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Seitz Family Papers - MS 988
The papers of the Michael Seitz and Charles S. Seitz families consists of .25 linear feet of financial ledgers and other records spanning the period from 1832-1926. It consists primarily of account records related to the farming operation of Michael Seitz in Washington Township, Wood County, Ohio.
The donation and transfer of these records to the Center for Archival Collections was arranged through the cooperation of Joyce Stearns, of Bowling Green, Ohio, on September 25, 2003. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was completed by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in October 2003.
The Seitz Family Papers consist primarily of financial ledgers, work accounts, and other records associated with the farms of Michael Seitz, located in Washington Township, and his son, Charles Seitz, in Plain Township, Wood County, Ohio.
Michael S. Seitz (sometimes spelled Sites) located in the area along the Maumee River, near Otsego, sometime in the mid 1860s, apparently first as a farmhand and later with his own land as a fruit grower, producing grapes, dwarf pears, peaches, currants, and quinces among other crops, for more than 30 years. Michael was also somewhat of a local eccentric, known for his interest in spiritualism and his use of goose bones to make annual weather predictions. Michael Seitz was born Dec. 26, 1837, he married Susan Kidd in 1870, and he died on January 21, 1910 at the age of 72.
His son, Charles S. Seitz, who was executor of his father's estate, also farmed, with his land located in Plain Township, Wood County, Ohio. This farm is represented by a few ledgers in the collection. He also sold real estate, worked as a railroad bed gradesman, and worked for a fertilizer company. Charles S. Seitz was born Aug. 31, 1881, he married Celia I. Kidd in 1907, and he died on May 21, 1977 at the age of 95.
The account books in the Seitz Family papers document the daily operation of two different farming operations in Wood County, Ohio. The first is a fruit-growing farm along the Maumee River, in Washington Township, Wood County, Ohio during the late 19th century, and the second farm operated by his son, Charles S. Seitz in Plain Township, Wood County, during the early 20th century.
The information available in the ledgers and accounts confirm that Michael Seitz bought 80 acres located along the Maumee River, in January 1863, although for some time afterwards his work journal/diary from 1862 to 1871 indicates he was still working as a farm laborer for a neighbor, Henry Huffman. There is also indication that a lot of his effort at this time was directed at clearing land (chopping, burning, ditching, and logging).
The ledgers dating from the 1870s shows that farming operations had begun, relating primarily to the cultivation of various fruit crops, such as grapes, dwarf pears, peaches, currants, and quinces. One feature of interest in the account book of 1871-1897 are lists of fruit stock bought during the season of 1883 from W.M. Demuth, including such peach varieties as Amsden, Alexander, Foster, Crawford, Wheatland, and White Imperial; grape varieties including Concord, Salem, and Delaware; pear varieties of Flemish Beauty, Bonne D'Jersey, Vicar of Winkfield, and Duchesse, and orange quinces. It is apparent from sales records that Seitz was successful in his fruit crops as well as producing corn, wool, wheat hogs, and sheep.
Also of interest in the Michael Seitz material is an off-hand reference to his local reputation for being able to predict the severity of winter weather by reading goose bones, an old Teutonic folk tradition. His prediction for the winter of 1899 is found in the cash receipt book of 1892-1901.
The later ledgers and accounts of Charles Seitz are more sporadic and portray a typical farm operation, with poultry, eggs, cream, and hogs produced. The account book from January 1923 through May 1925 is particularly good at illustrating the typical income and expenses of agricultural operations listed on facing pages.
Although the collection doesn't provide a lot of personal information or narrative, it provides detailed information on the daily operations as agriculture developed in Northwest Ohio.
Farm account, work, cashbooks, and other ledgers and daybooks related to the farming operations of Michael S. Seitz and his son Charles S. Seitz. Volume for 1893-1906 includes unidentified entries from 1832-1834 unrelated to collection
ADMINISTRATOR'S RECEIPT BOOK
Receipts for expenses paid by Charles Seitz in his role as administrator for the estate of Michael Seitz, including taxes, burial expenses, and advertising for sale of farm
- Ledger and daybook (Michael Seitz), 1862-1871
- Account book (Michael Seitz), 1871-1897
- Cash receipt/work account book (Michael Seitz), 1892-1901
- Miscellaneous accounts, 1893-1906
- Ledger (Charles Seitz), 1893-1926
- Account book (Charles Seitz), 1903-1920
- Work account (Charles Seitz), 1904-1909
- Account book/cash record (Charles Seitz), 1923-1925
- Account book (Charles Seitz), 1928-1929
- Administrator's Receipt Book - Michael Seitz Estate, 1910
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