Scope and Contents
The O.C. Simmons Ledger Book dates from 1866-1867 and documents the invoice of the hardware store, owned by Orville C. Simmons, over the year. The opening cover of the ledger is dated January 1st, 1866. Paw Paw, Michigan during this time was described as “a flourishing incorporated post village” with a population of 1300, according to the Michigan State Gazetteer for 1863-1864. It also listed other businesses in Paw Paw during this time, such as flouring mills, saw mills, blind and door manufacturers, along with professions and trades, including Simmon, O.C. & Co., which was the hardware store of Orville C. Simmons and Alonzo Sherman. The ledger provides documentation of some of the items he sold, such as various tools, coffin screws, dowels and handles, display cases, copper boilers, blank keys, shotguns, rifles, bullet molds, powder flasks, oxbows’, otter traps, cutlery, pie and cake pans, skates, blacksmith tools, cowbells, corn huskers, whips and harnesses, and several other items. This overall gives a better insight into the past of Paw Paw, Michigan during this time.
The collection amounts to 0.05 cubic feet and is composed of one ledger book from 1866-1867 that is 12 x 7.5 and covered in blue marbled boards with black leather spine. It contains 120 pages, 94 of which have be written on. The edge of the pages also appear to have blue ink splattered on them, being visible along the sides of the ledger.
The cover has light wrinkling, rubbing, and small abrasions. The corners are also worn and the spine of the ledger is scuffed. The pages on the inside appear to be in decent shape, with minor smudging and staining on them.
Biographical / Historical
Orville C. Simmons was born in Vermont between 1827-1828, by his father Jerimiah H. Simmons, and his mother Sarah R. Simmons. Orville married his wife Margaret Simmons on December 4, 1851. Margaret was born in New York between 1829-1830. However, by 1861, Orville was listed as single, according to Van Buren’s 1863 Civil War draft records. Alonzo Sherman was born in Massachusetts in 1811, and married Eugenia T. Sherman, who was born in Maine in 1838. They had a son, Joseph Sherman, born in Michigan in 1869. According to the 1860 census, Orville and Alonzo, both listed as merchants, lived within 10 houses of each other and were also both listed under Orville’s business in the Michigan State Gazetteer for 1863-1864.