[These documents were recently edited. Names and subjects are not yet available for the online database records.]
These documents, which cover the years 1883-1888 and 1917-1935, consist primarily of correspondence to and from Ira Mandeville Miller (1856-1934), older brother of Mina Miller Edison, and his wife, Cora Wise Miller (1864-1935). Other correspondents include Mina Edison, her siblings John V. Miller and Mary Miller Nichols, Edison Pioneer Edward D. Adams, Henry Ford, and Ford's assistant Frank Campsall. Among the topics mentioned in the letters are the settlement of the household accounts at Oak Place after the death of Mary Valinda Miller and Mina's attendance at the birth of Nancy Miller, the first child of John and Florence Miller, in July 1922. Mina mentions that it was a cesarean delivery, and the parents and the doctor were concerned about the life of the baby. The letters from the 1920s include several comments about Cora's health, although the nature of her ailment is undisclosed. A letter from September 1925 contains an extended discussion of the servants at Glenmont and Mina's difficulties in finding a new cook. In the same letter, Mina remarks upon the upcoming marriage of Nellie Tinstman, who had taken over the management of the Edisons' Fort Myers property after the death of her first husband in 1923. She also expresses her frustration that Thomas's dislike of travel and her unwillingness to leave him alone prevent her from visiting Ira and Cora as often as she would like.
An April 1926 letter from Fort Myers remarks upon the dedication of Edison Park, a subdivision across the street from Seminole Lodge, and the changes taking place at Fort Myers, which is no longer the "quiet restful spot" that it had been forty years earlier. An exchange of letters between Ira and Frank Campsall in 1928 relate to Henry Ford's desire to acquire some "relics" of Lewis Miller for exhibit in his museum. A letter from May 30, 1930, mentions Mina's successful efforts to achieve a reconciliation between her niece Margaret and her husband Henry O. Newman. The couple separated again a few years later and divorced. An undated letter by Mina, written in early December 1930, describes the death and funeral of Halbert K. Hitchcock, the husband of her sister Grace. Mina notes that at the time of his death Hal was "working over the idea of making Dearie hear and has started the ball rolling so Theodore and Dearie are carrying on."
In addition to the correspondence, there are telegrams congratulating Ira on this seventieth birthday; a telegram sent to Ira and Cora on their thirty-ninth wedding anniversary; and obituaries for Ira, who died on March 11, 1934, and Cora, who died on January 13, 1935. Courtesy of the Chautauqua Institution Archives, Oliver Archive Center