When their grandfather passed away, the family was going through old belongings left behind. They found an old trunk that they'd never seen before.
Only the man's own wife had any knowledge of the trunk.
One of the fragile hinges snapped when the family opened it.
Here are the two top chest compartment covers.
And the underside of the lid. Nobody knows the origin of these illustrations.
Inside the compartments, the family found a plethora of letters and documents from the early 1900s.
And the bottom of the trunk kept going.
There was this absolutely fascinating book from 1911.
It had weird marbled pages.
Ellen G. White is into some pretty intense topics.
It was illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings like this one.
This book is from 1900.
Also filled with illustrations.
And a United States history book from the 1900s.
This booklet was sent to a man named JC Malone. He was the Great-great-grandfather of this family.
The family assumed it was JC Malone's chest.
He was a farmer in New Mexico and Oklahoma. And as you may be able to tell from the symbol imprinted on the envelope...
He was a freemason.
Lots of the freemason letters were asking for donations.
Here was JC Malone's official masonry card.
And a notice of his dues.
Here's a picture of Chicago's now-demolished Masonic Temple Building.
JC's medical brace, a truss.
Many people used trusses back then for the pain caused by a hernia.
There was a bullet and gun cleaner in this box, but no revolver.
And this elixir pamphlet for stomach issues.
There were several fascinating Socialist items and buttons in the box.
And a card for the socialist Farmer-Labor Party, active from 1918 to 1936.
It looks like JC had three shares of "The Oklahoma Leader Co.", purchased at $10 per share.
And tickets for "Trades Day" in Rush Springs, OK.
There were several pairs of eyeglasses, prescribed by Dr. Haux.
The blue tint may have been used for blocking the sun’s glare, but it also may have been used for reading special, hidden ink messages.
Still well preserved, here is a lithographed map of Northern Europe from the Centennial School Supply Company.