Skip to main content

Southworth-Dickinson family papers

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00212

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 78.5 linear feet (157 boxes) of material, including letters, diaries, autobiographical writings, and financial papers of the Southworth and Dickinson families of Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as the related Shepard, Boltwood, Thurston, Caffee, Deane, and Browne families. The papers document several generations of middle- and upper-class families residing in Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine, New York, and California.

The nineteenth century papers discuss such pivotal events in American history as the abolitionist movement and the Civil War. There are also significant items concerning the events surrounding the Spanish-American War and World War I. The papers are also notable for description of trips to the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, and the South Pacific. Family members also discuss European travels to England, Italy, France, Germany, and the Middle-East.

Dates of Materials

  • 1792-2005

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following restrictions: Some boxes are CLOSED due to mold. Please refer to specific boxes for greater clarification.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works by family members in this collection. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

The Southworth-Dickinson Family Papers include several generations of Southworth and Dickinson families of Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as the related Shepard, Boltwood, Thurston, Caffee, Deane, and Browne families, living in Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine, New York, and California.

Generation I: Constant Southworth

The collection begins with the memoir of Constant Southworth (b. 1730), who was born in Mansfield, Conn., the son of Nathaniel Southworth. He is of a different line of Southworths from those featured in this collection. His memoir was given to George C. S. Southworth by Col. George Leroy Brown.

Generation II: Abiah Southworth and Keziah Boltwood

The Southworth Family as represented in this collection begins with Dr. Abiah Southworth (d. 1835), who married Keziah Boltwood (d. 1835) with whom he had five children: Rufus (1796-1828); Mary (1797-1872); Wells (1799-1882), Edward (1804-69), and Martha (b. 1807).

Generation III: Children of Abiah Southworth

The children of Abiah and Keziah Southworth are best represented in this collection by Edward Southworth, who was educated at Harvard University in the 1820s and served as president of the Hampshire Paper Company of South Hadley, Mass. In 1839, with his brother Wells and cousin John H. Southworth, he founded the Southworth Manufacturing Company in Agawam, Mass. The company is still in operation.

In 1841 Edward married Ann Elisabeth Shepard (1810-1855), a first cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with whom he had children: George C. S. Shepard (1842-1918); Edward Wells (1845-1847); Mase (b. 1847), Charles Upham (1850-1853), and Wells (1854-1856).

In 1856, after the death of his wife, Edward married Mary Woodbury Shepard (1827-1861), the daughter of Rev. Thomas Shepard and Sarah Williams Barrnett with whom he had children: Edward (1857-1882), Mary Woodbury "Minnie" (1859-1947), and Thomas (1861-1940). In 1866, after the death of Mary, Edward married Harriet Anne Thurston Deane, with whom he had one child, Alice Harriet. Harriet was the daughter of Rev. David (1779-1865) and his second wife, Prudence Brown Thurston (d. 1871).

The Southworths were related to the Shepard Family through the marriage of Edward Southworth and Anne Elisabeth Shepard-the daughter of Mase Shepard (1759-1821) and Deborah Haskins (1765-1841), who married in 1781. In addition to Anne Elisabeth, Mase and Deborah had five children: Hannah (1795-1867), who married Hon. Seth Terry; Mary (1797-1867); Rev. George Champlin (1802-1868), who was born in Rhode Island, graduated from Amherst College, later moved to Connecticut, and married Sally Inman Kast (d. 1868); Dr. Charles Upham (1804-1886), who attended Amherst College and worked as a professor of science in Charleston, S.C., from 1834-61, before moving back to Amherst; Fanny (1807?-1888), who married Lucius Boltwood (1792-1872).

The Southworths were also related to the Deane Family through the marriage of Harriet Ann Thurston and her first husband, Melvin Gilmore Deane (1821-54), the son of John Gilmore Deane and Rebecca Dennis Padelford. Harriet and Melvin married in 1848 and had two children: Sarah Shepard (1850-51) and Ada (1853-1934), who married George Southworth in 1874. Harriet was Melvin's second wife. His first wife was Sarah Edwards Shepard (1823-1847)-the daughter of Rev. Thomas and Sarah Williams Shepard-with whom he had a child, John Gilmore (1845-73), who served as a lieutenant in a Maine artillery unit during the Civil War. John Gilmore Deane married Mary Louise Greenwood, with whom he had children: Mary Louise and Hattie.

The Southworths were related to the Browne Family through the marriage of Dwight Dickinson and Syria Browne, whose daughter, Mayotta, married Melvin D. Southworth. Mayotta was the granddaughter of J. Ross Browne (1821-1875), an Irish-born writer who later settled in California, and Lucy Anna Mitchell. J. Ross and Lucy had children: Spencer (1845-96), who married Lucy Serena Croghan (b. 1850); Lucy Mayotta (b. 1847), who married Charles F. Hoffman; Nina Florence Browne (b. 1851), who married Alfred Craven; and Syria Elana "Sea" (d. 1899), who married Dr. Dwight Dickinson.

Generation IV: Children of Edward Southworth

Edward's oldest son, George, was born in Springfield, Mass., graduated from Yale in 1863, Harvard Law in 1865, and served as a Massachusetts representative. In Italy in 1874, George married Ada Deane, George's stepsister, with whom he had eight children: Mary (1875-1949); Constant (1876-1927); Rufus (1878-1944); Elizabeth Shepard (1881-1969); Melvin Deane (1883-1967); Edward (1885-1943); George Shepard (1888-1972); and John Deane (1890-1972). George Southworth's family eventually settled in Ohio, and it was George who built the family cottage in Deer Isle, Maine, in 1887.

