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Wurts family papers

Accession 1982

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-08-21T13:27-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Wurts family papers (Accession 1982), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Wurts family papers
Dates: 1699-1964
Accession Number: 1982
Creator: Wurts family
Extent: 9 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Wurts family papers were collected by John Sparhawk Wurts (1876-1958) and reflect both family papers and business records.
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Administrative Information


Provenance

Gift from John S. Wurts, 1990

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Biographical Note

Vanuxem Family

Among the earliest papers in Accession 1982 are the Vanuxem Papers (1778-1937). James Vanuxem (1745-1824), the family patriarch, was born in Dunkerque, France. He emigrated to America at age twenty-nine and soon settled in Philadelphia. Vanuxem married Rebecca Clark (daughter of Colonel Elijah Clark and Jane Lardner Clark) in 1779 and they had fifteen children, of which eight died before reaching adulthood.

Vanuxem became engaged in the shipping trade by 1779 and was also a merchant in Philadelphia from the 1780s through at least the first decade of the nineteenth century. Vanuxem had several partners in business at various times that included his brother-in-law John Lardner Clark and Herman Joseph Lombaert. In 1816 Vanuxem and his then-business partner J. B. Sartori purchased the Robert Morris property in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There, they leased to two of Vanuxem's sons, Louis C. and James Jr., a grist and saw mill.

James Vanuxem was involved in many activities such as the French Benevolent Society of Philadelphia and the Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances and was a director of the Bank of Pennsylvania, an organizer of the Pennsylvania Improvement Company, an incorporator and director of the Union Mutual Insurance Company, an organizer of the American Fire Insurance Company, and a member of the Select Council of Philadelphia and its water committee. Vanuxem died in Morrisville.

Louis C. Vanuxem (1788-circa 1832) was born in Philadelphia and like his father was known as a shipping merchant. Louis C. Vanuxem married Esther ("Hetty") Shoemaker in 1815 and they had six children. Along with his brother James, Louis and family moved to Morrisville with their father in 1816 and leased the mills owned by Vanuxem and Sartori. In 1823, Louis, his wife and children moved with his wife's family to Matanzas, Cuba where he took up farming and was a merchant. He returned to the United States for visits, but maintained his permanent residence in Cuba until he was lost at sea, circa 1832.

James Vanuxem Jr. (1790-1877) was born in Philadelphia. He married Susannah Lombaert, daughter of Herman Joseph Lombaert and Margaretta Wynkoop Lombaert, in 1813. After the death of his father and sale of the Morrisville property James Vanuxem, Jr. and his family moved west in 1825 to Ohio, where he lived in several places and was involved in mercantile business and farming. He subsequently moved to Dublin, Indiana and opened a store. After his wife's death in 1838 Vanuxem left the operation of the store to one of his sons, James, and went to Hazleton, Pennsylvania where he became superintendent of the Sugar Loaf Collieries. He was remarried in 1842 to Elizabeth Newbold and returned to his store in Dublin, Indiana. He finally moved to Richmond, Indiana where he died.

Edward Vanuxem (1818-1898), a son of James Vanuxem, Jr. and Susannah Lombaert Vanuxem, was born in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. While the rest of his family was living in Ohio and Indiana, he was sent east and lived with Wynkoop and Vanuxem relatives in Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Krusen in 1843 and they had one child, Anna (1846-1916), who married Theodore F. Wurts. Edward Vanuxem held different occupations in New Jersey such as storekeeper, station agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad at Lambertville, and proprietor of Excelsior Spoke Works. He also lived in Chicago for a time and manufactured wooden boxes. Upon his wife's death in 1884 he moved to Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he lived with his daughter until his death.

Delaware & Hudson Canal Company

The early history of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company is linked with that of the Wurts family. Three Wurts brothers -- Maurice, William and John -- were instrumental in the formation of the company.

Maurice Wurts (1783-1854) was born in Flanders, New Jersey as were all of his siblings. At age eighteen he moved to Philadelphia and went into the dry goods business. His brother William (1788-1858) went into partnership with Maurice in Philadelphia in the dry goods shop around 1810.

Because the War of 1812 halted the importation of bituminous coal from England, there was a shortage of fuel for manufacturing in the United States. Aware of this shortage, William and Maurice Wurts decided to find an alternative fuel for bituminous coal. Around 1814, William discovered anthracite coal in the Carbondale area and the brothers purchased property there. They mined some anthracite in 1816, but had problems selling it as it was not widely used at that time. In 1822, they went to Carbondale and built a loghouse for themselves and opened a mine. In late 1822, the Wurtses mined approximately 1,000 tons of anthracite. In the winter some of the coal was transported to Philadelphia, but it was difficult and expensive to transport the anthracite there. The small quantities of coal were taken by sled to Lackawaxen where it was put on rafts and floated down the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers to Philadelphia. In the 1820s, most of Philadelphia's coal came from the Lehigh area, so the Wurtses turned their attention to a different market: New York. This led in turn to the creation of the Delaware and Hudson Canal as a means of transporting the coal. The Wurtses' dry goods business financed the coal business and enabled the purchase of coal lands.

The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company's original object was to mine anthracite coal and transport it to New York City and New York State. The Wurts brothers in 1823 engaged Benjamin Wright, chief engineer for the construction of the Erie Canal, to survey from the Hudson River to as near the coal mines at Carbondale as possible. The Wurtses circulated copies of their own map showing their coal deposits in early 1823 in an attempt to find sources of money in New York City to build the canal because they could not afford to do it themselves.

One of the first steps in the construction of the canal was to get the support of the Pennsylvania and New York state legislatures. The Pennsylvania legislature passed an act in March 1823 authorizing Maurice Wurts and others to canalize the Lackawaxen River for descending navigation. John Wurts (1792-1861), the youngest of the Wurts brothers, was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature at this time and was instrumental in the passage of the legislation. The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company was incorporated on April 23, 1823 by an act of the New York legislature empowering the company to open water communication between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers and conferring the right to purchase coal lands and transport coal. The Wurtses had been aided by such influential men as former New York governor DeWitt Clinton who had written letters expressing support for the canal.

In late 1824 the Wurts brothers formed the Lackawaxen Coal Mine and Navigation Company to handle their coal mining in the Lackawaxen area. In December the first Lackawaxen coal arrived in New York City via ship from Philadelphia. By January 1825, subscriptions for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company stock opened and the stock was oversubscribed. The first board of managers was elected in March 1825 consisting of thirteen prominent men, mostly from the New York City area, with Philip Hone as president, and the company opened an office on Wall Street in New York City. In April the Pennsylvania legislature passed an act allowing the company to succeed to the rights of Maurice Wurts for improving the navigation of the Lackawaxen River and its branches. This act enabled the company to have full control of both the canal and mining operations. Benjamin Wright submitted a report to the board of managers in June recommending a route for the canal and proposing the construction of a railroad to link the mines and the canal because the Moosic Mountain lay between the mines and the headwater of the Lackawaxen River. Also in June the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company's bank opened for business and Maurice Wurts was appointed the company's agent to contract for the canal construction.

The Wurts' vested interests in the Lackawaxen Coal Mine and Navigation Company were purchased by the board of managers of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in July 1825; the Wurtses received cash and Delaware & Hudson Canal Company stock. Also that month, the first contracts were let for canal construction and ground was broken at Mamakating, Sullivan County, New York. By early summer 1827 part of the canal was navigable and ready for use and it began to function by April 1828. In October, the first boats to navigate the entire length of the canal carried coal. Upon completion of the canal, Maurice Wurts was appointed agent of the company at Rondout, New York. The canal's route began at Kingston, New York on the Hudson River and extended southwest through Ulster, Sullivan and Orange Counties to the mouth of the Lackawaxen River in Pike County, Pennsylvania and up the Lackawaxen to the junction of Dyberry and the west branch of the Lackawaxen at Honesdale in Wayne County.

Benjamin Wright, who had been appointed as chief engineer for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in 1825, resigned in March 1827 and was succeeded by assistant engineer John B. Jervis. Jervis surveyed and located a railroad route from the end of the canal at Honesdale to the coal mines at Carbondale. He made a report about the railroad to the board of managers in October that recommended double-rail for the railroad, the use of inclined planes and chains to haul cars up the inclined planes. He suggested employing steam locomotives on level distances between the planes. In January 1828 the board of managers sent Horatio Allen, an engineer under Jervis during the canal construction, to England to purchase railroad iron and have four locomotives built. The Stourbridge Lion was the first locomotive taken on the historic three-mile trial run on the railroad on August 8, 1829 by Allen. It was the first locomotive to be operated in the United States.

The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company coal sales were successful. The company delivered coal in New York City and adjacent locations at slightly lower prices than its rivals and began selling coal in Boston and Providence in 1830. There was a change of management in 1831 when the president of the board of managers, John Bolton (who had succeeded Philip Hone in 1826), resigned. John Wurts was elected his successor and held the position until 1858. He was an attorney and had served in the United States Congress from 1825-1827. Wurts assumed the position of president when the company was in much debt and immediately instituted successful cost-cutting measures.

From 1842 through 1850 the canal was enlarged, the railroad was extended, and the supply of mineable coal was increased. R. F. Lord, employed by the company since 1826, was the chief engineer for the canal. When the enlargement was completed, the canal's annual capacity was five times that of 1842. James Archbald, with the company since the mid 1820s, was chief engineer for the railroad and mines. Improvements were made from 1841 through 1848 and the railroad was extended seven miles south. Archbald also surveyed and purchased additional coal lands for the company in the 1850s. William Musgrave (a member of the firm Wurts, Musgrave and Wurts in Philadelphia) was appointed vice president of the company in July 1850 due to John Wurts's declining health. Wurts then spent much time traveling abroad and away from business and finally resigned as president in 1858. George Talbot Olyphant, one of the company's board of managers, was elected president in 1858 to succeed Wurts. The railroad was again enlarged from 1856 to 1858 to help meet the demand for anthracite coal; because of this demand the company prospered during the Civil War.

In 1864 there was a major staff reorganization at the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. R. F. Lord resigned his position as chief engineer of the canal and was appointed consulting engineer. Charles Pemberton Wurts, previously superintendent of the railroad department, was named chief engineer and Colonel F. Young was appointed superintendent of the canal. Thomas Dickson, formerly superintendent of the coal department, was named to head the newly created office of general superintendent. An executive committee was created in 1865 that consisted of the president and four appointed members of the board of managers to meet at least once a week.

In the years immediately following the Civil War, the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company acquired additional coal lands and in 1868 again commenced railroad expansion. By 1870 there were no longer any men from the company's early years to link the company's past with its future. The company railroad continued to expand and coal was primarily transported by rail. In the years prior to turn of the century the company made additional changes to break with its past. The final boat carried the company's anthracite coal on the canal in November 1898 and in February 1899 the canal was formally abandoned and the name of the company officially changed from "The President, Managers and Company of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company" to "The Delaware and Hudson Company."

Wurts Family

The founding father of the Wurts family in America, Johannes Conrad Wirz (1706-1763), was born in Switzerland and emigrated to America in 1734. He settled in Pennsylvania and upon his death, was a minister of a German Reformed Church at York. The first of his four sons, John (1744-1793), settled in Flanders, Morris County, New Jersey. John married Sarah Grandin in 1773 and they had nine children, eight of whom survived to adulthood. He was an iron manufacturer and owned several forges.

Charles Stewart Wurts (1790-1859), a son of John and Sarah Grandin Wurts, went into the dry goods business with his brother William around 1820. The former partnership of Maurice and William Wurts had gone into liquidation. By 1824 the business was known as Wurts & Co. Several years later William Musgrave joined the company as a partner and the name of the business was changed to Wurts, Musgrave and Wurts. Charles Stewart Wurts was also involved with the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company and held stock in the company, but was not as active to the same extent as were his brothers Maurice, William, and John. Charles Stewart Wurts married Mary Vanuxem, daughter of James and Rebecca Clark Vanuxem, in 1826.

George Wurts (1777-1835), another son of John and Sarah Grandin Wurts, and his wife Abigail Petit Wurts had thirteen children, of which nine reached adulthood. One of their sons, William Wurts (1809-1858) had attended Amherst College and began a career as an engineer but then studied law under his brother John Jacob. He became an attorney and practiced law in Carbondale and then in Wilkes-Barre from 1836 through 1847. When he returned to Carbondale in 1847 he practiced law, operated a lumber business, and was involved in buying and selling real estate. He was an attorney for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. William Wurts and his wife Lucretia Jeanette Lathrop Wurts had eight children, of which six reached adulthood.

Sykes/Atwater Family

Eliza Ann Wurts (1802-1881), a daughter of George and Abigail Petit Wurts married Lorenzo A. Sykes (1805-1878) in 1831 and they had one child, Caroline Augusta (born c. 1835). Sykes was born in Springfield, Oswego County, New York. He was a civil engineer and began his career at age twenty in Newark, New Jersey as the assistant engineer of the Morris Canal, becoming chief engineer. In 1832 he resigned that position and became assistant engineer with the New Jersey Railroad from Jersey City to New Brunswick, becoming chief engineer. He resigned that position in 1843 when he and George S. Mills became lessees of the Morris Canal and operated it for their own account for one year. Sykes worked for several years at public works and then joined the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company around 1851 and in 1856 was appointed general agent/superintendent. He resigned from the company in 1866.

After his resignation from the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company Sykes, his wife Eliza, and daughter Caroline ("Carrie") traveled to and throughout Europe in 1867 and Carrie's husband, Robert H. Atwater, accompanied them from 1872 through 1874. In 1875, the family settled in Orange, New Jersey where Sykes died.

Caroline A. Sykes and Robert H. Atwater were married in 1859 and had one child, Grace. Atwater held several positions: he was secretary of the Rondout and Oswego Railroad Company until 1867 and was paymaster for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company until his resignation in 1868. In the 1890s, Atwater wrote articles and a genealogical book about the Atwater family and he and his wife lived in Washington, D.C. He died circa 1900. Atwater's uncle was Lyman H. Atwater (1813-1883), the prominent clergyman, educator, scholar and editor of the Princeton Review.

Charles Pemberton Wurts/Laura Jay Wurts Family

Charles Pemberton Wurts (1824-1892) a son of George and Abigail Petit Wurts was born in Montville, New Jersey. He married Laura Jay in 1854. She was the granddaughter of Peter Augustus Jay and the great-granddaughter of Supreme Court justice and diplomat John Jay. They had six children.

Wurts along with his brother Maurice and members of the Dickson and Pierson families went to Scranton from Carbondale in 1856 and erected a foundry and machine shops. Known as Dickson & Company, it manufactured and repaired mining machinery. Charles Pemberton Wurts also worked for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company as superintendent of the railroad department and was named chief engineer in 1864. Upon the death of his aunt Martha Potts Haskins Wurts (widow of former Delaware & Hudson Canal Company president John Wurts) in 1871, Charles Pemberton Wurts was named the main beneficiary of her considerable estate, which caused some friction within the family. Wurts and his family moved to New Haven, Connecticut in the mid 1870s. He and his wife Laura and some of their children traveled to and throughout Europe from 1884 through 1886.

Theodore F. Wurts

Theodore F. Wurts (1844-1911), a son of William and Lucretia Jeannette Lathrop Wurts, was born in Wilkes-Barre and at age sixteen worked in the railroad shops of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company at Carbondale. During the Civil War, he enlisted in "The Wurts Guard" that was part of the Thirteenth Regiment, Pennsylvania and then enlisted in the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry. After service he held several civilian jobs and in 1864 he began his career as an engineer. Wurts was an instructor at the Massachusetts Agricultural College and Amherst College in the 1870s. He was the chief engineer for the construction of a division of the Connecticut Western Railroad (1870) and for sixty miles of the Massachusetts Central Railroad (1873), and he oversaw the building of bridges over the Connecticut River at Northampton, Massachusetts (1873). In 1877 he located the Short Line Railroad from Camden to Atlantic City, New Jersey and was consulting engineer and superintendent of the Atlantic City Railroad (1876-1877). Wurts worked as a civil engineer in Florida in 1881 and 1892.

