Tag Archives: American County Histories

QWERTY Comes to Life

In the summer of 1868 Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the “Type-Writer.” The first row was made of ivory and the second of ebony, the rest of the framework was wooden. It was in this form that Sholes, Glidden and Soule were granted patents for their invention on June 23, 1868 and July 14. The first document to be produced on a typewriter was a contract that Sholes had written, in his capacity as the Comptroller for the city of Milwaukee. Machines similar to Sholes’s had been previously used by the blind for embossing, but by Sholes’s time the inked ribbon had been invented, which made typewriting in its current form possible.

Sholes’ invention revolutionized the way offices operated. It was mentioned in the profile of Remington Rand, Inc. in History of Northwestern New York Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans Counties Persons and Family History (Volume III) in our American County Histories collection.

Sholes Type-Writer

Sholes Type-Writer

From the Book

In 1914 Mr. Rand invented the world’s first visible record, a development of the visible index which eliminated costly and time-consuming fumbling through blind files and was destined to revolutionize the record keeping methods of modern business.

It was about this time that James H. Rand, Jr., eldest son of the senior Mr. Rand, organized the American Kardex Company in direct competition with his father’s business and established his plant and offices on Main Street, in Tonawanda, where the present Main Street Plant of Remington Rand, Inc., now stands. For ten years it was touch-and-go between father and son. But both businesses prospered and in 1925 were merged as the Rand Kardex Corporation. James H. Rand, Sr., became chairman of the board. James H. Rand, Jr., was made president and the interests and inventions of both companies were pooled in the new company.

It was the beginning of a period of growth and progress which has brought the company from the humblest of origins to the position of preeminence it now occupies in its field—the largest manufacturer of office equipment and supplies in the world.

In 1925, the Index Visible Company was purchased and the company merged with Library Bureautoform Rand Kardex Bureau. In 1927 the Remington Typewriter Company, Baker Vawter Company, Dalton Adding Machine Company, Powers Tabulating Machines Corp., Kalamazoo Loose Leaf Binder Company, Safe-Cabinet Company, and others were brought together to form Remington Rand, Inc., with twenty-four plants, offices in every principal city of the United States, and, before the war, in most foreign countries. (more…)

Comments Off

Georgia Colony’s Trustee Notes

On June 9, 1732 James Oglethorpe was granted a royal charter for the colony of the future U.S. state of Georgia.

Historical Collections of Georgia: Containing the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc. Relating to Its History and Antiquities, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time. Compiled from Original Records and Official Documents. Illustrated by Nearly One Hundred Engravings in our American County Histories: Georgia collection contains many of the papers documenting the colony’s early days.

Extracts from the minutes of the trustees:

The compiler has examined the Minutes of the Trustees for the Establishment of the Colony of Georgia, and made the following extracts:

WESTMINSTER, July 20, 1732.

The LORD VISCOUNT PERCIVAL, being met by THOMAS TOWER, JAMES VERNON GEORGE HEATHCOTE, JAMES OGLETHORPE, ROBERT HUCKS, WM. BELITHA. ROBERT MORE, Esqrs., ARTHUR BEAFORD, SAMUEL SMITH, Clerks; Capt. THOMAS CORAM., and ADAM ANDERSON, Gent., in pursuance to the following summons, issued by his lordship to them, and all other the trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America, viz:

Sir, — His Majesty having been graciously pleased by his charter bearing date 9th June, 1732, to appoint you to be one of the Common Council, and one of the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia, in America; and by same charter I am enjoined to cause summons to be issued to the several trustees therein particularly named, to meet at such time and place as I shall appoint, to consult about and transact the business of the said corporation. In obedience to the injunction of the charter, I therefore summon you to meet the rest of the trustees, at their office in Palace Court, old PALACE YARD, at four of the Clock, in the afternoon on the 20 July, 1732, to transact the business of the said corporation.

His Lordship produced the following certificate:

July 7, 1732. — These are to certify, that the right Hon. the Lord Viscount Percival, of the kingdom of Ireland, came this day before me, and took the following oath, as President of the trustees, for establishing the colony of Georgia, in America: –

I do swear that I will, well and truly, execute the office of President of the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia, in America, to the best of my skill and knowledge. So help me God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand.

His Lordship then proceeded to administer the said oath, the word President being only changed for that of Common Councilman, to Thomas Tower, James Vernon, George Heathcote, James Oglethorpe, Robert Hucks, Wm. Belitha, and Robert More, Esqs., being common councilmen of the said corporation.

Letters were produced to the trustees, from divers noblemen and gentlemen, and also from the corporation of Liverpool, testifying their desire to forward this design, and to accept of commissions for collecting benefactions for that purpose.

Ordered: That the thanks of the trustees be returned, and that Commissions for the said persons be prepared, in pursuance to their desire.

Wm. Purry, the Leader, and Wm. Binmong, the Minister, and others, the elders of the Swiss Congregation, intending to build a town to be called by the name of Purrisburg, on the northern side of the Savannah river, in South Carolina, came and thanked the trustees for the protection they had already afforded them, and to desire that a good correspondence and friendship might be maintained between them, and such colonies as the said trustees should settle, in the Province of Georgia.

