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Donald and Barbara Gorrell Family Papers (Kunkle and Cocanower Families) - MS 716

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

Introduction

The Donald and Barbara Gorrell Family Papers were donated to the Center for Archival Collections on 27 October 1995 by Donald and Barbara Gorrell. The papers are divided into two main family collections: the Kunkle and Cocanower Family Papers. These two families lived in Pioneer, Williams County, Ohio and are related through the marriage of Henry P. Kunkle and Mary Elsie Cocanower, the step-father and mother of Mrs. Barbara Gorrell.

The Kunkle Family Papers date inclusively from 1848-1960. Documentation includes correspondence, receipts and stock certificates, concerned chiefly with the business dealings of the Kunkle farm. Also included is the highlight of the collection, the marriage certificate of Henry S. Kunkle, founder of Kunkle, Ohio and Matilda Jane Baltasser.

The Cocanower Family Papers date from 1872-1937 and include the diary of William Divine, several diaries of Sylvester Cocanower, largely concerned with his carpentry business interests and school memorabilia of Sylvester's wife Dora (Divine) Cocanower and their daughter Mary Elise (Cocanower) Kunkle. Other items such as school souvenir books, a photo of a civil war soldier and a lady in formal wear, a greeting card, and a newspaper draft are from the family of Mr. Donald Gorrell. Also, several undated and unidentified pictures are included. There are no restrictions on the use of these papers for research purposes.

The collection was processed by Jason Wesco, Graduate Student Assistant, in 1995.

Biographical Sketch

Thanks to a glowing biographical sketch of Henry S. Kunkle (1823-1871), contained in Shinn's Williams County History (1905) we know a good deal about this Williams County pioneer for whom Kunkle, Ohio was named.

Henry was born in Pennsylvania to Henry H. and Mary (Stone) Kunkle. His father fought in the War of 1812 and his grandfather, Jacob, was a German mercenary from the province of Hesse, who deserted the British and fought with the Americans. In 1843 Henry left Pennsylvania and set out for Ohio on foot arriving at West Unity, Ohio, where his brother resided. After saving his wages earned by chopping wood and clearing land, he purchased 160 acres of timbered land, of which he cleared 40 acres. In 1850 he set out for California to secure mining interests. This endeavor proved very successful and coupled with his timber success, Henry had the financial base from which Kunkle, Ohio, was built. An active businessman, dealer in stocks, and philanthropist, Henry provided an important thrust in the growth of the city that bears his name. In 1856, he married Matilda J. Baltosser and together they raised four children: Mary Alice, Martha Jane, John C., and Ira H.

Unfortunately, it has not been quite so easy to find information on Sylvester Cocanower. We do know, however, that he was born in Missouri in 1877, and that his mother was from this state while his father was from Pennsylvania. He married Dora Divine of southern Michigan, perhaps Woodbridge, Hillsdale County, in 1898. They resided in Pioneer, Williams County, Ohio and had three children, Clare D. (1901), Mary E. (1904), and Martha C. (1905). The middle child, Mary Elise, is the mother of Mrs. Barbara Gorrell; her stepfather was Henry P. Kunkle, grandson of the aforementioned Henry S. Kunkle.

Scope and Content

The Donald and Barbara Gorrell Family Papers are divided into two categories: the Kunkle Family Papers and the Cocanower Family Papers. Both collections are somewhat sketchy and deal largely with the business dealings of the two families.

The Kunkle Family Papers (1848-1922) present a limited view of the very successful business dealings of the Kunkle Family in Williams County, Ohio through property tax receipts, business tax receipts, and stock certificates. The personal correspondence (1881-1882, 1904) is even more narrow, but does provide a short narrative of the westward move of the John H. Kunkle family to Kansas in the early 1880s and an interesting description of an 1881 company meeting. Also, of particular interest is the reprinted 1500 word narrative of Lavina Bargasier Kunkle, sister-in-law of Henry S. Kunkle, in which she recounts her travels to Williams County, Ohio from Pennsylvania and gives a brief genealogy (no date is given).

The Conanower Family Papers are narrower yet in overall scope, but provide a detailed account of the business transactions of Sylvester Cocanower, a carpenter in Williams County for approximately 40 years, through eighteen of his personal journals (1892-1931).

Parts of the Cocanower Family Papers are the school souvenir books of Dora (Divine) Cocanower and Mary Elsie (Cocanower) Kunkle. Also, contained within the Donald and Barbara Gorrell Family Papers are several well preserved photos, which unfortunately have neither names nor dates with which to identify them.

Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

HENRY S. KUNKLE CORRESPONDENCE
22 March 1880
Letter from brother John S. Kunkle and nephew of J. A. L. Kunkle describing their move west and first impressions of Wilson, Kansas.

JOHN C. KUNKLE CORRESPONDENCE
16 April 1881
Letter from cousin Myrtie Kunkle describing Wilson, Kansas

18 ? 1881
Letter from ? (probably Myrtie Kunkle) describing Kansas and the travels and activities of John S., David and John A. Kunkle in Texas and Kansas.

27 June 1882
Letter from Mary (Baltasser) Springer including the description of a camp meeting.

16 April ?
Letter from A.L. Kunkle describing Wilson, Kansas.

LAURA KUNKLE CORRESPONDENCE
28 July 1990
Letter from son Hank (Laura was apparently away from home taking medicinal baths) urging her to stay an additional week.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

DIARY OF WILLIAM DIVINE
1872
Day to day life, concerned largely with finances and work

DIARIES OF SYLVESTER COCANOWER
1892-1937
Daily entries focus on work performed as a carpenter. Also, brief mention is made of church meetings and clergy.

MEMOIRS

MEMOIRS OF LAVINA BURGASIER KUNKLE (Sister-In-Law of Henry S.)
n.d.
Photocopy of newspaper reproduction of a 1,500 word narrative of her life with John Kunkle, including descriptions of their initial travel to Williams County, Ohio and genealogy.

MANUSCRIPTS

PAPER ENTITLED "CONTRADICTORY ENTANGLEMENT" BY CHARLES GRIMM
n.d.
Concerned with the history of Williams County.

SONG
n.d.
Entitled "The Old Log Cabin In The Lane" by "Reckless Joe the Barkeeper", written for John C. Kunkle.

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
6 March 1906
Letter commending Henry P. Kunkle to prospective employers from L. C. Ranch, Principal of the Office Practice Department, Detroit Business University.

NEWSPAPER DRAFT
9 October 1916
Draft containing stories and humor about the people of West Buffalo, Ohio. (Editors Ruth Walker, Kathy Hepker and Arpra Zigler.)

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
7 February 1856
Issued in Pennsylvania
Certificate of Henry S. Kunkle and Matilda Jane Baltasser

DEEDS

WARRANTY DEED
7 August 1849
Henry S. Kunkle's purchase of 160 acres in Williams County, Ohio from Mrs. Chloe B. Jones.

CEMETERY DEEDS
13 January 1894, 10 February 1921
Deed for cemetery plot purchased by Heny S. Kunkle and Henry P. Kunkle

CONTRACTS

LAND CONTRACT
15 May 1919
Contract Between John C. Kunkle and the School Board of Kunkle, Ohio documenting the sale of land. Land was used as the location for Kunkle High School.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

PENSION CERTIFICATE
6 June 1889
Pension granted to John H. Batltazer for lasting illness caused by service in the Civil War

RECEIPTS

RECEIPTS
1849-1902 (scattered dates) Includes property tax receipts of Henry S. Kunkle, Williams County, Ohio (1849-1857), Special Tax Receipts on Henry S. Kunkle for Operation of a Retail Tobacco Business (1872), receipt from Smith & Beach Undertakers to Daniel Baltasser (1890), and from Detroit Business University to Henry P. Kunkle (1904) for general supplies, books, and tuition.

STOCK CERTIFICATES

KUNKLE FIRE DEPARTMENT
20 May 1922

SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIAL

SCHOOL AUTOGRAPH BOOK
January - October 1890
Autograph book belonging to Dora Divine.

SCHOOL SOUVENIR BOOKLETS
1905-1906
"Public School".
Teacher O. C. Hageman

1907-1908
"Public School. District G. Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio".
Teacher L. L. Doolittle

1908
"Public School."
Teacher Chas E. Hoffman

1910
"School District No. 6 Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio".
Teacher Elva L. Raubenstein

NEWSPAPERS

Williams County Republican Reporter, Volume 1, No. 1
1952
Republican Party Campaign Paper

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

The Producers' Price, Current, New York
22 November 1879
Prices for agricultural products and crops listed.

"End Comes to Kunkle Institute"
1960
Article concerned with the closing of the Kunkle Institute and the dwindling population of Kunkle, Ohio.

PRINTED MATERIAL

Brochure/Calendar
1877
Produced by Aultman, Miller and Company. "Manufacturers of the Buckeye Mower and Reaper, Akron, Ohio"

Stationery
1930s
"S. Cocanower Practical Carpenter and Joiner, Pioneer, Ohio."

