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Burton C. Waite Diaries

Identifier: RH-A-3378

Scope and Contents

The contents of the diaries deal primarily with Burton Waite business. Daily entries include personal finances, business finances, employee records (hire dates, missed days, pay days) daily weather and client records (how many bricks bought and who bought them). His largest client was the Michigan Asylum for the Insane. Waite sent bricks regularly to the asylum through 1889 and almost exclusively from January-May, 1890.


  • Creation: 1889-1890


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Biographical / Historical

Burton Waite, born in 1850 in New York, came to Michigan in 1855. He taught school but after his marriage in 1877 to Althea Walker of Kalamazoo, was convinced to move to Kalamazoo and join his father-in-law, Dexter Walker manufacturing bricks which he did for over thirty years. During 1889 he was the only brick manufacturer in Kalamazoo.


0.10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is composed of two diaries written by Burton C. Waite from Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1889 and 1890.

Source of Acquisition

Starring Endowment

Related Materials

"Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital" a history written by Fred Peppel, Kalamazoo Public Library.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to .10 cubic feet and is composed of two diaries, both 6 ¾”x3”. Both are bound in leather, one in black the other in red with the words, "Excelsior Diary" embossed in gold. Pencil in two colors was used for the writing. The regular slate pencil is still legible; the purple pencil is very hard to read. The diaries show some physical wear at the covers and the spine but for the most part they are in good condition. There is some stains on the edge of the 1889 diary but for the most part, other than the pages written in purple pencil, the diaries are in good shape.

Burton C. Waite Diaries Finding Aid
Lynn Houghton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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