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Manuscript Group 202
WHEELER AND DUSENBURY LUMBER COMPANY RECORDS
1874-1951
28 cu. ft.


Cash books, journals, ledgers, order books, payroll books, sales books, and various other account books, 101 volumes, of the Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber Company, 1874-1951, and the Hickory Valley Railroad Company, 1914-1946.

William F. Wheeler started the operations of the Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber company in Forest County (then Venango County) near the present town of Endeavor (Stowtown) in 1837. Three years earlier he had directed the initial operations of the firm of Dusenbury, Wheeler, May and Company at Portville, New York, on the upper Allegheny. Under the able management of Hamilton Stowe, formerly of Olean, New York, the Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber Company purchased thousands of acres of timberland in Forest and Warren counties between 1850 and 1865, centering its operations at Newtown.

In 1865 Nelson Platt Wheeler, William's son, moved to Newtown and assumed management of the company. In 1867 William Dusenbury, a son of Henry Dusenbury, who had been prominent in the Portville firm, joined Nelson Wheeler in the managent of the business. One of the largest lumber companies in Pennsylvania during the nineteenth century, the company at one time owned between 40,000 and 55,000 acres of pine, hemlock, and hardwood timber. The Wheeler and Dusenbury Lumber Company operated the first successful band mill in the United States. In 1922 the Company sold two-thirds of its land to the federal government. This acreage became part of the Allegheny National Forest.

Active in Republican politics, N. P. Wheeler served in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, 1878, 1879, and in the U. S. House of Representatives, 1907-1911.

The Hickory Valley Railroad Company which operated a line between West Hickory and McDonald's was incorporated in 1887. Major stockholders included six members of the Wheeler and Dusenbury families. The road went out of business in 1939, and the accounts covering 1940-1946 are those of its liquidating trustees.




PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records