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King of Prussia Historical Society scrapbook, ledger, and indenture collection


Held at: King of Prussia Historical Society [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the King of Prussia 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

King of Prussia is a village located in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Named after an 18th century inn, today King of Prussia is largely known as home to office buildings and one of the largest shopping malls in America, the King of Prussia Mall.

Settled by Welsh immigrants in the early 1700s, the area known today as King of Prussia was originally called Reesville, after the Rees family, who owned a large portion of the land in the area. The Rees family owned and operated a tavern called the King of Prussia Inn in the second half of the 18th century. Though there are several stories as to the origin of the name, many believe it is named after Frederick II (Frederick the Great), who was the King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786.

Upper Merion High School is part of the Upper Merion Area School District in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

The Women's Club of Upper Merion (Montgomery County, Pennsylvania) was organized in 1953 in order to maintain an organized center for the intellectual, moral, and social development of its members, to advance the welfare of the community and to promote the progress and work of the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women. As of 2014, it is still in operation.

James Otis Pope was born in Machias, Maine in 1822. His father, Colonel William Pope, started the company William Pope & Sons, a prominent commercial firm in Maine engaged largely in the business of lumber manufacturing and shipping. James joined his father's firm, as did his older brother Samuel Ward Pope, who took over the firm when Colonel Pope died, changing the name to S. W. Pope & Co. When Samuel died in 1862, James took control of the company, changing the name to J. O. Pope & Co. The firm also had operations in San Francisco, Boston, Jacksonville (Maine), and Columbia (Maine) on the Pleasant River, where it was known as George Harris & Co. and Pope, Harris & Co. because George Harris owned one third of the company stock. (Pope, p. 202, 250)


Pope, Charles H. A History of the Dorchester Pope Family. 1634-1888: With Sketches of Other Popes in England and America, and Notes Upon Several Intermarrying Families. Boston, MA: L. Barta & Co., 1888. Accessed on May 23, 2014.

This collection consists of scrapbooks from Upper Merion High School and the Women's Club of Upper Merion, ledgers from businesses, and two land deeds.

There are two Upper Merion High School clippings scrapbooks, 1962-1963, that contain a small amount of ephemera from school functions as well as newspaper clippings about the school, its students, and important national topics from those years.

There are five Women's Club of Upper Merion scrapbooks, 1959-1969. The scrapbooks are largely filled with newspaper clippings about the club and its members, but there are also some other items intermixed with the clippings such as annual brochures, certificates, and a few other club-related documents.

There are four business ledgers from Pope, Harris & Co./J. O. Pope & Co., 1879-1892. Some of the volumes include payroll information.

Indentures from 1837 and 1838 as well as an unidentified ledger (1845-1884) are also present in the collection.

Materials collected at various times from various sources by the King of Prussia Historical Society.

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 King of Prussia Historical Society directly for more information.

King of Prussia 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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