In addition to railroads, Theodore Wurts's engineering work also included surveying and reporting on coal mines in Pennsylvania coal fields. He also surveyed and laid out several New Jersey beach towns. Wurts received two United States patents in 1889 and 1891 for his system of coast protection that entailed constructing breakwaters, sea-walls and jetties and reclaiming overflowed lands.

Wurts was very active in the Presbyterian Church wherever he lived and spent several years in voluntary missionary work establishing Sunday schools for the American Sunday School Union in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Theodore F. Wurts married Anna Vanuxem in 1868 and they had ten children, of which five reached adulthood. After living in New Jersey (Bridgeton, Atlantic City, and Belvidere) for many years, Wurts and his family in 1896 moved to Germantown, where he died.

John S. Wurts

John S. Wurts (1876-1958) was born in Carbondale and was educated at the West Jersey Military Academy graduating in 1893. He worked with his father Theodore F. Wurts in civil engineering and then took up the insurance business in Philadelphia in 1894. In 1898 he added real estate work to his career, beginning first in the office of Frederick Sylvester, and then opening an office of his own. Wurts also sold investment securities. He began studying law at the University of Pennsylvania but because he was so occupied with his business, he instead studied law with attorney S. Davis Page. He was admitted to the Philadelphia bar and the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1904. Along with his father and several others, John S. Wurts formed the City Real Estate Company of Philadelphia. The company was incorporated in 1904 for the purpose of purchasing and selling real estate; holding, leasing, mortgaging, selling and improving real estate for purchasing; selling securities pertaining to real estate; and maintaining or erecting walls or banks for the protection of low-lying lands.

In addition to his business John S. Wurts, like his father, was involved in religious activities. He was a lay preacher and was a president of the World Association of Daily Vacation Bible Schools. Wurts was an active member in the Westside Presbyterian Church in Germantown. He also published pamphlets on religious topics such as "A Brief Statement of the Christian Faith." He was a member of the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Y.M.C.A.

Wurts was very interested in history and was a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; the Bucks County Historical Society; the Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the Revolution; Site and Relic Society of Germantown; and was president of both the Pennsylvania Legal Historical Society and Descendants of the Continental Congress. He published a two volume set entitled Magna Charta examining the history of the document and the containing biographies and genealogies of those men responsible for it. Another of his interests was genealogy and he frequently wrote to family members, both distantly and closely related, for information. He was instrumental in having articles published about his family's genealogy. Because of his interest in genealogy, Wurts became the custodian of family papers.

John S. Wurts married Dorothy B. Williams and they had four children, two sons and two daughters. He and his family resided in Germantown.

Mermaid Club

Although no members of the Vanuxem or Wurts families were members of the Mermaid Club, the papers ended up in the care of John S. Wurts because, according to his son John S. Wurts, his father was known for his interest in history. The Mermaid Club was organized in 1877 by Henry S. Pancoast as a literary organization to improve the intellect of its members and others. The club read books, plays, poems, and essays as part of a year's course of study on a particular topic emphasizing American and English literature. The club also held debates, lectures, receptions, and members wrote papers for the club magazine The Mermaid Inn.

The Mermaid Club's membership was made up of men residing in Germantown. The club held meetings and other activities in various locations over the years such as St. Michael's Church in Germantown, the People's Institute Building, the Workingmen's Club Hall, the Wister House, and members' homes. It is not known when the club stopped meeting but the papers collected by John S. Wurts end in 1902.

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Scope and Content

The Wurts family papers were collected by John Sparhawk Wurts (1876-1958) and reflect both family papers and business records. The family was a large one and the papers were generated by several branches of the family tree. Their papers offer an opportunity to examine in detail the early history of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and nineteenth-century family and social history.

The collection is strongest in two areas: family history and the early history of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. The Vanuxem Family Papers (Series I, Subseries C), the Wurts Family Papers (Series III), the Sykes/Atwater Papers (Series IV), the Charles Pemberton Wurts/Laura Jay Wurts Papers (Series IV) and the correspondence in the John S. Wurts Papers (Series VII, Subseries F) are the series that most clearly illustrate the relationships between family members. These papers also reveal the concerns, amusements, interests, and attitudes of nineteenth century Americans in the professional class. The other primary strength of the collection is the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company Records (Series II). In particular, the Maurice Wurts Papers (Subseries A) clearly illustrate the early history and the obstacles that had to be overcome to build the company. The papers depict the struggles faced by the founders of the early company such as convincing both the Pennsylvania and New York state legislatures to pass legislation favorable to the company, acquiring backing from men of influence and money, gaining support of local residents, and constructing the canal and railroad.

The collection is weakest in its incompleteness of business papers for key family members such as Lorenzo A. Sykes (there are few papers of his work with the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company), Robert H. Atwater (he worked for the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and other firms but there is little mention of this in his papers), Charles Pemberton Wurts (for whom there are no business papers), Theodore F. Wurts (missing are papers in his work with Presbyterian Church-affiliated religious organizations and there are gaps in civil engineering work, especially his railroad work), and John S. Wurts (particularly in his religious work and genealogical writings; his legal work and investment papers also seem fragmentary).

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Arrangement

Although the papers were not in any specific order, some of the papers were tri-folded and tied together or were found together in envelopes labeled either by the creator of the documents or by John S. Wurts. In most cases, this arrangement determined most of the series and subseries.

Arranged in chronological order within each subseries unless otherwise noted.

