Archive of 1060 letters, totaling 5445 pages, mostly handwritten, (with 384 retained mailing envelopes), plus over 200 pieces of related ephemera (mostly postcards, but some greeting cards, calling cards, invitations, telegrams, etc), all dated 1897-1942, with the bulk dating from from 1897-1929. The collection consists of correspondence of Mina Danner Bawsel written to her husband Charles M. Bawsel when he was away at work in Washington, D.C., as well as some letters of Mina writing to her daughter Helen Lindsay Bawsel. A good portion of the collection is incoming letters from Mina's sisters, daughter Helen, and other relatives.
The bulk of the letters from 1897-1923 are letters written by Mina to her husband Charles. After her husband dies in 1923, the correspondence is between Mina and her siblings and daughter Helen. There are also pre-1923 letters that are written to Mina as well. Correspondents to Mina include her sisters Esther Danner Gaskell, of Canton, Ohio, Mary Danner, and Hattie Danner Campbell, as well as a cousin Rose Saxton, and Mina's daughter Helen. There are also letters to Mina from friends like Edna Wales of Ossining, NY; May Perkins of Canton, OH; and Annie Nutting of Colorado, and others. There are several letters of Charles M. Bawsel, to other individuals, and then there are other letters to Charles from his brothers Edward and Lindsay. Charles' Aunt Lindsay also writes to Mina and Charles.
The chronology and number of the letters follows: 91 letters from 1898-1899; 330 letters from 1900-1909; 361 letters from 1910-1919; 94 letters from 1920-1929; and 79 letters from 1930-1942. There are also 105 letters that are not dated, but fall within the time period of the collection.
The ephemeral materials include: 206 postcards, dated 1901-1942; 33 calling cards, invitations, greeting cards, etc.; 25 pieces of manuscript paper, recipes, accounts, verse, miscellaneous notes, etc.; 15 used envelopes (most likely separated from their letters in this collection); 10 telegrams, dated 1904-1918; and 8 pieces of printed matter (circulars, programs, etc.).
Almina T. "Mina" Danner Bawsel (1868-1952) and Charles M. Bawsel (1864-1923)
Almina T. "Mina" Danner was born in August 1868 at Canton, Stark County, Ohio. Mina was the daughter of John Danner (1823-1918) and Terressa Adelia Millard (1828-1914). Mina's father was the complier and editor of 'Landmarks of Canton and Stark County, Ohio' published in Logansport, Indiana in 1904 by B.F. Bowen Publishing. He was also the founder and president of the "John Danner Manufacturing Company," makers and inventors of the revolving book case and of office and store furniture, which did an international trade. Located in Canton, Ohio, John Danner served six years as a member of the school board and city council. John's maternal great grandfather, Peter Slusser, was a Revolutionary War veteran (serving with the Northampton County, Pennsylvania militia) and was later a pioneer of Canton, Ohio.
Together John Danner and his wife Terressa had at least seven children: Anna Saphronia Danner (1849-1851); Mary E. Danner (1852-1946); Alice Danner (1853-1926) married Levi Miller Jones (1844-1931) and had at least two children: John Paul Jones (1882-1898) and Edith T. Jones (1884-1937); Harriet "Hattie" Danner (1858-1932) married J. Franklin Campbell (1857-1925) and had at least one child Millard E. Campbell (1882-1934); Esther D. Danner (1862-1936) married ? Gaskell; and John Millard Danner (1865-1960) who married May Shanafelt (1866-1956) and had an infant daughter (1894-1894) who died young. There are letters in collection from a woman named "May" and it could be May Shanafelt. The collection includes a number of letters from Esther, Harriet (Hattie) and some from May and others.
Mina Danner married Charles M. Bawsel of Washington, D.C. about 1892. Charles M. Bawsel was born 4 November 1864, in Washington, D.C., the son of Minor Bawsel and Helen Pendleton Lindsay. His mother was the daughter of Lewis Lindsay (d.1863) and Anna "Nancy" Harrison (d.1882) a descendant of the famed Revolutionary War soldier General Harrison. The Lindsay family were from Longmarsh, but moved to Winchester, Virginia, before moving on to Washington, D.C. Charles’ father, Minor Bawsel, worked in the U.S. Post Office (1862-1866) at Washington, D.C., during the Civil War and after his marriage to Helen, the couple moved to Texas where Minor and his wife Helen both caught Yellow Fever and died, leaving their three sons to be raised by their Aunt Lydia Lindsay and grandmother Lindsay in Washington, D.C., where the brothers are found in the 1880 Census. Besides Charles, there were two other brothers that were left orphaned: Edward Everett Bawsel and Lewis Lindsay Bawsel. Lewis Lindsay Bawsel had a son named Lindsay who committed suicide in 1936 by jumping off a ship into the ocean with his three children in tow. The collection includes letters from Charles’ brothers and Aunt.
Charles M. Bawsel spent his life in government service, first working for the future President William McKinley, and then later working for the U.S. Treasury. Charles's wife Mina was first cousin to President McKinley's wife. From 1877 to 1891, William McKinley was a U.S. Congressman for various Ohio Districts: 16th (1879-1881); 17th (1877-1879; 1881-1883); 18th (1883-1884, 1887-1891); 20th (1885-1887). As early as 1881 Charles M. Bawsel is found living at Canton, Ohio, and working as the private secretary to McKinley, known then as "Major" McKinley. In 1886 Bawsel was a stenographer living in Washington. In 1889-1890 he is again working as the private secretary of Major McKinley.
In 1890, we find Charles M. Bawsel listed as Assistant Clerk, Ways and Means, House of Representatives (William McKinley was, at this point, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, 4 March 1889 to 4 March 1891). After losing his election for Congress, McKinley goes back to Ohio and is elected as Governor of Ohio. McKinley appoints Bawsel as his executive clerk in 1892 and then again in 1894. McKinley was Governor of Ohio from 11 January 1892 to 13 January 1896.
A newspaper article (2 Dec 1891 Pittsburgh Dispatch) describes Bawsel as follows:
"Bawsel is a young gentleman of good address and pleasant manners, is accustomed to public men and public life, and by training and acquirements is admirably adapted for the Chief Clerkship of the State Executive Department. For some time past he has served as Private Secretary to Major McKinley. The appointment is rather favorable, with some little dissatisfaction however is being expressed at the appointment of Bawsel, who, though well thought of, is a comparative stranger in the district and only came on when the Major started in on his campaign."
From 4 March 1897 to 14 September 1901, McKinley was president until his assassination, and Bawsel seems to have followed McKinley to D.C., but not to the White House. Bawsel landed a job in 1897 with the Treasury Department, first as a clerk in the Treasury's Department of Collections and Inspections, then later in 1899 as the Clerk to the Auditor of the U.S. Treasury. Bawsel stayed employed in this position until he died in 1923, living all this time in D.C., his wife apparently making trips back to Canton, Ohio, from time to time and writing to her husband, where mentions of President McKinley show up in her letters, but mostly the letters to her husband concern family matters, health, social goings on back in Canton.
Together Mina and Charles had one daughter, Helen Lindsay Bawsel, born June 1893. Helen graduated college about 1916. In 1930, Helen is seen living with her mother and working as a public school teacher in D.C. Mina is listed as a widow, her husband Charles having died 19 October 1923. In 1930, Mina had taken in a couple of lodgers. Mina Danner Bawsel lived on till 14 June 1952, when she died in Washington, D.C. She is buried with her husband at the Danner family plot at West Lawn Cemetery, Canton, Ohio, the same cemetery as President McKinley and his family.
Mina's father's sister, her Aunt Harriet Danner (1830-1901), married Joseph Saxton in 1851. He was the brother of James Saxton, the father-in-law of President William McKinley, McKinley having married James' daughter Ida Saxton (1847-1907) in 1871, thus Mina Danner Bawsel was first cousin to President McKinley's wife. It was through this family connection to the future Congressman, Governor, and President, that Charles M. Bawsel found employment as the private secretary to Major McKinley, and later when McKinley became governor; Bawsel became the executive secretary to Governor McKinley. After McKinley became president, Bawsel went to Washington with him, but not to a White House position, rather he became the Clerk to the Auditor of the U. S. Treasury and lived in Washington, D.C., for the rest of his life.
"Atlanta, Ga, Sept 30th 
Your letter of 25th received and I hasten to relieve your mind as to my situation here. I have been assured that my position with the company is here for me as long as I wish to keep it, but I am not satisfied with the salary.
When you arrive in Washington you keep your eyes open and if anything offers seize it for me. Tell Mina I am preparing some pictures for her but will not send them until I hear from you again.
You need not have any fear of Yellow Fever in Atlanta and owing to the restrictions placed upon travel there is no danger of my doing very much traveling until after the epidemic is over.
