City Directories prove to be an excellent source for researching individual and
family history. They fill the void over the ten years between United States
The first City Directory for Hagerstown, Maryland was published
by John Randall in 1893. Earlier (1884-85) a combined directory for Hagerstown
and its neighbor to the north, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was printed. The
1893 directory listed adults alphabetically but did not group family members
together as would be done today. Only by checking the addresses can spouse or
other persons living in the same residence be found. For example there are
thirteen persons with the surname Feigley listed. By scanning the addresses
James E. and Margaret Feigley can be seen to live in the same residence, 108 E
Antietam. The 1893 edition also lists the occupation of the residents, allowing
the researcher to find occupations such as sawyer, lamp lighter, founder, silk
weaver, brick molder, oyster, spoke turner, cigar box maker and call boy. In
addition, it lists "coloreds", abbreviated as "col".
1893 directory is for the city of Hagerstown only. It was not until 1908 that
the first county directory was published. Also of interest in this directory is
the list of classified businesses and a directory of patrons.
The details of the 1890 United States census were destroyed in a fire, making
this 1893 listing of residents even more valuable. The U.S. Census Bureau
estimates the total population of Hagerstown in 1890 as 10,118.
illustrations for this collection are from:
--- Williams, Thomas J. C. (Thomas John Chew). Hagerstown; an illustrated
description of the city of Hagerstown, Maryland, showing its advantages as a
place of residence and a location for manufactories, &c., &c.
Hagerstown, Md., Mail Publishing Co., 1887.
--- Jackson, William Henry (photographer). Touring Turn-of-the-Century America:
Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1892. Library of Congress,
Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.
Pauline Leitner of Hagerstown assisted with the transcription of the text.