ochs (Class of 1949) Papers 1960-1995

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.45
  • Collection

The collection contains articles and book reviews by Ochs, personal and professional correspondence, and a copy of his Ph.D. thesis.

Ochs, George M.

George Washington Cook Letters 1857-1860

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.164
  • Collection

The collection consists of twenty-six letters, one land deed, and three loose envelopes.

Letters are written between George Washigton Cook and Electa C. Cook to family and friends, particularly Sarah E. Cook, Collins Cook, and Henry W. Cook. The letters detail life in Grinnell, IA, during the 1857-1860 time period.

The land deed is dated January 1, 1859 and is signed by J.B. Grinnell.

Cook, George Washington

Glenn H. Leggett Writings 1958-1996

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.40
  • Collection

The collection contains 24 different volumes that are collections of essays, lectures, eulogies, toasts, letters, reminiscences, etc. The subjects of the essays range from dogs to writing and from poetry to hunting and fishing, reflecting the broad range of interests of the author. Also included is an autobiography, family stories, travel accounts, and reflections on the academic life. There are histories of Grinnell Federal Saving and Loan Association and of the Kiwanis Club. Some of the essays were papers delivered at the Fortnightly Club. The speeches include ones given on retirements, dedications, commencements, and inaugurations.

Leggett, Glenn H.

Grace Douglass Orr Papers

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.19
  • Collection

The bulk of the collection consists of Mrs. Orr's recollections about her life and the lives of three of her brothers, and of family photographs.

Orr, Grace Douglas

Grinnell – Chapin Genealogical Material

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.05
  • Collection

The collection consists of genealogical charts 1480 0 1919.  Correspondence ca. 1898-1908, 32 portraits, some unidentified, copies of cemetery inscriptions, Family Association publications for the Chapin (4 books, 1862, 1908, 1908, 1927) and Alden (1 book, 1916) families, sixty Chapin family deeds and documents from Massachusetts 1674-1851, and a 114-page handwritten notebook by E. F. G. of Stockbridge, 1848, family history of Chapin ancestors Dudley, Woodbridge, Jones, and Eliot.

The papers have detailed information about a few branches of the family, little or no information on other branches.  The researcher might consult U.S. Library of Congress, Genealogies in the Library of Congress to identify more complete sources.

Genealogical charts in this collection trace part of the Grinnell family from Pierre Grenelle, born about 1480 in France. A descendant, Matthew, born 1602, became a Protestant and moved to Newport, R.I., in 1630, beginning the American line of the family. Matthew’s son married a granddaughter of John and Priscilla Alden. Other charts trace various branches of the Chapin family from about 1576 to Mary Grinnell’s birth about 1857.

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell

Henry G. Little Family Scrapbooks 1874-1900

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.22
  • Collection

Consists of three record books from the Henry G. Little family of Grinnell.  Little was mayor of the town in the last decades of the nineteenth century.

Henry G. Little

Hill Family Papers and Publications

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.81
  • Collection

The collection consists primarily of printed materials, and a few letters of correspondence. Gershom Hyde or James Langdon Hill authored the bulk of the collection. Most of their works are in the form of pamphlets, small books, and occasionally typed manuscripts.

Hill, Sarah Harriman

I. B. Mc.  Iowa Territory Description. -1846

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.56
  • Collection

Consists of one letter from I. B. Mc., Mexico, Missouri, to Dr. C. Blish, Hampton, Pennsylvania describing the Iowa Territory.  Written before 1846.

Ivan Sheets Postcard Collection 1900-2000 early 20th century

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.107
  • Collection

The Ivan Sheets collection contains approximately 400 post cards of towns primarily in Poweshiek County, Iowa.  The are 334 post cards of Grinnell and 74 post cards of surrounding towns including Brooklyn, Malcom, Montezuma, Newton, and Oskaloosa.

Sheets, Ivan W.

James Cunningham Town History Files

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.169
  • Collection

Jim Cunningham donated a series of postcards with images of the Grinnell College campus that were for sale in Cunningham's Drug Store. Also included are two newspaper clippings regarding local Grinnell events.

Cunningham, James

James Langdon Hill Papers 1715-1928

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.43
  • Collection

This may be an autograph collection of Hill’s; or it may be a collection of historical items collected by various persons. In the collection is a notebook that has one poem written in it; letters and correspondence of Hill’s were found in the notebook.

