Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Deering, James, -1925

titleNettie Fowler McCormick Correspondence, 1775-1939.
repositoryWisconsin Historical Society
collection titlePapers of Nettie Fowler McCormick, a philanthropist and wife of the inventor, Cyrus Hall McCormick, including correspondence with family and friends, with company officials, and with individuals, organizations, and institutions involved in her many philanthropies. Interfiled are legal documents such as powers of attorney, indentures, and contracts; and annual statements and reports. Correspondence before her marriage consists chiefly of letters relating to her own and her husband’s ancestors and friends; relatives included the Adams, Esselstyn, Fowler, Merick, and Spicer families. She corresponded regularly with her children Harold, Stanley, Virginia, and Anita and with those who cared for Stanley and Virginia after their mental breakdowns.
The papers reveal Mrs. McCormick’s role as her husband’s aid and her eldest son’s advisor. The correspondence illustrates her involvement in business as she accompanied her husband on many trips, discussed problems and wrote letters for him, and in his absence received confidential mail relating to his business and their family life. After Cyrus H., Jr., entered the company in 1879 and became president in 1884, frequent communications between son and mother discuss the business, the estate, and investments. References are made to competitors, patents, and strikes of 1885 and 1886; the unsuccessful attempt to form the American Harvester Company in 1888-1890; and problems attending consolidation when the International Harvester Company was established in 1902. Her close contact with these interests, as well as investments and philanthropies, produced correspondence with lawyers, employees, financial agents, and advisors. Mrs. McCormick received informational copies of many letters and reports from the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company and the International Harvester Company long after she ceased to be closely involved.

In the 1890’s, Mrs. McCormick gave more attention to her interest in philanthropy, an interest that accounts for fully half of her correspondence. The McCormick Theological Seminary, originally her husband’s interest, continued to receive a major share of her attention and funds. Its administrators and faculty, as well as her own pastors at Fourth Presbyterian Church, consulted with her regularly and advised her on other schools and missions. Using the need for Christian service as her personal motivation, she became greatly interested in aiding small schools and academies, particularly those stressing self help for students, manual training, and domestic service. These were chiefly white although some were Afro-American. Letters give evidence of the extent to which she advised them, influenced their curricula, and helped to maintain them. The extent of her personal involvement is illustrated by her many years of correspondence with Harold S. Clemons, whom she assisted through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her interest in the welfare of those in the southern Appalachians led her to aid the Home Industrial School at Asheville under Florence Stephenson ; and to give encouragement to the Laurel schools and to projects in mountain crafts, out of which grew correspondence with Frances L. Goodrich. She helped support Thornwell Orphanage in South Carolina, writing to William Plumer Jacobs; and she kept in touch with James G. K. McClure, Jr., of the Farmers’ Federation in North Carolina. Mrs. McCormick also received numerous requests from civic groups in the Chicago area, and responded to many. Letters concerning the Presbyterian Church, its various boards of education and missions, and its publications comprise much of the correspondence; Bible work and rescue missions were also important to her.
In the last thirty years of her life, foreign mission schools claimed much of her attention; and both the personnel and the institutions were her correspondents as well as recipients of her largess. The papers also document her great interest in both the Young Men’s and the Young Women’s Christian Association, locally, nationally, and internationally. Through numerous letters exchanged with John R. Motte she aided the World’s Student Christian Movement and the work of the International Committee of the YMCA. She corresponded also with Fletcher S. Brockman, George M. Day, Sherwood Eddy, Carlisle V. Hibbard, Richard C. Morse, and Luther D. Wishard concerning the YMCA; and with Grace Dodge and Elizabeth Wilson of the YWCA.

extent140.2 c.f. (351 archives boxes)
formatsCorrespondence Legal Papers
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://arcat.library.wisc.edu/
finding aidBox list. Also described in Guide to the McCormick Collection, Margaret R. Hafstad, ed., Madison: 1973. An alphabetical index to addressees in Series 1B fills six drawers in the McCormick card index file. One additional drawer indexes the series under selected topical headings. An alphabetical index to correspondents in Series 2B fills 7 drawers in the McCormick card index file. An additional wooden box of cards lists letters received from her husband. An alphabetical index to subjects in Series 3B fills 1.5 drawers in the McCormick card index file.
acquisition informationForms part of the McCormick Collection.
updated09/12/2019 15:29:26
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titleCyrus Hall McCormick Correspondence, 1870-1936.
repositoryWisconsin Historical Society
collection titlePrivate and business correspondence of Chicago industrialist Cyrus McCormick, Jr., consisting of incoming and outgoing correspondence, copies of monthly financial records, annual reports, newspaper clippings, bulletins, photographs, copies of wills, and other legal documents. A wide variety of subjects is covered, including the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, investments, trusteeships and settlements of estates, charities and donations, membership in many societies, particularly in Chicago, and family affairs.

