Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Mary Dean and Chapin Howard Family Collection, 1835-1909

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff, September 1997, and Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Mary Dean and Chapin Howard family collection
Creator: Howard family
Inclusive dates: 1835-1909
Bulk dates: 1869-1909
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
This collection contains letters, documents, financial records, photographs, and other materials related to Chapin and Mary Dean Howard of Meriden, Connecticut, and Grafton, Vermont. Mary Howard's incoming correspondence includes letters from her two sisters and her brother-in-law, who lived Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the late 19th century.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1985. M-2221.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Mary Dean and Chapin Howard Family Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents and Financial Records
  • Series III: Photographs
  • Series IV: Genealogical Papers
  • Series V: Ephemera
  • Series VI: Newspaper Clippings

Series are arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Mary Emma Dean (or Deane) was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, on November 5, 1853, the daughter of Benjamin W. Dean and Angeline Cobb. She was raised in Grafton, and attended the Leland & Gray Seminary in Townshend, Vermont, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. On May 26, 1881, she married Chapin Howard (1853-December 22, 1903), the son of Ormando S. Howard and Lucy Spink. They had one son, Chapin, Jr., born in 1882. The elder Chapin Howard worked as a dry goods merchant and furniture dealer in Meriden, Connecticut, where the Howard family lived until moving to Grafton, Vermont, in 1902. Mary Dean Howard died on January 2, 1906. Mary's sisters, Lucy and Harriet ("Hattie"), moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before 1884. They married Rollin E. Woodworth and Arthur H. Tufts, respectively.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 62 letters, 41 documents and financial records, 27 photographs, 26 genealogical manuscripts, 5 pieces of ephemera, and 6 newspaper clippings related to Chapin and Mary Dean Howard of Meriden, Connecticut, and Grafton, Vermont. Mary Howard's incoming correspondence includes letters from her two sisters and her brother-in-law, who lived Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the late 19th century. Other material concerns various Howard family members' financial affairs, estate administration, and family genealogy.

The Correspondence series (62 items) primarily consists of incoming letters addressed to Mary Dean Howard. She received 11 letters from her mother, Angeline Cobb Dean, about life in Chester and Grafton, Vermont, between 1865 and 1873; around 40 letters from her sisters and brother-in-law, who lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and others from female friends. Lucy Dean Woodworth, Harriet Dean Tufts, and Arthur H. Tufts all commented on their social lives, family health, and other aspects of their lives in South Dakota Mary received 2 letters about a friend's experiences as a schoolteacher in Sand Beach, Michigan (October 14, 1883, and February 27, 1884), and a letter from Lewis B. Hibbard about the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, which he composed on the exposition's illustrated stationery (January 8, 1885). The remaining letters include business letters addressed to Chapin Howard (3 items), additional family correspondence, and a letter that William Battison wrote to the Grafton postmaster about the history of the wool industry in Grafton, Vermont (July 7, 1904).

The collection's Documents and financial records (41 items) primarily concern the fiscal affairs of Ormando S. Howard, Chapin Howard, and the estate of Aurelius C. Howard. They include inventories, land documents, accounts, account books, and receipts. A series of oversize ledgers documents Ormado S. Howard's involvement in settling Aurelius C. Howard's estate. Chapin Howard kept records of his transactions with W. H. Wellard, most of which involved the lumber trade. Two account books document C. Howard's accounts with C. O. Howard (3 pages, 1887) and Gladwin Howard's accounts with S. J. Hall for foodstuffs and other goods (17 pages, 1890). Two later documents relate to claims against the estates of Chapin and Mary Dean Howard. Also included is a manuscript report of a committee that visited several schools in 1878.

The Photographs series (27 items) is made up of 16 cartes-de-visite portraits; 7 cabinet card photographs including images of a young Chapin Howard at Saxtons River, Vermont; 1 tintype of 2 young men; 2 paper prints of an unidentified family; and a picture of a house in Meriden, Connecticut.

The Genealogical papers series (26 items) is comprised of notes, family trees, lists, and other material pertaining to the ancestors of Mary Dean and Chapin Howard and to the history of Grafton, Connecticut.

The collection's Ephemera series (5 items) contains advertising and business cards, a program for an event at the Winthrop Hotel (November 27, 1883), an invitation to members of the Montowese Tribe no. 6 (to Chapin Howard, 1887), and a patented envelope for "mailing photographs, fancy cards, etc."

The Newspaper clippings (6 unique items) include 21 copies of Mary Dean Howard's obituary, an article about the history of the Grafton Library, an article respecting several Vermont ministers, a list of Republican voters in Grafton, and obituaries for Peter W. Dean and Chapin Howard.

Subject Terms

    • Chester (Vt.)
    • Executors and administrators--United States.
    • Grafton (Vt.)
    • Lumber trade--United States.
    • Sioux Falls (S.D.)--Social life and customs.
    • Women teachers--Michigan--Sand Beach.
    • World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition (1884-1885 : New Orleans, La.)
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Dwellings--United States.
    • Families--United States.
    • Howard, Chapin, 1853-1903.
    • Battison, William.
    • Dean, Angeline Cobb.
    • Howard, Chapin, 1853-1903.
    • Howard, Mary Dean, 1853-1906.
    • Howard, Ormando S.
    • Tufts, Arthur H.
    • Tufts, Harriet Dean.
    • Wellard, W. H.
    • Woodworth, Lucy Dean.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    • Accounts.
    • Business cards.
    • Card photographs (photographs)
    • Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Estate administration records.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Obituaries.
    • Photographs.
    • Programs (documents)
    • Receipts (financial records)
    • Reports.
    • Tintypes (prints)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-6
     February 5, 1865-July 7, 1904, and  undated
    Documents and Financial Records [series]
    Folders   7-8  
     May 2, 1835-June 28, 1909, and  undated
    Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
    Box   1 Folder   9
    Account books,  1887 and  1890
    Photographs [series]
    Folders   10-12  
     1900 and  undated
    Genealogical Papers [series]
    Folders   13-14  
    Ephemera [series]
    Folder   15  
     1878-1883 and  undated
    Newspaper Clippings [series]
    Folder   16  
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Alternate Locations

    The following books are housed in the Clements Library's Book Division: