Parsons Family Papers
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Acquisition and Processing Information: This collection was purchased in 2009.
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of four ledger type diaries from late 19th and early 20th century from Burlington, Iowa. These were the property of Albion Parsons and his son, Louis Alexander Parsons. The account books are dated 1885, 1896-1905, and 1905-1908. All are leather bound and filled with accounts, business and law notes, and travel logs. The 1885 trifold has Love's book store sticker on front inside cover. All are in very readable condition with some damage and wear to covers.
Louis A. Parson's Metallurgy Trip Diary (1909) is an outstanding item. The diary details visits to the Washoe Smelter of the Anaconda Copper Mining Co. at Anaconda, Montana and to the Boston and Montana Consolidated Copper and Silver Mining Company Smelter at Great Falls, Montana. The diary includes an index, several drawings, and detailed descriptions of the operations of the smelters.
Louis Parsons grew up in Burlington, Iowa, during the 1870s and 1880s. He came from a middle-class family. His father, Albion, owned a general store. His mother, Mary, raised Louis and his older sister, Ella. When Louis was 13 (1885), his father passed away. As a boy, Louis enjoyed drawing and playing with his cousins. His also practiced technical skills, like photography and making electric batteries. Louis attended West Hill, a private middle and high school in Burlington. He had a number of health problems that caused him to miss one year of school. One of his favorite childhood memories was visiting California in 1889.
Louis A. Parsons essays & compositions, 1887-1892 . Originals in Burlington Public Library. In digital form at Iowa Digital Library.(Search under title in the Digital Library)
A two weeks vacation trip from Iowa City, Iowa to Burlington, down the Iowa and Mississippi Rivers, July, 1899. Original in Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries Ms I64io; online at Iowa Digital Library
Box Contents List
I: Louis A. Parsons, General Account Book, Burlington, Iowa, March 1896
Heirs in Law of A. Parsons, &. Louis A. Parsons Accounts, Book No. 1 - 1896 - 1905
4 3/4 x 7 1/2
----. (1) Index
----. (4) Heirs in Law of A. Parsons in account with Louis A. Parsons Agt
----. (40) Louis A. Parsons in account with Louis A. Parsons Agt.
----. (58) Mary A. Parsons
----. (72) Ella Vaughn
----. (88) General Cash Account
----. (84) Martha Flanders
----. (56) Board of Education
----. (42, 128, 140) Carl Stutsman agent
----. (138) Mary H. Parsons in acct. with LAP not as agent
----. (128) Carl Stutsman
----. (137) Fire Fund
----. (142) Books loaned
Account Book II: Louis Parsons itemized cash account No. 5, August 1905 - December 1908
3 1/8 x 5 1/8
A typical cashbook account, documenting the expenses of living for this three year period. These include his paychecks and from whom they came, as well as all his expenses such as gifts, wood, bills, charities, church, etc.
Account Book III: Louis A. Parsons - 932 Valley Street, Burlington la; Baltimore, MD 314 West Hoffman Street; Box 487 Johns Hopkins
5 1/4 x 2 1/4 -- 1899 and 1900
Small memorandum volume with graph type paper, written in a close neat hand, includes cash expenses for living, regular expenses include: Street Car, tickets, dinner, maps, sleeping car, storage on baggage, etc.; scientific notations; record of fines; several small graphs (oscillation?); formula for developer solution - notations of Hydrogen, spectra.
Account Book IV: Albion Parsons Burlington Iowa - 1885-1899
Various accounts such as Mary H. Parsons as Guardian of Louis A. Parsons minor.
Single sheet of paper with accounts, n.d.
Printout of the 1856 State Census, Burlington Township; Des Moines County, Iowa