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George Kennicutt Notebook

Identifier: RH-A-3971

Scope and Contents

The Kalamazoo School District began in 1833 and by 1865,consisting of the Union School on the corner of South West and West Vine Streets along with four ward schools. This census in the notebook, compiled in 1865, shows 2151 students which differs a little from the yearly catalogs, which showed 2,090 at the end of the 1864-1865 school year and 2,332 at the end of the 1865-1866 school year. The names are not in alphabetical order but seem arranged according to where the students lived. This seems to indicate that George Kennicutt went door to door taking his census of students.George Kennicutt (1810-1898) came to Gun Plain Township in 1835 from Mayfield, New York. He moved to Kalamazoo in 1853 for his children’s education and became a bookkeeper at Woodbury and Potter later becoming a blacksmith and the superintendent of the gas works. In 1858, the Village of Kalamazoo appointed him the Village Marshall, or also known as the Village Clerk. Part of his responsibilities seem to be conducting a census of school-age children.


  • Creation: 1865



.05 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to .05 cubic feet and is composed of one leather bound notebook, 6.5”x4”x ½” which contains a list of children, written in pencil who attended school in School District number one in the Village of Kalamazoo in 1865. George Kennicutt (1810-1898), Village Marshall, also known as the Village Clerk, compiled the list, handwritten in pencil.The notebook is bound, the front cover is brown leather and the back is cardboard. The spine is gone replaced by masking tape. On the cover are the words, written in ink,“Whole number 2151”,referring to the total number of students along with “Census of School District No. 1 Village [and] Township Kalamazoo 1865 [ ] by G.W. Kennicutt.” The notebook filled with white lined paper, is only about two-thirds full. There are 109 pages numbered. Mr. Kennicutt wrote in cursive with a pencil with approximately twenty names on each page. On the first page is the following sentence written in ink, which has faded:“1865 Census of School District No. 1 Village [and] Township of Kalamazoo Mich.Embracing the named of all the children residing within the limits of the District between [and] including the ages of Five and Twenty at the date of September 2 A.D. 1865. Census taken by George W. Kennicutt.” The second page is a formal signed oath where George Kennicutt states that this is a correct list of names. Frank Little, a notary public, notarized the statement. In addition, there is a revenue stamp dated September 1, 1865 and with the initials G.W.K on it. Each page has twenty names, first name first. With siblings, quotation marks are used for the last name.The condition of the notebook itself is good; the cover is fair. The names are very legible and the binding of the notebook is good. There is a brown spot at the bottom of pages 17 to 32. The cover is in fair condition. The front cover is warped and masking tape was used to hold the cover to the main part of the notebook. About two-thirds of the tape remains with the exception of the front where a piece came off removing some of the cover and some of the wording.

Lynn Houghton
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490