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Special Collections: Guide to the Ring Family Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
February 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Ring Family Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1855-1971 (inclusive); 1879-1911 (bulk).
Provenance: The ledgers came to the Special Collections Department as part of the C.J. Dunn Collection..
Collection Number: MS 436.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly Ledgers R472, New Accession 20001115e).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one document box + seven ledgers.
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and an acid-free box.
Preferred Citation: Ring 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 Edmund T. Ring and scrapbooks documenting the career of his son, Edgar E. Ring, both of Orono, Maine.  
Edmund T. Ring was the son of George Ring of Orono. He appears to have operated a grocery store there and also operated a sawmill under the firm name E.T. Ring & Son.
Edgar E. Ring was born in Orono on May 15, 1849, and lived there for most of his life. He went to work in a sawmill after leaving school, became a school teacher for a while, spent a few years in the West, and then returned to work again in a sawmill. In his first business venture for himself, he bought a portable stave mill and went from place to place sawing staves. Edgar later acquired the whole interest in the mill owned by his father and ran it until about 1894. In 1895, with E. and J. Fred Webster he organized the company of Webster and Ring Manufacturing Company, which built and operated a pulp mill in Orono. He added lumbering to his operations, cutting large amounts of pulp and saw logs. He was also a member of the firm of White & Ring, grocers in Orono.
Governor John F. Hill appointed Ring to be State Land Agent and Forest Commissioner in 1901, a post he held for ten years. As Land Agent, he was especially active in promoting ways to protect the woods against fires. At his urging, a law was passed in 1903 which provided for a special forestry patrol to guard the woods and fight fires, the first such action in the country. Ring also used his position to promote Maine’s forestlands and their various uses.
After his retirement from public office, he became interested in the timberlands business. He formed the E.E. Ring Land Company in Bangor to engage in general real estate and buying and selling of all kinds of timberlands. George H. Hamlin was president and Ring was treasurer and general manager of the company. He was also president of the Maine Forestry Association for several years, and was a director of the Penobscot Lumbering Association, the West Branch Log Driving Association, and the Mattawamkeag Log Driving Association.
Edgar Ring died on June 13, 1927.
Scope and Content Note
The collection combines two accessions to Fogler Library of unknown provenance.

It contains a small number of ledgers primarily from the grocery business of Edmund T. Ring and two scrapbooks of newspaper clippings detailing the career of Edgar E. Ring, especially his tenure, 1901-1911, as Maine’s Land Agent and Forest Commissioner.
The ledgers are primarily daybooks, 1882-1889, listing groceries and dry goods purchased from E.T. Ring’s grocery business. Another ledger, 1875-1888, lists cash and credit sales. The journal, 1855-1862, also contains a section listing accounts, 1879-1881, of E.T. and E.E. Ring.
The scrapbooks of newspaper clippings from an unknown compiler give a detailed look at the press coverage received by Edgar Ring during his tenure as Land Agent. They contain information about passage of a law establishing a fire warden service as well as about numerous forest fires in Maine. The clippings also document Ring’s thoughts on the use of forestland for hunting and fishing and the need to protect the forests from various insects and other pests. Some information about the Ring family’s various businesses, as well as obituaries of Edgar Ring and other family members, is also included.
Box List
Ring Family Papers
1 Daybook, Orono, May 11, 1882-June 11, 1883
2 Daybook no. 2, June 11, 1883-May 24, 1884
3 Daybook 3, May 26, 1884-May 4, 1885
4 Daybook no. 4, E.T. Ring, May 4, 1885-Oct. 4, 1886
5 Daybook, Mr. E.T. Ring, Orono, Oct. 1, 1886-Apr. 5, 1889
6 E.T. Ring, Book 1st, cash and credit sales, 1875-1888
7 E.T. Ring journal, 1855-1862; E.T. & E.E. Ring to E.E. Ring, 1879-1881
Box 1
1 Scrapbook 1, 1890’s-1936
2 Photocopy of Scrapbook 1
3 Scrapbook 2, 1870’s-1971
4 Photocopy of Scrapbook 2 [Folder 1 of 2]
5 Photocopy of Scrapbook 2 [Folder 2 of 2]
6 Unidentified photocopies
Additions to the collection in 2011
8 Daybooks, E.T. Ring, 1884-1886
9 Ledger, 1882-1886 [general store]
10 Ledger, 1886-1889 [general store?]
11 Ledger, Daily record of sales, purchases, cash, receipts, expenditures, etc., 1886-1889
12 Ledger of credit and debit, 1871-1879 [sawmill?]

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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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
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