Mary Virginia McCormick Papers, 1871-1923

Summary Information

Title: Mary Virginia McCormick Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1871-1923

  • McCormick, Mary Virginia, 1861-1941
Call Number: McCormick Mss 1D; McCormick Mss 2D; McCormick Mss 3D; McCormick Mss 4D

Quantity: 25.2 c.f. (63 archives boxes)

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers of Mary Virginia McCormick, eldest daughter of Chicago industrialist Cyrus Hall McCormick and Nettie Fowler McCormick, who became mentally incompetent at the age of nineteen. The papers consist of correspondence; early diaries and school notebooks; reports from doctors, nurses, and companions; legal documents; and financial records. These concern relations with members of her family, arrangements for her personal welfare and medical treatment, upkeep of her several homes and estates in the United States and Canada, and plans for travel to her homes and to Europe.
Correspondence describes Virginia's daily activities and state of mind and contains detailed advice concerning her care. Medical letters, reports, and casebooks deal with her mental condition. Legal papers relate to sanity hearings and trusteeships. Financial records concern investments; management of her estate; household, personal, and medical bills; and expense accounts. Her papers, ending in the year of her mother's death in 1923, lack any information relating to the last three decades of her life, when she lived chiefly in California as a millionaire recluse with a staff of some thirty persons.
Virginia's mother, her brother Cyrus H., Jr., and her uncle Eldridge M. Fowler, served as original conservators and trustees for her share of the estate inherited from her father; her younger brother and sister, Harold and Anita, were successor trustees; and Judson F. Stone, representing McCormick Estates, managed her financial affairs. In addition to the correspondence of each of these individuals and many who cared for her, the papers include medical case histories and diaries of doctors such as Alice Bennett and Sanger Brown; and letters and reports from Grace T. Walker, head of Mary Virginia's household for forty years.

Language: English

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