Biographies of primary correspondents:
Olivia Almira Kellogg was born in Worcester, Vermont in 1844, the daughter of Truman Perrin Kellogg, a farmer, and Alice Coburn Rich. At 16 Olivia was a teacher in the local school; in 1865 she matriculated at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where she remained a student through the spring of 1871 without taking a degree. By the summer of 1871 she was in Lincoln, Nebraska probably attending the newly-established University of Nebraska. Sometime in 1872 she married Albert Murdock Taylor (born Worcester, Vermont in 1838), and they had a daughter, Eva Alberta Taylor, born prior to Albert’s death in May 1873 in St. Charles, Minnesota. Olivia remarried in 1876 to Caleb Curtis Bachelder (born 1845 in Hallowell, Maine) who was stationmaster for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in St. Charles, Minnesota. They had three sons, Frank Staples, Herman Curtis, and Cale Harold Bachelder, born between 1878 and 1883. Widowed in 1905, Olivia penultimately lived in Detroit, Michigan with her son Herman in 1920; and by 1930 with her son Frank in Pontiac, Michigan. She died in 1935.
Susan Wheelwright Curtis was born in 1818 to Charles Curtis and Anna Nevero, probably in Jamaica Plain (Roxbury) Massachusetts. By the mid-1830s she was invited to various social events in Hallowell, Maine where she met Charles Greenleaf Bachelder (1810-1871) and whom she married in 1841. They had four children: Charles Greenleaf, Jr., Caleb Curtis (see biography of Olivia A. Kellogg, above), George Walter, and Anna Maria Bachelder, all born between 1843 and 1848. She died in 1855.
Maria Curtis was born in 1810. In 1832 she married the brother of Susan Wheelwright Curtis, Joseph Herman Curtis (ca. 1807-ca. 1885) and lived in Roxbury, Massachusetts. They had at least two children, Joseph (born ca. 1833) and Charles F. (born ca. 1838), the former dying of tuberculosis in 1854. She died in 1896.
Emmeline Page Avery was born in 1817 to Chase and Mary Avery in Hallowell, Maine where she became friends with Susan Wheelwright Curtis. Emmeline married Richard F. Perkins (born 1810), a merchant in Hallowell. She died probably in the 1850s.
Joseph Young Bergen, Jr. was born in Red Beach, Maine in 1851. He graduated from Antioch College in 1872 where he had become friends with Olivia A. Kellogg (see above). In 1876 he married another Antioch student and friend of Kellogg’s, Fanny D. Dickerson (born 1854). During his career Bergen worked for the Ohio Geological Survey, taught at Lombard College, and was an instructor at the English High School of Boston. He died in 1917.
Eleanor C. Lewis was born in 1851 in New York to Noyes Lewis and Lucina Gates. By 1860 she and her widowed mother lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio and in 1865 began taking classes at Antioch College where she became friends with Olivia A. Kellogg. Eleanor graduated in 1873 and later received the A.M. degree. She seems to have taught English at Antioch until after 1900. She died after 1940.
Amelia Melissa Walrath Martin was born in 1838 to Henry Walrath, a shoemaker, and Katherine Hoover in Pameliak, New York. She married James R. Martin (1833-1882), a jewelry salesman, in the early 1860s. They had one son, George R., born in 1864. By 1880 the family was residing in Kasson, Minnesota where Amelia probably met Olivia Kellogg Bachelder. She died in 1914.
B. F. (Benjamin Franklin?) Pollard was probably a native of either Maine or Massachusetts and acquainted with Charles Greenleaf Bachelder (1810-1871) and his wife Susan Curtis Bachelder (1818-1855). Pollard was a participant in the 1849 gold rush, sailing from New Bedford, Massachusetts to California aboard the Obed Mitchell on 27 March 1850. He was in the gold fields near Marysville by December 1850. Whether a successful miner or not, he seems to have gone into freight and retail trade in the 1860s in the Sacramento area.