A housewife, mother and active community member, Sadie Campbell was born in 1881 and lived at 1 Depot Street in Cheshire, Massachusetts for most of her life until she died in 1971. Sadie was closely tied to the Cheshire community where she had a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and was active in a a number of organizations, such as: the Cheshire Ladies Reading Club, the Merry Wives of Cheshire Shakespeare Club, and the Cheshire Cat Tearoom. The collection documents three generations of a western Massachusetts family. The variety and nature of the materials in this collection offer a good view into the local and social history of western Massachusetts through the lives of Sadie Campbell and her family.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Sadie Campbell
A housewife, mother and active community member, Sadie Campbell was born in 1881 and lived at 1 Depot Street in Cheshire, Massachusetts for most of her life until she died around 1970. Her parents, Augustus R. and Georgiana (Waldron) Tyrell were natives of western Massachusetts. They also resided in Cheshire but had their business in Savoy, a hill town up the road from Cheshire. Augustus Tyrell owned a woodlot and a talc mine in addition to providing legal services for family and friends. Although it is unclear if Augustus Tyrell was a lawyer, he served as executer to several estates, was involved in numerous land transactions, composed wills, and dealt with insurance claims. Sadie's mother, Georgiana, was most likely a housewife, who was very active in their small community and maintained a large social network. Georgiana's marriage to Augustus in 1880 was her second marriage although it is unclear why her first marriage, to Henry C. Platner, was dissolved.
Sadie Campbell was one of only eight women that graduated from Cheshire High School and gave the salutatory address the ceremony in 1898. She moved to North Adams, Massachusetts with her husband, George Campbell to whom she was married for nearly 25 years until she divorced him and moved back to her family home on Depot Street in Cheshire. They had two sons, Harold and Robert Leslie, who attended the local schools. Sadie Campbell was closely tied to the Cheshire community and, like her mother, had a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Those who knew her describe her as a very happy and friendly person. Judging from the number of calling calls from Campbell's friends, the women in the town of Cheshire were very friendly and worked together to organize various clubs, event and family functions. Cheshire was actually home to one of the first reading clubs in America, the Cheshire Ladies Reading Club of which Campbell was member of for several years during the 1950s. She also served as secretary of the Merry Wives of Cheshire Shakespeare Club from 1937-1941, and participated in the Cheshire Cat Tearoom which provided another outlet for the women in Cheshire. Additionally, she spent considerable time working with her church and local schools. Campbell was a prodigious cook and many of her recipes are preserved in this collection.
Both of Sadie's sons settled in New York State, with Robert Leslie Campbell working for the Portland Cement Company. Harold Campbell and his wife Thelma had two sons: Donn, a veterinarian trained at Cornell University, and Harold Jr., a land surveyor in Chappaqua for more than fifty years. In 1952, Harold Jr., married Marie Therese Christin, with whom he had three children. Sadie Campbell remained at her home in Cheshire until she died in 1971 at the age of ninety.
This collection documents three generations of a western Massachusetts family. The variety and nature of the materials in this collection offer a good view into the local and social history of western Massachusetts through the lives of Sadie Campbell and her family. By studying the family letters, household bills, invitations, account books, publications, report cards, programs, photographs, calling cards, and other printed materials, a clear picture emerges of what family life looked like in western Massachusetts throughout the century. A considerable number of documents from Augustus Tyrell's businesses are included in this collection and provide a good indication of how small business owners conducted their affairs at the turn of the century. These documents include accounts books, business correspondence, bills, bank checks, contracts, warranty deeds, insurance policies and claims, mortgages, court documents, estate and will information, quit-claim deeds and receipts. Other materials contained in the collection are various booklets, travel information, brochures, advertisements, instruction manuals, maps, town reports, recipes and cookbooks.
This collection is organized into four series:
This series contains mostly family correspondence concerning family affairs such as illnesses, jobs, travel, marriages, births and some current events. In a letter to his mother during the Great Depression, Sadie Campbell's son writes, "Plenty broke but it's the habit around here for everyone." A postcard from her cousin reveals that "the blueberry crop was a failure" and a letter to Lois Carpenter, whose relation to Sadie is unknown, denies Carpenter a Civil War pension due to her subsequent remarriage. Also included in this series are a considerable number of wedding and graduation invitations, postcards, and greeting cards.
The items in this series represent the many interests and vocations of Sadie Campbell and her family. Numerous documents relating to church are contained within the series: sermons, bible lessons, hymn cards, and church programs. The various clubs and organizations to which Campbell belonged are also represented, such as the Merry Wives of Cheshire Shakespeare Club, the Cheshire Cat Tearoom, and the Ladies Reading Club. Other miscellaneous items included in this series are Campbell's considerable recipe collection, unidentified registry books, a Tyrell family history, photographs, calling cards, report cards, souvenir books, event programs, and writing by various authors including Campbell's two sons, Harold and Leslie.
The bulk of this series contains documentation of Augustus Tyrell's, Sadie Campbell's father, business transactions. His business consisted of timber and talc sales and he did a considerable amount of business with Williams Manufacturing Company in Northampton, Massachusetts. This series includes records of Tyrell's land sales, business correspondence, bank checks, account books (dating back as far as 1812), receipts, checkbooks, patents and business licenses. Additionally, there are numerous warranty deeds, quit-claim deeds, contracts, mortgages, and insurance policies and claims, the majority of which belong to Tyrell. This series also includes information regarding the estate of Merila Daniels (Tyrell's aunt), tax receipts, a rental agreement between Sadie and her son, Robert, and other miscellaneous bills of Sadie Campbell and others.
This series contains printed material collected by Sadie Campbell including pamphlets and brochures covering a variety of topics: pet care, agriculture, healthcare, instruction manuals, insurance information, travel, and food preparation. Additionally, there are numerous religious publications such as Picture Lesson Paper, the New Testament, publications from the American Baptists' Society, bible lessons from the Scholars Quarterly, and other religious publications. This series also includes a town report of Cheshire, Massachusetts, newspaper clippings, catalogs, music lyrics, literary publications, a teaching manual, war ration books, and a W.C.T.U. cookbook.
Hand-copied instance of Ballou's famous July 14, 1861 letter to his wife. Most likely copied by a female member of the Campbell family sometime after its first publication in Brown University in the Civil War in 1868.
Letters from classmates.
Sadie Campbell's cousin.
Sadie Campbell's cousin.
Addressed to various people.
Includes clippings in an envelope attached to the back of photograph.
Regarding land sales.
Published by Boy Scouts of America.
Published by John Hancock Insurance Company.
Published by Agricultural National Bank
Published by the American Tract Society.
Republished by the Youth Companion.
Published by Armour and Company.
Includes loose contents of Sadie Campbell's W.C.T.U. cookbook.
Acquired from Louise Webb and Althea Church.
Processed by Dominique Tremblay and Meghan Fahey, December 2005.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Sadie Campbell Papers (MS 439). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.