Many segments of the papers concern McCormick’s business life from the time he finished at Princeton University in 1879 until he retired from the board of the International Harvester Company in 1935. Internal operation, plant expansion, acquisition of factories producing materials needed by International Harvester, introduction of new lines of agricultural equipment, and both domestic and foreign marketing are revealed in communications passing through McCormick’s offices. Frequent trips in the United States and Europe by McCormick and his brothers, Harold, and for a few years, Stanley, produced numerous messages on behalf of their company, an organization that came to own plants in cities other than the Chicago area and had production agreements with many foreign manufacturers. Voluminous correspondence was carried on with other company officials, bankers, lawyers, and competitors.
In addition to the business of his companies, McCormick’s papers contain correspondence, reports, stock purchase records, and negotiations concerning a great number and variety of investments. Present are files for McCormick Estates through which the family maintained a large interest in Chicago real estate; the Merchants Loan & Trust Company and the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company, of which McCormick was a director; the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining and Concentrating Company of San Francisco, through which McCormick invested in mines of the West and Canada; and the Deepwater Coal and Iron Corporation operating in Alabama, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Correspondence and reports on contributions to charities constitute a large portion of the papers, representing hundreds of appeals and giving evidence of a selective response by Mr. and Mrs. McCormick. Motivated by their daughter’s interest in the missionary work of the Waldensian Society, for many years after her death they corresponded with and supported Luigi Angelini at a school operated by the society in Italy. The chief beneficiary of their large Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund was child welfare in Chicago, especially open-air schools.

The Presbyterian Church, locally and in the mission fields, consistently received communications and funds. From the time of his father’s death until his own, McCormick showed great concern for the McCormick Theological Seminary, of which he was a trustee and treasurer and for which his papers contain much correspondence concerning faculty, buildings, minutes of meetings, and treasurer’s reports.

In 1889 he became a trustee for Princeton University, and for the remainder of his life corresponded with faculty members and other trustees. To a lesser extent his papers contain letters and reports relating to Lake Forest University, of which he was a trustee, and to other schools such as Dubuque Theological Seminary (Iowa), Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (Virginia), Macalester College (Minnesota), and Washington and Lee University (Virginia). Institutions in and near Chicago, such as the Allendale Farm for Boys, Olivet Institute, and Presbyterian Hospital, also received his attention.

The work of the Young Men’s Christian Association was of particular interest to McCormick, and there is ample evidence that he served as a working member of the Chicago YMCA and the board of the International Committee. The papers also demonstrate the McCormicks’ interest in the Young Women’s Christian Association and the Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago.

In 1917, McCormick’s service as a member of the government’s Special Diplomatic Mission to Russia (the Root Commission) produced letters, reports, and clippings concerning post-revolutionary economic and social conditions there, including progress of International Harvester Company agents in Russia.

McCormick was often asked to help welcome dignitaries to Chicago, and committee plans for receiving men such as Admiral George Dewey, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Georges Clemenceau, and David Lloyd George are filed with his papers. The McCormicks corresponded with the composer Serge Prokofiev, the pianist Gunnar Johansen, and the painter Vladimir Perfilieff; filed clippings concerning the Chicago Grand Opera; and gave active support to the Chicago Opera Association, the Art Institute, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Chicago Historical Society. He was particularly interested in the City Club of Chicago, the Commercial Club, and the National Civic Federation.

Numerous letters to, from, and about his mother, other family members, and relatives in the Adams, Esselstyn, Fowler, Hammond, McCormick, Merick, Shields, Spicer, and Stickney families are included. McCormick was involved in the administration of family estates and trusts for which many records appear in both his correspondence and business files. He administered the estates of his parents, and of his first wife, Harriet, and of her aunt, Mrs. Elizabeth H. Stickney; was a trustee for the estates of his mentally incompetent sister, Mary Virginia, and brother, Stanley; advised his sister, Anita, on investments; and handled funds established in memory of his daughter and his wife. Very limited material appears related to his second wife, Alice Marie Hoit, whom he married in 1927. Her correspondence concerning the YWCA in included, a few letters and clippings make reference to her, and she signed many letters for him while she was McCormick’s secretary prior to their marriage.
extent119.6 c.f. (299 archives boxes)
formatsCorrespondence Business Papers Personal Papers Financial Records Legal Papers
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://arcat.library.wisc.edu/
finding aidBox list. Also described in Guide to the McCormick Collection, Margaret R. Hafstad, ed., Madison: 1973. An alphabetical index to names and topics fills four drawers in the McCormick card index file
acquisition informationForms part of the McCormick Collection.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:55
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titleJohn F. Steward papers, 1833-1913
repositoryWisconsin Historical Society
collection titlePapers of John F. Steward, a superintendent and supervisor of patents for the Deering Harvester Company and the International Harvester Company, chiefly concerning the history of the agricultural machinery industry.

