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Daniel Cauffiel papers

1867-1930
 Collection
Accession: 1997

Abstract

Daniel Cauffiel (1867-1930) was a merchant, real estate developer, and entrepreneur of Johnstown, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. The Daniel Cauffiel papers depict his career as a small business entrepreneur and as an agent or employee of the du Pont family and in their various businesses.

Dates

  • 1867-1930

Creator

Extent

5 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Daniel Cauffiel (1867-1930) was a merchant, real estate developer, and entrepreneur of Johnstown, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware.

Daniel Cauffiel, one of three sons of Daniel Cauffiel (1819-1899) and Mary Hammer (1835-1900), was born on June 23, 1867, probably in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth E. Leventry (1867-1935), with whom he had seven children: Luella K. (1890-1992), Chalmer D. (1891-1949), DeWitt T. (1893-1990), Beatrice (1895-1989), Hazel (1897-1982), Daniel (1899-1984), and T. Coleman Cauffiel (1906-1985).

Cauffiel's early life was spent at Johnstown, where he and his brothers Joseph (1870-1932) and Samuel Hammer Cauffiel (1866-1949) operated a coal and stone brokerage business started by their father. From this they expanded backwards into the ownership of a small coal mining company, the Sunnyside Coal Company, and of coal lands, and then into a general real estate development business. Joseph Cauffiel concentrated on finance and insurance, eventually relocating to Toldeo, Ohio. He returned to Johnstown to serve as Mayor from 1911 to 1928. Samuel H. Cauffiel handled day-to-day affairs in Johnstown, leaving Daniel Cauffiel the time to expand his business interests.

Cauffiel's real estate business, and his closely-related interest in the Johnstown Passenger Railway Company, brought him into contact with T. Coleman du Pont (1863-1930) and Arthur Moxham (1854-1931), who represented the Louisville du Ponts and their associate Tom Loftin Johnson (1854-1911) in managing their widespread streetcar interests and The Johnson Company, a street-rail manufacturing enterprise established at Johnstown in 1889. Johnstown was booming after the disastrous 1889 flood. Cauffiel helped the street railway to acquire right of way and other real estate and benefited as the streetcar network expanded. This led to his being picked by the du Ponts to do real estate work in other parts of their street railway empire, including Kentucky, Huntsville, Alabama, and New York.

In 1903, both T. Coleman du Pont (1863-1930) and Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) moved to Wilmington, but Coleman continued to engage Cauffiel to do real estate work both for the DuPont Company and his personal projects. Three years later, Cauffiel took a major assignment to buy up a series of gold mining claims in California, organizing the Key Gold Mining Company and beginning operations on the site. In 1907, T. Coleman du Pont offered Cauffiel a full-time position with the DuPont Company, and he relocated to Wilmington, taking up residence at Jefferson Street and Delaware Avenue. Ultimately, Cauffiel became General Manager of the Real Estate Department and a Vice President of DuPont, in which capacity he arranged the acquisition of numerous plant sites.

In Delaware, Cauffiel continued to share in his Johnstown enterprises, with his brother Samuel acting as agent. He also began a career as a local real estate developer, buying a number of farms outside Wilmington, including an estate at Bellevue that had formerly belonged to Chief Justice Charles B. Lore (1831-1911). This remained his principal residence for the rest of his life. Cauffiel died on January 12, 1930 at Wilmington.

Scope and Contents

The Daniel Cauffiel (1867-1930) papers depict his career as a small business entrepreneur and as an agent or employee of the du Pont family and in their various businesses. The collection is arranged into six series: Personal and family; Real estate business; Mining interests; Street railway interests; DuPont Company activities; and Account books.

Personal and family papers include correspondence with his wife, children and two brothers containing a mixture of business and family news, the will of his father-in-law Henry Leventry, references for servants, and a group of Christmas cards for 1926. There are papers relating to family automobiles and investments, deeds and bills for improvements made to Cauffiel's residences in Johnstown, Huntsville and Wilmington, household expenses, along with records of farm expenses and purchases of trees and livestock for his Bellevue estate. Cauffiel's pocket diaries records his appointments and travel expenses for the years 1908 to 1922.

Records pertaining to Cauffiel's real estate business are primarily focused on Johnstown and Wilmington, but include a few pieces on tracts of land for the Northside Development Company in Kanawha County, West Virginia. There are notes on the value of properties and lists of renters and their payments.

Papers related to mining interests cover Cauffiel's involvement with the Valley Stone & Coal Company, the Sunnyside Coal Company, the Kentucky Fuel Company, the Key Gold Mining Company of California and a Mexican oil venture. In the last two cases, negative reports from Cauffiel resulted in T. Coleman du Pont's (1863-1930) refusal to continue the ventures.

Papers relating to street railways cover Cauffiel's work for T. Coleman du Pont in obtaining franchises and building streetcar systems in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Huntsville, Alabama, and Oneida, New York. A time book for the Johnstown Passenger Railway Company contains names of employees with hours and wage rates.

Files on activities for the DuPont Company focus on the acquisition of real estate for plant sites or timber lands in several states, including Carney's Point and Parlin, New Jersey, Buffalo, New York, and Tacoma, Washington. There is also an extensive file covering Cauffiel's commissions from T. Coleman du Pont prior to moving to Wilmington. The file contains a copy of a DuPont publication, Trapshooting Club Handbook for 1917.

A series of six account books contain intermingled financial information on Cauffiel's personal expenses, investments, and the activities of many of his companies, particularly those at Johnstown. Of particular note are records of shipments by the Sunnyside Coal Company and information on lots improved for the Moxham Land & Improvement Company.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Daniel Cauffiel papers
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400