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Parish Family Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Parish

Scope and Content of the Collection

Most of the letters are from Martha Ellen Luey Parish to her father, Lester Lyman Luey. The letters mainly concern domestic matters, although some community topics are touched on. Among the subjects are: electrification, the bicycling mania, fires and fire insurance, the final days of the Columbian Exposition, weather, and health matters. There are also several letters concerning the problems created by Martha’s alcoholic brother Henry Luey, who was finally placed at the "Washington Home" to recover.

Also included are a Chicago Fire Patrol report from March 2, 1889 when Charles Parish’s business burned down, an ornate envelope from Gibson, Parish, & Co. to L. L. Luey, a pamphlet from Gibson, Parish, & Co. advertising a new location and their reopening, and a pamphlet from the Grand Opera house on the occasion of going electric, called their “first illumination."

Typed transcripts of the letters from Martha Ellen Luey Parish to her father, Lester Lyman Luey, 1884-1896, are in the last folder of the collection.


  • Creation: 1884-1896



Materials are in English.


The Parish Family Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Parish Family Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Parish Family

Materials primarily related to Martha Ellen Luey Parish, married to Chicago cabinet hardware manufacturer Charles Pomeroy Parish.

Martha Ellen Luey was born in 1850 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the daughter of Lester L. Luey and Mary Moody Luey. The third of five children, she lived with her family in Greenfield until she married Charles P. Parish on December 27, 1881. Charles Parish’s family was from Omaha, Nebraska, but Charles and Flora, his sister, grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Flora married Sam Tobin; one of their children, Kittie, married Frank Lloyd Wright.

Charles and Martha Parish settled in Chicago, Illinois, where they raised five children. Charles co-owned a cabinet hardware and upholstery goods manufacturing company in Chicago called Gibson, Parish & Company. For a number of years the family lived in a house on Kimbark Avenue in Chicago, living next door to cousins on the Parish side of the family. They later bought and moved to a farm in Homewood, Illinois. Martha Luey Parish died on June 8, 1925.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Consists mainly of correspondence from Martha Ellen Luey Parish of Chicago, IL to her father, Lester Lyman Luey, of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Also included are a few letters written by his son-in-law, Charles Pomeroy Parish. The letters concern domestic matters and touch upon such community topics as electrification, the bicycling mania of the late 19th century, fires and fire insurance, and the remains of the World's Columbian Exposition. There are also several letters discussing an alcoholic brother.


Materials arranged alphabetically by subject.

Collection Stack Location

1 27 2


Gift, Natalie Hazelton Mata, 1996

Processed by

Marisa Bell-Metereau, 2009.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Parish Family Papers, 1884-1896Midwest.MS.Parish
Finding aid prepared by Marisa Bell-Metereau
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States