Steele Family Papers
1/ 4 cubic foot
Provenance: The Ohio Historical Society acquired the Steele
Family Papers as a g i f t of Alexis McKinney , Denver, Colorado,
in 1955. The papers were presented in the name of his mother,
Gertrude Chamberlain of Rocky Ford, Colorado. The preliminary
inventory was c~ mpleted in February 1980.
Property rights: The Ohio Historical Society holds the property
rights t o t h i s collection.
Copyrights: Alexis McKinney has not dedicated copyrights to the
public. Consideration of the requirements of copyright is the
responsibility of the author and publisher.
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations
of the Ohio Historical Society.
Transfer: A program from the dedication of Steele High School,
Dayton, Ohio ( 1894), and two engraved p o r t r a i t s of General John
Smith were transferred to the Audiovisual Department i n February
Biographical sketch: The Robert Steele ( 1738- 1801) family of
Rockbridge County, Virginia, moved to Kentucky in 1788. A Steele
son, James ( 1778- 1841), moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1806 where he
engaged in general merchandising. James Steele was a judge of
the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, and served i n the Ohio
Senate. He married Phebe Pierce in 1812. Their son, Robert
Wilbur Steele ( 1819- 1891), was a trustee of Miami University
( 1869- 1881) ; director of the Lane Theological Seminary; member
of the Ohio State Board of Charities, and the Dayton Board of
Education; and a founder and president of the Dayton Library
Association. He married Elizabeth Smith ( 1821- 1864), daughter
of Egbert Tangier and Sarah Rogers Schenck Smith, in May 1842.
They had five children: Mary D., Sarah S. , Egbert T., William C.,
and Agnes. Af t e r Elizabeth' s death he married Clara Pierson (?) ;
they had one daughter, Charlotte Harrison Steele.
Scope and content: The Steele family papers cover the years 1786
to 1889 and 1956 and occupy one- quarter cubic foot. The papers
consist of correspondence, legal and miscellaneous documents and
are arranged chronologically within these groups.
The correspondence dates from 1786 t o March 1956 and is comprised
of l e t t e r s between Steele and Smith family members and friends.
Topics discussed primarily pertain to family matters and personal
This item is a finding aid or inventory to an Ohio Historical Society collection or series. Finding aids are descriptive access tools that provide more complete information about a collection than you will find in the online catalog record. For more information on the collection and to view its contents, contact the Ohio Historical Society.