Thursday, February 23, 2012

Collection Highlight : Gliddenburg Ladies Aid Society

First you ask, "Where in the world is Gliddenburg?"  It is, or was, a small community formed around the rural school of the same name, Paw Paw Township fractional district #8, located on the southeast corner of the intersection of 48th Avenue & 45th Street, the border of Paw Paw and Waverly Townships.

The name doesn't appear on the historical plats of the area although may have used for the Glidden family who resided there.  Gliddenburg also doesn't appear in Michigan Place Names, by Walter Romig, a standard reference for the location of the state's places, past and present. But, Gliddenburg is referenced in historical accounts and records, most notably the long-running school which was torn down in 1961.

Further testimony to the community's existence is Records of the Gliddenburg Ladies Aid Society, 1887-1967, a two-reel microfilm set acquired by the Local History department from the Archives & Regional History Collection, Western Michigan University.

The group was initially organized  November 30, 1887, as the Gliddenburg Reading Circle, and among the membership was:
  1. Milton Pugsley
  2. Burt Whipple
  3. Myra Shepard
  4. Luman Dunham
  5. Will Prater
  6. Jennie Buskirk
  7. Jennie Pugsley
  8. Frank Cash
  9. Frank Gleason
  10. Linnie Shepard
  11. Nellie Martin
  12. Mulford Buskirk
  13. Hettie Dunham
  14. Dora Cole
  15. Sadie Prater
  16. Samuel Buskirk
  17. Andrew Shepard
  18. Matie Whipple
  19. Addie Rider
  20. Harry Martin
  21. Eva Sheldon
  22. Charlie Lake
  23. Vira Shepard
  24. Ruth Gleason
  25. Florence Harris
  26. Sarah Hulbert
  27. Eva Hulbert
  28. Mrs. Almira Whipple
  29. Mrs. S. M. Tweed
On April 6, 1892, the group was re-organized as the Ladies Christian Union Aid Society, assigning officers for the posts of president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, chaplain, and christer.  This organization came with 13 rules, some of which were:
  • Meeting to be held once in two weeks or "oftener" if required for work
  • Pay the sum of ten cents to join... the sum of 5 cents or fifteen cents a quarter to be paid April, July, October, January
  • Work for 50 cents a day or 25 cents for 1/2 day...when work all day, take some provision along for dinner
  • New officers elected every quarter
  • Upon roll call, members respond by a quotation
  • 1/10 of funds be appropriated for Missionary work
  • All members rise to their feet and address President before making any remarks; also rise before responding to Roll Call
  • No business shall be transacted unless quorum is present, to consist of 5
  • When a member is absent for six months and dues go unpaid, such member shall be dropped from the roll
Reading through some of the minutes, it seems that "Ladies Aid" was taken literally as members of the group are noted as "working" for Mrs. such & such, or quilting, cooking, etc.  Some of those receiving aid were members, some apparently weren't.

These records do not necessarily offer a motherload of genealogical data, but it definitely could flesh out your family history.  Finding names in organizational minutes like these tells you something about an individual and makes them more of a person than just dry facts.  And, there is the potential for helpful information just as the above example of a memorial for Delilah Marks, one of the group's passing members...very useful for those pre-1900 Michigan deaths that were never recorded in the form of an official death certificate.  For more information regarding the Gliddenburg Ladies Aid Society records, contact us.

Nameless Picture of the Day
unknown nurse
Photographer - Slocum Brothers, Kalamazoo
acquaintance of Rex Earl

Can you identify the nurse in this circa 1920 photograph?  Are you familiar with the photographer?  Please contact us if you any information and we will publish it in a future blog.  Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail.