Jump to Navigation

McEntire-Brooke Family Papers, 1758-1982

Manuscript collection no. 426




Residents of Ohio; southeast Iowa; Topeka, Kansas.  Diaries, correspondence, genealogical information (1745-1982), a business history, account books, trip diaries, a commercial lease, addresses, memoranda, schoolwork, certificates, statements, and other documents pertaining to the McEntire, Brooke, Power, Taylor, Nash, and related families and the Duplex Spring Bed Company, later McEntire Brothers, of Muscatine and Burlington, Iowa, and Topeka, Kansas. Also includes a school notebook by Hezekiah Bissell, 1758-60; a prescription formulary, 1834; a statement from Forbes Brothers, Topeka, Kansas; a diary of George W. Howell, 1935; and publications, 1922-1965.




7 in. (2 boxes); 1 microfilm reel


McEntire-Brooke Family Papers (1745-1982)


Ms. collection no. 426 (MC 426)


Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)


Family overview

The Brooke and McEntire families were joined by the marriage of Mabel Laura Brooke and George Power McEntire on 15 October 1908 in Grantville, Kansas. Both families had roots in central Ohio: George P. McEntire's maternal line, the Power Family, lived in Delaware County before moving to southeast Iowa and thence to Kansas, and several generations of the Brooke Family were from Fairfield County. Earlier members of the Power Family came from Kentucky and western Virginia (now West Virginia), and other members of both families–including most of the McEntire line-lived in Pennsylvania.

Researchers interested in detailed family-history information should consult Family Notebooks, 1862-1982, compiled by Carol (McEntire) Jones (subgroup V), and the sources listed at the end of this finding aid. Biographical sketches of some of the creators of papers in this collection are included below. An "NSDAR Ancestral Chart" prepared by Carol Jones showing direct ancestors of George Power McEntire and Mabel Laura (Brooke) McEntire has been filmed after this finding aid and its appendixes.

Biographical sketches

Hezekiah Bissell: Virtually nothing is known of Hezekiah Bissell; the name was fairly common in colonial New England. Internal evidence from the volume in the collection suggests that he may have been studying to be a seaman or navigator. His name does not appear in any of the genealogical information in this collection.

John Hamilton Power: John H. Power was born on 15 March 1798 in Montgomery County, Kentucky. He married Mary Beard on 13 September 1827 in Washington Bottoms, Virginia (now West Virginia). His calling was that of a Methodist Episcopal minister in Ohio, based in Chillicothe and later Cincinnati. He was also a "circuit rider" and traveled to small, rural Methodist Episcopal churches in Ohio and surrounding States. During his travels, he enthusiastically promoted books and tracts for the Methodist Book Concern and other publishing agencies. For part of this time, he was also a presiding elder. He was also a trustee of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant. In 1857, he and his family moved to Iowa to minister in Burlington. He was the father of George N. Power, L. E. Power (later McEntire), Louis B. Power, John C. Power, and possibly three other daughters. Transcriptions of family sources say he died 25 January 1872, but published biographical sketches give the year of his death as 1873.

Matilda E. (Brown) Power: Mattie E. Brown grew up in Mount Pleasant, Ohio—probably the Jefferson County community by that name—and left home circa 1855 to teach at a girls' school in Cincinnati. On 12 August 1856 she married George N. Power, son of John H. and Mary (Beard) Power and moved with the Power family to Iowa, where George held a pastorate at Mount Pleasant.

Carol Brooke (McEntire) Jones: Carol McEntire, a daughter of George Power and Mabel Laura (Brooke) McEntire, was born 12 April 1920. She married Omar Jones 18 June 1942. They had three children: Carla Elizabeth, Daniel Power, and Martin Neal. They live outside Topeka, Kansas.

Richard Simeon McEntire: R. S. McEntire was born 18 September 1833 in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, one of nine children of John and Drusilla (Mason) McEntire. On 2 January 1866 he married Lydia Elizabeth Power. They had two sons, George Power McEntire and Ralph Neal McEntire, both of whom later assumed the family business. R. S. McEntire began as a furniture maker, but later specialized in beds, first in Muscatine, Iowa, then in Burlington, Iowa, from about 1869 through 1887. In that year, he moved the Duplex Spring Bed Company to Topeka, Kansas; the firm was later renamed McEntire Brothers and has become noted for the mattresses it manufactures. He died 14 June 1897 in Topeka.

Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire: L. E. Power was born 7 March 1843 in Delaware County, Ohio, to John H. and Mary (Beard) Power. She moved to Muscatine, Iowa, in 1857 with her family and married R. S. McEntire on 2 January 1866. In 1888, after her husband's business began thriving in Topeka, Kansas, she and her sons, George and Ralph, moved there. She was undoubtedly involved with the family business with her husband and sons and was also active in the support of First Methodist Episcopal church (now First United Methodist church) in Topeka and Methodist missions. She died 19 May 1926 in Topeka.

George Power McEntire: George P. McEntire was born 29 August 1869 in Muscatine, Iowa, to R. S. and L. E. (Power) McEntire. At an early age, his father moved the family furniture and bed-making business to Burlington, Iowa, and in 1887 to Topeka, Kansas. After his father had successfully established the company in Topeka, George, his mother, and brother Ralph moved to Kansas in 1888. George attended Topeka public schools. He and his brother assisted their father and later assumed ownership of the family firm. George married Mabel Laura Brooke on 15 October 1908 in Grantville, Kansas. The couple resided in Topeka and had four children: Richard Brooke McEntire, Helen Brooke McEntire (later Meyers), Donald Brooke McEntire, and Carol Brooke McEntire (later Jones). He was a founder of the Topeka Traffic Association, a member of the Topeka Chamber of Commerce, and an avid booster of business in Topeka. George McEntire died 29 September 1949 in Topeka.

Richard Brooke McEntire: Richard B. McEntire was born 19 February 1911 to George P. and Mabel (Brooke) McEntire. A graduate of Washburn College Law School (now Washburn University College of Law), Topeka, Kansas, Richard was an attorney and became a partner in the firm of Claussen and McEntire in Topeka in 1934. He was named a United States commissioner for the District of Kansas in 1935 or 1936. In 1939 he was appointed a special attorney by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), and the following year was named secretary of the agency. In 1943, he became the KCC's general counsel; he was named chairman of the commission in 1944. On 8 December 1944 he married Esther Maxine (Sharp) Basye; they had one son, James Ralph McEntire, and he adopted his wife's daughter, Linda Jo Basye (later Taylor). A loyal Republican, Richard was secretary of the Kansas Day Club from 1939 through 1945. In 1946 he resigned his chairmanship of the KCC, and President Harry Truman appointed him to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In 1950 he served as an adviser to United States Treasury Secretary John Snyder at the World Bank and Monetary Fund Conference in Paris. He resigned from the SEC in 1953 to pursue the private practice of law. He died in Montgomery County, Maryland, 17 February 1958.

Donald Brooke McEntire: Donald B. McEntire was born 20 February 1917, in Topeka, Kansas, a son of George P. and Mabel (Brooke) McEntire. A graduate of the Topeka school system, he also attended Kansas State College (now Kansas State University). He married Maxine Huse on 11 November 1939; they were the parents of two sons, Richard Muse McEntire and David McEntire. During World War II, Donald was an officer in the Navy air corps.

George W. Howell: George Howell was born in Galena, Kansas, in 1907. As a young man, he worked as a fireman in Topeka, Kansas, for six years. He then went to work for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway for four years. For twelve years after that he operated the Streamline Café. He was a United States Army veteran of World War II. His wife's name was Pearle W. Howell; they had a son, George W. Howell, Jr., and two step-daughters, Patsy Johnson and Carol Coons. He died 14 August 1978 in Topeka and is buried in Rochester Cemetery north of the city. He was the brother-in-law of Carol (McEntire) Jones.

Mabel Laura (Brooke) McEntire: Mabel Brooke was born 28 March 1884 in Groveport, Ohio, to Alanson and Jemima (Taylor) Brooke. The family moved to rural Grantville, Kansas, when Mabel was three years of age. She earned a B.A. degree from Washburn College (now Washburn University), Topeka, Kansas, in 1905, and taught at the Grantville Grade School and gave private music lessons. On 15 October 1908, she married George Power McEntire in Grantville; they resided in Topeka. They had four children: Richard Brooke McEntire, Helen Brooke McEntire (later Meyers), Donald Brooke McEntire, and Carol Brooke McEntire (later Jones). Mrs. McEntire assisted with the family business, McEntire Brothers, and was ultimately president of it. She was a devout member of First United Methodist church in Topeka and was active in the church's women's organizations and missionary efforts. She was recognized by the university in 1966 as a distinguished alumna. She died 15 October 1975 in Topeka.

Helen Brooke (McEntire) Meyers: Helen Brooke McEntire was born 11 April 1914, a daughter of George Power and Mabel Laura (Brooke) McEntire. She married William M. Meyers on 15 October 1938. They had three daughters: Carol Lynn Meyers, Nancy Ann Meyers, and Jan Melinda Meyers. The family lived in Topeka, Kansas, and Estes Park, Colorado.

Business histories

McEntire Brothers

R. S. McEntire began his illustrious career as a furniture maker in Muscatine, Iowa. About 1869 he moved his business to Burlington, Iowa. As time progressed, he began specializing in the manufacture of bedding and bedding products. In 1887, he brought the Duplex Spring Bed Company to Topeka, Kansas, believing he could not successfully compete with a host of similar firms in southeast Iowa offering lower prices but lesser quality. After a short period in Topeka, according to published company histories, his partner left with the firm's cash, leaving McEntire with the building, inventory, accounts, and debts. The family responded by pitching in, using space in their building for commercial storage, and economizing until the business was again on solid footing. The firm sold their wares through a network of independent salesmen throughout the Central Plains. After Richard's two sons assumed control following his death in 1897, the company was renamed McEntire Brothers.

The firm eventually specialized in coil springs and mattresses, although they also manufactured other items such as porch swings and -furniture at various times. They survived two devastating fires. By the mid-20th century, they operated warehouses in Kansas City; Oklahoma City; and Fort Worth, Texas. The company continues in business as the McEntire Mattress Company.

A more detailed history, written by partner Ralph N. McEntire, is in the series Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook, 1862-1949 (subgroup V, series B).

Forbes Brothers

W. A., E. A., and T. M. Forbes purchased a small grain mill and feed store in Topeka, Kansas, from W. S. Childs in 1887. A newer, larger plant was built in 1899, but was largely destroyed in a fire in 1910. The mill ground mostly corn. In 1919, Boyce, Ben, and Harold Forbes purchased the company and the rebuilt mill from their fathers. It remained in the family until 1950 when it was purchased by the Lauhoff Grain Company. The mill was heavily damaged in the 1951 flood and did not resume operation. The property was sold in 1955 to E. A. Jones, and most of the structures were razed.

Central Mills, better known locally as the Billard Mill, was started by J. B. Billard and his father-in-law, E. J. P. Laurent, in 1883; Billard purchased Laurent's share of the business in 1885. The company was sold to Forbes Brothers in 1920. A fire destroyed it in the fall of 1928.

Scope and Content

This collection provides a look at several families joined by marriage and lineage. As often occurs in family papers, only parts of the record have survived, so the history represented in these papers is somewhat episodic.

Carol (McEntire) Jones has been the collector of the history of the McEntire, Brooke, and Power families--especially since the death of her parents, George and Laura (Power) McEntire--and this collection is largely the result of her efforts through the years. Although some of the people represented in these papers were not Kansans, it was felt by Kansas State Historical Society staff that the historical information in the papers of those McEntire ancestors in Ohio and Iowa was significant enough that it should be preserved and made available in a public repository.

This collection represents a combination of three groups of papers donated or loaned to the Kansas State Historical Society from 1979 through 1998. The estate of George and Laura (Brooke) McEntire, represented by Ms. Jones, donated some of the unmicrofilmed portion of the collection in 1979. In 1998 Ms. Jones allowed society staff to examine her voluminous collection of family memorabilia. Staff selected items they felt had historical significance. Ms. Jones loaned most of these for microfilming but also donated some items.

The earliest document in this collection is a book written, or copied, by Hezekiah Bissell, 1758-62 (subgroup I). Bissell's place in the family is unknown, as are other details about him. From the book itself, he appeared to be studying for a career in navigation or as a ship's officer, but he could also have been training for another profession utilizing the sciences. The book emphasizes mathematics, navigation, astronomy, and anatomy. Bissell left the school, and his remarks upon leaving were reproduced at the back of the volume. He returned and was the valedictorian at graduation in 1762. Unfortunately information about the school or its location is indecipherable.

The small book of recipes and prescriptions (subgroup IV, series A) appears to date from the mid-1830s; the date September 10, 1834, was written on one of the pages. It appears to be a reference aid kept or written by a medical practitioner and gives insight into the state of medical science at that time. Some town names are included, and they appear to have been in Ohio.

Of those who were not Kansans, the most complete record in these papers is that of John H. Power, a Methodist Episcopal "circuit rider" in Ohio from the 1830s until 1857 (subgroup II). Based in Chillicothe, Ohio, in the 1830s and later in Cincinnati, the Rev. Mr. Power traveled extensively through rural areas of that State as well as Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana. His diaries reflected his travels and his interest in promoting the Gospel through distribution of the printed word; he was the agent for a number of Methodist publications. The diaries sometimes described theological arguments among members of the Methodist clergy in Ohio, and the story of a trial in Cincinnati of escaped slaves was narrated in the third volume. John H. Power was also a presiding elder for part of this period which required travel to and contacts with the individual congregations in his district. These travels, and to a lesser extent descriptions of his contacts, were written in the first two volumes. He was also a trustee of Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, and he documented meetings of the board of trustees, often held in conjunction with annual conferences or other meetings. His preaching locations and topics of sermons were predominant features of all three books. In the last volume he introduced his interest in Iowa, which culminated with his move there in 1857; he was a trustee of Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant and his activities on behalf of the school were noted.

One of the Volumes by Unknown, Non-Kansas Authors (subgroup IV) is a register of sermons delivered and their texts. It appears that this volume was written either by John H. Power or his son George Power, both Methodist Episcopal ministers.

John H. Powers' future daughter-in-law, Mattie Brown, also kept a diary from the same time period and city (subgroup III). Mattie, later the wife of John's son George, was a young teacher at a girls' school in Cincinnati. Her 1856-57 diary is a very descriptive look at her life. In it she recorded information about her friends and social life; teaching, other teachers, and the girls she taught; family in Mount Pleasant, Ohio; and her romance with George Power and events prior to and following their wedding. Mattie went with the Power family to southeast Iowa, where George secured a pastorate. There are a few entries at the end from Iowa; they may have been written in a later year, as children are mentioned. There is no subgroup of papers of George Power, but some letters to his sister Lydia and from his Uncle John C. Power to him are in the series Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook, 1862-1949 (subgroup V, series B).

The three family-history notebooks (subgroup V) kept by Carol (McEntire) Jones contain a wealth of information about her family. In accord with Kansas State Historical Society policies, staff of the library, manuscripts, and photograph collections separately copied and cataloged items in these volumes for their collections. In this collection are unpublished items selected by manuscripts archivists. Photographs and printed items selected by staff of those collections are accessioned, cataloged, and filed separately.

The Brooke family volume (series A) is more genealogical in nature with notes on a variety of people and families. The McEntire family volume (series B) contains letters and other documents between family members; Appendix A is a full description of them. The letters sometimes spanned generations, but were primarily between siblings; most of them were written to Lydia E. (Power) McEntire from her brothers George Power and John Power and her husband, R. S. McEntire. Some of the letters were from John Power during the time he was a Civil War soldier in the South. At the same time, a lengthy letter presumably to John and Lydia's mother, Mary (Beard) McEntire, from a cousin, E. N. Creel, stated the case of a man who believed the policies of the Republican Party and the Lincoln administration were totally misguided and would plunge the country into dictatorship. Later letters to L. E. from various siblings, cousins, and friends talked of family matters and deaths. There were six letters of R. S. McEntire after he had moved to Topeka, Kansas. Four of them were to his wife and family and described his business experiences in Topeka; these are difficult to read in their original form and are paraphrased in Appendix B. After Mrs. McEntire and her sons moved to Topeka, family letters they received gave news about events and people in southeast Iowa. Two letters from John Power, by then an attorney, to his nephew George N. Power discussed financial matters of R. S. McEntire's estate. In the series there is also a detailed history of the McEntire Brothers bedding and mattress company written from the family's perspective by Ralph N. McEntire, a partner, in 1949.

In R. S. McEntire's papers (subgroup VI), there is a brief diary, 1867-68, in which he described a business trip from Muscatine to Burlington, Iowa, and kept accounts.

