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Fordtran Family Collection


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2 OV

Oversize Drawer 40

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Fordtran Family Collection, 1908-circa 1965 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Fordtran Family Collection, 1908-circa 1965

Predominant Dates:1930s and 1940s

ID: RHC/RC/330

Extent: 1.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 01/30/2013. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Fordtran Family, Home Economics, Northern Illinois State Teachers College, Northern Illinois University, Rockford High School, Winnebago County (Ill)

Languages: English, German

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Fordtran Family Collection contains materials of the Fordtran/Wherley/Barkley family. The items were among the personal effects of Lola Belle (Barkley) and Eugene Fordtran. Material related to Rockford High School is a large part of the collection and includes student published periodicals and newsletters when Fred and Marie Barkley (1908-09) and Dorthy Wherley (1945) attended the school. The collection also contains records related to Lola Belle (Barkley) Fordtran’s attendance at Northern Illinois State Teachers College (NISTC) from 1938-1942. These materials include NISTC publications, catalogues, and programs as well as Lola Belle’s registration forms, room contacts, class assignments, and textbooks. The collection also includes photographs. Two from 1920 capture Wherley family members: Norman, Mary, Bertha, and Ruben Gunther, Sr. The 1940s photo shows Lorayne Wherley with her bowling league group. Also included are writing samples of Frances Conklin French. F.C. French was an alias used by Peggy French, a dear friend of Lola Belle.

Collection Historical Note

Eugene H. Fordtran was born in Fayette, Texas on August 25, 1912. He attended Northern Illinois University in the 1930s and graduated with a degree in chemistry. Eugene married Lola Belle Barkley in Palatine, on April 19, 1958. Eugene passed away in July 1977 at his home he shared with Lola Belle in Villa Park, IL. Lola Belle stayed in Villa Park until late in life when she went to live at Park Strathmoor Nursing Home in Rockford where she passed away at the age of 72 on August 26, 1992. Lola Belle was born in Rockford on June 20, 1920. She graduated from Harlem High School in 1938 and Northern Illinois Teachers College with a degree in home economics in 1942. She taught at Burr Oak School and Harlem High School until 1945 when she was hospitalized for one year with polio. She substituted in the Harlem School District after her hospitalization. Lola Belle was a member of NIU Alumni Association and supported many charities, including the Brookfield Zoo. She was also interested genealogy. Lola Belle and her mother, Marie Barkley, were involved in Help-One-Another Circle, a women's social and philanthropy club based in Harlem Township (Illinois), from 1919 to 1959. Family genealogy: Lynette and Judy Wherley are nieces of  Eugene and Lola Belle (Barkley) Fordtran. Fred and Marie Barkley are Lola Belle’s parents. Dorothy Marie (Barkley) Wherley is Lola Belle’s sister, Eugene Fordtran’s sister-in-law, and Reuben Gunther Wherley, Sr.’s daughter-in-law. Lorayne Wherley is Lynette’s and Judy’s aunt, Dorothy’s sister-in-law, and Reuben Gunther, Jr’s sister. Bertha Wherley is Reuben Gunther, Sr’s wife and Reuben, Jr’s mother. Harold Sherman is Dorothy and Lola Belle’s uncle.

Subject/Index Terms

Fordtran Family
Home Economics
Northern Illinois State Teachers College
Northern Illinois University
Rockford High School
Winnebago County (Ill)

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Accruals: Additional materials were donated on January 29, 2014; November 24, 2015; and Novemeber 22, 2017.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights to the materials belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights in the collection are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Lynette and Judy Wherley

Acquisition Method: donated the Fordtran family records to the Regional History Center on January 31, 2013.

Related Materials: RC 349 Help-One-Another Circle. For more information please see http://archon.lib.niu.edu/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=2113.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2 OV],
[Oversize Drawer 40],

Box 1
Grouping 1: Rockford High School
Folder 1: The Owl (v20:nos2-3, 5-8), 1908-1909
Folder 2: Thirty-first Commencement Program, 1915
Folder 3: The Harlem Pepper, 1945
Grouping 2: Northern Illinois State Teachers College
Folder 4: NISTC Quarterly, Aug-38
Folder 5: Programs and Dedications, 1938-1943
Folder 6: The Northern Alumnus, 1942-1943
Folder 7: Lola Barkley registration and room contract, 1938, 1940
Folder 8: Lola Barkley class assignments, 1941-1942
Folder 9: Lola Belle Barkley, teaching certificates, contracts, and scholarships, 1942-1954
Folder 10: NIU Alumni Association holiday card, circa 1965
Folder 11: Photograph, Lorayne Wherley and bowling league group at The Wagon Wheel (Rockton, IL), 1940s
Folder 12: Francis Conklin French, 1958, n.d.
Volume 1: NISTC Annual Catalogue, 1938-1939
Volume 2: Food Preparation Studies, (1938)
Volume 3: Workbook In Home Making, (1932)
Volume 4: Fundamentals of Textiles: A Workbook, (1937)
Box 2 OV
Folder 1: Christening certificate for Reuben Gunther, 1911
Language: German
Item 1-2: Rockford High School banners
Item 3-4: “High School’s Largest Class Reaches Goal of Graduation”, The Rockford Register, June 18, 1915
Oversize Drawer 40
Folder 18
Item 1: Photograph, Fifth Annual Picnic Thayer Action Mutual Benefit Association, Ho-No-Ne-Gah Park (Rockton, IL), Jun 26, 1920
Note: photo is being flattened in Drawer OV5
Item 2: Photograph, Second Annual Picnic, Mechanics Machine Co., Rockford Drop Forge Co., Mechanics Tool Co., Tarkington Motor Car Co., Waisner Manufacturing Co., BackhawkPark, August 28, 1920
Note: photo is being flattened in Drawer OV5

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2 OV],
[Oversize Drawer 40],

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