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Corbett & Stuart Records

Corbett & Stuart Records

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Guide to the Corbett & Stuart Records


New York State Historical Association - Research Library
Special Collections
P.O. Box 800, 5798 State Highway 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-1470

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-01-18T15:03-0500

Repository: New York State Historical Association - Research Library
Title: Corbett & Stuart Records
Dates: 1850-1960
Quantity: 79.0 cubic feet + 144 volumes + 9 oversize folders (OVS+)
Funding Source:This finding aid was made available electronically through a Regional Bibliographic Data Bases (RBDB) grant from the South Central Regional Library Council, Ithaca, N.Y.
Identification: Coll. No. 19
Language: English

Scope and Content Note

The Corbett & Stuart business records contain correspondence between the two business partners, M.J. Corbett and J.L. Stuart, and with the company managers, in particular, M.C. Stuart (Corbett, N.Y.), George C. Craver (Wells, Michigan), and Miss Wheeler (Binghamton office). The collection includes correspondence with, and receipts from, Corbett & Stuart factory foremen. It also includes correspondence regarding Corbett & Stuart's investments in other businesses, such as the Binghamton Felting Co., Central Colorado Power Co., Clawson Chemical, Harwood Charcoal Association, and the First National Bank of Binghamton.

Other types of records in the collection are store receipts, ledgers, production contracts, orders for supplies/materials, "running reports" from company managers and factory foremen, wood and lumber transactions, freight business, investment concerns, bank reports, taxes, insurance, forest land real estate, personnel issues, and annual/monthly reports.

Additionally, there are business transactions with the railroads and other companies. Among the most frequent are the following: Erie Railroad; New York, Ontario & Western Railroad Co.; Pennsylvania Railroad Co.; Pittsburgh, Shawmut & Northern Railroad; Delaware and Eastern Railroad; Dickson & Eddy; W.A. Case & Son; E.I. Dupont de Nemours; Wm. S. Gray & Co.; Manufacturers Charcoal Co.; Struthers-Wells; Shawmut Coal and Coke; National Wood Chemical Association; and United Wood Alcohol.

Along with business records, the collection contains personal papers (ca. 1824-1960) of Corbett and Stuart family members, including Charlotte [Stuart] Bowen, John Leonard Stuart, John Leonard Stuart, Jr., Merritt Corbett Stuart, and Julius Smith Corbett, along with estate papers.

The original order of the business records has been maintained as far as possible. Material from 1900-1909 was carefully scrutinized and ordered. Material after 1909 was simply transferred from original files to acid free folders. Brackets around folder descriptions indicate contents are not a part of original arrangement. A strict chronological order was imposed on these scattered papers. In some instances, material was interfiled with later business records. This material can be identified by typed labels.

Series Descriptions

Series 1. Letters, Receipts, Orders, Freight Bills, and Other Records. Boxes 1-3. 1824, 1851-1934.

Primarily letters and receipts, arranged chronologically by year. Orders, freight bills, and other records are interfiled by year.

Series 2. Receipts. Boxes 4-18. 1900-36.

Chronologically arranged - irregular time frames used (e.g., Oct. 1915 - June 1916, June - Nov. 1916, Dec. 1916 - July 1917). Certain years are further subdivided alphabetically. Additional receipts are scattered throughout the collection.

Series 3. Letters. Boxes 19-40. 1906-1947.

Letters are primarily incoming, although there is some correspondence between Corbett and Stuart in Boxes 24 and 27. Chronologically arranged - irregular time frames used. In some instances, files are further subdivided alphabetically. Letters from John A. Roebling's Son Company are in Box 37; drawings are in oversize folder 19.006. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1915-36, is in Box 40. Personal correspondence is in Boxes 63-66.

Series 4. M.J. Corbett & Company. Boxes 41-43. 1905-1909.

Primarily folders containing letters and receipts, arranged chronologically - irregular time frames used. In some instances, files are further subdivided alphabetically. See also St. Mary's (in Box 50) and Account Books.

Series 5. Charcoal Mill. Boxes 44-45. 1915-1931.

Contains mostly letters, arranged chronologically - irregular time frames used. See also Account Books.

Series 6. Milanville Chemical Company. Boxes 46-48. 1908-1928.

Letters, receipts, operating reports, payrolls, and other records, arranged chronologically - irregular time frames used. Additional material relating to Milanville is in Box 50. See also Account Books.

Series 7. Delta Chemical Company. Boxes 48-50. 1916-1927, 1944.

Letters, statements, hardwood distillation tests, and other records. Includes material from the Milanville Chemical Company and J.L. Stuart. Arranged chronologically - irregular time frames used.

Series 8. Railroad Tariffs, Lime Test Reports, St. Mary's Records, Price Quotations, and Orders. Box 50. 1912-1922.

Series 9. Manufacturers Charcoal Company. Boxes 51-52. 1908-1932.

Miscellaneous contents, arranged chronologically - irregular time frames used. See also Account Books.

Series 10. William S. Gray & Company. Boxes 53-55. 1908-1934.

Miscellaneous contents, arranged chronologically - irregular time frames used. Freight bills from Gray & Co. are in Box 57. Letters to Julius S. Corbett from Gray & Co., 1893, are in Box 65.

