A chancery case from Frederick County looked like any other business dispute except for a unique item presented as an exhibit. Columbia Wagon Company vs. John G. Crisman & Company, etc., 1903-058, involved the bankruptcy of the Crisman Company and the efforts of its creditors to collect on the debts owed them. One of the many parties involved in the case submitted an exhibit of their showroom catalog of wagons and carriages. The Hughes Buggy Company’s catalog reads like a modern day sale brochure by any major auto company selling a Ford Fusion or Honda Civic. The wagons listed in the Hughes Buggy catalog have their own unique names and descriptions for their particular style. “The Physicians’ Phaeton” was a canopy covered carriage with large wheels having “1 inch tread” supporting its carriage described as ideally suited for the traveling doctor making house calls. The catalog offered customized color options with purchase of this new buggy.
Another style called “The Matchless No. 35” implies the manufacturing quality and customer appeal was second to none:
“This wagon is without a doubt the most popular vehicle built in the United States today. Every single item of material and workmanship is positively the very best that can be procured. Every known improvement is substituted in this carriage without additional cost.
The price includes Fnenuatic Tires, Wire Wheels,
The Library of Virginia, in partnership with the Frederick County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, is pleased to announce that the digitization of Frederick County’s historic chancery causes, 1860-1912, is now complete. Both the index and images are available to researchers via the Chancery Records Index on the LVA’s Virginia Memory site.
The Frederick County chancery collection covers the years 1745 through 1926 (with digital images posted from 1860 through 1912). The chancery, or equity cases, are a valuable source of local, state, social, and legal history and serve as a primary source for understanding a locality’s history. They often contain correspondence, property lists (including slaves), lists of heirs, and vital statistics that reveal details that help tell the story of Virginia. Cases contain useful biographical, genealogical, and historical information and document a broad spectrum of citizens—rich and poor, black and white, slave and free.
Frederick County Chancery Cause 1867-007, Administrator of Hiram A. Jordan vs. Margaret Swann, etc., tells the story of how prior to the Civil War, Catherine Jordan, a free African-American, purchased her husband, Sylvester, but never technically freed him, and their son who attempted to buy his wife. Chancery cause 1899-058, Board of Supervisors of Frederick County, etc. vs. City of Winchester, etc. chronicles a dispute over whether the city or the county controlled the court house property they … read more »
At the 24 February 1910, meeting of the Manchester Ordinance Committee, committee member W. W. Workman moved that the city auditor be requested to advertise for bids for tin wagon license plates. J. H. Gallagher, house and sign painter, submitted his bid for the job by letter declaring he would do the job at 5 cents per license for the year 1910. Included with his letter were two identical samples of his work. Measuring 2 x 7 inches, the tin signs are painted a dark yellow with black numbers and red letters. The initials l.H.W. possibly mean licensed hack wagon, while C.M. surely stands for the City of Manchester.
The following meeting of the Ordinance Committee was held on 23 March 1910, when Mr. Broaddus moved that the bids for the license plates be laid on the table until the next meeting. Unfortunately for Mr. Gallagher and any other bidders, no one was to receive the job. The City of Manchester was annexed to the City of Richmond in April 1910.
The original licenses and the Ordinance Committee Minute Book, 1904-1910, are available on microfilm.
-Sarah Nerney, Senior Local Records Archivist