Martha and Isabella Gill were born in Ireland, but later moved to the United States where Martha married John T. Mack and Isabella married Harvey J. Knight. The Macks settled in Bloomington-Normal, Ill., during the 1850s, and spent several years trying to convince the Knights to leave Pleasant Hill (then called Selma), Ill., to join them. In 1866, Harvey Knight brought his sheep to Towanda, Ill., and the next summer his family joined him and bought a farm outside Normal. The Knight children, Mattie and Anna, attended school in Normal and later worked as teachers.
This collection, for which there is an item catalog, contains the correspondence of the Knight family. Included are early letters from Martha to Isabella, and later letters dealing with Mattie and Anna's careers as teachers. There is also a large number of letters from the Mack family to the Knight family, prior to their move to Illinois, filled with family news, livestock reports, land and crop prices, and local news from Bloomington-Normal and Towanda.