Barton, Allegany County, Store Ledger 1895-1897
This ledger, lent to the George’s Creek Library by Mary Meyers of
Lonaconing, contains the purchases and payments of a community in the period
1895-1897. From the names of the purchasers, it is probable that the store was
in Barton, between Lonaconing and Westernport along George’s Creek in western
Allegany County, Maryland. There were a number of general stores in Barton at
that time. Samuel Bradley, Henry Creutzburg, J. Henry Schramm, Theo George and
George E. Williams were all listed in the 1900 census as proprietors of stores
in Barton. The notation at the front of this ledger reads Ledger #3, Geo W.
It is possible that this ledger belonged to George Williams for his store in
At the beginning of the ledger is an index, with the names of 272 accounts and
the pages where their purchases are recorded. Items purchased ranged from
potatoes and peas to salmon and chocolate. The store also sold shoes, mittens,
shirts, handkerchiefs, ribbon, velvet, buckets, handles, matches, hay, and
oats. Shingles, flooring, nails and hinges were sold as well, and shot, powder
and shells. Many of the items are familiar but some are not common today, for
example linsey, c oil (coal oil, like kerosene?) m oil, and JB
and PB that were bought by the barrel. Tob is presumably tobacco, tom
tomatoes, crack crackers, c drops cough drops, and h ache cure
head ache cure.
Most people made purchases and then paid off all or part of their account.
William Rogan was somewhat different. His balance in July 1896 was $132.56. The
next entry in the account book reads, July 12 1911. Work done on Flat Rock
Bridge and cash in full for the above amt. J. J. McDonald paid off some
of his bill with bushels of apples, John Barnes may have paid off 50 cents of
his bill with cherries, and Joseph Andrews received 55 cents of credit for
cabbage (items marked with crfor credit)
In addition to the purchasers, there is a listing for Denlinger Bros,
distributors of oils and grease of various types, based in Pittsburgh, Pa. It
appears that the general store served as a distributor for them, for the Winter
Weight Oil and the Zero Cold Test Oil, used for heating. James and William
Denlinger were listed in the Pittsburgh City Directory of 1895 as secretary and
vice president of Interstate Oil Co, as Oil Dealers. The company was out of
business by 1910. Their territory in 1895 covered a wide area, and the names in
this ledger stretch from Elk Garden, WV to Frostburg, MD.
Only a small number of the 720 pages of the ledger have been included on this
site. The ledger remains in the George’s Creek Library, and is available for
research in the History Room. The spelling of names and items purchased was not
always clear, and while every effort was made to interpret the writing
accurately, corrections are welcomed.
|Thanks to Mary Meyers for use of the ledger; Buddy
Duckworth and Walt Warnick for their knowledge of the people and history of
western Allegany; Carol Askey for information on Barton and the Shaw family;
Sara McBeth and Robert Andrews for permission to use the Andrews family
pictures; John Brode for the use of his picture of Barton; and the Pennsylvania
Department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Duke University for
information on Denlinger Bros.