Zee and Schober Families Papers
00215

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator
Schober family
Creator
Zee family
Title
Zee and Schober families papers
ID
00215
Date [inclusive]
1908-1987
Extent
7.5 Cubic feet
Language
English
Language of Materials
Some of the materials are in German.

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/Historical

JAMES AND MARY CASSADAY ZEE

James Zee was born July 23, 1868 in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He was the son of Irish and German immigrants. On June 15, 1907 he married Mary Cassaday. Together they had two children, James Wilmer Zee and Rebecca C. Zee (born August 24, 1911).

Zee operated a dairy farmer on New Freedom Road in Monroeville, New Jersey. He was a member of the Bible Protestant Church of Hardingville, Upper Pittsgrove Board of Education, P.O.S. of A., and Zelo Lodge No. 149, Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) of Elmer, N.J.

James Zee died June 27, 1951.

Mary Cassaday Zee was born on February 14, 1873. Her ancestors emigrated from London, England to Rhode Island in 1640. In 1685 they settled in Cumberland County in southern New Jersey. Her family also had farm land in Salem County, New Jersey

She died on June 13, 1956.

JAMES WILMER ZEE

James Wilmer Zee, son of James and Mary Cassaday Zee, was born in Hardingville, New Jersey on July 2, 1908. He took over the family farm but soon decided he did not want to be a dairy farmer. In 1944, he began a farming operation (Zee Orchards) in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Zee started with 64 acres of fruit trees and eventually expanded it to 700 acres. He designed and built cold storage buildings and a hydrocooler for the orchard without assistance from architects or engineers.

During the Great Depression, Zee performed many odd jobs, including growing tomatoes for the Campbell Soup Company and delivering fuel oil. He had contracts with the United States for Prisoner of War labor. German P.O.W.s assisted with the fruit harvests. After returning to Germany, some of the P.O.W.s wrote letters to the Zees thanking them for their kindness and requesting care packages.

Zee was a member of several local organizations, including Richwood Church (1945-1987), New Jersey Farm Bureau, New Jersey Apple Institute (trustee), N.J. Horticultural Society, Mullica Hill Grange, Pomona Grange No. 51, National Peach Council, Upper Pittsgrove Board of Education, Board of Directors, Elmer Community Hospital, and the Monroeville Fire Company.

James Wilmer Zee died December 24, 1987.

ELSIE SCHOBER ZEE

Elsie Emilie Schober, daughter of William and Gertrude Schober, was born on September 16, 1909 in Monroeville, New Jersey. She was their only child to complete high school. After graduation from Glassboro High School, she attended Glassboro State Normal School to obtain a teaching degree. While at GSNS, Elise began a courtship with James Wilmer Zee. Following graduation in 1929, Elsie began teaching seventh grade at Aura School in New Jersey. In July 1931 Elise married James Wilmer Zee. Together they had four children, including Margaret Eileen Zee (Jones).

In addition to teaching, Elsie supervised packing at the Zee orchard, was a member of the PTA and the Gloucester County (N.J.) African Violet Society, and taught Sunday school. Elsie kept meticulous diaries, documenting her life in rural New Jersey and trips taken to California and Florida.

Elsie S. Zee died October 15, 1989.

WILLIAM AND GERTRUDE SCHOBER

William (Wilhelm) Frederick Schober was born March 2, 1872 in Rechau, Germany, a small town near Oschatz. In 1891 he immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There he met Gertrude Marie Noll (born September 8, 1873), a fellow German immigrant. The two were married in 1893 and, in 1897, relocated to Monroeville, New Jersey. Eight children were born of the union. All of their children were born in their Monroeville, New Jersey home.

Schober planted his first orchard in 1915. Over the decades, it grew from 40 to 235 acres, spread over Salem and Gloucester Counties. In 1930 he was named Master Farmer of the State of New Jersey, an honor bestowed on few people. Throughout his life he was an active member of the Monroeville Methodist Church and in many organizations, including the New Jersey Farm Bureau, the N.J. Horticultural Society, and the Grange. From 1946 to 1949, Schober kept in close contact with his relatives in Germany and frequently sent care packages.

William Schober died June 27, 1949. He was proceeded in death by his wife, Gertrude (August 12, 1941).

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Scope and Content

This collection consists of memorial books, correspondence, diaries, notebooks, school materials, scrapbooks, Elsie Zee’s teaching materials, family photographs, and genealogical papers. James Wilmer Zee and Elsie Schober Zee’s courtship love letters are also included. There are also post-World War II letters to Elsie Schober Zee and William (Wilhelm) Schober from family members in Germany and from former German P.O.W.s who worked for the Zees. The letters are in German. Many were translated into English by William Schober, who dictated the translations to his daughter, Elsie. Later translations were done by another family member.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections January 2012

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824
517-355-2330
archives@msu.edu

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. A portion of the collection is restricted. Archivist should see the processing note for details.

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.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

See also: Margaret Zee Jones papers (UA 17.144).

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Diaries
  • Genealogies (histories)
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Notebooks
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Programs (Publications)
  • Reports
  • Scrapbooks

Personal Name(s)

  • Jones, Margaret Zee
  • Jones, Margaret Zee

Subject(s)

  • Child rearing
  • Depressions -- 1929 -- United States
  • Farm life
  • Orchards
  • World War, 1939-1945

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Collection Inventory

ZEE AND SCHOBER FAMILIES 1908-1989 

Gertrude Marie Noll Schober 

Box Folder

Memorial book 1941 

3 18

William (Wilhelm) Frederick Schober 

Box Folder

Letters from Franz & Marichen Gierisch 1946-1949 

6 1

Letters from family in Germany (not translated) 1947-1949 

6 2

Letters from Martin Schober (Herman’s son) 1948-1949 

6 3

Letters from Oswald Henker (schoolmate of W.S.) 1948 

6 4

Letters from Frithjof Henker (Oswald’s son) 1947-1949 

6 5

Letter from Max Schober (Heinrich’s son) 1947 

6 6

“Last Day of Papa’s Life” by Elsie S. Zee June 27, 1949 

6 7

“The Master Farmer Awards for 1930” 

4 1

Master Farmer scrapbook pages 1930 

4 2

Auto insurance policy 1931 

4 3

Letters from Curt Schober 1947-1948 

4 4

Letters from Martha Bergmann 1947-1948 

4 5

Letters from Anna Wolfgram (mother of POW Heinz Wolfgram) 1948 

4 6

Letters from Karl Schober 1948 

4 7

Memorial book 1949 

4 8

Funeral sympathy cards and attendance list 1949 

4 9

Last will and testament 1946 

4 10

Death certificate 1951 

4 10

Correspondence Undated 

4 11

Elsie Schober Zee & William Schober 

Box Folder

Family letters from Germany (with translations dictated to ESZ by WS) 1946-1949 

6 11-12

Translations of POW letters from Germany, by Tina Schober (translations, 1987) Circa 1946 

6 13

Family letters from Germany (with translation dictated to ESZ by WS) 1946-1948 

2 17

Elsie Schober Zee 

Box Folder

Baptismal certificate (copy) September 16, 1909 

6 8

Stock certificate – Glassboro (N.J.) State Normal Student & Alumni Camping Association 1928 

6 9

Forest Grove School. Plan Book (with student grades & seating chart - Restricted) 1930-1931 

6 10

“New Jersey” assignment Circa 1920s 

1 1

Valentines Circa 1920s 

1 2

Eighth grade assignments & commencement program (handwritten), Monroeville School (N.J.) 1921 

1 3

Christmas cards 1922-1930 

1 4

GHS - Biology notes 1923 

1 5

Silas Mariner essay Undated 

1 5

Review of Elementary Subjects Workbook Circa 1923-1924 

1 6

Rules for punctuation notes Circa 1923-1924 

1 6

Latin notebooks 1923-1924 

1 7

Sesquicentennial Memorabilia, Philadelphia, PA October 3, 1926 

1 8

GHS - Cooking notebook & assignments 1926-1927 

1 9

Composition books 1926-1927 

1 10

“Graduation Memories” scrapbook 1927 

1 11

Washington D.C. trip memorabilia 1927 

1 12

Photographs Undated 

1 12

Glassboro State Normal School - Biology Notes 1927 

1 13

GSNS “Correlated Handwriting: Complete Teachers’ Manual 1927-1931 

1 14

Notebooks: 1. Garden State Fair October 1928; 2. Costs – Home Renovation, 1931 

1 15

Programs 1928-1931 

1 16

Love letters to James Wilmer Zee 1928 

1 17

GSNS English assignments and notes March 30, 1928 

1 18

GSNS “Dear Pal” daily journal assignments April 1928 

1 19

Correspondence 1929 

1 20

GSNS notes, various classes Circa 1929 

1 21

GSNS “Secrets” papers; notes for various classes 1929 

1 22

Student grade book (student teaching? - Restricted); spelling book 1929 

1 23

GSNS grades & achievement certificate Undated 

1 24

Photos of GSNS classmates 

1 25

GSNS yearbook “The Oak” 1929 

1 26

Teacher contracts 1929-1930 

1 27

N.J. State Teachers’ Association annual conventions 1929-1930 

1 28

Plan Book. Aura School (N.J.), Seventh grade 1929-1930 

1 29

Notebook (spiritual, trips, etc.) 1929, 1937-1938 

Box
1
Folder
30

Trip to Florida from N.J. scrapbook December 23, 1930-January 4, 1931 

1 31

Trip to Florida from N.J. scrapbook – correspondence & diary December 23, 1930-January 4, 1931 

1 32

Trip to Florida from N.J. scrapbook #2 December 23, 1930-January 4, 1931 

1 33-34

Notebooks Circa 1930s-1960s 

1 35

Wedding scrapbook July 1931 

1 36

Teacher’s Contract April 28, 1931 

2 1

Letter to teachers December 1, 1931 

2 1

Bank statements and canceled checks 1932 

2 2

Accounts of children’s births (James Wilmer Zee, Jr. 9/13/1932; Margaret Eileen Zee 6/24/1934; Douglas Schober Zee 5/15/1941) 1932-1941 

2 3

Pregnancy Notebook 1932 

2 4

Correspondence 1932-1949 

2 5

Journal entries January 1933 

2 6

Cards to William Schober Circa 1936-1946 

2 7

Visitor log for Wilmer Zee during hospitalization Circa 1937-1938 

2 8

Richwood United Methodist Church reports 1937-1945 

2 9

PTA notebooks, membership cards, “History of the Salem County Council of Parents and Teachers” 1937-1939 

2 10

PTA materials and thank you letter 1938-1949 

2 11

“Morning Cheer: Favorite Radio Songs and Poems” 1943 

2 12

Correspondence with Howard and Marie Eifert 1943-April 1944 

2 13

Diary of Relocation to Richwood, N.J. February 2-9, 1944 

2 14

Correspondence with Howard and Marie Eifert May 1944-July 1945 

2 15

Correspondence from “Peggy” (MZJ) May 1946 

2 16

Envelopes from family letters (from Germany) 1946-1948 

2 18

Letter from Walter Seyffert (a translator in Germany) 1947 

2 19

Letters from former German POWs 1947-1948 

2 20

Correspondence to William Schober 1949 

2 21

Condolences (death of William Schober) 1949 

2 22

Gloucester County (N.J.) African Violet Society records April 1950 

2 23

Wedding photo (James Wilmer Zee, Jr.?) Circa 1950s 

2 24

National Apple Institute Annual Tour, Yakima, WA. June 14, 1952 

2 25

Correspondence 1952-1988 

2 26

Notebook: Richwood Church Records, 1951-1958; MZJ’s Apple Queen crowning, October 28, 1952 1951-1958 

2 27

Church correspondence 1954-1966 

2 28

Monroeville M.E. Church, 100th Anniversary June 8, 1958 

2 29

Faith studies notebook 1958 

2 30

Open house tour, Glassboro celebration of N.J.’s centenary 1964 

2 31

Loose materials – “Back of the Bible collection” 1980s-2010, Undated 

2 32-33

Memory Quilt newspaper clipping – 50th wedding anniversary of Elsie S. and Wilmer Zee July 2, 1981 

2 34

Retirement from Sunday school teaching 1984 

2 35

Funeral service/eulogies [restrict – SS#] 1989 

2 36

Richwood society column newspaper clipping Undated 

2 37

Church notebook Undated 

2 38

Family obituaries (newspaper clippings) 

2 39

Memorabilia 

2 40

Holy Bible, with notes 

2 41

Appointment book 1953 

2 43

Wilmer and Elsie Zee 50th anniversary (?), photos 1981 

3 14

Elsie S. Zee scrapbooks 

Box

Scrapbook (misc.) 

