While Frank Aldrich was a banker by trade, he was remembered by many, locally and internationally, because of his hobbies. In his obituary, Aldrich was described as “a serious student of natural history, archaeology, ornithology, and botany.” Aldrich called himself a reformed hunter, and his lifestyle reflected this change. Locally, he gave many lectures and speeches urging church and social groups to take an interest in their natural surroundings. From May 1926 through May 1928, Aldrich wrote a weekly Nature Column for The Pantagraph with articles on area wildlife constructed from his own observations and research. Aldrich’s own curiosity about the world around him is evident in the numerous letters of inquiry he sent throughout his lifetime seeking information on various plants and animals and responding to articles he read.
The Frank W. Aldrich collection contains personal artifacts, newspaper articles, essays and lectures, personal and professional correspondence, business papers, travel materials, and journals. It is organized into boxes by category as follows: Box 1 contains Frank W. Aldrich’s personal and family materials, home construction records, and personal correspondence. Box 2 contains materials relating to Aldrich’s hobbies including nature, archaeology, and travel. Box 3 contains business papers and land records from McLean State Bank and Trust, Aldrich’s business, as well as miscellaneous newspaper clippings. Box 4 contains domestic travel materials, photographs, and journals written by Frank Aldrich. Box 5 contains journals written by Frank Aldrich and miscellaneous publications.