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Toleware Chest Or Box

Probably for papers and documents. Painted brown with flower and leaf design.
19th century
Metal, Paint
Current Location Status:
In Storage
Gift Of Susan S. Stark Estate

B is for Boxes (circa 1998 – 2014)
Estate of Susan S. Stark
Prominent Lansing community member whose hobbies included antique collecting.  Upon  her death in 1937 she bequethed her entire collection to museums in Michigan that would be able to exhibit them to the public.  Her obituary in the March 14, 1937 issue of the Kalamazoo Gazette indicated that she was nationally known for her collection of early Americana antiques and that it was second only to Henry Ford. 

The Edison Institute (Henry Ford Musuem), Michigan State University, Michigan Historical Society, Grand Rapids Public Museum, and Kalamazoo Public Museum were among the parties invited to select items from her estate to add to their collections. 

Susan Stark (maiden name Stebbins), born August 7, 1863, was the second daughter of Cortland Bliss Stebbins and Eliza Smith Stebbins.  Cortland played an influential role in early Michigan history: he served as the editor of the Michigan Expositor for seven years, was employed as a special agent by the U.S. post Office, and contributed to school law in the state of Michigan.  Eliza was active in the Lansing community, especially the Congregational Church, and was well connected to the state government, having grown up next to Michigan Governor Charles Croswell (1877-1881).

Susan Stebbins was an avid collector of items from an early age and resided with her parents for most of her life.  In 19808 45 year old Susan married 30 year old Byron Stark and she continued collecting antiques and other items.  Her family attributed her interest in collecting to her father's role as a public historian.