South Bend Area Genealogical Society
"Serving South Bend, Mishawaka and Surrounding Areas"
Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library
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Mishawaka, IN 46544

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Index to the Jeanne Denham Collection of Michiana History and Genealogical Material

This index was compiled by a granddaughter of SBAGS member Carol Collins while interning at the History Museum (formerly Center for History). It indexes the materials South Bend Area Genealogical Society’s first President, Jeanne Denham compiled during her over 30 years as unofficial and official historian for St. Joseph County of Indiana. After her death (July 27, 2012), the collection was transferred to the History Museum where it resides today in 81 archival boxes.

Researchers desiring to use any of the material may do so by contacting the Archives Department of the History Museum for an appointment to view the material. A prior request for the appointment is necessary. Call the Museum at 574-235-9664, extension “archives” or by email at specifying the item requested, and the box number in which it is located. A request form may be required to be completed during the visit.

Obituary of Jeanne Denham

Jeanne Collier Denham was born October 11, 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her parents were George Henry and Nettie Wilson Collier. She was educated in the Minneapolis public school system and at the Hennepin Methodist Church. The family moved to Elkhart, Indiana in 1940. Jeanne attended DePauw University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Afterwards she received a Physical Therapy degree from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She worked for the New Orleans Polio Department in New Orleans, Louisiana and at the New York Reconstruction Home located in New York State. She set up the first physical therapy department at Elkhart General Hospital.

Jeanne married Dr. Robert H. Denham Jr. on July 22, 1949 and moved to South Bend. Her first child is Nancy Lin Denham. Her second is Louise Collier Denham, who married Daniel Earl Thompson, now deceased. Her third daughter is Dr. Janette Denham married to Dr. Michael Durham. Her son, Robert Hilliard Denham III, is married to Mary Petersen. They have three children: Annika, Madeline and Forrest. Besides her family, she was surrounded by her friends, her friend's children, grandchildren, and her backyard birds.

Jeanne loved South Bend where everything is 22 minutes away, although she traveled the world. She was passionate about history. She served as the first President of the South Bend Area Genealogy Society, was a regent of the Schuyler Colfax Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

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