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Finding Aid

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The Ensign Family Papers (1804-1945) consist mostly of letters generated by Eli (1860's-1890's) or letters to him. The majority of letters written by Eli are to his wife (1870-1899) when he is on various trips or when she is visiting family in Connecticut.

Letters to Ely are mostly from his side of the family such as brothers Sidney (1859-1874) and Charles (1862-1871) or Ely’s grandmother Clarinda(?) Prentice (1857-1868). Business correspondence (1867-1902) is heaviest during the 1870's. One common writer of business correspondence to Ely was W.A. Burke (1870).

The letters to Mary Catherine (Walton) Ensign (not including Ely’s) are from her side of the family, mostly from her mother Abbie (Gay) Walton (1865-1891).

The personal papers of Mary (May) Prentice Ensign (1880) are many and include her school papers, calling cards and the sympathy cards generated by her death in 1889.

In addition to letters, the collection includes business papers and personal papers of Ely, Mary Catherine, John, Anna and other family related items and photographs.

To view materials from this collection that are digitized and available online, search the Ensign Family Papers, 1804-1945 here.


Special collections material is obtained from many sources and is intended primarily for research and educational purposes. Certain works may be protected by copyright, trademark, or related interests not governed by the department. It is up to the researcher to verify that they have permission to use these materials for publication or other activities.

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For more information or to use any of these collections, contact:
Special Collections, Morrow Library
Marshall University
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2343


This collection is related to Manuscript Collection number 0212 and can be accessed here: