Jenison Family Papers
00125

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator
Jenison family, (Fredrick Cowles Jenison, 1881-1939)
Title
Jenison family papers
ID
00125
Date [inclusive]
1877-1939
Extent
4.66 Cubic feet and one oversized volume.
Language
English

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

The Jenison family resided in Lansing, Michigan and included Nelson F. Jenison (born December 18, 1855; died November 3, 1907) and his wife Alice Cowles Jenison (born October 4, 1860; died November 12, 1915); their son Frederick Cowles Jenison (born November 26, 1881; died February 12, 1939); and Frederick's second wife, Edith T. Jenison (nee Thompson), (born October 5, 1881; died April 21, 1938).

Nelson and Alice Jenison operated the Lansing Dry Goods Store at 121-123 N. Washington Ave. The Jenisons supplemented their income by means of investments; primarily in municipal bonds, but also in some stocks.

Frederick Cowles Jenison attended Michigan Agricultural College (as had his maternal grandfather, Albert Cowles, in 1857) and maintained a life long interest in the college. His interest and support was manifested in a number of ways, primarily by his financial support of the school's athletic program including some athletes. While at MAC, Frederick majored in engineering; however, his vocation was insurance sales.

On January 2, 1909, Frederick married Amy Prudden of Indianapolis, Indiana. They resided at 800 N. Washington Avenue, Lansing, Michigan until 1917, when they moved to 403 Seymour. Frederick lived at this address until his death in 1939. In 1918 Frederick and Amy divorced. Two months after the divorce, Frederick married Edith J., (the middle initial was later legally changed) of Lansing, though born in New York. Approximately one year later, Amy married Scott Turner.

A successful businessman, Frederick owned and operated the Frederick C. Jenison Insurance Agency of Lansing. The agency (staffed by Jenison and a secretary) sold general insurance and surety bonds, and was located in the Capitol National Bank Building (later called the Hollister Building). Jenison also managed the family property, the Jenison Building located at the corner of N. Washington Ave. and Ottawa St. The building was leased to the F.W. Woolworth Co. during the 1920s and 1930s. Both of these ventures proved profitable.

Jenison was not severely affected by the Depression. His federal income tax statements register only one decline: in 1930 a two percent reduction from the 1929 report. Another indication of his wealth was his cash purchase (often annually) of new cars.

Following his death in 1939, Frederick C. Jenison, having no heirs, bequeathed his entire half-million dollar estate to Michigan State College. A portion of the legacy was used to pay for the building of the Jenison Gymnasium and Fieldhouse. Another large portion of the estate was used to pay for the extensive remodeling of the school's President's House. Since the entire estate was presented in Jenison's mother's name, Alice Cowles Jenison, the President's home was named the Cowles House in her memory.

(Sources: Kuhn, Madison. Michigan State, The First Hundred Years; The MSU Press, 1957. East Lansing, Michigan; Lansing City Directory, 1938; This is Michigan State University 1975 Facts Book; Plaque in the Jenison Gymnasium and Fieldhouse; Archival Documents.)

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Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the collection consists of Frederick C. Jenison's papers for the period 1907-1939. Included are personal and business records, primarily expenditure reports. The personal correspondence includes copies of letters that Jenison sent. The papers are most complete for the 1930s, less complete for the 1920s, and rather incomplete for the period 1910-1920. One significant portion of the collection consists of check stubs, both personal and business, for most of the period 1907-1939. These check stubs include the recipient of the check, the amount of the check and the reason for which the check was written. Additionally, extensive personal bills for the 1930s are found in the collection which include some detailed, weekly grocery bills, as well as utility bills and various other household expenditures. Also, Jenison kept a record of all expenditures for his automobiles (several during the 1930s). His business papers include correspondence with the insurance companies that he represented, as well as his account records with those companies.

The Nelson F. Jenison papers document his financial activities for the period, 1877-1907. These papers include deeds, mortgages and investment records.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections December 1977

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

Revision Description

  August 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 the Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance, MSU, 1976-10-29.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Frederick C. Jenison Insurance Agency (Lansing, Mich.).
  • Lansing Dry Goods Store.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1906.
  • Michigan State University. Office of the Vice President for Business and Finance.

Genre(s)

  • Ledgers (account books)
  • Legal forms
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Lansing (Mich.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Jenison, Alice Cowles, 1860-1915
  • Jenison, Edith Thompson, 1881-1938
  • Jenison, Frederick Cowles, 1881-1939
  • Jenison, Nelson F., 1855-1907

Subject(s)

  • Insurance
  • Insurance agents
  • Legal instruments

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Collection Inventory

Frederick C. Jenison Private Papers 

Box Folder

Correspondence 

1
Box Folder

 1927 

1 1

 1929 

1 2

 1931 

1 3

1932 

1 4

 1933 

1 5

 1934 

1 6

 1935 

1 7

 1936 

1 8

1938 - 1939 

1 9

 1937 

1 10

Household Expenses 

1
Box Folder

 1926 - 1928 

1 11

1930 

1 12

 1931 

1 13

 1932 

1 14

 1933 

1 15

 1934 

1 16

 1935 

1 17

 January - August 1936 

1 18

 September - December 1936 

1 19

 January - March 1938 

1 20

 April - June 1937 

1 21

 July - September 1937 

1 22

 October - December 1937 

1 23

 January - March 1938 

2 1

 April - June 1938 

2 2

 July - September 1938 

2 3

 October - December 1938 

2 4

 1939 

2 5

 n.d. 

2 6

Check Stubs 

2
Box Folder

 September 9, 1914 - June 31, 1915 

2 7

 June 3, 1915 - December 10, 1916 

2 8

 December 15, 1915 - June 29, 1916 

2 9

 June 22, 1920 - September 19, 1921 

2 10

September 19, 1921 - March 24, 1923 

2 11

 April 12, 1923 - August 6, 1924 

2 12

 August 7, 1924 - October 24, 1925 

2 13

 November 2, 1925 - January 10, 1927 

2 14

 January 10, 1927 - February 7, 1928 

3 1

 February 9, 1928 - November 3, 1928 

3 2

 November 5, 1928 - June 22, 1929 

3 3

 June 24, 1929 - April 2, 1930 

3 4

 April 4, 1930 - November 10, 1930 

3 5

 November 13, 1930 - September 1, 1931 

3 6

 September 1, 1931 - January 7, 1932 

3 7

 January 7, 1932 - October 5, 1932 

3 8

 October 5, 1932 - March 2, 1933 

3 9

Check Receipts 

4
Box Folder

 1933 

4 1

 1934 

4 2

 1938 

4 3

 1939 

4 4

Alice C. Jenison Financial Papers 

4
Box Folder

 October 1890 

4 5

 1915 - 1916 

4 6

Nelson F. Jenison - Purchase of Rugs -- April 14, 1908 

4 7

Divorce Decree of Frederick C. and Amy Jenison -- 1918 

4 8

Death Certificate of Edith T. Jenison -- 1938 

4 9

General Note -- 1934 - 1936, n.d. 

4 10

Assorted Materials -- 1938, n.d. 

4 11

Newspaper Clippings on Nelson F. Jenison 

4 12

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Frederick C. Jenison Financial Papers 

Box Folder

Taxes 

5
Box Folder

Michigan Head Tax Statement 

5 1

Lansing 2nd Ward, City Tax Statements 

5
Box Folder

 1925, 1928 - 1931 

5 2

 1932 - 1937 

5 3

 1877 - 1879, 1881, 1883 - 1887, 1890, 1904 - 1905 

5 4

 1906 - 1910 

5 5

 1914 - 1920 

5 6

 1921 - 1928 

5 7

Lansing 4th Ward, City Tax Receipts 

5
Box Folder

 1904 - 1910 

5 8

 1916 - 1920 

5 9

 1921 - 1924 

5 10

 1925 - 1928 

5 11

 1928 - 1931 

5 12

 1932 - 1938 

5 13

 1929, 1931, 1933 

5 14

East Lansing Tax Receipts 

5
Box Folder

 1927, 1929 - 1932 

5 15

 1932 - 1938 

5 16

 Federal Income Tax 

5
Box Folder

 1916 

5 17

 1917 

5 18

 1918 

5 19

 1919 

5 20

 1920 

5 21

 1921 

5 22

 1922 

5 23

 1923 

5 24

 1924 

5 25

 1925 

5 26

 1926 

5 27

 1927 

5 28

 1928 

5 29

 1929 

5 30

 1930 

5 31

 1931 

5 32

 1932 

5 33

 1933 

5 34

 1934 

5 35

 1935 

5 36

 1936 - 1938 

5 37

Financial Records - General 

6
Box Folder

Correspondence -- 1922 - 1937 

6 1

Stocks and Bonds-E.A. Pierce 

6
Box Folder

Correspondence -- 1936, n.d. 

6 2

Credits and Debits-No Stock Named -- 1933 - 1937 

6 3

Statements -- 1932 - 1938 

6 4

Village of Case City-Michigan Water and Light -- 1898 

6 5

City of New Baltimore, Michigan -- 1902 

6 6

Drainage Bonds-Remington Dist., Wood County Wisconsin -- 1906 

6 7

City of Madison, Wisconsin-School Bonds -- 1906 - 1914 

6 8

Denver Area Irrigation Districts and Reservoir Company -- 1909, 1912 - 1914, n.d. 

6 9

Greene Canada Copper Co. -- March 14, 1912 

6 10

Pere Marquette R.R. -- 1915 - 1938 

6 11

Copper Range Co. -- June 21, 1916 

6 12

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana -- 1917 - 1938 

6 13

North Butte Mining Co. -- April 24, 1926 

6 14

U.S. Smelting Refining & Mine co. -- 1926 - 1928 

6 15

Chase National Bank -- November 29, 1927 

6 16

Central Trust Co. -- 1930 - 1937 

6 17

Cities Services -- 1931, 1937 

6 18

Capitol National Bank, Lansing -- 1932, n.d. 

6 19

4th Liberty Loan -- 1932 - 1935 

6 20

U.S. Treasury -- 1933 - 1938 

6 21

U.S. Government -- 1934 - 1935 

6 22

Motor Wheel Corporation -- 1934 - 1938 

6 23

S.S. Kresge Co. -- 1935 - 1936 

6 24

Chrysler Corp. -- 1935 - 1938 

6 25

Eastman Kodak -- 1935 - 1938 

6 26

Parke Davis -- 1935 - 1938 

6 27

Chesapeake & Ohio R.R. -- 1935 - 1938 

6 28

Pure Oil Co. -- 1936 

6 29

City National Bank -- 1936, (n.d.) 

6 30

Packard Motor Car. Co. -- 1936 - 1938 

6 31

American Telegraph and Telephone -- 1936 - 1938 

6 32

Kroger Grocery -- 1936 - 1938 

6 33

Standard Oil Co. -- 1937 

6 34

Woolworth, F.W. Co. -- 1937 - 1938 

6 35

General Motor Corp. -- May 20, 1938 

6 36

National City Bank of New York -- May 23, 1938 

6 37

International Radio Corp. -- December 30, 1938 

6 38

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Nelson F. & Frederick C. Jenison Properties 

Box Folder

Deeds, Quit Claims -- 1878, 1892, 1895 

6 39

Warranty Deeds -- 1887, 1908, 1926 

6 40

Mortgages 

6
Box Folder

Interest and Insurance Clause -- 1877, 1887 

6 41

Discharge -- 1878, 1885, 1888, 1906, 1908 

6 42

Assignment of Mortgage -- 1908 

6 43

Building Contract 

6
Box Folder

Hot Water Heating -- 1902 

6 44

City Steam Heat -- 1926 

6 45

Plumbing Contract -- (n.d.) 

6 46

Contract Selling Land on Washington Ave. to N.F. Jenison -- January 19, 1884; Lease with F.W. Woolworth Co. --- April 15, 1927 

6 47

Agreement to rebuild a wall -- 1911 

6 48

Title Abstract - Lot 348 Chesterfield Hills -- 1926 

6 49

Papers -- 1878, 1890, 1891 

6 50

Bond -- 1877 

6 51

Legal Brief for interviewing Nelson F. Jenison in case over some bonds -- 1906 

6 52

Safe Deposit Box Leases -- September 20, 1911 

6 53

Bill of Sale Frederick C. to Edith Jenison -- 1937 

6 54

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Frederick C. Jenison Business Papers 

Box Folder

Correspondence Michigan Inspectors Bureau -- 1936, 1938 

7 1

Property at Corner of Washington Ave and Ottawas Street 

7 2

State and Federal Unemployment Taxes paid -- 1937 - 1938 

7 3

State Accident Fund -- 1936, 1937 

7 4

Office Expenses 

7
Box Folder

 1929, 1931 - 1935 

7 5

 1936 - 1938, (n.d.) 

7 6

Correspondence with Phone Co. -- June 13, 1934 - November 16, 1938 

7 7

Phone Bills -- January 26, 1933 - January 11, 1939 

7 8

Office Rent -- January 1, 1932 - February 1, 1939 

7 9

Insurance Bills -- 1937 - 1938 

7 10

Michigan Audit Bureau re: Capital National Bank -- 1932 

7 11

Hartford Livestock Insurance Co.- Correspondence and Account Records -- 1934 - 1939 

7 12

Maryland Casualty Company 

7
Box Folder

Correspondence -- 1924, 1930 - 1936 

7 13

Account Records -- April 5, 1934 - April 7, 1938 

7 14

Michigan Surety Company 

7
Box Folder

Correspondence -- April 1, 1936 - April 1, 1938 

7 15

Account Records -- April 5, 1934 - April 7, 1938 

7 16

New Amsterdam Casualty Company-Correspondence and Account Records -- January 5, 1936 - March 1939 

7 17

New Hampshire Fire Insurance Co. 

7
Box Folder

Correspondence -- April 1, 1934 - April 30, 1938 

7 18

Account Records -- 1934 - 1935 

7 19

Account Records -- 1936 

7 20

Western Underwriters Assoc. Instructions -- 1936 

7 21

New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company Account Records 

8
Box Folder

 1937 

8 1

 1938 

8 2

 January - March 1939 

8 3

Aero Insurance Underwriters, Description, Blank Policy Application 

8 4

Queen Insurance Company 

8
Box Folder

Correspondence 

8
Box Folder

 1935 - 1936 

8 5

 1937 - 1938 

8 6

 

8
Box Folder

 1933 

8 7

1934 

8 8

 1935 

8 9

 January - May 1936 

8 10

 June - December 1936 

8 11

 January - June 1937 

8 12

 August - December 1937 

8 13

 January - May 1938 

8 14

 June - December 1938 

8 15

 January - April 1939 

8 16

St. Paul Insurance Company 1933 Financial Statement and Blank Application 

8 17

St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. 

8
Box Folder

Correspondence 

8
Box Folder

 1934 

8 18

 1935 

8 19

 1936 

8 20

 1937 

8 21

 1938 

8 22

Bills -- 1938 

8 23

Blank Policy and Instruction Form 

8 24

Account Records 

8
Box Folder

 September - December 1933 

8 25

 January - June 1934 

9 1

 July - December 1934 

9 2

 January - September 1935 

9 3

 September - December 1935 

9 4

 January - May 1936 

9 5

 June - December 1936 

9 6

 January - May 1937 

9 7

 June - December 1938 

9 8

 January - May 1938 

9 9

June - December 1938 

9 10

January - March 1939 

9 11

St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co. 

9
Box Folder

Correspondence 

9
Box Folder

 1934 - 1936 

9 12

 1936 - 1938, March 1939 

9 13

Account Records 

9
Box Folder

 February - October 1937 

9 14

 October - December 1937 

9 15

April - August 1938 

9 16

 September - December 1938 

9 17

Scottish Union and National Ins. Co. 

9
Box Folder

 1934 

9 18

 1935 

9 19

 1936 

9 20

 1937 

9 21

 1938 

9 22

 April 1939 

9 23

Miscellaneous -- 1930 - January 1939 

9 24

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Frederick C. Jenison Financial Papers, Private 

Box Folder

Savings Account Deposit Receipts 

10 1

Cancelled Checks -- 1937 

10 2

Safe Deposit Box Rent Receipts -- 1937 - February 1938 

10 3

Check Stubs 

10
Box Folder

 April 2, 1908 - January 2, 1909 

10 4

 March 25, 1933 - October 4, 1933 

10 5

 October 4, 1933 - July 21, 1934 

10 6

 July 19, 1934 - October 5, 1935 

10 7

 July 10, 1935 - January 26, 1937 

10 8

 January 28, 1937- March 24, 1938 

10 9

Savings Account Books (5) -- September 4, 1912 - February 2, 1939 

10 10

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Frederick C. Jenison Financial Papers, Business 

Box Folder

Deposit Slips -- March 27, 1937 - December 24, 1937 

11 1

Cancelled Checks 

11
Box Folder

 December 31, 1937 

11 2

 January 1938 

11 3

 February 1938 

11 4

 March 1938 

11 5

 April 1938 

11 6

 May 1938 

11 7

 June 1938 

11 8

 July 1938 

11 9

 August 1938 

11 10

 September 1938 

11 11

 October 1938 

11 12

 November 1938 

11 13

 December 1938 

11 14

 January 1939 

11 15

 February 1939 

11 16

Checking Account Statement 

11
Box Folder

 1931 

11 17

 1932 

11 18

 1933 

11 19

 January - March 1934 

11 20

Deposit Books 

11
Box Folder

(2) Jenison Bldg. -- September 4, 1912 - June 8, 1927 

11 21

(3) Jenison Bldg. -- July 22, 1924 - February 14, 1939 

11 22

Check Stubs 

11
Box Folder

 February 4, 1909 - March 31, 1910 

11 23

Jenison & Pattengill Ins. -- April 18, 1911 - January 10, 1912 

11 24

 April 10, 1912 - August 20, 1912 

11 25

 January 15, 1915 - October 13, 1920 

12 1

 June 9, 1916 - October 178, 1918 

12 2

 October 19, 1918 - September 8, 1920 

12 3

 September 13, 1920 - November 19, 1921 

12 4

 November 23, 1921 - July 21, 1923 

12 5

 July 23, 1923 - November 19, 1924 

12 6

 November 21, 1924 - May 20 , 1926 

12 7

 May 22, 1926 - April 7, 1928 

12 8

 April 7, 1928 - December 23, 1929 

12 9

 December 27, 1929 - April 17, 1931 

12 10

 April 20, 1931 - January 7, 1932 

13 1

 January 8, 1932 - February 17, 1933 

13 2

 March 1, 1933 - April 7, 1933 

13 3

 April 13, 1933 - March 30, 1934 

13 4

 April 13, 1933 - March 30, 1934 

13 5

 December 28, 1934 - December 31, 1937 

13 6
Box

Receipt Book, August 24, 1931 - April 15, 1939 

13
Box Folder

Fishing Licenses & Button, 1933 New York; 1934 West Virginia 

14 1
Box

Offices Accounts Ledger -- August 3, 1931 - June 21, 1933 

14

Unpaid Accounts Book -- 1939 

14

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Volumes 

Volume

vol. 1: Cash Book Ledger -- December 1934 - April 1939 

1

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Photographs 

Drawer

People. Jenison, Mrs. (Grandmother of Frederick C. Jenison) 

People Photos

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