Nellie Mae, or May, Davis Finley (1888-1940s), was born in Michigan, the daughter of Wilson H. and Martha J. Finley. Wilson was a farmer born in 1848 in New York State, the home state of his parents. Martha was born in Michigan in 1852, but her parents were from Pennsylvania. In 1907 Nellie graduated from Michigan State Normal School. In July 1912 Nellie married Theron S. Finley (1887-died before 1920), the son of Erwin J. Finley, a farmer in Parma, Jackson County, Michigan. In 1914-1915 Theron suffered from tuberculosis and was hospitalized. Theron died in early 1920. That year, Nellie Finley lived with her parents and her mother’s sister, Nellie McEntire, and Nellie’s two sons, Theron W., age six, and Harry C., age four, in Parma. The 1930 Federal Census for Michigan records that they were still all living together in Parma, except for Nellie McEntire who had probably died. In both the 1920 and 1930 Federal Censuses for Michigan Nellie is listed as a public school teacher. In the 1920 census Nellie was listed as a widow with her maiden name of Davis. She taught at Devereaux School (Jackson County, Michigan), 1926-1927. Nellie was still alive in the 1940s. (This information is from the collection and AncestryLibrary.com viewed in June 2011.)
From the collection we know the Nellie apparently collected historical information. In 1937 she was approached by the University of Michigan Archives to donate collections she might have of state historical value. There are several letters between her, Harry Brown, and L. G. Vandevelde concerning collections in 1937 and 1939. Also from the collection we know the Harry C. Finley was honorably discharged from the War Department in 1937 and was a Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.
An image of Orlando H. Moore, described on a note in the collection as Orlando de Moore, is included in the oversized materials. Moore enlisted at Schoolcraft as a Second Lieutenant in the Sixth U.S. Infantry on June 27, 1856. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on March 2, 1861, to Captain on May 26, 1861, and as Lieutenant Colonel of the Thirteenth Michigan Infantry when it was organized on December 28, 1861. The unit mustered on January 16, 1862. Moore was commissioned Colonel of the Twenty-fifth Infantry when it was organized on August 18, 1862. After commanding a brigade, he was mustered out on June 24, 1865. Moore was promoted to Major, Sixth U.S. Infantry on June 8, 1874, and Lieutenant Colonel, Seventeenth U.S. Infantry on April 11, 1882. For gallant and meritorious service in action at Tebb’s Bend, Kentucky Moore was prompted first to the rank of Brevet Major, on July 4, 1863, and was later to Lieutenant Colonel on March 13, 1865. Moore retired from the army on April 15, 1884 and died at Dearborn, Michigan, on October 31, 1890. (This information is from the regimental history of the 25th Michigan Infantry.)