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George and Miriam Arend Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3466


The collection is composed of letters, documents, and photographs belonging to George and Miriam Arend, the parents of Dean Arend, who was a professor at Western Michigan University.


  • Creation: 1915-1991

Biographical / Historical

Born in Lake Berrien, Michigan in 1899, George Dewey Arend was the son of George and Athalia Arend. And Miriam was born in 1900 to Ota D. Avery and Lulah Avery in Three Rivers Michigan. They would meet during their time at Western Michigan University, which at the time it was known as Western State Normal School. In September of 1922 George and Miriam would marry and relocate permanently to Kalamazoo. Four years later, on June 11, 1925 Miriam would give birth to their one and only son, Dean Arend. The small family would live at 726 North Dartmouth Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49007. George Arend would hold a number of jobs over the course of his life, from working with the Dock Foundry Company out of Three Rivers, Michigan to the Kalamazoo Loose Leaf Binder Company as a factory manager and served as a public accountant during the 1940's he became interested in small business companies. Miriam was a life time member of the Garden Club Council, which was an extension of the Ladies Libraries Association. Both George and Miriam where active members of the community. Aside from her work with the Garden Club, she was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church. George also took part in community organizations; he was a member of the Kalamazoo male Chorus as well as the Free Masons.

Their son Dean, before becoming a professor, would serve in World War Two, taking part in the Pacific theater and participating in the battles on and for the Philippines. As we see throughout the collection that in the years after the war he would spend time traveling across America as well as spending a great amount of time on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.

The couple would celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary, commonly known as the Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1972. But in 1976, after a brief struggle with illness, George Arend passed away Friday afternoon December 3, 1976 at Borgess Hospital, Kalamazoo. He was 77. Miriam would live on for another 19 years but on February 24, 1995 at 95 years old, Miriam Arend passed away.


28 boxes : 26 full sized Hollinger boxes and 2 half sized Hollinger boxes

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to a total of 26 full sized Hollinger boxes and 2 half sized Hollinger boxes. Inside the boxes are letters exchanged between family and friends, personal documents regarding property taxes and other legal matters, and a great number of greeting cards sent during the holidays. Also in the collection there are a total of 62 books which consist of ledgers, diaries, and various books whose dimensions all vary in size, from the smallest being 4½” x 2½” to the biggest 13 x 8¼”. These books, ledgers and diaries all come from different manufactures, some of which include Ward’s, National Blank Book Company and the Kalamazoo Loose Leaf Binder Company.

This collection also contains a number of photographs both new and old that where taken over the course of the Arend’s life. Some of these photographs are friends and family of the Arend’s, while others are photos of them during vacations. Among these are photos that are nearly a hundred years old, pictures that where taken around the turn of the century.

Furthermore in addition to all that mentioned, there are also two blue three-ringed binders that details both Arend and Avery family genealogy and history. These are found in each families respective family history boxes.

For the most the collection is in great shape. The letters, documents and books, with this exception of a few, are in great condition. But the photographs have over the years started to curl and roll.


This collection was given to the Archives when Dean Arend, the son of George and Miriam Arend and professor at Western Michigan University passed away.

George & Miriam Arend Collection Finding Aid
Brad Kiczenski
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