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Access Points

Atwater, Caroline Augusta Sykes
Atwater, Grace
Atwater, Lyman Hotchkiss, 1813-1883
Atwater, Robert Henry
Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.
Jay, Peter Augustus
MacNeill, William Gibbs
Mermaid Club, Germantown, Philadelphia.
Sykes and Atwater families--Archives
Sykes, Cynthia
Sykes, Lorenzo A., 1805-1878
Sykes, Lucy
Vanuxem & Clark
Vanuxem family--Archives
Vanuxem, Edward, 1818-1898
Vanuxem, James, 1745-1824
Vanuxem, James, Jr., 1790-1877
Vanuxem, Louis C., 1788-1832
Wurts family--Archives
Wurts, Abigail Petit
Wurts, Anna Vanuxem, 1846-1916>
Wurts, Caroline
Wurts, Charles P., Jr.
Wurts, Charles Pemberton, 1824-1892
Wurts, Charles S. (Charles Stewart), 1790-1859
Wurts, Charles Stewart, Dr.
Wurts, Eliza Ann, 1802-1881
Wurts, George, 1777-1835
Wurts, Jeannette L.
Wurts, John Sparhawk, 1876-1958.
Wurts, John, 1792-1861
Wurts, Laura Jay
Wurts, Lucretia Jeannette Lathrop
Wurts, Martha H. (Pattie)
Wurts, Martha Potts Haskins
Wurts, Maurice Jr.
Wurts, Maurice, 1783-1854
Wurts, Pierre Jay
Wurts, Samuel Grandin
Wurts, Theodore F. (Theodore Frelinghuysen), 1844-191
Wurts, William A.
Wurts, William, 1788-1858
Wurts, William, 1809-1858
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Vanuxem Papers, 1778-1900, bulk 1781-1869
1.25 linear feet
Historical Note
Among the earliest papers in Accession 1982 are the Vanuxem Papers (1778-1937). James Vanuxem (1745-1824), the family patriarch, was born in Dunkerque, France. He emigrated to America at age twenty-nine and soon settled in Philadelphia. Vanuxem married Rebecca Clark (daughter of Colonel Elijah Clark and Jane Lardner Clark) in 1779 and they had fifteen children, of which eight died before reaching adulthood.
Vanuxem became engaged in the shipping trade by 1779 and was also a merchant in Philadelphia from the 1780s through at least the first decade of the nineteenth century. Vanuxem had several partners in business at various times that included his brother-in-law John Lardner Clark and Herman Joseph Lombaert. In 1816 Vanuxem and his then-business partner J. B. Sartori purchased the Robert Morris property in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There, they leased to two of Vanuxem's sons, Louis C. and James Jr., a grist and saw mill. James Vanuxem was involved in many activities such as the French Benevolent Society of Philadelphia and the Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances and was a director of the Bank of Pennsylvania, an organizer of the Pennsylvania Improvement Company, an incorporator and director of the Union Mutual Insurance Company, an organizer of the American Fire Insurance Company, and a member of the Select Council of Philadelphia and its water committee. Vanuxem died in Morrisville.
Louis C. Vanuxem (1788-c. 1832) was born in Philadelphia and like his father was known as a shipping merchant. Louis C. Vanuxem married Esther ("Hetty") Shoemaker in 1815 and they had six children. Along with his brother James, Louis and family moved to Morrisville with their father in 1816 and leased the mills owned by Vanuxem and Sartori. In 1823, Louis, his wife and children moved with his wife's family to Matanzas, Cuba where he took up farming and was a merchant. He returned to the United States for visits, but maintained his permanent residence in Cuba. He died, lost at sea.
James Vanuxem Jr. (1790-1877) was born in Philadelphia. He married Susannah Lombaert, daughter of Herman Joseph Lombaert and Margaretta Wynkoop Lombaert, in 1813. After the death of his father and sale of the Morrisville property James Vanuxem, Jr. and his family moved west in 1825 to Ohio, where he lived in several places and was involved in mercantile business and farming. He subsequently moved to Dublin, Indiana and opened a store. After his wife's death in 1838 Vanuxem left the operation of the store to one of his sons, James, and went to Hazleton, Pennsylvania where he became superintendent of the Sugar Loaf Collieries. He was remarried in 1842 to Elizabeth Newbold and returned to his store in Dublin, Indiana. He finally moved to Richmond, Indiana where he died.
Edward Vanuxem (1818-1898), a son of James Vanuxem, Jr. and Susannah Lombaert Vanuxem, was born in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. While the rest of his family was living in Ohio and Indiana, he was sent east and lived with Wynkoop and Vanuxem relatives in Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Krusen in 1843 and they had one child, Anna (1846-1916), who married Theodore F. Wurts. Edward Vanuxem held different occupations in New Jersey such as storekeeper, station agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad at Lambertville, and proprietor of Excelsior Spoke Works. He also lived in Chicago for a time and manufactured wooden boxes. Upon his wife's death in 1884 he moved to Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he lived with his daughter until his death.
A. James Vanuxem Papers, 1778-1837
25 folders
Scope and Content
Consists of financial and legal papers, correspondence, and miscellany.
Biographical Note
James Vanuxem (1745-1824) was a Philadelphia shipping merchant and helped establish several insurance companies.
Box Folder
1 1-2 Sales at Vendue, 1781-1789 [Vanuxem either bought or had goods sold at auction and these papers are the account of what was bought or sold. The sales occurred at city auction, Northern Liberties and Southwark. Sales included: fabric, hair powder, twine, cork, wine, figs, thread, paper, tea pots, fish hooks, combs, silver handled knives, needles, pistols, beads, cheese, coffee, snuff, sugar, buttons, vinegar, anis seed, bedsteads, rope, fish, barrels of beef and pork.] ; 2 folders
1 3-8 Accounts Current, 1781-1789 [These are running accounts of Vanuxem's debts and credits with other businessmen; if the account was settled, the creditor signed that he received the balance due. Some are written in French. Accounts with include: Pennsylvania excise, Vanuxem & Clark, John Cox, John Pringle, William Watson, John Sorsey, Elijah Clark, Lacaze & Mallet, John Ball, John Duffield, Muhlenberg & Wegman, John Morris, McCollon & Peterson, Isaac & Samuel L. Wharton (insurance brokers), Stephen Lacoste, Theophilus Chatelain, Stephen Flandrin, Adrial Clark, James Lockwood & Co., Jacob Baker, Lawrence Huron, Fisher & Pinyard, Sampson Harvey, John & William Montgomery, David Potts, Francis Martineau, John Harvey.] ; 6 folders
1 9-10 Insurance Policies, 1783-1789 [Vanuxem had sailing vessels and cargo insured with brokers Wharton and Lewis. Underwriters included Stephen Girard. In 1783 Vanuxem was insured as Texier & Company; from 1784-1789 policies are in his name.] ; 2 folders
1 11-14 Bills and Receipts, 1785-1800 [Primarily business receipts (some family bills and receipts). Some are written in French.Bills and receipts for: postage, grain, liquor, subscriptions to publications, bank stock of PA, sugar, gauging instruments, insurance, advertising, hauling, clothing, tuition for his children, horse, dry goods, furniture, taxes, house rent (73 N. Water St.), legal expenses, storage of powder at state magazine, shoes, carriage repair, cargo from ships. Creditors include: Jos. Donath & Co., Robert Campbell & Co. Samuel Crawford, Jacob Bright, George Peddle, Thomas Biddle, Lawrence Hudson, Jacob Martin, Bridgman & Hall, John B. Watson, Hope & Co., William McIlhenney, Wharton & Lewis, Simeon Reynolds, Lucoing & Lacombe, A. Cook, James Carey, Adam Houser, Peter S. DuPonceau, Deal Bros., Clement Biddle, Jeremiah Fisher, Thomas Fitzsimons, Thomas White, William Innes & Co., Nicholas Diehl, William Phillips, Andre Fonde, Thomas Rogers.] ; 4 folders
1 15-16 Promissory Notes, 1784-1819 [Borrowers include: Henry Hancock, William Tilton, Lambert Wilmer, J. Armstrong, Michel Garoutte, James Potters, John Desarta, Woodward & Owen, John Swanwich, Peter Vanden Burch, Charles Homasset, Henry Skinner, Thomas FitzSimens, H. T. Ferber, Lawrence Huron, Ann Fizle, H. Megret, L.C. & J. Vanuxem, Jr. Lenders include: De Heyder Veydt & Co., Zacharie Coopman & Co., and Charles Bomassel.] ; 2 folders
1 17 Stock Shares, 1800-1820 [Companies include: Lehigh Navigation Co., Susquehanna & Lehigh Turnpike, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Delaware & Schuylkill Canal Navigation, and Schuylkill Navigation Co.] ; 1 folder
1 18 Drafts of A. Cazenove to Sartori & Vanuxem, 1815 [Four drafts from Anthony Cazenove to Sartori & Vanuxem to pay set amounts to William S. Nicholls, Samuel Mark & Co., Richard H. Little, and Thomas Vowell.] ; 1 folder
1 19 Accounts towards settlement with J.B. Sartori, 1816-1822 [statement of debts and credits toward settlement, remaining inventory and account current.] ; 1 folder
1 20 Incoming correspondence, 1791, 1814, 1817 [Correspondents include: Lardner Clark, John Wick____, Edward Fox.] ; 1 folder
1 21 Outgoing correspondence, 1793-1823 [Letters to: Charles Petit, H.T. Ferber (in French), daughter Rebecca, Francis Shoemaker, son-in-law Nathan Smith, Mrs. M. Bernoudy.] ; 1 folder
1 22 Power of Attorney, 1819 [James Vanuxem gave power of attorney to his son Louis C. Vanuxem to recover money and lands owed him by John Savery and Peter Dominick Robert of Kentucky.] ; 1 folder
1 23 Estate Papers, 1825-1837 [Accounts, financial records and letters to family members regarding James Vanuxem's estate. Dr. Charles C. Beatty (a son-in-law) was executor of the estate.] ; 1 folder
1 24 Oath of Allegiance, 1778 [List of birth and death dates of children and wife in James Vanuxem's handwriting (both documents are photographs of the originals), and General Advertiser newspaper of October 25, 1799.] ; 1 folder
1 25 Inventory of Property of Terrason & Co, 1790 [Col. John Bayard's account vendue, undated; originals and photocopies of letters written by Stephen Girard, 1811-1813 to Captain Stephen McGinnes, Joseph Curwen, Charles N. Banker regarding shipping.] ; 1 folder
Box Folder
OS 9 1 American Fire Insurance Company policy to Israel Cope signed by James Vanuxem, 1816
B. Louis C. Vanuxem Papers, 1811-1832
14 folders
Scope and Content
Consists of financial and legal papers and correspondence.
Biographical Note
Louis C. Vanuxem (1788-1832) had several occupations: he was also a shipping merchant, he leased grist and saw mills from his father in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania and he later relocated to Matanzas, Cuba where he took up farming and was a merchant.
1 26-28 L.C. & James Vanuxem, Jr. Bills and Receipts, 1816-1818, 1822 [Primarily bills and receipts for the grist and saw mill operated by the brothers in Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania although there are some personal bills for Lewis C. Vanuxem. Bills and receipts for: taxes, postage, labor and supplies for cost of constructing house, food, advertising lumber for sale, laborers who worked at the mill and harvested, insurance, and grain. Creditors include: Joel Blakeslee, William T. Brown, Charles Cain, William Hancock, Thomas Ivins, John Kirkbride, George Laning, Joseph Meirs, Samuel Paxson, Aaron Phillips, Thomas Porter, Thomas C. Sterling, and Timothy Wheaton.] ; 3 folders
1 29 Draft and estimated expense for L.C. & J. Vanuxems, circa 1820, undated [Thomas Ivins's draft and estimated expense for converting the carding house into a fulling mill.] ; 1 folder
1 30 Promissory Note, 1826 [Signed by Henry Bradford] ; 1 folder
1 31-35 Incoming correspondence, 1821-1828 [Correspondents include: father James Vanuxem, John B. Sartori (his father's former business partner), sisters Mary Vanuxem and Rebecca Vanuxem, M. Lombaert, Charles Lombaert, brothers Henry Vanuxem and Lardner Vanuxem, Isaac Lea, Francis Bernoudy (cousin), and C. C. Beatty.] ; 5 folders
1 36 Outgoing correspondence, 1826, 1832 [To: brother James Vanuxem and Charles Lombaert.] ; 1 folder
1 37 Expenses in Chile, 1811-1812 [Expenses for room, board and incidentals while Louis C. Vanuxem was in Chile. Notation in his hand that the journal was kept for Mr. L. Gerard. Folder also contains a shipping paper (in Spanish) about cargo sent by Vanuxem.] ; 1 folder journal
1 38 Articles of Agreement, 1820-1822 [Agreements made by L.C. & James Vanuxem, Jr. for their milling business in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. John B. Sartori and James Vanuxem agreed to lease their grist and saw mill and woolen manufactory to the Vanuxem brothers, who then agreed to lease the same to Henry Gledhill and Edward and John Robinson. Other agreements include fencing land in return for farming the land and building a scow.] ; 1 folder
1 39 Power of Attorney, 1822 [Louis C. Vanuxem gave power of attorney to Francis Bernaudy to manage Vanuxem's land in Cuba while he was visiting the United States.] ; 1 folder
C. Vanuxem Family Papers, 1767-1900
12 folders
Scope and Content
Primarily family correspondence and includes letters of Vanuxems as well as Beatty/Steel, Kneass and Sparhawk families who were related to the Vanuxems by marriage. There is also a file of genealogical material relating to the Vanuxem family.
1. Beatty/Steel papers, 1778-1851
1 folder
1 40 Charles Beatty - Incoming correspondence, 1815, 1835, 1838, undated ["Brother" Henry regarding missionary work among Choctaw Indians, M.E. Reaves, and Frederick Ellinger, and parents C. Beatty and Reading Beatty.] ; 5 letters
1 40 John Beatty - Incoming correspondence, 1841, 1842 [C. Lombaert and G. Wynkoop.] ; 2 letters
1 40 Reading Beatty - Incoming correspondence, 1778, 1789 [Jane Downing and Henry Wynkoop.] ; 2 letters
1 40 Susan Beatty - Incoming correspondence, 1825 and undated [Mrs. M. W. Brown and M. H. Wirtz.] ; 2 letters
1 40 Ann Elizabeth Steel - Incoming correspondence, 1834 [From Christina Beatty.] ; 1 letter
1 40 Christina Steel - Incoming correspondence, 1845-1848 [From cousin Emily M. Beatty] ; 3 letters
1 40 Mary Beatty Steel - Incoming correspondence, 1810-1823 and undated [Correspondents include: Rebecca (probably Vanuxem Beatty), sister Sarah Beatty, mother C. Beatty, and husband Richard Steel.]
1 40 Richard Steel - Incoming correspondence, 1820-1847 [Correspondents include: father-in-law Reading Beatty, Susan Quintham, Joseph Fravelli, William Tennent Rodney, C. Van Rensselaer, and Sarah Carter.]
1 40 Miscellany, 1814, 1851, undated [One letter from Reading to mother and card admitting Charles Beatty to University of Pennsylvania anatomy lectures signed by C. Wistar.] ;
2. Kneass papers, 1825-1883
1 folder
1 41 Samuel H. Kneass - Incoming correspondence, 1851, 1882 [One letter from his father Samuel H. Kneass and one letter from his sister Mary K. Wood.] ; 1 letter
1 41 Samuel H. Kneass - Outgoing correspondence, 1863-1864, 1882-1883 [Kneass wrote to his mother Anna A. Kneass while he was served as a soldier/clerk for the Union Army in the South during the Civil War. Kneass described battles, army life, areas in Georgia and Tennessee that he saw, and the letters are also filled with personal reflection. The letters from 1882-1883 deal with his dismissal from the Pennsylvania Railroad in Chicago as an order agent and his seeking other employment. Correspondents include G. P. Agent for Pennsylvania Railroad J. R. Wood, J. Abbott and G. P. Agent for New York Lake Erie & Western Railroad Col. W. L. O'Brien.]
1 41 Railroad Passes, 1882 [passes for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway; St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway; Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway; Northern Pacific Railroad; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway; and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway.] ;
1 41 William Kneass - Incoming correspondence, 1825 [From William Strickland about family matters.] ; 1 letter
3. Sparhawk papers, 1834-1888
2 folders
1 42 Hetty (Esther) Vanuxem Sparhawk - Incoming correspondence, 1823, 1834-1843, 1860s [Correspondents include: mother Hetty Vanuxem, brother James Vanuxem, uncle Charles S. Wurts, brothers Francis Shoemaker Vanuxem and Louis C. Vanuxem, sisters Virginia Vanuxem and Louisa Vanuxem, and husband John Sparhawk.] ; 1 folder
1 43 John Sparhawk - Incoming correspondence, 1863, 1866, 1868 [Correspondents include: uncle James, John Oliphant Jr. and William Rouzee.] ; 1 folder
1 43 John Sparhawk - Outgoing correspondence, 1888 [One letter to son John Sparhawk, Jr.] ; 1 letter
4. Vanuxem papers, 1789-1900
1 44 Charles Vanuxem - Incoming correspondence, 1865 [One letter is from his father Edward Vanuxem and the rest are from his mother Elizabeth Krusen Vanuxem while Charles Vanuxem attended Tennant School in Hartsville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.] ; 1 folder
1 45 Edward Vanuxem - Incoming correspondence [Correspondents include: parents James and Susanna Vanuxem, sister Louisa Vanuxem, aunt M.A. Gwinner, brother James Vanuxem Jr., cousin Hetty Vanuxem, uncle E. Henry Vanuxem, wife Elizabeth Krusen Vanuxem, and Louis C. Vanuxem.]
1 45 Edward Vanuxem - letter to brother Frank Vanuxem, 1859
1 46 Agreement to lease, 1894 [Draft of an agreement in which Vanuxem agreed to lease a house to Joseph Lancer.]
1 46 Estate Papers, 1898-1900 [Correspondence, bills, receipts, canceled checks and accounts for the estate of the late Edward Vanuxem. His daughter Anna Vanuxem Wurts was the administrator.]
1 47 Elizabeth Krusen Vanuxem - Incoming correspondence, 1841-1845, 1864-1865 [Correspondents include: Louisa Vanuxem, husband Edward Vanuxem, and daughter Anna Vanuxem Wurts.] ; 1 folder
1 48 Henry Vanuxem - Correspondence Received, 1844-1845, 1857, 1859, 1869 [Correspondents include: sister Hetty Vanuxem Sparhawk, brother-in-law John Sparhawk, sister Virginia Vanuxem, Traub, Parkinson & Co., and cousin Mary Vanuxem.]
1 48 Henry Vanuxem - Correspondence Sent, 1855 [One letter to George Harris.]
1 49 Hetty (Esther Shoemaker) Vanuxem - Correspondence Received, 1807, 1822-1823 [Correspondents include: friend Helen M. Spence, father-in-law James Vanuxem, and mother Deborah Shoemaker.]
1 50 James Vanuxem, Jr. - Correspondence Sent, 1823 [Two letters to Louis Shoemaker]
1 50 James Vanuxem, Jr. - Promissory Note, 1843 [From Sugar Loaf Coal Co.]
1 51 Jane Vanuxem - Correspondence Received, 1789-1790 [Two letters from Uncle Elisha Clark, one letter unsigned.]
1 52 Lardner Vanuxem - Correspondence Received, 1833 [One letter from brother-in-law John L. Newbold.]
1 53 Louis C. Vanuxem, Jr. - Correspondence Received, 1844-1850 [Three letters: W. C. Jenks, sister Hetty Vanuxem Sparhawk, and brother Frank Vanuxem.]
1 53 Louis C. Vanuxem, Jr. - Correspondence Sent, 1839 [One letter to Francis Shoemaker.]
1 53 Louis C. Vanuxem, Jr. - Receipt, 1844