In addition to the letters she received, described above, the collection contains addresses and recipes believed to be those of L. E. (Power) McEntire (subgroup VIII); there is also a membership certificate presented to and a circular letter from Mrs. McEntire pertaining to her work promoting Methodist missions.

Financial records, 1875-79, of three Topeka businessmen— George S. Bradley, a lumberman; Earle Stiles, a grocer; and William M. Lyon, a merchant--are in a small volume (subgroup VII). There was an interrelationship among these businesses, but their relationship to the McEntire or Brooke families is unknown.

Most of the correspondence of R. S. and L. E. (Power) McEntire's son George is in the Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook, 1862-1949 (subgroup V, series B), but a school notebook and statements on account he received are in subgroup X. It is quite likely that George McEntire was also the writer of the unidentified 12 August-11 September Trip Diary, probably from 1909, and the undated Memorandum Book with business information in it, possibly from the year 1918 (both in subgroup XIX).

In the collection is a "Credit Journal," 1906-1908, from McEntire Brothers (subgroup IX); credits extended to customers have been recorded in it.

The papers of George P. McEntire's wife, Mabel (Brooke) McEntire (subgroup XVI), reflect the family's steadfast Methodist faith and her interest in missionary work. A 1949 letter from a Methodist missionary in Japan contained considerable description of missionary work in the country and social conditions in Japan in the aftermath of its defeat in World War II.

The remainder of the collection contains papers of George and Mabel (Brooke) McEntire's children—Richard (1911-1958) (subgroup XI), Helen (b. 1914) (subgroup XVIII), Donald (b. 1917) (subgroup XII), and Carol (b. 1920) (subgroup XIII)—and their families. The papers of each of the four contain examples of schoolwork from their studies in various Topeka schools. In addition, Richard's papers include a diary kept briefly in January 1935 reflecting events in both his work as an attorney and his family life. The collection also contains notes and drafts of thank-you messages written by the family when he died unexpectedly in a car mishap (subgroup XVII). There is in addition a small memorandum book, 1935, of George W. Howell—brother of Omar Jones, Carol (McEntire) Jones's husband--(subgroup XV) containing accounts, addresses, and information he used in his job as a fireman.

Various members of the McEntire family have been prominent in Topeka business since R. S. McEntire arrived in 1887, and this collection provides some insight into the family and its ancestors. The letters of R. S. McEntire and other documents tell how a businessman, his wife, and children struggled but attained success in a competitive field. The letters in the McEntire Family notebook describe events from the Civil War to the early twentieth century. The diaries of John H. Power and Mattie Brown provide information about life in Ohio in the decade preceding the Civil War. The volume of prescriptions and the notebook of Hezekiah Bissell describe medicine and education as they existed on the frontier in the late 1750s and 1830s.

The family was involved in the Methodist church and other activities in Topeka, and donated with the papers were some records of the church and the Impromptu Club of Topeka. Because these are records known to be of other organizations in the city and not organically part of the McEntire or Brooke families, they have been transferred to the Topeka history collection, no. 646; an inventory of the transferred church records has been prepared. A "District Treasurer's Account" volume, 1885-1905, of the church's Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Topeka District, in which L. E. (Power) McEntire served as treasurer, was included in the loaned papers; it has been photocopied and placed in the Churches history collection, no. 567.


(1) Additional biographical information on Louis B. Power, submitted in 2007 by a descendant, may be found in Kansas State Historical Society Library and Archives Division accession file no. 1998-160.01.

Contents List

Organization of the Collection

Organized into 20 subgroups, primarily reflecting the creators of papers.

The subgroups are organized generally chronologically, thus papers of family members in Iowa and Ohio who were ancestors to those in Kansas precede the papers of those who lived in the Sunflower State. Papers whose authors are unknown are combined into two subgroups: subgroup IV for non-Kansans and subgroup XIX for Kansans. Family-history information compiled by Carol (McEntire) Jones forms subgroup V. Publications retained in the collection form subgroup XX.

To request materials not on microfilm, give the box or folder number in (parentheses) above the description. Anything indicated with a reel number on microfilm can be borrowed from the Kansas State Historical Society through interlibrary loan request at your local library.

Non-Kansas material

Subgroup I (folder 426:1:01)
Hezekiah Bissell. His book. 1758-1762. 1v. ([134]p.)

Presumably a student.

A school text or workbook, primarily containing mathematics and the sciences, possibly used to instruct a seaman. The information and examples in the volume pertain to geometry, mathematics in commercial applications, ship navigation, astronomy, and anatomy and medicine. At the end of the books are texts of orations delivered to the teacher and class, August 1761, upon parting because of illness and given as valedictorian, July 20, 1762, and a list of graduates' names. The name of the school and its location are unknown.

Subgroup II (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
John H. Power. [Papers.] 1830-1856. [4]v.

Methodist Episcopal minister; of Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Ohio; Burlington, Iowa.

Diaries and a "Memorandom [sic] Book" he kept, principally relating to his work on behalf of the church. Both series include some financial accounts. Organized chronologically.

Series A (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394) Memorandom [sic] book. 1830-1854. 1v. (192p.)
Memoranda and financial accounts kept by the author. Some of the financial information may be for the Northern Ohio conference of the Methodist Episcopal church; other data relates to periodical subscriptions.

Series B (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394) Diar[ies]. 1852-1856. [3]v.
Diaries describing his travels, preaching as a "circuit rider" in Ohio and neighboring States, work to promote Methodist Episcopal publications, and administrative duties as a presiding elder. The diaries also mention disputes in doctrinal interpretation and his interest in Iowa Wesleyan University (Mt. Pleasant); move to Burlington, Iowa; & health.

Vol. [1] (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
Pocket diary, 1852. 1852-1854. 1v. (224p.)
Diary entries primarily describe his trips through Ohio and his work on behalf of the Methodist Book Concern & tract distribution. Entries describe in some detail his travels, his preaching & administrative activities, and theological controversies. Much of his travel resulted from his appointment as presiding elder of the Mansfield district, Northern Ohio conference.

Vol. [2] (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
Pocket diary. 1854. 1v. (224p.)
Diary entries primarily describe his "circuit riding" throughout Ohio and his work on behalf of the Methodist Book Concern & tract distribution. Entries describe in detail his travels, his preaching & administrative activities, church finances, and his health.

Vol. [3] (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
Diary. 1856. 1v. ([225]p.)
Diary describing his preaching; preaching trips to Ohio, Kentucky, & Illinois; affiliation with Iowa Wesleyan University (Mt. Pleasant); and move to Burlington, Iowa, as pastor there. Virtually all the entries tell of church activities, although a court case in Cincinnati involving escaped slaves is described.

Subgroup III (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
M. E. (Brown) [Power]. Diary, 1856. 1v. (224p.)

Teacher, minister's wife; of Cincinnati; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Diary of Matilda E. Brown, a young teacher at a girls' school. The entries are long and express much personal feeling. She was very religious, and her feelings and activities are expressed throughout the volume. In addition, the diary describes social events, lyceums, purchases, making clothes, elocution classes, her engagement & marriage to George N. Power, and their move to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The Iowa entries may be from a later year.

Subgroup IV (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
[Volumes by unknown, non-Kansas authors.] Sept. 10, 1834. [3]v.

One book each of prescriptions, sermons, and memoranda. The writers of these three books are unknown. The compiler of the first is presumed to be a physician or pharmacist; the author of the second was a minister, probably either John H. or George Power. Organized so that the dated volume precedes the undated ones.

Series A (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
[Prescriptions, remedies, medicines, and cures.] Sept. 10, 1834. 1v. (unp.)
Formularies for preparing medications and applications for a variety of human and animal maladies, probably from an Ohio practitioner.

Series B (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
[Sermons. n.d.] 1v. ([26]p.)
Each entry shows an outline and the biblical source of the sermon. The authorship of this volume is unknown, although it could have been written by John H. or George Power.

Series C (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
The Perpetual diary [i.e., Memoranda. n.d.] 1v. (unp.)
Primarily financial notes and memoranda kept by an unknown person; the location is also unknown, though it is known not to be Topeka, Kans., and is probably not Kansas. A list of orders for Jan. 1-7 is included.

Kansas-related material

Subgroup V (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
Carol (McEntire) Jones, comp. [Family notebooks (1745-1995).] 1862-1995. [3]v.

Family historian; of Shawnee County, Kans.

