Skip to main content

Nathaniel H. Stewart Records

Identifier: RH-A-4327

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of legal documents and receipts relating to Nathaniel H. Stewart, the Chappell-Stewart House, and other properties. The house is located in the Stuart Historical District of Kalamazoo, MI. The documents are from the 1860’s to the 1930’s.


  • Creation: 1860’s - 1930’s


Biographical / Historical

The home was originally constructed for Delos Chappell (1846-1909) and he resided there until 1896. In 1896, ownership of the home passed from Chappell to Nathaniel H. Stewart (1847-1919), a lawyer and circuit judge in Kalamazoo. Stewart was described in his obituary as prominent leader in the community and forceful in his opinions. Stewart arrived in Kalamazoo in 1868 and began to study law. He worked at Charles Stuart’s law practice and, after Stuart retired, Stewart took up the reins of the practice. Stewart later became a circuit court judge and lived in the Chappell-Stewart House for the remainder of his life.

The Chappell-Stewart House (213 Elm St.) is a distinct home of the Stuart neighborhood in Kalamazoo, MI. The home was built in 1880. It is a wooden house built in the “Queen Anne” style, featuring a bold exterior design and many luxurious furnishings. According to the building plan, aspects of the exterior of the house were purposely made to look like decades old modifications so as to give the building an older appearance. The building changed ownership many times in its early years but the two most notable owners were Delos Chappell and Nathaniel H. Stewart. The building still stands today with the original aesthetic maintained.


.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were transferred by the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The materials were found in a storage unit.

Physical Description

The contents of the collection amount to 0.25 cubic feet. The materials in the collection are mostly legal-size paper along with some smaller receipts and envelopes. The envelopes have decayed with weathering on the edges, faded print, and holes along the sides. Other documents have tearing along the sides or in the middle of the paper. The majority of the papers were folded and have pronounced creases in the paper. The pages have yellowed and many contain small amounts of staining but, in large, they are in good quality. The materials were in large written with ink and pencil but also a typewriter on occasion. The ink types vary from brown, blue, and light brown. Some materials have a government receipt and seal with a red or gold stamp of authentication.

The types of paper in this collection are mostly legal documents printed with designated areas filled in with either ink or pencil markings. Many of the documents are legal deeds and mortgage contracts. These documents contain the names of the parties in the contract, descriptions of land, and other agreements. Other materials include a memorial for Stewart, receipts from hardware stores, tax receipts, etc. Many of the receipts in the collection are on letterhead from their respective establishments with columns for debits and credits regarding purchases. The pages are filled in with ink or pencil marks.


Nathaniel H. Stewart Records finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490