Series 11. Binghamton State Hospital. Box 55. 1908-1924.

Primarily reports. M.J. Corbett was manager at one time.

Series 12. Freight bills. Boxes 56-57. 1910-1922.

Arranged chronologically by year. 1893 and 1894 freight bills are in Box 65.

Series 13. Reports. Boxes 57-58. 1906-1922, 1940-1946.

Includes government reports, expense reports, monthly reports, annual reports, annual statements, logging prices and statistics, and wood/lumber payroll reports. Arranged by type of report and then chronologically by year. See also Account Books for monthly reports and account summaries.

Series 14. Employee records. Boxes 58-60. 1898-1899, 1920-1925.

Includes payroll records - primarily of Harvard and Trout Brook Works - workman's compensation records, time/pay records, and teamster daily sheets. Arranged by record type and then chronologically by year. Wood/Lumber payroll reports are in Box 58. See also Account Books.

Series 15. Contracts, Insurance, and War Industrial Board Claims. Box 61. 1800-1935.

Contains land and timber contracts, mortgages, and bonds, arranged chronologically by year. Insurance policies are arranged alphabetically by name of company. The War Industrial Board material contains damage claims against the U.S. government.

Series 16. Tax records. Box 62. 1920s - 1950s.

Records arranged alphabetically by name of town. Includes Towns of Andes, Colchester, Hancock, Hardenburgh, Middletown, Tompkins, Walton, and miscellaneous. Assessment records for the Towns of Conklin, 1874-76, and Broome, 1875, are in Box 65. See also Account Books (19.v135).

Series 17. Stuart papers. Boxes 63-64. 1877-1950.

Includes the papers of Charlotte (Stuart) Bowen, J.L. Stuart, J.L. Stuart, Jr., and M.C. Stuart. Arranged alphabetically by name of family member and then chronologically by year. Additional Stuart family papers are in Box 66. Checkbooks/bankbooks are in Boxes 74-76. See also Account Books.

Series 18. Julius S. Corbett Papers. Box 65. 1840s - 1899.

Primarily letters and receipts, arranged chronologically by year. Includes Town Supervisor records, 1868-1877; assessment records, 1874-1876. See also Account Books (19.v95, 19.v96, 19.v143).

Series 19. Corbett and Stuart Family Papers. Box 66. 1865-1912, 1923.

Family and personal letters of members of the Corbett and Stuart families, arranged chronologically by year.

Series 20. Corbett and Stuart Family Estate Papers. Box 66. 1857-1868, 1931-1955.

Includes J.L. Stuart estate, Stuart estate, Sewell Corbett estate, and Corbett Trust Fund. Arranged by estate and then chronologically by year. Bankbooks/account books for estates are in Box 76. See also Account Books (19.v41 and 19.v77).

Series 21. Corbett & Stuart Store Records. Boxes 67-69. 1921 - 1960s.

Primarily sales slips. Sales slips for 1926 were apparently arranged by name of customer. Arrangement has not been maintained. 1914 inventory for store, and order books, 1914-23, are in Box 77. See also Account Books (19.v136).

Series 22. Advertising. Box 70. ca. 1890-1920.

Includes trade cards, circulars/price lists, and trade catalogs. Arranged roughly by type.

Series 23. Publications, Receipts, Liberty Loans, Compensation, and Other Records. Box 71. 1857, 1883-1938.

Series 24. Stocks and Bonds. Box 72.

Includes bonds from Colorado, Wyoming & Eastern Railway Company; Chicago, Rock Island, Pacific Railroad. Stock certificates for Binghamton Felting Company, 1901-06, are in Box 75.

Series 25. Checkbooks and Cancelled Checks. Boxes 72-75. 1855-1951.

Includes personal and business checkbooks and checks. Cancelled checks are arranged roughly by year; checkbooks are unarranged. See also Account Books, Cash and Check Records.

Series 26. Bankbooks / Account Books of Small Size. Box 76. 1850-1955.

Sorted roughly by family or business. Includes business and personal accounts of John L. Stuart, Corbett & Stuart, Stuart estate, etc. See also Account Books.

Series 27. Corbett & Stuart Store Order Books. Box 77. 1914-1923.

Sorted roughly by year. Includes 1914 inventory of store. See also store records in boxes 67-69 and Account Books (19.v136).

Series 28. Record Books of Small Size. Box 78. 1903-1942.

Sorted roughly by type of record book. Includes time books, freight car books, wood inventories, yard books, woodlot books, chopping books, and wood-cutting books. See also Account Books.

Series 29. Empty envelopes. Box 79.

Series 30. Account Books. 144 volumes. 1851-1955.

This series has been divided up into the following subseries:

Subseries 1. Cash and Check Records. Volumes 1-41. 1888-1890, 1912-1934, 1947-1955.

Subseries 2. Journals and Cash Records. Volumes 42-55. 1892-1934.

Subseries 3. Accounts Payable. Volumes 56-75. 1913-1922.

Subseries 4. Bank Balances. Volumes 76-78. 1925-1944.

