The Washington County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society has no facilities to store donated family history items. We can work to connect you to an area entity that may be willing and able to accept your donations.

We recently connected Jack McMahan, Dresden, Ohio with Linda Showalter of Marietta College's Legacy Library Special Collections department.

Photo Jack McMahan and Linda Showalter
Jack McMahan and Linda Showalter at Marietta College Legacy Library Special Collection offices

Jack contacted our website with the following information:

    My name is Jack McMahon and I lived in the Whipple/Lower Salem area prior to going to Ohio University in 1954 and later the USAF. My parents lived in the Marietta area all of their lives.

    In the 1930's they lived in a cottage behind Euna Brown's large Civil War era house which is located near the Anchorage [Harmar area]. Upon her death in the 1960's she left the contents of her house to my parents. Incidentally, the Brown house was previously owned by the Civil War veteran, Colonel T.J. Pattin.

    I have a large box of photographs and albums, many tintypes, of the Brown family and others which were taken in the late 1800's and early 1900's and would like to know if you would be interested in having them.

    If interested I will get them to you at no cost to you. 

    Jack "

After chapter discussions about the best home for this collection, we connected Jack with Linda at Marietta College's Legacy Library Special Collections Department. Many of the photos are unidentified. Once the collection is inventoried and indexed, the photos will be available for view by the public at the library.

Below is one of the interesting items Jack hand delivered to the college on April 12, 2016.

Mary Reed (Born Lowell, Ohio, 1854). The back of the card contains her story.
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McMahan donation to Marietta College

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Mary Reed Biography

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Mary Reed, daughter of Wesley W and Sara Reed, was born at Lowell, Washington Co. Ohio, December 4, 1854. After growing to womanhood, she spent several years teaching school, first in the district schools in Nobel and Morgan Counties, and later in the graded school at Kenton, Ohio.

She was sent to India by the Cincinnati Branch of the WFMS [Women’s Foreign Missionary Society] of the ME [Methodist Episcopal] Church, in 1884 leaving the US in September. On arriving there her health was so poor that the first six months were spent up in the northern mountains of India at Pithoragarh [recovering] her health. She did work at Cawapore, and later in the Girls Boarding School at Gonda. Again, her health failed, and in April, 1890 found her at the home of her parents near Becketts, Washington Co. Ohio.

During her stay at home she underwent a serious surgical operation at Cincinnati, O. On her return home, she again found her health in such a precarious condition that she returned to Cincinnati for treatment at Christ’s Hospital. The forefinger of her hand, a spot on the right side of her face, and some spots on her arm now created suspicion.

She read books and diagnosed her own case, and announced to the physicians that her disease was Leprosy. The physicians were not satisfied and she was sent to New York to consult a well-known specialist, who pronounced her a Leper.

Mary says that while in Cincinnati the whole thing was revealed to her: that the Lord afflicted her for the purpose of sending her as an Evangel to the Lepers at Pithoragarh, India.

On her return home from New York, she made a confidant of her sister, Rena, only, and in July, 1891 left the old home never expecting to see one of her own people again. In London she was again examined and pronounced a Leper. In India, Dr. JH Condon, and English Brigade surgeon of note, agreed that Mary Reed was a Leper.

She then entered the employ of the Society for the Relief of Lepers in the East with headquarters in Edinburgh; and has also annually taken her appointment from the WFMS.

She was installed as Superintendent of the Leper Asylum on Chandag Heights, over-looking Pithoragarh. Her great work among the Lepers there and in all northern India has been the marvel of modern Missions.

The Superintendent of the Society says no one person has done so much for the Lepers as Mary Reed; and no one of the Asylums of the society has done half as much as the one on Chandag Heights. The Society has asylums also in China and Japan.

Ever since her return to India a Leper the prayers of Christendom – mingled with her own – have gone up to God for her cure.

For more than a year past her letters to her parents have spoken of how “wonderfully well” she was. On March 24, 1898, Dr. JH Condon, the English surgeon above named pronounced her CURED.

In a recent letter to her parents she says, I am cured – not by medicine – but by the GREAT PHYSICIAN. The photograph, the original of which was taken March, 1898, in convincing of the fact.

Let the prayers of Christendom ascend that Mary Reed may be permitted to render years of service to Christ for the Lepers of India, and that in the providence of God she may be permitted to return and pay a visit to her aged parents.

This phot was taken March, 1898. Duplicates may be obtained from Rev. HH Miller, Beverly, O., at 25 cents a piece; the proceeds of which go to the support of Miss Reed’s work.

Beverly, O., June 1898 HHM

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