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Loar Family Collection

Descriptive Summary
Title: Loar Family Collection

Span Dates: 1830-1939

Bulk Dates: 1830-1903

ID No: Ms2013-097

Donors: Margaret and Jerry Clark

Extent: 1 box (Ms2013-097) containing 36 8X14 folders, 6 books; 100+ photograph negatives (Ph2013-097)

Language: English

Repository: West Virginia State Archives, Charleston, WV

Abstract: Correspondence, writings, business papers, and financial and legal papers documenting the business, land and family life of Loar family members from Wayne County, West Virginia

Administrative Information
Provenance: The papers of the Loar family were given to the West Virginia State Archives by Margaret Clark.

Transfers: Printed materials listed at the end of this finding aid were transferred to the State Documents Collection or to the Archives and History Library.

Preferred Citation: [item, collection number], Loar Family Collection, West Virginia State Archives, Charleston, WV.

Biographical Note: The collection is primarily the business papers of Wayne County, WV, resident, Harmon Loar and his family. Harmon Loar was born ca. 1822, in Wayne County, Virginia (later WV), to Peter and Elizabeth (Artrip) Loar. The Loar family conducted business there starting in the 1830's and continued until the 1930's. Harmon was active in various business ventures until his death on October 22, 1892 of a fever. Harmon Loar's business dealings included shipping and receiving hardware, food and seed stock via the Big Sandy River. Much of his business included shipping agricultural products, for area farmers, to markets on the Ohio River. In return, many of the area families relied on Harmon's suppliers for many of the farm tools and luxury items they needed. Harmon was also involved in the timber industry of the Big Sandy valley, serving both as a timber dealer and saw mill owner to area residents. Involvement in the timber industry infers involvement in land speculation; Harmon dealt in land throughout his life, primarily on Hurricane Creek and Tabors Creek, eventually controlling several thousand acres.

Scope and Content Note: The papers of the Loar family span the years 1830 to 1939, with the bulk dating to the 1830-1890 period. The collection consists primarily of correspondence, business papers, business and personal letters, and financial and legal papers and is organized chronologically by subject, with oversized materials separate. The collection is organized into the following groups: land documents; deeds and agreements, personal property tax slips, bank documents, cash receipts and accounting slips, personal and business letters, orders and delivery receipts for food and hardware, miscellany, oversized and bound. Receipts for accounts owed, legal documents and business documents and other documents relating to the various business interests comprise a large portion of the collection. Materials vary according to business, although receipts and orders constitute the bulk for nearly all and include letters both to and from the business. For the Loar family business a large portion of the receipts are accounts payable receipts stating that certain amounts of money was owed to Harmon Loar or that Harmon owed a certain amount to the bearer. Another important type of receipt contained in the collection is personal property tax receipts. These receipts document the amount of taxes paid on land and slaves. There are numerous receipts from and to various Loar family members; James, Peter, Jr., Harmon B., and Oliver Loar. Hardware and materials along with food and seed orders and deliveries are another part of this collection. Many of these documents are bills of lading and delivery receipts of the steamboat and railroad companies. Other documents are orders from various merchandising firms that filled orders for the Loar family and their customers. Bound volumes consist of two account record books listing various accounts, three scrap books with various artworks and post cards along with one scrap book containing articles from various area newspapers from the 1870's to the 1880's, one copy of Collier's Cyclopedia of Commercial and Social Information, published 1886, and one minute book of the Cassville (Fort Gay) Sunday School, December 10, 1876 to October 2, 1881.

Contents List:
Folder 1: Agreements and leases, 1833-1891. 29 items.
Folder 2: Bank deposit slips and payments, 1875-1903. 108 items.
Folder 3: Company information and product flyers, 1875 and 1885. 2 items.
Folder 4: Cash receipts, 1830-1849. 91 items.
Folder 5: Cash receipts, 1850-1892. 153 items.
Folder 6: Church records, 1870-1882. 4 items.
Folder 7: Court records; suits, retainers, summons, estate listings, will bonds and miscellaneous, 1831-1901. 59 items.
Folder 8: Land records; receipts, fees, attorney correspondence and miscellaneous, 1835-1874. 51 items.
Folder 9: Land deeds and grants, 1844-1884. 30 items.
Folder 10: Federal Internal Revenue Tax, 1866. 1 item.
Folder 11: Correspondence and receipts of Grand Army of Republic (GAR) and Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 1899-1937. 3 items.
Folder 12: Personal property tax slips, 1830's. 18 items.
Folder 13: Personal property tax slips, 1840's. 19 items.
Folder 14: Personal property tax slips, 1850's. 24 items.
Folder 15: Personal property tax slips, 1860's. 8 items.
Folder 16: Personal property tax slips, 1870's. 19 items.
Folder 17: Personal property tax slips, 1880's. 9 items.
Folder 18: Personal property tax slips, 1900's. 2 items.
Folder 19: Letters; business and personal, 1857-1930. 43 items.
Folder 20: Registered letter receipts, 1870-1899. 22 items.
Folder 21: Militia muster fine receipt, 1852. 1 item.
Folder 22: Newspaper subscription receipts, 1859-1901. 4 items.
Folder 23: Orders and deliveries, food items, 1868-1892. 19 items.
Folder 24: Orders and deliveries, hardware and nonfood items, 1869-1891. 42 items.
Folder 25: Receipts for foodstuffs, various individuals, 1840-1883. 8 items.
Folder 26: Timber rafting; laborers accounts, date uncertain. 2 items.
Folder 27: Receipts; various customer accounts, lists of items purchased, 1832-1890. 27 items.
Folder 28: Receipts; various students' tuition, 1842-1855. 6 items.
Folder 29: Surveys; notes, maps and descriptions, 1845-1890. 6 items.
Folder 30: Timber orders and correspondence, 1874-1885. 12 items.
Folder 31: Miscellaneous; remnants and scraps of various documents.
Folder 32: Small pocket account books, 1869-1875. 4 items.
Folder 33: Land warrant; John Ross, 50 acres on Big Sandy River, 1818. 1 item.
Folder 34: Deed; Commonwealth of Virginia to Robert Tabor, Big Sandy River, 1801. 1 item.
Folder 35: Letters regarding death and estate of John Frazier (Fraser, Frasier, Frazier) in Auburn, Missouri, 1838. 3 items.
Folder 36: Copy of an agreement; Harmon Loar selling slaves to Dr. Cushing, 1857. 1 item.

Books: 2 ledger books, 2 scrap books, 1 book of clipped newspaper articles and 1 Sunday school association minute book.

Photograph negatives (moved to Ph2013-097)

Manuscript Collections

West Virginia Archives and History