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A Finding Aid for the Mildred A. Miller Papers 1915-1916

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Mildred A. Miller Papers.

Creator: Miller, Mildred A. 1896-1997.

Dates: 1915-1916.

Abstract: Mildred Ahlgren Miller was an active member of the Big Rapids educational community for over 30 years. She served as principal or instructor in nearly every district school. Miller had graduated from the Ferris Institute kindergarten and early education course in 1917. The papers consist of notes and projects completed as part of her coursework.

Language: English

Quantity: 0.4 cubic feet; 1 Hollinger box

Identification: MSS-7

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

Mildred Ahlgren Miller was born on 23 July 1896 to Nels and Bernadinah (Nelson) Ahlgren of Big Rapids, Michigan. The Ahlgrens were Scandinavian immigrants who had settled in the Swede Hill area. Miller attended the local schools and completed the kindergarten and early education program at Ferris Institute, earning her teaching certificate in 1917.

Miller continued her education by attending both Central Michigan College (Mt. Pleasent, Mich.) and the National Kindergarten College (Chicago, Ill.). She taught in Michigan schools for over 39 years. After positions in Norway (Mich.) and Coldwater (Mich.), Miller returned to Big Rapids. Miller taught in all operational Big Rapids schools (except for Brookside Elementary) and was principal of the Third Ward School for several years. She retired from teaching in May 1961.

In addition to her educational career, Miller was extremely active in local organizations. She held memberships in the Big Rapids Garden Club, the Big Rapids Historical Museum and Society, the Commission on Aging and the United Church Marion B. Circle. Mildred and her brother Harold Ahlgren donated money to the city for the establishment of the Swede Hill memorial in 1985. Because of her civic involvement, July 23, 1991 was declared "Mildred Miller Day" and she was given the keys to the city. In 1993, Miller received the Mary Pine award for outstanding citizenship.

Miller died April 18, 1997 at the Altercare Nursing Center in Big Rapids. Miller was married to A.P. Miller, manager of the local Consumers Power corporation in 1940. He passed away in 1949. They had no children.

Scope and Content Note

Mildred Ahlgren Miller was a local Big Rapids resident who attended Ferris Institute between 1915-1916. While she went on to have an active career as an educator and as a member of numerous Big Rapids civic organizations, these papers only cover her period as a student in the kindergarten department.

These notebooks provide a snapshot of curricula and assignments from a specific period in time. The Michigan notebook, which has a notation that it was used in E.M. Clark's class, includes sections on geography, local history and a biographical sketch of Woodbridge N. Ferris. Contemporary photos are pasted into the notebook. The other notebooks deal with educational topics such as drawing, school cuttings or mat weaving and include project work and instructions on how to teach such projects.

Miller donated a second set of materials in 1993- primarily duplicate separate publications which were separated out and filed by title. A complete gift listing is included within the collection.


The papers are included in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Mildred A. Miller Papers are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Mildred A. Miller Papers. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Mildred A. Miller Papers were donated by Mildred Miller, Big Rapids, Michigan, in October 1993.

Processing Information

The Mildred A. Miller Papers were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in November 2004. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Separated Materials

During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based materials. No specialized hardware or software is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. General Files. 1915-1916.

The Mildred A. Miller Papers are organized into a single series. All notebooks were created when Mildred Ahlgren Miller completed coursework for the kindergarten department at Ferris Institute between 1915-1916. She graduated in 1917.

The files are arranged alphabetically by notebook topic such as Michigan or School Cutting

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Catalog cards; gift list. Undated.
1 2 Gifts and Occupations notebook. 1915-196.
1 3 Industrial Arts notebook. 1915-1916.
1 4 High school music book no. 22. 1915-1916.
1 5 Mat-weaving notebook. 1915-1916.
1 6 Methods of Drawing notebook. 1915-1916.
1 7 Michigan: Scenic Beauty, Local History, Woodbridge N. Ferris, Pioneer Life. Notebook. 1915-1916.
1 8 School Cutting notebook. 1915-1916..