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Firestone/Brin Family papers

Identifier: umja0009

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a bulk of correspondence written by Irma and Milton Firestone to their daughter Ruth while she was studying at Vassar College. Also included are more general correspondence, newsclippings, telegrams, certificates, programs, pamphlets, and related materials. All materials date between 1908 and 2016.


  • 1908-2016


Use of Materials

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives; please contact the archives for more detailed copyright information.

Historical Note

Irma Cain Firestone was born in Milwaukee in 1886 and grew up in Chicago. Her paternal grandparents left the Alsace region of France in the 1850s and settled in Brazil before immigrating to Whitehall, New York. Irma's mother's family emigrated from Germany. Both German and English were spoken at home. Irma graduated from Vassar College in 1907 at a time when there were few fellow Jewish students. She married Milton Firestone in 1914; they resided in St. Paul and had three children, the youngest of whom, Ruth, was born in 1921. Ruth went to Vassar in 1937 when she was only 16 years old. Her brother George Firestone and her future husband, Howard Brin, were at Harvard College that same year, while her older brother, Linn, was at Harvard Law School. Irma, who spoke German, was involved with bringing German Jewish refugees to St. Paul and was very active in advocacy groups, serving as a volunteer with Jewish Family Service in St. Paul. She passed away in 1957. Ruth went on to become a well-known writer and book reviewer for both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the American Jewish World. Ruth passed away in 2009.


1 Cubic Foot (2 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of materials from the Firestone/Brin family: Ruth Firestone Brin and her parents Irma Cain Firestone and Milton Firestone, who resided in St. Paul, Minnesota and were all very active in the local Jewish community.

Source of acquisition

Donated to the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest in 2010 and 2011 by Judith Brin Ingber. Added to in 2013 by David Brin. Added to by Judith Brin Ingber in 2018.

Firestone/Brin family papers, 1908-2016
Finding aid created by Kate Dietrick and Sophie Friedman
February 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • June 2017: Collection added to to reflect newly found family materials
  • June 2018: Collection added to to reflect newly donated family materials

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Jewish Archives Collecting Area