1 54 Anna Vanuxem Wurts - Correspondence Received, 1861-1867, 1888, 1897, undated [Correspondents include: father Edward Vanuxem, grandmother A. Krusen, and W. J. Bridges.]
1 54 Anna Vanuxem Wurts - Bond, 1889 [One bond to Anna Vanuxem Wurts from her father Edward Vanuxem for $2,6000.]
5. Wynkoop papers, 1768-1844
1 folder
Box Folder
1 55 Wanshaer family - estate papers, 1768, 1785 [Will of John Wanshaer and will and inventory of Christina Wanshaer, parents of Susanna Wanshaer Wynkoop, who was the wife of Judge Henry Wynkoop.]
1 55 George Wynkoop - Correspondence Received, 1829-1844 [Correspondents include: mother Sarah Fry, brother Henry Wynkoop, J. W. Wynkoop, cousins John Beatty and Susan Beatty, nephew John Wynkoop, George Campbell.]
1 55 Gerardus Wynkoop - Estate Papers, 1797, 1812 [Map of lands owned, copy of will and inventory, and administrators' account]
1 55 Henry Wynkoop - Correspondence Received, 1772 [One letter from mother-in-law Christina Wanshear.]
1 55 Henry Wynkoop - Correspondence Sent, 1777, 1814 [To George Bryan, vice president of the Council of Pennsylvania and to Margaret Lombaert]
1 55 Henry Wynkoop - Estate Papers, 1806, 1816, 1822 [Map of lands owned, copy of will, and administrators' account.]
1 55 John W. Wynkoop - Correspondence Received, 1811, 1812 [Two letters: father Nicholas Wynkoop and grandfather Henry Wynkoop]
1 55 Mary Ann Wynkoop - Correspondence Received, undated [letter from a relative named Frank]
6. Miscellany
2 folders
Scope and Content
Primarily 19th century material, much of a genealogical nature. Family surnames include Clark, Craven, Lawrie, Lombaert, Newbold, Shoemaker, Sparhawk, Vanuxem, and Wynkoop. Includes letters, copies of wills, poetry, family trees, and marriage certificate.
II. Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, 1805-1869, bulk 1823-1858
1 linear foot
Historical Note
The early history of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company is linked with that of the Wurts family. Three Wurts brothers -- Maurice, William and John -- were instrumental in the formation of the company.
Maurice Wurts (1783-1854) was born in Flanders, New Jersey as were all of his siblings. At age eighteen he moved to Philadelphia and went into the dry goods business. His brother William (1788-1858) went into partnership with Maurice in Philadelphia in the dry goods shop around 1810.
Because the War of 1812 halted the importation of bituminous coal from England, there was a shortage of fuel for manufacturing in the United States. Aware of this shortage, William and Maurice Wurts decided to find an alternative fuel for bituminous coal. Around 1814, William discovered anthracite coal in the Carbondale area and the brothers purchased property there. They mined some anthracite in 1816, but had problems selling it as it was not widely used at that time. In 1822, they went to Carbondale and built a loghouse for themselves and opened a mine. In late 1822, the Wurtses mined approximately 1,000 tons of anthracite. In the winter some of the coal was transported to Philadelphia, but it was difficult and expensive to transport the anthracite there. The small quantities of coal were taken by sled to Lackawaxen where it was put on rafts and floated down the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers to Philadelphia. In the 1820s, most of Philadelphia's coal came from the Lehigh area, so the Wurtses turned their attention to a different market: New York. This led in turn to the creation of the Delaware and Hudson Canal as a means of transporting the coal. The Wurtses' dry goods business financed the coal business and enabled the purchase of coal lands.
The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company's original object was to mine anthracite coal and transport it to New York City and New York State. The Wurts brothers in 1823 engaged Benjamin Wright, chief engineer for the construction of the Erie Canal, to survey from the Hudson River to as near the coal mines at Carbondale as possible. The Wurtses circulated copies of their own map showing their coal deposits in early 1823 in an attempt to find sources of money in New York City to build the canal because they could not afford to do it themselves.
One of the first steps in the construction of the canal was to get the support of the Pennsylvania and New York state legislatures. The Pennsylvania legislature passed an act in March 1823 authorizing Maurice Wurts and others to canalize the Lackawaxen River for descending navigation. John Wurts (1792-1861), the youngest of the Wurts brothers, was a member of the Pennsylvania legislature at this time and was instrumental in the passage of the legislation. The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company was incorporated on April 23, 1823 by an act of the New York legislature empowering the company to open water communication between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers and conferring the right to purchase coal lands and transport coal. The Wurtses had been aided by such influential men as former New York governor DeWitt Clinton who had written letters expressing support for the canal.
In late 1824 the Wurts brothers formed the Lackawaxen Coal Mine and Navigation Company to handle their coal mining in the Lackawaxen area. In December the first Lackawaxen coal arrived in New York City via ship from Philadelphia. By January 1825, subscriptions for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company stock opened and the stock was oversubscribed. The first board of managers was elected in March 1825 consisting of thirteen prominent men, mostly from the New York City area, with Philip Hone as president, and the company opened an office on Wall Street in New York City. In April the Pennsylvania legislature passed an act allowing the company to succeed to the rights of Maurice Wurts for improving the navigation of the Lackawaxen River and its branches. This act enabled the company to have full control of both the canal and mining operations. Benjamin Wright submitted a report to the board of managers in June recommending a route for the canal and proposing the construction of a railroad to link the mines and the canal because the Moosic Mountain lay between the mines and the headwater of the Lackawaxen River. Also in June the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company's bank opened for business and Maurice Wurts was appointed the company's agent to contract for the canal construction.
The Wurtses' vested interests in the Lackawaxen Coal Mine and Navigation Company were purchased by the board of managers of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in July 1825; the Wurtses received cash and Delaware & Hudson Canal Company stock. Also that month, the first contracts were let for canal construction and ground was broken at Mamakating, Sullivan County, New York. By early summer 1827 part of the canal was navigable and ready for use and it began to function by April 1828. In October, the first boats to navigate the entire length of the canal carried coal. Upon completion of the canal, Maurice Wurts was appointed agent of the company at Rondout, New York. The canal's route began at Kingston, New York on the Hudson River and extended southwest through Ulster, Sullivan and Orange Counties to the mouth of the Lackawaxen River in Pike County, Pennsylvania and up the Lackawaxen to the junction of Dyberry and the west branch of the Lackawaxen at Honesdale in Wayne County.
Benjamin Wright, who had been appointed as chief engineer for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in 1825, resigned in March 1827 and was succeeded by assistant engineer John B. Jervis. Jervis surveyed and located a railroad route from the end of the canal at Honesdale to the coal mines at Carbondale. He made a report about the railroad to the board of managers in October that recommended double-rail for the railroad, the use of inclined planes and chains to haul cars up the inclined planes. He suggested employing steam locomotives on level distances between the planes. In January 1828 the board of managers sent Horatio Allen, an engineer under Jervis during the canal construction, to England to purchase railroad iron and have four locomotives built. The Stourbridge Lion was the first locomotive taken on the historic three-mile trial run on the railroad on August 8, 1829 by Allen. It was the first locomotive to be operated in the United States.
The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company coal sales were successful. The company delivered coal in New York City and adjacent locations at slightly lower prices than its rivals and began selling coal in Boston and Providence in 1830. There was a change of management in 1831 when the president of the board of managers, John Bolton (who had succeeded Philip Hone in 1826), resigned. John Wurts was elected his successor and held the position until 1858. He was an attorney and had served in the United States Congress from 1825-1827. Wurts assumed the position of president when the company was in much debt and immediately instituted successful cost-cutting measures.
From 1842 through 1850 the canal was enlarged, the railroad was extended, and the supply of mineable coal was increased. R. F. Lord, employed by the company since 1826, was the chief engineer for the canal. When the enlargement was completed, the canal's annual capacity was five times that of 1842. James Archbald, with the company since the mid 1820s, was chief engineer for the railroad and mines. Improvements were made from 1841 through 1848 and the railroad was extended seven miles south. Archbald also surveyed and purchased additional coal lands for the company in the 1850s. William Musgrave (a member of the firm Wurts, Musgrave and Wurts in Philadelphia) was appointed vice president of the company in July 1850 due to John Wurts's declining health. Wurts then spent much time traveling abroad and away from business and finally resigned as president in 1858. George Talbot Olyphant, one of the company's board of managers, was elected president in 1858 to succeed Wurts. The railroad was again enlarged from 1856 to 1858 to help meet the demand for anthracite coal; because of this demand the company prospered during the Civil War.
In 1864 there was a major staff reorganization at the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. R. F. Lord resigned his position as chief engineer of the canal and was appointed consulting engineer. Charles Pemberton Wurts, previously superintendent of the railroad department, was named chief engineer and Colonel F. Young was appointed superintendent of the canal. Thomas Dickson, formerly superintendent of the coal department, was named to head the newly created office of general superintendent. An executive committee was created in 1865 that consisted of the president and four appointed members of the board of managers to meet at least once a week.
In the years immediately following the Civil War, the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company acquired additional coal lands and in 1868 again commenced railroad expansion. By 1870 there were no longer any men from the company's early years to link the company's past with its future. The company railroad continued to expand and coal was primarily transported by rail. In the years prior to turn of the century the company made additional changes to break with its past. The final boat carried the company's anthracite coal on the canal in November 1898 and in February 1899 the canal was formally abandoned and the name of the company officially changed from "The President, Managers and Company of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company" to "The Delaware and Hudson Company."
A. Maurice Wurts, 1805-1869
18 folders
Scope and Content
This subseries consists of the papers of Maurice Wurts (1805-1869), one of the founders of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. They are primarily correspondence, but there are also receipts, bills, accounts, estimates, petitions, journals, flyers, pamphlets, newspapers, articles of agreement, deeds, and powers of attorney. They record Maurice Wurt's activities in mining and stripping coal, negotiating with New York and Pennsylvania politicians to secure the corporate charters, soliciting investments from New York capitalists, and supervising the construction of the canal, the last including accounts with contractors. There is somewhat less information on the construction of the railroad and nothing on the Stourbridge Lion. There is also some family correspondence as well. Much of the material was directed to or from Maurice Wurts and generated by or for his brothers William and John who were active in the early years of the company, although some of the later papers postdate Maurice Wurts's death. The papers dated after 1837 are correspondence that is neither to nor from Maurice and primarily consist of letters written by John Wurts to Lorenzo A. Sykes.
Correspondents and other writers include: brothers John Wurts, Charles Stewart Wurts, Daniel Wurts, William Wurts and Maurice Wurts; engineers Horatio Allen, John B. Jervis, Russell F. Lord, A. C. Baldwin, and Benjamin Wright; Nathan Smith; David Young; Thomas Young; Delaware and Hudson Canal Company presidents John Bolton and Philip Hone; Delaware and Hudson Canal Company treasurer Samuel Flewelling; David E. Evans; Lorenzo A. Sykes; William Wurts Jr.; former governor of New York De Witt Clinton; Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes, and Salmon Lathrop.
Arrangement
John S. Wurts arranged his papers chronologically and numbered them in pencil at the top of each document. He prepared a typewritten inventory that contains the number, date and brief description of the type of document and to whom it was directed and from. Box 2 contains this inventory and a copy listing which documents are missing. There are also typewritten transcriptions for some of these papers in Box 2. Wurts arranged and inventoried the papers when he lent them to W. Coughtry of the Delaware and Hudson Company in 1923 for the publication of a book commemorating the 100th anniversary of the company.
2 1-16 Papers, 1805-1869 [The papers are primarily correspondence (both letters received and copies of letters sent), but there are also receipts, bills, accounts, estimates, petitions, journals, flyers, pamphlets, newspapers, articles of agreement, deeds, power of attorney and other papers relating to the creation and administration of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. There is also some family correspondence as well. Much of the material was directed to or from Maurice Wurts and generated by or for his brothers William and John who were active in the company, although some of the later papers postdate Maurice Wurts's death. The papers dated after 1837 are correspondence that is neither to nor from Maurice Wurts.Correspondents and other writers include: brothers John Wurts, Charles Stewart Wurts, Daniel Wurts, William Wurts and Maurice Wurts; engineers Horatio Allen, John B. Jervis, Russell F. Lord, A. C. Baldwin, and Benjamin Wright; Nathan Smith; David Young; Thomas Young; Delaware and Hudson Canal Company presidents John Bolton and Philip Hone; Delaware and Hudson Canal Company treasurer Samuel Flewelling; David E. Evans; Lorenzo A. Sykes; William Wurts Jr.; former governor of New York De Witt Clinton; Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes, and Salmon Lathrop.] ; 16 folders
2 17 Miscellany, circa 1820, undated [notes about the canal, receipts, statement about quantity of timber on Carbondale Railroad, expenses recorded, and a notebook.] ; 1 folder
B. Financial papers, 1825-1852
5 folders
Scope and Content
Consists of financial papers generated by the construction of the canal as well as later miscellaneous accounts.
2 18-19 Estimates of Labor, 1826-1829 [Engineers submitted these labor estimates during the construction of the canal and railroad that contain the names of workers and contracting firms, number of feet worked on, cost of estimate, amount due, and number of men who worked on the particular section. Engineers include: Horatio Allen, P. R. Root, James Archbald, James L. McEntire, Russell F. Lord, John B. Mills, John T. Clark, and A. C. Baldwin.] ; 2 folders
2 20 Accounts, 1825-1827 [Accounts kept by the company with contractors who worked on construction of the canal.] ; 1 folder
2 22 Miscellaneous Accounts, 1849-1852 [Various accounts of and with Pennsylvania Coal Company, W.R. Maffet, Richmond & Robinson, and Washington Coal Company.] ; 1 folder
C. James Archbald, 1833-1865
3 folders
Scope and Content
Consists of James Archbald's papers, chief engineer of the company's railroad and coalmines and was responsible for obtaining new coal lands.
3 1 Accounts, 1833-1856 [Accounts with chief engineer James Archbald also includes account he had with Pennsylvania Coal Company (1849-1852).] ; 1 folder
3 2 Correspondence received, 1845-1865 [Correspondents include: vice president of board of managers, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company Isaac L. Platt; president of board of managers, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company John Wurts; and William Wurts.Subjects include: miners' wages, a proposed extension of the railroad to Cobbs Gap, Archbald's purchasing additional coal lands for the company and conveying to them rights for road way, water power, and reservoirs; and Archbald's selling company land to William Wurts.] ; 1 folder
3 2 Correspondence sent [Three letters sent to John Wurts regarding Archbald's exploration for additional coal lands and the company's sale of properties.] ; 1 folder
3 3 Land papers, 1843-1858 [Documents regarding the purchase and sale of land by James Archbald who conveyed or granted land rights to the company for its use. Papers also include sale of some of Archbald's/Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's land to William Wurts.deeds, receipts, drafts of tracts, and copies of letters.] ; 1 folder
Box Folder
2 21 Delivery Receipts, 1826-1828 [Receipts are for material received during the construction of the canal and locks. In 1826, the material used was cement and water lime; in 1828 material delivered included iron, wheels and coal.] ; 1 folder
D. History of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company written by H. Hollister, M.D., 1880
1 folder typewritten, bound, 211 pages
Scope and Content
Some of the information is found in Hollister's book History of Lackawanna Valley, third edition, 1875.
III. Wurts family papers, 1759-1891
0.75 linear feet
Historical Note
