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Henry J. Aten Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Aten

Scope and Content of the Collection

Primarily letters from Nicholas Harris, a lawyer in Belvidere, Warren Co., NJ., to Henry J. Aten. Harris was apparently assisting Aten with his research of the Aten family. Letters also discuss social subjects, the weather, and Harris's activities. Also included are Aten family documents copied by Harris, clippings, and a photocopy of the genealogy begun by Aten and continued by the Aten family after his death.


  • Creation: 1896-approximately 1920



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Henry J. Aten 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 Henry J. Aten

Civil War soldier and Kansas politician.

Henry J. Aten was born near Astoria, Fulton County, Ill., October 12th, 1841 to parents Richard Aten and Ann Peterson. Aten worked on a farm and attended school winters until the Civil War broke out. He enlisted on August 8th, 1861, joining the 85th Illinois regiment. After the war, Henry Aten attended Chicago Business College. He taught business courses in Quincy, Illinois, and in 1870 moved west to Hiawatha, Kansas. In Kansas Aten was active in the town's incorporation and politics. He was elected mayor, and was also active in Native American relations in the area. Eventually he settled into the insurance and loan business, married Maria L. Burbidge, and had two daughters, Edna and Stella.

Aten wrote a history of the 85th Illinois regiment, and spent many years researching his family genealogy with the intention of publishing it. He was unable to complete the history, and the work was taken up by relatives who continued his research. Henry J. Aten died in 1913.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Letters from Nicholas Harris to Henry J. Aten of Hiawatha, Kansas, clippings, notes pertaining to the Aten family genealogy, and a photocopy of the family history initiated by Aten and continued by other relatives.


Arranged by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 4 1


Gift of Stella Walcott Aten, undated

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 2010.


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 Henry J. Aten Papers, 1896-approximately 1920
Lisa Janssen
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