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West Virginia General Store Ledger (Daybook)

Author:
McCrum, L. L. (store owner)  Search this
Names:
McCrum, L.L.  Search this
McCrum, Lloyd  Search this
Trotter, James  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Daybooks
Ledgers
Place:
West Virginia
Aurora (W. Va.)
Date:
1879-1880.
Summary:
A daybook from a general store in Aurora, West Virginia.
Scope and Contents:
Entries in this daybook begin September 3, 1879 and end December 22, 1880. The store seems to have provided for most of the needs of the community. It acted as a post office, selling stamps, envelopes and stationery; as a bank advancing cash and adding the amount to the customer's account; as a pharmacy supplying medicines; a book store for school texts; a hardware store; a dry goods store and clothing store. There is an entry for an organ and another for violin strings. There are transactions relating to game, e.g.,venison, wild turkeys, pheasants. County accounts are entered by number, are for higher amounts than most of the individual accounts, and are not broken down by items. There are occasional entries authorized for individuals byEntries in the daybook begin on September 3, 1879 and end on December 22, 1880. The store seems to have provided for most of the needs of the community. It acted as a post office, selling stamps, envelopes and stationery; as a bank advancing cash and adding the amount to the customer's account; as a pharmacy, supplying medicines; a book store for school texts; a hardware store; a dry goods store and clothing store. There is an entry for an organ and another for violin strings. There are transactions relating to game, for example, venison, wild turkey, and pheasants.

Food entries include such items as sugar, salt, tea, coffee (both green and roasted), chestnuts, eggs, potatoes, rice, mustard, honey, spices, and beans. Muslin, cambric, calico, flannel, needles, and thread appear frequently as do ready-to-wear clothing such as hats, shoes, boots, undershirts, men's suits and overalls. Entries indicate a steady business in tobacco and snuff. Hardware entries include such items as lamp globes, linseed oil, coal oil, cartridges, shot, tacks, nails, screws, hinges, plow points. Spirits of camphor, castor oil, paregoric and seidlitz powders are among the medicines.

County accounts are entered by number, are for higher amounts than most of the individual accounts, and are not broken down by items. There are occasional entries authorized for individuals by the overseer for the poor. There are a number of entries for amounts owed to James Trotter for hauling from the railroad. Most entries are written in ink. A few are in pencil. All are legible.
Biographical / Historical:
This ledger is the day book of a general store in West Vriginia. Though not unquestionably identified as to owner or location, internal evidence points to L.L. McCrum, whose first name was probably Lloyd, as the owner, and to Aurora, West Virginia, as the location of the store. An occasional page in the day book is headed "Aurora, West Virginia" in addition to the date. There are also occasional notes addressed to "L.L. McCrum", headed "Aurora, West Virginia". These ask that merchandise or cash be provided to the bearer and billed to the signer of the note. At least one is addressed to "Lloyd McCrum".
Provenance:
Former National Museum of American History curator Richard Ahlborn purchased the ledger from an antique dealer in Charleston, South Carolina, 1986.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Business  Search this
Commerce  Search this
Retail trade  Search this
General stores -- 1840-1900  Search this
Storekeepers -- 1870-1880  Search this
Genre/Form:
Daybooks -- 1870-1880
Ledgers -- 1860-1920
Citation:
West Virginia General Store Ledger (Day Book), 1879-1880, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0142
See more items in:
West Virginia General Store Ledger (Daybook)
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8aa31cbba-372f-40c7-9e32-53dabc9ded2b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0142

William H. Albro Collection of Store Ledgers

Author:
Albro, William H., 1823-1883 (store owner)  Search this
Extent:
2.3 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ledgers
Place:
Peace Dale (R.I.) -- 1840-1900
Rhode Island -- 1840-1900
Date:
1845 - 1895
Summary:
Ledgers of store accounts of daily transactions with customers, mainly in food and household itemsin Peace Dale, Rhode Island.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of twenty-one ledgers containing store accounts. One of these is labeled Helen Albro's cookbook but contains a number of accounts and only two recipes. The ledgers are primarily a record of daily transactions with customers with purchases identified by type of purchase. The trade was primarily in food and groceries with less frequent purchases of materials, thread, pins, etc.

Eleven of the ledgers are numbered; seven carry William H. Albro's name; two are marked Helen Albro and one John Gould. The others are not identified by name or number but appear to be accounts from the same store located in Peace Dale in an area known as Rocky Brook, Rhode Island, in nineteen of the ledgers purchases are listed by name of purchaser with the date of purchase entered chronologically. Two are entered chronologically with purchasers listed under the date. The first fifty pages of one (unnumbered and unidentified by name) appear to be company accounts for large quantities of such items as barrels of oil, bales of cotton and bags of wool. Individual accounts by customer and item, comparable to those in the other ledgers follow. The ledger with accounts ranging from May 1, 1867 to November 4, 1868 includes an account for William H. Albro for some months in 1868 (p.267).

The ledgers are handwritten, mostly in ink, are legible and in reasonably good condition. Pages have been scissored out of several volumes, however and it is not possible to tell whether they were blank pages or contained store accounts. Several have children's drawings on otherwise unused pages and two have been used to press flowers or leaves. Book No. 17 has newspaper pictures of the Mexican-American War; some newsclippings have been torn out of this ledger. The gap in ledger dates is due to the fact that eight or so were included in a family auction in 1964 held to settle the homestead estate.

The approximate opening and closing dates in the container list and on the folders are purchase dates not dates of payment which in many instances are much later.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
William Henry Albro, a store owner, was born in 1823 and died May 13, 1883 in Peace Dale, Rhode Island at the age of fifty-nine and a half. His parents were Samuel Albro and Anne Smith. He was married three times--in 1844 to Eliza Taylor who died in 1851; in 1852 to Nancy Rose who died in 1869 and in 1877 to Sarah G. Kenyon. One daughter, Mary E., was born to Eliza Taylor and Nancy Rose became the mother of two sons, John and Charles F.

Nancy Rose, the second wife, was the daughter of Samuel Rose on whose land on North Road, Peace Dale, the store was located. She was also the great-grandmother of Elizabeth R. Albro, a retired curator of the National Park Service, who gave the ledgers and from whom what is known about William H. Albro was obtained.

Miss Albro thinks that if her great-grandfather attended school it was not for long and that he may have farmed in addition to operating the store since that was customary at the time. After William H. Albro's death in 1883 the store was operated by her grandfather, John Albro, until he married and left to work his wife's farm. That ended the operation of the store. The building no longer exists. Miss Albro does not know whether her great-grandfather purchased the store or established it but thinks the latter.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Miss Elizabeth R. Albro.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
General stores -- 1840-1900  Search this
Retail trade -- 1840-1900  Search this
Merchants  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ledgers -- 1840-1900
Citation:
William H. Albro Collection of Store Ledgers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0166
See more items in:
William H. Albro Collection of Store Ledgers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep886e7261a-ed53-4c4e-a3e2-847339fc65a5
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0166

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