Items in the large scrapbook may be part of his collection because one of the autographs mentioned in Hill’s letter in the Correspondence file was in the scrapbook. There were other letters in the scrapbook that indicate that some of the items were from different sources and were collected for a type of historical collection. There is a note attached to two, 1840 receipts: “Professor Spencer: Do you have charge of a collection such as these? / E. L. Long” and a letter to Rev. Parker from Lyman Whiting that was enclosed with some historical items: “...[they] have a bit of history in them which leads me to send them to you to dispose of as you think best. If worth keeping in the museum, please put them there; if fit only to be burned, let that be their fate.” Items from the scrapbook that seemed to have a different provenance were put into file folders.

Hill, James Langdon (Class of 1871)

James McNally photograph collection 1857-1961

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.23
  • Collection

James McNally collected photographs, both black-and-white and color, that depict buildings and Grinnell scenes from about 1857-1961.  The collection of photographs has been donated to Stewart Library.

Copies of outstanding and representative pictures in the collection were made into slides and the slides donated to the archives.  Vera provided the descriptions of the photographs in 1983.  There are two sets of slides: the original slides and another set that are loaded into a carousel.  The latter set may be borrowed with approval of the College Archivist.

McNally, James

James Norman Hall Papers 1906-1954

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.01
  • Collection

The James Norman Hall papers at Grinnell College span the years 1906-54.  About half the collection is correspondence, clippings, photographs, and notebooks, the other half is manuscripts of his writings, including his autobiography, novels, short stories, essays, and poems, published and unpublished.  The 665 letters and post cards are arranged chronologically.  A small portion are from Hall's four years in Boston before World War I, nearly half are from World War I and post war years, and the rest from the last 25 years of his life.  Much of the correspondence is with his family and two Boston friends, George Courtright Greener (1911-53), Director of the North Bennet Street Industrial School, and Roy Cushman (1914-50), Probation Officer in Juvenile Court.  Other correspondence includes letters and cards from Hall to his former Grinnell professors, Charles Payne (1916-44) and George L. Pierce (1911-50), from his college roommate, Chester C. Davis (1910-19), newspaperman, head of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in the 1930's and president of the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, and a few letters from Ellery Sedgwick, editor of Atlantic Monthly.  The Atlantic Monthly-Hall-Nordhoff correspondence is on 14 rolls of microfilm, and the Sedgwick-Hall correspondence is on one roll in the Archives.  A few letters are exchanges between friends with comments about Hall.  Some letters are typed, some are carbons, most are handwritten.  A typed version of selected war letters is included.  The Archives does not have Robert Dean Frisbie's letters on which Hall's story "Frisbie of Danger Island" is based, nor correspondence with Nordhoff.

Most of the newspaper clippings are reports of Hall's war experiences and reviews of his books, a few are about Hall, Tahiti, and the South Seas.  Most photographs are from World War I and his Iceland trip, a few are of his family in Tahiti.

Twenty-eight small handwritten notebooks, some of which record Hall's travels and outlines of stories and poems, a diary of the 1909 Grinnell College Glee Club tour to the west coast, and Hall's Grandfather Young's small Civil War diary (1864) are also in the collection.  Two rolls of microfilm in the Archives contain war letters, pages of notebooks and other items selected from the Grinnell collection by Paul Briand Jr., who wrote a biography of Hall.

Over half of the collection consists of typescripts, some with revisions or several versions of sections, of nine of the twelve books Nordhoff and Hall co-authored (manuscripts of the first three, published before 1930, are not in the collection), of parts or all of seven of the seventeen books Hall published alone, of scripts of two of Hall's plays, of typescripts or holograph versions of 19 of the more than 80 published magazine pieces, and of about sixty unpublished poems, stories, and essays, most undated.  The Archives owns 28 books Hall wrote by himself or coauthored with Nordhoff, including foreign language editions of some titles.

The Hall papers at Grinnell College are a valuable resource for anyone studying his career as a writer, his travels, experiences, ideas, and the sources of some of his stories.  Hall's war correspondence is particularly enlightening for the World War I scholar interested in the human aspect of the war.

Hall, James Norman (Class of 1910)

Jesse Macy Papers 1876-1919

  • US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.70
  • Collection

The collection contains correspondence between Macy and several people from the 1870s to 1919, including a letter from Woodrow Wilson thanking Macy for a gift and for his congratulations on the 1910 New Jersey gubernatorial election. There are a number of miscellaneous family documents, Macy’s diary from 1864-65 in Savannah, Georgia, and sixty letters of tribute at the time of Macy’s death.

Macy, Jesse

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