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Hayden-Jerome Family Papers, 1880-2001

Ms. Collection 774




The Hayden-Jerome Collection contains letters written by Alzina Hayden Jerome, Ida Jerome Winfield and Lottie Jerome, from 1880 to 1899, while living in southeastern Kansas, to their relatives in Michigan. The letters pertain to homesteading, farming and rural life in Butler, Elk, and Wilson Counties, Kan., in the latter part of the 19th century.


1880-2001 (bulk 1880-1899)


1 box (0.2 feet)


Hayden-Jerome family


Hayden-Jerome family papers


Manuscript collection no. 774


Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)


The leading individuals in this collection are descendants of Elisha Hayden. He was born in Maine in 1802 and moved westward to Ohio and then Michigan. Elisha and his wife, Harriet Amanda Reynolds Hayden, had eight children, one of them being Alzina Hayden, born in Ohio in 1840. By 1843, the family settled in Michigan. Genealogical information found in the letters of this collection indicate that most of Elisha's family remained in Michigan.

Alzina Hayden married Stephen Jerome and had four children: Orin, Ida, Clarence, and Lottie. The Jeromes moved from Michigan to Kansas in 1880 and established a farm near Neodesha. Among the Jeromes and their friends living in their neighborhood (the Butler, Elk, and Wilson County area) there seemed to have been a certain amount of residential movement. Most of Alzina's letters were addressed from her home in Beaumont, Butler County, but others, and letters of her children were addressed from Union Center or Neodesha.

Ida married John Winfield in the fall of 1881 in Beaumont. Lottie also married, but the family seems not to have remembered the name of her husband. In their later years, the Winfields relocated to Blackwell in the Oklahoma Territory.

Scope and Content

This collection contains 69 letters plus fifteen undated letter fragments, a set of genealogical notes on the Hayden family, and a typescript set of selected letters made by James Kimble, the donor of the collection.

The first series in this collection are the genealogical chart and notes, compiled by Kimble, the donor, beginning with Elisha Hayden (1762-1835) and progressing through a fairly detailed lineage of the succeeding four generations. Elisha Hayden's in-laws, the Reynolds family, are also included.

Series 2 is the most notable series in this collection and contains letters written by Alzina ("Zina" or "Zinna") Hayden Jerome, Ida Jerome Winfield and Lottie Jerome. Information from the genealogical notes indicate that Lottie Jerome was married, but her husband's name is no longer known.

The letters span the time period mostly from 1880 to 1884. However, there are four letters from Ida Winfield in Blackwell, Oklahoma, in 1899.

One of the more notable features about these letters is that the location of authorship changed frequently. This was especially true of Lottie Jerome, who wrote letters from Union Center and Beaumont, Kansas. Ida wrote letters from Neodesha, Kansas, and Beaumont. Ida and Lottie's mother, Alzina, wrote letters first from Neodesha, then Beaumont. All wrote their letters to relatives in Michigan.

Alzina and her daughters mainly wrote about their longing and affection for their relations in Michigan and their farming activities in Kansas. The Jeromes suffered through financial setbacks and privations in their early years of homesteading, but eventually developed a prosperous farm. Typically, the authors of these letters wrote about the weather, news from their neighbors, the possibility of visiting (either returning to Michigan or their relatives coming to Kansas), and the wide variety of farm chores that farm life necessitates. Alzina was more inclined to mention the dollar amount of her family's expenses and what their produce (usually chickens and eggs) was earning.

Alzina's letter of March 26, 1882, provides a detailed picture of her house and furnishings, "11 x 14 feet without any upstairs . . . & no partition. Have up one bed; make a bed on the floor for Stephen & Orin. Have the safe, trunk, cupboard, meal barrel, stove, table, . . . chairs and I have room to turn around."

Unfortunately fifteen letters or fragments of letters were left undated. Nine of these fifteen were written by Alzina. The other six are unidentifiable. To add to this situation, the handwriting of these three individuals is similar enough to make absolute determinations of authorship impossible.

In 2001, James Kimble made typed transcriptions on selected letters from this collection. Included in his work are commentaries and additional genealogical information. Researchers needing a sampling representative of the collection as a whole would be interested in this series.

Overall, the letters in this collection constitute an excellent source of documentation of rural and agricultural life in southeastern Kansas, illustrating the nature of family relationships, rural economics and the agricultural work ethic.

Contents List

Organization of Collection

Arranged into series reflecting individuals' correspondence, with genealogical information at the beginning and typescripts at the end:


Series Description

Letters marked with an asterisk (*) have typed transcriptions in series 3.

