Joseph Paddock was born in Pana, Illinois, the family moved to Evanston where Joseph went to grade school and high school. He enrolled in Northwestern University, but was unable to continue after two years. His interest was English and Journalism. He was active in the Christian Science Church. Joseph returned to his education, attending Principia College and lived away from home, which was an enriching experience. He had excellent grades and was awarded several small scholarships. He later transferred to Illinois State Normal University. Joseph graduated in June, 1941. Joseph Paddock was listed in the 1947 City Directory as a mechanic. In 1970 he was listed as a bookkeeper living and working at 612 E. Grove Street in Bloomington.

Most of the material centers on Joseph’s academic life from Northwestern, then Principia, and through Illinois State Normal University. The bulk of this collection is divided into the years 1935 through 1943. Some notes/letters were undated but filed in specific years. They are recorded at the end of that year. Many of the letters were from friends telling personal news and gossip. He was obviously well liked and a valued friend.