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Joseph P. Wilson Papers

  • S-73
  • Collection
  • 1851 - 1869

This collection contains materials related to Joseph P. Wilson. The majority of the collection are letters written between 1851 and 1869 to Joseph P. Wilson, from Joseph P. Wilson, or about his business interests. The letters include a proposal written by Wilson to the president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company about the St. Cloud and Minneapolis railroad, references to Wilson’s involvement with the James L. Fisk expeditions to Montana in the early 1860s, and information relating to his business in mercantile and railroads. In addition, there is mention of the aftermath of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota.

A number of the letters detail the legal counsel Wilson provided to his brother-in-law, William A. Corbett, regarding a land dispute in St. Augusta, Minnesota. The collection of letters also contains information about the platting of land in and around St. Cloud. Other authors besides Wilson include William A. Corbett, [sister?] A. B. Wilson, and brother John L. Wilson.

The collection also includes transcriptions of all the letters transcribed by Kasey Solomon. Information that is torn, faded, or otherwise unclear is noted with brackets and a question mark.

All documents were scanned and are available for download. Also included for download are the letter transcriptions.

Wilson, Joseph P.

Jane Grey Swisshelm Papers

  • 1
  • Collection
  • 1856-1969

The Swisshelm collection contain letters, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Most notable are the letters. Most of the letters are copies and transcripts of the originals. These letters were written by Henry Z. Mitchell, Henry Swisshelm, and Jane Grey Swisshelm. The letters from Jane Swisshelm were written to the Mitchell family in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Jane Swisshelm’s younger sister, Elizabeth, was married to Henry Z. Mitchell. They were parents to William B. Mitchell, who would later become the St. Cloud State University resident director (1877-1901) to the Minnesota State College Board.

There are two original Swisshelm letters, written in 1867 and 1883, both to the Mitchell family.

The collection also contains journal articles and newspaper clippings, as well as a small number of images, including three portraits of Jane Swisshelm.

To see the letters online, click on each letter in the finding aid and go to link in the Scope and Content Note. The letters can be found at

Swisshelm, Jane Grey Cannon

St. John's Episcopal Church Records

  • S-1840
  • Collection
  • 1856-1978

The St. John's Episcopal Church is a fairly complete collection containing financial records, history of the church, and information of the guilds and committees of St. John's from 1856 to 1978. Included in the collection are pictures of the old and new churches. There much correspondence by Charles H. Richter, an active member of St. John's.

Newspaper Clippings and photographs contains newspaper clippings and photographs pertaining to the church and its members. The Financial Reports consists of budget reports, bonds, and mortgage certificates of the church. Series 3 contains miscellaneous materials from the church. A church history, information on the policies of church government, building and construction committees, and weekly church bulletins are all within this series as well. Various committees and clubs at St. John's Episcopal Church has information about the various clubs and committees. The Bishop Morrison Guild, the St. John's Improvement League, Church Aid Society, St. John's Guild are all within this series. Series 5 contains information connected with Women's Guilds and Societies at St. John's Episcopal Church. St. Anne's Altar Guild, St. Martha's Guild, Women of St. John’s, and Women's Auxiliary can be found in this series. The Oversized Series, contains the oversized materials from the various series in one box. These items are scrapbooks, a membership roll, and a cash book. Correspondence and miscellaneous materials are arranged chronologically in folders to what aspect of the church the material covers.

St. John's Episcopal Church

James McKelvy and Family Papers

  • S-2
  • Collection
  • 1857-1963

The papers consist of correspondence, military accounts (returns on personnel and equipment kept by both McKelvy’s), certificates of appointments, newspaper clippings, reminiscence, and miscellaneous items, all arranged chronologically.

The undated papers have information on the Democratic ticket for Congress and other offices; James M. McKelvy’s membership in the Masonic Order-North Star Lodge No. 23, St. Cloud; his membership in the Ancient Order of Prevaricators; railroad passes; instructions to officers in the United States Army from the Treasury Department re: settling their property accounts; the Seventh Minnesota Regiment; Stearns County citizens (a list) who have undertaken to support the constitution, obey the commands of the President, and those of their superior officers in the United States Army; reminiscences of James E. McKelvy and other data concerning his service in the Spanish-American War, as a member of the Thirteenth Minnesota Regiment; and the closing exercises of Shattuck School.

The papers for the 1857-1861 period include an indenture between Henry Swisshelm, St. Cloud, and Thomas A. Fernley, Philadelphia; assignment of property; appointments of James M. McKelvy as notary public; and a certificate of his election as Stearns County Attorney.

Those for 1862-1865 deal largely with McKelvy’s service in the Civil War. There are forms filled out by men enlisting in the Seventh Regiment at St. Cloud, containing vital statistics and physical descriptions’ authorizations by parents for the enlistment of minors; a list of men of the Seventh owing sums to B.C. Spencer, settler at Fort Ripley; records on the Seventh kept by McKelvy; a circular from the Chief of Ordnance, War Department, regarding regulations on resignations of officers in the volunteer service; McKelvy’s appointment as notary public; a certificate admitting McKelvy to North Star Lodge No. 23 (Masons); a certificate attesting to the marriage of McKelvy and Margaret Garlington; and a license to carry on the business of claim and real estate agent.

