Towar Family Collection

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Towar, Jennie Ann
Towar family collection
Date [inclusive]
1.0 Cubic feet 0.66 cubic feet, 12 volumes (in box 2)

Preferred Citation

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."

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Biographical Note

Jennie Towar was born December 5, 1865 in Meridian township, Ingham County, Michigan. She was the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. George Towar, who pioneered Bath township in 1849 and developed a large parcel of land north of East Lansing, Towar Gardens. In 1886, Towar graduated from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) with a Bachelor of Science degree. She married Charles S. Whitmore, a farmer, in 1889. They had one son, Maurice Towar Whitmore. Following Whitmore's death in 1899, Towar married James A. Woodard. Jennie Towar Whitmore Woodard died in 1957.

James DeLoss Towar, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Towar and Jennie's brother, was born September 26, 1863. He was an early graduate of M.A.C. and a member of the first football team in 1884. James Towar taught agriculture courses at Rhode Island State College, was the Agriculturalist of the Experiment Station for his alma mater, served as principal of Roseworthy Agricultural School in Australia, and was the President of the University of Wyoming for two months in 1908. In 1933, he wrote the book History of the City of East Lansing for the East Lansing Public Library. According to the introduction to his book, he was responsible for the creation of a bike path on Michigan Avenue, stretching from Lansing to the college; he began the movement to establish a district school for the community; and he helped organize the city and suggested the name "East Lansing." James Towar died in 1947.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection contains the correspondence of Jennie Towar Woodard to various family members as well as correspondence from those family members. The bulk of this correspondence prior to the second World War came from her brother, James D. Towar. The letters of the latter half of the collection are from nieces and nephews. In general the letters are chatty and relate little of the social or economic condition of the times. One exception to this are the letters from James during World War II, while he lived in Los Angeles, California. These letters provide some insight into the war economy as well as the war society in Southern California.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

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

Revision Description

  March 2002

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

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

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

Gift of Madison Kuhn, 1973-02-07.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Daughters of the American Revolution.
  • East Lansing Woman's Club.

Family Name(s)

  • Towar family, (Jennie Towar Woodard)


  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Diaries
  • Ledgers (account books)
  • Legal instruments
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Postcards

Geographic Name(s)

  • California -- Social life and customs

Personal Name(s)

  • Gilchrist, Maude
  • Towar, Elivra D.
  • Towar, James D.
  • Towar, John D.


  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Economic aspects -- California
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- United States

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Collection Inventory



Box Folder


1 1


1 2


1 3


1 4

 1926, 1929 

1 5


1 6


1 7

 1942, 1943, 1945 

1 8

 January - June 1946 

1 9

 July - December 1946 

1 10

 January - March 1947 

1 11

 April - June 1947 

1 12

 July - September 1947 

1 13

 October - December 1947 

1 14


1 15


1 16


1 17


1 18

 January - June 1952 

1 19

 July - December 1952 

1 20


1 21


1 22


1 23-26
Box Folder

John D. Towar Correspondence -- 1915, 1946 

1 27

Elivra Towar Correspondence -- 1911-1914 

1 28

vol. 1: Receipt/Ledger Book 


vol. 1-12: Diaries and Autograph books 

Box Folder

Probate: Estate of George M. Towar, 1911 

2 1

Real Estate 

2 2-3

Financial Papers - Woodward farm 

2 4


2 5

Financial - Tax 

2 6


2 7

Newspaper Clippings 

2 8

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Oversized Materials 


Daughters of the American Revolution membership certificate 1925 

Drawer Folder

State Agricultural College diploma awarded to Jennie Ann Towar 1886 

21 1

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Scope and Contents note

(Towar Family collection)




LC Photo 37


LC Photo 37


LC Photo 37

Homes (2) 

LC Photo 37

Homes. Interiors 

LC Photo 37

Organizations. Ladies of the Maccabees 

LC Photo 37

Organizations. East Lansing Womans Club 

LC Photo 37

People. Gilchrist, Maude 

LC Photo 37

People. Groups (3) 

LC Photo 37

People. Patch, Bill 

LC Photo 37

People. Towar, J.D. 

LC Photo 37

People. Unidentified 

LC Photo 37

People. Woodard, Jennie Towar 

LC Photo 37

Scenes. Unidentified 

LC Photo 37


People Photos

People. Towar, J.D. 

People. Towar, Jennie 

People. Towar, Perry G. 


CDV Photos

People. Towar, Jennie A. 

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Agriculture. Harvesting 

Colorado. Garden of the Gods 

England. Chester 

France. Nice 

Hawaii. Honolulu 

Michigan. Lansing 

Minnesota. Park Rapids 

National Parks. Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful 

New York. Ontario County. Farm of Joseph Smith 

New York. Pottersville. Schroon Lake 

People. Unidentified 


Vermont. Windsor County. Birthplace of Joseph Smith