Hurriedly your devoted brother, Everett"
"Wednesday Aug 10 
...Isn't this accident of dear Uncle Joe's just awful. It makes us all sick to see such a good, big hearted, energetic man lie in bed, helpless and suffering so. It is hard to tell just how he is -no bones are broken and as yet no fever has set in - but there is danger of internal injuries manifesting themselves in a day or so. He received several severe scalp wounds, but the injury the doctors' fear most is the one in the abdomen. Even the skin is not broken in this place, but there is a terrible black and blue spot and of course it is not yet known how deep the bruise is - His hands and arms were terribly scraped and bruised - also his nose. He drops off into little dozes but during all waking hours he seems to suffer a great deal. It is so hard not to be able to speak words & comfort and sympathy to him - He moans continually...A dispatch was received from the President before three o'clock - Don't know how he heard of it so quickly....Mina"
"Monday, July 24, 1899
I am not in much of a letter writing mood today as I have a severe headache - but I'll do the best I can...I had another nice letter from Mrs. Smith Saturday. They are felling fine and Mr. Smith has had to have drops put in his eyes only twice. I hope you will succeed in seeing Mrs. Wm. McKinley before they start away. Give her my love - What a little know-nothing that John [Touner] is! Of course I shant mention his devotion to Mrs. Rixcy to anyone here --- Mina"
"Friday [July 28, 1899]
I don't feel a little bit good today, I reckon I won't do much. Not sick, only just "aint' well." Should have been so a week ago and I presume that's what makes me feel worse now...Enjoyed your letter so much yesterday. How glad I am that you got in a call at the White House before the folks left. Am certainly sorry to hear Mrs. McKinley looks so bad. Uncle Joe tells us she is very melancholy - guess he hears through Mrs. Barber. He expects Aunt Harriet and Helen home soon. I will be glad to see them...With lots of love Mina"
"Wednesday [August 9, 1899]
I want to go over to the church awhile before dinner, so can write only a few lines...What do you suppose the McKinley's are going to do with that house? Do you imagine they'll ever settle down here? Wouldn't it be fun to see the President playing golf. How funny he must look in the costuming. I was amused at the account of Sarah Duncan's 'gowns' and of the President's interest in them. I guess he is interested. He has a right to be, no doubt...Devotedly Mina"
"Aug 31, '99
I don't feel particularly ambitious this morning. Am unwell. Went with Helen while she had four or five teeth filled - all that needed it, in the upper jaw. The rest will be finished Saturday morning and mine will then be commenced. He seemed to hurt Helen quite a little, but she is so patient and good. he then treated her to a nickel for soda water. Wasn't it funny - I was sneaking around the back way so as not to pass the McKinley's, when I bumped right into them, driving. They did not altogether stop, but nearly so. The President said he did not know I was here. I told them I was waiting for Mamma to come home and then we were coming over. If she is not here by supper time I shall go alone. We expect them home sometime today.
I'd like to go to the food show tonight after prayer meeting, but fear I won't feel like it. The President is to be there - escorted by the Hon. Geo. [Frease] and Col [Moore].
Such excitement as there was around here yesterday noon - whistles blew, cannons were fired, etc. We went down to the empty rooms over Mr. Rex's store and you can imagine the view we had from the windows. Mrs. Herman [Kubus] and Mrs. Bailey (of Washington) were with us. Prior to our going up there, we were standing in front of Mrs. Rex's store and I had Helen on a box suddenly a little fellow was jumped up beside here and it proved to be Louis Bailey. She had not noticed us in the crowd and didn't know who Helen was till I spoke of the two Washington children being together. You can imagine for yourself the crowds, the cheering, etc. when McKinley appeared.
...Helen and I came upstairs at seven and partly undressed and were reading - when we heard the band - slipped on our dresses and went on the porch - McKinley made a speech - but of course we could hear only the cheering. Helen got to bed soon after and I went about ten o'clock...
...I guess anyone who heard Mrs. McKinley express herself, would say Mabel was not her favorite niece, whether she is the President's or not....Dot"
"Oct 16th, 1901
My Dear Mina,
I was real glad to hear from you & have wondered why Charlie did not write to some of us, for we have not heard from him for weeks, which does not often happen. Oh Mina was not poor Mr. McKinley's death a sad blow to all of us. I know outside of his own family there was no one who was more grieved or who prayed more earnestly for this recovery than our family one & all - It seems so hard that such a man should be fated to such an end...Aunt Lindsay"