Born in 1838 in Stoughton, Massachusetts, Cynthia Lisetta Vose and her family including her parents Nathaniel Vose and Cynthia Smith Belcher Vose and her siblings Edgar and George Vose, were early settlers of farm land in Lake County, Illinois. In 1857, Cynthia Vose married George Kimball Stearns. The couple had three children named Harry Stearns (1858), Elmer Paine Stearns (1860) and Nellie Stearns (1869). In the 1880s Harry joined Elmer in California to run a fruit ranch in Suisan, California in hopes of recovery from his suffering of tuberculosis. Harry died in 1888 of the disease in Gurnee, Illnois. George Kimball Stearns died in 1894. Cynthia Vose then married her cousin, Nathaniel (Nat) Vose of Warren, Illinois in 1895. The two shared similar interests in spiritualism, homeopathic healing and "free thinking." Cynthia's daughter, Nellie Stearns married John Frances McCormick, an Irish immigrant laborer, in 1895. Nellie Stearns McCormick and John Frances McCormick had their daughter Beatrice in 1895 and later had their son, George Stearns, in 1897. The entire family moved to Pasadena in 1900 in hopes of working a citrus farm. Instead, John Frances McCormick found a job with the Los Angeles Railway. Nat Vose operated a cobbler shop and on the side worked as a homeopathic healer and massage therapist. Elmer Paine Stearns with his wife Alice and sons moved to El Paso, Texas to take a position as chair of English and Botany at an agricultural college in Juarez, Mexico. In 1907, Cynthia Vose bought a lot on Occidental Street and built a house. Cynthia Vose built a bigger home on a lot on Le Franco Street, only a few blocks from Occidental. This house was home to Cynthia Vose and the McCormick family until 1950. Cynthia Vose, describing herself as a widow after the abrupt departure of her husband Nat Vose, was an active and enthusiastic participant in the spiritualist movement, the Audubon society, the suffrage movement in the Political Equality League and the Hollenbeck Ebell Club. She was a member of the "People's Church" on 233 Broadway in Los Angeles. Her daughter, Nellie Stearns McCormick was also very involved in the Hollenbeck Ebell club, serving as president for many years. Nellie was also a participant in the Mother's Clubs, which was the predecessor to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She was also involved in the votes for women movement and not only voted regularly, but served on election boards and supervised polling places when women received the right to vote in California in 1911. In the 1920s Nellie was active in the California State Federation of Women's Clubs conventions. Nellie and John's daughter Beatrice (Bea) Kathleen McCormick married an older man named Lloyd Hartman after graduating high school. They eventually had two daughters named Lois and Frances. In 1918, George Stearns McCormick married his wife Pearl Amy.The couple had three daughters by 1924. George Stearns and his family moved away from Los Angeles, first to Fresno, California and then to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Scope and Content
The papers are arranged in three series: Family History, Hollenbeck Ebell Club and LA Women's Club and Photographs. Within the Family History series, the items are arranged by manuscripts, correspondence and ephemera. The items are filed alphabetically by name or subject within those subdivisions. Within the Hollenbeck Ebell Club and LA Transit Women's Club series the papers are also arranged first by creator name, in this case Cynthia Lisetta Vose or Nellie Stearns McCormick, and then by manuscripts, correspondence and ephemera under that subseries. The items are then filed chronologically within the subdivisions of manuscripts, correspondence and ephemera. The last series of the papers is photographs. The items within this series are arranged alphabetically by name or subject. The Vose Stearns McCormick Family Papers contains personal papers in the form of manuscripts, correspondence, ephemera material and photographs that document the activities of the family members of the Vose, Stearns and McCormick family lines. The family's activities documented within this set of papers range from 1834 to 1949. Limited documentation exists of the family's beginning in Stoughton, Massachusetts and their move west and settlement in Lake County, Illinois. The bulk of the documentation covers the family's life in Los Angeles, California. In particular, this set of papers documents the activities of the Hollenbeck Ebell club through the personal documents, correspondence and photographs of Cynthia Lisetta Vose and her daughter Nellie Stearns McCormick. Documentary forms include genealogical lists and narratives, poetry, an autograph book, day books, play scripts, speeches, notes, correspondence, keepsakes, hymn books, linen, education certificates, a penmanship notebook, Los Angeles Railways newsletters, obituaries and newspaper clippings. In particular, prominent within this collection are the poetry and club writings of Cynthia Lisetta Vose and Nellie Stearns McCormick as well as the play scripts and photographs from the historical pageants hosted by the Hollenbeck Ebell Club. There is also limited documentation in regards to the activities of The LA Transit Lines Women's Club. Other subjects include: agricultural colleges in Mexico, frontier life in Illinois and rabbit hunting in California.