Main content

Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society manuscripts collection


Held at: Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society [Contact Us]720 First Avenue, Berwyn, PA, 19312

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Tredyffrin Easttown 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

Tredyffrin Township is located at the easternmost edge of Chester County, Pennsylvania. It is part of the "Welsh Tract" settled by Welsh Quakers in 1682; the name "Tredyffrin" comes from the Welsh for "township in a wide cultivated valley." The township was incorporated in 1707. During the Valley Forge encampment period of the Revolutionary War, many of Washington's generals quartered in the nearby homes of Tredyffrin farmers. In 1832 the Main Line of Public Works, a rail and canal system that would later form the nucleus of the Pennsylvania Railroad was constructed. Still, Tredyffrin remained a primarily agricultural community, small but prosperous, until World War II. With its suburban location convenient to Philadelphia along the "Main Line" commuter train, commercial and residential development rapidly progressed in the township throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Adjacent to Tredyffrin, also settled in 1682 as part of the Welsh Tract, is Easttown Township, incorporated in 1704. A prolific farming community in the 18th century, Easttown became an important military site during the Revolutionary War. In 1777 Americans under the command of Easttown native General Anthony Wayne repelled an attack by British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton on Signal Hill. In the next century, like nearby Tredyffrin, Easttown was strongly impacted by the construction of a railroad in the 1830s. By the turn of the 19th century, country estates of wealthy Philadelphians were interspersed with the farms in the area. Building construction and population increased dramatically in the 1950s and continued to grow through the end of the 20th century.


Easttown Township. "Township History." Accessed January 2, 2014.

Tredyffrin Township. "Facts and Figures." Accessed January 2, 2014.

This collection includes various small accumulations of materials from local individuals, businesses, and organizations in the area of Tredyffrin and Easttown townships, such as minute books, financial records, genealogy and local history research materials, school records, correspondence, and other family papers and organizational records. These are organized by creator or document type as listed below.

Incoming accessions are added to this collection on an on-going basis; an updated catalog is available on-site.

Also available on-site (although not part of this collection) is the full run of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society's journal, Tredyffrin Easttown History Quarterly, from 1937 through the present (as of 2014). Digital copies are available through the Society's website.

Materials collected from various sources at various times by the Tredyffrin Easttown 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 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society directly for more information.

Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Cheryl Leibold and encoded 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 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

Account Ledger and Clippings Book [maker unknown], 1799-circa 1830.
Scope and Contents note

Financial accounts are written on the left-hand page, commencing with the year 1799, and apparently going into the 1820s. For about the first 40 pages, the right-hand page contains newspaper clippings, many of which are religious writings or poems. After about 40 pages the clippings cease, and the accounts appear on both left and right-hand pages.

Account Ledger, circa 1917-1919.
Scope and Contents note

This unidentified account book records expenses for outlays of road construction supplies in Tredyffrin and Easttown townships.

Audio tapes.
Scope and Contents note

There are about thirty cassette tapes. There are two pages of handwritten information which may be descriptions, or a transcription of a tape.

The cassette tapes are marked in a difficult handwriting, but these titles could be read: Mary Eachus, Diamond Rock Meeting, Dave Wilson, Meg Twadell, Conrad Wilson (6), Before the (?), Lewis Valentine, Goshorn Paoli History (2), Norman Reynolds, Easttown Tredyffrin, Don Saneo (2, ?), Conestoga Oral History (5 – Mrs. Mechlin, Mrs. Parker (2), Mr. Staats, Mr. Roberts), Goshorn retirement party, 1980, Mazie Hall (2), Marker Dedication [Stone Chimney Picket?], Xian [China?], unidentified (1).

Berwyn Citizens Association Minute Book, 1905-1915.
Scope and Contents note

Minutes of meetings, commencing with Oct. 3, 1905, and ending with March 9, 1915, with various printed membership lists and items of correspondence tipped in.

Berwyn Neighborhood League Minute Book, 1913-1915.
"Berwyn Memories", 1976.
Scope and Contents note

This is a large unbound scrapbook compiled by students at Berwyn elementary school in 1976 to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial. The scrapbook contains original artwork, writing, and memorabilia created by the students. Each classroom contributed a page, and most display the names of the students and some of their favorite things. One page predicts what several students will be doing in the year 2001. The word “Memories” is found on the back cover. Also see the student scrapbook "Journey into Yesteryear."

