30 April 2016

Battle Creek's Log Schoolhouse: Part II

Michigan Pioneer Collection at Helen Warner Branch 
of Willard Library, Battle Creek, Michigan

My March Last Day Local Post: 1834 Log Schoolhouse, Battle Creek received a comment from Linda: "Are there any records of the students that attended this school?"

I didn't have the answer to Linda's question, but decided I should find more information about the school and any records that might have survived.  I checked with Local History Librarian at the Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library in Battle Creek, George Livingston.  George replied, 

"Your best bet for historical information on the old log schoolhouse is in the tens of thousands of pages and dozens of volumes of the "Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections." A complete set with index is located at the Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library.  The records tend to be anecdotal but illuminating nonetheless. Worldcat.org would let you know what library has the collection close to you. Check archive.org for an online copy as well.  The index can be found here: 

This is the number one reason researchers should get to know the local history experts in the area. George Livingston is a wealth of information for researchers in Battle Creek.  

George sent a snippet from this collection that relates to the schoolhouse:

Source: Michigan Pioneer Collection, Volume 5; page 266

There are nine students that were identified: Hannah and Lucinda Angell, Eliza and Ellen M. Hall, Mary McCamly, William Kirk, Hastings Hall, Albert and Ezra Convis.  This may not be the type of information Linda was looking for, but I found it interesting.  So far, I have not found any other records for this school.

Here are a few tips for using the Michigan Historical Collection volumes, also known as Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collection, online.
  1. Go to  https://archive.org/stream/michiganindex1to15michuoft#page/228/mode/2up  for the index.  Enter your search term in the box at the top right. It will take you to the page of the index for the term you searched.
  2. Make note of the roman numeral, it is the volume you need, and the page number.
  3. Go to the following websites for access to the volumes:
    1. Volumes 1-15: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95889&p=628952
    2. Volumes 16-30: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95889&p=628955
    3. Volumes 31-40: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95889&p=628956
  4. There are a few options for viewing the volume.  Google books, University of Michigan, and Internet Archive are a few of the options.  I use Internet Archive.  The volumes are available at Hathi Trust, too.
  5. If using Internet Archive, use the full screen icon, four arrows, to the right for a larger view.
  6. If using Internet Archive, use the slider at the bottom of the page to find the page number you are looking for.
  7. Double check the page number of the book as I found a few that were off.  Example: the slider said page 276, but the page was 274.  You can use the arrows on the bottom right to go forward or back in the book.
The Michigan Historical Collection contains 40 Volumes of Pure Michigan Gold! The first seven volumes have pioneer reminiscences, biographical sketches, memorials and more.  The volumes are rich in history and loaded with people's names. 

To give you an idea of the time frame of these volumes, here is the publication information:

  • 1876-1886 (Volumes 1- 9): Pioneer Collections. Lansing : Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan.
  • 1886-1912 (Volumes 10-38): Historical Collections. Lansing : Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society.
  • 1915-1929 (Volumes 39-40): Michigan Historical CollectionsLansing : MichiganHistorical Commission.
If you want to know more about early Michigan Pioneers and History, or perhaps find a Pioneer ancestor, check this resource out.

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