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Suzanne Webster papers

Identifier: RH-A-3883

Scope and Contents

The collection is pertains to the Woodmansee-Webster family and is composed of family correspondence, books, Western State Normal School Materials, township records and documents regarding the estate of Estelle Gray.

Some of the documents are related to the township of Baltimore Twp. Barry Co. Michigan. A great deal of the family correspondence is related to George Penoyer Woodmansee's wife Lydia Parnell Garrett. Other correspondence relates to Lydia’s sister and niece Helen “Ella” and May Barney.

There is a letter describing how the George Woodmansee and Lydia Garrett's child, Harry Arlington Woodmansee and wife Lucinda Clark had to leave China at the start of WWI. There are some magazines that deal with the St. Louis World’s Fair and the Columbian Exposition.

There is some information of the Clark family history in a letter between Dane and Helen Clark. Dane and Harry had three children, Olive, George and Parnell. Parnell attended Western State Normal School. A great deal of her letters relate to student life. In 1934 Parnell married Percy “Pete” Ralph Webster (1906-1992). There are letters that relate to living through the Great Depression. Nellie, Dane and Parnell were all teachers. There are a great deal of academic books, and materials relating to their time working as teachers. There is a Woodmansee-Webster Family tree that was created by Claire Ranly in the donor file for a clearer understanding of the family. The collection was donated by Parnell and Percy’s daughter-in-law Suzanne Webster.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1828-1992

Biographical / Historical

Andrew Jackson Woodmansee (1830-1866) and Jane Babcock (1828-1865) moved their family from New York to Michigan. Their son George Penoyer Woodmansee (1851-1907) was the supervisor of Baltimore Twp. Barry Co. Michigan.

In 1872 he married Lydia Parnell Garrett (1854-1933). George and Lydia had several children together including Parnell “Nellie” Woodmansee (1874-1931) and Harry Woodmansee (1878-1971). Nellie was married to Henry Park in Utah, but the couple divorced in 1909.

Nellie went on to marry Arthur Oberle (1882-1971). The couple lived in Shanghai, Hawaii, and California. Harry Arlington Woodmansee married Lucinda May “Dane” Clark (1880-1965) in 1905. Dane was the half-sister of Estelle Gray and her brother was Walter Clark. There is a great deal of documents relating the Estelle Gray’s estate.


7 boxes

Language of Materials



The collection is composed of family correspondence, books, Western State Normal School Materials, township records and documents regarding the estate of Estelle Gray. The collection is 6 cubic feet.

Physical Description

The collection is in overall good condition. The oversized diplomas are in good condition. The majority of the books are in good condition. Some of the books are missing covers and pages. Some of the pages have torn edges. The letters are in good condition. The majority of the letters are written in pen and the ink is dark and legible. The letters written in pencil have smeared slightly. The ledgers are in good condition. One of the probate court documents has chunks missing from it. The majority of the documents are in good condition. The majority of the photographs are unlabeled. The photographs are in black and white and in good condition. There are photocopies of newspaper clippings.

Suzanne Webster papers Finding Aid
Maria Smith
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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