Helen Smitson (1898-1978) was the daughter of David C. Smitson (1860-1940) and Mary Elizabeth Brown Smitson (1859-1925). Helen had two older sisters Laura Jane (1883-1971), who married Dr. Charles P. Wilson, and Nellie (1888-1969), who first married Julius Hartung and then later Fred Patterson. Mary Elizabeth Brown was the daughter of Louisa Franklin, first married to Mr. Brown and then to Jared D. Franklin. D.C. Smitson lived in Hudson for several years until he and his family moved to Normal. D.C Smitson was an active in local politics serving as a Normal town council member and health officer.

Most of the items in the collection involve Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Smitson and their children Helen, Laura, and Nellie. The collection includes correspondence of Smitson family members, family documents such as cemetery plot deeds, marriage certificates, and wills plus several personal notebooks from the family. Other folders include Abraham Lincoln postcards, Laura’s paintings, etc.