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Cassopolis Store Ledgers Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3337

Scope and Contents

According to the book, History of Cass County, Michigan (Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1882), Charles Kingsbury, born in Massachusetts in 1812, had a dry goods store in Maine and came to Cassopolis to visit his brother Asa in the fall of 1837. He decided to stay here and went into the dry goods business with his brother that year and continued until 1857. Joseph K. Ritter, born in Berrien County in 1829 and came to Cassopolis in 1851 and work in the dry goods business for the next ten years. From 1851 until approximately 1855 Joshua Lofland, Henly C. Lybrook and G.C. Jones were his partners under the name J.K. Ritter & Co. He worked along from 1855 until 1858 when he was joined with B.F. Beeson for the next three years. Ritter worked in the dry goods business again from 1865 until 1875. Ritter was married in 1856 to Amanda F. Kingsbury, daughter of Asa Kingsbury and niece of Charles.


  • Creation: 1852-1860



0.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is composed of two store ledgers dated 1852-1855 and 1859-1860 both from dry goods stores in Cassopolis, Cass County, Michigan.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to .25 cubic feet and is composed of two ledgers. The oldest is 13 ½”x9” and is from Charles Kingsbury. Entries in this ledger range from June, 1852 to February 1855. It lists customers and what they purchased although the information is crossed off which could be that the information was transferred to another book or was it crossed off when the customer paid. This ledger is very fragile. The cover is discolored and worn on all sides. The back cover is dirty and has a very faint musty smell. Some of the pages stick together. The handwriting for the most part is legible. The inside of the front cover has the writing, “Chas Henry Kingsbury Esq.”

The second ledger is 16”x2 ½”x8”. On the spine are the words, "Day Book" and "R & B". It is leather bound with marbleized paper inside the front and back cover. The ledger covers the time period May 21, 1859 to January 20, 1860. The ledger is from the dry goods store of Joseph K. Ritter and B.F. Beeson. It is a day-to-day account of the customers of this establishment, what they purchased and the cost of those purchases. There are a total of 801 pages in this ledger. The covers and spine of this ledger are worn in several places although the binding is still holding. The writing continues to be legible.

Cassopolis Store Ledgers Collection Finding Aid
Lynn Houghton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490