Jerusha Loomis and Eli Farnham married in 1835 in Madison County, New York, and set out two years later for Knox County, Illinois. As part of the founding party, the Farnhams settled in Galesburg and contributed to the success of Knox College. Their five children attended school here and Eli Farnham served as secretary of the Board of Trustees for nearly forty years. The collection spans nearly one hundred years and contains more than three thousand documents and letters. Basic conservation and processing has begun; and the discoveries in this exhibit are examples of the treasures in the collection. Once the letters and documents are sorted and grouped, the reading and study will follow. Students will review and transcribe the letters, entering information into a database. The content of the letters will provide valuable research material as the lives of these pioneers unfold.
The image on the right is from the collection. The women in the photograph, taken in the mid-1880s, seem to be related, but their identity remains a mystery.