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Hiram B. Valentine Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3539

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the personal ledger of Hiram B. Valentine, a resident of Brady Township, Kalamazoo, MI, who ran a 40-acre farm along with his wife and four children. This collection was acquired by Dr. Sharon Carlson thanks to the Starring Endowment, in 2012. The ledger contained in this collection lists the wages paid to various farm laborers for certain tasks, as well as things related to the production of various goods (i.e., wheat, corn, butter, leather, etc.) and business dealings with associates.


  • Creation: 1821-1891


Biographical / Historical

Hiram B. Valentine was born in Shelby in Orleans County, New York, approximately 1821. His wife, Catherine Valentine (born Catherine Wright), was similarly born in New York approximately 1825. Together they had a total of four children: Anna (born approximately 1844), Elizabeth (born approximately 1846), Frances (born approximately 1853), and Milo (born approximately 1863).

After relocating from Shelby, NY to Brady Township in Kalamazoo County, MI, between 1850 and 1860, Hiram developed a 40-acre farm, located roughly 2.5 miles southeast of the southernmost tip of Indian Lake. Hiram appears to have cultivated mostly wheat and corn; however he also diversified into potatoes, apples, and livestock (i.e., cattle) for leather and milk (used mostly for the production of small amounts of butter). According to the 1870 United States Federal Census, the farm was valued at approximately $1,500 (with personal assets valued at around $100). He also had a close working relationship with another farmer, Milo Cowles, with whom his daughter Anna served as a housemaid. Around 1870, Catherine Wright’s father, Ebenezer Wright, joined the household. Anna married Alexander Cropsy ca. 1865, and remained in the Brady area for most of her life. Elizabeth married Darius A. Beebe in 1863, settling in Geneva Township in Van Buren County. Frances married Charles Loudon in 1880, settling in Geneva Township in Van Buren County. Milo served as a laborer on his father’s farm, until marrying Mable R. Sonders in 1880 in Wakeshma Township, Kalamazoo. Milo then moved to South Haven and worked as a farm laborer; he eventually acquired his own farm ca. 1905. Hiram died on November 5, 1891, and was survived by his wife and four children.


.05 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection is approximately .05 cubic feet and is made up of one folder. This folder contains the business ledger of Hiram Valentine, detailing the wages paid to laborers. The ledger is in fairly poor condition, with many of the pages fraying along the edges and somewhat fragile binding, but with proper care and handling, the condition of the collection should remain usable. A small metal nail was found wedged into the binding, but was removed. Some of the handwriting has become difficult to read, due to the fading of ink and pencil.

Hiram B. Valentine Collection Finding Aid
Andrew Archey
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Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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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