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James Woodruff Simpson store records, 1844-1926.
Simpson, James Woodruff, 1822-1888.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  XMSC 76  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Simpson, James Woodruff, 1822-1888.
Title : James Woodruff Simpson store records, 1844-1926.
Physical Description : 4.4 linear ft.
General Note : Continued in MSA 285-287.
Summary :

This collection consists of 59 single-entry account books for the Simpson store in East Craftsbury, Vermont, covering the period 1844-1908. It includes ledgers, daybooks, cashbooks and "butterbooks" kept by James Simpson and later, beginning in 1888, by his son George Simpson. Also, among the Simpson accounts are various memo books, calendars, fire insurance account assessments, postage stamp sales books, a checkbook, a bank deposit book, and records of livestock owned and described as personal property.

Some account books kept by Hamilton Z. Harriman are among the store's accounts including daybooks recording everyday transactions such as butter or eggs purchased from local farmers and titled "butterbooks." Some memobooks record goods ordered; others are described on the first page as "lumbering." There is a Craftsbury Community Fair journal dated 1922 and 1926 which lists names and, in a column beside the name, various flowers or plants.

Biographical or historical data :

Born in 1822 near Glasgow, Scotland James W. Simpson immigrated to a farm in Greensboro, Vermont, in 1830 with his parents, four brothers and sisters. Purchasing the store in East Craftsbury in 1844, James became an important merchant and middleman, trading and buying local farm products especially butter for resale in Boston. He was the local postmaster and served on the board of the Caledonia National Bank. With Henry S. Tolman of Greensboro he started a sawmill and later a box and shingle factory along the Lamoille River in Greensboro.

James married Jean Walker (1827-1901) and had four children; one son, George (1857-1913) managed the store after his father's death in 1888. Eventual changes in the market economy of rural Vermont made the Simpson Store less necessary to the local economy. The Simpson store closed its doors for good after the death of George Simpson in 1913.

Hamilton Z. Harriman (b. 1854) was the grandson of Caleb Harriman. Caleb came to East Craftsbury from New Hampshire in 1802. Hamilton Z. was an East Craftsbury merchant, farmer and sugar orchardist. Harriman's General Store and the Simpson Store coexisted from about 1905 until 1913 when the Simpson Store closed.

Related Collections : The manuscript collection of the Vermont Historical Society also includes the Simpson Family Letters, 1887-1926, Doc 203.
Corporate Subject : Craftsbury Community Fair Vt.
Subject Term : General stores Vermont Craftsbury.
Butter trade Vermont.
Lumber trade Vermont.
Agricultural exhibitions Vermont Greensboro.
Postal service Vermont Craftsbury.
Scottish Americans Vermont Craftsbury.
Geographic Term : Craftsbury (Vt.) Commerce.
Greensboro (Vt. : Town) Archival resources.
Genre/Form : Cashbooks.
Account books.
Occupation : Merchants
Added Author : Harriman, Hamilton Z., 1854-
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.