Franklin L. Burns (1868-1946) - “History of Berwyn”.
Scope and Contents note

Franklin Burns’ manuscript comprises 400 pages. This work was probably written over a period of many years. The manuscript is a draft of a book-length study of the history of Berwyn and the surrounding region. The typescript pages contain numerous editorial changes presumably written in Burns’ hand. Burns divided the manuscript into large chapters, which he called “Volumes,” as follows:

I. Legendary Period, 1320-1681 II. Pre-Revolutionary Period, 1760-1774 III. Beginnings of Local Industrial and Educational Periods, 1834-1860 IV. Civil War and Reconstruction, 1860-1875 V. Centennial and Cistern Periods, 1876-1885

There are two copies of the typescript. One is bound and stored with the TEHS library books. An unbound set and research notes are stored in boxes. A large cache of Franklin Burns’ research notes for the book are preserved. These consists of: at least 22 small notebooks, some headed with his “Volume” titles (see above), and others with titles such as Indians, Horses, Deeds, Churches, the Welsh, Quakers. Much of this material is in very poor condition. See the article on Franklin Burns in the History Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 2.

Almeron W. Case (1808-1877) - Mathematics Lesson Books (3 volumes).
Scope and Contents note

These three books were apparently the property of Almeron Case, and came into the collection through Robert Goshorn, his great-great-grandson. There is also a typed sheet of genealogical notes on Almeron Case compiled by Goshorn. It can be assumed that Case was a teacher. One volume consists of lessons and problems worked out for weights and measures, basic arithmetic, currency conversion, and other mathematics. It is inscribed on the front cover: “A. W. Case’s Book,” and on the last page: “Almeron W. Case / Westford / Feb. 16, 1831 / Otsego Co. / State of N.Y.” Almeron W. Case would have been about 23 years of age at the time of the inscription.

The other two workbooks, of identical size and manufacture, contain problems and their solutions in mathematics and in trigonometry. These books are apparently written in the same hand as the volume described above. One is titled “Practical Rules for Solving All the Cases of Plane Trigonometry.” Page one carries the notation: “Case 1st per E. Lewis / Oct. 8th, 1838.” The second volume is missing a title page, but is clearly a similar workbook in mathematics. On page seven a date of 1827 can be found. Each of these books is estimated at 75 to 100 pages.

Marcia Tripp Case (born 1813) – Farewell Book, 1834-1845.
Scope and Contents note

The volume contains about 22 messages of goodwill and farewell, dated between 1834 and 1845. Some of the messages are in verse and some in prose, and most are addressed to Marcia Tripp. Several are addressed to Marcia Case. Marcia Tripp married Almeron W. Case in 1836. See the genealogical notes for the Almeron W. Case mathematics lesson books.

Chester County Aero Club records, circa 1930 - circa 1999.
Scope and Contents note

Includes By-Laws, Minute Books (1962-2004), Treasurer’s Report Book (1962-1999), Newsletters, Photographs, and Artifacts (name tags, an embosser).

Chesterbrook Farm Records, 1906-1959.
Scope and Contents note

Correspondence and business records for Chesterbrook Farm operations, during the ownership of Edward B. Cassatt, 1906 to 1922; and subsequently, his widow Eleanor Cassatt Laird, 1923 to 1959. There is also a folder of printed ephemera including milk bottle caps, printed forms, a Christmas card, and a map.

William D. Christman - Letter to his sister, 1863 March 1.
Scope and Contents note

The letter was written from Christman’s army encampment near Stafford, Virginia.

Scope and Contents note

Continental Can Company manufactured metal and paper packaging materials in factories worldwide. Its Devon and Paoli, Pennsylvania plants produced primarily paper bags. The packaging business, along with the Devon plant, had been acquired in 1953 after the death of Benjamin C. Betner who had operated a paper packaging company under his own name since 1927. A lengthy history of the Benjamin C. Betner Company, and its successor, the Continental Can Company, appears in the History Quarterly, Volume 31, No. 2, July 1993. There is a file of newspaper clippings on the Benjamin C. Betner Company in the research files.

Fred DiAddezzio, the source of this collection, appears in many of the employee photographs.

Employee newsletters: The Package Post, September 1959 – Spring 1968; Paoli Patter, October 28, 1966 – June 9, 1972 (3 folders).
Human resources, union, and marketing materials, 1966-1968 (1 folder).
2 photographs of the Continental Can Company plant, 1962, and 2 undated photographs of the assembly line.
1 pen and ink rendering of the Benjamin C. Betner Company plant, ca. 1930s.
21 8 x 10 photographs of employee activities and events, 1960s (2 folders).
Anna Davenport Letter, 1865.
Scope and Contents note

This item is a letter from Anna [W. Davenport?] to her brother Alfred, dated September 11, 1865. It is enclosed at the back of the Annie Potts Walker Diary for 1897-1900 (in the Walker Family Farm Account book). It is not known who put the letter in the volume, or if it has any relevance to the Walker Family. The eight-page letter is a long description of sights seen and excursions taken in Switzerland. Five pages were transcribed in 2011.

