McElroy family collection on Tri-County (Pa.) history
Held at: Tri-County Heritage Society [Contact Us]P.O. Box 352, Morgantown, PA, 19543
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Tri-County Heritage 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
Walter (1903-1993) and Esther (Kline) (1903-1992) McElroy were school teachers and longtime residents of the Tri-County Pennsylvania area, where northwestern Chester, southeastern Berks, and northeastern Lancaster counties converge. The McElroys were interested in the local history and families of the this area and they collected materials throughout their lifetimes pertaining to the Tri-County area and its prominent individuals and families, including the Ames and Plank families.
Thomas Parke McElroy (1883-1955) was born in Churchtown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to William White McElroy (1849-1911) and Mary Elizabeth Townsend McElroy (1860-1954). Thomas Park McElroy married Mabel Iola Potts (1882-1960), the daughter of David Potts (1847-1897) and Catherine M. Liggett Potts (1846-1912) in 1901.
William Walter McElroy (1903-1993) was born in 1903 in Knauertown, Warwick Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania to Thomas and Mabel McElroy. William was more commonly known by his middle name, Walter. Walter worked as a school teacher in the 1930s and married Esther M. Kline sometime between 1940 and 1948.
Martin C. Kline (1862-1948), son of German immigrants John C. Kline and Caroline Marquette, worked several years at Berks County prison. He married Ella F. Bixler (1871-1936) in 1891 or 1892. Esther Kline McElroy (1903-1992) was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 1903 to Martin C. Kline and Ella F. Bixler and grew up in the Morgantown area of Caernarvon Township. Esther worked as a school teacher at Elverson Elementary School and married school teacher Walter McElroy sometime between 1940 and 1948.
Walter and Esther McElroy were both interested in the local history and families of the Tri-County area, where northwestern Chester, southeastern Berks, and northeastern Lancaster counties converge in Pennsylvania. They collected materials throughout their lifetimes pertaining to these areas and its prominent individuals and families, including the Ames and Plank families. The Plank family has been active in the Tri-County area since the 19th century. J. Howard Ames (1858-1924) was a well-known blacksmith in Morgantown, Berks County in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Blacksmith Sands Richard spent many years working in Ames' blacksmith shop. J. Howard Ames married Anna "Annie" Mary Watters (1858-1921) and they had one son, Arthur L. Ames (1882-1904), who died at the age of 21.
McElroy family collection on Tri-County (Pa.) history, circa 19th century-1960s, consists of materials related to the history, people, businesses (and other topics) of Berks, Chester, and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania. The materials were collected by William Walter McElroy (1903-1993) and his wife, Esther Kline McElroy (1903-1992), longtime residents of the area, and include subject files, newspaper clippings, printed matter, original artworks, photographs, and other materials.
The subject files are organized alphabetically and cover topics relating to Berks County and nearby areas. Topics include businesses, cemeteries, churches, historic sites, industry, obituaries, organizations, prisons, schools, towns and townships, transportation, undertakers, and other subjects. There are several folders of genealogy research for prominent families in Berks County. The materials in the subject files varies, but files can include photographs, printed matter and publications, newspaper articles, manuscript materials (especially financial receipts and letters), printed histories of area, and other materials. Other materials in the collection include a land survey, several receipts for fuel (coal) delivered by William McCord from A. A. Geiger General Merchandise in Joanna, PA, circa 1930s-1940s, money orders, and other documents.
The newspaper clippings relate to the families, local area, and history of Berks County. There are several clippings pertaining to Caernarvon Township (Berks County), antiques, and Berks County prison, where Esther Kline McElroy's father, Martin C. Kline (1862-1948), worked. Another portion of clippings are of the daily syndicated poetry column "Sketches" by Ben Burroughs, a Philadelphia-area man who wrote poems in his spare time.
Printed matter in the collection includes pamphlets and other materials related to farms, travel postcards, antique auction programs (many from Pennypacker Auction Center), and other materials.
Original artworks in the collection include artwork by various students of Esther Kline McElroy, a sketchbook (circa 1891) and some other materials from local resident Arthur Ames (1882-1904), and other artworks, including a watercolor.
Photographs in the collection include images of groups and individuals and local scenery, including Elverson Methodist Church, neighbors and acquaintances of the McElroys (some group portraits), homes, people, and school classes and reunions from Elverson Elementary and Morgantown School. There is a family album with images of a farm and six slides from travel. There are some boxes with photographs in them. Subjects depicted in the photo boxes include the McElroy's family home, Morgantown post office, scenes from the Morgantown and Joanna, PA area, local reverends, people from prominent Berks County families, and other topics. Also in the collection are some tintypes, as well as stereographs of people, farms, houses, animals, and nature.
Gift of Esther and/or Walter McElroy estate, circa 2000
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2014-2016 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 Tri-County Heritage Society directly for more information.
- Tri-County Heritage Society
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu and Anastasia Matijkiw 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 Tri-County Heritage Society for information about accessing this collection.