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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Collection Description

The collection deals almost exclusively with the family of Peter C. and Fannie Duff (1865-?), who lived at 107 W. Poplar in Normal.  Peter Duff, a black carpenter, was encouraged by Jesse Fell to move from Kentucky and settle in Normal.  The house on Poplar Street was built by Duff in approximately 1883.  There were 6 children in the Duff family: Rollie (1894-1912), Alverta (1885-1968), Ernest, Julia (1895-1984), John Walker (1888-1974?), Jane (1891-1918), and George.  The majority of this collection relates to Peter, Alverta, and Julia.  Alverta Duff worked as a housekeeper for Mrs. Lewis Stevenson for many years.  She was also a housekeeper for Loring Merwin and Ernest Ives families.  Alverta attended public schools in Normal, attended Brown’s Business College in Bloomington and was employed as a bookkeeper for Casey Cleaners before her association with the Stevenson family. 


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