Bagley Family Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Bagley family, (David M. Bagley, 1818-1876)
Bagley family papers
Date [inclusive]
0.66 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation note

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical Note

The Bagley family, originally from Smithfield, Rhode Island, moved to Old Mission Harbor, Michigan where they became active in state and local government. David M. Bagley held a clerkship in the Michigan Auditor Generals Office (1855-1864) and was the bookkeeper in the State Land Office from 1868-1869.

David and his son, William Bagley, also operated a fruit orchard in the Lansing area and the Old Mission Harbor. Both were active members in the Republican Party. David Bagley published several articles in the Lansing State Republican from 1868 to 1870. William wrote articles in support of prohibition in the early 1930s.

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

The Bagley family papers includes the personal papers of David M. Bagley, his wife, Bennette Bagley, his son, William, and his grandson, Laurence. The material, dating from 1830 to 1932, is arranged by family member.

Bennette Bagley's papers contain personal correspondence from friends and family members in England wishing her a safe journey to America in 1833, and her will and estate papers of 1888.

David M. Bagley's papers include correspondence relating to the Civil War, family affairs, and Michigan politics on the local, state and federal levels. The Civil War letters are from Michigan men stationed in Georgetown, D.C.; Petersburg, Virginia and St. John's River, Florida. Camp life and general morale is described. On the state level, Bagley corresponded with B. D. Pritchard, Commissioner of the State Lands, discussing political appointments in the State Land Office where Bagley was a clerk. He also corresponded with two Michigan Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., D. C. Leach and John W. Longyear, concerning political activities. David Bagley's legal papers offer a general survey of the family's legal business. Included are apprenticeship papers, building contracts, tax receipts, deeds, summons and mortgages. David Bagley was an active contributor to the Lansing State Republican and the collection contains manuscripts of articles written for publication and the newspaper editions in which these articles appear. Most of these articles are political in nature and center on the Republican Party of which David Bagley was a member. A diary and phrenology chart belonging to Bagley are also present. The civil war related materials (folders 5-7) have been transcribed, scanned and put online at

William Bagley's papers include a speech to the Old Settlers Association in 1927 and several articles for publication primarily concerned with prohibition. One article, however, read before the State Senate in December 1901, entitled "What Shall be Done With the Deserted Pine Land of Michigan?", was concerned with Michigan conservation. William Bagley's papers also contain deeds, abstracts of land and titles, mortgages, tax receipts, wills and estate papers, broadsides, three plat maps and records relating to Old Mission Harbor.

Lawrence Bagley's papers include drawings of United States Naval Vessels (1893) and a report card for December 1893 to January 1894.

The remainder of the collection contains miscellaneous correspondence including a letter from O. P. Chubb 1862, and three letter books, two of which contain the correspondence of Mrs. Hannah Stace (apparently Bennette Bagley's Aunt) and one which contains letters from English relatives. One letter of particular interest from Thomas Stace has a good description of pioneer Australia. In addition, there are several financial ledgers documenting the family's business activities. Included is a joint ledger and farm diary from 1870, a joint ledger and diary for 1880, and a Peninsular Grange Ledger (1885-1902).

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections November 1997

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  September 2000

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Mary Rosecrans Bagley, 1967-08-25.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan State Grange.
  • Old Mission Settlers' Association. (Old Mission Harbor, Mich.)
  • Republican Party. (Mich.)
  • United States. Army -- Military life -- History.


  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Genealogies (histories)
  • Ledgers (account books)
  • Legal forms
  • Letters (correspondence)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Lansing (Mich.)
  • Michigan -- Politics and government
  • Old Mission Harbor (Mich.)
  • Old Mission Harbor (Mich.) -- Maps
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Personal Name(s)

  • Bagley, Bennette, 1821-1888
  • Bagley, David M., (David Mervin), 1818-1876
  • Bagley, Larry
  • Bagley, Mary R.
  • Bagley, William, 1851-1934
  • Stace, Hannah Bagley
  • Stace, William H.


  • Frontier and pioneer life -- Australia
  • Inheritance and succession
  • Journalism -- Political aspects
  • Learning and scholarship
  • Orchards -- Michigan
  • Prohibition -- United States
  • Warships -- United States

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory


Scope and Contents note

Box Folder

Genealogy of Bagley Family 

1 1

Personal Papers of Bennette Bagley 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1830-1833, 1852-1853 

1 2

Will and Estate Papers 1888 

1 3

Personal Papers of David M. Bagley 1834-1889 



Box Folder

 1854, 1857-1859 

1 4


1 5


1 6


1 7


1 8


1 9

 1872, 1876, 1889 

1 10
Box Folder

Diary 1839-1840 

1 11

Articles (manuscript) by David M. Bagley 1843-1844, 1869-1870 

1 12

Receipts 1851, 1864 

1 13

Legal Documents 

Box Folder

Apprenticeship Papers January 20, 1834 

1 14

Apprenticeship Papers January 7, 1851 

1 15

Apprenticeship Papers of Jermie Isabel Waters April 24, 1885 

1 16

Building Contract 1857 

1 17

Deeds 1872, 1873, 1876 

1 18

Summons May 14, 1870 

1 19

Tax Assessment Rolls 1866 

1 20

Tax Receipts 1876 

1 21
Box Folder

Phrenology n.d. 

1 22

Personal Papers of William Bagley 

Box Folder

Letter to Everette Sanders 1932 

1 23

Speech by William Bagley to The Old Mission Settlers Assn. June 22, 1927 

1 24

Articles for publication 1932, ca. 1930s 

1 25-26

Legal Documents 

Box Folder

Deeds and Abstracts of Land Titles 1878-1879, 1887, 1894 

1 27

Mortgages 1913, 1919 

1 28

Tax Receipts 1881-1884 

1 29

Will of George Parmelee and Proof on Probate Papers Held by William Bagley 1885 

1 30

Will and Probate Documents for Hattii Parmelee Bagley 1886 

1 31

Estate Papers of George Parmelee 1886 

1 32

Broadsides - Prohibition and Anti-prohibition Propaganda [ca. 1930s] 

1 33

Old Mission Association Records 1880, 1911, 1932 

1 34

Personal Papers of Larry Bagley 

Box Folder

Drawing of U.S. Naval ships ca. 1893 

1 35-36

Report card December 1893 and January 1894 

1 37

Miscellaneous Correspondence 

Box Folder

Correspondence of O.P. Chubb September 7, 1862 

2 1

Letters written by Hannah (Stace Bagley) Rewritten 1834-1844 

2 2

Correspondence of William H. Stace 1857-1859 

2 3

Letter from Minto January 12, 1855 

2 4

Financial Documents 

Box Folder

Ledger, Farm Diary, and Notes from a Newspaper Article 1870, 1893 

2 5

Ledger and Diary 1880 

2 6

Ledger of Peninsula Grange 1885-1902 

2 7

Ledger 1898 

2 8


Box Folder

Poetry ca. 1860s 

2 9

The Russians at the Gates (Magazine) 1885 

2 10

Return to Table of Contents »

Oversized Materials 

Personal Papers of David M. Bagley 


Dr. 45: Issues of the Lansing State Republican containing David Bagley's articles 1868-1870 


Personal Papers of William Bagley 


Dr. 45: Published article: "What Shall we do with the Deserted Pine Lands of Michigan?" 


Dr. 45: Three Plat maps of Old Mission Harbor 1879, 1886 


Personal Papers of Larry Bagley 


Dr. 45: Drawing of U.S. Naval ships ca. 1893 


Return to Table of Contents »