Unpublished documents selected from notebooks compiled by Carol (McEntire) Jones also containing photographs and publications. The notebooks include information on the Brooke, McEntire, and Ketchum families. Documents were created 1862-1995 but contain information from 1745. Other papers of Carol McEntire are described in subgroup XIII below. Organized so notebooks with older family information precede those with later data.

Series A (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
[Documents from the Brooke Family notebook] (1745-1982). [not after 1930]–1982. 12 items.
Unpublished documents selected from a notebook also containing photographs and publications. Information about births, marriages, divorces, deaths, and similar genealogical data; biographical sketches; family histories; transcripts of vital records; information about property owned by family members; obituaries; and invitations to reunions, primarily relating to the Brooke, Taylor, and Nash families. Contains information on people with the surnames Barrett, Baughman, Bissell, Brandt, Brooke, Bushey, Clark, Croll, Crum, Dunlap, Fink, Freytag, Fry, Gessell, Gist, Hall, Heller, Hummer, Inwood, Jackson, Jones, Kampsen, Kirmes, Kitto, Lawson, Leitnaker, McEntire, Merkle, Metzler, Meyers, Miller, Mueller, Nash, Omer, Potter, Reeder, Replogle, Rhoades, Seymour, Slaybaugh, Smithhart, Speerschneider, Taylor, Toy, Van Hook, Williamson, and Wooster.

Series B (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
[Documents from the McEntire Family notebook.] 1862-1949. 30 items.
Primarily letters received by various family members, primarily L. E. (Power) McEntire. Authors of the letters include R. S. McEntire, George N. Power, John C. Power, and Tishie Waite. The letters contain family & biographical information; details of the deaths of family members; words of consolation to survivors; descriptions of personal feelings; family financial issues; comments on the weather; a Southerner's condemnation of Abraham Lincoln's & the Republican Party's Civil War policies; John Power's Civil War experiences; descriptions of Iowa; information about Methodist Episcopal church matters in Iowa; news of people in Burlington, Iowa; and business conditions & affairs in southeast Iowa & Topeka, Kans. Four letters from R. S. McEntire to his wife, Lydia, describe his business activities soon after moving to Topeka. Also includes a business history of McEntire Mattress Co., 1949, by Ralph Neal McEntire. Other documents include an obituary, a memorial booklet, and a business lease. Other series described below contain additional documents created by some of these individuals. Organized by recipient, thereunder arranged chronologically. See Appendix A for a detailed description of this series.

Series C (microfilm reel no.: MF 2394)
Don [McEntire], 1911?- . [Letter] 1995 Nov. 14, Cambridge Springs, Pa., to Don McEntire, Topeka, Kans. [2] .
Retired; of Cambridge Springs, Pa.

Described the remainder of the trip after they visited, talked about work awaiting them upon their arrival, and recalled McEntire family ancestors he knew. Removed from: Ketchum [Family notebook]. Other papers of Donald McEntire (of Topeka) are in subgroup XII, below.

Subgroup VI (microfilm reel no.: MF 2395)
R. S. McEntire. Diary. 1867-1868. 1v. (unp.)

Furniture and bed manufacturer; of Muscatine, Iowa

Sporadic diary entries—primarily describing a trip to Burlington, Iowa—and accounts. Letters written by Richard S. McEntire to his wife Lydia are in Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook, 1862-1949 (subgroup V, series B).

Subgroup VII (folder 426:1:02)
[Accounts of 3 Topeka, Kans., businesses.] 1875-1889. 1v. (p.3-34)

Journals of Geo. S. Bradley, lumberman , July 1-31, 1875, & Earle Stiles, grocer, Jan. 1-30, 1889, and the balance sheet of Wm. M. Lyon, merchant, Aug. 2, 1889. The relationship of these businesses to each other and to the McEntire or Brooke families is mostly unknown, although Stiles was an investor in Lyon's business, and a relative of George Bradley may have been a creditor of Lyon's firm. In the back part of the book are algebra problems, presumably written by a student.

Subgroup VIII (box 426:1)
L. E. McEntire. [Papers.] 1894-1924. 3 folders (¼ in.)

Housewife, church worker; of Topeka, Kans.

Papers of L. E. (Power) McEntire, wife of R. S. McEntire. One of the addresses and other documents reflect her interest in Methodist missionary efforts. Letters she received are in Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook, 1862-1949 (subgroup V, series B).
Organized generally chronologically.

Series A (folder 426:1:03)
[Addresses.] Dec. 3, 1894. 3 items.
Presumably papers read by L. E. McEntire. One, titled "Otto Von Bismark" [sic], was read before the [Nunden? Nevada?] C.L.S.C., Dec. 3, 1894. An undated address is titled "Review of Twenty Years' Work of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society." Another, undated, is on the planets, with drawings and calculations; its authorship is unknown and may not be Lydia's.
Organized so the dated item precedes the undated ones.

Series B (folder 426:1:04)
[Recipes. n.d.] 1p.
Recipes for various dishes. Authorship is uncertain, and the recipes may have actually been those of other family members.

Series C (folder 426:1:05)
[Documents relating to missions.] Apr. 10, 1924. 2 items.
A circular letter, Apr. 10, 1924, from the Topeka Branch of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal church to First Methodist church, Topeka, requesting additional funds and an undated membership certificate issued by the Society to L. E. McEntire.
Organized so the dated item is first.

Subgroup IX (folder 426:1:06)
[McEntire Bros.] Credit journal. 1906-1908. 1v. (180p.)

Mattress and bedding manufacturer and retailer; of Topeka, Kans.

Daily record of transactions for which the firm adjusted its accounts to show a gain to the recipient and a loss to the firm. Each entry shows the name and sometimes the address of the customer, the reason for the adjustment, the amount, and whether the transaction has been entered, presumably in a ledger. Entries arranged chronologically.

Subgroup X (box 426:1)
George P. McEntire. [Papers.] 1912-1915. ¼ in.

Student, businessman; of Topeka, Kans.

A copybook containing notes, presumably from a rhetoric class, and statements of account with George W. Stansfield and other Topeka, Kans., firms.
Series organized generally chronologically.

Series A (folder 426:1:07)
[Rhetoric notebook. n.d.] 1v. (unp.)
Notes presumably from a school rhetoric class. Includes much material on poetry.

Series B (folder 426:1:08)
Statements. 1912-1915. 10 items.
Statements of accounts with the City of Topeka and private merchants. Most of the statements are from George W. Stansfield. Arranged chronologically.

Subgroup XI
Richard B. McEntire. [Papers.] 1922-1935. 5 items.

Student, lawyer; of Topeka, Kans.

Penmanship exercises, probably from the sixth grade, and a diary containing entries about personal and professional matters. Series organized chronologically.

Series A (folder 426:1:09)
[School papers.] Mar.-May 1922. 4 items.
Papers written in a penmanship class, presumably in the sixth grade at Harrison Elementary School, Topeka, Kans.

Series B (microfilm reel no.: MF 2395)
Standard diary. Jan. 1-16, 1935. 1v. (unp.)
Entries describing his activities. Includes information about both his work in the firm of Claussen & McEntire and his personal life.

Subgroup XII (folder 426:1:10)
Donald McEntire, 1917- . [Papers.] [ca. 1926]-1931. 11 items (½ in.)

Student; of Topeka, Kans.

A school project; a tablet containing some papers from the 4th grade at Clay School, Topeka, Kans.; drawings; and an invitation, Dec. 11, 1931, to the annual Christmas dinner of the Central YMCA. A 1995 letter to him from Don McEntire (1911?- ) of Cambridge Springs, Pa., is described in subgroup V, series C, above.

Subgroup XIII
Carol McEntire. [Papers.] 1925–[ca. 1938]. 65 items (2 in.)

Student; of Topeka, Kans.

Work done for school assignments or Vacation Bible School and report cards from church. Some of the unattributed artwork may have been done by her siblings. Family-history information that she compiled is described in subgroup V, above. Organized by series with Schoolwork preceding Church Report Cards.

Series A (folders 426:1:11–426:2:20)
[Schoolwork.] 1925-[ca. 1938]. 63 items (2 in.)
Reports, projects, artwork, papers, and other work done for school or Vacation Bible School. Most of the items are undated but relate to Clay Elementary School, Topeka, Kans.; there is one item from Roosevelt Junior High School, Topeka. In a tablet is a draft of letter of appreciation to a teacher by the name of Miss Wolfe written at the end of Carol's high-school career. Some of the unattributed artwork may have been done by her siblings. Organized by grade level with 1925 Vacation Bible School material at the beginning and undated items at the end.

