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Wolfe Family Papers

 Collection — Box: 2017-002
Identifier: MSS-0093

Content Description

The Wolfe family collection contains letters, a scrapbook, and two autograph books created by members of the Wolfe family of Happy Camp, California and Lehman, Pennsylvania in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The family may have also lived in other locations in the U.S. The 1890s letters are predominantly from Henry Wolfe in California to his brother Alonzo Wolfe in Pennsylvania with letters to a cousin as well. Documents in the collection also mention William Wolfe, Sarah Wolfe, and other members of the family.

Henry Wolfe moved to Happy Camp, California where he was initially involved with a mining operation. He describes the scenery, hunting, sending deer skins back to his brother, and life in rural California. Six letters were also mailed from Centerville and Ontario, California. A cousin sent a detailed letter from Kansas after arriving there by train. This letter mentions tramps living in tents outside of Kansas City, the property they purchased, and other information. The collection also includes an 1845 letter from Sarah Wolfe to William Wolfe with details about attending a party and Nancy Rogers in Plymouth Township. There is also an 1845 document for William Wolfe to acquire 85 acres of land in Lake Township. The autograph books from the 1880s belonged to Alonzo Wolfe and a female member of the Wolfe family and contains inscriptions of people from Pennsylvania, Vermont, Texas, and Nebraska. Finally, a scrapbook from approximately the 1920s includes many photographs with some identified as Worchester and Philadelphia.

Excerpts from some of the letters provided by the seller:

"Happy Camp, CA Nov 26, 1880

"Dear Brother,

"I received your letters a week ago Pat is squalling because he has to go to bed. We are now having some quite cold weather it freezes ice around the water every night. Tomorrow will finish the flume all but the walk, we have been at it since the 23rd of August almost every day. It will take almost every day. It will take another month to get ready to mine. Have got about 1000 feet of pipe to make which will take two men a couple of weeks. The water may not come till February It has been very nice weather for our work. The deer are thick here we saw a big buck this morning close by. I was close enough to have punched him with my six shooter if I had it. He stood and looked at me for a while. When I pack my gun I see no deer.

"I want to get a couple of bear hides as a robe. What are you going to do this winter?

"Centerville CA

"Oct 13, 1880

"Dear Brother,

"I received your letter tonight and will answer it right away we left Wadsworth Monday night half past nine, and arrived at Truckee in the morning after we got on the Nevada it snowed and, as we came down it rained hard till we got nearly to Sacramento Niles was not on the road The emigrant train went. So we went right on to San Francisco.

"Kansas City MO

"Oct 30, 1881

"Pa expects to build in the spring. He intends to build a brick house. Really I like everything here better than I expected. Some parts of the city are Horrid !

"It is hills and holes. Shanty and tents. Pa and I walked out about a mile and a half from home Sunday and we came across what are called first class tramps.

"They put out little tents or live in wagons as long as they choose and than pull up and move elsewhere.

"The most unpleasant part of my journey was crossing the Mississippi River. It was very high and had overflowed a great amount of land. We arrived at Quency about dusk and there the train stopped until day light. We all slept as best we could on the seats. They did not dare to cross the river after dark. We had to cross seven miles of waters

"Most of the track was under water. It took five hours to go seven miles."


  • circa 1845-1930


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at


0.17 Cubic Feet (1 box) : Scrapbooks, Autograph book, Correspondence.

Language of Materials



Collection has not yet been arranged and described.

Custodial History

Purchased from ebay seller matts diaries curiosities dustytomes.

Wolfe Family Papers
Amy Schindler, Angela Kroeger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States