MS 1172 - Passet Family Collection
|Title||MS 1172 - Passet Family Collection|
The Passet Family Papers were donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections on January 6, 2012, with the cooperation of Joanne Passet of Richmond, Indiana. The collection includes a variety of materials dating from 1887 – 2011. The majority of the collection is comprised of letters sent or received by Almeda (Harrison) Passet, a clerical worker at Fort Riley, Kansas during World War II who married and settled with her husband Norman Passet in Wharton, Ohio in the late 1940s. The materials within the collection are primarily related to the extended Harrison and Passet families and cover several generations of each. In addition to several folders of correspondence, the 2 and 3/4 lf collection includes printed material, news clippings, photographs, legal documents, and artifacts.
No restrictions exist on the research use of this collection and duplication is permitted for research purposes. The collection was arranged and described by undergraduate student archival assistant Rebecca Denes in September, 2012.
Almeda (Harrison) Passet was born on April 26, 1920 and passed away on March 5, 2011. While the contents of this collection primarily reflect her life until only 1963, they do provide a fairly robust picture of who she was.
She was the first of two children born to Roger and Hermina (Quantic) Harrison of Riley, Kansas, a farmer and a school teacher, respectively. During World War II, Almeda applied to be a clerical worker at Fort Riley. It was there that she met her husband, Norman Passet, during a USO dance. Norman, a native of Wyandot County, Ohio, was stationed at the Fort as a camp cook. The couple married on September 2, 1944. Almeda continued her clerical work at Fort Riley and then moved back to her childhood home while Norman was reassigned to Fort Knox. Following his release in late 1945, the couple settled in Wharton, Ohio, and began their own farm.
The Passets went on to have two children, son Roger and daughter Joanne. Both children were frequent subjects of Almeda’s writing, as were her husband and his family. Like many women of her era, Almeda frequently made her own clothing, and canned fruits and vegetables from the garden that she tended. Her letters and other material in the collection reflect that she was an active member of the community and of the Lutheran church that the family attended.
She was very close to her mother and father, and the three exchanged a great deal of correspondence following the move from Kansas to Ohio. Almeda used her correspondence with them and with others to discuss her daily life and to ask for help and advice when it was needed. In a time when telephone service was scarce and cost-prohibitive, the mail service allowed Almeda to maintain contact with family members and friends that she otherwise might not have been able to communicate with.
|Scope and Content|
This collection represents five generations of the extended Passet family, and four of the extended Harrison family.
The bulk of the Passet collection is family correspondence, the majority of which is between Almeda and her parents, Roger and Hermina Harrison. The correspondence also includes letters written to and from Almeda and her husband Norman, Almeda’s grandmother Harriet Harrison, her brother Neal Harrison, and assorted family members and friends. There are also a small number of letters written from Almeda’s uncle Benjamin Harrison to her father Roger during WWI, and miscellaneous correspondence to various members of the extended Harrison/Passet family.
In addition to the correspondence, there are several other materials in the collection. These include legal documents, material artifacts, photographs, printed materials, and financial documents. Items of note include birth certificates, obituaries, war bond ledgers, embellished handkerchiefs from the Philippines, an unmarked WWII armored division patch, various certificates, the VE-Day issue of “The ‘All American’ Paraglide” military newspaper, and income tax paperwork from Almeda’s clerical work as a civilian at Fort Riley, Kansas.
In total, the collection covers the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, with the majority of materials dating from about 1940 – 1963. Historical events mentioned in the collection include the 1918 flu pandemic, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, US-Soviet tensions immediately following WWII, and the Korean War. Almeda’s uncle Benjamin was a soldier during WWI, though it appears that he remained in the United States due to an injury and did not see any overseas action. Her husband was a camp cook at Fort Riley, Kansas and Fort Knox, Kentucky during WWII while his brother Russell served overseas. Included in Russell’s correspondence are several pieces of Victory Mail.
In addition to the national information of note, there is also a great deal of information about Northwestern Ohio included in the collection. Letters that were written after the Passets settled in Ohio discuss various aspects of farming and small town Ohio life. It is also interesting to see how national changes impacted the residents of Northwestern Ohio; several letters between Almeda and her parents from the early 1950s discuss the pressure to register for social security and what it might mean for them.
Additionally, there is a great deal of social history to be found in the contents of the collection. In her earlier letters, Almeda was a farm wife and a new mother, and much of her correspondence reflects on the realities of both. While she was concerned with national and international news, she was also concerned with the day to day life of living and working on a farm in rural Ohio.
The recipe sheet included in the printed materials is also a wonderful example of social history. It not only reflects the cooking styles of the era, but also the advertising and marketing endeavors of companies. It was created for and distributed by Vick’s medical company, modernly most known for Nyquil and other over the counter treatments.
The contents of this collection have the potential to be helpful to a wide array of researchers. There is a great deal of genealogical information related to the Passet and Harrison families, as well as that of friends and acquaintances that may appear in correspondence or photographs. For historians, the materials within the collection are filled with valuable information. The collection demonstrates, in a variety of ways, the manner in which ordinary citizens and military service members were impacted by national and international events. A great deal of the materials provide insight into Northwestern Ohio local and social history, but can reach much further; they can be considered representative of the history of many similar families throughout the United States.
CORRESPONDENCE – ALMEDA (HARRISON) PASSET TO ROGER AND HERMINA HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – ROGER AND HERMINA HARRISON TO ALMEDA PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – ALMEDA PASSET TO NORMAN PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – NORMAN PASSET TO ALMEDA PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – HARRIET HARRISON TO ALMEDA AND NORMAN PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – NEAL HARRISON TO ALMEDA AND NORMAN PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – L.W. AND ALMA PASSET TO ALMEDA AND NORMAN PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – ALMEDA AND NORMAN PASSET MISCELLANEOUS
CORRESPONDENCE – NORMAN PASSET TO ROGER AND HERMINA HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – RUSSELL PASSET TO NORMAN PASSET
CORRESPONDENCE – NEAL HARRISON TO ROGER AND HERMINA HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – PASSET CHILDREN (ROGER AND JOANNE) MISCELLANEOUS
CORRESPONDENCE – MISCELLANEOUS PASSET FAMILY
CORRESPONDENCE – BENJAMIN HARRISON TO ROGER HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – HERMINA HARRISON TO ROGER HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – HARRIET HARRISON TO ROGER AND HERMINA HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – L.W. AND ALMA PASSET TO ROGER AND HERMINA HARRISON
CORRESPONDENCE – ROGER AND HERMINA (QUANTIC) HARRISON MISCELLANEOUS
CORRESPONDENCE – THOMAS AND ANNA QUANTIC MISCELLANEOUS
MORTGAGES AND DEEDS
Box 1: Correspondence
Box 2: Correspondence
Box 3: Correspondence
Box 4: Correspondence
Box 5: Subject Files, Reports, Literary Productions, Scrapbook Materials, Printed Material, and Photographic Material
Box 6: Photographic Material and Artifacts