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Jackson Forge Mining Company ledger book

Identifier: RHC-150

Scope and Contents

Ruled ledger book, 406" x 181 mm. 451 pages, bound in full leather. Manuscript entries in black ink from June 1853 to January. The account ledger shows expenses after the merging of two companies: the Jackson Iron Mine of Jackson, Michigan, and the Sharon Iron Company of Sharon, Pennsylvania. The merger took place around 1852. Expenses are shown in detail for the company and include food, lodging and business expenses, such as shipping and laying plank for roads and railroads. Many employees and payments are listed. The first treasurer of the Company, Philo M. Everett is listed multiple times, as well as "JBC" or Joel B. Curtis, the president of the Sharon Iron Co. Other names mentioned throughout the ledger include: David Himrod, who may have been the keeper of the account book, his name appears as receiving and paying-out cash, and Samuel Kemble, the superintendent of the Sharon Iron Company. The bulk of the entries are listed under the Sharon Iron Company and also show payments to the Cleveland Iron Company. Headings at the top of the pages are mostly Marquette [Michigan] but the last few pages are headed "Erie" [Pennsylvania?] and "Waterford" [Pennsylvania?]


  • June 1853 - January 1856


Access to the Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

The collection is the physical property of Grand Valley State University, but all literary rights are retained by the original creators of materials, their estates, heirs, or third parties. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure appropriate permissions for publication beyond the bounds of fair use.

Historical Note

The Jackson Iron Company began in 1845 in Jackson, Michigan with Abram V. Berry as president and Philo M. Everett as treasurer. In 1847 the company organized men and machinery, began taking ore out of the mine, and constructed the Carp River Forge. In 1850 the company was in a precarious financial position, and after numerous problems the company gave up operation of their forge on the Carp River and leased the forge out and stopped mining. But production at the mine soon resumed and the company began utilizing the Marquette Forge. They also started shipping some iron ore directly. The first shipment of five tons went to New Castle, Pennsylvania. The purity of the ore attracted the attention of Joel B. Curtis, president of the Sharon Iron Co., who then traveled to Michigan to inspect the mining operation. Liking what he saw, he purchased a controlling interest in the mining company, and for some years the Jackson location was known as "the Sharon."

More detailed history of the Jackson Iron Company, its subsidiaries, and other early Upper Peninsula mining companies can be found in T.B. Brooks, Iron-Bearing Rocks (Economic) of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (New York: J. Bien, 1873) [Geological Survey of Michigan, vol.1, pt.1: Upper Peninsula, 1869-1873]; and A.P. Swineford, History and Review of Copper, Iron, Silver, Slate and Other Material Interests of the South Shore of Lake Superior (Marquette, Mich.: The Mining Journal, 1876).


1.5 Linear feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The ledger was purchased from Jordan Antiques & Antiquarian Books (Dorset, Vermont) on 3 December 2018.

Special Collections and University Archives
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States