Denckla-Maison family papers  [1815-1891]
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Denckla-Maison family papers consist primarily of intra-family correspondence, usually regarding monetary affairs and real estate. Several themes are common throughout the collection, with a number of letters comprising lengthy correspondence series between different members of the family. Throughout the late 1800s, William P. Denckla and his wife, Julia wrote to his sister, Mary, asking her for financial support. The collection also includes a significant amount of correspondence from William Maison to his parents, Peter and Augusta Maison, describing his life with the Pollock family in Como, Illinois, in the 1850s and, later, his intent to permanently settle there. Other main topics of correspondence are land transactions, insurance policies, and Mary Denckla's inheritance of C. Paul Denckla's estate. Several items relate to the property dispute between William Pollock and Peter Maison, and other legal cases and lawsuits are also well represented. Though the bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, the collection also holds documents and ephemera. Among these are several notarized powers of attorney, hand-drawn maps, financial calculations, and business cards. Particular examples include a series of invoices for seats at a local church, a poem entitled "Hard Times," a deed for a grave plot and use of a sepulcher, and a certified copy of Augustus Denckla's will.

Bound items in the collection include the following:

  • Executrix of estate of Paul Denckla, by Mary Denckla, 6 January 1861-2 November 1885
  • Executrix of estate of Paul Denckla, by Mary Denckla, 19 November 1861-19 May 1888
  • Paul Denckla receipt book, 30 December 1823-26 October 1843
  • Kate M. Maison travel journal, 12 May 1869-30 July 1870
  • Peter and Augusta Maison letter book, 17 November 1858-8 March 1862
  • Augusta Maison letter book, 20 March 1862-14 July 1874
  • Paul Denckla receipt book, 18 November 1843-3 December 1853
  • Peter and Augusta Maison receipt book, 8 August 1825-24 August 1885
  • Henry J. Denckla receipt book, 1 March 1845-19 August 1851
  • [Augusta Maison] account book, 15 November 1866-26 January 1876
  • Isaac Wampole receipt book, 7 August 1815-26 November 1826
  • Paul Denckla account book, 12 October 1842-14 December 1842
  • Mary Denckla account book, 12 September 1869-21 June 1872
  • [Augusta Maison] account book, 3 January 1874-4 January 1884
  • [Augusta Maison] account book, 6 January 1873-12 December 1884
  • [Paul Denckla] rent book, 7 May 1844-January 1853
  • [Paul Denckla] rent book, 11 October 1854-6 April 1872
  • [Mary Denckla] rent book, 1877-1889
  • Inventory of the estate of Paul Denckla, by Mary Denckla, 8 November 1861-9 May 1867
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