The founding father of the Wurts family in America, Johannes Conrad Wirz (1706-1763), was born in Switzerland and emigrated to America in 1734. He settled in Pennsylvania and upon his death, was a minister of a German Reformed Church at York. The first of his four sons, John (1744-1793), settled in Flanders, Morris County, New Jersey. John married Sarah Grandin in 1773 and they had nine children, eight of whom survived to adulthood. He was an iron manufacturer and owned several forges.
Charles Stewart Wurts (1790-1859), a son of John and Sarah Grandin Wurts, went into the dry goods business with his brother William around 1820. The former partnership of Maurice and William Wurts had gone into liquidation. By 1824 the business was known as Wurts & Co. Several years later William Musgrave joined the company as a partner and the name of the business was changed to Wurts, Musgrave and Wurts. Charles Stewart Wurts was also involved with the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company and held stock in the company, but was not as active to the same extent as were his brothers Maurice, William, and John. Charles Stewart Wurts married Mary Vanuxem, daughter of James and Rebecca Clark Vanuxem, in 1826.
George Wurts (1777-1835), another son of John and Sarah Grandin Wurts, and his wife Abigail Petit Wurts had thirteen children, of which nine reached adulthood. One of their sons, William Wurts (1809-1858) had attended Amherst College and began a career as an engineer but then studied law under his brother John Jacob. He became an attorney and practiced law in Carbondale and then in Wilkes-Barre from 1836 through 1847. When he returned to Carbondale in 1847 he practiced law, operated a lumber business, and was involved in buying and selling real estate. He was an attorney for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. William Wurts and his wife Lucretia Jeanette Lathrop Wurts had eight children, of which six reached adulthood.
A. Samuel Grandin, 1759, 1764, 1767-1777
1 folder
3 5 Legal papers, 1764, 1767-1777 [Deed for property containing iron mine in Roxbury township, Morris County, New Jersey sold by Samuel Johnson to Samuel Grandin (Johnson was Grandin's father-in-law); and bond and petition for appointment of Samuel Grandin as guardian of John Peter Sharp.] ; 1 folder
Box Folder
OS 9 2 Legal papers, 1759 [Deed to property in Roxbury Township, Morris County, New Jersey sold by William Griffen to Samuel Grandin, 1759.]
B. Charles Pettit, 1778, 1780, 1799
1 folder
3 6 Correspondence received, 1778, 1780, 1799 [Col. Robert Harrison regarding saddle and bridle, Samuel Huntington regarding suspension of Henry Hollingsworth as deputy quartermaster general, and from Joseph McIlvaine announcing birth of his son.] ; 1 folder 3 letters
C. Reed family, 1774-1844
1 folder
3 7 Henry Hope Reed, correspondence received, 1844, undated [Two letters from Horace Binney; one regarding Reed's essay on Scott and one on Wilson's letter lent by Reed.]
3 7 Joseph Reed (1741-1785), legal papers, 1774 [One deed poll, William Coxe to Joseph Reed.]
3 7 Joseph Reed (1741-1785), correspondence sent, 1779, 1780 [Two letters to Matthew Clarkson, Marshal of the Admiralty from Reed in his capacity as president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. The letters are in reference to a purchase of rum for the state troops and notifying Clarkson that he was being relieved of his duties.]
3 7 Joseph Reed (1741-1785), correspondence received, 1789-1792, 1801 [Five letters from uncle and guardian Charles Pettit regarding financial advice and family matters, and one letter of introduction of Joseph Reed to Don Stoughton from Horace Binney.]
3 7 William Bradford Reed, correspondence received, 1829 [One letter from John L. Watson relaying an anecdote about Reed's grandfather Joseph Reed during the Battle of Trenton in the Revolutionary War.]
D. Charles Stewart, 1768-1801
2 folders
3 8-9 Land papers, 1768-1801 [Land papers generated by or for Stewart when was a deputy surveyor-general for the province and later the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There are also some papers that postdate his death in 1800. Includes: leases, lists of persons receiving lots, warrants, order to survey, bonds, promissory notes, correspondence, maps, and receipts. Arranged chronologically.]
E. Abigail Pettit Wurts, 1824, 1858
1 folder
Scope and Content
One letter from cousin T. Caspar Wirz.
3 10 Correspondence received, 1824, 1858 [One letter from her son John J. Wurts and one letter from granddaughter Alice A. Wurts.]
F. Caroline Wurts, 1886
1 folder
3 11 Correspondence received, 1886
G. Dr. Charles Stewart Wurts, 1855, 1859-1872
4 folders
3 12-15 Luzerne letters, 1855, 1859-1872 [Originally a bound volume of correspondence (primarily letters received) by Dr. Charles Stewart Wurts, so named because the letters were from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania regarding Wurts land in the Carbondale and Archbald areas. The first two letters (1855, 1859) were sent to William Wurts, and several of the 1859 letters were sent to Charles Stewart Wurts (father of Dr. Wurts) before he died. Correspondents include: attorney Henry Colt, real estate agent William Silkman, O. Collins, E. Leach, Andrew McClintock, Col. H.B. Wright, surveyors Major John Sturdevant and his son William Sturdevant, cousin Charles Pemberton Wurts, J. R. White, and Abner Eaton. The letters numbered 1 through 34 (1859-1860) are indexed alphabetically by correspondent.] ; 4 folders
H. John Wurts (1744-1793), 1777-1792
1 folder
OS 9 2 Property deeds, 1777-1792 [Five deeds for property purchased or sold by Wurts in New Jersey.]
I. John Wurts (1792-1861), 1843, 1855-1859
1 folder
3 16 Receipts, 1857, 1858 [Four receipts regarding construction of a burial vault at Pleasant Mills Grave Yard, Batsto, New Jersey.]
3 16 Correspondence received, 1843, 1857 [Four letters regarding construction of a burial vault at Pleasant Mills Grave Yard, Batsto, New Jersey, one letter from brother William Wurts with genealogical information, and one letter from brother Maurice Wurts proposing that John retire from Delaware and Hudson Canal Company for his health.]
3 16 Correspondence sent, 1855 [One letter to brother William Wurts (probably) about the Wurts family roots in Switzerland.]
3 16 Keith & Wurts Trust papers, 1856, 1859 [Primarily correspondence to John Wurts, as well as receipts and notes on distribution of stock shares.]
J. Lucretia Jeannette Lathrop Wurts, 1861-1878, 1885-1886
1 folder
3 17 Bills and receipts, 1861-1878, 1886 [Personal and family expenses as well as tax and pew rent receipts.]
3 17 Correspondence received, 1870, 1885 [One letter not signed regarding stocks and bonds of several Pennsylvania railroad companies, and one letter from granddaughter Jeannette L. Wurts.]
K. Martha Potts Haskins Wurts, 1806-1877
1 folder
3 18 Bills and receipts, 1861-1863, 1867 [Three receipts for: one-half payment for bust and full-length portrait of John Wurts and books.]
3 18 Correspondence received, 1850-1868 [Four letters regarding portrait of John Wurts, letters from brother-in-law A. Wurts about money given to family members, and letter from brother Haskins regarding estate account.]
3 18 Family real estate, 1806-1877 [Papers about her father’s property in Philadelphia include deeds, insurance policy, tax receipts, and mortgage.]
3 18 Papers relating to estate, 1871-1877 [agreement, two letters regarding the Wurts family contesting her will, statement of account of special administrator, letters testamentary, and receipt for collateral inheritance tax.]
L. Maurice Wurts, Jr., 1854
1 folder
3 19 Correspondence received, 1854 [One letter from brother George Wurts about financial matters and his efforts to obtain a patent for blacking.]
M. Samuel Grandin Wurts, 1800-1803
1 folder
3 20 Diary, 1800-1803 [brief notations about weather, location, deaths and activities on board the ship Constellation. The ship sailed to Tripoli as part of the United States naval squadron dispatched to the Mediterranean during the Tripolitan War. The diary also includes accounts as well as expenses incurred after Wurts's naval discharge in April 1803.]
N. William Wurts papers, 1820-1878
1 folder
3 21-22 Financial papers, bills and receipts, 1851-1858 [Personal bills and receipts for clothing, groceries, medical care, children's tuition, pew rent, taxes, coal, hay, house painting, jewelry repair, sawing lumber, and insurance.]
3 23 Financial papers, receipts, 1855, 1857 [Payments received by William Wurts from Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, Jones & Watt, and Thomas Jardine. Kept by Wurts for accounting purposes for his lumber business. His most frequent lumber purchaser was the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.]
3 24 Financial papers, promissory notes, 1847-1858 [Kept by Wurts for accounting purposes for his lumber business. His most frequent lumber purchaser was the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.]
3 25 Financial papers, order book for lumber, 1852-1857 [Kept by Wurts for accounting purposes for his lumber business. His most frequent lumber purchaser was the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.]
3 25 Financial papers, account of logs hauled, 1853-1854 [Kept by Wurts for accounting purposes for his lumber business. His most frequent lumber purchaser was the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.]
3 25 Financial papers, account with laborers, 1854-1857 [Kept by Wurts for accounting purposes for his lumber business, but encompasses additional trades other than lumber.]
3 26 Correspondence received, 1845-1858 [Correspondents include: Gideon P. McMillen, S. S. Winchester, C. E. Lathrop, brothers George Wurts and Maurice Wurts, L.A. Sykes, and J.S. Bedford. Subjects include: legal cases, land sales, and family matters.]
3 26 Correspondence sent, 1829 [One letter to Dr. Absalom Woodruff seeking employment at Tuckasunny Academy.]
3 27 Diary, 1846 [Photocopy of diary includes family information, notations about law practice and weather.]
3 28 Legal papers, civil suits with brother George Wurts as plaintiff, 1843-1854 [transcripts of case, orders to pay, memorandum of judgment, bill of fees, receipts, assignments of claims and judgment notes.]
3 28 Legal papers, civil suits with brother Maurice Wurts Jr. as plaintiff, 1843, 1847 [transcripts of case, orders to pay, memorandum of judgment, bill of fees, receipts, assignments of claims and judgment notes.]
3 28 Legal papers, civil suits with David G. Sligh as defendant, 1848-1858 [transcripts of case, orders to pay, memorandum of judgment, bill of fees, receipts, assignments of claims and judgment notes.]
3 28 Legal papers, various case papers, 1848-1857
3 28 Legal papers, trial lists and trial menus, 1851-1856
3 28 Legal papers, handwritten copy of Pennsylvania Act of Assembly abolishing imprisonment for debt, undated
3 29-30 Land papers, Luzerne County land, 1820-1878 [Papers generated for the purchase and sale of land primarily in Luzerne County by William Wurts and his estate. Includes deeds, receipts, articles of agreement, drafts of tracts, and contracts.]
3 31 Land papers, land sold to William Brennan, 1854-1859, 1868 [Papers generated by Wurts's sale of land in Carbondale Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania to William Brennan. Includes memorandum and agreement of sale, survey, exception in deed, and account of payments.]
3 32 Literary papers, 1825-1847 [Poetry written while attending Amherst College, addresses to temperance society in Carbondale, and addresses at Wilkes-Barre.] [inventory, administration sale, letter from creditor to an estate administrator, receipt for legal papers, amount of money for distribution to heirs, account of money owed to Stephen S. Clark, and executors' account.]
3 33 Papers relating to estate, 1858-1873
3 34 Miscellany, 1848-1856, undated [Carbondale City Script payment menu, note to recorder of deeds in Susquehanna County from Stephen H. Pierson per William Wurts, newspaper with notations regarding land sold at sheriff's sale, and figures.]
O. William A. Wurts, 1878
1 folders
3 35 Correspondence received, 1878 [One letter from J.P. Foster regarding real estate in Chicago.]
P. Wurts family miscellany, 1767, 1784, 1850, 1889, 1891
1 folder
3 36 Miscellany, 1767, 1784, 1850, 1889, 1891, undated [Contains will and inventory of Conrad Wirtz and George Werts, one letter to Mary from Lizzie, one letter in German, newspaper clipping about Wurts family's discovery of coal lands, and book A Genealogical Record of the Wurts Family containing family tree and genealogical and biographical sketches of Wurts family members.]
IV. Sykes/Atwater family papers, 1802-1900, undated
1.5 linear feet
Historical Note
Eliza Ann Wurts (1802-1881), a daughter of George and Abigail Petit Wurts married Lorenzo A. Sykes (1805-1878) in 1831 and they had one child, Caroline Augusta (born c. 1835). Sykes was born in Springfield, Oswego County, New York. He was a civil engineer and began his career at age twenty in Newark, New Jersey as the assistant engineer of the Morris Canal, becoming chief engineer. In 1832 he resigned that position and became assistant engineer with the New Jersey Railroad from Jersey City to New Brunswick, becoming chief engineer. He resigned that position in 1843 when he and George S. Mills became lessees of the Morris Canal and operated it for their own account for one year. Sykes worked for several years at public works and then joined the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company around 1851 and in 1856 was appointed general agent/superintendent. He resigned from the company in 1866.
After his resignation from the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company Sykes, his wife Eliza, and daughter Caroline ("Carrie") traveled to and throughout Europe in 1867 and Carrie's husband, Robert H. Atwater, accompanied them from 1872 through 1874. In 1875, the family settled in Orange, New Jersey where Sykes died.
Caroline A. Sykes and Robert H. Atwater were married in 1859 and had one child, Grace. Atwater held several positions: he was secretary of the Rondout and Oswego Railroad Company until 1867 and was paymaster for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company until his resignation in 1868. In the 1890s, Atwater wrote articles and a genealogical book about the Atwater family and he and his wife lived in Washington, D.C. He died circa 1900. Atwater's uncle was Lyman H. Atwater (1813-1883), the prominent clergyman, educator, scholar and editor of the Princeton Review.
A. Caroline Augusta Sykes Atwater, 1842-1900
7 folders
4 1-3 Correspondence received, 1842-1900 [Correspondents include: father Lorenzo A. Sykes; mother Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes; husband Robert H. Atwater; aunts Caroline Wurts and Laura Wurts; uncle George Wurts; grandmother Abigail Petit Wurts; cousin Lizzie Wurts; Ann Temple Levingston; Mary L. McCready; cousins by marriage Lyman S. Atwater and Susie H. Atwater; Lucy E. Chapman; and aunt by marriage Susan S. Atwater. Subjects include family matters and information from parents and husband while away on business or pleasure trips.] ; 4 folders
4 4 Correspondence sent, 1862, 1867 [One letter to an aunt and one letter to cousin by marriage Lyman S. Atwater.] ; 1 folder
4 5 Poetry, 1854-1878 [Poetry written to and by Caroline Atwater.]
4 6 Miscellany, 1848 - circa 1880 [confirmation certificate, wedding announcement card and newspaper clipping of announcement, list of wedding guests, school compositions, two promissory notes, and notes about ocean voyage to Europe in 1867.]
B. Grace Atwater, 1864-1878
1 folder
4 7 Correspondence and miscellany, 1864-1878 [correspondence from mother Caroline A. Sykes Atwater, father Robert H. Atwater, R.A. Wurts, and Julia A. Shurman, school report cards, and The Young Communicants Manual.]
C. Lyman H. Atwater, undated
1 folder
4 8 Correspondence received, undated [One letter with missing signature of correspondent.]
D. Robert Henry Atwater, 1846-1898
12 folders
4 9 Financial papers, bills and receipts, 1866-1881 [Receipts for expenses while traveling in Europe, daughter's tuition, post office box rent, and subscriptions.]
4 10 Financial papers, bank statements and passbooks, 1868-1887 [Accounts with William Alexander Smith & Co. (of New York City), First National Bank of Rondout, Antoine Bucci Marchand (of Rome, Italy), and National Trust Co. of City of New York.]
4 11 Financial papers, stock papers, 1864-1883 [correspondence, promissory notes, statements, receipts and stock certificates bought and sold by Atwater. Companies include: Central Mining Co. of Colorado, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, Bennington & Glastenbury Rail Road Mining & Manufacturing Co., St. Louis Ore and Steel Co., and The Union Chemical Manufacturing Co.]
4 12-14 Land papers, Vermont, 1846-1880 [Papers include correspondence, conveyances, deeds, notes on the properties, quit claims, plans of Stamford and Glastenbury, tax receipts, statement of account with estate administrator, division of Lyman Atwater's estate, and the estate inventory. Along with his uncles Lyman H. Atwater and Wyllys Atwater and aunts Susan A. Bagg and Grace C. Bishop, Robert H. Atwater inherited land in Woodford, Bennington, Stamford and Glastenbury in Vermont from Lyman Atwater who died intestate.]
4 15 Land papers, Perrine Land in Rondout, New York, 1853-1879 [Papers include: correspondence, mortgage, deed, and receipts for house repair. Atwater purchased property in Rondout, New York that apparently did not have clear title. He later attempted to sell the property to John B. Alliger.]
4 16 Land papers, Kansas, 1874-1880 [Papers include fire insurance, legal opinions regarding disputed ownership of the property, abstract of title, and notes. The three parcels of real estate located in Lyndon, Osago County, Kansas were mortgaged to Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes, Atwater's mother-in-law.]
4 17-18 Correspondence received, 1857-1898 [Correspondents include: wife Caroline A. Sykes Atwater; uncle L.H. Atwater; cousin Lyman S. Atwater; cousin by marriage Alice A. Wurts; brother W. Atwater; Charles P. Wurts; treasurer, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company Isaac N. Seymour; aunt by marriage A.B. Wurts; John D. Bluxom; A.A. Crosby; S. Boutwell; Ellis Ashmead Bartlett; sister Katie; Samuel H. Hall; member, board of managers, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company Robert Lenox Kennedy; president, board of managers, Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. George Talbot Olyphant; Hy Rowland; William Irwin; Edward E. Atwater; vice president, Cornell Steamboat Co. S.D. Coykendall; J.W. Cook; and Stephen Abbey.Subjects include: Sale of Mt. Carbon Coal stock, purchase of Cornell Steamboat Co. stock, family matters, sale of Atwater land in Vermont, letters from wife detailing 1867 European trip, and Delaware and Hudson Canal Company business.]