Wilds Family Deed collection.
Miscellaneous deeds.
Deeds in file folders.
Deeds - research notes.
Oversize deeds (stored in flat file).
Genealogical research materials.
Scope and Contents note

The materials relate to several families: the Thomas family (Hilltown, Bucks County); the Reichner (or Ritner) family; and the Hill family. There are both printed and autograph books of notes and research, as well as several packets of letters and small folded documents. The materials are in extremely fragile condition. Contents have not been inventoried due to preservation concerns.

Robert Goshorn (1919-1995), Today in Chester County.
Scope and Contents note

This undated manuscript was prepared by TEHS member Robert Goshorn, in the form of a retrospective calendar. For each month of the year, one or more important events in Chester County history are recorded according to the day of the month on which they occurred. The events listed range from the mid-eighteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. The unpaginated typescript comprises at least 150 pages. Also see Artifacts, for Goshorn’s World War II memorabilia.

John Haslett, Character reference letter and citizenship certificate, 1808-1816.
Martha Henderson, Recollections of Old Berwyn, 1961.
Home Rule Charter (Tredyffrin Township) clippings scrapbook, 1972-1974.
Journey Into Yesteryear Scrapbook.
Scope and Contents note

This scrapbook contains 162 pages of original art and writing (some lost due to water damage) which went into the production of a printed book, and one copy of the final book. The published book reproduced the artwork in black and white, and the writing was typed and then printed. The book was a bicentennial project of 220 contributing students in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District from the spring of 1976 to completion in 1978. 345 copies of the final product were printed. The subject of all of the various contributions was eighteenth-century life in the greater Valley Forge area. Also see the student scrapbook Berwyn Memories.

Krider (Crider) / Jones Family Papers.
Scope and Contents note

This collection includes a family history by Ronald A. Jones (2010); about a dozen photographs, most of which document the Berwyn Carriage Works (1891 to 1919), and its owners Frank and George Krider. There are also materials relating to descendants of their sister Elizabeth Krider Jones.

Mary Lamborn, Autobiographical Manuscript, 1999.
Scope and Contents note

This item is filed in the Biographical research files along with obituaries of other Lamborn family members.

The Leisure Hour Club Scrapbook, circa 1955-1971.
Scope and Contents note

(Green cover with gold stripes at left). Contains clippings, correspondence and photographs from this club, from the mid-1950s to about 1971. The Leisure Hour Club provided a weekly recreational or information activity for senior citizens in the Berwyn area.

Little Journeys in Chester County scrapbook.
Scope and Contents note

A small scrapbook compilation of nineteen newspaper articles by J. Carrol Hayes, titled “Little Journeys in Chester County, For the School Children of the County, With Kartoons for the Kiddies by Katharine Hayes.” Probably 1924-25, (No. 10 is dated Dec. 29, 1924). First page signed at the bottom: “Ida Kathryn Mathews.” Gift of Ida Hardester.

Scope and Contents note

Maps have been flattened and stored in the flat file. The maps are organized as follows: Tredyffrin, Easttown, East Whiteland, Valley Forge, Main Line, and Miscellaneous.

Atlases are also available; an inventory exists on-site.

Barbara Mazza, Recollection of Blue Stone Farm in the late 1950s.
Scope and Contents note

This item is filed in the Biographical research files.

Howard L. Moore, Recollections of Early Berwyn Days, and class poem, 1913.
Scope and Contents note

Howard L. Moore apparently attended Tredyffrin-Easttown High School about 1913-17. The class poem is dated June 10, 1913 and consists of eighteen stanzas, each devoted to one of his classmates. The undated Berwyn notes are written in pencil on the pages of a small notebook.

Folder 1.
Scope and Contents note

The collection includes printed matter as follows: T-E High School score card for Thanksgiving Day football game, 1927; football schedule for 1927; boys basketball schedules, 1927 and 1928; program for play “All of a Sudden Peggy,” 1928; 3 membership cards for the Berwyn Fire Company, 1937-38 and 1940-41; obituary card for Sarah H. Moran, died 1958, and Berwyn Trust bank books for her trust fund, 1950-59; announcement cards for University of Baltimore spring dance, 1932 and 1933; card for Immaculata College Senior Ball, 1935; membership cards for Main Line Democratic Club, 1934-35; newspaper clippings on Robert E. Pattison, Sr., a former governor of PA, and Robert E. Pattison, Jr.; the Main Line Baseball League; humorous newspaper article titled “Men” by Helen Rowland; article on the village of Leopard near Berwyn.