10

Florida trip (folder with photo) 1930-1931 

10

Get well cards (appendicitis) August 1943 

11

American Farm Bureau trip to San Francisco, CA 1946 

9

Ephemera – ESZ & James Zee Circa 1929-1930 

9

Schober and Zee families 

Box Folder

Photo collection and other family materials on DVD/CD ROM 

3 15

Heinrich Schober family photos 

3 16

Schober genealogy 

3 17

Cassaday/Zee family 

Box Folder

Cards 

4 23

James Zee 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1911, Undated 

4 12

Memorial book 1951 

4 13

Mary Cassaday Zee 

Box Folder

Diaries 1944-1945 

4 14

Diaries 1946-1947 

4 15

Diary 1948 

4 16

Diaries 1953-1954, 1956 

4 17

Selected diary transcripts 1944-1945 

4 18

Selected diary transcripts 1946-1948 

4 19

Selected diary transcripts 1949-1954 

4 20

Memorial book – clippings 1956 

4 21

Memorial book 1956 

4 22

Mary C. Zee scrapbooks 

Box

Cards (fragile) Circa 1908-1909 

8

Postcards (fragile) Circa 1908-1909 

8

Postcards scrapbook (#1) Circa 1908-1909 

7

Postcards scrapbook (#2) Circa 1908-1909 

7

James Wilmer Zee 

Box Folder

Early European History Circa 1920s 

4 24

Bookkeeping Circa 1920s 

4 25

General Science Circa 1920s 

4 26

English notebook Circa 1920s 

4 27

Geography & History notebooks Circa 1920s 

4 28

Boy Scouts and 4-H 1920-1930 

4 29

Shorthand 1922-1923 

4 30

Physics 1924 

4 31

Shorthand 1924-1925 

4 32

Love letters to Elsie Schober 1928-1929 

4 33

Insurance policies 1932-1935 

4 34

Agriculture correspondence 1933-1936 

4 35

Correspondence and memorabilia 1934-1964 

4 36

Cards and correspondence 1936-1950 

5 12

Work materials – correspondence, notes, maps, etc. 1938 

6 14

Invoices and work contracts 1938-1971 

4 37

Cashbook – Fuel oil delivery January 1942 

4 38

Salem County (N.J.) Board of Education Dinner meeting March 10, Circa 1943-1944 

4 39

Dog licenses 1943-1950 

4 40

War rations 1944-1945 

5 1

War rations – correspondence 1944-1947 

5 2

Contracts for Prisoner of War labor 1945 

5 3

Richwood Lodge No. 243 membership 1948-1949 

5 4

Candidate for Freeholder, Harrison Township (N.J.) April 21, 1964 

5 5

Candidate for Freeholder newspaper clippings 1964 

5 6

Newspaper clippings 1971-1987 

5 7

Funeral memorial book and sympathy cards 1987 

5 8

Funeral – Eulogy, attendance list, and bulletins 1987 

5 9

Funeral correspondence 1987-1988 

5 10

Memorabilia 

5 11

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RESTRICTED 

Computer Disks 1990-2003 

Box
6

ESZ diaries - 1958, WP5.1 format 

ESZ diaries – 1957 transcription 

MCZ diaries – 1944-1947; MCZ notes (transcriptions) 

ESZ Diaries 1946, 1957 (Partial) – Word perfect 5.1 

ESZ Diaries 1946, 1957 (with list [for both]) 

ESZ Diary 1959 with list 

ESZ Diary 1960 with list 

ESZ Diary 1961 with list 

ESZ Diaries 1961 and 1965, saved as 5.1 wpd 

ESZ Diary 1965 with list 

ESZ Diaries 1958 Jan-Oct 

ESZ Diaries 1966 

ESZ Diaries 1966-1970, wp6.1 [5 disks] 

ESZ Diaries 1968 

ESZ Diaries 1959, 1960 – [name] info redlined 

Elsie S. Zee diaries 

Box Folder

 1946 

2 42

 1957 

2 44

 1958 

3 1

 1959 

3 2

 1960 

3 3

 1961 

3 4

 1962 

3 5

 1963 

3 6

 1964 

3 7

 1965 

3 8

 1966 

3 9

 1967 

3 10

 1967 

3 11

 1969 

3 12

 1970 

3 13
Box

Flash drive: Elsie S. Zee & Mary C. Zee diaries (transcripts) – approximately 2400 pages 

6

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