Thomas J. Chew family papers  1797-1875 (bulk 1802-1857)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Billings family collection (2.5 linear feet) contains correspondence, invitations, ephemera, and other items related to Marcia Billings of Denver, Colorado; Owego, New York; and Brookville, Pennsylvania. Much of the material pertains to her social life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Correspondence series (551 items), which comprises the bulk of the collection, includes several Civil War-era letters to Mary Pearsall from her friend Emily Jewett, as well as other earlier items addressed to Marcia Billings. Most items concern the social lives of Billings's friends and family members in Denver, Colorado; Owego, New York; and Brookville, Pennsylvania, in the 1880s and 1890s. A series of 5 letters from September 1890 pertains to Colorado travel, including newspaper clippings with information for tourists. Two letters enclose photographs (January 19, 1909 and April 2, 1913) and one picture postcard shows a view of a town (August 14, 1911). Later items include letters by Marcia's husband, Benjamin Thomas, and letters to her mother, Gertrude Billings.

The Diaries series (4 items) is made up of a diary that Marcia Billings kept in 1870, the diary of an unidentified writer covering the year 1909, and 2 books containing records of correspondence and personal finances.

The School Papers series (17 items) consists of a Denver High School report card for Marcia Billings, 4 lists of examination questions from geography and grammar exams, 8 manuscript essays, and a card with the program from a "Friday Evening Club [Soiree]" held at Warren's Dancing Academy on November 30, 1882. The series also contains 3 sets of graded notes by Helen C. Jones, October 5-7, 1896, on arithmetic, history, and physiology.

The accounts and receipts in the Financial Records series (6 items) pertain to the personal finances of Marcia Billings and Benjamin Thomas.

The Photographs (6 items), taken in the early 20th century, show unidentified women. The series includes a group of photographs whose images are no longer discernible (counted as 1 item).

The Illustrations series (3 items) contains a colored drawing of a young girl sewing, a colored drawing of a woman holding flowers, and a sheet with sketches of farm animals and people.

Invitations, Responses to Invitations, Cards, and Ephemera (94 items), mainly addressed to Marcia Billings, concern events such as marriages, birthday celebrations, and casual outings. Ephemeral items include lists of dances from social events.

Printed Items (39 items) include over 30 newspaper clippings, most of which concern social events, elopements, and deaths; others contain poetry, cartoons, and news stories. Other printed items are advertisements, a poem entitled "The Mark of a Man-Child," and a poem entitled "The Type-Writer," which contains a printed illustration of a woman typing.

The Realia items are a ribbon, a sock, and an accompanying poem about a "Sock Social" held by the Ladies Aid Society.

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