The trustees gave them thirteen guineas, for the relief of the sick, and childbearing women in their passage, being the private benefaction of Mr. George Heathcote, and Mr. Belitha, for that purpose.

His Lordship being President, this first meeting adjourned to Thursday, July 27, 1732.

July 27. — At this meeting a book of by-laws was ordered, and the Charter to be wrote in the beginning of it. Mr. Vernon reported that the petition of the trustees had been received by his Majesty, and a proposal was drawn up to transport a number of the Saltzburghers exiles.

August 3, 1732. — Gen. Oglethorpe reported the names of many persons desirous of encouraging the colony.

Aug. 10, 1732. — Committee, viz: Oglethorpe, Healthcote, Tower, More, Hucks, Laroche and Vernon, to propose laws for the regulation of the Colony.

August 31, 1732. — Jacob Winckler, Theobald Keiffer, Ludwig Roel, and other German Swiss, being laborers and vine dressers, attended and received from Lord Carpenter and Mr. Oglethorpe three guineas towards furnishing them with tools: they, with their families, being the first Germans that are to establish the town of Purrisburgh.

September 21, 1732. — Received a receipt from the bank for £252, benefaction from the Bank of England.

November, 2, 1732. — Seal fixed to a grant for erecting a Court of Judicature in Savannah.

November 8, 1732. — Benefactions acknowledged. Dr. Henry Herbert offered to go to Georgia, without any assistance, to perform all religious services. — Accepted.

Nov. 16, 1732. — On board the frigate Ann, Capt Thomas, mustered the passengers on board; and computed the freight of them to 91 heads.

Nov. 23, 1732. — Read copies of letters from Horatio Walpole, Esq., to his deputies; from the Duke of Newcastle, to the Governors of South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New-York, New-England, Barbadoes, &c., for their assistance to Mr. Oglethorpe, on his voyage. A common seal to be affixed to a power of attorney, to James Oglethorpe, to appoint such commander or other officer or officers, as he may think proper, to train and exercise the militia in Georgia.

Dec. 14, 1732. — Names of persons to be sent to Georgia, to be printed in one of the public papers, once a fortnight, before their embarkation.

Dec. 21, 1732. — Mr. Quincy attended, with a recommendation to go over as a missionary to Georgia.

Jan. 10. 1732-3. — Mr. Abercrombie, Attorney-General of South Carolina, delivered in claims of people in South Carolina, to lands said to be run out by them on the south side of the Savannah River. He is informed that trustees were disposed to act justly to all persons, but that this affair could not receive immediate attention.

Jan. 17, 1732-3. — A letter to be wrote to Sir Thomas Lambe, desiring his opinion of raising silk in Georgia.

February 21, 1732-3. — Received from Lady Osbom, £50 towards building a church in Georgia.

February 28, 1732-3. — A letter read from Mr. Oglethorpe, giving an account of his safe arrival at Charlestown, and the health of the colony, having lost in the passage but one person, a child aged eight months.

April 11, 1733. — Names of all those who go to Georgia paying their own expenses, shall be published in one of the newspapers.

April 18, 1733. — Received by the hands of the Rev. Mr. Samuel Wesley, a silver chalice and patine for the use of the first church in Savannah, the gift of an unknown benefactor.

April 30, 1733. — A petition to the House of Commons for a supply was read, and approved of.

August 11,1733. — Read a letter of attorney for receiving of the treasury £10,000 granted by Parliament.

Read a letter from Mr. Oglethorpe, with an account of the death of several persons in Georgia, which he imputed to the drinking of rum. Resolved, that the drinking of rum in Georgia be absolutely prohibited, and that all which shall be brought there be staved.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

Accessible Archives subscribers can find several more years of extracts from the minutes of the trustees in Historical Collections of Georgia: Containing the Most Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, Etc. Relating to Its History and Antiquities, from Its First Settlement to the Present Time. Compiled from Original Records and Official Documents. Illustrated by Nearly One Hundred Engravings in our American County Histories: Georgia collection.

Map Details:  A draught of South Carolina and Georgia from Sewee to St. Estaca.  Scale ca. 1:450,000. Oriented with north to the left. Depths shown by soundings. Annotated in ink “M(232)4 H87.” Includes “Instructions for the coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and the coast of St. Augustin.”

Comments Off

A Look Inside ‘Utah Since Statehood…’, Volume I


The prospectus of this work promised a History of Utah “Since Statehood.” In accordance with that promise, special attention has been given to the administrations of the several state governors, political conventions and campaigns, election returns, the acts of the various legislatures and the general development of the state since its admission into the Union.

Utah Since Statehood Historical and Biographical - Volume IBut when the actual work of research and compilation commenced, the editor and his assistants found many subjects inseparably connected with the territorial period. This was especially true of Agriculture, County History, Education, Mining, Transportation, etc., hence they deemed it appropriate to show the connection between these antecedent events and conditions since statehood. In fact this was necessary in many instances, in order to give the reader a clear view and thorough understanding of Utah’s wonderful development.

