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Special Collections: Guide to the Croswell Family Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department

October 2004

Introduction and Summary Information

Collection Title: Croswell Family Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1799-1921 (inclusive); 1825-1870 (bulk).
Provenance: Purchased in September 2001.
Collection Number: MS 782.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly new accession 2001-0913d).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one archival record carton of material (1 cubic foot).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and an acid-free box.
Preferred Citation: Croswell Family Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.


The collection contains business records of the Croswell family, long-time owners of a general store in Farmington, Maine.

Thomas Croswell moved to Farmington Falls in 1816 and opened the store, which continued in business until it was sold by Robert A. Croswell in 1958. Several generations of the Croswell family were involved with the store. Thomas Croswell’s sons, Andrew and Thomas, Jr., succeeded him in the business, with Andrew buying his brother’s share in 1887. Andrew operated the store until 1900 when his sons Ernest and Clyde took over. Ernest’s son Robert succeeded them and ran the store until it was sold in 1958.

Scope and Content Note

This small collection contains primarily financial records from the general store and memorandum books of a general nature or dealing with specific activities. Most of the materials are dated but only a few can specifically be identified as belonging to the Croswell family

The financial records of the store are found first in the collection and consist of daybooks of customer purchases, cashbooks, and store account books. Most date from the 1820’s or the 1850’s and 1860’s. The general memo books list financial transactions, goods and livestock bought and sold, and expenses of various aspects of doing business. The collection also contains a set of memo books listing cattle bought and sold, work done logging and hauling timber, work on a bridge, hauling other goods, and selling commodities such as hay or beans. The most complete are the cattle books, covering the 1830’s to the 1850’s, and recording the number and kind of cattle bought and sold and their costs Many of the entries refer to Brighton, presumably Brighton, Massachusetts, which with its weekly cattle market was one of the leading cattle centers in New England at this time.

An account book, 1799 to 1803, listing amounts due to James and Robert Gower of Farmington, is also found in the collection.Its relation to the Croswell family is unclear.

Box List

Box 1


1                      Daybook of customer purchases, 1825

2                      Daybook (no. 2), 1855

3                      Daybook, 1857

4                      Daybook of purchases, 1862-Jan. (?), 1865

5                      Cashbook, 1858 (?), 1868 (?)

6                      Cashbook, 1863-1865

7                      Cashbook, 1866-1878

8                      Cash rec’d, undated

9                      Acct. of T. Croswell, 1817

10                    Amounts paid, 1827-1828, 1834

11                    Store account book, 1855-1862

12                    Account book, 1856-1858

13                    Account book, 1857-1861

14                    Receipt books, 1871, 1882-1883

15                    Checks taken in, 1921

16                    Memo book, 1824

17                    Memorandum of a/c & notes due Sept. 1834

18                    Memo book, 1845

19                    Memo/account book, Farmington, 1846-1847

20                    Memo books, 1861-1862, 1866 (?), 1866, 1869

21                    Memo books, 1871-1872, undated

22                    Correspondence, miscellaneous documents, 1860’s-1880’s, undated

23                    Cattle books, 1820 (?), 1831-1834

24                    Cattle books, 1834-1837

25                    Cattle books, 1839-1841, 1843 (?), 1844, 1848

26                    Cattle books, 1851 (?), 1856 (?), undated

27                    Memo book, 1804-1805 (blacksmith?)

28                    Account of work on bridge, 1822-1825

29                    Diary of work done, 1834-1835 (logging and hauling timber)

30                    Hauling goods, 1849-1851

31                    Teaming book, 1868-1869

32                    Hay scales, 1858

33                    Beans, undated

34                    Thomas Croswell (medicinal recipes)

35                    Account book, 1799-1803, amounts due to James Gower and Robert Gower, Farmington

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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