Series B (folder 426:2:21)
[Church report cards. n.d. 2] items.
Forms reporting weekly attendance, gift contributions, memory work, and deportment, presumably issued by the First Methodist Episcopal Sunday school, Topeka, Kans.

Subgroup XIV (folder 426:2:22)
Forbes Bros. Statement, Sept. 30, 1931, Topeka, Kans., to Johnson & McEntire [Topeka, Kans.] 1p.

Milling company; of Topeka, Kans.

Statement for charges on the account. The statement also contains the name of the Forbes Bros. subsidiary Central Mills.

Subgroup XV (microfilm reel no.: MF 2395)
George W. Howell. [Memorandum book. 1935?] 1v. (unp.)

Firefighter; of Topeka, Kans.

Contains cash accounts, addresses and phone numbers of acquaintances, and lists of Topeka streets with identifying information.

Subgroup XVI (box 426:2)
Mrs. George P. [Mabel Laura (Brooke)] McEntire. [Papers.] 1949-1966. 3 folders (¼ in.)

Housewife, civic volunteer; of Topeka, Kans.

Two letters & a certificate received and recipes presumably by Mrs. George P. McEntire. The letters and certificate reflect her long involvement in Methodist missionary efforts and her successes as a distinguished alumna of Washburn College (Topeka, Kans.) (now Washburn University). Series organized chronologically.

Series A (folder 426:2:23)
[Letters received.] 1949-1966. 2 items.
A letter from Myrtle Z. Pider, a Methodist missionary in Japan, 1949 Jan. 22, thanking the McEntires for Christmas gifts, and describing her educational and social work; she talks about some of the problems facing post-war Japanese people. The other letter is from Gerald K. Barker, assistant to the president of Washburn University (Topeka, Kans.), 1966 May 17, giving information and instructions relating to Mrs. McEntire receiving the university's Distinguished Service Award. Arranged chronologically.

Series B (folder 426:2:24)
Methodist Church. Board of Missions. Women's division. [Certificate] Feb. 28, 1966, to Mrs. George P. McEntire, Kansas conference. 1p.
A certificate awarding Mrs. McEntire special membership in the Women's Society of Christian Service. Signed by Mrs. Gerald Pearson and Florence Little, treasurers.

Series C (folder 426:2:25)
[Recipes. n.d.] 1p.
Recipes for chocolate-cocoanut cake and orange nut bread. Authorship is uncertain, and the recipes may have actually been those of other family members.

Subgroup XVII (folder 426:2:26)
[McEntire family. Messages of appreciation (Drafts). not before Feb. 17, 1958.] 3 documents.

Holograph initial texts of notes by unnamed members of Richard B. McEntire's family thanking friends for their kindness in the days following his death on Feb. 17, 1958. Some of the messages may have been given orally; others were written.

Subgroup XVIII (folder 426:2:27)
Helen McEntire. [Artwork. 192-?] 1 item.

Student; of Topeka, Kans.

Artwork presumably done for a school project.

Subgroup XIX
[Items by unidentified Kansas family members. 1909?-1946? 3] items.

Trip diaries and a memorandum book kept by unknown family members in Topeka, Kans. Some of the volumes may have been written by George P. McEntire. Series organized generally chronologically.

Series A
[Trip diaries. 1909?-1946? 2] items.
Accounts of two trips, both originating in Topeka, Kans. The diaries include information about stops made by the travelers.

Vol. [1] (microfilm reel no.: MF 2395)
[Trip diary.] Aug. 12–Sept. 11 [1909?] 1v. ([32]p.)

Memoranda by an unknown person, probably George P. McEntire, concerning a trip taken from Topeka, Kans., to the West Coast. Included are stops; expenses; and names, addresses, & telephone numbers of and directions to acquaintances. There is also a detailed diary describing the first 4 days of the journey.

Vol. [2] (folder 426:2:28)
[Trip diary. 1946?]. 7p.

Account of a trip presumably from Topeka, Kans., to Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; New York; Boston; Maine; Troy, N.Y.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Chicago; and back. Authorship is unknown; probable date is extrapolated from contents.

Series B (microfilm reel no.: MF 2395)
[Memorandum book. 1918?] 1v. (unp.)
A book containing notes written by an unidentified Topeka, Kans., businessman, probably George P. McEntire. The notes include names of contacts, orders, notes for debts, and telephone numbers. Some pages contain children's writings, probably those of Richard B. McEntire, George's son.

Subgroup XX (folder 426:2:29)
[Publications.] 1922-1965. 4 items.


Related Records and Collections

Appendix A

[Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook.] 1862-1949. 30 items.
(Subgroup V, Series B)

Contents Description

Lydia E[lizabeth.(Power)] McEntire. [Papers]. 1862-1926. 19 items.

John C. Power. [Letter] 1862 Nov. 14, Burlington [Iowa] to [Lydia Elizabeth Power, Muscatine, Iowa]

He didn't realize Mother was so bad, otherwise he would have done all he could to come to Muscatine, Ia.; he is glad to hear the people of Muscatine were so kind; there isn't a better place in the State, much better than Burlington, where selfishness abounds; he is not doing particularly well there, but is afraid to move and try his luck where he is unknown; perhaps he will need to do something else besides practice law; he describes improvement in conditions in his boarding house. An 1863 letter is found in the John C. Power section.

J[ohn] C. Power. [Letter] 1864 July 20, Camp on Chattahoochie River, to [Lydia Elizabeth Power, Muscatine, Iowa]

He expresses his unhappiness in not hearing from her; says the burden of being the only officer in the company is a heavy one, and he does not see any prospect for change; tells of an informal truce between his man and a similar Confederate force of pickets for a day and their interaction. An earlier Civil War letter is found in the John C. Power section.

Martha [?. Letter] May 2 [1881], Santa Clara, Calif., to "sister" [Lydia Elizabeth Power, Muscatine, Iowa?]

Presumably a reaction to the death of their sister [Mary? whose husband was Ned and daughter was Angie?, see following letter]. She wonders how her sister's death will affect other family members. She hopes Ethel will not be seriously ill; are her symptoms similar to Ralph's? Wonders if John and George [Power?] would meet in Cincinnati, and whether hard feelings would remain.

Eva [? niece of R. S. & Lydia McEntire. Letter] 1881 May 12, Grand Valley [Ohio] to Lydia [Elizabeth Power, Muscatine, Iowa?]

Describes the last illness and death of the writer's mother [the recipient's sister or sister-in-law?].

Geo[rge] N. Power. [Letter] 1892 Aug. 27, Keokuk, I[ow]a

He is sorry to learn she has been struck by burglars; he has had more pneumonia; he may be reassigned to another church, but the people at his present church don't want him to leave; what they pay him is inadequate; he would like to retire but can't; he mentions other family members; tells of his duties as chief secretary of the annual conference. With this is filed: newspaper account of his funeral, n.d., n.p., no citation.

Geo[rge] N. Power. [Letter] 1892 Sept. 13, Keokuk, I[ow]a, to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

He has returned from annual conference and has consented to remain at First Methodist Episcopal Church in Keokuk; he could have found a more desirable church had he persevered; for the first time, the church in Keokuk has paid all ministerial and benevolent assessments; the bishop recognized he deserved better, but Power told the bishop he was not seeking increased status; he feels better; he was again elected secretary of the conference; he discusses other ministers; he hopes to see her soon, but handling conference minutes will keep him home for now.

Geo[rge] N. Power. [Letter] 1892 Oct. 1, Keokuk, I[ow]a, to L[ydia] E[lizabeth (Power)] McEntire, Topeka, Kan.

He had hoped to see her by now, but illness has prevented him; his right lung is causing much pain; today an abscess broke, such as she saw right before his wife died two years ago; when he is better he will visit her; he'd like to continue working, but God is the final arbiter.

Tishie [(Williams) Waite. Letter] 1894 Feb. 24, Burlington, I[ow]a, to Mrs. R. S. [Lydia Elizabeth (Power)] McEntire, Topeka, Kan.

About the death of her [i.e. their mutual] niece, Ethel Power; Ethel's death is very hard on Tishie's daughter Jessie who was very close to her cousin; Tishie's other daughter, Lola, is also sorrowful; they are shocked by Ethel's sudden demise; description of her last days and her death; told how family members coped with her illness; how they dressed her for burial; described the funeral and burial; effect on John Power, Ethel's father.

Dr. Louis B. Power. [n.p., not before July 23, 1894.]