Less than three-quarters of a century ago the territory now comprising the State of Utah was a primeval waste, inhabited only by the wild beast and savage Indian. Then came the first actual settlers and the spirit of Utah’s dream was changed. Great irrigating systems were inaugurated, the waters of the streams were turned upon the barren soil, arid lands were reclaimed and the desert was made to “blossom as the rose.” Immense deposits of coal, lead and the precious metals were made to give up their wealth for the benefit of mankind. The council wigwam has given way to the halls of legislation, the old Overland Trail has been supplanted by the railroad, the hum of peaceful industry has superseded the war-whoop of the painted savage, and the lowing of kine is heard instead of the howl of the wolf that once caused little children to cuddle closer together in their beds in fear.

Noble WarrumThe “Old West” is rapidly passing. Few men are now living who can recall the days of the old Concord coach, the Pony Express rider or the red-shirted miner that depended more upon his “six-gun” than upon the law to protect his claim. Yet these few can recount the development that has been made since Utah was organized as a territory in 1850. To tell the story of this wonderful progress is the purpose of this history. How well that purpose has been attained is for the reader to determine.

The work has been one involving great care and labor, but the publishers confidently assert that no effort has been spared to make this History of Utah both authentic and comprehensive. Authentic, because, as far as possible, the official records have been drawn upon as sources of information and comprehensive, because, it is believed that no important event connected with the growth and development of the state has been overlooked or neglected.

Samuel Johnson, in his Story of Rasselas, says: “He that has much to do will do something wrong; and if it were possible that he should always act rightly, yet when such numbers are to judge of his conduct, the bad will censure and obstruct him by malevolence, and the good sometimes by mistake.” In presenting this History of Utah to the people of the state, the publishers are hopeful that the “malevolent” will find but little to criticize and that the “good” will point out the errors in a kindly spirit.

The editor and publishers take this opportunity to acknowledge their obligations to the various state officers and departments for their aid in consulting the public records; to county officers, old settlers and others, to whom letters were written asking for information concerning local history; to the officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who kindly responded to requests for data to be found only in the church records; and to the attaches of the Salt Lake City Public Library for their uniform courtesies while the work was in course of preparation.

–Noble Warrum, Editor

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.


Comments Off
American County Histories: The Southwest

Facts about our New Collection – American County Histories: The Southwest

We continue to expand our  American County Histories database with the addition of five Southwest states.  They join the previously-available county collections of the Mid-Atlantic, New England, Southeast and West regions. We will add coverage of additional areas of the country – Central and Midwest – throughout the course of the year.  Published primarily between 1870 and 1923, county histories are a cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research.

Flag of ArizonaOf Arizona’s counties four (Mohave, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma) were created in 1864 following the organization of the Arizona Territory in 1862.  All but La Paz County were created by the time Arizona was granted statehood in 1912.  The names of many of the counties pay tribute to the state’s Native American heritage.  Nine of the fifteen counties are named after various native groups that are resident in parts of what is now Arizona.  Three of the other counties have Spanish names from the language of the early Hispanic explorers of Arizona. (more…)

Comments Off
Yolo County, California

A Sketch of Mrs. Emma C. Laugenour

We are still working on expanding our California County Histories in the newest section of our American County Histories Collection.

New online and fully searchable is History of Yolo County, California, with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county, who have been identified with its growth and development from the early days to the present, published in 1913.

This 900+ page volume contains a comprehensive history of Yolo County as well as almost 600 pages of biographical information and illustrations of the region’s settlers.

Mrs. Emma C. Laugenour

As compared with the volumes that have been written exploiting the accomplishments of men in bringing California up to its present state of development, little or nothing has been said concerning the part women have taken in this same work. While from an outward viewpoint the characters they have represented in the drama have been less conspicuous perhaps than those portrayed by the men, nevertheless they have been equally necessary to bring about the ends accomplished, as many men have declared in giving the synopsis of their lives.

Emma C. Laugenour of Yolo County, California

Emma C. Laugenour

Few of California’s early settlers recognized more thoroughly than did John D. Laugenour the sustaining help and comfort which he received from his wife, and he frankly gave credit to her for much that he was able to accomplish during his long residence in the west.

Emma Christene Watkins was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio, May 12, 1842, and was therefore about eighteen years of age when she became the wife of John D. Laugenour in 1860. Of the eight children born to them five are now living and exemplifying in their daily lives the high principles of manhood and womanhood instilled in them by the teachings of their parents. Named in the order of their birth they are as follows: Philip T., Henry W., Jesse D., William R., and Emma Carter, the wife of Walter F. Malcomb.

To the tactful sympathy, as well as conservative judgment of his wife, Mr. Laugenour attributed much of his success, and the fact that since his death she has faithfully endeavored to carry out plans of both philanthropy and business in which she deems he would have been deeply interested, is proof of the confidence and understanding which existed between them.


Comments Off