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Milo Kendall papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Kendall

Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, personal materials, legal documents, and other items related to the life and career of Milo Kendall.

The correspondence includes many letters to and from Kendall's siblings and parents, as well as other relatives and friends in Vermont and elsewhere. Family correspondence includes letters from Kendall siblings to their parents and each other, as well as members of Orpha Ide Kendall's family. Also included are Orpha Ide Kendall's courtship letters to Milo Kendall, and incoming correspondence to her from her sisters, parents, and friends. There is also voluminous correspondence from Milo & Orpha Kendall's daughter Helen (Nell) Kendall Winter. The Personal series includes materials related to Kendall's life and career, including his involvement in civic matters in Bureau County, finances, writings and speeches, and various personal items. The Family Papers consist mainly of materials related to Orpha Ide Kendall and her family, including the childhood writings of Orpha and her sisters, as well as documents related to Orpha's father John Ide, a prominent Baptist preacher in Massachusetts and New York state. There are also a few items pertaining to Milo and Orpha's son William.

The remainder of the collection consists of documents related to Milo Kendall's law practice and other business dealings. The law papers cover a variety of issues, including land and property agreements and disputes, estate administration, divorces, and debt collection. There are legal documents such as wills, deeds, mortgages, and leases included in the papers, as well as hand-written depositions and briefs. Kendall served as lawyer for both the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and the Illinois Grand Trunk Railway (formerly the Camanche, Albany, and Mendota Railroad), and there are materials related to personal injury cases as well as right of way and securities issues. Other materials include business correspondence, a small amount of materials from Kendall's first law partnership with C.K. Harvey in 1846, expense logs and receipts from Kendall's later law practices, land abstracts, copies of documents Kendall notarized, and financial records of the American House Hotel in Princeton, which Kendall had an interest in.


  • Creation: 1798-1925
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1845-1906



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Milo Kendall papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Milo Kendall 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 at

Biography of Milo Kendall

Lawyer and businessman based in Princeton, Bureau County, Ill.

Milo Kendall was born in Waterford, Vermont, in Caledonia County, on April 1, 1819. His grandfather, William Kendall, was a native of Massachusetts and fought in the Revolutionary War before relocating to Vermont. Milo Kendall's father, Jerreb Kendall, was the captain of a calvary troop and worked as a miller and hotelier in Vermont. Jerreb Kendall married Lucy Woods in 1802, and the couple had eleven sons: Jerreb, John, George, James E., Larnard L., Lyman, Alonzo, Lorenzo, Milo, Chester and William, and one daughter, Lucy. Milo Kendall remained in close contact with his family throughout his life, corresponding with them frequently.

Kendall completed his education in Vermont, attending the Newbury Seminary (now the Vermont College of Fine Arts) in Montpelier, and then reading law with Bartlett & Fletcher in Linden, Vermont. In 1845 Kendall went to Illinois with attorney C.K. Harvey, and was admitted to the bar in Knoxville, Knox County. Shortly afterward Kendall relocated to Princeton, in Bureau county, where he opened his own law practice, one of the first in the area. In 1857 he began a partnership with George O. Ide which lasted until 1871, when Ide relocated to Chicago. Kendall later partnered with Owen Lovejoy. For forty years Kendall was the attorney for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and also handled cases for the Illinois Grand Trunk Railway, later absorbed into the CB&Q. He was also very active in the local affairs and politics of Princeton and Bureau County, serving as Mayor, President of the Early Settlers Association, and an election official.

In 1848 Kendall married Orpha Ide, daughter of Baptist minister Rev. John Ide. The couple had four children: twins Charles and Frank were born in 1853 but died a few years later, William, born in 1855, and Helen (Nell) born in 1858. William Kendall remained in Princeton throughout his life. He married Alla Kaull in in 1879, and the couple had five daughters: Orpha, Zoe, Helen, Bertha, and Alla. Helen Kendall married Harry Winter in 1888, and moved with him to the Hyde Park area of Chicago and later to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The couple had one son, Milo K. Winter, born in 1889.

Orpha Ide Kendall died in 1890. Milo remained in Princeton but stayed with his daughter and her family often in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Milo Kendall died on December 25, 1905 after a brief illness.


17.5 Linear Feet (39 boxes and 1 oversize box)


Vermont native who settled in Princeton, Bureau County, Illinois, in 1846 and practiced law there for over sixty years. Papers include extensive records of Kendall's legal practice, family correspondence, and real estate records.


Papers are organized in the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1829-1906
Boxes 1-4
Series 2: Personal, 1841-1898
Boxes 5-7
Series 3: Family Papers, 1798-1925
Box 8
Series 4: Business Materials, 1843-1911
Boxes 9-39

Collection Stack Location

1 22 7, 1 23 7


Gift, Diana Haskell, ca. 1985.

Processed by

Kelly Kress, 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.

Genre / Form




Inventory of the Milo Kendall papers, 1798-1925, bulk 1845-1906
Kelly Kress
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