Obituary from an unknown newspaper. Louis Power, brother of Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, died July 23, 1894. "In envelope with letters dated Aug 18 ‘97" [sic].(1)

John C. Power. [Letter] 1895 Feb. 20, Burlington, Iowa, to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

He apologizes for not thanking her for Christmas presents; he is still grieving the death of their daughter, Ethel, a year ago; he has recently been thinking of their childhood together and the joy they had; many friends have also left remembrances at Ethel's grave; he has intended to write Alma but hasn't done so; there is no news of Burlington that would interest her; he tells about some people she knows; he talks of snow and the weather. Hard to read.

[John C.] Power. [Letter] 1895 Sept. 2, Burlington, Iowa, to Lydia E[lizabeth (Power)] McEntire, Topeka, Kan.

Supportive letter about family matters, including finding a position to fit Alma and Nellie's plans; very difficult to read; incomplete.

John C. Power. [Letter] 1895 Sept. 20, Burlington, Iowa, to Lydia [Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

Relating to a job for Alma with the Cedar Rapids railroad, news about people in Burlington; ard to read.

John C. Power. [Letter] 1895 Dec. 18, Burlington, Iowa, to Lydia [Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

Discusses the health of family members, Alma said the effects of the fire were not as bad as feared, has Ralph gone to college? He has lost interest in Christmas because of the loss of their daughter; very hard to read.

Tishie [(Williams) Waite. Letter, 1897] June 14, Burlington, Iowa, to Lydia [Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

Consolation letter [from the sister-in-law of John Power?] written on the day of R. S. McEntire's death.

John C. Power. [Letter] 1897 July 9, Burlington, Iowa, to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

He writes to bolster her spirits after the death of her husband, tells her how impressed he is with her sons George and Ralph, says he sent insurance forms to George, talks of the weather; hard to read.

John C. Power. [Letter] 1899 Apr. 29, Burlington, Iowa, to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

He discusses his health problems and business; he wants to visit her; tells of the effect of Ethel's death on them; family news; mention of Pastor Dr. McFarland, a mutual acquaintance. Very hard to read.

Ida [Demett. Letter] 1926 Mar. 14, Saratoga, Calif., to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

From the recipient's niece; she talks about the weather and foliage, she was in San Jose [Calif.] last week but could not see Cora [?] because of the walk, Will is almost well again.

J[ohn] C. P[ower]. [Letter] 1926 Apr. 5, Burlington, Iowa, to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Topeka, Kan.]

He has been behind in his work and has not written; they were hard hit by heavy snowfall which stopped everything for two days, and they fear the effects of it melting; he noted that she was also hit by the storm.

Penwell mortuary. Memorial record, in memory of Lydia E. McEntire. [not before May 19, 1926]

E. N. Creel. [Letter] 1863 Jan. 8, Philadelphia, to Mary [(Beard) Power?]

He expresses sorrow that "Cousin Mary" would be for the Union; the "black-republican-abolition-party" is out to trample the Constitution and has changed the war from one of preserving the Union to emancipation; though expressing sympathy for the Negro [sic], Republicans will trample on him ten times worse than Southerners; Republicans want a government modeled on that of Russia; Abraham Lincoln is an autocrat who has trampled on the Constitution and substituted "military necessity" and war powers; Republicans don't have a peace plan and will prolong the war as long as possible for their own advantage; we are now here so our daughter can attend school here, as does our son; we have made a couple of trips back to Chillicothe [Ohio] and several to Parkersburg [W. Va.]; he tells of members of the Neal(e) family in Parkersburg; the old homestead has been sold; you should visit sometime, particularly now that this land (West Virginia) is the "spring of the Lincoln dynasty"; free speech is no longer tolerated; she could have him arrested for what he's written; since one is supposed to love one's enemies, he hope she will forgive his loyalty to the South over African Americans; the spirit of forgiveness has given way to extermination of the South, extinguishment of Southern whites' land holdings, and the establishment of African Americans over them; if she is a loyal Unionist, she must accede to all of this.

J[ohn] C. Power. [Letter] 1863 Dec. 4, Camp in the Wilderness [Tenn.?], to "folks at home" [John Hamilton Power & Mary (Beard) Power and Lydia Elizabeth Power, Burlington, Iowa?] l .

We left Nashville and arrived here last night, are in a thick woods along a railroad being constructed going south, this place does not look anything like home, my health is very good. Other Civil War letters from John C. Power to Lydia E. Power are found in the papers of the latter.

Richard S[imeon] McEntire. [Papers.] 1865-1929. 6 items.

John Smalley. [Lease] July 21, 1865, Muscatine, Iowa, to R. S. McEntire, J. B. Reinholdt, and J. L. Abbott, Muscatine, Iowa.

Lease of John Smalley's storeroom and cellar.

I. W. Alderman. [Letter] 1887 Feb. 16, Burlington, I[ow]a, to [Richard Simeon] McEntire [Topeka, Kan.]

See Appendix B for paraphrased text.

[Richard Simeon McEntire. Letter, not after 1887 Mar. 25, Topeka, Kan., to Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Burlington, Iowa.]

See Appendix B for paraphrased text.

Richard [Simeon McEntire. Letter] 1887 Mar. 25, Topeka, Kan., to "dear ones at home" [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire and George Power McEntire, Burlington, Iowa.]

See Appendix B for paraphrased text.

Richard [Simeon McEntire. Letter] 1887 Mar. 26 [Topeka, Kan.] to [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Burlington, Iowa.]

See Appendix B for paraphrased text.

Edwin L. Mattern. [Letter] 1929 May 25, Erie, Pa., Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta, to George P. McEntire, Topeka, Kan.

Thanking George McEntire for biographical information about his father, Richard S. McEntire, relating additional information about the latter's college career; requesting a photograph and additional information for their proposed book.

George P[ower] McEntire. [Letters received.] June-Dec. [18]97. 2 items.

John C. Power. [Letter, 18]97 June 18, Burlington, Iowa, to George P. McEntire, Topeka, Ka[n].

Pertaining to assessments on and proceeds from Legion of Honor certificates, presumably relating to R. S. McEntire's estate.

John C. Power. [Letter, l8]97 Dec. 17, Burlington, Iowa, to George P. McEntire, Topeka, Ka[n].

Relating of the investment of the proceeds from George's father's [R. S. McEntire's] life insurance on behalf of George's mother [Lydia E. (Power) McEntire], John would be happy to invest it if they wish, they may be able to invest it more profitably in Topeka than he can in Burlington, investing in farmland safer than property in a city, he gives tips for investing.

Ralph Neal McEntire. Some items of "McEntire" business history. May 31, 1949. 12.

A history of the family firm that eventually became McEntire Mattress Co., beginning with the selling of furniture and beds in Muscatine & Burlington, Ia., and including the move to Topeka, starting over after their partner absconded with all the assets, expansion into storage and other areas of business, movement to mattress manufacturing, manufacturing processes, fires, business relationships, relocation, sales, effects of the Great Depression, employee policies, and expansion. Relationships of family members to the business are described.

Appendix B

Paraphrased text of R. S. McEntire letters from [Documents from the McEntire Family Notebook] 1862-1949

(Subgroup V, Series B)

1887 Feb. 16, from I. W. Alderman, Burlington, Ia., to "Brother [Richard Simeon] McEntire" [Topeka, Kans.] 1 . (torn in half)

From the minister at McEntire's former church.

The church and I miss you terribly. Brother Gable is in charge of the class you formerly taught and is doing well, but I am interested in other suggestions you might have. Judge Power would be a good choice, but he doesn't go out at night. Sister McEntire looks very lonely. I wish you would come back, and we could talk over the class matter. Sister McEntire will also be missed as much as you are. All of First Methodist Episcopal church is sad over your leaving. I am glad you propose to meet me on the Pacific coast. I am not well, and Dr. Holliday says I never will be as long as I remain in the Mississippi River valley; he is urging I go at once. I am so nervous I cannot sleep, and am very discouraged by my inability to build up the church. In some respects, this is the hardest church I have served but also the most delightful in many ways; I have never had a nicer or more intelligent congregation. My house was crowded last Sabbath for Children's Day services. Give my best to Brother [Harvey?] Hunt and Dr. Waters when you see them. I told him good things about you.

[not after 25 Mar. 1887] from [Richard Simeon McEntire, Topeka, Kans.] to "Lillie" [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Burlington, Ia.] [1 .]

