A Guide to the Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933

Collection Number SC 0129


Compiled by Jere Suter, March 1991

Edited July 2008

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933

Collection No.: SC 0129

Creator: Varner Family

Extent: 1 box, .4 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: The Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933, documents the Varner family of Page County, Virginia with particular emphasis on correspondence, legal and financial documents, and documents relating to their distillery business.

Administrative Information


Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.
Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have 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: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], Varner Family Papers, SC 1774-1933, SC 0129, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.
Acquisition Information: This collection is on deposit from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.
Processing Information: In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 3035.

Bio/Historical Note: The Varner family of Page County, Virginia was of German descent, and their name appears as early as 1801 on records of the Antioch Christian Church near Stony Man Creek, Virginia.

Despite wide-spread anti-liquor sentiment in the Shenandoah Valley in the nineteenth century, the Varners operated a distillery. Documentary evidence of the business begins in 1869 and includes state permits to distill, Internal Revenue "Distillery Gauger" forms, and several orders for brandy.

Scope and Content: The Varner Family Papers, 1774-1933, document the Varner family of Page County, Virginia with particular emphasis on correspondence, legal and financial documents, and documents relating to their distillery business.

Series 1: Letters, 1816-1910, contains documents from relatives of the Varners in the Midwest and from other family members within Virginia. Most of these documents date from the latter half of the nineteenth century. In general these letters discuss health, the weather and farming; however, there are several accounts relating to the Civil War and its devastating effects on the family.

Series 2: Legal Documents, 1774-1931, contains a thorough collection of tax receipts dating from 1803-1930; several papers pertaining to John Varner's duties as an executor; a folder of receipts for various financial transactions; and, among other papers in the miscellaneous folder, a Confederate States of America Bond.

Series 3: Distillery Papers, 1869-1893, contains documents related to the Varner's distillery business in Luray, Virginia. Despite wide-spread anti-liquor sentiment in the Shenandoah Valley in the nineteenth century, the Varners operated a distillery. Documentary evidence of the business begins in 1869 and includes state permits to distill, Internal Revenue "Distillery Gauger" forms and several orders for brandy.

Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three series:


Series 1: Letters, 1816-1933
Series 2: Legal Documents, 1774-1931
Series 3: Distillery Papers, 1869-1893

Bibliography:
Strickler, Harry M. A Short History of Page County Virginia. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, Inc., 1952.

Lambert, Darwin S. The Undying Past of Shenandoah National Park. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, Inc., 1989.

Contents:

Series 1: Letters, 1816-1910 Box:Folder
Letters from Virginia, 1816-1865 1:1
Letters from Virginia, 1866-1933, undated 1:2
Letters from the Midwest, 1840-1869 1:3
Letters from the Midwest, 1870-1910, undated 1:4
Series 2: Legal Documents, 1804-1931  
Tax Receipts, 1804-1930 1:5
Executor Documents, 1822-1836 1:6
Financial Documents, 1807-1931, undated 1:7
Miscellaneous Documents, 1774-1910 1:8
Series 3: Distillery Papers, 1869-1893  
Distillery Papers, 1869-1893 1:9