Arizona Woman Discovers 100-Year-Old Documents in Goodwill Desk

Bao Zhang
By Bao Zhang
February 27, 2023Inspired
Arizona Woman Discovers 100-Year-Old Documents in Goodwill Desk
An original manuscript lies on the writing desk of 19th-century German writer Karl May in the Karl May Museum, May's former residence, in Radebeul, Germany, on Feb. 22, 2017. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

An Arizona woman who recently bought an old desk from Goodwill, accidentally uncovered a stash of historical documents that are up to 100 years old. Jenna Franzoy, from Gilbert, Arizona, bought the antique secretary’s desk for $20 from Goodwill. After bringing it home, a secret drawer fell out while she was tipping it over.

Franzoy found a stash of historical documents in the drawer, including letters, newspaper clippings, songs, sports articles, and farm articles dating as far back as 100 years, appearing to all belong to one family.

One letter said “My dearest Martha, mother has been writing to you and I want to write some too.”

Franzoy decided to try and get in touch with the family to return the documents to them. However she had only the name of Martha McCullough to help her search.

“I found it to be really sentimental, and I was so blown away by it, so I knew if it was my family member, I’d be even more blown away,” she said. “I just came to really understand this woman Martha. She reminded me a lot of my grandmother, so I decided to reach out.”

Franzoy posted her discovery on Facebook, and was soon contacted by a woman named Shirley Knight, who claimed to be related to Martha McCullough.

“So apparently, this desk and the items in it, belong to my grandmother, Martha,” said Knight, who found her own birth announcement in the cache of documents.

“McCollough, Kenneth and Nancy had a girl,” that would be me, “September 4,” she said, reading the announcement out loud.

“This was like an act of God and I don’t believe anything is chance, to him be the glory,” Franzoy commented.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.