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Platz Family Papers

Identifier: ASTATE-2019-01-05

Scope and Contents

The Platz Family papers are arranged in two series: Home and Financial Records (10 subseries) and Correspondence (2 subseries, 11 folders).


  • 1902 - 1968


Conditions Governing Access

This manuscript collection consists of physical materials. This collection has not been digitized. This collection is open for research use only in the Reading Room. It is not available for request through Interlibrary Loan. Please contact the archive via email ( at least a week in advance of your arrival to ensure the availability of the material.


Niles (Nilie) Platz was born December 4, 1878 in Indiana. In 1911, he married his second wife Hattie Esther Shidaker (born July 1893). Two years later in 1913, they welcomed their only child, Ivan. In 1921, they moved from Indiana to Arkansas to farm cotton. The Platz family settled east of Jonesboro in Lake City, Arkansas. Cotton became the staple crop for the Platz’s throughout the life of the farm. They also raised corn, wheat, beans, chickens, ducks, and pigs. Due to the Stock Market crash, the Platz family was forced to reduce their acreage dedicated to cotton. Additionally, they were unable to sell their cotton crop and accrued debt. The income from the other crops, as well as eggs, hens, and pork, helped supplement the farm income during this time. With the beginning of World War II however, cotton prices recovered and the Platz family was able to continue farming. In 1932, Ivan Platz married Eva who was born in 1918. They had four children and took over the family farm after Ivan’s father, Niles Platz, died in 1956. Hattie, died in June of 1972. Ivan died in April of 1984.


.0834 Linear Feet (This collection is comprised of 21 folders in 2 document boxes. )




The Platz family farmed in Arkansas during the Great Depression. The main crop they grew was cotton but they supplemented their income with corn, wheat, and beans. This collection contains a ledger, receipts, letters, insurance papers, and financial papers that were accumulated over the years of running the family farm and illustrate the difficulties that farmers faced during the mid-twentieth century.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transfered to the archive by the Arkansas State University Museum as part of a larger group of material in 2013.


Further additions to the collection are not expected.

Platz Family Papers Finding Aid
Meredith McFadden; Flora Smith, Editor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections - Dean B. Ellis Library Repository

Arkansas State University
Dean B. Ellis Library
P.O. Box 2040
State University AR 72467 United States
870-972-3199 (Fax)