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Fort Smith ledger book

Fort Smith ledger book

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Finding aid for the Fort Smith ledger book

BC.MSS.07.39

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700
arkinfo@cals.org

May 5, 2016



Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Central Arkansas Library System. Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Title: Fort Smith ledger book
Dates: 1882-1918
Quantity: 1.5 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains a ledger book from a mercantile business that operated in the area of Fort Smith, Ark., and related documents.
Identification: BC.MSS.07.39
Language: English

Arrangement

This collection is contained in one box.


Scope and Contents

This collection contains a ledger book from a mercantile business that operated in the 1880s in the area of Fort Smith, Ark., and in what is now Le Flore County, Oklahoma. Related items and background research material are included in document folders.


Historical Information

This ledger book covers principally the years 1882 to 1886, with a few later entries, for a general mercantile business that operated in the area of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and in the eastern areas of the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. While the business is not named, it is believed that the records belonged to David R. Welch and his son James C. Welch.

David Robert Welch, who lived in Sevier County, Ark., before the Civil War, settled in the area of Brazil Creek in the Choctaw Nation of the Indian Territory in the early 1870s. He established a store at Brazil Station, which was an important supply depot on the Fort Smith to Fort Towson Road. In addition, he had about 300 acres under cultivation. His son James joined him in about 1882. James Welch later opened a store in Hackett City, in Sebastian County, Arkansas, south of Fort Smith. This ledger book may have covered transactions at both business locations.

Although in many cases the location for the account holder is not given, locations identified include Brazil Station, Skullyville, Oak Lodge, and other places in the Choctaw Nation, as well as Fort Smith, Arkansas, and St. Louis, Missouri. Transactions recorded include such things as the sale of general dry goods and groceries, purchase and subsequent sale of hides, the processing of cotton, and the purchase of cotton bales. Entries show that the merchants frequently accepted payment in livestock, which they then sold. One loose document records the January 27, 1888, purchase of lumber by M. Kayser from Welch and Alexander, Brazil Station, C. N. An abstract of the account holders' names is included with the background research.

David Welch died in 1892, and is buried in Le Flore County, Oklahoma. In about 1901, James Welch moved from Hackett City to Muskogee, Oklahoma, where he became a prominent merchant.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Brazil Station (Indian Territory)
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Fort Smith (Ark.)
Hackett City (Ark.)
Mercantile system -- United States -- History
Skullyville (Indian Territory)
Welch, David R., 1838-1892
Welch, James C., 1861-1920?

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Fort Smith ledger book, MSS.07.39, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Purchased, August 8, 2007


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