Mary Eleanor Bissell Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Huntington Library staff in October 1976 and updated by Diann Benti in 2016.
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Mary Eleanor Bissell Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1738-1958
Collection Number: mssBissell papers
Collector: Bissell, Mary Eleanor.
Extent: approximately 160 items in 1 box
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection chiefly contains correspondence and documents created by the Connecticut ancestors of Pasadena, California, socialite Mary Eleanor Bissell, the most prominent of whom are her great-grandparents, Eleanor Mills Bissell and Thomas Bissell (fl. 1796-1848).
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Mary Eleanor Bissell Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

The material was acquired from the estate of Eleanor Bissell through the courtesy of the Pasadena Art Museum, August 2, 1963.

Biographical Note

Eleanor Bissell was born circa 1870 in Winsor, Connecticut, the daughter of Thomas H. Bissell, banker and land owner. About 1924 she moved to Pasadena, California, where she was active in prominent, social groups until her death circa 1962.

Scope and Content

This collection chiefly contains correspondence and documents created by the Connecticut ancestors of Pasadena, California, socialite Mary Eleanor Bissell, the most prominent of whom are her great-grandparents, Eleanor Mills Bissell and Thomas Bissell (active 1796-1848). The collection contains around forty pieces of correspondence relating to her great-grandparents as well as over a hundred items relating to the Bissell family business. The business papers include court summons, bills of sale, receipts, promissory notes, quit-claim deeds and an account book, all dated between 1738 and 1836. The collection also contains documents on the genealogy of the Bissell family in Windsor, Connecticut, as well as eighteen photographs of family and friends.
A one volume guest book for Bissell's home in Pasadena, an autograph album, three lantern slides of Bissell's rose garden, one piece of correspondence, and a college diary are the only items in the collection that specifically pertain to Mary Eleanor Bissell.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged broadly in chronological order.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Bissell, Eleanor Mills.
Bissell, Mary Eleanor.
Bissell, Thomas, active 1796-1848.
Smith College -- Students -- 19th century.
Family-owned business enterprises -- Connecticut -- Windsor -- 19th century.
Landowners -- Connecticut -- Windsor -- 19th century.
Women college students -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Pasadena (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
Windsor (Conn.) -- History -- Sources.
Windsor (Conn.) -- Social life and customs -- 18th century.
Windsor (Conn.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.

Forms/Genres

Business records -- United States -- 18th century.
Family papers -- United States.
Genealogies -- United States.
Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
Photographs -- United States.
Business records -- United States -- 19th century.
Legal documents -- United States -- 18th century.
Legal documents -- United States -- 19th century.

Alternate Authors

Bissell, Eleanor Mills.
Bissell, Thomas, active 1796-1848.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Papers of Eleanor Bissell and family

Folder 1

Business papers of the family of Eleanor Bissell 1738-1836

103 pieces including legal documents, deeds, receipts from Connecticut.
Folder 2

Mills, Timothy. [Account Book], Baltimore, Maryland. 1797 February 11-October 5

Folder 3

10 letters to Timothy Mills and/or Eleanor (Mills) Bissell. 1796-1800

Folder 4

16 letters to Eleanor (Mills) Bissell, Roswell Mills, and Thomas Bissell from various persons. 1802-1819

Folder 5

9 letters to Eleanor (Mills) Bissell, Thomas Bissell, and Ellen? Bissell from various persons, with one related item. 1822-1829

Folder 6

8 letters to Eleanor (Mills) Bissell and Thomas Bissell. 1830-1848

Folder 7

8 letters to Eleanor (Mills) Bissell and Thomas Bissell. 1830-1848

Folder 8

Genealogical materials [5 pieces].

Envelope 1

Bissell, Eleanor. Autograph album. Approximately 1862-1865

Envelope 2

Bissell, Eleanor. Journal. 1893-1895

Envelope 3

Bissell, Eleanor. Guest book for 580 Prospect Boulevard, Pasadena. 1933-1958

Envelope 4

Bissell, Eleanor. 3 colored lantern slides of Pasadena home rose garden. 1924

Envelope 5

Photographs of family, relatives, and friends. Approximately 1860-1925

18 pieces. Chiefly carte-de-visite and card photographs of young women and children, as well as the exterior of "The Adams Place, Bethel, Vermont," a photograph of four women on camels in front of Egyptian pyramids, 1925, and two photographs of the interior of a sitting room with a mural over the fireplace.