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Hollister Family Collection

Identifier: RH-A-4323

Scope and Contents

This collection contains letters, diaries, and legal documents from the Hollister family who lived in Burr Oak, Michigan and Hamilton, Illinois during the mid-1800s and early 1900s.

Several letters are to and from Albert N. Hollister (1842-1915) and his mother Mary (Hollister) Shaw née Newcomb (1821-1905) and his younger sister (Mary) Lillian Hollister (1848-1866). The bulk of these letters were written during a long illness that claimed Lillian’s life in 1866 and the period afterwards when friends and family sent condolences. Letters also cover stops to visit family during a trip Albert took west to Denmark, Iowa and remarks about changes he noticed in the county that he attributed to the end of the Civil War.

Albert’s diaries contain snippets of day-to-day life on his farm as well as accounting of money, cost of food and supplies, and statics from his time spent as a grip man on the trains of Chicago.


  • Creation: mid-1800s to early 1900s


Biographical / Historical

Nancy is the daughter of Max I. Persons and Fern (Ball) Persons, and granddaughter of John and Nellie (Hollister) Persons. Nellie was the fifth of Albert and Ann (Anderson) Hollister’s 11 children.


.50 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated by Gordon and Nancy (Persons) Rockafellow.

Physical Description

This collection amounts to .50 cubic feet contained in 1 Hollinger box with folders comprised of letters between members of the Hollister family and their extended family and friends, diaries written by Albert Newcomb Hollister from 1874-1914, and Albert’s legal documents and notes. Some of the diary pages were written in pencil and some of the text has smeared. In some cases the smearing has made the text on these pages illegible. Most diary covers are badly worn from daily use on a working farm. Most letters are in good condition and legible.

Hollister Family Collection finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
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