Preliminary Guide to the Carpenter-Richardson Family Papers circa 1870s-1970s

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Richardson, Margaret Carpenter, 1910-1973 Carpenter, Frank, 1871-1959 Carpenter, Norah Carr, ca. 1875-1962
Carpenter-Richardson Family Papers
Date [inclusive]
circa 1870s-1970s
7.5 linear feet, 8 boxes.
(MASC staff use): 2-11-1-1.
Collection materials are in English.
Materials are in English.
Papers of the Carpenter and Richardson families of Cle Elum, WA.

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From the guide to the Carpenter-Richardson Family Papers, 1880-1972 (Cage 171):

The Carpenter-Richardson family established itself in Cle Elum, Washington in 1906 when Frank Carpenter, a native of Girard, Illinois, arrived and organized the Cle Elum State Bank. Norah Carr, also of Girard, joined him at Cle Elum in 1908 and they married soon after. Their daughter, Margaret, was born at Cle Elum about two years after her parents' marriage. In 1943, she married Dr. John Purver Richardson, a physician from Ellensburg. Dr. Richardson died in 1953, Mr. Carpenter in 1959, Mrs. Carpenter in 1962, and Margaret Carpenter Richardson in 1973. During its sixty-seven years in Cle Elum, the family's place was among the community's relatively well-to-do elite. It was supported by Frank Carpenter's income from the Cle Elum State Bank, a small state bank with branches at Cle Elum and Roslyn, and from his various investments in local real estate. This income enabled his family to conduct a style of life which included an expensive house, travel around the United States, and boarding schools for daughter Margaret.

Margaret Carpenter, the principal figure in the Carpenter-Richardson papers, first attended Annie Wright Seminary in Tacoma and then Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Ill at ease in school, despite excellent academic performance, Margaret left Sarah Lawrence in her sophomore year and attempted to find a career in, successively New York, Washington D. C., and San Francisco. Meeting with little success, she returned to Cle Elum and a modest positon at the bank her father managed. She continued to travel, participate in amateur theatrical productions, and carry on correspondence with a cosmopolitan circle of acquaintances from her college days. In 1943, she quietly married Dr. Richardson, founder and partner in an Ellensburg clinic, and for several years continued her life much as before, adopting Dr. Richardson's name only in about 1948. After Dr. Richardson's death in 1953, Margaret returned to her association with her parents in Cle Elum. After their deaths, she adopted a daughter, Susi. She also became involved in various local volunteer activities, such as the Cle Elum Historical Society. She lost her sight in 1968, but remained active until her death in 1973.

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Scope and Content

Papers of the Carpenter and Richardson families of Cle Elum, WA. Includes some earlier material from the families of Norah Carr Carpenter and Frank Carpenter, who lived in Girard, IL. Correspondence, diaries of Norah Carr Carpenter, photographs, and miscellaneous material. Most of the material is related to Norah Carr Carpenter, Frank Carpenter, and their daughter, Margaret Carpenter Richardson.

Preliminary inventory:

Boxes 1-2. Correspondence (incoming), Norah Carr Carpenter. There are two separate sequences. The first has been sorted into a roughly chronological sequence; the second is unsorted. The second sequence includes a group of letters from Frank to Norah.

Boxes 2-3. Correspondence (incoming), Mr. and Mrs. Frank Carpenter (Frank and Norah Carpenter), and Frank Carpenter.

Box 3. Norah Carr scrapbook and diaries; earlier correspondence and other documents related to Norah Carr and the Carr family of Girard, IL; Margaret Carpenter Richardson papers including correspondence (incoming), address books, diary, and memorabilia.

Box 4. Margaret Carpenter Richardson papers (continued); papers related to Charles Carpenter and the Carpenter family; miscellaneous material.

Box 5. Carpenter family papers (continued); photographs (unsorted).

Boxes 6-7. Photographs (unsorted).

Box 8 (oversize). Large-format photographs, framed photographs, and scrapbook pages.

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This is an unprocessed collection. Any arrangement reflects either a pre-existing order from the records' creators or previous custodians, or preliminary sorting performed by staff.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries

Terrell Library

P.O. Box 645610

Pullman, WA, 99164-5610 USA


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available for research use.

Acquisition Information

Rae Yanushka donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 2017 (MS.2017.13).

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Related Materials

Related Material

Carpenter-Richardson Family Papers, 1880-1972 (Cage 171).

Separated Material

One item was removed from this collection for separate cataloging: a two-and-one-half dollar U.S. coin, 1861 (Cage 5111).

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Names and Subjects

Family Name(s)

  • Carpenter family--Archives

Geographic Name(s)

  • Cle Elum (Wash.)--History--Sources

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