A Guide to the

Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society Collection

Collection Number SC 2095

Compiled by: Sandra Joyner & Don Lambert, April, 1987

Revised by: Cara Lundgren, 2014

Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society Collection

Collection No.: SC 2095

Creator: Many and varied, Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society collected all of these papers

Extent: Five Hollinger boxes and one flat box

Language: English

Abstract: This collection consists of approximately 1,700 items, in five Hollinger boxes and one flat box, and covers the dates 1740-1950. The collection is comprised of a very wide variety of legal, governmental, business, school, and church records, as well as personal papers, all primarily from the Central Shenandoah Valley (Rockingham, Shenandoah, Augusta, and Page Counties). Most are originals, but some photocopies are included.

Administrative Information


Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk. (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society collection, 1740-1950, SC 2095, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: This collection was compiled from many boxes of miscellaneous papers placed on deposit at the Library by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.

Scope & Content: This collection consists of approximately 1,700 items, in five Hollinger boxes and one flat box, and covers the dates 1740-1950. The collection is comprised of a very wide variety of legal, governmental, business, school, and church records, as well as personal papers, all primarily from the Central Shenandoah Valley (Rockingham, Shenandoah, Augusta, and Page Counties). Most are originals, but some photocopies are included.

The Legal/Governmental Documents Series includes summonses, road documents, juror lists, delivery bonds, papers from the Sheriff's Office and the Circuit Courts of Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties, CSA Telegraph Reports, postal accounts, and miscellaneous other official reports, claims, applications, etc.

The Business/Institutional Documents Series includes church histories and other church documents, school catalogs, slave purchase documents, records of Cootes' Store, and other miscellaneous business papers which are not related to families, such as the merger of the News Register Co. and Rockingham Publishing Co. Significantly there is a complete issue of the Rockingham Weekly Register from April 26, 1828, that is not extant elsewhere.

The Individual/Family Documents Series contains deeds and indentures; letters; receipts; promissory notes and other financial papers, including those related to family businesses; certificates; and miscellaneous other documents. Of particular interest are the Harrison and Lincoln family folders, which include several noteworthy deeds; and the Winfield family folder, which includes several items relating to the Civil War.

Organization: Most of the papers were received in no order. A few packets were labeled with family names. The documents were sorted into the following series and sub series:

Documents are arranged chronologically within folders, except in the Miscellaneous folders of the Individual/Family series, where they are filed alphabetically.

Abbreviations:  TM = typed manuscript.

Related Material

Travel Journal 1858, Harrisonburg, Virginia (1858), CALL # BX8495.N48 1858, Carrier Library Special Collections, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, 22807.


Series 1: Legal and Governmental Documents                                                              Box: Folder

Account book, J. H. Shue, Clerk of Circuit Ct. 1875-1881, 1 item.                                               1:1

Applications to create voting precincts, 1922, 2 items.                                                                   1:2

Applications for soft-drink licenses, 1916-1931, 78 items.                                                             1:3

Appointments to office, 1876-1887, 7 items.                                                                                    1:4

Arrest warrants, 1890-1920, 6 items.                                                                                                                 1:5

Articles of agreement, 1861 Militia draft substitute agreement, 1821-1894, 11 items.           1:6

Black voters, Rockingham County, 1902-1903, 1 item.                                                                   1:7

Complaints of illegal sales of poison, 1906-1907, 14 items.                                                            1:8

Complaints to the court, 1778-1825, 5 items.                                                                                    1:9

Court Actions: court decisions and grand jury presentments, 1779-1897, 7 items.                  1:10

Courthouse and Public Square;                                                                                                               1:11

- papers dealing with the building of a new courthouse, 1832-1838, 12 items.

Court Petitions, 1798-1899, 5 items.                                                                                                                 1:12

CSA Military telegraph reports, 1864; Confederate Bonds, 1864, 5 items.                                1:13

Debt contracts, 1797-1907, 19 items.                                                                                                  1:14

Delivery bonds, 1844-1893, 90 items.                                                                                                 1:15

Inquests, 1790-1823, 10 items.                                                                                                              1:16

Jail: Reports on the condition of the jail, 1824-1916, 3 items.                                                       1:17

Juror lists. See also Oversize Series. 1871-1902, 63 items.                                                              1:18

Lawsuit: Haga vs. Bradley.                                                                                                                       1:19

-Article of agreement and depositions concerning this lawsuit. 1829-1835, 13 items.

Licenses:                                                                                                                                                       1:20

-To sell merchandise, keep private entertainment, practice as physician or attorney, operate as daguerrian artist, 1929 list of stills. 1760-1929, 53 items.