Folder 2.
Scope and Contents note

The collection also includes photographs: 7 of the 1928 T-E High School trip to Washington D. C.; 8 of TE High School students 1912, and 1913; Anna Moran, teacher at Howellville, and Helen Bracken, teacher at the Leopard school; Helen Smith; photographs of Moran’s classmates, 1927-28; his brother Charles and other family; Bertha Neiman and family members; Mrs. Wilson, a T-E teacher; Otto Taverner; “Chick” Peoples. There are also a few photographs in folder 3. There is a photograph of George Moran printed on his donation letter.

Folder 3.
Scope and Contents note

A few items of correspondence with TE History Club President Robert Goshorn, some of which contain Moran’s reminiscences of Berwyn history or residents. There are also eleven pages of typed notes on persons or places in Berwyn with several photographs attached.

Folder 4.
Scope and Contents note

The Moran donation also includes his genealogical notes on two families. There are notes on Aaron Foulke, his wife’s ancestor, with a photocopy of a printed history titled “Genealogical Tables Showing the Descent of Edward and Eleanor Foulke,” compiled by Edwin Rhodes Booth, 1898. There is also a typescript of notes on the Timothy Moran family, dated 1951.

School copy books.
Scope and Contents note

School copy books are for: Katherine Neilly, ca. 1811; Sallie Neilly, 1839; Kate Neilly, 1855, 1861, 1862; Sarah Neilly, 1855, and undated.

Printed materials.
Scope and Contents note

Printed ballad book owned by Sarah Neilly; a printed broadsheet titled “Young America” inscribed on the front with the name Rob’t Neilly, ca. 1853.

Richardson Brognard Okie (1875-1945) - Research files, correspondence, maps, and deeds.
Scope and Contents note

Unprocessed as of 2014. See short article on him by Howard S. Okie in the History Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1947, pp. 52-52.

Scope and Contents note

Note that newspaper clippings about the Old Eagle School are stored with the research files. A copy of The History of The Old Eagle School, by Henry Pleasants, 1909 (with 8 illustrations) is in the TEHS library.

The Old Eagle School Property, 1770-1895. [Subscription solicitation leaflet].
Report of the Trustees of the Old Eagle School to the Contributors for the Restoration of the Property, 15 pages. (6 copies)., 1897.
Lessons from the Lowly – The Old Eagle School (Philadelphia: Ferris & Leach), 1902.
Scope and Contents note

Unpaginated booklet, about 25 pages; contains 9 pages of unattributed verse, and 8 photographs – 5 of the school, and 3 others.

The Evolution of A German Cradle, 1767-1903, Being A Historical Account of the Old Eagle School in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 59 pages, 1903.
Scope and Contents note

Contains a list of German residents prior to 1788; a list of burials at the school, 1767-1895; and the Treasurer’s Report for 1895-1903.

An Historical Account of the Old Eagle School Property, 11 pages, circa 1903.
Scope and Contents note

Contains a one-page list of burials in the graveyard on the property.

Board of Trustees of the Old Eagle School, Appointed by the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Penna.. (6 copies)., circa 1903.
The Old Eagle School, 1767-1912, New Year Assurances. [leaflet of verse].
The Old Eagle School, 1767-1913, A New Year’s Reminder. [leaflet of verse].
The Old Eagle School, 1767-1914, New Year Reflections. [leaflet of verse].
Calendar card, 1962.
Promotional brochure, circa 1985.
Bicentennial brochure, 1988.
Legal Papers.
Scope and Contents note

Two packets of typescript testimony regarding applications for the appointment of trustees of the Old Eagle School, 1895. The two documents comprise about 65 pages. Both are in very brittle condition. Unfolding for close examination is not possible without conservation measures.

Photocopy of the official Chester County legal decision regarding the ownership of the property, from the proceedings of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, 1895.

Letter and notes concerning legal actions in 1891 to divide the property and return it to a board of trustees., 1891.
Trustees’ correspondence regarding removal of a body buried at the school without permission of the trustees, 1895.
Trustees’ correspondence, accounts, and legal papers, 1915-1924.
Trustees’ correspondence, accounts, and legal papers, 1923-1928.
Paoli Post Office correspondence, printed matter, and scrapbook, 1955-1965.
Scope and Contents note

Paoli Postmaster, Eleanor C. Brennan, compiled a scrapbook of clippings and photographs related to three Paoli Post Offices, for the years 1955 to 1965. (Red cover with gold stripes at left.) The scrapbook itself contains primarily newspaper clippings bout the U. S. Post Office buildings in Paoli, but there is also some correspondence regarding the dedication ceremonies, a few clippings which do not relate to the post offices, and photographs. The material dates from the early 1950s to the late 1960s; Eleanor C. Brennan served as the Paoli postmaster from 1935 until 1966. The first item in the scrapbook is a list of the Paoli postmasters from 1828 to Mrs. Brennan’s appointment in 1935. Note that there are numerous loose items in this scrapbook.

