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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
Pennsylvania State Archives


MG-48

FALL BROOK RAILROAD AND COAL COMPANY PAPERS

Series Descriptions



Accident Releases and Reports



Conductor's Casualty Reports,
1886, 1887.
(1 box)

{series #48m.1} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Train conductor's reports, which document the circumstances of specific railroad accidents on the Fall Brook Railway system. These accounts were submitted to the general superintendent, each containing instructions to the conductors to “give full particulars of all accidents to their trains (including engines), or when persons or animals are injured or killed.” Information listed in each report includes: where the accident took place, date and time of the accident, conductor of the train, listing of train men and witnesses, name of the train, name of the engineer, engine number of the train, cause of accident, numbers of cars off the track or damaged, statement of damage to the train, a listing of injuries to persons, any train delays caused by the accident, as well as a full, detailed report of the accident.



Antirm Materials

During the early 1860s, the Fall Brook Coal Company began exploring the south-central region of Tioga County, hoping to expand their operations and find as yet untapped seams of coal. While prospecting for the firm along the headwaters of Wilson's Creek, Thomas Farrer and John Smith came upon what they felt were sizeable deposits of semi-bituminous coal in May 1866. The land surrouding their strike was purchased soon after, and within a few years the town of Antrim, named for the ancestral home of the Magee family in Northern Ireland, was on the map. Plans were made for the construction of a railroad from Lawrenceville to the site, and on April 4, 1867, the Wellsboro and Lawrenceville Railroad was chartered for this purpose. By October 1872, a continuous rail line extended from Corning, New York to Antrim, a distance of just over fifty miles. A post office was established in Antrim around this time, with mining operations beginning in earnest by 1873. The mines were administered by the Fall Brook Coal Company until November 1899, when the firm of Magee & Ellsworth took control of the operations.


Coal Expense Reports and Financial Documents,
1872-1904.
(1 carton, 1 box)

{series #48m.2} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Various kinds of reports relative to coal mining and financial transactions for the mines located at Antrim are included in this series. The type of reports present in the files vary from month to month and year to year. Coal expense reports are available for nearly every month of every year, however, and provide detailed information concerning the amount of coal extracted from the Antrim mines. Other types of documents include account statements, coal expense reports, general expense reports, listings of bills, miscellaneous balance sheets, store merchandise statements, vouchers, and year-end reports.


General Files,
1867-1938.
(1 carton)

{series #48m.3} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Miscellaneous materials concerning the mining operations at Antrim comprise this series. Files relative to the founding and construction of the town, such as an 1867 topographic notebook of the area, and the papers of Patrick Bradley & Son, who were responsible for masonry work completed there in 1873 and 1874, are included. Also present is the correspondence of company officials such as agent William Howell and assistant superintendent James Pollock. These papers chronicle the creation and administration of a true mining “company town,” a community specifically built by the Fall Brook Coal Company to exploit the coal seams discovered along the headwaters of Wilson's Creek in south-central Tioga County.


Vouchers,
1883-1888, 1933.
(1 carton, 1 box)

{series #48m.4} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Vouchers and financial statements from Antrim, with many relating to the purchases of mining equipment and store supplies. Also of note are monthly “Board Sheets,” which list the names of boarders, the amount they paid for housing, and also how much they spent on merchandise for that month. Signatures of the boarders are included on each one of these sheets.



Associated Coal and Railroad Company Records



McKean County Interests,
1873-1882.

(2 cartons)


{series #48m.13} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Files relative to the coal mining and railroad operations in McKean County, Pennsylvania, which is situated roughly seventy-five miles west of the borough of Fall Brook, comprise this series. The main focus of the papers is the Buffalo Coal Company, which was headquartered in Buffalo, New York, with its mining operations located around the town of Clermont in McKean County. George J. Magee served as president of the company, while at the same time functioning in the same capacity for the Fall Brook Coal Company. Other companies related to the Buffalo Coal Company, such as the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia Railway Company (of which George J. Magee was a director), and the McKean and Buffalo Railway Company, are also included. The bulk of the series consists of the general correspondence file of the three companies listed above, as well as a file relative to an Archer N. Martin, who bought out Magee and the other owners of the Buffalo in 1881.

