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Special Collections: Guide to the Wakefield Family Papers

Wakefield Family Papers
Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
January 2004
 
Introduction and Summary Information
 
Collection Title: Wakefield Family Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1868-1962 (inclusive); 1884-1940 (bulk).
Provenance: The Wakefield Family Papers came to the Special Collections Department as a gift from David Smith in 1968.
Collection Number: MS 609.
Box Numbers: 1-2 (formerly Cage Boxes 14-15).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one archival record carton and one document box of material (0.4 cubic feet) + two ledgers.
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.
Preferred Citation: Wakefield 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.

Biography
 
The collection contains the business records of Orick (O.H.) Wakefield and his son, Ralph J. Wakefield. The Wakefields were residents of Lowell, Maine.
 
O.H. Wakefield was a son of Elbridge G. Wakefield, who came to Lowell from Steuben, Maine, in 1855 and a few years later purchased a mill and mill site on the Passadumkeag River in Lowell. The Wakefields milled grain and corn meal and manufactured lumber, shingles, lath, spools and spool bars. O.H. Wakefield’s letterhead later lists him as a dealer in long and short lumber. O.H. Wakefield operated this mill until approximately 1910. He also owned a grocery store in Lowell.
 
O.H. Wakefield married Helen E. Douglas of Lincoln and had two children: Ralph J. and Harrison P. He served on the Board of Selectmen in Lowell in 1881 and 1882 and was postmaster at East Lowell. He was also a master of Horeb Lodge F. & A.M. and a master of Eskutassis Grange, Patrons of Husbandry.
 
O.H. Wakefield died in 1917.
 
Ralph J. Wakefield, born in Kingman, Maine, came to Lowell with his father as a child and lived there for the rest of his life. He was educated at Beal Business School in Bangor. He and his father operated sawmills together, and Ralph continued to saw lumber and shingles until the 1940’s. He was also involved in cutting and selling pulpwood. In 1919, he bought a rafting wedge business in Lowell. A letterhead from 1923 lists him as a manufacturer of Penobscot rafting wedges, long lumber, shingles and spool stock. He held many public offices in Lowell, including First and Second Selectman, Town Treasurer, Town Clerk, and Superintendent of Schools; his service extended through six decades, from 1892 to 1952. He also served as chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee for Lowell in 1918.
  
Scope and Content Note
 
The Wakefield family papers contain primarily the business records of O.H. Wakefield and his son, Ralph J. Wakefield, and reflect their involvement in the lumber business in Lowell, Maine.
 
The papers are arranged in two series: Papers of O.H. Wakefield and Papers of Ralph J. Wakefield. There are no sub-series.
 
The papers of O.H. Wakefield consist mainly of financial records, especially daybooks, 1884-1917, of activities in the general store and the lumber business. Ledgers, 1878-1890; a lumber book, 1879-1899, of lumber cut and sawed; and a memo book of spool bar accounts reflect Wakefield’s primary occupation.
 
The papers of Ralph J. Wakefield are more extensive and focus primarily on his activities in buying lumber and selling lumber products. The series opens with information about Wakefield’s assets and accounts, tax information, and leases and legal documents, 1920-1947. A section of correspondence, 1920-1945, follows. Correspondents include N.C. Fogg, Bangor, dealers in lumber, box shooks and pulpwood; Penobscot Snow Shoe Co., Milford, Maine; Johnson Lumber Co., Manchester, N.H.; and Old Town Canoe Co., Old Town, Maine. The letters discuss the needs of the companies for various wood products, the availability of these products, prices, etc.
 
A group of invoices, 1917-1949, contains bills to Wakefield for groceries, dry-goods, mill and lumbering supplies, machinery and equipment. Files of equipment catalogs contain information on a variety of mill and lumbering machinery and supplies. Daybooks and ledgers, 1904-1912, provide financial information about both the general store and the lumbering business. Files of lumber accounts and scalers’ reports contain primarily Wakefield’s notes about his lumber business.
 
The series ends with miscellaneous printed material belonging to Ralph Wakefield, most concerning the lumber business.

Box List
 
Please note: All items without a folder number and designated as Ledger are kept in wall storage area.
 
Series I: Papers of Orick (O.H.) Wakefield
 
Box 1
 
Folder
 
1 Goods and cash received; account of time sawing spool wood;
account of spool timber sent to mill; account of shingles sent to Enfield station, 1868-1878
2 Daybook, 1884 [general store and labor]; daybook, 1884-1893 [general store and lumber]
3 Daybook of general store purchases, 1898-1901
4 Daybook, 1898-1907 [general store and lumber]
5 Daybook of purchases, 1901-1905 [general store and lumber]
6 Memo and daybook, 1909-1917
7 Grocer’s books, 1902-1908, 1912-1915, H.P. Wakefield in account with O.H. Wakefield
8 Invoices, 1910, H.P. Wakefield
9 Ledger, 1878-1890 [general store and lumber]
10 Lumber book, 1879-1899 [ledger of lumber cut and sawed]
Ledger Account book, lumber, 1892-1912
11 Memo book of spool bar accounts, 1893
 
Series II: Papers of Ralph J. Wakefield
 
12 Legal documents, leases, etc., 1920-1947
13 Statements of assets, 1922-1923
14 Tax receipts, 1921-1928, 1950
Ledger Account information, 1931-1942
15 Correspondence, incoming, at Orono Pulp & Paper Co., 1920, 1921
16 Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1922-1923
17 Correspondence, incoming: Lane Manufacturing Co., specifications proposal, 1922
18 Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1924-1926
19 Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, 1927-1945
20 Invoices, correspondence, etc., 1917-1920
21 Invoices, 1920-1922
22 Invoices, 1920-1925
23 Invoices, 1922-1924
24 Invoices, 1924-1925
25 Invoices, 1926-1949
26 Equipment catalogs, etc.
27 Equipment catalogs, etc.
28 Memo book, 1899-1920
29 Grand Falls Dan Co. ledger: merchandise and labor, 1904-1905; daybook of general store purchases, 1926-1928
 
Box 2
 
1 Daybook, 1904-1906, for orders at general store; ledger of spool bars shipped, 1909-1912; record of Liberty Bond subscribers, 1917-1918
2 Lumber accounts, 1924-1940
3 Lumber accounts, 1924-1940
4 Scalers’ reports, logging notes, etc., 1924-1938
5 Time books, 1903, 1916, 1938-1939
6 Miscellaneous materials of town clerk
7 Merchant’s guide for the practical departments of Bangor Business College, 1891
8 The Wood-worker, Vol. XXVI, no. 12, Feb., 1908
9 The Disston crucible: a magazine for the millman, 1913-1927
10 Newspaper clippings: South Paris village by Earle R. Clifford, 1961-1962

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 spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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