Correspondence between three
generations of the Michel and Bartholomew families, ranging from 1847-1913. Both
families were highly educated, literate, and interested in politics, which is
apparent in many of their writings. Topics covered in the letters include
courtships, family relations, life in California in the 1880s, female college
students at Urbana and Bryn Mawr University, the 1884 presidential election, and
Swedenborigan philosophy. Also includes some photographs and ephemera.
Mary Eletra Loveridge Michel (1828-1883) was born in Virginia, although her parents
were natives of Massachusetts. Like many of her female descendants, Mary was an avid
reader and follower of the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg. She had a least
one brother, John Loveridge, who died of illness in Kentucky. Sometime after 1847
Mary married Dr. Robert B. Michel (1824-1896), who was born in Pennsylvania to a
French father and American mother and served in the Confederate Army with the 2nd
Mississippi State Cavalry. Robert’s sister Elizabeth Michel Blair (1825-c.1925)
married John Blair (1819-1894) in 1844. Robert also had at least two brothers,
William A. Michel (who traveled to California in 1853) and James G. Michel. Robert
and Mary had at least four children: Ralph, Mary, Annie, and Elizabeth. Dr. Ralph S.
Michel (1851-1933) married Genevieve “Jennie” Gebhard (1871-1948). Both are buried
in Springboro Cemetery, Warren County, Ohio. Annie Michel was born in Ohio in 1863
and may have married a man named Miller. Elizabeth Michel McKeown (b.1867) attended
Urbana University and married John McKeown. Mary M. Michel Bartholomew (Oct.21,
1858-July 13, 1912) was Mary and Robert Michel’s oldest daughter. She married Dr.
James N. Bartholomew in Springboro, Ohio, in September 1884 and moved with him to
Los Alamos, California, where Dr. Bartholomew practiced medicine in a rural area.
Mary spent much of her time homesick, and wrote often to her sisters and close
friend Florence Bedford. By the mid-1880s the Bartholomews had moved to Ohio, where
their oldest child, Mary Eleanor, was born in 1885. Their son Robert was born on
December 30, 1890, and attended Purdue University. The Bartholomews’ daughter Mary
Eleanor Bartholomew, known as Eleanor, was born on December 30, 1885, in Trenton,
Ohio. She attended Lakeview High School in Chicago and the Pratt Institute High
School in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a bachelor’s
degree in Latin and English in 1909. Following her graduation she taught English at
the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr for two years. She appears to have married a man
named Fogg. She died in Pasadena, California, in March 1970.
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