The papers from 1866 to 1883 relate largely to McKelvy’s professional and business activities and to his family. They include articles of co-partnership between John H. Raymond and John H. Owen, doing business as Raymond and Owen in St. Cloud, and William Dickinson of St. Cloud, forming the firm J.H. Owen and Company to manufacture sashes, door and blinds (McKelvy witnessed the signing of the instrument); appointment of McKelvy as an agent for the Phoenix Insurance Company, Hartford, Connecticut; appointment of McKelvy as a judge in the Seventh Judicial District; a power of attorney granted to McKelvy by Moses R. Brown and Abby A. Brown of Fall River, Massachusetts; letters and other papers regarding McKelvy’s application for a pension for the government because of a wound received at Nashville; letter written by James Lawrence and Edwin Garlington from Helena City, Mountain Home, and Centerville, Montana (These communications have data on gold prospecting, livestock farming, and the formation of the Star of the West Grange—according to James Garlington, the first to be organized in Montana); family news; a statement by Stephen Miller of Windom that the Henry Swisshelm mortgage assigned to Miller by Gile J. Wilson has been paid; articles of incorporation of the Bank of St. Cloud (McKelvy is one of the incorporators; receipts for a contribution made by McKelvy to the Concordia Singing Society in St. Cloud for the construction of a public hall; the will of James McKelvy of Wilkins, Pennsylvania, the father of James M. McKelvy; a ruling by McKelvy as judge on the petition of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company for a right of way in building a branch from a point near Carlisle, Minnesota, to Pelican Rapids.

Most of the papers dating form 1884 to 1892 deal with the estate of McKelvy, who died in 1884. There are in addition a certificate issued by the Commercial School, St. Cloud, to J.G. McKelvy; the marksmanship record of James E. McKelvy; and a furlough granted by James M. McKelvy, who enlisted in Troop L, First Regiment of Cavalry, at Fort Maginnis, Montana Territory, in 1888.

The file for the rest of the period (1893-1963) is slight and miscellaneous. The most substantial unit is for the years 1898-1899, when James E. McKelvy was serving as captain in the Thirteenth Minnesota Regiment. The papers are made up of his military accounts, for the most part. Other papers for the 1893-1963 period include a list of members of a local board at St. Cloud of the United States Savings and Loan Company, St. Paul; J.G. McKelvy’s certificate of stock ownership in the company; a clipping from the St. Cloud Daily Journal-Press (January 2, 1894) containing an address by Judge D.B. Searle of the Stearns County bench and bar, paying tribute to Judge James M. McKelvy, among others; a certificates regarding James E. McKelvy’s nomination for the position of sheriff of Stearns County; forms concerning James M. McKelvy’s pension; a letter describing Eva McKelvy’s work in the City and County Hospital, St. Paul (Dr. Arthur B. Ancker is the superintendent); additional documents on the McKelvy estate; letters from “Pim” Wilbur written to his mother from Shattuck School in Faribault, Minnesota; letters by Percy Baily, secretary of the Pathfinder, concerning his marriage to Margaret May McKelvy (data on the Pathfinder is also included in these letters); a letter from Jesse McKelvy to his mother regarding the Charleston, West Virginia strike of the coal miners there, small pox in Pittsburgh, and labor importations from the “old country”; letters, newspaper clippings, and other items regarding the McKelvy house, built by Henry C. Burbank, sold to James M. McKelvy by Burbank in 1874, razed in 1955 to make way for a highway. Included in the information about the house is a letter from Glanville Smith to Miss Mary McKelvy.

McKelvy, James

Records of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System

  • 33
  • Collection
  • 1859-2006

This collections contains mostly minutes of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) board, including its predecessors, from 1859 to 2006.  In addition, other material, such as financial reports, reports to the governor, fact books, and by-laws and rules and regulations.

Series 1: Board Meeting Minutes

These minutes contain information about students, expenses, campus buildings and spaces, and personnel.

Series 2: Other Administrative Records

This series contain by-laws and rules and regulations, factbooks, financial reports, reports to the governor, and correspondence of Warren Stewart. Though mostly dated in the 1960s and 1970s, some material does date to the 1860s and 1880s.

These records are simply copies held at MnSCU and retained at the University Archives for reference purposes.  Other records in University Archives, especially records of the President and Academic Affairs, contain records that document the interaction between St. Cloud State and MnSCU.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Mitchell Family Papers

  • 217
  • Collection
  • 1860-1969

These materials focus on the family of Henry Z. and Elizabeth Mitchell. They arrived in St. Cloud in 1857 and had three children - William B., Mary, and Charles.

The materials here focus on the Mitchell family in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Mitchell homes at 508 and 509 1st Avenue South play a prominent role. A scrapbook highlights the life of the tea rooms at Grandmother's Garden, established by Ruth Mitchell in 1922.  Grandmother's Garden was the first home of Henry Z. and Elizabeth Mitchell.

There are is a family photo album that contains images of the Mitchell extended family.  Other images include the Mitchell Home at 508 1st Avenue South, which sits on the site of the current Mitchell Hall residence hall.  There are also memories of that home written by Mitchell Family members.

Other materials in this collection include property records, the appointment certificate of William B. Mitchell as St. Cloud State's resident director, art lectures by Mary Mitchell Burbank, and clippings in a scrapbook of the travels of William B. Mitchell and Mary Mitchell Burbank.

Mitchell Family

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