Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Scope and Content
The Eliza Fanning correspondence was donated to the Hayes Presidential Center in 1996 by a Fremont, Ohio resident. While remodeling their home, the couple discovered the material lodged between pieces of lath behind a plastered wall. Damaged by moisture and the abrasive action of the plaster, the letters are extremely difficult to read.
Eliza Fanning, daughter of Michael and Abigail Fanning, was born near Clyde, Ohio in 1842. The family later moved to Rollersville, Scott Twp., Sandusky County, Ohio where they became devout members of the Disciples of Christ Church. Ms. Fanning taught at several of the county's district schools. Periodically, she lived with her sister, Mary, also a teacher. They taught several terms in Napoleon, Cleveland, and Toledo, Ohio before returning to Fremont. From 1903 until 1912, the two sisters resided in Fremont on S. Wayne Street. Eliza died in Fremont on March18, 1915. Her sister had died three years earlier. Two other sisters, Emiline Van Horne of Gibsonburg, Ohio and Emily Lamson of Palatka, Kansas survived them.
Scope and Content
The Fanning Correspondence consists of twenty-six letters (1849-1865) of which the bulk was sent to and apparently preserved by Eliza Fanning during her youth. The collection is arranged by correspondent. The largest group is a series of ten letters written by eighteen-year-old Joseph Franklin Plantz. Frank was the son of Joseph Plantz and neighbor to the Fanning family in Rollersville, Ohio. Plantz enlisted in the Civil War, serving in the 72nd O.V.I. from November of 1861 and until May of 1865. His correspondence, encompassing the years of 1862 and 1863, focuses on his activities as a soldier in the war's western theater, including: guard duty along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and the Siege of Vicksburg. Plantz re-enlisted in December of 1863. Returning home on veteran furlough in early 1864, he married Mary C. Smart on March 17th. Plantz suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder while serving near Nashville in December of 1865. Following his discharge in May of 1865, Plantz returned to Sandusky County. An Ohio resident until 1904, Plantz and his wife moved to Riverside, California where he died in 1910. In addition to the Plantz letters, the collection includes four letters from Robert Adams who, at the age of twenty, enlisted in October 1861 for a three-year term in Company A of the 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. From Zanesville, Ohio, Robert Adams wrote to Eliza while recuperating and later working at the Camp Chase hospital (Columbus, Ohio) in 1863. The third group consists of three letters, written between 1849 and 1863, from Margaret Hart of Tenants Harbor, Maine. Margaret appears to have been the sister of Abigail Fanning. In one letter, she informs her sister of the death of their mother. Several additional miscellaneous letters, newsclippings, and a dime novel complete the collection. Photocopies of the Civil War pension files of Robert Adams and Joseph Franklin Plantz will be found in their respective folders.
1. Joseph Franklin Plantz Civil War correspondence, 1862 to 1863 (10 letters)
Photocopies of Civil War pension file of J. F. Plantz
2. Robert Adams Civil War correspondence, 1863 (4 letters)
Photocopies of Civil War pension file of Robert Adams
3. Letter from Eliza Fanning to unknown soldier, 1864 (1 letter unsent)
Writings of Eliza Fanning, October-December 1863
4. Letter from Mary Fanning to Eliza Fanning, 1863 (1 letter)
5. Letter from Cimantha ? of Bowling Green, Ohio (1 letter)
6. Letters from Margaret Hart to Abigail and Eliza Fanning, 1849-1863
7. Letter from R. H. Arnold to Eliza Fanning, 1865 (1 letter)
8. Miscellaneous clippings and 1863 dime novel, Two Guards, by Beadle's.
9. Miscellaneous biographical information