4 19 Correspondence sent, 1876, 1897 [One letter to member, board of managers Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, Robert Lenox Kennedy and one letter to publishers Henry Carey Baird Co.]
4 20 Miscellany, 1859-1898, undated [passport; handbills; programs; agreement between Henry Wurtz, William Schley and Atwater for The Union Chemical Manufacturing Company; typewritten manuscript by Atwater "Our Stand for the Cubans in History"; genealogical information on the Bagg family; and proceedings of the Historical and Geographical section of the New England Society, Orange, New Jersey.]
E. William Gibbs MacNeill, 1848-1851
1 folder
4 21 Financial papers, 1851 July-October [Two receipts and one notice of non-payment on a promissory note.]
4 21 Correspondence received, 1851 February-July [Letters from former U.S. President John Tyler, A. Hamilton, J. H. Alexander, Horace P. Russ, Edmund Griffen, and W. H. Peet.]
4 21 Correspondence sent, 1851 July [One letter to W. H. Peet.]
4 21 Legal papers, 1848-1851 [Papers from two New York State Supreme Court cases in which MacNeill was plaintiff in one, the defendant in the other and one agreement giving Lorenzo A. Sykes participatory rights in the Guyandotte Land Company.]
F. Cynthia Sykes and Lucy Sykes, 1833-1880
1 folder
Box Folder
4 22 Correspondence received, 1833-1880 [These sisters received letters addressed to the both of them from their brother Lorenzo A. Sykes and his wife Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes from January 1849 through December 1858. There is one letter addressed to Cynthia from brother R.B. Sykes (1833). The rest of the letters are addressed to Lucy and cover the dates February 1851 through March 1880. Correspondents include nieces Caroline A. Sykes Atwater and Matilda Sykes Wurts and brother Lorenzo A. Sykes.]
G. Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes, 1812-1882
3 folders
4 23 Bills and receipts, 1861, 1863, 1880 [Three receipts.]
4 23 Stock certificate, 1865 [Shares in Great Northern Oil Company.]
4 23 Papers relating to estate, 1881-1882 [Bills and receipts (for medical attention and funeral expenses), inventory and appraisement of property. Daughter Caroline and son-in-law Robert H. Atwater were executors of the estate.]
4 23 Miscellany, 1857 ["List of articles left in the house at Rondout for Mrs. Sykes July 9th 1857" written by Mrs. John Wurts (Martha Potts Haskins Wurts).]
4 24-25 Correspondence received, 1812-1858, undated [Most of the letters are from her husband Lorenzo A. Sykes written before and after their marriage in 1831 and include information about his canal and railroad work. Other correspondents include: father George Wurts; brothers John Wurts, Henry Wurts, George Wurts, and Maurice Wurts; mother Abigail Petit Wurts; and S.A. Baulen.]
H. Lorenzo A. Sykes, 1802-1879, 1886
17 folders
4 26 Financial papers, account of private expenses, 1832-1834 [Small notebook of personal expenses of Sykes and family.]
4 27 Financial papers, promissory notes, 1837-1866
4 28 Financial papers, stock certificates, 1843-1847 [Stock for Newark Mutual Fire Insurance Company.]
4 29 Financial papers, dealings with Henry Mendell, 1848-1849 [Papers include canceled checks, mortgage on personal property, receipts for bonds of New York and Erie Railroad Company, promissory notes, accounts of coal deliveries, and sales records of household items. Mendell was associated with the St. Charles Hotel in New York City.]
4 30 Financial papers, bills and receipts, 1850-1875 [Receipts for membership dues in the New York Historical Society, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company capital stock, wallpaper, taxes, room and board, coal, grain, dues for Rondout Lodge, clothing, expenses while traveling in Europe.]
4 31 Financial papers, trustee papers for Ann Barbara Norris Wurts, 1855-1875 [probate notices, copies of portions of wills bequeathing money or stock, and receipts.]
4 32 Financial papers, bank passbook and cancelled checks, 1869-1872 [Both with National Trust Company of New York City.]
4 33 Land papers, 1833-1849, 1879, 1886 [Deeds and mortgages for Sykes and his wife's land in Newark Township, Essex County, New Jersey are included as well as papers for Sykes's land in Texas. The Texas land papers were numbered and include: statement of law regarding land in Texas; certificate of sale (in Spanish and English translation); and legal opinion about the land. After Sykes's death in 1878 the administrator of his estate, son-in-law Robert H. Atwater, received Texas land warrants location information (1879) and made notes concerning Texas land law (1886).]
4 34-35 Incoming correspondence, 1829-1834, 1851-1867 [Many of the letters were written by sister-in-law Ann Barbara Norris Wurts (A.B. Wurts) requesting money and financial assistance and advice.Other correspondents include: wife Eliza Ann Wurts Sykes; J.W. Scott; nephew L.B. Sykes; Elizabeth Dodge; John Bluxamie; niece E. A. Caufield; J.B. Augur; A.H. Livingston; John Aspinnall; Thomas H. Wells; George Schuyler; brother Nathaniel Sykes; Joseph W. Allen; treasurer, Delaware & Hudson Canal Co., Isaac N. Seymour; Cortlandt Parker; Reverend Jesse Pound (St. Matthew's, New York City); vice president, board of managers, Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. William Musgrave; Mary E. Wells; Rafael Gonzales; General William Gibbs MacNeill; J.H. Alexander; Adolf Rodewalt; R.T. Germain; president, board of managers, Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. John Wurts; Charles P. Wurts; R.B. Mason; and Edward H. Hudson.Subjects include: family matters, land in Newark, NJ, New York and Erie Railroad contract settlement, taxes, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company stock shares, employment seekers, reports about Charles W. Lancaster's gun.Also see Series II (Delaware and Hudson Canal Company records), Subseries I (Maurice Wurts papers) for correspondence to Sykes from John Wurts regarding Delaware and Hudson Canal Company business.]
4 36 Outgoing correspondence, 1848-1876 [Copies or drafts of letters sent to: Mrs. Wells; George L. Schuyler; Society of the Germain Table; Miss P. Hunter; sister-in-law A. B. Wurts; president, New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Company Robert Schuyler (regarding rights of way and title to land from 1835- 1836); president, board of managers, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company George Talbot Olyphant (report of possible railroad route through Port Jervis to Hudson River); O. DeForest Grant.]
Box Folder
5 1 Diary, 1861 January-February [Contains only sporadic entries for the first two months of the year.]
5 1 Diary, 1863 January-December [Entries about the weather and personal and business activities, including his trips to Cuba and Europe.]
5 1 Diary, 1868 January - 1869 April [Entries about the weather and personal and business activities, including his trips to Cuba and Europe.]
5 1 Diary, 1877 January - 1878 January [Entries about the weather and personal and business activities, including his trips to Cuba and Europe.]
5 2 Notebook, 1827-1829 [Kept by Sykes while he was assistant engineer with the Morris Canal in New Jersey, notebook contains entries about inclined planes, engineering rules, list of directors of the Morris Canal & Banking Co., diary entries about work done on the canal and account of expenses (company and private).]
5 2 Notebook, 1830 [Memoranda and observations much of which are written in shorthand and also contains account of expenses.]
5 2 Notebook, cica 1830 [Kept while employed by New Jersey Railroad and contains surveying information.]
5 3 Estate papers, 1878-1879 [Letter of administration of Sykes's estate granted to Robert H. Atwater, receipts for cemetery lot, and funeral expenses.]
5 4-5 Miscellany, 1802-1878, undated [table of experiments on DeLouire's crane, news clipping on Rondout election results, advertisement flyer on L. C. Stephen's patent combination rule, pass through Civil War army lines, information on Paine's Hydro-Electric Machine, letter to Thomas Sikes, Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. annual pass, privately printed pamphlet "The Jim's Gambol: or, How We Went to Rondout," Valentine poetry, timetable, name cards, concert program, certificate of membership in Newark Fire Department, resolution thanking Sykes for hospitality from First Regiment New York Volunteers, bond as director of First National Bank of Rondout, account of sale of household furniture, and Newark Daily Advertiser with Sykes's obituary.]
I. Sykes/Atwater family, 1840-1897
4 folders
5 6-8 Newspaper clippings, 1856-1897, undated [Most of the articles are book reviews, but other topics include poetry, report of lectures, theater reviews, women's suffrage, and historical topics. The articles were taken from publications such as The Evening Star, Maidstone & Kentish Journal, New York Daily Tribune, Washington Post, The Independent, The Italian News, The Rondout Courier, and St. Louis Globe-Democrat.]
5 9 Miscellany, circa 1840 - circa 1880 [Undated etter of a religious nature signed "LDC", advertisements, sketches, blank legal forms, business cards, and poetry.]
V. Charles Pemberton Wurts/Laura Jay Wurts papers, 1826-1925
0.5 linear feet
Historical Note
Charles Pemberton Wurts (1824-1892) a son of George and Abigail Petit Wurts was born in Montville, New Jersey. He married Laura Jay in 1854. She was the granddaughter of Peter Augustus Jay and the great-granddaughter of Supreme Court justice and diplomat John Jay. They had six children.
Wurts along with his brother Maurice and members of the Dickson and Pierson families went to Scranton from Carbondale in 1856 and erected a foundry and machine shops. Known as Dickson & Company, it manufactured and repaired mining machinery. Charles Pemberton Wurts also worked for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company as superintendent of the railroad department and was named chief engineer in 1864. Upon the death of his aunt Martha Potts Haskins Wurts (widow of former Delaware & Hudson Canal Company president John Wurts) in 1871, Charles Pemberton Wurts was named the main beneficiary of her considerable estate, which caused some friction within the family. Wurts and his family moved to New Haven, Connecticut in the mid 1870s. He and his wife Laura and some of their children traveled to and throughout Europe from 1884 through 1886.
A. Peter Augustus Jay, 1826, 1831, 1833
5 10 Correspondence received, 1826, 1831, 1833 [Correspondents include: James Fenimore Cooper (writing from Paris, France about art work, his views on French and English governments, his children's education, and art work); brother William Jay; Stephen Van Renselaer; A. Greenough; sister Ann Jay; and Elizar Wright Jr., Arthur Tappan and John Rankin (composing a committee of the New York City Anti-Slavery Society, they requested a meeting with Jay, the president of the Manumission Society).]
5 10 Correspondence sent, 1833 [Draft of a letter to H. Lee regarding a letter from John Jay to Thomas Jefferson.]
B. Charles Pemberton Wurts, 1857-1890
5 11 Financial papers, bills and receipts, 1876-1877 [Expenses for construction of house in New Haven, Connecticut.]
5 11 Financial papers, mortgage and bond, 1877 [For real estate in Philadelphia.]
5 12 Legal papers, estate administrator papers, 1871-1878 [Papers include correspondence regarding the estates, letters testamentary, accounts, appraisement, and receipts. Wurts served as estate administrator for his brother Maurice Wurts and for Thomas H. Richards.]
5 13 Correspondence received, 1857-1890 [Correspondents include sons John Wurts and Charles Pemberton Wurts; mother-in-law Laura Jay; president, board of managers, Delaware and Hudson Canal Company George Talbot Olyphant; grandson John Conrad Wurts; and I. Wirz. Subjects include John Wurts's progress in school, his accident with a gun and his trip to New Zealand; family matters; Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. business; and genealogical information on the European Wurts family.]
C. Charles P. Wurts, Jr., 1911, 1919
5 14 Financial papers, account with attorneys, 1911 [Expenses incurred regarding land in Florida.]
5 14 Correspondence received, 1919 December [One typed letter signed by former U.S. president William H. Taft regarding purchase of a house owned by Wurts in New Haven, Connecticut.]
D. John Wurts, 1871-1901
5 15 Literary papers, 1871-1901, undated [Articles, manuscripts, and school papers written by John Wurts. Includes article in Yale Law Journal and description of travels in New Zealand.]
E. Laura Jay Wurts, 1853-1910
5 16 Correspondence received, 1853-1909, undated [Correspondents include: mother Laura Jay, husband Charles Pemberton Wurts, Elizabeth Haskins Graham, niece Cornelia Jay, son John Wurts, F.W. Whitney, nephew George Wurts, Gertrude Sanford, and Augusta Chalders.]
5 17 Correspondence sent, 1879, 1884-1886, undated [Most of the correspondence was written to her mother Laura Jay about her travels in Europe, primarily Germany. The other letters to her mother were about family matters.]
5 18 Legal papers, estate papers, 1909-1910, [estate inventory of home in New Haven, Connecticut and account with trustee John Wurts.]
F.. Martha H. (Pattie) Wurts, 1876-1917
5 19 Correspondence received, 1876, 1879, 1901-1917 [Correspondents include: mother Laura Jay Wurts; brothers John Wurts, Alexander Jay Wurts, Rudolph Wurts, Charles P. Wurts, and Pierre Jay Wurts; Cora L. Roberts; sister-in-law Edith M.B. Wurts; and cousin Jeannette L. Wurts.]
5 20 Miscellany, 1889, 1891, 1894, undated [United States passport, instructions regarding passports, and a wedding invitation.]
G. Pierre Jay Wurts, 1910
5 21 Correspondence received and sent, 1910 [Correspondence to and from Wurts regarding his sister Martha H. (Pattie) Wurts bringing a Japanese servant with her from Hawaii. He wrote to several persons in the Immigration Service and received responses from them about what steps to take to facilitate their arrival in the United States.]
H. Family Miscellany, 1841-1925
5 22 Miscellany, 1841-1925 [children's school report cards; seating chart for 1903 Christmas dinner; newspaper Sullivan County Republican; Jay obituaries; genealogical information; cards; poetry; inventory of barrels containing glassware and china; and copy of summons for civil suit in Supreme Court of New York State in which Charles Pemberton and Laura Jay Wurtses' children, along with other relatives, were named as defendants.]
VI. Theodore F. Wurts papers, 1850-1919
1 linear foot
Historical Note
Theodore F. Wurts (1844-1911), a son of William and Lucretia Jeannette Lathrop Wurts, was born in Wilkes-Barre and at age sixteen worked in the railroad shops of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company at Carbondale. During the Civil War, he enlisted in "The Wurts Guard" that was part of the Thirteenth Regiment, Pennsylvania and then enlisted in the Seventy-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry. After service he held several civilian jobs and in 1864 he began his career as an engineer. Wurts was an instructor at the Massachusetts Agricultural College and Amherst College in the 1870s. He was the chief engineer for the construction of a division of the Connecticut Western Railroad (1870) and for sixty miles of the Massachusetts Central Railroad (1873), and he oversaw the building of bridges over the Connecticut River at Northampton, Massachusetts (1873). In 1877 he located the Short Line Railroad from Camden to Atlantic City, New Jersey and was consulting engineer and superintendent of the Atlantic City Railroad (1876-1877). Wurts worked as a civil engineer in Florida in 1881 and 1892.
In addition to railroads, Theodore Wurts's engineering work also included surveying and reporting on coal mines in Pennsylvania coal fields. He also surveyed and laid out several New Jersey beach towns. Wurts received two United States patents in 1889 and 1891 for his system of coast protection that entailed constructing breakwaters, sea-walls and jetties and reclaiming overflowed lands.
Wurts was very active in the Presbyterian Church wherever he lived and spent several years in voluntary missionary work establishing Sunday schools for the American Sunday School Union in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Theodore F. Wurts married Anna Vanuxem in 1868 and they had ten children, of which five reached adulthood. After living in New Jersey (Bridgeton, Atlantic City, and Belvidere) for many years, Wurts and his family in 1896 moved to Germantown, where he died.
A. Financial papers, 1888-1892
5 23 Account book, 1888-1892 [Personal expenses, receipts, names and addresses.]
B. Land papers, 1867-1919
6 1 Coal lands, 1868-1919 [Deeds, agreements of sale, and mine leases for Wurts family coal lands in the Carbondale area.]
6 2 Anglesea land with Edward V. Wurts, 1889-1918 [Deeds, tax receipts, maps and correspondence regarding lots owned by Theodore F. Wurts and his son Edward V. Wurts in the seashore community of Anglesea, New Jersey.]
Box Folder
OS 9 3 Maps, Wurts lands in Carbondale, 1867, undated ["Copy of 'Map of Land Conveyed by Wm. Wurts Estate to James Russell Surveyed by T. F. Wurts 1867.' With Coal Working plotted from later maps," four copies."Plot of Land in Waranteed Names of Saml. Freeman, Oliver Porter, Jacob Porter, Sarah Ryon, Henry Ryder & Samuel Ryder City and Twp. of Carbondale," 1867.Unlabeled map, probably Carbondale area, showing land ownership with surveying notations, undated.]
C. Engineering papers, 1870-1908, undated
Historical Note
Wurts was the consulting engineer on the Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway project. He was also hired as an engineer by several New Jersey seashore communities (Atlantic City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Seven Mile Beach, and Holly Beach City). In most of those areas, he used his system of coast protection and adapted it for reclamation.
Box Folder
OS 9 4 C.W.R.R. Cattle Guard, 1870; drawings
OS 9 4 Connecticut Western Railroad Road, Tarriffville Trestle, 1870; drawings
OS 9 4 Bridge Plans M.C.R.R., 1873; drawings
OS 9 4 Plan, Side Elevation, & End Elev. showing device used for lowering masonry pier & Conn. River Bridge, February 1873; drawings
OS 9 4 M.C.R.R. Conn. River Bridge, 1873; drawings
OS 9 4 Ballston Terminal R.R. and Extensions. Wayville to Ft. Plain N.Y. T.F. Wurts, Chief Engineer, 1903; drawings
OS 9 4 Unlabelled, shows West Fork River (for Coal & Coke Railway, West Virginia), 1904; drawings