Subseries 5. Trial Balances. Volumes 79-82. 1902-1923.

Subseries 6. Ledgers (Business): Expenses / Assets / Accounts. Volumes 83-94. 1899-1928, 1939-1949.

Subseries 7. Individual and Wood Accounts. Volumes 95-117. 1851-1930.

Subseries 8. Ledgers (Individual). Volumes 118-123. 1912-1926.

Subseries 9. Shipping Records. Volumes 124-128. 1898-1934.

Subseries 10. Farm Journals, Grinder Records, Time Books, and Other Record Books. Volumes 129-144. 1881-1929.

Series 31. Maps and Plans. 9 folders (OVS+). 1809, 1860-1924.

Contains survey maps / plats, which are divided into two groups: "Primarily Delaware County" and "Hardenburgh Patent." Includes a copy of an 1812 copy of "Map of the West part of the Great Lot No. 5 Hardenburgh Patent, ... Belonging to the Heirs of James Sesbrosse(?) Esqr., Surveyed and laid into farms Now and formerly, 1809."

Also contains a highway survey map series, mechanical drawings, and bridge construction plans from John A. Roebling's Sons Co. See Box 37 for letters regarding bridge construction.

Biographical/Historical Note

Corbett & Stuart manufactured wood distillation products - acetate of lime, charcoal, wood alcohol, etc. The firm's main office was in Binghamton, N.Y.

Sewell Corbett (1785-1852) was a farmer and the owner of a saw mill, a grist mill, a foundry, and a general store in Corbettsville, N.Y. Julius Smith Corbett (1831-1899), only son of Sewell Corbett, ran his father's various businesses until 1881, when he moved to Binghamton. With John Emmons, V. Mandville, and Mr. Nitckee, Julius Corbett established a wood chemical plant in Livingston Manor, N.Y. Julius Corbett later began building a plant in Rockland, N.Y., which his son Merritt John Corbett (b. 1865) completed in 1885 and operated for a short time (1887?). Julius and Merritt Corbett also purchased a plant in Sherman, Pa. (Sherman Manufacturing Company).

In 1887, Merritt Corbett took his brother-in-law, John Leonard Stuart, on as a partner. The firm of Corbett & Stuart began operations at Harvard, N.Y. In 1889, they built another wood chemical plant at East Branch, N.Y. (Morris Brook Works). In 1891, they built a plant at Peaksville, N.Y. (Trout Brook Works). The plant at St. Mary's, Pa. (M.J. Corbett & Co.) was built from 1897 to 1898. In 1911, a plant at Corbett, N.Y. (Corbett & Stuart) was built. In 1912, a plant at Milanville, Pa. (Milanville Chemical Co.) was purchased. Refining plants for the manufacture of acetone, formaldehyde, and pure methyl alcohol were built at St. Mary's and at Wells, Michigan (Delta Chemical Co.) from 1914 to 1915.

Corbett Family History

Robert Corbett

Married Elizabeth Daniel (April 5, 1769)

Children: Asapah; Ede; Pruda; Puah; Pruda; Ruby; Ruth; Eve; Sewell; Cooper; Warren

Sewell Corbett (Feb. 26, 1785 - Feb. 24, 1852)

Married Chloe Smith (1822)

Children: Julia Ann; Amanda; Ruby Cornelia; Julius Smith; Julia Ann Elizabeth; Amanda Jane; Sarah; Sewell; Myrtis Chloe

Julius Smith Corbett (Nov. 22, 1831 - March 7, 1899)

Married Emma Ruth Grimes (Oct. 4, 1858)

Children: Nettie Eloise; Julia Alice; Merritt John

Nettie Eloise (Corbett) Stuart

Married John Leonard Stuart

Children: see Stuart line

Julia Alice (Corbett) Craver

Married Melvin C. Craver

Children: George; Emma Ruth; Helen Louise

George Craver (mgr. of Delta Chemical)

Married Ida Cary Sisson (May 4, 1919)

Emma Ruth (Craver) Reynolds

Married George A. Reynolds, Jr. (Oct. 21, 1915)

Children: Dorothy Louise; Robert Craver

Helen Louise (Craver) Harris

Married Robert Elmer Harris (June 14, 1921)

Merritt John Corbett (May 3, 1865- )

(1) Married Julia Morgan (April 30, 1890)

Children(adopted): Catherine; Morgan

(2) Married Alice Mitchell

Child: Nancy (Stepdaughter)

Stuart Family History

John A. Stuart (from Scotland)

Married Charlotte Knight

Children: sons include John Leonard

John Leonard Stuart

Married Nattie Eloise Corbett (Feb. 28, 1883)

Children: Charlotte Emma; Merritt Corbett, John Leonard (also called Leonard John)

Charlotte Emma (Stuart) Bowen (1885-1966)

Married John Thomas Bowen (Aug. 12, 1919)

Merritt Corbett Stuart (1887-1978)

(1) Married May Bruce (June 23, 1922)

Children: Janet, Charlotte, Lillian, Elizabeth

(2) Married Dorothy Altman (June 2, 1947)

Children (stepsons): Peter; William C.

John Leonard Stuart

Married Bula Fuller


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