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Worrall and John family papers and business records


Held at: Historic Sugartown, Inc. [Contact Us]P.O. Box 1423, Malvern, PA, 19355

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historic Sugartown, Inc.. 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

Sharpless Worrall (1811-1887), the son of Peter Worrall (1768-1831) and Hannah Sharpless (1777-1858) was born in Middletown, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. In 1833, he married Abigail Thatcher (b. 1814), daughter of Thomas Thatcher and Hannah Palmer of Aston, Pa.. The couple had several children including Hannah Worrall (1851-1932), who in 1874 married Hillery John (1845-1904), the son of Jacob E. John (1815-1873) and Minerva White (1818-1890).

By the late 1840s, Sharpless Worrall had moved his family to Sugartown in Willistown Township, Chester County, Pa., where he took over ownership of a general store. He served as postmaster for twenty years, president and secretary of the Willistown School Board for fifteen years, secretary of three beneficial associations, and treasurer of two others.

In 1879, Sharpless Worrall's son-in-law Hillery John took over the store and served as postmaster. Hillery ran the business very successfully until his death in 1904 when his son, Clyde Bernard John (b. 1875), took over, renaming it C.B. John & Bro. Clyde eventually turned the business into an antique shop and renamed it John's Antique Shop.


Cope, Gilbert, Henry Fishwick, and Joseph Lemuel Chester. Genealogy of the Sharpless Family. Philadelphia: Privately published, 1887. Accessed September 20, 2013.

This collection primarily consists of the business records of the general store owned and operated by three generations of the Worrall and John families. Records from Sharpless Worrall include a few day books, 1847-1852 and 1852-1861 (contains medicine recipes). Records from Hillery John (Dealer in General Merchandise) and C.B. John & Bro. (Dealers in Hay, Straw, Grain and General Merchandise) include day books, 1880-1882, 1885-1886, 1893-1894, and 1901-1902; two account books, circa 1900-1925; about one-half dozen order books, 1907; a post office money order cash book, 1899-1902; animal feed order books, 1920s; C.B. John & Bro. check stubs, 1923-1924; and miscellaneous receipts. There is also a blank order book for John's Antiques, 1960s.

Also included in the collection are personal and family papers relating to the Worrall and John families that include receipts, letters, bank records, court records regarding an estate dispute, and financial journals, 1836-1900. There are also family deeds and legal papers, circa 1875-1939; and a treasurer's book, 1851-1887, of the Ivanhoe Lodge No. 432, Independent Order of Odd Fellows (Sharpless Worrall was involved with the organization). Of special interest are the diaries of Marguerite John, 1912-1919.

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 Historic Sugartown, Inc. directly for more information.

Historic Sugartown, Inc.
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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