Are you very discouraged? Are you like Job's wife, ready to give up? I've received no letters yesterday or today. I wondered if you were sick, but I know you are very busy and are working too hard. Things looked a little brighter yesterday. We found another man to go out and look after the beds we had shipped. He was to start at 1:30 this morning. We shall hear from him about Saturday, I suppose. If he fails, I guess I must do it myself. Mr. H[unt] will not go or even solicit trade here. Someone must do it. I hate going out and risking a cold or losing my health for him and have not made up my mind yet. I talked with him plainly before dinner and told him he [we?] would break up in one month if he did not work to market our goods. I offered him two [choices?]. I offered him the home and lot for a net value of $600 his losing all the expenses. He said he would lose all first. [sic] I then offered him Kansas for $500, $150 [cert?] and balance in yearly payments of $100 in advance. He did not say he would not give it but did not say he would. That would disappoint George. I do not like it myself but most anything is preferable to suspense. I am most afraid to venture to trade with him and assume. I like to feel safe. Everybody who examines the beds seem[s] to like them and really we have not given them a fair show as yet. I have faith in the business but feel so unsettled and doubtful as to just what is best and providential. One day the purpose to move at a venture and work this field at all hazards seems right and wise and then the very next day doubts arise and I have not the courage of a mouse. I verily think of you even all settled here. I could face all opposition. I never was much when alone. Now I shall not be surprised if Mr. H. gives me my offer and pays me $150. I am not bound and make the offer only only for the time. He seemed to brighten up after that. May be he has some trade on hand and has been trying to freeze me out. He has been out a good deal of late both day and night and maybe he has been planning. The weather is fine but a little too cool without a fire. Everything is very dry and needs rain. I wish I could comfort you all but say again be as patient and hopeful as possible. We are much better off than a year ago. I expected then to lose the house and shop too and now we have the house with encumbrance much reduced and money enough to pay the interest for 8 years to come and surely we can earn a living somehow. Let us thank God and take courage. Don't you all say so. I do. I am very thankful whenever I look back and see Ralph almost gone beyond our reach and everything discouraging and [now see?] you all with me or living fairly well. I would not dare to think of [pertaining?] [incomplete?]

Written in margin: If H. takes me up I [say?] go on our way to the [coast?]; if not I say come to Topeka and fight it out. I am ready for either. What say you? I must close and mail this. I enclose a letter to Troxels. You can send it to them and get their answer.

Continued in margin: 1 pm Thursday: Am real well and not very blue. I just want to see you all and am a little homesick. If you were here I could work from daylight till bed time and sell my own goods if need be.

No signature.

1887 Mar. 25, from Richard [Simeon McEntire] Topeka, Kans., to "dear ones at home" [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire and George Power McEntire, Burlington, Ia.] [6]p

It now seems to me that I must have done right. Before this reaches you you will have learned from Mr. H[unt] that we have at length traded so far as we had the power. I did most earnestly ask in the morning that the way might open and something might bring a decision in which we could venture to act. Until nearly noon I could not approach the matter. While sitting at the table to write you I was unexpectedly influenced to speak to him for the last time about trade and was going to send you what I had left to repair the house. My mind was made up in that. This thought came to me. He has not the money here and could get it if at home. I knew we could use that amount out of what you have and put it back when he paid so I offered him the margin on the house and one lot only for $700 and bear all his expenses but gave him nothing for time or his royalty claim and allow him 30 days to go home and borrow the funds. He could not do so. I told him I would move at once and live out of spring bed business and not ask or expect him to trade unless he really wished to but would take no less nor give any more. Finally he offered to split the difference and give $650 if I would pay him $100 out of sales of territory. I declined. He then offered about an hour later to give $700 if I would give him the hundred back when I sold. I told him I would if he would agree to pay me $100 when he sold the house or when I could sell it for more than $1600. He would not do that and I said we must leave both doors open and make it just even up $700 and that[‘s] the last call. He could not do it. I sent my shirt [scrap?] to mail by him and when he returned he was all worked up and frightened over his boy[']s sickness and he must go home. He called me up front and told me Harvey was very sick and he would have to go home and supposed he could trade if he wanted to when he got home. I could not agree to wait and after he had his trunk at the depot and his ticket bought he decided to not return but requested me if I got rich to give him 50 dollars for his time . I told him if I got immensely rich out of Kansas spring bed business as the result of the trade I would pension him for life. About 11:45 p.m. he signed the papers and gave me a receipted bill of sale of all his interest itemized and specified.

[ .2:] Now certainly I had no control of their circumstances. I was entirely unexpectedly influenced to talk to him when I saw that he was inclined to yield. I went at once and asked that if it was not right or best I might feel to[o? and be hindered Hill?]. I have not been self willed in the matter and must now conclude that we have been influenced in our conclusions. His cash had run low. He agreed to send $75 as soon as he got home and the contract provides that it shall be paid in five days and the balance in 30 and he does not get any claim on the house till it is all paid and must be in 30 days. Now we have Geo. lot left and have no royalty to [buy?] and do not have to pay interest or taxes or repair the house. I told him there was some little plastering and some papering to be done to make it ready for rent. There is no deception or Jacobs plans in the whole matter. All our talks were candid and in good humor and there is in the end perfect harmony and each agrees to just risk and make all he can out of the trade. Of course he has the most visible benefit now, but if God adds his blessing to our efforts in the long run Kansas will rent for more income than the house. I was impressed by your list letters that whether you knew it or not your whole bent and inner feelings were in favor of Kansas and a fight for success. There are in depot or on road a large shipment of slats and [hibbends? headboards?] and 1500# of wire also screws. Is that my rent on the first will take with frt about $65. We thought $75 would cover the needs here till [lines? Iowa?] comes in. The morning opened bright and I cannot but feel hopeful and yet I am not shutting my eyes to the facts. I will meet with discouragements and must work and plan and economize and take some rebuffs and losses like others. But I will never conclude that I did not try to do right and act wisely and ask guidance. Got favorable word from one man who was out. Had sold all the beds he had except one sample and sent the accounts to me without taking out more than even his commission. Had also a small order from Texas which I forward today. If you were now here and Geo. was my right hand man I could work hard and hope for success. I am awful sorry for you that you have to pack and work without my help. Now for advice. Get money from John to move and pay expenses then [cerlyr?] and what you need. Will replace same. Pack books in small (not too large) boxes. put in some irons and such things, pots, kettles and any [smoothing?] irons and ship as springs to Duplex Spring Bed Co., Topeka, Kans.

[ .3:] Put in some springs if you have them mark one ore two boxes as books. I don't mean boxes but in the shipping bill. When you get a load ready send them by Mr. Clark and have Geo. go by Troxels and have them make out the bill lading for him and send them forward and without paying frt. Then pick all canned fruit and such stuff pulling in some common dishes and ship as canned fruit in boxes of that kind which you can buy of the grocers and have that forwarded in the same way. Then box mirrors and all such in large strong boxes getting Mr. Moran to help if possible. Had better buy some large dry goods boxes and put any thing possible in them and nail them up tightly. Ship them as furniture. You can even box [mattresses?] and put all the bedding in. But if you get some burlaps and put the mattresses all in one bundle and sew them up like [allen?] ships then they had better be shipped as mattresses to the DSB Co. which is natural in our line and [coming?] from Troxels. The furniture will be all that is left after the gasoline stove. It can be also nicely packed in tight bundles and sent by Troxels as so many pieces of furniture. Better pay them for burlap and for helping. It will save freights wonderfully. Have them mark all bills lading Released which reduces one class in rates. Do not be timid about asking them but have them do it and I will write them and make it all right. Send one load at a time and as you get it ready. Do not wait to get all ready to save cartage. It will come for less in smaller lots. If you ship all they will readily conclude that is it moving stuff. Ship all to Duplex Spring Bed Co. Hire somebody to help you. Box things and buy boxes as you need. It cannot be helped and old dirty boxes will not pass muster as well as new ones. I think you can get them cheaply at some of the dry goods houses. I might be forgetting some things but ‘tis time to mail. Mr. H. left at 3 o'clock this morning and will get them at 10:10 tonight. Son do not let the blues get you in the end. Do not work too hard nor go without fire, but do come soon as you can as I need you very muchly. Of course I will write again three times before you start. It is clouding up like for rain and it will do good if it comes. Now [till?] I do [sight? i.e., sight you?]. Good bye for today. Your loving husband, Richard.

1887 Mar. 26, from Richard [Simeon McEntire, Topeka, Kans.] to "dear one at home" [Lydia Elizabeth (Power) McEntire, Burlington, Ia.] 1 .