Greeting Card
n.d.
"To Junior Gorrell from Jack Hurd." Stereotypical depiction of African- American speech and appearance.

Certificate of Membership
24 September 1892
Silver Creek Church of the Brethren - Sylvester Cocanower.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL

Photographs (Black and White)
[1860s, n.d.], [1860s-1930s]
Includes images, contained within a 2 ½" x 3" case, of a man in a Civil War uniform, a woman in formal attire, and an inscription that reads "Emanuel Zigler, Bryan, Williams County, Ohio. (Zigler, G. C. Atona, DeKalb C. Indiana)

Class Photo on Postcard
1910
School District No. 6, Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio.
Teacher Elva L. Raubenstein. Postcard addressed to Elsie Cocanower, Pioneer, Ohio.

High School, Kunkle, Ohio
n.d.

Image of a Storefront with "Quitting Business" Signs in the Windows
[1930s]
Inscription on reverse reads: "This building housed the P. Weidner Company, also the Kunkle State Bank from 1903-1933, H. P. Kunkle."

Sheet of Individual Class Photos of Pioneer High School Freshmen and Sophomores
[1900-1920]
Individual names are not listed.

Sheet of Individual Class Photos
[1900-1920]
Individual names are not listed, nor are class standing. Appears also to be from Pioneer High School.

Image of a Deceased Woman
n.d.
Individual is lying in a casket surrounded by flowers. No name given.

Studio Portraits
[1880-1900]
Miscellaneous (7) 4x6 portraits of people (no names given).

[1880-1906]
Miscellaneous (4) 4x3 portraits (unidentified pictures of courthouse; street scene; group of people at a train station).

[1860-1880]
Miscellaneous (14) tin-type studio portraits of people contained within an album (no names given).

Photographs (Black and White)
[1860-1880]
Enlargement (6) tin-type studio portraits of a young girl (no name given).

Photograph (Tin Type)
n.d.
Middle-aged couple sitting in front of a long cabin (no names given).

OVERSIZED PHOTOGRAPHS

Group Photo of Approximately 120 People in Formal Attire in An Outdoor Setting
[1890-1910]
Inscription on back reads "R. Rutledge".

Purple Velvet Photo Album
[1880-1900]
8x10 photo album.

Family Group Photo
n.d.
Divine Family Photos Matted in a Family Group Arrangement.

Inventory

Box 1

Folder

  1. Correspondence - Henry S. Kunkle, 1880
  2. Correspondence - John C. Kunkle, 1881-1882
  3. Correspondence - Laura Kunkle, 1909
  4. Diary of William Divine, 1872
  5. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1892-1983
  6. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1894-1895
  7. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1896-1897
  8. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1898-1899
  9. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1900; 1901-1905
  10. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1906-Oct 1911

Box 2

Folder

  1. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1916-1920; 1921-1925
  2. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1926-1930; 1931-1935
  3. Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1936-1937
  4. Memoir of Lavina Bargasier Kunkle, n.d.
  5. Academic Paper "Contradictory Entanglement", n.d.
  6. Song Lyrics "The Old Log Cabin In the Lane", n.d.
  7. Letter of Recommendation for Henry P. Kunkle, 1906
  8. Newspaper Draft of "Buffalo's Best", 1916
  9. Marriage Certificate of Henry S. Kunkle and Matilda J. Baltasser, 1856
  10. Deeds - Henry S. and Henry P. Kunkle, 1849, 1894, 1921
  11. Contract - John C. Kunkle and Kunkle School Board, 1919
  12. Pension Certificate of John H. Baltasser, 1889
  13. Receipts - Henry S. Kunkle, 1848-1904 (scattered)
  14. Stock Certificates - Henry S. Kunkle, P. Kunkle, B. F. Shoetz, 1870-1922 (scattered)
  15. School Autograph Book - Dora Divine, 1890
  16. School Souvenir Booklet, 1905-1910
  17. Williams County Republican News Newspaper, 1852
  18. Newspaper Clippings, 1879, 1960
  19. Brochure/Calendar, 1877

Box 3

Folder

  1. Business Stationary - Sylvester Cocanower, 193?
  2. Greeting Card, n.d.
  3. Certificate of Membership to Silver Creek Church of the Brethren - Sylvester Cocanower, Sept. 24, 1892
  4. Photographs, [1860-1910]
  5. Photographs (originally contained in photo album filed as oversize, [1890s]
  6. Photographs (album), [1850-1870]
  7. Photographs, [?-1870]

Oversize

Folder

  1. Large Group Photograph, [1890-1910]
  2. Photo Album, [1880-1900]
  3. Divine Family Pictures, n.d.

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