Series 1: Hayden Genealogy

Folder 1: Notes and chart

Series 2: Correspondence

Subseries A: Alzina Hayden Jerome

Folder 2: Letters, 1880-1885

Year: Month & Date: Place of Origin: Name of Addressee: Place of Destination:
1880 Apr. 6* Neodesha Ida ? ?
" Apr. 30 Neodesha Friends ?
" May 10* Neodesha Sister Michigan
" May 19 ? ? ?
1881 Nov. 11* ? Aunt & Family ?
1882 Mar. 26 ? Mother & Sister ?
" Apr. 9 Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
" May 14 Beaumont Mother, etc. ?
" June 1 Beaumont Family ?
" June 10 Beaumont Sister, Mother, etc. ?
" June 30 Beaumont Family ?
" July 11 Beaumont Family ?
" Aug. 20 Beaumont ? ?
" Sept. 17 Beaumont Family ?
" Nov. 20 Beaumont Mother & Brother ?
1883 Mar. 5 Neodesha Friends ?
" May 29 Beaumont Family ?
" July 23 Beaumont Family ?
" Nov. 7* Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Dec. 2 Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
1884 Jan. 20* Beaumont Family ?
" Mar. 9 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Mar. 16* Beaumont Family ?
" Mar. 23 Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
" Mar. 30* Beaumont Family ?
" Apr. 7* Beaumont Family ?
" July 13 Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
" July 25 Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
" July 31* Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
" Aug. 17 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Aug. 18 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Sept. 14 Beaumont Family ?
" Sept. 21 Beaumont Mother, Sister, etc. ?
" Oct. 6* Beaumont Family ?
" Oct. 12* Beaumont Family ?
" Oct. 19* Beaumont Mother & Sister ?
" Nov. 4 Beaumont Family ?
" Nov. 16 Beaumont Family ?
" Nov. 23 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Dec. 7 Beaumont Family ?
1885 Jan. 18 Beaumont Family ?
" Jan. 25 Beaumont Family ?

Folder 3: Letters, undated (9 items)

Subseries B: Ida Jerome Winfield

Folder 4: Letters, 1881-1884

Year: Month & Date: Place of Origin: Name of Addressee: Place of Destination:
1881 Feb. 19 ? Family ?
1882 May 14 Neodesha Aunt ?
" Apr. 9* Neodesha Aunt ?
" June 22* Neodesha Aunt & Grandma ?
" July 1* Neodesha Aunt, etc. ?
1883 Oct. 25* Neodesha Aunt ?
1884 Feb. 10* Grandma, Aunt, etc. ? ?
" Oct. 10 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Nov. 15 Beaumont Grandma, etc. ?
" Dec. 4 Beaumont Family Michigan
1899 Oct. 30 Blackwell, O.T. Cousin Ranson ?
" Nov. 1 Blackwell, O.T. Aunt ?
" Nov. 6 Blackwell, O.T. Aunt ?
" Dec. 10 Blackwell, O.T. Aunt, etc. ?

Subseries C: Lottie Jerome

Folder 5: Letters, 1881-1884

Year: Month & Date: Place of Origin: Name of Addressee: Place of Destination:
1881 July 19 ? Cousin Hattie ?
1882 Mar. 19 Union Center Cousin Hattie ?
" Apr. 11 Union Center Cousin Hattie ?
" May 14 Union Center Cousin ?
" June 4 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Sept. 17 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
1883 Mar. 16* Beaumont Cousin ?
" Apr. 8* Union Center Hattie Ansted ?
" Dec. 2 Beaumont Cousin ?
1884 Jan. 2* Beaumont Hattie Anstead ?
" Jan. 28 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Mar. 23* Beaumont Hattie Anstead ?
" Aug. 31 Beaumont Cousin Hattie ?
" Sept. 21 ? Aunt Ettie ?

Subseries D: Unidentifiable letters (6 items)

Folder 6

Series 3: Typed Transcriptions

Folder 7

Index Terms

Access Points

The terms listed below may include names, places, subjects, occupations, titles, and other words describing this collection. These terms are used in the ATLAS online catalog used by the Kansas State Historical Society and affiliated libraries in Topeka as well as libraries and archives subscribing to OCLC, a national library/archives database. Searches on these words should produce a description of this collection as well as other books and collections that may be of interest.

Personal names
Ansted, Marietta Hayden, collector.
Jerome, Alzina Hayden, 1840-
Jerome, Lottie.
Winfield, Ida Jerome.

Family names
Hayden family.
Jerome family.
Winfield family.

Geographic names
Butler County (Kan.)
Elk County (Kan.)
Wilson County (Kan.)

Frontier and pioneer life--Kansas.
Women pioneers--Kansas.


Additional Information for Researchers

Acquisition information

Gift; James Arnold Kimble; 2001.

Custodial history

This collection of letters, generated by Alzina Hayden Jerome, Ida Jerome Winfield and Lottie Jerome, were collected by Marietta Hayden Ansted (several of the letters were addressed to her). From Marietta, the letters were passed down to her daughter, Harriet Ansted Brunt; and from her, they were passed to Ruth Brunt Vance; and then to James Arnold Kimble.

Restrictions on access


Copyright/Publication rights

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (title 17, U.S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights derive from the principle of common law, affirmed in the copyright law of 1976 as amended, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right; the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of a user or his or her publisher to secure the permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

Preferred citation

[identification of individual item, sub-series]; Hayden-Jerome Family Papers; Ms. collection no. 774; Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society.


There are no expected additions or accruals to this collection.

Processing information

Arranged and described by Robert A. McInnes in 2001.