MS 210 mf - The Aaron and Mary West/Orange and Emma Comstock Family Papers
|Title||MS 210 mf - The Aaron and Mary West/Orange and Emma Comstock Family Papers|
The Aaron and Mary West Family Papers first were loaned to the Center for Archival Collections for microfilming by Cathryn Coventry, Sylvania, Ohio. This group of papers consisted mostly of the diaries (1853-1896) of Aaron West, a Toledo public school teacher, principal, and later, superintendent of the Sylvania Schools, and the diaries (1877-1898) of his wife, Mary. Also included were an autograph book/pupil register, account ledgers, correspondence, and speeches. The microfilm edition of these papers was completed in January 1982 and made available for research use.
In August 1990 Cathryn Coventry donated the original papers which had been microfilmed and also donated the papers of Orange and Emma Comstock. (Emma was the daughter of Aaron and Mary West.) The Orange and Emma Comstock papers consist primarily of correspondence between them and their children. Also included is a photograph album, family history/genealogy, Orange and Emma's marriage certificate and Emma's diploma from Sylvania High School.
Literary and property rights of both the microfilm edition and the original papers of this collection have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of scholarly research. The register was originally compiled by Ann Bowers, Assistant Director, in January 1982, and revised by Susan Irwin in October 1991.
Aaron B. West, son of William and Sabrina (Baker) West was born in Monroe County, New York, on March 18, 1825. In 1846 the family moved to Monroe County, Michigan. From 1852 to 1861, Aaron was employed as a teacher in the Toledo Public Schools, chiefly as principal of the Grammar School. From 1861 to 1868, Aaron was again a resident of Monroe County, Michigan. In 1868, having been appointed Superintendent of the Sylvania Public Schools, he purchased a farm in the village of Sylvania and moved there with his family. He continued as Superintendent for about thirteen years and also served as Lucas County School Examiner. Additionally, he held local positions as justice of the peace, township clerk, and member of the school board.
Aaron was married in Toledo, Ohio, to Mary C. Titus on December 26, 1853. Together they had seven children--Emma W., Anna C., Henry T., Edward B., and three who died in infancy.
Emma West married Orange Comstock in October 1875. They lived in Sylvania, Ohio and had five children--Elsie, Ernest B., Harold W., Marjorie I., and Raymond J. For more information see the West and Titus family histories found in the collection.
|Scope and Content|
Aaron West's diaries provide rich detail as to the responsibilities and daily activities of a grammar school principal in Toledo, Ohio, in the 1850's and early 1860's, and later, those of Superintendent of the Sylvania Schools. Aaron provides information on subjects taught, school room conditions, discipline, background and personalities of teachers, and school social activities in these diaries, especially while principal in Toledo. He also details the growth and development of Toledo and Sylvania. Additionally, he maintains in the diaries precise accounting of his expenditures and receipts for each year. After purchasing the farm in Sylvania, he maintains detailed accounts of the farm chores, livestock purchased and sold, and crops planted and harvested. Thus his diaries provide an informative narrative of both urban and rural life and the daily activities of a farmer and educator.
Mary West's diaries are much less detailed; however, they provide some narrative on household and farm chores, sicknesses of the children, church and social activities, trips taken, and visits with friends and family. The two sets of diaries complement each other and provide, both from a male and female perspective, information on the daily life of a family in northwest Ohio.
Completing this part of the collection are a pupil register/autograph book kept by Aaron (1842-1867), an account ledger kept by Mary (1884-1886), letters written between members of the West and Titus families (1822-1868), a weekly report card (1844), and two papers written by Aaron.
The Orange and Emma Comstock papers consist largely of correspondence between Emma West Comstock and her son Ernest who was attending Oberlin College. The letters describe family business, health matters, and general information from home. Some of Ernest's letters describe his experiences at school. Also included are letters between Ernest and other family members. There is also a group of correspondence between Elsie, her mother Emma and Emma's brother Henry and his wife Connie to Mary West and other relatives, written from Leipzig, Germany where Henry was attending classes. These letters describe the trip to Europe and life in Germany in the 1890's. Like the West diaries, the letters in this part of the collection provide rich detail and descriptions of life at the time and give insight into the relationships between family members. Also included is a photograph album in which most of the subjects are identified, a Titus family genealogy, a collection of letters in book form transcribed by James Titus (1836), Orange and Emma's marriage license (1875), Emma's high school Diploma (1877), and commencement invitations (1896-1902).
BOOK OF TRANSCRIPTIONS
AUTOGRAPH BOOK/PUPIL REGISTER
Roll 1: A. B. West Diaries
Roll 2: Diaries
1-14. Materials available on microfilm
Box 4: Correspondence
(Ledgers in folders 9 and 10 include boarding records from move to Oberlin while son, Ernest, was enrolled.)
Box 6: Photograph Album