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Donald Greenleaf family papers


Held at: Downingtown Area Historical Society [Contact Us]PO Box 9, Downingtown, PA, 19335

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Downingtown Area Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Donald J. Greenleaf (born 1932) is the son of H. Raymond and Margaret F. "Peg" Greenleaf and a long-time resident of the Downingtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania area. He has worked in a variety of capacities in the community including serving as Borough Manager for the Borough of Downingtown (1967-1991) and Executive Director for the Downingtown Municipal Water Authority (1992-1994). He has also been involved with and served as an officer for the Downingtown Area Historical Society for many years.

Greenleaf began his career working for the Borough of Downingtown as a draftsman in the borough's municipal engineering department in 1953. In 1967, he became Borough Manager, a position in which he remained for almost 39 years before retiring at the end of 1991 to become the first executive director of the Downingtown Municipal Water Authority.

Donald Greenleaf's father, H. Raymond Greenleaf (1895-1965), owned Greenleaf's Pharmacy at 207 West Lancaster Street in Downingtown for several years. The business had originally been opened as a drug store in late 1850s or early 1860s and changed hands a few times before it was sold to Howard Sides in 1878 and became known as H. B. Sides Apothecary. H. Raymond Greenleaf worked at the store with Sides and became a pharmacist, eventually purchasing the business from Sides in 1929. He changed the name to Greenleaf's Pharmacy, and operated it until its closing in 1964.

Donald Greenleaf's brother, Thomas R. Greenleaf (1927-2007), worked for Chemical Leaman Tank Lines, Inc., a large chemical transportation business with a branch in Downingtown for many years, becoming its president and CEO in 1972 and remaining in that position until he retired from the company.


Cornell, Timothy and Lem Lloyd. "Downingtown Manager Resigns." Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 1991. Accessed July 25, 2014.

Downingtown Area Historical Society. "Capt. Eicholtz Was a Leader of GAR Post and Alert Fire Co." Hist-O-Gram 4, no. 37 (2013): 3. Accessed July 25, 2014.

"Tom Greenleaf of Downingtown." Daily Local News (West Chester, Pa.), June 1, 2007. Accessed July 25, 2014.

This collection primarily consists of slides and some photographs and film negatives of Downingtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania and nearby areas. Depicted are buildings, especially those being torn down (prior to and during demolition); local events such as dedications, parades, and natural disasters; aerial landscape shots; and borough maintenance images relating to rain drainage, sewers, and other related topics. There are also some photographs of Greenleaf's Pharmacy and Greenleaf family members.

A large number of Downingtown borough government documents, principally Downingtown Annual Budget and Financial Reports from the 1940s and 1950s, were donated by Donald Greenleaf. There are also numerous deeds, water rights documents, and other papers associated with the Downingtown Gas and Water Company, 1867-1924.

Also present are some materials from Greenleaf's Pharmacy, including: two ledgers, 1923-1938; several filled prescription sheets, circa 1880s; and objects such as pharmacy glassware (drug bottles and ice cream dishes), a measuring scale, and other items.

Other materials in the collection include deeds, a diary, several newspaper clippings about the Downingtown area, printed materials and ephemera (pamphlets, booklets, programs, etc.) from various Downingtown area organizations, studies of the Downingtown borough government, the wallet of family member Margaret Greenleaf, and a set of pocket watches.

An inventory of this collection is available on-site.

Gifts of Donald Greenleaf, 1985, 1999, and 2009.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Downingtown Area Historical Society directly for more information.

Downingtown Area Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Contact Downingtown Area Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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