Main content

George W. Holstein family papers


Held at: Historical Society of Montgomery County [Contact Us]1654 Dekalb Street, Norristown, PA, 19401

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Montgomery County. 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

George Washington Holstein, M.D., was a prominent citizen of Bridgeport in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1820 to Col. George W. and Elizabeth Wayne (Hayman) Holstein, and was a grand-nephew of General Wayne of Revolutionary fame. In 1847 he married Abby Turner Brower. During the Civil War he served in Company B, 17th Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, at the Battle of Antietam. Afterwards he was called upon to act as surgeon at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Holstein received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1843. He practiced as a physician for fifteen years before his own poor health led him to leave his practice. He opened a pharmacy, which he operated until 1869, when one of his sons succeeded him. Later, Dr. Holstein was employed by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. He briefly served as deputy revenue collector of the First District of Pennsylvania. He was active in Republican politics, and was once a candidate for legislature. For three years he served as a member of the town council of Bridgeport, as burgess one year, and for thirty years as secretary of the school board of his district. He was very committed to education, and was instrumental of the organization of the first graded schools of Bridgeport.

Holstein was active in Montgomery Lodge No. 57, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Norristown Lodge No. 32, Nights of Pythias. He was a member of Christ (Swedes') Church in Upper Merion, of which he was vestryman for [over] fifty years.

Holstein died in 1908 and was buried at Christ (Swedes') Church in Upper Merion.


Wiley, Samuel T. Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Biographical Publishing Company, 1895. Pages 423-424.

This collection consists primarily of the papers of George W. Holstein, with some papers of other family members. George Holstein's papers include six journals, 1839-1844; two medical notebooks with notes from physicians' lectures, 1841-1842; and numerous essays such as: "On Truth," "Letter to the Gentlemen of Montgomery County Agricultural Society, 1856," "History of Christ Swedes' Church," and "Essay on the 100th Anniversary of American Independence." There are also many letters written by Holstein to others, such as his brother Isaac, and Ellwood Roberts.

From other family members, this collection includes a small amount of letters and legal papers from Dr. Holstein's grandfather, Captain William Hayman, circa 1817; one journal from Dr. Holstein's wife, Abby; and a journal from Henry C. Potts. There are additional unidentified papers, including some newspaper clippings dating as late as 1927.

Item inventories are available inside the collection's boxes.

Historical Society of Montgomery County
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza 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.
Access Restrictions

Contact Historical Society of Montgomery County for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Print, Suggest