Mase, Edward's second son to live to adulthood, obtained a doctoral degree in chemistry. In 1879, he married Mary Virginia Mallory (b. 1856). Dr. Edward Southworth, Edward's eldest child with Mary Woodbury Shepard, graduated from Yale in 1879 and worked as a physician before dying young in 1882. Mary Woodbury, Edward's second child with Mary Woodbury Shepard, married Ansley Chesley Stevens of San Francisco and with whom she settled in California. Dr. Thomas Shepard, Edward's third and last child with Mary, graduated from Yale University in 1883, and worked as a physician in New York City. In 1896, he married Jean Ponton Hamilton (1869-1924). Alice Harriet Southworth, Edward's only child with his third wife Harriet, lived most of her adult life with her partner, Anna B. Jenks (1865-1942), the daughter of William Flint and Eliza Jenks.

Generation V: Children of George C. S. Southworth and Thomas Southworth

George's oldest child, Mary, married Herbert Williams, with whom she had a child, Albert Frith (1942-). George's second child, Constant, served in World War I in Italy and Montenegro and later worked as an attorney before taking his own life in 1927. He never married. George's third child, Rufus, married Alice Williams, with whom he had children: Edward (1907-2002) and Elizabeth Ann "Liebe" (1907-1999), who married Howard Corning (1905-1984). With Howard, she had children: Alison Clarke, Elizabeth Laslett, and Dr. Howard Burt (d. 2005). George's second oldest daughter, Elisabeth, married John Smith Harrison, with whom she had children: William Ogden (1909-1909); Ada Deane (b. 1910); Thurston (1912-); Edward Woodberry (1914-); Virginia (1919-1919); and Thomas (1920-).

George's third son, Melvin Deane, married Mayotta Dickinson, the granddaughter of Edward Alexander Dickinson (1813-1880) and Sarah Maria Fletcher (1821-1862). Mayotta was the first child of Dr. Dwight Dickinson (1847-1930) and Sylvia Elana "Sea" Browne (1859-1900). In May 1906, Mayotta married Lt. Arthur G. Caffee. Arthur was the son of Col. William King (1856-1923) and Anna Belle Wilkins Caffee (1860-1911), who had married in 1878. In 1910, Arthur Caffee was killed in a naval accident, the precise cause of which was never determined. With Arthur, Mayotta had children: Patty (1908-2001), who married John Samuel Thomas (d. 1982), and Elizabeth "Betty" June (1911-2006), who married Phelps Brown. Melvin and Mayotta had one child: Mayotta (1922-2010).

George's fourth son, Edward, married Virginia Sprague, with whom he had Ann (1916-), Virginia (1918-), Helen Sprague, and Edward, Jr. (1924-). George's fifth son, George Shepard married Sue Flickinger Williams in 1909 and had children with her: Constant Williams (1910-); Robert K. (1912-); Sarah Jane (1914-), and George S., Jr. (1921-). George's youngest son, John Deane, married Louise Hendee, with whom he had children: John D., Jr. (1928-), Robert Thomas (1932), and Kenneth Shepard (1933-).

Dr. David Hamilton Southworth (though he never went by the name David), the only son of Dr. Thomas Southworth, married Katharine R. Jones, with whom he had children: Hamilton, Jr.; Thomas, Katharine S., and Jean S.

Generation VI: Children of Melvin and Mayotta Southworth

Melvin and Mayotta's daughter, Mayotta, attended Smith College, graduating in 1944. That same year, she married Edmund Hopkinson Kendrick. She was responsible for collecting many of the Southworth Family's papers and genealogical information.

Extent

157 boxes (78.5 linear feet)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection includes letters, diaries, autobiographical writings, and financial papers of the Southworth and Dickinson families of Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as the related Shepard, Boltwood, Thurston, Caffee, Deane, and Browne families. The papers document several generations of middle- and upper-class families residing in Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, Maine, New York, and California. The nineteenth century papers discuss such pivotal events in American history as the abolitionist movement and the Civil War. There are also significant items concerning the events surrounding the Spanish-American War and World War I. Also of interest are business records of the family owned paper mill in Western Massachusetts, and the papers of Alice. H. Southworth and her life partner Anna Jenks in the early and mid 20th century.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into seven series:
  1. I. SOUTHWORTH FAMILY
  2. II. "THE CHRONICLE" (1899-1947)
  3. III. DICKINSON FAMILY
  4. IV. BROWNE FAMILY
  5. V. DEANE FAMILY
  6. VI. SOUTHWORTH MANUFACTURING COMPANY RECORDS
  7. VII. MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS

Arrangement

This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mayotta S. Kendrick began donating her family's papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1999. Additional materials were donated by Edmund H. and Melvin S. Kendrick, and Deborah H. Weeter.

Accruals

Periodic additions to the collection are expected and may not be reflected in this finding aid.

Related Materials

The Charles Upham Shepard Papers are housed in the Amherst College Special Collections; genealogical records of the family can be found at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Books of J. Ross Browne can be found in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Neilson Library at Smith College.

Bibliography

Those interested in the Southworth, Dickinson, and related families are urged to consult Brown Thurston, Thurston Genealogies (Portland, Me., 1892); Mayotta Southworth Kendrick, The Southworth Family: 100 Summers on Deer Isle, 1885-1985; George C. S. Southworth, Descendants of Constant Southworth (Salem, Ohio, 1897); A Farm in the Firelands of Ohio: Memories of the Post-Civil War Period by Dayton A. Williams (Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 2004), which has letters of Edward Southworth; and the Charles Upham Shepard Papers at Amherst College.

Processing Information

Processed by Colin Woodward, 2011.
Title
Southworth-Dickinson family papers
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by Colin Woodward.
Date
2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was made possible by the generous support of members and friends of the Southworth, Dickinson and Browne families.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:21-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-04-12: Made paper FA pencil edit changes.
  • 2021-07-06: Added content description from accession inventories

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063