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Marion L. Bonner Smith papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Marion Lillian Bonner Smith (1907-1983) was the daughter of Arthur Bonner and Irene Shoemaker Bonner, members of Byberry Monthly Meeting. In 1937 under the care of Byberry Meeting, she married Newlin R. Smith (1904-2001), son of Dr. J. Russell Smith, a prominent geography professor. Both were graduates of Swarthmore College, Marion in 1929, and Newlin in 1928. Newlin Smith earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University and taught economics at Tufts University. Marion earned an M.A. from Middlebury College and taught high school. They had two sons, Linford Russell Smith (1945-1973) and James Fenwick Smith (1949-2017). Linford Smith was a Swarthmore College graduate, Class of 1967, and Fenwick became a renowned flutist with the Boston Symphony. The Smiths retired to Medford Leas, New Jersey, where both were active in the community and Quaker concerns and life-long supporters of Swarthmore College.

Marion Bonner Smith's father, Arthur Bonner (1874-1964), had deep roots in the Society of Friends and was related to many Pennsylvania and New Jersey Quaker families. His father was James Bonner, Jr., (1838-1911) who married Rebecca Knight (1842-1926), daughter of Richard Knight and Rachel I. Kirk, under the care of Byberry Monthly Meeting in 1863. James was the son of Benjamin Bonner and Lydia Ann Walton Bonner who married in 1834 under the care of Byberry, and Benjamin was the son of James Bonner and Uree Cadwallader. Marion's mother was Irene T. Shoemaker (1874-1949), daughter of Linford Shoemaker (1850-1917) and Mary Harding (1853-1906) also of Byberry.

Newlin Smith was the son of J. Russell Smith and Henrietta Stewart Smith. The Smith family had roots in Goose Creek Monthly Meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia. J. Russell Smith (1874-1966) was received on certificate from Goose Creek to Swarthmore Monthly Meeting in 1910. He studied and taught economics at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business, (1903-1919), and then chaired the economic geography program at Columbia University's Business School. He remained at Columbia until 1944, publishing significant books on economic geography. He died in Swarthmore, and his papers are deposited in the American Philosophical Society.

The collection contains diaries, 1934-1982, of Marion Bonner Smith, a Quaker born in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She married Newlin R. Smith, a Tufts University professor, in 1937. Eight small 5-year diaries with daily entries which record activities such as attending Quaker meetings, committees, family events, chores and some national news. Also included are Bonner and Smith family photographs and a small number of family letters, miscellaneous memorabilia, and genealogical information.

Gift of the Estate of J. Fenwick Smith, Acc. 2019.035.

Smith-Bonner family tree removed to Genealogical Charts

Family cased photographs removed to PA 107.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
February 2021
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

Series 1: Marion L. Bonner Smith diaries, 1934-1982.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Eight small 5-year diaries with daily entries which record activities such as attending Quaker meetings, committees, family events, chores and some national news.

Received by Rebecca Knight Bonner, 1866-1872.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Miscellanous letters received by Marion Smith's grandmother. Most from Sallie West Worrell of Newtown containing local news and mention of school in Byberry. Also undated letter from her mother and a Valentine card addressed to James Bonner, Jr.

Invitations, Uree Cadwallader and James Bonner, 1807. 1834.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Invitation to dine at home of bride's father after wedding and an invitation to tea at home of the Bonners

Irene Shoemaker, Byberry, to Arthur Bonner, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, 1897.
Box 2
Received by Irene Shoemaker Bonner, 1888-1904, 1936.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Friends and relations. Includes correspondence concerning their wedding and birth of first child, Ruth.

Mary Shoemaker to daughter Irene, 1891-1904.
Box 2
Marion Smith to her mother-in-law, Henrietta Smith, Swarthmore, 1946, 19648.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Postcards, with short family updates

Loose photographs.
Box 2
Scope and Contents


Bonner Family residence: Kutztown, etc. 1904-1947.

Bonner family photographs: Rebecca Bonner, 1920. Arthur Bonner as child. Irene S. Bonner. Anna and Marion, 1913.

Bonner family groups: James Bonner and Rebecca Bonner family. Irene Bonner with baby Ruth. Marion and Ruth, 1908

Newlin Smith at 1 year.

Ruth Smedley Bowers

Marion Smith on porch of 49 Englewood Ave, Buffalo.

Wedding of Newlin Smith and Marion Bonner Smith, 8-28-1937

Marion and Newlin Smith and children

Miscellaneous color snapshots

Group photos at Goose Creek Friends Meeting, 1988, Smith family

Formal portraits in presentation folders: Linford C. Shoemaker Irene S. Bonner (1874-1949), 1920 Marion L. Bonner, 1920 Ruth E. Bonner, 1920 Elizabeth P. Bonner, 1920, taken in Florida

Material Specific Details

Loose, labeled. Rehoused in mylar sleeves.

Cased photographs: Stored. in PA 107, 1882-circa 1900.
PA 107
Scope and Contents

7 cased images

Two separate images: Rebecca I. Knight. Taken in 1862, born 28 of 9 mo. 1842. Mother of Alfred Bonner.

Richard Knight.

Mary H. Harding. Daguerreotype, as child

James Bonner. Ambrotype. Handwrittenn note: Brother of Charles W. Bonner

In double case. Ruth Knight Tomlinson Note: "The girl is Mary Harding who later married Linford Shoemaker. With her, is her grandmother Ruth Knight Tomlinson (Mrs. John Tomlinson)"

Oppposite image: Mary Harding. Very fine ambrotype with clothing detailing added

Harding family group, fading daguerreotype. "The girl is Mary H. Harding with her parents Alfred and Martha Tomlinson Harding. Mary (1853-1906) an only child m. Linford Shoemaker in 1872"

No label. Young woman, dark ambrotype. R.N. Kelly, Philadelphia

Carte de visite removed from frame and stored with loose photographs. Irene S. Bonner/Mrs. Arthur Bonner - Philadelphia

Miscellaneous memorabilia.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Bonner family memorabilia

Postcards received by Arthur and Irene Bonner, Kutztown, Pa., circa 1908

Arthur Bonner account book, circa 1897-1922

Disposal of Household Goods, Shoemaker Distribution. Wedding gifts to family members, 1927-1953. Household goods inventory.

Christmas letter sent by Marion and Newlin Smith, 1954

Family tree of J. Fenwick Smith and Linford R. Smith, Gilbert Cope Foundation. Completed by Ruth E. Bonner, 1975, sister of Marion Bonner Smith. Stored with genealogical charts.

Arthur Bonner autograph books, 1885-1891.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Small autograph book, 'To Arthur...James Bonner, Jr., 1 mo. 7 1885," From him father. Schoolmates and relatives;

Small autograph book, Arthur Bonner, Byberry, Pa. Abington Friends School [18]91

Invitations received.
Box 2
The Bonner-Smith Circle by Ruth E. Bonner, 1975.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Published genealogy by Ruth Bonner, sister of Marion, inscribed to Fenwick and with some annotation. Includes reproductions of some of the photographs in the collection. Copy 1 in FHL reference stacks.

Print, Suggest