Skip to main content

Sarah Van Hoosen Jones papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-1.1.3

Scope and Contents

The Sarah Van Hoosen Jones papers document her academic, agricultural, and civic accomplishments, and her interest in local Rochester history, but offer a very incomplete record of her activities as a farmer and a member of the State Board of Agriculture, and the Association of Governing Boards of State Universities and Allied Institutions. In her master's thesis and scientific articles, she discusses theories of dairy farm management and animal genetics, but there is almost no information regarding their later application on her farm. Her files relating to her public service add little to the official record, and her letters consist primarily of invitations, messages of congratulation, and letters of appreciation.

The family papers include a genealogy, letters sent to family members, and tax receipts for the farm. Letters to Joshua Van Hoosen, Sarah's grandfather, were written by Rochester friends and neighbors while he was in California from 1852 to 1853; two other letters, dated 1889 and 1892, are from Wilfred A. Brotherton, a Michigan botanist. Letters to Joseph C. Jones and his wife concern the former's career as a school administrator and editor and include letters from American author William Dean Howells. The Bertha Van Hoosen materials evidence her interest in the role of women in the medical profession.

The collection also includes material relating to Van Hoosen Jones’ cattle herd. Materials include breeding records, sale logs, records relating to the Holstein-Friesen herd, and record books relating to specific farms. Also included are certificates of registry for cows, bulls, Guernseys, and Holsteins. The certificates for the cows and bulls are arranged alphabetically by name followed by the certificates for Guernseys and Holsteins. Also of note is folder of materials relating to a committee that Van Hoosen was on to fight Bang's Disease.

The collection also contains photographs and postcards.

The three rolls of microfilm are positive copies of materials held at the Rochester Hills museum and are on permanent loan to the MSUAHC.


  • Creation: 1852 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Sarah Van Hoosen Jones was born to Alice Van Hoosen and Joseph C. Jones on the family farm near Rochester, Michigan in 1892. The following year she moved to Chicago where her father was employed by the Werner Publishing Company. After his death in 1897, Sarah and her mother remained in Chicago with her aunt, Bertha Van Hoosen, a surgeon in practice there. Sarah attended University High School and the University of Chicago, earning a B.A. degree in Foreign Languages in 1914. Following a year in Europe, she began graduate work in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin. There she completed an M.S. degree in Animal Husbandry in 1916 and a Ph.D. degree in Genetics in 1921. She returned to Rochester in 1923 to manage the Van Hoosen farm, which she had inherited from her grandmother five years before, and resided there until her death in 1972.

Sarah Jones raised chickens, beef and dairy cattle, and feed for her livestock on her four hundred acre farm, but was most successful with her Holstein-Fresian herd, for which she was honored as a Premier Michigan Breeder nine times. She also served as president of the Michigan Holstein-Frisian Association, and in 1933 was the first woman to be named a Michigan Master Farmer.

She took an active interest in civic affairs, particularly those relating to education. In 1943 and 1949 she was elected as a Republican to six-year terms on the Michigan State Board of Agriculture. She was designated that board's representative to the Association of Governing Boards of State Universities and Allied Institutions from 1944 to 1955 and served as the association's president in 1955. She was also a founder of the Michigan State University-Oakland Foundation and a member of the Rochester School Board. Michigan State University recognized her public service by conferring on her an honorary degree of Laws in 1956. A residence hall is also named in her honor.

Source: Sarah Van Hoosen Jones, Chronicle of the Van Hoosen Centenary Farm (Private printing, 1969), available in the Michigan State University Library.


8 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Sarah Van Hoosen Jones Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
M. Patton
April 11, 1980
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US