Oaths of office, 1779-1893, 7 items.                                                                                                      1:21

Pleas of the Commonwealth, 1855-1860, 7 items.                                                                             1:22

Postal accounts, Parnassus, Va. 1875-1881, 25 items.                                                                     1:23

Assessments of Clerks of the Court, 1880-1914, 93 items.                                                             1:24

Civilian Defense, 1941-1944, 1 item.                                                                                                     1:25

Box 2

Series 1: continued                                                                                                                    Box:Folder

Prohibition petition, 1914, 1 item.                                                                                                         2:1        

Promises to pay, 1817-1910, 28 items.                                                                                                2:2

Receipts & applications for business charters, 1875-1903, 51 items.                                         2:3

Records & claims against estates, 1792-1890, 9 items.                                                                    2:4

Recognizance bonds, 1883-1889, 50 items.                                                                                          2:5

Recognizance bonds, promises to keep the peace, 1890-1897, 77 items.                                    2:6

Road documents. See also Oversize Series. 1793-1927, 57 items.                                                 2:7

Summonses and subpoenas, 1801-1930, 36 items.                                                                            2:8

Tax Data. See also Oversize Series. 1801-1861, 4 items.                                                                 2:9

Miscellaneous legal documents:                                                                                                              2:10

Claims, judgments of court, deposition notice, program from dedication

ceremony of W. G. Myers Armory. 1797-1954, 6 items.

Series 2: Business and Institutional Documents

C&W Railroad Company. See also Oversize Series. 1895, 3 items.                                              2:11

Cootes' Store: legal & financial records, 1857-1923.                                                            2:12

Cootes' Store Horse Co. ledger, 1911.                                                                                                  2:12.5

Cootes' Store: charges, receipts, 1839-1898.                                                                                        2:13

Cootes' Store: Post office records, 1866-1895.                                                                                  2:14

Cootes' Store: Bark business, 1890-1892.                                                                                            2:15

Currency: Bills issued from banks and counties. 1860-1861, 2 items.                                         2:16

Gilbert, Felix. Extracts by Warren Skidmore from Account book, 1768-9.                                 2:16.3

Harrisonburg Chamber of Commerce, 1925-1944.                                                                             2:16.5

Mossy Creek Iron Works, 1801, 1 item.                                                                                              2:17

Rawley Springs Tonic Water Co., 1896, 3 items; Rawley Springs Turnpike Co., 1890, 1 item    2:18

River Bank Bridge Co., 1867, 3 items.                                                                                                 2:18.5

Rockingham Thespian Society, 1866, 1 item.                                                                                    2:18.7

Telephone companies:                                                                                                                              2:19

-Receipts from Harrisonburg Mutual Telephone Co.; by-laws of Page Co. Telephone Company. 1902-1904, 3 items.

General Church documents:                                                                                                                      2:20

Contains und. TM "Some Old Churches of Rockingham& Neighboring Counties" by Ruebush & Wayland; M. E. Church S., Rockingham Dist. Steward's Bk. 1884; 1911 Rockingham Sunday School Association Constitution; [Peaked Mountain Church] list, 1920. 1884-1920, & und.,4 items.

Box 3

Series 2: continued                                                                                                                    Box:Folder

Trustees and officers of churches, 1875-1918.                                                                                   3:1

Church histories and directories, 1927-1950:                                                                                     3:2

- Cook's Creek Presbyterian, 2 booklets, 1927, 1951; Hebrew Friendship congregation, booklet 1952, TM [1950?]; Methodist Church of Dayton, booklet 1951; Mt. Hebron, booklet 1950; Port Republic Methodist Church, booklet 1957; New St. Stephen's Reformed Church, booklet 1941; Trissels Mennonite Congregation, TM 1950. 

School documents:                                                                                                                                      3:3

-Catalogs from Girls' Home School, Prospectus for Industrial School at Massanetta Springs, Program from McGaheysville H. S., Teacher's District Meeting, Timberville, 1908 program. 1889-1926, 5 items.

Mossy Creek Academy                                                                                                                            3:4

- Lists of subscribers, Constitution (with transcription). [1850?], 5 items.

Slave Purchase Documents, 1794-1825, 3 items.                                                                               3:5

Miscellaneous business documents, 1816-1919:                                                                                3:6

1901 timber contract; 1816 & other sale notices; 1843 Elk Run tent holders agreement; subscription form, Golden Horseshoe Tavern, Elkton; 1855 Rockingham Mutual Fire Ins. Co. policy for A. Sprinkel; 1913 (?) merger of News Register Co. & Rockingham Pub. Co., Account with J.P. Houck; Minute book of Weyers Cave Telephone Exchange, 1898-1952; Receipts of P.H. Myers; 29 items.

Series 3A: Individual and Family Documents
Note: See also cross index for particular names

Basford, Thomas.                                                                                                                                       3:7

Includes summonses, tax data, and business accounts. 1868-1874, 8 items.

Conrad, Edward.                                                                                                                                         3:8

Contains deeds & plat for downtown Harrisonburg; other deeds; & receipt for Valley Telephone Co. shares. See also Folder Con-1 Oversize. 1895-1908, 12 items.

Crawford, William.                                                                                                                                     3:9

Contains tax information. 1867-1877, 13 items.

Eversole Family.                                                                                                                                         3:10

-Contains letters; road tax toll; RR stock receipts; & misc. 1832-1879, 70 items.

Gaither Family.                                                                                                                                           3:11

-1834-1907, 25 items.                                                                                                  

Garber Family.                                                                                                                                            3:12

Includes tax data, muster fines, tax paper for the Confederacy, and receipts from shares of stock. 1834-1886, 5 items.

