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Title: West Virginia General Store Daybook

Collection Date(s): 1879-1880

Extent and Forms of Material: .15 cubic foot (1 box)

Creator: [L.L. McCrum], store owner

Abstract: A daybook from a general store in Aurora, West Virginia.

Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 202-633-3270

Collection Number: AC0142

Processing Note: Original finding aid prepared by Grace Angle, (volunteer), 1986.



Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.

Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, West Virginia General Store Daybook, 1879-1880, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXX.



Administrative/Biographical History: This ledger is the day book of a general store in West Vriginia. Though not unquestionably identified as to owner or location, internal evidence points to L.L. McCrum, whose first name was probably Lloyd, as the owner, and to Aurora, West Virginia, as the location of the store. An occasional page in the day book is headed “Aurora, West Virginia” in addition to the date. There are also occasional notes addressed to “L.L. McCrum”, headed “Aurora, West Virginia”. These ask that merchandise or cash be provided to the bearer and billed to the signer of the note. At least one is addressed to “Lloyd McCrum”.

Scope and Content: Entries in the daybook begin on September 3, 1879 and end on December 22, 1880. The store seems to have provided for most of the needs of the community. It acted as a post office, selling stamps, envelopes and stationery; as a bank advancing cash and adding the amount to the customer’s account; as a pharmacy, supplying medicines; a book store for school texts; a hardware store; a dry goods store and clothing store. There is an entry for an organ and another for violin strings. There are transactions relating to game, for example, venison, wild turkey, and pheasants.

Food entries include such items as sugar, salt, tea, coffee (both green and roasted), chestnuts, eggs, potatoes, rice, mustard, honey, spices, and beans. Muslin, cambric, calico, flannel, needles, and thread appear frequently as do ready-to-wear clothing such as hats, shoes, boots, undershirts, men’s suits and overalls. Entries indicate a steady business in tobacco and snuff. Hardware entries include such items as lamp globes, linseed oil, coal oil, cartridges, shot, tacks, nails, screws, hinges, plow points. Spirits of camphor, castor oil, paregoric and seidlitz powders are among the medicines.

County accounts are entered by number, are for higher amounts than most of the individual accounts, and are not broken down by items. There are occasional entries authorized for individuals by the overseer for the poor. There are a number of entries for amounts owed to James Trotter for hauling from the railroad. Most entries are written in ink. A few are in pencil. All are legible.

System of Arrangement: The collection is arranged into one series.

Acquisition Information: Former National Museum of American History curator Richard Ahlborn purchased the ledger from an antique dealer in Charleston, South Carolina. The collection was transferred from the Division of Community Life to the Archives Center in 1997.

Access Points:

McCrum, L.L.
McCrum, Lloyd

General stores


Container Listing





Series 1, Daybook, 1879-1880













Revised: July 12, 2010