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Charles S. Horn ledgers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Charles S. Horn was born in Dover, Delaware in March of 1860. The son of carriage builder Charles W. Horn and Emma Matilda (Jones) Horn, he graduated from high school in Wilmington in 1878. Upon graduation, he formed the Diamond Printing Company with Harry Billany. The company remained in operation for ten years, at which time, Horn relocated to Rehoboth Beach. Horn had first visited Rehoboth as early as 1882 to spend summer vacations. He married Anna T. Ritchie in the early 1880s and had three sons: William A. Horn (1885-1970), Albert Egmont Horn (1890-1949), and Charles S. Horn, Jr. (1899-1975). Of his children, only Charles S. Horn, Jr. played an active role in his father's various business dealings.

Upon arrival in Rehoboth, Horn pursued numerous business opportunities. In 1892, he constructed one of the first cottages at the beach located on Baltimore Avenue. Horn's first significant business venture, constructed in the late 1880s, was an emporium to be located on a pier extending into the ocean from the foot of the existing boardwalk. The emporium became known as Horn's Pavilion and included a recreation room, dance hall, and theater. During this time, Horn expanded his business domain to include a complete line of novelty items, such as post cards and other souvenirs, to be sold in his store, a motion picture theater, and a roller rink. The store was destroyed twice by storms and following a storm in 1914, was torn down. Horn proceeded to move his emporium into space already occupied by a motion picture theater and roller rink located at 5 and 7 Rehoboth Avenue.

Horn's involvement in the community of Rehoboth Beach was not simply that of a businessman. He also served as tax collector, was an officer of the local Chamber of Commerce, president of the New Rehoboth Bath and Tennis Club, member of the Improved Order of Red Men and the Free and Accepted Masons, and was director of the Lewes and Rehoboth Building and Loan Association. Horn died in 1938.

Charles S. Horn, Jr. Interview with David G. Menser, August 6, 1968. MSS0 179, Robert H. Richards, Jr. Delaware Oral History Collection.Bevan, Wilson Lloyd ed., History of Delaware Past and Present, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York: 1929. Vol. IV pp. 337-338."Rehoboth Beach facts and figures" Retrieved February 5, 2005 from Additional biographical information derived from the collection.

The Charles S. Horn ledgers contain two ledgers, correspondence, a certificate of incorporation, and a payroll book. The two ledgers document the sales and income of Horn's numerous business investments. One spans the years 1902 until 1913. The second repeats the material but also continues to record entries until July of 1927. These ledgers contain cash sale records of total amount grossed, total number of sales, total sales of candy, soda, ice cream, and later, jewelry. Income received from the roller rink and the motion picture theater is also recorded. Both ledgers note payroll expenses and employee schedules. Notations regarding the weather are included, as are notations related to dances held and group excursions, all of which had a direct impact on sales. The second ledger, while recording the same information as the first, is a more complete record of the progress of Horn's various business interests and of the Rehoboth Beach area as a vacation destination. The earliest years represented in the ledgers indicate that the vacation season began around the middle of May and ended around the middle of September. By 1927, the last year denoted in the ledger, the vacation season had expanded considerably to include the months of April through November.

Also included in the collection is a payroll book that covers the period of 1908 to 1912. The book notes employee's names, schedules, and wages. The correspondence consists of a letter from James G. Horn to the Secretary of the State of Delaware inquiring about the status of the certificate of incorporation for the Rehoboth Pier and Improvement Company, established by Charles S. Horn in 1904 and a reply stating that the certificate had lapsed and the corporation was voided by the governor in 1908. An original copy of the certificate of incorporation is included. Also among the correspondence is a letter from the Captain of the Corps of Engineers dated November 1904, acknowledging that he had inspected the pier and it met government specifications.

Item 0074: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0096

Purchase, 2005

Processed by Theresa Hessey, February 2005. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, October 2019.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2019 October 10
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Ledger 1, 1902-1913.
Box 1 Volume 1
Scope and Contents

Includes daily records of total gross, total sales, income from candy, and income from soda. Also included are income from various other forms of recreation operated by Horn including a pool hall, dances, a punching bag, scales, and a barber. Additional information is recorded such as the coming and going of employees and notes on weather which affected sales. Of particular interest is a note regarding a fire that occurred on August 16, 1912 and which destroyed the Horn home at 10 Baltimore Avenue and portions of a casino for a loss totally $5000. Laid in to the ledger is letterhead from

Delaware Farm and Home, an agricultural publication. On the verso are figures of total income from the months of June through September from 1902 until 1911. Also laid it is a note related to the fire of August 16, 1912 and the storm of December 4, 1914, which precipitated the tearing down of Horn's Pavilion in addition to two other miscellaneous notes and sales figures.
Ledger 2, 1902-1927.
Box 1 Volume 2
Scope and Contents

Contains comparisons of daily cash sales for the months of June through September from 1902 until 1906. Beginning in 1907, total daily sales are recorded by month with separate entries for income from a pool hall, "Jap store," and moving picture theater. Income from dances and other forms of recreation are also noted within the ledger. By 1909, Horn's business had expanded and entries were made for additional sources of income such as slot machines, a roller rink, and a drug store. Beginning in 1913, notations were made on the weather, employees, and other occurrence that directly impacted sales figures.

Payroll Book, 1908-1913.
Box 2
Correspondence and Certificate of Incorporation, 1904-1961.
Box 3

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