Collection inventory

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House of David Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 24 Jul 2015

Biographical History

The House of David is a religious society co-founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnell in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in March 1903. The group split in the 1920s into the New Israelite House of David, better known as Mary's City of David for its leader, Mary Purnell, and the Old House of David led by Judge T. H. Dewhirst. Among other things the society fielded an amateur/semi-pro baseball team and several nationally known musical groups, and for many years owned and operated a zoo and amusement park.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The House of David Collection consists of a small amount of printed ephemera relating to the House of David community in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Items include a Christmas order form and a newsletter with a photograph of one of the park's miniature trains.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

House of David.


Collective settlements -- Michigan.


Benton Harbor (Mich.) -- History.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

House of David Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2015.

Table of Contents

Printed material