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Hazel Brown Morton Collection

Identifier: RH-A-409

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of material from the personal collection of Mrs. Hazel Brown Morton and her husband Mr. Sidney Morton ranging from 1863-1972. The Morton’s lived in Jackson, Michigan.

Hazel’s daily diaries concerned topics such as local weather, social activities, meals she cooked, family affairs, and current events. Hazel’s travel diary documented several trips her and Sidney went on from 1952-1958. This includes travels to McAllen, Texas to visit Hazel’s extended family, as well as several trips to multiple cities in Florida. It is mentioned in the travel diary that the couple often traveled so that Sidney could attend Ford Motors conventions across the country. Although he did not work directly for Ford Motors, Sidney was employed as a Chief Electrician for Consumers Power Co. Hazel also kept a collection of newspaper clippings in her “Scribble-In Trade Mark Book.” Clippings detailed local weather conditions from 1932-1952. Hazel referenced this information in her diaries when discussing gardening and travel plans.


  • Creation: 1863-1972


Biographical / Historical

Hazel Brown Morton (b. 1887 d. 1976) and Sidney Morton (b. 1885 d. 1957) were wed in 1905. They lived in Jackson, Michigan. According to the 1910 census the Morton’s lived in Comstock, Kalamazoo Michigan. In 1907, they had their only child, Frank W. Morton (b. 1907 d. 1961). Between 1910 and 1920, the couple moved to Jackson, Michigan. Between 1930-1950 Hazel’s mother, Lucy Belle Secord Brown (b. 1865 d. 1952) lived with the Morton’s in Jackson until her death in 1952. Hazel and Frank moved to St. Petersburg (St. Pete), Florida after Sidney’s death in 1957. She kept daily diaries starting in 1941 until 1972, except for 1944, 1945, and 1947.


1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the Zhang Legacy Collections Center by Mrs. Hazel Brown Morton through Louise Struble.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to 1.0 cubic feet and is composed of materials from the personal collections of Hazel Brown Morton (1887-1976) and her husband Sidney Morton (1885-1957) dating from 1863-1972. The couple lived in Jackson, Michigan for the duration of Hazel’s diaries. The collection consists of 31 diaries kept by Hazel, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous documents. The diaries range in size from 4” x 5.5” to 5” x 8.” 15 of the diaries are identical black, spiral-bound journals. 16 of the diaries are hardcover. Also included are a series of unbound “Agenda” pages with various dates and events written by Hazel. A book of newspaper clippings measuring 4.75” x 7” is also included. This book has the Morton’s address written inside the front cover. In addition to the diaries detailing Hazel’s daily life ranging from 1941-1972, a diary of travel is included. The diary of travel contains daily reports by Hazel documenting separate trips the Morton's took between 1952-1958.

While most of the material is in good condition with limited signs of aging, eight of the diaries are in varying stages of disrepair. The 1943 Daily Diary and Appointments has a torn spine covering, 1951 Yearbook Journal’s “Greeting Sign” emblem is peeling, 1953 Yearbook Journal’s flower emblem is peeling, 1959 Locking Diary’s lock strap is broken, 1960 Yearbook Journal has a broken spine/loose leaf, 1965 Yearbook Journal has a torn spine, and the 1967 Yearbook Journal has a torn spine.

Hazel Brown Morton Collection finding aid
Ivy Merrick, Peter Moon, Javon Mouton, Ella Nelson, Nicole Page, 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