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Donald and Barbara Gorrell Family Papers (Kunkle and Cocanower Families) - MS 716
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.
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.
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.
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.
DIARY OF WILLIAM DIVINE
Day to day life, concerned largely with finances and work
DIARIES OF SYLVESTER COCANOWER
Daily entries focus on work performed as a carpenter. Also, brief mention is made of church meetings and clergy.
MEMOIRS OF LAVINA BURGASIER KUNKLE (Sister-In-Law of Henry S.)
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.
PAPER ENTITLED "CONTRADICTORY ENTANGLEMENT" BY CHARLES GRIMM
Concerned with the history of Williams County.
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.
9 October 1916
Draft containing stories and humor about the people of West Buffalo, Ohio. (Editors Ruth Walker, Kathy Hepker and Arpra Zigler.)
7 February 1856
Issued in Pennsylvania
Certificate of Henry S. Kunkle and Matilda Jane Baltasser
7 August 1849
Henry S. Kunkle's purchase of 160 acres in Williams County, Ohio from Mrs. Chloe B. Jones.
13 January 1894, 10 February 1921
Deed for cemetery plot purchased by Heny S. Kunkle and Henry P. Kunkle
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.
6 June 1889
Pension granted to John H. Batltazer for lasting illness caused by service in the Civil War
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.
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
Teacher O. C. Hageman
"Public School. District G. Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio".
Teacher L. L. Doolittle
Teacher Chas E. Hoffman
"School District No. 6 Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio".
Teacher Elva L. Raubenstein
Williams County Republican Reporter, Volume 1, No. 1
Republican Party Campaign Paper
The Producers' Price, Current, New York
22 November 1879
Prices for agricultural products and crops listed.
"End Comes to Kunkle Institute"
Article concerned with the closing of the Kunkle Institute and the dwindling population of Kunkle, Ohio.
Produced by Aultman, Miller and Company. "Manufacturers of the Buckeye Mower and Reaper, Akron, Ohio"
"S. Cocanower Practical Carpenter and Joiner, Pioneer, Ohio."
"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.
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
School District No. 6, Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio.
Teacher Elva L. Raubenstein. Postcard addressed to Elsie Cocanower, Pioneer, Ohio.
High School, Kunkle, Ohio
Image of a Storefront with "Quitting Business" Signs in the Windows
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
Individual names are not listed.
Sheet of Individual Class Photos
Individual names are not listed, nor are class standing. Appears also to be from Pioneer High School.
Image of a Deceased Woman
Individual is lying in a casket surrounded by flowers. No name given.
Miscellaneous (7) 4x6 portraits of people (no names given).
Miscellaneous (4) 4x3 portraits (unidentified pictures of courthouse; street scene; group of people at a train station).
Miscellaneous (14) tin-type studio portraits of people contained within an album (no names given).
Photographs (Black and White)
Enlargement (6) tin-type studio portraits of a young girl (no name given).
Photograph (Tin Type)
Middle-aged couple sitting in front of a long cabin (no names given).
Group Photo of Approximately 120 People in Formal Attire in An Outdoor Setting
Inscription on back reads "R. Rutledge".
Purple Velvet Photo Album
8x10 photo album.
Family Group Photo
Divine Family Photos Matted in a Family Group Arrangement.
- Correspondence - Henry S. Kunkle, 1880
- Correspondence - John C. Kunkle, 1881-1882
- Correspondence - Laura Kunkle, 1909
- Diary of William Divine, 1872
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1892-1983
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1894-1895
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1896-1897
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1898-1899
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1900; 1901-1905
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1906-Oct 1911
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1916-1920; 1921-1925
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1926-1930; 1931-1935
- Diary of Sylvester Cocanower, 1936-1937
- Memoir of Lavina Bargasier Kunkle, n.d.
- Academic Paper "Contradictory Entanglement", n.d.
- Song Lyrics "The Old Log Cabin In the Lane", n.d.
- Letter of Recommendation for Henry P. Kunkle, 1906
- Newspaper Draft of "Buffalo's Best", 1916
- Marriage Certificate of Henry S. Kunkle and Matilda J. Baltasser, 1856
- Deeds - Henry S. and Henry P. Kunkle, 1849, 1894, 1921
- Contract - John C. Kunkle and Kunkle School Board, 1919
- Pension Certificate of John H. Baltasser, 1889
- Receipts - Henry S. Kunkle, 1848-1904 (scattered)
- Stock Certificates - Henry S. Kunkle, P. Kunkle, B. F. Shoetz, 1870-1922 (scattered)
- School Autograph Book - Dora Divine, 1890
- School Souvenir Booklet, 1905-1910
- Williams County Republican News Newspaper, 1852
- Newspaper Clippings, 1879, 1960
- Brochure/Calendar, 1877
- Business Stationary - Sylvester Cocanower, 193?
- Greeting Card, n.d.
- Certificate of Membership to Silver Creek Church of the Brethren - Sylvester Cocanower, Sept. 24, 1892
- Photographs, [1860-1910]
- Photographs (originally contained in photo album filed as oversize, [1890s]
- Photographs (album), [1850-1870]
- Photographs, [?-1870]
- Large Group Photograph, [1890-1910]
- Photo Album, [1880-1900]
- Divine Family Pictures, n.d.
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