OS 9 4 Coal & Coke Railway Abutments and Pier Bridge #382 2nd Crossing West Fork River, 1904; drawings
OS 9 4 Coal & Coke Railway East Abutment & Pier Bridge #369, 1st crossing West Fork River, 1904; drawings
OS 9 4 Unlabelled blueprint, railroad line in a town. Contains labels for the following: F.J. & G. RR., Cayadutta Creek, Datum Plane, Brigg St. Electric R.R., undated; drawings
OS 9 4 Drawbridge at Corson's Inlet, N.J., W.J.R.R., undated; drawings
OS 9 4 General Plans for Trunks, undated; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - From bottom of well to top of tank is 40 ft. Capacity of tank 20,000, 1877 May 21; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Timetable No. 1, 1877 July 14
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Timetable No. 2, 1877 July 21
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Timetable No. 3, 1877 July 28
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Crossing of Hillman's Marl Road, Camden, 1877 June 7; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Plan of P. & A.C. RY. Depot Grounds Atlantic City, circa 1877; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Highway Bridge at Baker's Corner, No. 84., circa 1877; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Water Tank for W.C. in Depot, P. & A. Cty. Ry., circa 1877; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Cen. Nat. Bank for offices at Camden - Phila. & At. City Ry., circa 1877; drawings
OS 9 5 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway - Wharf for Phila. & Atlantic City R.R., 1877 March 28; drawings
Box Folder
6 3 Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway, 1876-1877 [Prospectus of the company, specifications for freight and passenger locomotives, engineering drawings, and timetables.]
6 4 Patents and printed material on Wurts System of Coast Protection, 1889, 1891 [Wurts received two patents: one for construction of breakwaters, sea-walls and jetties (1889); the second for means for reclaiming overflowed lands (1891). The folder contains both patent certificates, a pamphlet on the "A-truss" (for which he received the 1889 patent) and an advertising flyer on coast protection.]
6 5 New Jersey seashore, 1891, 1902-1903, 1907-1908 [Papers include reports, maps, engineering drawings, and specifications.]
Box Folder
OS 9 6 Unlabelled map showing streets in what appears to be a shore town in New Jersey; streets have 13 original states' names and names Arctic, Baltic, Atlantic, Pacific., circa 1879
OS 9 6 Map of Holly Beach City (New Jersey)., undated
OS 9 6 Map (blueprint) labeled Clarke & Hubbard, Civil Engineers., undated
OS 9 6 Plan of lots, Stone Harbor Improvement Co., Seven Mile Beach., 1891
OS 9 6 Plan of lots of the Avalon Improvement Co., 1903
OS 9 6 Unlabelled, plan of lots, seashore resort., undated
OS 9 6 Elevation Beach Promenade (boardwalk), Holly Beach City., undated
Box Folder
6 6 Coal mining reports, 1891-1895
Box Folder
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Workings in Bennet Vein on the Hughes Estate, October 1891, October 1892, October 1893
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Workings in Red Ash Vein on the Hughes Estate, October 1891, October 1892, October 1893; 2 copies
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Workings of Ross Vein A on the Hughes Estate, October 1892; 1893, January 1
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Workings in Ross Vein on the Hughes Estate, 1891, October 1; October 1893
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Ross Vein Washington Mines, Plymouth, Reynolds & Ricketts, 1892
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Hughes Est. Waddel's Mill Hollow Shaft Eleven Foot Vein, 1893
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Chart showing amounts of coal by Wm. J. Thomas Luzerne, November 1893; 2 copies
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Ross Vein Hughes Estate, undated
OS 9 7 Coal mining reports - Red Ash Vein Hughes Estate, undated
D. Legal papers, 1889-1892, 1908
Historical Note
Edward R. Wood, treasurer of the Philadelphia and Seashore Railway Company, hired Wurts as chief engineer to inspect a line of the railroad (Winslow to Sea Isle City, New Jersey). He worked on this project and then became chief engineer with the Tuckahoe and Cape May Railroad (also operated by the Philadelphia and Seashore Railway Company) from December 1889 until March 1890.
Woods discharged Wurts promising to pay the balance of Wurts's services upon Wurts turning over his notes to Wood regarding his work. Wurts refused to hand over the notes until he was paid. Wurts brought suit against Wood before the U.S. Circuit Court, District of New Jersey for breach of contract for services rendered. Judgment was in Wurts's favor and was upheld after an appeal by Wood.
Box Folder
6 7 Theodore F. Wurts vs. Edward R. Wood, 1889-1892, 1908 [Correspondence from Wurts's attorney D. J. Pancoast and clerk of the court S. W. Oliphant, bills from Wurts for his expenses, depositions, correspondence used as evidence, copy of transcript of testimony, charge of the court, affidavits, and bills for court costs.]
E. Correspondence, 1850-1910
6 8 Incoming, 1850-1910 [Correspondents include: grandfather Salmon Lathrop; cousins William W. Lathrop and John Sparhawk; R. B. Westover; sister Lizzie Wurts; sons John S. Wurts and Edward V. Wurts; John P. Pollack; G. W. Creighton (Pennsylvania Railroad), chief engineer, maintenance of way, Pennsylvania Railroad Company Joseph T. Richards; general manager, Pocahontas Coal and Coke Company W. W. Cox; William S. Waterbury; nephew Henry F. Jones; and daughter Jeannette L. Wurts.Subjects include: employment possibilities, family matters, and Wurts's pension claim.]
6 8 Outgoing, 1862, 1878, 1904 [Correspondents include: mother Lucretia Jeannette Lathrop Wurts and wife Anna Vanuxem Wurts.]
F. Miscellany, 1862-1911
6 9 Miscellany, 1862-1911 [Papers include: Civil War discharges, passes, notices, photographic reproduction of Wurts's discharge, pension bill; Lathrop genealogical information; notes taken by Wurts at geological lecture; Wurts's blank letterhead from different jobs; booklet on First Presbyterian Church, Atlantic City, New Jersey; newspaper article on Wurts's death; engineering sketches; two page portion of biography of Wurts (probably written by son John S. Wurts); and blank forms for articles of agreement (late 19th century); advertisement for Bible verse cards sold by Theodore F. Wurts (early 20th century), and by-laws of the Masonic Life Association.]
Box Folder
OS 9 8 Topographical Map of Kittatinny Valley and Mountain from an atlas, 1886
OS 9 8 Railway Map of Victoria (Australia), 1905
VII. John S. Wurts papers, 1699-1964
1.5 linear feet
Historical Note
John S. Wurts (1876-1958) was born in Carbondale and was educated at the West Jersey Military Academy graduating in 1893. He worked with his father Theodore F. Wurts in civil engineering and then took up the insurance business in Philadelphia in 1894. In 1898 he added real estate work to his career, beginning first in the office of Frederick Sylvester, and then opening an office of his own. Wurts also sold investment securities. He began studying law at the University of Pennsylvania but because he was so occupied with his business, he instead studied law with attorney S. Davis Page. He was admitted to the Philadelphia bar and the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1904. Along with his father and several others, John S. Wurts formed the City Real Estate Company of Philadelphia. The company was incorporated in 1904 for the purpose of purchasing and selling real estate; holding, leasing, mortgaging, selling and improving real estate for purchasing; selling securities pertaining to real estate; and maintaining or erecting walls or banks for the protection of low-lying lands.
In addition to his business John S. Wurts, like his father, was involved in religious activities. He was a lay preacher and was a president of the World Association of Daily Vacation Bible Schools. Wurts was an active member in the Westside Presbyterian Church in Germantown. He also published pamphlets on religious topics such as "A Brief Statement of the Christian Faith." He was a member of the executive committee of the Pennsylvania Y.M.C.A.
Wurts was very interested in history and was a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; the Bucks County Historical Society; the Pennsylvania Society, Sons of the Revolution; Site and Relic Society of Germantown; and was president of both the Pennsylvania Legal Historical Society and Descendants of the Continental Congress. He published a two volume set entitled Magna Charta examining the history of the document and the containing biographies and genealogies of those men responsible for it. Another of his interests was genealogy and he frequently wrote to family members, both distantly and closely related, for information. He was instrumental in having articles published about his family's genealogy. Because of his interest in genealogy, Wurts became the custodian of family papers that his son John S. Wurts gave as a gift to Hagley Museum and Library in 1990.
John S. Wurts married Dorothy B. Williams and they had four children, two sons and two daughters. He and his family resided in Germantown.
A. Financial papers, 1918, 1923-1928
6 10 Promissory notes and cancelled checks, 1918, 1923-1928
B. Legal work, 1818-1916
Historical Note
John S. Wurts was executor for the estate of Edwin F. Manuel, who had owned land in Masonville, Mount Laurel Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. Manuel had been executor for the estate of his mother, Martha D. Manuel, who had previously owned the property.
Wurts acted as attorney for his cousin Mary B. Harvey, the executor of the estate of her brother-in-law John J. C. Harvey, as well as his cousin Adelaide L. Clark and her friend Sophie C. Hirschberg. They hired him to investigate oil stock that they had purchased. The companies in which Harvey had invested were in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; Clark and Hirschberg had invested in companies in Texas.
Henry Wurts, Jr. (a cousin of John S. Wurts) was made guardian of his father Dr. Henry Wurtz who invented and had patented methods and processes for distilling coal and extracting vapors and liquids used as refining oils. Wurts made an agreement with the American Education Company to turn over to the company all right, title and interest of the inventions of his father in exchange for 29,989 shares of its capital stock. The company also agreed to pay $200 per week for the support and maintenance of Dr. Wurtz and to elect Henry Wurts, Jr. to the board of trustees of the company. John S. Wurts became involved when the family asked him to look into the reorganization of the company.
John S. Wurts was hired by his cousin Mary Vanuxem Chisolm to find her missing brother Robert Tweed. Wurts traveled throughout the American Midwest and Canada and finally found Tweed in Chicago. Tweed had been left a $60,000 legacy, one of the reasons that his family wished to find him.
Wurts was hired by Maria W. M. Ballentine (she was a distant relative of his) when she wished to legally be permitted to do business and dispose of her property independently without her husband's permission. She and her husband, Frank S. Ballentine, had separated because the house he provided for her was unfit in which to live.
Wurts was retained by one of his relatives, William S. Bean, Jr., to investigate and receive restitution regarding the loss of clothing Bean had shipped with Adams Express Co.
Wurts was approached by Frances Marie Norton in getting her autobiography published. She was the sister of Charles J. Giteau, President James A. Garfield's assassin, and the widow of Giteau's defense attorney.
Wurts's cousin Max Lathrope requested Wurts to investigate copper property in Prescott, Arizona in which Lathrope was involved.
6 11 Manuel estate, 1818-1916 [Deeds, mortgages, deed runs, property surveys, petition for probate and letters testamentary, copy of will, fire insurance policy, agreement of sale, receipts for newspaper notices and taxes, bonds, and brief of title.]
6 12 Oil stocks, 1864-1895, 1901-1902, 1907, 1912 [oil stock certificates, correspondence between Wurts, Mary B. Harvey and Adelaide L. Clark, and lists of certificates held.]
6 13 Henry Wurts, Jr./American Education Company, 1905, 1909-1910 [correspondence between John S. Wurts, Henry Wurts, Jr., secretary of the American Education Company John D. Scott and G. Wallace Simpson (of L. P. Simpson & Son, Realty and Mortgage Brokers); agreement; notes.]
6 14 Robert Tweed, 1906-1912 [correspondence between Wurts and Chisolm, Tweed, Albert Wurts and Gustav H. Seelaus; account of money spent by Wurts on his trip; newspaper clippings about Wurts's search for Tweed.]
6 15 Maria W. M. Ballentine, 1909-1912 [Ballentine's petition to the court as femme sole trader and her husband's answer to the petition; newspaper notices about her petition and receipts for payment of notices; Wurts's notes regarding Pennsylvania law for femme sole trader petitions; correspondence between Wurts and Ballentine, Wurts and Ballentine's brother William S. Muir, and Wurts and her husband's attorney Samuel W. Pennypacker.]
6 16 William S. Bean, Jr./Adams Express Co., 1912 [correspondence between Wurts, Bean, and Adams Express Co.]
6 17 Frances Marie Norton autobiography, 1912 [correspondence from Norton, draft of letter from Wurts to publishers, and publishers’ rejections.]
6 18 Max Lathrope/Arizona Property, 1916 [correspondence between Wurts and Lathrope; Wurts's notes on Arizona statutes; railroad schedule for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.]
6 19 Miscellaneous, 1891, 1905, 1908 [Copy of will of Dorothy Jeanie Leith naming Wurts as executor of her estate, and first and final account of Mary Vanuxem administratrix de bonis non for estate of James Vanuxem regarding French spoliation award for sailing vessels.]
C. Real estate work, 1805-1929
Historical Note
Edward Vanuxem, John S. Wurts's maternal grandfather, purchased property in Tallahassee, Florida in 1894 from Nelson Jackson. Before his death, he conveyed it to his daughter (Wurts's mother) Anna Vanuxem Wurts in 1898. She wished to sell the property.
John S. Wurts was the real estate agent for a property located in Buckingham Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania belonging to J. Henry Beatty and his wife Mary Mays Beatty.
John S. Wurts was retained by his cousin Louis C. Vanuxem as a real estate agent in order to procure a tenant for a house owned by Vanuxem in Chestnut Hill, Springfield Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Although Vanuxem died in late 1903 or early 1904, his estate retained Wurts as the agent for the property.
John S. Wurts was retained by the heirs of Wurts, Musgrave and White (who had purchased land in Texas in 1856) and heirs of Livezey and Kimball (who had received land in Texas in exchange for merchandise) to investigate and recover those lands belonging to the heirs. Wurts was responsible for ascertaining the location of the land and finding Musgrave descendants.
Theodore F. Wurts had owned coal land in Carbondale since 1868 that he sold to the City Real Estate Company of Philadelphia in 1905. The firm consisted of himself, son John S. Wurts, John H. Schwarz, Edward Cunningham, and Percival H. Granger. The company was incorporated in 1904 for the purpose of purchasing and selling real estate; holding, leasing, mortgaging, selling and improving real estate for purchasing; selling securities pertaining to real estate; and maintaining or erecting walls or banks for the protection of low-lying lands. In 1912 the company transferred the coal land in Carbondale to John S. Wurts. Wurts tried to sell the land, but ended up leasing it. His correspondence is primarily about selling or leasing the property, the quality and quantity of coal on the property and the coal mine fire in the property adjoining his. Several residents of the area took the coal mining companies to court to get the fire stopped. The suit, John McCabe, Henry T. Fenwick, John Cameron, and City of Carbondale vs. W. W. Watt and The Finn Coal Company, went before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District in 1908-1909.
John S. Wurts and his father Theodore F. Wurts operated the Newark Real Estate Co. and sold real estate in Newark, Delaware.
Box Folder
6 20-22 Great Meadows property papers, 1805, 1836-1861, 1928-1929 [Papers regarding the sale of land and division of the Great Meadows property located in Independence Township, Warren County, New Jersey. The property was owned by Mary Vanuxem Wurts, Charles Stewart Wurts (her son), Dr. Charles Stewart Wurts, and J. Marshall Paul. Includes deeds, correspondence, surveying information, title abstract, and receipts.]
Box Folder
OS 9 11 Forest Map of the Wurts Property in Allamuchy and Independence New Jersey, circa 1928; two sheets (#1, #3/4), two blueprints and one photocopy of each
OS 9 11 Map regarding the sale of land and division of the Great Meadows property, undated [Property was located in Independence Township, Warren County, New Jersey, and was owned by Mary Vanuxem Wurts, Charles Stewart Wurts (her son), Dr. Charles Stewart Wurts, and J. Marshall Paul.]
OS 9 11 Plan of Newark, Del. Lots For Sale by Wurts & Co. Philadelphia office, circa 1909 [Office located at 1109 Land Title Bld. See Newark Real Estate Company file.]
OS 9 11 Twin Houses Wurts & Co. Phila. Penna., circa 1924 [Three drawings: elevation plans, first and second floor plans, and rear elevation and details. See Invoices file.]
OS 9 11 Sign advertising John S. Wurts, deed commissioner, undated [Legend: "John S. Wurts Commissioner of Deeds for Every State in the Union at Philadelphia 1109 Land Title Building"]
Box Folder
7 1-2 Edward Vanuxem Tallahassee, Florida property, 1868-1903 [correspondence between John S. Wurts with Frederick Sylvester, a real estate broker in Philadelphia, about the sale of the property. Wurts and Sylvester discussed the price of the property, to whom the property should and should not be sold and/or leased, description of the property, and whether or not Anna Vanuxem would consider exchanging the property for another. Other papers include tax receipts, deeds, rent receipts, and correspondence with agents collecting rent on the property.]
7 3 Beatty property, 1876, 1903-1904 [correspondence to Wurts from Mrs. Beatty, and to Beatty from T. C. Atherholt (who held the mortgage on the property) and Charles F. Meyers (attorney for second mortgagee); mortgage; judgment bond; bond and warrant; agreement to lease; sci. fa. sur mortgage; and deed run for property.]