The collection documents the development of the twine binder, the accomplishments of several inventors in the agricultural machinery industry, and the efforts of Steward and others to dispute the importance of Cyrus Hall McCormick as an inventor. Includes patent applications of and correspondence with John F. Appleby, James Deering, William Deering, Elijah Gammon, C. W. Marsh, George Rugg, Cyrenus Wheeler, various agricultural equipment companies, and several pioneering inventors in the field; correspondence with and genealogical research about Obed Hussey; and notes, clippings, and drafts for a book that was posthumously published as "The Reaper: A History of the Efforts of Those Who Justly May be Said to Have Made Bread Cheap." Also included are correspondence and magazine articles pertaining to Steward’s 1896 effort to stop a Bureau of Engraving and Printing plan to mint a ten dollar silver certificate with Cyrus McCormick’s image; documents relating to competitions among agricultural equipment manufacturers, including the Paris Exposition of 1900 (in French and English) and the 1900 Siamese Royal Commission Louisiana Purchase Exposition; correspondence about Steward’s historical research and publications; and material relating to the purchase and improvements of Steward’s farm in Fox, Kendall County, Illinois.
extent0.8 c.f. (2 archives boxes)
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence Legal Papers Clippings Manuscript
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://arcat.library.wisc.edu/
finding aidRegister
acquisition informationForms part of the McCormick Collection.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:55
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titleStanley R. McCormick Papers, 1881-1945.
repositoryWisconsin Historical Society
collection titlePapers of Stanley R. McCormick, youngest son of industrialist Cyrus Hall and Nettie Fowler McCormick, who became mentally incompetent at the age of thirty-two; consisting of correspondence, notes, minutes, financial accounts, medical reports and charts, legal documents, and transcripts of court hearings. These concern his early business interests, arrangements for his care, controversies between the McCormicks and his wife Katherine, whom he married in 1904, and reports of medical consultants.
The papers contain business letters of 1899 and 1900, chiefly in the latter year when he represented the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company at the Paris exposition and corresponded with his Chicago office, his brothers Cyrus, Jr. and Harold, their competitor James Deering, and the Company manager in Hamburg, Germany, W. V. Couchman. A few letters and accounts appear relating to his Cimarron Ranch on the historic Maxwell Land Grant in New Mexico, acquired in 1898 with John W. Garrett but later developed by McCormick.

The bulk of the papers deal with the many problems concerning McCormick’s care after his breakdown in 1906, and his progressive incapacitatin due to a mental disease diagnosed as catatonia. In addition to letters of his wife, members of the McCormick family, and a few friends, correspondence of doctors and psychiatrists such as Frank Billings, Henry Baird Favill, C. G. Jung, Adolf Meyer, and George Tuttle is included, as is a special medical evaluation by August Hoch and Emil Kraepelin. Medical correspondence, reports by nurses and staff, minutes of the board of guardians, financial accounts, and arrangements for his care at the spacious California home provided him are all filed. Four volumes contain court proceedings of 1929-1930 regarding the question of guardianship and his multimillion-dollar estate. Guardians at various times included his wife, Dr. Favill, Cyrus Bentley, Anita McCormick Blaine, Harold Fowler McCormick, and Cyrus McCormick, Jr.

The processed portion of this collection is summarized above, dates 1881-1945, and is described in the register. There are unprocessed additions dating 1890-1909 which are described below.
extent6.0 c.f. (15 archives boxes including 6 volumes); plus additions of 0.8 c.f.
formatsCorrespondence Notes Financial Records Legal Papers Ephemera
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://arcat.library.wisc.edu/
finding aidRegister to the processed portion. Also described in Guide to the McCormick Collection, Margaret R. Hafstad, ed., Madison: 1973.
acquisition informationForms part of the McCormick Collection.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:55
....................................................................