Ellwood Family Collection (DeKalb), 1820-1978
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Brief Description:

Series one, family papers, holds published and unpublished histories of the family, genealogical charts and research files, a wide range of legal documents, memorabilia, and personal correspondence of family members. This series provides a detailed record of family relationships and activities, especially during the 1835-1915 period. It is the largest extant collection of Ellwood family documents available to researchers.

The I. L. Ellwood manufacturing business, series two, represent only a small portion of the records which have been preserved: the main body of these documents are in the Western Manuscripts Collection of the University of Wyoming. The records of Ellwood Manufacturing Company’s successor, American Steel and Wire Company, have been preserved in Harvard University’s Baker Library. Still, the primary documents in this series are important since they document the formation of the wire trust and the litigation between the major parties involved in a struggle for control of the industry (1873-1898).

The third series documents the establishment and operation of Will Ellwood’s Percheron draft horse breeding business in DeKalb, 1885-1900. Correspondence, sales records, and catalogs may be found in this series, although much of the correspondence (especially the letterbooks) is badly deteriorated.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at] niu.edu
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/001
Volume: 12.25 Linear Feet
Acquired: 10/00/1965. Mrs. Patience Towle added materials to the collection in 1978 as did Professor Earl W. Hayter in 1979.
Arrangement: The Ellwood Collection contains three series of records: (l) family papers, (2) wire manufacturing business records, (3) Percheron horse business records.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Subject Index
American Steel and Wire Company
Barbed Wire
Bridgewater Gas Company
Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919
Draft horses- Percheron
Ellwood, Isaac L.
Ellwood House
Ellwood Wire & Nail
Gary, Elbert
Gates, John W.
Gurler, Henry B.
Gurler, Lulu May
Miller, Henry
Miller, William A.
Steel industry and trade.
Washburn-Moen Manufacturing
World War I
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.
Acquisition Notes: heirs of the Isaac L. Ellwood Estate, Mrs. Patience Towle,  Professor Earl W. Hayter  The Ellwood Collection came to Northern Illinois University in October 1965, as a gift from the heirs of the Isaac L. Ellwood Estate.