The scrapbook also contained two file folders of material, one of loose correspondence and notices related to postal service matters, and another of printed matter related to the 1965 dedication of the newly constructed post office. The thickness of the two files was damaging the spine of the scrapbook, and thus they are stored with manuscripts.

Paoli, Pasquale –Miscellaneous material.
Scope and Contents note

A collection of items given to the Paoli Business and Professional Association in 2011, and donated to the TEHS in 2012. The collection consists of: an article titled “The first portraits of Pascal Paoli,” (by Francis Beretti, in The British Art Journal, Vol. II, No. 3, Spring/Summer, 2001); Studià in Corsica, a 2011 publication of the University of Corsica and the Pasquale Paoli Foundation (in Italian and French, 189 pages); script of a play titled “Paoli City,” by Catherine Sorba and Francis Aiqui, 2007; Mediterraneans , a literary review, special issue devoted to Corsica, Summer 2001. There are also two items of digital media: a DVD of images from a trip to Corsica by Ed Auble of the Paoli Business and Professional Association; “Looking for Paoli,” a film directed by Catherine Sorba.

Also see the file of clippings and correspondence with the TEHS about Pasquale Paoli in the Biographical files.

Harry B. (Henry) Rumrill (1867-1951) – Travel Journals, ca. 1910-1920.
Scope and Contents note

“Journal of a trip by rail to Natural Bridge, and return on foot,” a travel journal by Henry B. Rumrill, 1919. Transcribed and published by Elizabeth Rumrill in the History Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 4, October 1986. The original manuscript of this journal includes tipped-in maps, postcards, and an eight-page illustrated brochure titled “Grottoes of the Shenandoah.” A second travel journal is preserved describing a vacation trip to the Hudson River area. It is undated, but would appear to be from about the first decade of the twentieth century. Rumrill mentions his children (both born close to 1900) and how they enjoyed the trip. On the front and back flyleaf pages Rumrill tipped in verse by James Whitcomb Riley and S. Weir Mitchell. The 16-page manuscript is illustrated with original photographs and commercial postcards. Both journals were almost certainly donated by Henry Rumrill’s daughter, Elizabeth Rumrill. The collection also includes a small photograph album containing a route map for some of his travels and 14 photographic views (7 of western America, 3 of Tennessee, 4 from the Tredyffrin area, and 1 shot of his backyard telescope). The album is stored with the TEHS photographs collection.

Also see an article describing Harry Rumrill’s activities as an amateur astronomer: “Berwyn's Amateur Astronomers,” History Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 3, July 1997, pages 109–118. Elizabeth Rumrill is also the assumed donor of a small wooden door plate which reads “Tredyffrin Observatory.” She also donated her report cards for grade school and high school which are stored with the printed matter for the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District.

A. [Arthur?] B. Shunk, Account Book, 1833.
Scope and Contents note

This ledger book contains about forty pages of entries for payments made to A. B. Shunk for a wide variety of general merchandise. The first line reads “Upper Providence / 1st Mo. / 1833.” A small undated certificate of merit for school performance, awarded to Jesse Francis Shunk, was found in the volume.

S. Paul Teamer (1890-1940) – Teaching notes and other materials.
Van Leer Cabin Restoration Project, 1960-circa 1965.
Scope and Contents note

Donation lists, banking statements and invoices, 1960s. Also two scrapbooks, one containing exclusively newspaper clippings about the project, in which students and other volunteers restored the Van Leer Cabin, located on the grounds of Conestoga High School. The project was undertaken in the years 1960-64. The second scrapbook contains a mix of clippings, printed matter, and photographs, assembled in a ring binder.

Walker Family Farm Accounts, for the years 1815-1845, and the Annie Potts Walker Diary, for the years 1897-1900.
Scope and Contents note

oth the account book and the diary have been transcribed. The transcriber prepared and included six pages of genealogy for the Walker family. At the back of the volume a letter written by Anna Davenport, dated Sept. 11, 1865, has been enclosed. See Davenport, above. The diary was transcribed and the text published in three articles in the History Quarterly, October, 1983, January, and July, 1984.

Wilds Family Papers.

Print, Suggest