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Wilde Post No. 25 (Chester, Pa.), Grand Army of the Republic records


Held at: Delaware County Historical Society [Contact Us]408 Avenue of the States, Chester, Pennsylvania, 19013

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Delaware County 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

In November of 1865, a call was issued to veterans living in Chester (Delaware County, Pennsylvania) to form the U.S. Soldier's Union of Chester. It formally organized as the Soldier's National Union, a non-political beneficial society with stated goals of concerted action towards legislation for the equalization of bounties, and for employment of veterans in national, state, and local government. The Soldiers' Union of Chester reorganized as Wilde Post No. 25 of the Grand Army of the Republic in January of 1867.

The Grand Army of the Republic was a national fraternal organization of Civil War veterans founded in 1866. Wilde Post No. 25 in Chester was named after Isaac Edward Wilde (1842-1864). A native of Knowlton, Delaware County, Pa., Wilde enlisted in the Union Army as a private at the age of 17, re-enlisted twice, and attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant before his death at the young age of 22. Wilde Post No. 25 had almost 1,000 members at its peak. There were 21 surviving members in 1925; the last surviving member, B. Frank Thomas, passed away in 1939.


Beath, Robert Burns. History of the Grand Army of the Republic. New York: Bryan, Taylor, and Company, 1888. Page 467. Accessed July 8, 2013.

Bullock, John A., III. "Post Wilde, No. 25, G. A. R." Last updated October 18, 2005. Accessed July 8, 2013.

This collection consists of various records of Wilde Post No. 25 of the Grand Army of the Republic (Chester, Pa.), including minute books, membership records, financial records, and publications and ephemera.

This collection begins with some records of the predecessor to Wilde Post No. 25, the Soldiers' Union of Chester, namely a membership record (1866-1869) and a minute book (1865-1875; indexed in Chester F. Baker vol. 60). The minutes continue with nearly one dozen minute books of Wilde Post No. 25 (1875-1878, 1878-1881, 1881-1885, 1885-1888, 1886-1898, 1888-1891, 1891-1895, 1895-1896, 1897, 1900-1904, and 1912-1917). There are also minutes of the Memorial Committee (1908-1912, 1918-1922, and 1919), a Memorial book for the Post (1889), and a Report of Trustees Memorial Committee (1888-1896).

The membership records in this collection include: rosters, a membership list (1884), roll book (1879-1915), and two rolls of officers (1889-1900 and 1902-1927). The financial records include: a dues and expense accounts ledger (circa 1879-1884), dues books (1870-1876 and 1917-1929), and a cash ledger (1890-1896). Other materials from Wilde Post No. 25 include: a stock certificate in the U.S. Centennial International Exhibition (1875), pictures, some printed materials, the Post's charter and by-laws, certificates, and a small amount of correspondence.

The Delaware County Historical Society holds some additional materials in its miscellaneous manuscripts collection associated with the Grand Army of the Republic and other local posts (especially General Charles L. Leiper Post No. 639 (Norwood, Pa.) and Bradbury Post (Media, Pa.)), such as invitations, pamphlets, and papers.

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 Delaware County Historical Society directly for more information.

Delaware County Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton 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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