Pardee Collieries Vouchers,
1888-1890, 1893, 1895-1901.

(7 cartons)


{series #48m.15} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically.

Cash vouchers and vouchers for the Pardee Collieries, which were located near Philipsburg, Clearfield County and Patton, Cambria County, Pennsylvania. They were initially run by George J. Magee and later by the firm of John Magee and W. C. Lingle. The Pardee family had extensive interests in the Eastern-Middle anthracite field around the city of Hazleton in eastern Pennsylvania, and also maintained a stake in the Pardee Collieries, due to the fact that the Estate of Ario Pardee received royalties from these operations. Included are payment receipts, monthly coal tonnage listings, rail freight earning sheets, and payroll lists, which include the names, occupations, and monthly earnings/deductions of each employee.



FBCC Business Correspondence




Fall Brook Coal Company Agents' Correspondence,
1860-1884.
(5 cartons)


{series #48m.20} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

Principally incoming correspondence, sent to agents of the Fall Brook Coal Company at various locations, providing a look at the daily shipment and movement of coal. Topics include: receipts of payment, bill of lading for canal boats, request and shipment of coal, consignment of coal cars, coal sales, and letters of complaint. Boxes of H. Brewer’s correspondence include various engineer drafts and plans for bridges, coal beds, and railroads lines.

Fall Brook Coal Company General Correspondence,
1860-1919.
(29 cartons)


{series #48m.21} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

This series of incoming correspondence, sent to company officials such as Duncan S. Magee, George Magee, John Lang, and John Magee, provides an insightful look at the day to day and broader activities of the Fall Brook rail and coal operations. A number of different correspondents, such as coal agent G. R. Wilson of Buffalo and the Watertown Paper Company, touch on a wide variety of issues. Topics include: the setting of coal and rail rates through a “committee,” coal sales, coal shipments, requests for employment, general business comings and goings, canal deliveries and canal boat issues, the opening of new mines, surveying and acquiring land for new railroad lines, requests for coal shipments, complaints about not receiving coal fast enough, labor issues, requests for cash by stranded canal boat captains, and railroad deliveries.

Honorable John Magee Correspondence,
1860-1878, 1883, 1884.
(2 cartons, 1 box)


{series #48m.25} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by year of correspondence.

Incoming correspondence, sent to John Magee, as well as a few outgoing drafts, provides a look at the growth of the Fall Brook Railroad and Coal Company. The series of correspondence, sent by Fall Brook agents, family members, businessman, and local citizens, ranges from the surveying and opening of mines in the early 1860’s to the building and leasing of miles of tracks from central Pennsylvania to New York. Topics include: buying and selling of stocks and bonds, surveying land, letters anticipating coal strikes, requests for employment and loans, completion and lease of railroads, setting rates, discussion of the Civil War, incorporation of the town of Fall Brook, related town business such as the opening of a hotel and the rental of houses, information about the Erie Railroad War (with correspondence sent and received from the Erie Railroad), and the death and funeral of John Magee.

Colonel John Magee Correspondence,
1893-1900.
(2 cartons)


{series #48m.60} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent and then chronologically by year of correspondence.

Chiefly incoming correspondence, sent to Colonel John Magee, which provides a look at the day-to-day activities of the Fall Brook Rail Road and Coal Company’s operations. Correspondence between companies, legislators, businessmen, and railroad agents touch on a wide variety of issues, such as: mine strikes, the establishment of standardized coal and rail rates, bidding for coal contracts, shipment of coal, stock and bond buying and selling, the expansion of railways, and drafted commerce laws.



Financial Papers



Corning and Shop Reports,
1883, 1884, 1887-1899.
(17 boxes)

{series #48m.31} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Accounting reports for Corning Station and the railroad shops of the Fall Brook Coal Company's railroads and the Fall Brook Railway Company. Most of the files deal with expenditures relative to railroad equipment, repairs, supplies, or personnel. Many different types of reports are included, such as: Motive Power Department reports, expenses and mileage of locomotives, bills for collection, Tioga Coke Works tonnage sheets, distribution of shops labor and materials, statements of engine service, distribution of shops payrolls, distribution of shops materials, and bills invoiced at shops.

