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George W. Pearson Collection - MS 57

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory

Introduction

The papers of the Pearson Collection consist of .33 linear feet of genealogical information, a stenographer pad, a financial ledger, and a scrapbook of newspaper articles. It mainly provides an overview of life in Toledo around the turn of the 20th century.

The donation and transfer of these records to the Center for Archival Collections was arranged through uncertain means, but most likely through the Toledo Blade or Mr. Pearson's wife. It was acquired by the CAC before 1976. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research.

Biographical Sketch

George Wilkerson Pearson, son of Richard and Mary Elizabeth Freshour Pearson, was born in January of 1870 in Covington, Miami County, Ohio. The family moved to Van Wert County, Ohio in the early 1870s. George graduated from Van Wert High School in 1888 and attended classes at Ohio Wesleyan. On March 24, 1895 he was married to Blanche Amelia Dippery. The couple had two sons-Richard Kenneth born August 2, 1899, and Eugene Ephraim, born May 4, 1903.

George began his news reporting career as a correspondent for the Toledo Blade during his senior year of high school in 1887. He was employed as a school teacher; a railroad messenger and baggage man; and a reporter for the Van Wert Daily Bulletin and Toledo News. He was a newspaper reporter for the Toledo Blade from 1893 until his retirement in 1947. During his tenure at the Blade, George wrote a column titled "East Side News." He was an active supporter of the East Side community. From 1920 to 1922 he served as executive secretary for the East Side Community YMCA. He was instrumental in the movement to preserve the last big tract of forest in the area. The forest was purchased by the city of Toledo for a city park. The new park was dedicated and named in his honor on August 30, 1944.

Blanche Dippery Pearson died on April 16, 1951 and George died on May 23, 1955. Both are buried in Fort Meigs Union Cemetery in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Scope and Content

The scope of these records is mainly daily life in Toledo, Ohio, from 1893 to 1902, and the events at a summer bible camp in August of 1920. A brief genealogical study of the Pearson family is also provided.

The first item, a genealogical sketch of the Pearson family, was prepared by request of Bertha Evans, secretary to Grove Patterson. Patterson was editor of the Toledo Blade when George Pearson retired in 1947.

The genealogical sketch gives details of George Pearson's relatives as well as a brief overview of his earlier life. The sketch gives details of the Pearson family's arrival to Van Wert, Ohio, and then provides biographical sketches of Pearson's brothers and sisters. Information is given about Pearson's son and daughter as well. The sketch itself is incomplete and contains many crossed-out typos. It has little historical value outside of a study of the Pearson family.

The second item is a stenographer's notebook from August 20th to August 30th, 1920. The notebook covers daily activities at and notes for a summer bible camp at Camp Wilson in Bellefontaine, Ohio. It provides notes for daily schedules at the camp and outlines for scripture lessons to be given to campers. Although much of the writing is difficult to read due to the scribbled nature of the notes, the scrapbook does seem to supply a good reflection of early-20th century Christian values.

The third item of the collection is a business ledger. The first section of the ledger covers what appear to be business transactions from January to September of 1883. Since Pearson did not graduate high school until 1888, it seems unlikely the records directly relate to him.

The second section of the ledger details the personal expenses of Pearson from January 1st, 1896, to April 12th, 1897. There are some breaks in the record and later parts include less details then earlier in 1896. This part of the ledger provides an interesting amount of detail about the daily expenses of a person living in Toledo at the end of the 19th century. There are legibility problems in both sections of the ledger, but they are a valuable resource nonetheless.

The final item in the collection is a scrapbook of newspaper articles from 1893 to 1902. Generally, the articles collected cover daily life in Toledo during this time, largely concentrating on social events like religious gatherings and legion reunions. The articles also briefly cover labor strife in Toledo and the opening of a glass plant in Rossford, Ohio.

Most of the articles are not credited and it is therefore impossible to tell for sure if George Pearson wrote all of the articles in the scrapbook. However, they do correspond with his tenure as a reporter in Toledo and match subjects Pearson covered. Also, Pearson is credited as the writer in several of the later articles.

While the scrapbook does provide a good survey of life in turn of the century Toledo, it is not in chronological order and several of the dates on articles are missing. The scrapbook itself is in poor physical condition with loose articles and pages.

Series Description

SUBJECT FILES/CASE FILES

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
n.d.
Provides biographical information of Pearson's early years, as well as more detailed information of his brothers and sisters.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

STENOGRAPHER'S BOOK
August 20th-30th, 1920
Notes of Pearson's regarding the conduct of a summer bible camp at Camp Wilson in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Includes notes on religious instruction and daily schedules at the camp.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

LEDGER
1883-1897
Financial ledger containing daily expense information for George Pearson during 1896 and early 1897 in Toledo, Ohio. An earlier section covering 1883 in the ledger is not related to the collection.

SCRAPBOOK MATERIAL

CLIPPINGS
1893-1902
A scrapbook containing newspaper articles from the Toledo Blade between 1893 and 1902. Covers daily life in Toledo, Ohio during this time.

Inventory

Box 1

Folders
  1. George Pearson's Family Genealogical Sketch, n.d.
  2. Stenographer's Notebook (George Pearson), August 20th-30th, 1920
  3. Financial Ledger (George Pearson), 1883-April 1897
  4. Scrapbook (George Pearson), 1893-1902

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