Posts Tagged ‘Albert John Todd’

I posted a copy of a graduation announcement last week. I didn’t know who it belonged to, but it turns out it belonged to Uncle Joe DeKorn. A reader posted a link to the answer. It turns out that Uncle Joe graduated from Kalamazoo High School in a class of 26. One of his classmates was an Upjohn son, William Harold Upjohn, and one was a Todd daughter, Ethel May Todd.

When Uncle Lou (Lambertus) Leeuwenhoek passed away on April 20, 1949, another Todd–Mary Todd–sent flowers and a sympathy notecard. You can read about Uncle Lou and his wife, my Aunt Jen, if you click on the following links: a post about Uncle Lou’s hero brother who died at war, a post about Uncle Lou’s Bible collection, and one which focuses on my Aunt Jen, Uncle Lou’s wife. When I was growing up, she was the oldest person I knew. A post I still need to write is about the store Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen owned.

I don’t know how Aunt Jen knew Mary Todd, but maybe it was at church or maybe it was through the store.

Sent with a vase of mixed flowers

Sent with a vase of mixed flowers

Mary Todd was Ethel’s sister-in-law, the wife of Albert John Todd, the President of the A.M. Todd Company. Mary’s husband was a son of the company founder. In 1950, Albert and Mary lived at 2344 Midvale Terrace in Kalamazoo. The house was in the middle of a section known as Westnedge Hill, where the houses are all large and custom and the lots large for city lots.

The 1920 census indicates that Albert and Mary lived with their four children and two servants, an “Englishman” and a local girl. According to the 1930 census, they had one servant, a different girl from ten years earlier. It’s hard to tell about the 1940 census because Albert and Mary are at the bottom of the page, and I am not sure how to find the next page. Any ideas?

When people think of the A.M. Todd Company, they think of mint. According to the company website, the history is summed up this way:

Quality. Purity. Integrity. An unwavering belief in these principles inspired Albert May Todd, then a teenager, to found A. M. Todd Company in 1869. It was an era when mint essential oil from Michigan had a poor reputation thanks to widespread adulteration by unscrupulous vendors. Albert May’s initiatives brought credibility to Michigan essential oils and early success to the A. M. Todd Company, now the world’s oldest and largest supplier of American peppermint and spearmint oil.

Maybe Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen were customers, through their store, of the A.M. Todd Company.  This company was sold a little over two years ago. You can find an article here which describes the company, the sale, and the influence of the company on the Kalamazoo area.

This is a passage from a book entitled Vanilla: Travels in Search of the Ice Cream Orchid by Tim Ecott:

Notice that the notecard also has the name Frances Haskell. Maybe that indicates that the flowers were, in fact, from women who knew Aunt Jen through a women’s group? Frances Haskell seems to be a middle-aged single daughter of Gertrude Haskell. The Haskells lived in the beautiful area near Kalamazoo College and the Henderson Castle.

Once again, this item and the information I’ve found leads to more questions than I had originally!

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