Foreign Car Mileage Reports,
1884-1899.
(2 cartons)

{series #48m.34} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Postcards and letters sent from other railroad companies to Fall Brook, reporting the amount of miles that Fall Brook cars traveled on their respective tracks. Information on the reports generally includes the month being reported on, the number of miles traveled, the rate charged per mile, and a total of the amount owed.

Foreign Car Mileage Statements,
1891-1899.
(2 boxes)

{series #48m.35} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Reports, generated by Fall Brook's accounting department, chronicling the amount of miles and the fee charged for Fall Brook cars who traveled on “foreign roads.” Each statement is usually four pages, and contains information similar to that found in the foreign car mileage reports.

Payrolls,
1897.
(1 box)

{series #48m.59} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically.

Payroll sheets for the Fall Brook Railway Company's various railroad departments, such as the shops, “Corning Yard,” and trains. Employee names DO appear on these lists, along with employee or check numbers, date of payment, witness of payment, time worked, rate of pay, amount paid, deductions, and balance due.

Railroad Distribution Payrolls,
1889-1899.
(2 boxes)

{series #48m.42} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Accounting reports, detailing the distribution of the Fall Brook system's pay rolls, are included in this series. Separate summaries for the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim Railway, Syracuse, Geneva and Corning Railway, Fall Brook Railway, and the Pine Creek Railway are included, as well as reports for “trains pay roll” and “check pay rolls.” While no employee names are present, the sheets list a plethora of information, chronicling what these firms paid their workforce during a given month. The reports are broken down by railroad section and then by task or job, with activities such as “picking up scrap iron,” “scrubbing tower at Mallory's,” “labor on new switch at Westfield,” and “transporting painters” listed on the rolls.

Station and Freight Account Settlements,
1884-1899.
(4 boxes)

{series #48m.43} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically by date of settlement.

Reports of station agents, compiled by the Fall Brook auditors, listing many different types of financial information. A listing of all Fall Brook line stations is included, as well as items such as “prepayments on freight forwarded,” “advances paid at station,” “amount due, account of passangers,” and “apportionment of freight earnings.” The style of the reports changes somewhat over time, but they are all on large, accounting-style sheets. Most likely they were worksheets for the company's accountants, due to the fact that the information contained in the reports is summarized in the Fall Brook journals.

Station Remittances,
1885-1896.
(5 cartons)

{series #48m.44} [Holdings]


Arranged chronologically by date of remittance.

Station agent's cash remittance tickets, submitted from the various Fall Brook system stations, for deposit into Q. W. Wellington & Company's Bank in Corning, New York. The tickets are bundled together and summarized every few days, with a summary deposit slip accompanying each small bundle. Information provided on the tickets includes: station name, date, a summary in dollars of the amount of freight, passengers, extra baggage, “Exp. Com.,” rent (and who it was received from), a breakdown of the medium in which the money was received, including bills, checks, currency and change, and the signature of the station agent.



Magee Family Papers



Adam D. Stewart Estate Papers
1847-1889, undated.

(1 carton)


{series #48m.58} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically.

Files relative to the Estate of Adam Duncan Stewart, a former U.S. Army Paymaster, who died on October 17, 1867. George J. Magee and Duncan S. Carter, both nephews of Stewart, served as co-executors of his estate. It took well over a decade to settle its affairs, which included various investments such as land-holdings in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Kentucky. The series contains files related to these investments, as well as legal and personal dealings between George Magee and attorneys, family members, and investors relative to Stewart's holdings. It seems the business of the estate became an increasingly cumbersome burden to Magee, who had numerous other personal and professional obligations to look after. Accounts, correspondence, legal papers, miscellaneous military files, personal papers, and other documents are included, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1867-1883 time period.


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