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Elizabeth A. Orton1854-1928 and Sallie Ann Orton 1856-1947 were the daughters of Adelia Sophia Bailey and Merrill Story Orton, who came to Galesburg from Vermont about 1857. Neither married. One or both lived at 689 W. Tompkins Street until their deaths. Lizzie taught piano lessons and worked at College City Greenhouse. Both are listed as copyists, gardeners and music teachers in various City Directories. The 1910 City Directory lists Lizzie as a housekeeper, Sallie as an artist.
The collection is composed of letters and diaries. The courting letters between Merrill Orton and Adelia Bailey are descriptive of the times. They are especially interesting since the letters are frequent and well-written. Business letters, correspondence with Gale family cousins and with friends and Lizzie Orton’s diaries describe activities and events in Galesburg and surrounding areas.
The Gale family in this collection seems to be unrelated to the founders. The names do not appear in the Gale Family Papers, Mss 65/genealogy. A typed note stamped “Calkins Papers” located in that file lists Gale family members in the Knox Directory who are not related. Francis F. and Daniel A. are among these. Whether Daniel A., who attended the Academy 1861-65, is the Daniel Gale of this collection is doubtful, but possible.
Donor: William T. Savage, JR.
Francis F. Gale was the second husband of Mattie Perry, mother of Nellie Cora Perry, mother of Mrs. William T. Savage, Jr. Sallie and Lizzie were cousins of Francis Gale, A1870-1872.