This collection is made up of 106 personal letters addressed to the family of Frances Godown of Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana. The first two items are letters that Frances received from a friend in Lowell, Massachusetts, who discussed the influx of foreign mill workers (May 22, 1881) and from her mother, who shared recipes ([October 28, 1892]).
The remaining items largely consist of letters to Mary Godown McLaughlin and her daughter "Katsey." Mary received 3 postcards from her husband Harry during his trip to New Mexico and California in October 1915. Her most frequent correspondents were her mother, Frances Godown, and sister, Charlotte Godown Kelley, both of Indianapolis. Godown frequently offered advice to her daughter and granddaughter, and usually reported news of family members and friends (often related to illnesses and deaths). She occasionally discussed her religious beliefs, particularly near the end of her life. She also remarked on politics, especially around the time of the 1932 presidential election. Kelley's letters refer to the difficulties she faced while caring for her ailing mother, who suffered from physical and mental deterioration, and coping with her husband's prolonged unemployment in the early years of the Great Depression. In her final letters, written in 1936, she described the grieving process following her mother's death. A small number of items were sent with newspaper clippings, usually obituaries, enclosed. The final item is a postcard that Mary Godown McLaughlin received from an acquaintance in 1946.