Delightful Gift

"A Delightful Gift," Easton Historical Society, April 1989, P.4.

How did Oliver Ames’ breakfast china get to the Easton Historical Society in 1989?  This story is about a seventh grade student who started working at the Ames Free Library in 1925.  Under Miss Mary Lamprey’s tutelage (see Has Lived on the Job for 50 Years) and with the support of Mrs. Mary Frothingham, library board president, she became a librarian, married a librarian, and eventually came to own the china.


The Society, through the thoughtfulness and generosity of Mrs. Nellie L. Minnich, is now the depository of several pieces of chinaware originally owned by an early Oliver Ames family.

In the year 1925, Nellie L. Jermolovich was a student in the seventh-grade of the Easton public schools.  In that year, Nellie commenced part-time employment during the year and full time employment during the summer with the Ames Free Library.  Nellie worked under the supervision and tutelage of Miss Mary Lamprey, who had commenced her services with the library in 1891.  Miss Lamprey and Miss Jermolovich were employees of the library during those years in which Mrs. Mary Ames Frothingham was a board member and the president of the library.  It was Mrs. Frothingham who sponsored Nellie’s education at Simmons College where Nellie earned a degree in library science and in which field, upon graduation; she commenced employment with the Children’s Division of the Detroit Public Library.

Miss Lamprey, in 1911/1912, did negotiate for and purchase in Groton, New Hampshire, a farm.  Groton was the natal town of Miss Lamprey’s father, Maitlan C. Lamprey, who had become principal of the Easton High School in 1877.  Miss Jermolovich was often a guest at that farm in Groton.

In 1938, Nellie married Mr. Richard D. Minnich, also a librarian, a graduate of Ann Arbor.  Coincidentally, Mr. and Mrs. Minnich served for some years in the library at Easton, Pennsylvania.  In 1963, the Minnich’s purchased the farm of Miss Lamprey which purchase included the furnishing of the farm house.  The chinaware gifted to the Society was a part of those household goods.

A note, in the hand of Mary Lamprey, records:  the blue-white breakfast set belonged to Oliver Ames.

Thank you much, Nellie, for sharing this gift with the Society.