7 4-5 Louis C. Vanuxem property, 1896, 1902-1908 [correspondence received by Wurts from James P. Jamieson (lessee of the house), Louis C. Vanuxem, and Gustav H. Seelaus (executor of Vanuxem's estate); leases; specifications for additions to the house; bills for additions to and repair of house; estimates of repairs.]
7 6 Texas lands, 1901, 1906-1908 [correspondence to and from John S. Wurts, Alice Wurts and her attorney S. Davis Page, attorneys in Houston, Texas C. G. Tackaberry and Ross & Wood, Joseph B. Livezey, and William S. Kimball; Wurts's notes on genealogical lines; description of land in report written by Wurts to various heirs; and power of attorney given by heirs to Wurts.]
7 6-10 Carbondale coal land, 1903-1927 [correspondence sent to and from Wurts with correspondents including president and treasurer, New York-Lackawanna Securities Co. Eben L. Bevan; real estate agent and cousin Maxwell D. Lathrope; president of Scranton Gas and Water Co. William W. Scranton; P. J. Foster; Wade M. Finn; David L. Parry; Frank E. Donnelly; L. A. Patterson; Will C. Moulton; E. A. DeLaney; P. F. Duff Jr.; James R. Dainty; secretary/treasurer, Fireside Coal Company J. Henry Jones.Other papers include paperbooks of court case on coal mine fire, maps, deeds, agreements, leases, notes, coal reports, newspaper clippings, and title abstracts.]
Box Folder
OS 9 9-10 Wyoming Basin Carbondale District, Lackawanna and Wayne Counties geographical survey map, November 1888 [Total of 5 maps, two each for parts five and six, and one map that was cut and pasted together out of parts 5 and 6 showing Carbondale area and key to coal.]
OS 9 9-10 Unlabelled map of Carbondale showing tracts of Wurts land, circa 1908 [deed information. Two copies.]
OS 9 9-10 Map of the City of Carbondale, Lackawanna County Pennsylvania, 1909 [two copies]
OS 9 9-10 Unlabelled map of Carbondale including property deeded to William Wurts and James Archbald by Delaware & Hudson Canal Co., circa 1910
OS 9 9-10 Profiles of Proposed Trenches for Confining the Fire in Old Mines Carbondale, Pa., circa 1911; drawing
OS 9 9-10 Mine Workings and Outcrops in the Fifth and Sixth Wards of the City of Carbondale, 1911 [Map notes the fire area. Two copies.]
OS 9 9-10 Map of Scranton Pennsylvania, 1914
OS 9 9-10 Map Showing the Trunk Line of the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Rapid Transit Company, undated [Lists population for the towns, cities and counties using 1900 census figures. Two copies.]
OS 9 9-10 Unlabelled map, portion of Carbondale showing ownership of lots, undated [handwritten deed run from 1754-1918.]
OS 9 9-10 Unlabelled map of Carbondale area showing detail of Reservoir area, undated [three copies]
OS 9 9-10 Map of Working in Dunmore Veins Finn Coal Co. Carbondale, Lacka. Co., undated
OS 9 9-10 Map of the Proposed Keystone Transportation Co.'s Railroad showing portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, undated
OS 9 9-10 Unlabelled blueprint map (probably Carbondale), showing several estates and coal mining areas, undated
OS 9 11 John S. Wurts, real estate maps, signs, and plans, undated ["Plan of Lots Newark, Del. For Sale by Wurts & Co. Philadelphia office 1109 Land Title Bld," undated, c. 1909. See file "Newark Real Estate Company.""Twin Houses Wurts & Co. Phila. Penna." Three drawings: elevation plans, first and second floor plans, and rear elevation and details, undated, c. 1924. See file "Invoices.""Forest Map of the Wurts Property in Allamuchy and Independence New Jersey," sheet #1 and sheet #3 and 4 (total of 2) Sheet #2 is missing. Two blueprints of each and one photographic copy of each, undated, c. 1928. See files "Great Meadows Property.""John S. Wurts Commissioner of Deeds for Every State in the Union at Philadelphia 1109 Land Title Building." Sign, undated.]
Box Folder
7 11 Newark Real Estate Co., 1909 [two blank proxies of Theodore F. Wurts, promissory bond regarding interest to be paid to John S. Wurts on mortgage; plan of lots in Newark in oversize Box 9.]
7 12 Invoices, 1924 [Invoices with newspaper advertisements placed by John S. Wurts in The North American and The Philadelphia Record. He was advertising houses for sale that he owned and had built. The houses faced Cliveden Park and the ads described the houses with four bedrooms, tiled kitchen, built-in five tube radio, garage, and Spanish and English tiled roofs.]
D. Investments, 1891-1909
Historical Note
John S. Wurts's cousin Maxwell ("Max") D. Lathrope and his brother Henry R. Lathrope operated an investment securities business and underwrote stocks and bonds for several coal companies including Paint Creek Collieries Company in West Virginia. The Lathropes attempted to get Wurts and his clients to invest in the company.
7 13 Stock Certificates, 1891, 1901, 1904, 1917 [One stock certificate for Iron Hall Building Company of Philadelphia purchased by Isabella Hederer, three stock certificates for The Acadia Oil and Fuel Co. purchased by Emile Hederer, and one stock certificate for 100 shares of Calivada Copper Co. stock purchased by John S. Wurts.]
7 14 Paint Creek Collieries Company, 1908-1909 [Includes: correspondence between Wurts and Max Lathrope and reports about the company.]
7 15 Miscellany, 1898-1901 [John S. Wurts's correspondence and notes concerning bonds of the La Pierre Phosphate Co. of West Virginia.]
E. Literary work, 1934-1964
Historical Note
John S. Wurts copyrighted some of his genealogical charts and publications including "The Comprehensive Pedigree Form," "Descent of Colonel George Reade from Medieval and Modern Kings," "When the American Portion of One's Ancestry Has Been Traced: A Special Handpainted Chart of Your Ancestry," "Ancestro-Scroll, Descent of General George Washington from Medieval and Modern Kings, Knights of the Garter, and from Ten Sureties and Eight Other Barons for the Magna Charta of A. D. 1215."
7 16 Copyrights, 1934, 1941 [Includes: correspondence between Wurts and the Library of Congress Copyright Office, applications forms (both blank and completed copies), printed brochures advertising the charts, Library of Congress copyright circulars, and certificates of copyright registration.]
7 17 Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, 1949, 1955, 1964 [Correspondence between The Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints and the Brookfield Publishing Co. publisher of Wurts's Magna Charta series. The society wrote to the publishing company regarding orders placed for the various volumes.]
F. Correspondence, 1882-1954
7 18-19 Received, 1882-1944 [Correspondents include: mother Anna Vanuxem Wurts; Dorothea Wurts; sister Jeannette L. Wurts; brother Edward V. Wurts; cousins Marion Fraser Crane, John Sparhawk, Jr., S. V. Stratton, Maxwell D. Lathrope, Mary V. Chisolm, Henry R. Lathrope, C. H. Raguet, Sue V. Smith, Herman L. Kneass, Clara U. Wynkoop, and Robert Tweed; grandfather Edward Vanuxem; Joel Munsell; Harold Peirce; James L. Van Uxem; secretary, Philadelphia Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Company Richard H. Morris; W. W. H. Davis; Richard Wynkoop; Sidney V. Smith; Louisa Vanuxem; Emily A. Thorn; Ethel Sparhawk Smith; Mary B. Harvey; James T. Mitchell; Margaret Peirce; Mary Vanuxem; William Wurts; Charles Wurts Sparhawk; Otto Kaiser; William S. Bean; Lillie L. Preston; Lillie A. Williams; J. T. Hammond; W. G. Fitler; John E. Richmond; Fannie B. Wright; John F. Lewis; Roswell Randall Hoes; E. Blanche Ebert; Dorothea W. Williams; Anna W. Bissell; Mary Vanuxem; chief clerk, office of secretary, Delaware and Hudson Company W. Coughtry; and John Wanamaker.Subjects include: family matters, genealogy, Wurts seeking employment, thank you notes, some business matters (investments with the Lathrope brothers), Wurts lending family papers for book about history of the Delaware and Hudson Company, and his involvement with Daily Vacation Bible School.]
7 20 Sent, 1895-1954 [Correspondents include: cousins Louis Vanuxem, Sarah, Maxwell D. Lathrope, Harriette Wurts, John Wurts (Law Department, Yale University); Richard Wynkoop; Julian T. Hammond; W. C. Fitler; Mrs. Preston T. Raguet; D. W. Wynkoop; Edward H. Coates; Fred W. Clarke; Roswell Randall Hoes; cousin curator, Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Dr. Wilfred Jordan; Harold Peirce; uncle Frank Van Uxem; and Evelyn H. Stocker.Subjects include: family matters and genealogical information.]
7 21 Invitations, 1890-1945, undated [Primarily family wedding invitations but also includes invitations to dinner held by Delaware & Hudson Company commemorating its 100th anniversary, historical society meetings and exhibitions.]
G. Genealogical papers, circa 1800 - circa 1964
7 22-23 Genealogical papers, 19th and 20th centuries, circa 1800 - circa 1964 [Notes, family trees, crests, photostat copies of printed material, and lists relating to Wurts's interest in genealogy.]
Box Folder
OS 9 14 Genealogical papers, oversize charts, 19th and 20th centuries, 1811-1843, undated [Notes, family trees, crests, photostat copies of printed material, and lists relating to Wurts's interest in genealogy.Thomas Young family information, 1811-1843"Descent from Medieval and Modern Kings, Knights of the Garter, and from Twenty-three Barons for the Magna Charta of AD 1215, " typewritten chart in two sections compiled by John S. Wurts, undated, circa 1920.]
H. Society Memberships, 1911-1947
8 1 Society Memberships, 1911-1947 [John S. Wurts kept all of these papers together in a file folder. They reflect his memberships in organizations including: Germantown Relief Society, Society of Descendants of Continental Congress, Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, Bucks County Historical Society, New England Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Real Estate Board, and Presbyterian Social Union.]
I. Collected non-related papers, 1699-1843
Scope and Content
John S. Wurts collected historic papers and autographs; these papers reflect his interest in collecting.
8 2 Collected non-related papers, 1699-1843 [includes: page of civil court docket, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1699; will of William Giffing, Jr., Morris County, New Jersey, 1763; petition for appointment of guardian addressed to William Franklin, governor of New Jersey, 1766; resolution of Congress signed by Charles Thomson, secretary, 1777; photostat of oath of allegiance to the United States signed by George Washington, 1778; resolution of Congress, signed by Charles Thomson, secretary and Thomas McKean, president, 1781; power of attorney to John Ashmead from James Wilson and Joshua Humphreys, 1790; bond and petition for appointment of guardian for Elijah Clark and Sarah Clark, 1795; two insurance policies from Insurance Company of North America, 1802 and 1806; letter from Thomas McKean (signed) to Thomas Jefferson regarding an act of Pennsylvania General Assembly entitled "An Act to ratify on behalf of the State of Pennsylvania an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to the choosing of a President and Vice President of the United States," 1804; and autograph letter signed by Horace Binney to John B. Budd, 1843.]
J. Deeds, 1732, 1773, 1863, 1897, 1898
8 3 Philadelphia deeds, 1863, 1897, 1898 [Three deeds, none that appear to be related to any Wurts or Vanuxem land, for land in Philadelphia.]
8 3 New Castle, Delaware deed, 1773 [One deed for land in New Castle, Delaware that does not appear to be related to any Wurts or Vanuxem land.]
8 3 Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania deed, 1732 [One deed for land in Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania that does not appear to be related to any Wurts or Vanuxem land.]
K. Printed material, 1883-1955
8 4 Clippings, 1883-1948, undated [Newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and pictures.Subjects include: family member obituaries, marriages and engagements; current events; historic places; biographical sketches; and "Ripley's Believe It or Not."]
8 5 Pamphlets, programs and timetables, 1908-1932 [railroad timetables; dinner program and seating arrangements for 100th anniversary of founding of Delaware & Hudson Company; pamphlet "Anthracite Miners' Demands"; "The Bulletin: Official Publication of Wurtsboro Hills Horticultural Society"; speech of Hon. John K. Shields, U. S. Senator, Tennessee; real estate listings for property in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware in "The Fat of the Land" published by A. M. Bonis; issues of The Girard Letter; issue of The Country Editor; manual of the Wurts Street Baptist Church; issue of The Beehive; and genealogical pamphlet "Wurts Family" written by Frank Willing Leach.]
L. Miscellany, circa 1870 - circa 1940
Box Folder
8 6-7 Miscellany, circa 1870 - circa 1940 [Contains greeting cards; name cards; poetry; one of Wurts's report cards; Sunday school papers from classes taught by Wurts; school compositions of sister Natalie D. Wurts and her classmates; and papers relating to Wurts's membership in Westside Presbyterian Church, Germantown, Pennsylvania.]
Box Folder
OS 9 13 Miscellaneous maps, 1891-1905 ["Map of Bridgeton, N.J. Drawn by E.V. Wurts, T.F. Wurts C.E. 1888. Traced by J.S. Wurts April 15, 1891.""Cumberland County New Jersey. Compiled and Printed from The Atlas of N.J. by John S. Wurts Bridgeton 1892." Blueprint map."A New Map of Warren County New Jersey. John S. Wurts. Belvidere. 1894.""Warren County New Jersey. John S. Wurts. Belvidere. 1894." Blueprint map. Unlabelled map that appears to have been cut out of an atlas, c. 1905 showing Delaware River and area surrounding it including New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.]
M. Wurts family, 1895-1925
8 8 Eliza Wurts, receipt, 1895 [One receipt for the tombstone of Lucretia Jeannette Wurts.]
8 8 Eliza Wurts, correspondence received, 1908 [Correspondents include James Dunlop Smith and Cloyd Marshall regarding Eliza Wurts's stock in the United Wireless Telegraph Company.]
8 8 Jeannette L. Wurts, receipts, 1924 [Three receipts: clothing, room and board, and bank.]
8 8 Jeannette L. Wurts, correspondence received, 1924-1925 [Correspondence from friends and family including brother Edward V. Wurts, niece Polly and sister-in-law Dorothy Wurts (wife of John S. Wurts).]
8 8 Jeannette L. Wurts, correspondence sent, 1916 [One letter to Miss Olive and girls of the "Sect. House Beautiful Club" in Des Moines, Iowa.]
VIII. Mermaid Club records, 1864-1948
0.5 linear feet
Historical Note
Although no members of the Vanuxem or Wurts families were members of the Mermaid Club, the papers ended up in the care of John S. Wurts because, according to his son John S. Wurts, his father was known for his interest in history. The Mermaid Club was organized in 1877 by Henry S. Pancoast as a literary organization to improve the intellect of its members and others. The club read books, plays, poems, and essays as part of a year's course of study on a particular topic emphasizing American and English literature. The club also held debates, lectures, receptions, and members wrote papers for the club magazine The Mermaid Inn.
The Mermaid Club's membership was made up of men residing in Germantown. The club held meetings and other activities in various locations over the years such as St. Michael's Church in Germantown, the People's Institute Building, the Workingmen's Club Hall, the Wister House, and members' homes. It is not known when the club stopped meeting but the papers collected by John S. Wurts end in 1902.
A. Financial papers, 1882-1897
8 9 Treasurer of Mermaid Club, 1882-1896 [club accounts showing receipts and expenditures as well as membership dues that were collected]
8 9 Bills and receipts, 1884, 1888-1897 [rent, coal, oil, cleaning club rooms, supplies, room furnishings]
8 9 Treasurer's reports, 1884-1894 [year's expenditures and receipts]
8 9 Cancelled checks, 1893-1895 [payment of circulars and rent]
B. Correspondence, 1884-1899, 1902
Box Folder
8 10-11 Received, 1884-1899, 1902 [addressed to club secretary or president, primarily from club members resigning or explaining absences from meetings; guests' acceptances or regrets for club invitations to meetings, lectures or receptions]
C. Constitution, by-laws, and resolutions, 1886, 1889, 1891-1893 (Box 8/Folder 12)
Scope and Content
regarding deaths of members, proposed appendices to constitution, and the club constitution
D. Secretary and committee reports, 1886-1897
Box Folder
8 13 Secretary and committee reports, 1886-1897 [on lectures, entertainment, library, and secretary's annual report]
E. Club histories, 1892, 1894, 1897
8 14 Club Histories, 1892, 1894, 1897 [handwritten histories and three printed copies of "The Mermaid Club: Its Past and Future"]
F. Lecture and course of readings lists, 1886-1902
8 15 Lecture and course of readings lists, 1886-1902 [Topics include: "The Return to Nature"; "Influence of the French Revolution on English Literature"; "The United States -- Present and Future"; "Macbeth"; "The Advance of Democracy in English History and Literature"; "Shakespeare's Plays"; and "Chaucer and the 14th Century"]
G. Literary papers, circa 1880-1900
Box Folder
8 16-18 Essays written by various club members, circa 1880 - 1900 [Essays written by various club members such as Charles F. Butler, Edwin C. Jellett, Stewart A. Jellett, John F. Kirk, O. N. Middleton, and Henry S. Pancoast.Titles include: "Courage," "The Old Time Book Lover vs. The Modern Collector," "Tomorrow," "The Oracles of the Stars," "Fame," "In the Old Book Stores," "Superstition," "Of Re-reading Books," "Shakespeare and the Modern Stage," "Our Village: A Study in Provincialism," "The Inventive Progress of the Age," "Concerning Puns," "A Visit to Independence Hall," "A Few Reasons Why Literature Should be Appreciated," "Scenes at the Water Department," "Literary Societies," "Ambition," "The Advantages of a Good Education," "Arms," and "Impressions on Traveling in Penna."]
H. Miscellany, 1894
8 19 Miscellany, 1894, undated [proposal to the Committee upon Free Libraries, Philadelphia Board of Education; articles presented to the Permanent Headquarters Committee; record of a reading club; and advertisement for "Dr. Haydn's Lecturettes."]
I. St. Michael's Church, Sunday School, 1882-1887
Scope and Content
These papers were found with the Mermaid Club material. The church was located in Germantown, Pennsylvania. S.A. Jellet, a member of the Mermaid Club, was the chairman of the Sunday School's finance committee in 1887.
Box Folder
8 20 Bills and receipts, 1882-1887 [coal, religious publications, printing for programs, and supplies for Christmas party for children (toys, candy, and cake)]