I am well. It has been a good day. God will instruct you if you will strive for it. I heard from one of my agents; he sent a furniture dealer's receipt for all the beds but one, which he kept as a sample. So far good; I may lose on the other man but don't yet believe it. Have telegraphed the first man 12 more beds and sent him two quarter sections as sample to take on the road. I filled my Texas order and soon after received an order for 12 IWS from Hastings, Neb., and a letter from a Mr. [Lorey?] who used to sell beds in Iowa wanting to "canvas[s]" in Kansas. I count 48 beds sold to good men today with a net profit of $15 per bed.

1:30 p.m. Saturday: George's letter of the 24th at hand. George, you will be compelled to believe in the Special Providences [sic]. One promise is Before you have called I will answer [sic]. The very hour you were writing about Harvey Hunt, that exact thought had occurred, the letter was received here, and it was the turning point that led Hunt to trade. I have also been emboldened to speak to him about the trade then as never before. So God had been working the plan better than we could ourselves. I hope Harvey will not be seriously sick. I am still calm with no misgivings. If Hunt will lend the $75 in time to meet my rent all is well. The best house here had a sample Duplex and one IWS. Today he sent his wagon for a Duplex. I will try to make it overtake [Gem?] in Kansas and will sell at the same price here. As to books, maybe it will be better to bill the boxes as books and let them be better cared for and send them by themselves. It will be candid at least. I wish I could help you. I have to be busy and can't write much. [I shall] send you a sample paper which will tell you more about Topeka than I can. It's still windy, dry, and dusty. [I'm] in [a] great hurry. I do hope Mrs. S. is better. I dropped him a line yesterday [largely?] to show my interest.

P.S.: [Stores?] may be taken all to pieces and set in boxes and sent to DSBC as castings. That is just the way they bill there. Iron castings that is [Gaselene?] and [Base?] business.

Related Materials

Lewis Allen Alderson collection, no. 255; finding aid available.

Lewis Allen Alderson Letters, 1860-1865, microfilm reel no.: MS 52. Microfilm of originals in the University of Virginia (Charlottesville).

Billard Family collection, no. 3.

Churches history collection, no. 567.

Charles Sumner Gleed collection, no. 34; finding aid available.

Kansas Town and Land Company collection, no. 130; finding aid available; partially on microfilm reel nos.: MS 1024-1036, available through interlibrary loan.

Albin K. Longren Papers, 1911-1947, microfilm reel no.: MS 396, available through interlibrary loan.

Elbert Olin Raymond Autobiography, microfilm reel no.: MS 10.03, available through interlibrary loan.

Topeka history collection, no. 646; finding aid available.

Washburn College history collection, no. 653.

Materials cataloged separately

Each subgroup, with the exception of Publications (subgroup XX), has been cataloged individually. Photographs and printed materials were processed by other staff members, filed separately, and not included as a part of this collection.

Materials transferred from the collection

Originals or photocopies of records of the Methodist church and Topeka's Impromptu Club have been transferred to the Topeka history collection, MC 646, Churches and Clubs subgroups, respectively. A photocopy of a "District Treasurer's Account," 1885-1905, of the Methodist Episcopal church's Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Topeka District, has been transferred to the Churches history collection, Methodist Episcopal Church subgroup, Woman's Foreign Missionary Society series, MC 567.M4 (5).


Bissell, Pelham St. George. Descendants of Captain John Bissell: Part 1, The First Five Generations. [n.p.] 1966. (Kansas State Historical Society (KSHS) Library call no.: GL BBB/B543).

"Brooke-McEntire," in Grantville Community Historical Society, History of Grantville, Kansas, 1854-1976 (Grantville, Kans.: Grantville Community Historical Society, 1976), 20-21. (KSHS Library call no.: K 978.1/-J35/G767).

Clark, Francis. "Filling Station to Occupy Site of Billard Mill," Topeka Daily Capital, 27 Nov. 1932, 4 A. (KSHS newspaper microfilm reel no.: T350).

Daughters of the American Revolution, Kansas Society. "Miscellaneous Records," vol. 60: 15-26; vol. 61: 110-32, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. (KSHS Library call no.: K 369.133/K133m).

Kansas State Historical Society. "Shawnee County Clippings," vol. 37: 185; vol. 38: 90; vol. 41: 27-28, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. (KSHS Library call no.: K 978.1/-Sh1/Clipp.).

Kansas State Historical Society. Vertical File (Topeka, Kans.: Kansas State Historical Society, 1995), McEntire surname. (KSHS microfilm reel no.: MF 272).

McEntire, Donald B. [sketch] in Markley, Walter M., Builders of Topeka, vol. 2 (Topeka, Kans.: Capper Printing Co., 1956), 179. (KSHS Library call no.: K 978.1/-Sh1/T62m/1956).

McEntire, George P. [sketch] in Berrett, H. D., Who's Who in Topeka (Topeka, Kans.: Adams Bros. Pub., 1905), 77. (KSHS Library call no.: K 978.1/-Sh1/B45).

McEntire, Mabel (Brooke) [death notice] in Washburn Alumnus, winter 1975: 19. (KSHS Library call no.: K 378/W27T/A 82/v.10/no.4).

"McEntire, Richard B.," in Topeka, Public Library, "Kansas and Topeka Collected Biographical Clippings" [n.d.] micro negative in Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. (KSHS micro negative fiche no.: MN103:1009).

[McEntire Brothers.] History of McEntire Brothers, 1887-1965. [Topeka, Kans.: McEntire Bros., 1965?] (KSHS Library call no.: K 670/Pam.v.1/no.6).

Topeka Genealogical Society, Shawnee County Cemeteries, vol. 3 (Topeka, Kans.: Topeka Genealogical Society, 1987). (KSHS Library call no.: K 929.3/-Sh1ce).

Topeka State Journal, 16 Aug. 1978, 16. (KSHS newspaper microfilm reel no.: T2010).

Index Terms

Access Points


The terms listed below may include names, places, subjects, occupations, titles, and other words describing this collection. These terms are used in the ATLAS online catalog used by the Kansas State Historical Society and affiliated libraries in Topeka as well as libraries and archives subscribing to OCLC, a national library/archives database. Searches on these words should produce a description of this collection as well as other books and collections that may be of interest.

Family names

Brooke family.

Geographic names

Topeka (Kan.)

Genre/Physical characteristics

Diaries. (Art & Architecture Thesaurus)
Family papers.

Additional Information for Researchers

Acquisition information

Hezekiah Bissell (subgroup I); Accounts of 3 Topeka, Kans., Businesses (subgroup VII); and McEntire Bros. (subgroup IX): estate of George and Mabel McEntire, gift, 1979.

Richard B. McEntire, School Papers (subgroup XI, series A); Donald McEntire, 1917- (subgroup XII); Carol McEntire (subgroup XIII); Forbes Bros. (subgroup XIV); Mrs. George P. McEntire (subgroup XVI); McEntire Family (subgroup XVII); Helen McEntire (subgroup XVIII); Items by Unidentified Kansas Family Members, Trip Diary [1946?] (subgroup XIX, series A, item 2); and Publications (subgroup XX): Carol (McEntire) Jones, gift, 1998; accession no. 1998–160.02.

Remainder of collection: Carol (McEntire) Jones, loan, 1998; accession no. 1998-160.01.

Custodial history

Family items collected by Carol (McEntire) Jones and in the estate of her parents, George Power and Mabel Laura (Brooke) McEntire.

Restrictions on access


Copyright/Publication rights

The issue of copyright was not addressed in 1979 when the estate of George and Mabel McEntire donated part of the collection; copyright to papers in that donation is assumed to belong to the heirs of the creators or their assigns. Any copyright owned by the donor to papers given to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1998 was transferred to the agency at the time of donation. The Kansas State Historical Society does not own literary property rights to those papers loaned for microfilming. See "Acquisition Information," above, for a description of documents included in each accession.

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (title 17, U.S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights derive from the principle of common law, affirmed in the copyright law of 1976 as amended, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right; the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of a user or his or her publisher to secure the permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

Preferred citation

[identification of individual item, series and/or subgroup]; McEntire-Brooke Family Papers (1745-1982), 1758-1982; ms. collection no. 426; Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society.


No additions to this collection are anticipated.

Processing information

Mss. processed by Robert L. Knecht, 1998-99. Photographs and printed materials were processed by other staff members, filed separately, and not included as a part of this collection.