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Esther Morris Rasmussen

Identifier: RH-A-1584

Scope and Contents

Letters exchanged between Esther Morris Rasmussen (1914-1991), her immediate family, and friends, 1930-1980. The collection includes correspondence from Leo. Brown, Jr. to Esther, 1934-1939 and letters from Esther’s five brothers, Richard, Edward, Walter G., Robert S. and Harold during their service in the armed forces during World War II. Included are letters exchanged in early 1945 in regards to Robert’s untimely death in an airplane crash, as well as Harold’s abrupt marriage later in the year.

Collection also includes photocopies of World War I letters by Edwin Wirtz, 1918-1919. Miscellaneous Kalamazoo County, Michigan, papers, 1914-1975, include materials about the First Presbyterian Church; Kalamazoo Public Schools; menu for Columbia Hotel; Directory of Kalamazoo County Officials; program for ETANDA Club. Brochure for the West Oshtemo Grange Fall Festival, Kalamazoo County. A yearbook for Kalamazoo County Pomona Grange, 1955.


  • Creation: 1930-1980


Biographical / Historical

Esther Morris-Rasmussen was born on November 20, 1914 in Niles, MI, the first child, to Richard B. Morris (1891-1974) and Lillian V. Steinbauer-Morris (1890-1985). Esther graduated from Niles High School in 1931 and WMU (Then the Western State Teacher’s College) in 1938 with a B.S. in Music Education. In October of 1932, Esther took a boarding job with the Rasmussen family, Leo B. Sr. (1890-1975), Cornelia Brown (1890-1965), and their son, Leo B. Jr. (1914-1988). Following her stay with the Rasmussens, Esther dated Leo Jr. while he attended Medical School at the University of Michigan. The two were married on June 16, 1939 following his graduation. The collection includes correspondence from Leo Jr. to Esther from 1934-1939. The couple had three children; Leo B. III (1942- ), Richard (1948-2012), and Mary (1943- ).

Following Esther, Richard and Lillian had five more sons; Richard E. (1916-1987), Edward (1918-1991), Walter G. (1921-2011), Robert S. (1923-1945), and Harold (1925-2009). All five sons joined the armed forces during World War II.


3 boxes : 1.5 cubic feet contained in three full-sized Hollinger boxes

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to 1.5 cubic feet contained in three full-sized Hollinger boxes with folders comprised of letters, cards, and notes exchanged between family members and friends, as well as a few portraits. There is also a single map folder with 3 diplomas and 1 portrait.

The letters are written on various sized paper mostly 8 ½” x 11” or smaller. The correspondence includes lined sheets, blank paper, post cards, and greeting cards. A majority of the letters have corresponding envelopes, which are kept together with clips. Most of the collection is in good condition, however, a few of the letters have worn creases and/or edges, and some ink has run or faded. Newspaper clippings are photocopied.


This collection contains letters exchanged between Esther Morris Rasmussen (1914-1991), her immediate family, and friends between the years 1930-1980.

Esther Morris Rasmussen Finding Aid
Katherine Bauer, Brianna Jarczynski
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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