Wilson, John W. Collection, 1766-1963

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Summary Information

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Wilson, John W.
John W. Wilson Collection
Collection No.:
SC 0122
2 boxes, .39 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
This collection is comprised of a variety of documents, including letters, deeds, indentures, receipts, and accounts, all relating to Jacob Bear, Benjamin Graves, Jacob Sipe, and the Dean (Deane, Deen) and the Harnsberger family.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], John W. Wilson Collection, 1766-1963, SC 0122, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Biographical / Historical

The Mount Vernon Iron Furnace was located in Brown's Gap, Virginia, and was started by the Faussett family. It was built in 1848 and was operated by the Miller family, John F. Lewis, and a variety of others until 1878.

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Scope and Content

The John W. Wilson Collection, 1766-1963, consists of a variety of documents (receipts, deeds, accounts, and letters) relating mostly to Jacob Bear, Benjamin Graves, Jacob Sipe, and the Dean (Deane, Deen) and Harnsberger (Hansberger) families of Rockingham, Madison, Orange, and Augusta counties, Virginia from 1766 to 1963. Of particular interest are the 1842 Elk Run Class Book; the 1858-59 Housekeeping Book, which lists household and farm items needed for life at the time; and accounts of the Mt. Vernon Iron Works (Rockingham County) from 1878-1879.

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This collection is arranged chronologically with oversize documents housed together.

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Administrative Information

Revision Description

Revised by Alicia Henneberry September 2013

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Conditions Governing Use

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).

Acquisition Information

Donated by John "Bill" Wilson Jr. of Port Republic, Virginia in December 1995.

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 3012.


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms


  • Bear, Jacob
  • Bear, Jacob -- Wills
  • Graves, Benjamin
  • Sipe, Jacob
  • Baer family
  • Baer family -- Correspondence
  • Graves family
  • Graves family -- Correspondence
  • Sipe family
  • Sipe family -- Correspondence
  • Dean family
  • Dean family -- Correspondence
  • Harnsberger family
  • Harnsberger family -- Correspondence
  • Mt. Vernon Iron Works (Rockingham County. Va.)
  • Elk Run class book
  • Rural families
  • Iron industry and trade -- Virginia
  • Housekeeping -- Sources
  • Home economics -- Accounting
  • Home economics -- Equipment and supplies
  • Farm management -- Sources
  • Slave bills of sale
  • Business -- History -- Sources
  • Estate planning
  • Trust indentures
  • Deeds of trust
  • Deeds -- Virginia
  • African Americans -- Virginia
  • Real property -- Virginia
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Madison County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Orange County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Augusta County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Surveys

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Wayland, John Walter. A History of Rockingham County, VA. Ruebush-Elkins Co.: Dayton, VA, 1912.

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
1787-1827, 1787-1827 box 1 folder 1
Two wills of Jacob Bear, 1787, 1827
Two account pages of B. Graves with J. Brock, 1800-1801
Land survey for Margaret Sipe by Joseph Mauzy, 1813
Purchase of dower right of land of widow of John Mungeo by Henry Mungeo, 1814
Distillery tax bill of Benjamin and John Graves, 1814
Page of purchases by Benjamin Graves of Simeon Graves, 1815
Notice of land sale (fragment), signed Tho. Eddins and Benjamin Graves, 1816
Notices (7) of property auction of Wm. Collins, deceased, of Orange County, 1816
Indemnification of B. Graves and T. Eddins as Adm. of Wm. Collins estate, 1816
Indenture for land to Jacob Runkle by George Cook, 1817
Receipt for board and tuition, B. Graves, 1818
Joel Banks promises to pay B. Graves, 1820
Summons for Richard Kinse[y?], 1820
Letter from R. Kinsey to B. Graves re: tobacco, 1823
Letter from R. Kinsey to B. Graves re: deed of trust, 1824
Letter from George McClammer to B. Graves re: money owed, 1827
Land rent agreement between Paul Lingle and Wm. Johnson, Rockingham County, 1827
1830-1848, 1830-1848 box 1 folder 2
Appointment of attorney by Joseph Haynes, re: estate of Geo. Berry, Rockingham County, 1830
Appointment of attorney by Lewis Berry, 1834
Letter from Elizabeth Hopkins to parents in Harrisonburg from school in Mt. Airy, Va., 1838
Henry Keneagy of August County promises to pay Jacob Sipe, re: blooms of iron, 1840
Indenture for land to C. Yancey and J. Conrad by G. Blankenbaker, 1841
Agreement between Wm. Harper and J. Sipe, 1842
Elk Run Class Book (photocopy), undated
Receipt of payment by J. Sipe, 1842
Receipt of payment by J. Sipe, 1843
J. Sipe promises to pay Isaac Hardesty, 1844
Letter to Francis J. Hopkins from her sister, 1845
Letter to J. Sipe from John Haven re: will, 1846
Testimony concerning will of Margaret Sipe, 1847
Appointment of attorney Thomas King of Augusta County by Peyton Stanforth of Ohio, 1847
B&O RR Co. receipt for 60 barrels flour from W. Harper, 1847
Letter to J. Sipe from Eli Cook re: check, 1848
Deed for land sold to T. Carpenter by J. Sipe, 1848
1851-1963, 1851-1963 box 1 folder 3
Receipt of payment from J. Sipe, 1851
Letter to J. Sipe from John Hour, 1852
Agreement to sell land between A.W. Hudson and C.B. Yancey, 1852
"T.K. Harnsburger's Book", listing housekeeping and farming articles bought, 1858
Land plat of John Deane, 1861
Letter to Bettie from Frannie [Hopkins?], 1863
Deed dividing land among Dean family, 1866
Deed for land to John Dean by Morgan Dean, 1870
Letter to B. Graves from S. Graves re:money, 1878
Letter to B. Graves from son A. Graves re: Mill Farm Seminary, 1879
List of articles sold from J. Harnsbarger estate, Elizabeth Harnsbarger estate (photocopy), 1880, 1884
Deed for land to T. Dean by John Dean, 1881
Receipt of Payment from T. Dean, 1882
Letter to W.R. Grains from T.K. Harnsberger re: land, 1894
Extract from letter to Gen. J. Roller from W.E. Barry, Texas Scout, re: Civil War Story, 1907
Letter to Thos. K. re: graduation (written on Randolph-Macon Monthly, Ashland, VA letterhead), 1910
Letter to C. J. Harnsberger from C. Bryant re: genealogy, 1915
A Brief Narrative, written for his grandchildren, by Lunsford L. Lewis, photocopy, 1915
Bills (3) of F.H. Blackburn at Root Gen'l. Merchandise, 1916
Harnsberger family newsletter with genealogical notes, 1963
Oversize materials, 1766-1879
Deed of Land to John Garth, 1766 box OV 1 folder 1
Indenture (fragment) between J. Maggott and H. Powel, 1804 box OV 1 folder 1
Land petition on dispute between C. Fudges and Adam Hansberger, 1808 box OV 1 folder 1
Survey of disputed land between S. Conrad and J. Harnsberger, 1819 box OV 1 folder 1
Deed for land of James Deen, 1827 box OV 1 folder 1
Deed (fragment) for land to E. Hansbarger by P. Parratt, 1833 box OV 1 folder 1
Accounts of Mt. Vernon Iron Works, 1878-1879 box OV 1 folder 1
Deed for land of T. Deane, 1885 box OV 1 folder 1