Gibbons Family.                                                                                                                                         3:13

-Contains letters written by Mary Gibbons, including 1 dated 20 June 1862 describing battles of Pt. Republic & Cross Keys. 1838-1895, 17 items.

Harrison Family.                                                                                                                                         3:14      

-Includes an indenture that transferred land from T. Harrison to Rockingham County for a courthouse. 1779-1831, 3 items.

Harnsbarger Family.                                                                                                                                   3:15

-Indentures, surveys. 1815-1824, 6 items.

Kemper Family.                                                                                                                                          3:16

-Letters, mostly written to Fanny Kemper before Civil War. 1843-1862, 34 items.

Kite, Joseph H. Bankruptcy papers.                                                                                                                 3:17

-1873-1875, 30 items.

Koontz, John.                                                                                                                                                           3:18

-Includes 1812 grant to land where Koontz built the house later occupied by Lincoln's. See also Oversize Series. 1805-1832, 24 items.

Lincoln Family.                                                                                                                                           3:19      

-Includes land indentures and typescript of genealogy. See also Oversize Series. 1780-1831, 6 items.

Martz Family.                                                                                                                                                          3:20

-Business letters from E. R. Shue, F. H. Bowman, etc. and letter to Hiram Martz commenting on politics and the recent elections. 1840-1914, 31 items.

McGahey Family.                                                                                                                                      3:21

- Letters, deed, survey, & appraisal of estate of Tobias R. McGahey, 1845; blacksmithing accounts; 1862 note from John Letcher; 1884 note from J. R. Jones; churn patents, & misc. 1809-1944, 45 items.

Box 4

Series 3A: continued                                                                                                               Box:Folder

Miller Family.                                                                                                                                             4:1

-1837-1882, 6 items.

Morrison Family.                                                                                                                                       4:2

-1876-1898, 12 items.

Nicholas Family.                                                                                                                                         4:3

-See also Oversize Series. 1839-1843, 5 items.

Reherd, William,                                                                                                                                         4:4

-1834-1881, 17 items.

Roller, John Edwin.                                                                                                                                    4:5

- Letters; description of military drill; tax receipts & other business papers. 1846-1908, 55 items.

Senger, Daniel.                                                                                                                                            4:6

-1899-1905, 5 items.

Shacklett Family.                                                                                                                                        4:7

-Letters. 1834-1872, 65 items.

Shacklett & Gibbons.                                                                                                                                  4:8

-Invoices. 1855-1858, 16 items.

Shacklett & Others.                                                                                                                                    4:9

-Invoices. 1827-1888, 57 items.

Showalter, Jacob.                                                                                                                                        4:10

-Includes 1840 indenture of John Showalter; other docs. relevant to estate of Jacob. 1826-1876, 31 items.

Shue, J. H.                                                                                                                                                     4:11

-3 Confederate bills; docs. relating to Shue estate. 1864-1886, 15 items.

Spader, John, and relatives.                                                                                                                      4:12

-Deeds, loan bonds. 1866-1917. Ca. 12 items.

Winfield Family.                                                                                                                                         4:13

-Includes many documents relating to the Civil War, business documents, indenture for servitude of a free boy of color. 1823-1944, 37 items.

Zirkle, Crawford.                                                                                                                                        4:14

-1865-1876, 11 items.

Box 5

Series 3B: Miscellaneous Families

A-C                                                                                                                                                                 5:1
D-G                                                                                                                                                                 5:2

H-K                                                                                                                                                                 5:3
L-Q                                                                                                                                                                 5:4
R-Z                                                                                                                                                                 5:5

Flat Box                                                                                                                                         Box: Folder

*All items located in same flat box unless otherwise noted.

Series 4A: Oversize Legal and Governmental Documents

Assessments of clerks of the Court, 1880-1914, 8 items.                                                                Flat:1

Public road papers, 1794-ca.1870, 4 items.                                                                                          Flat:2

Reports of business of the Courts, 1883-1914, 35 items.                                                                Flat:3

Tax Data, 1833, 1 item.                                                                                                                            Flat:4

Miscellaneous legal documents:                                                                                                              Flat:5

Series 4B: Oversize Business and Institutional Documents

Folder 6 C&W Railroad Company (1 page from Bridgewater Herald Sept. 14, 1895 [map drawer]), 1895; complete copy of April 26, 1828 issue of Rockingham Weekly Register, 2 items.

Church documents, 1794, 2 items.                                                                                                         Flat:7

Series 4C: Oversize Individual and Family Documents

A-G                                                                                                                                                                 Flat:8
H-K                                                                                                                                                                 Flat:9
Folder 10 L-R (several large items in map drawer including a March 19, 1777 deed between Michael Bowyer and Sebastian March in Augusta County, in the Colony of Virginia.)
S-Z                                                                                                                                                                  Flat:11
Folder Con-1 Oversize

Series 4D: Oversize Maps, and miscellaneous

Folder 12 Plat of Hall lands, Harrisonburg 1883, 1 item. (map drawer)

Himmelsbrief, Rockingham County ca. 1800, 1 item.                                                                      Flat:13