Lemon and Perryman Families Correspondence Collection, 1888-1954

Overview of the Collection

Lemon and Perryman Families Correspondence Collection
1888-1954 (inclusive)
.5 linear feet of shelf space, (1 box)
Collection Number
Cage 830 (collection)
Collection correspondence of Marjorie Lemon Perryman and family, beginning with that of her parents, Joseph B. (Ben) and Annette Lemon, and continuing after her marriage to Clifton E. Perryman. Throughout the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century span of the items here, the Lemons and Perrymans lived in eastern Washington. As a whole, the correspondence creates a profile of a rural woman, a school teacher, and her family.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Marjorie Lemon Perryman (1907-1986) forms the common thread in this collection. Correspondence to the Lemon family of Spokane County, Washington, dominates the years from 1888 to 1937. Joseph B. (Ben) Lemon (1851-1920), Marjorie's father, and mother Annette (1871-1935) farmed west of Waverly, Washington. Marjorie Lemon's brother Glen (1906-1987) raised his family in Waverly. Miss Lemon graduated high school there in 1925, and later taught grade school in Waverly until after her mother's death in 1935. Miss Lemon then sold her house in 1937 and moved to Reardan in Lincoln County to begin another teaching position. That same year she married Clifton E. Perryman (1909-1987). Mr. Perryman was a 1936 graduate of Washington State College (WSC) with a B.S. in Agriculture and taught at Reardan High School. By 1940 the Perrymans moved to Colfax, where Mr. Perryman taught industrial arts for many years at Colfax High School. He later returned to WSC (now Washington State University) and earned his Master's degree in 1961. He worked from 1957 to 1966 as an agricultural economist for the Experiment Station and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service at WSU.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection comprises the correspondence to the Lemon and Perryman families. Individually the correspondence itself revealed little because it consisted primarily of cards with brief notes and included very few business items other than a handful of bank statements and a few formal letters. As a collection, though, the correspondence paints a picture of a woman raised in rural eastern Washington, whose father died while she was in high school, who then continued to live with her mother and work as a grade school teacher in Waverly. At the age of 30 and a couple of years after her mother's death, Marjorie Lemon left Waverly for a teaching position in Reardan where she married Clifton E. Perryman. As Marjorie Lemon Perryman, she moved to Colfax in 1940 and, according to her 1986 obituary, later taught at Steptoe School in Whitman County. Clifton and Marjorie Perryman had one child, a son Roger (1946-2007), born the year Marjorie turned 39.

Marjorie Lemon's education followed a path to teaching taken by many women of her generation. Before her 1925 graduation from Waverly High School, she received a scholarship from Washington State College (WSC) as did each valedictorian across the state. A letter from WSC President E.O. Holland explained the opportunity, which included a free room for a semester. Rather than attend WSC, Miss Lemon received teacher training at the Washington State Normal School at Cheney (now Eastern Washington University) and taught grade school in Spokane, Lincoln, and Whitman counties. A decade after finishing high school, she expressed interest in receiving a "three-year degree" at Eastern in 1935. The Registrar's reply told her that she could complete such a degree with an additional 24 credits earned by correspondence and a summer in residence. As Marjorie Perryman, she continued to teach.

Other than the glimpses into Marjorie Lemon Perryman's life, other items of interest include a 1938 letter that comments on a student strike at WSC, a 1940 letter from Springston, Idaho, that refers to a lumber mill strike, probably in Harrison, a few wartime letters that mention reporting to Fort Lewis, victory gardens and ration cards, and finally a 1954 letter from the Inland Empire Pea Growers Association with an annual update on that cooperative's plans.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item Description] Lemon and Perryman Families Correspondence Collection, 1888-1954

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


This collection is arranged in a single series organized chronologically. In many cases, the date is based on that recorded during a pre-processing project, presumably from the postmark on the original envelope that is no longer available. In others, the stamps themselves provided time indicators.

Acquisition Information

Charles Gardner Shaw donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries in 1988 (MS.1988.49). Other collections of correspondence from this donor indicated that he purchased them for their philatelic value.

Processing Note

Susan Vetter processed this collection in 2015.

Related Materials

Charles Gardner Shaw Correspondence Collection (Cage 817)

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1-8 Correspondence from but primarily to J.B. Lemon (Ben). Included are some receipts and a Spokane County Real Estate Tax bill for 1918. 1888-1919 and undated
1 9-47 Correspondence to Annette Lemon (mother) and Glen (son) and Marjorie Lemon (daughter) in Waverly. Annette Lemon appears as Mrs. A. Lemon, Mrs. J.B. Lemon, Mrs. Ann or Anne Lemon. Correspondence includes: 1921 letter to Mrs. Annette Lemon from a law firm in Spokane regarding the settlement of J.B. Lemon's estate; 1925 letter from President E.O. Holland of Washington State College to Marjorie Lemon offering her as valedictorian of her class a one-semester, free room scholarship to WSC; and 1935 letter to Marjorie Lemon from the Registrar at Washington State Normal School, Cheney, informing her of the options for her to complete a three-year degree. 1920-1935 and undated
1 48-82 Correspondence to Marjorie Lemon and Cliff Perryman in Reardan and then to Marjorie Lemon Perryman and Clifton E. Perryman in Reardan and Colfax. 1937-1954

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top