Rare 19th Century MANUSCRIPT WORK LEDGER Kept by Blacksmith CORNELIUS KLUMP of New Alsace, Indiana Dated 1887 to 1889
Rare and fascinating original 19th century MANUSCRIPT WORK LEDGER dated 1887 to 1889 from a noted BLACKSMITH AND HARDWARE SHOP kept by Cornelius Klump of New Alsace, Indiana. Cornelius learned the blacksmith trade from his father, Moritz (Morris) and followed the trade throughout his life. In addition to the blacksmith shop, the Klumps ran a tavern beside the blackshop shop.
The 165-page MANUSCRIPT WORK LEDGER is filled with innumerable handwritten entries pertaining to the various parts and goods sold to customers, such as old and new shoes, nails, nuts and bolts, and rings, yokes, and hoops. Nearly every page is filled with customer entries, each set up by customer.
For example, page 83 records the business of Mr. John Easley from January 27 through November 26, 1888. Mr. Easley purchased bolts, springs, old shoes, new bull ring, hooks, and more over the 11-monthly period, which was paid in cash at year-end. Mr. Easley’s 1887 business is also recorded on page 7.
The first few pages of the MANUSCRIPT WORK LEDGER is an alphabetical index referencing the page number where a customer’s account may be found. The index was not kept totally up-to-date as Mr. Easley has a 7 beside his name (for page 7) but there is not an 83 for the following year. The ledger holds the records of more than fifty of the Klump customers and early settlers of Dearborn County, including Frank Bittner, Casper Shafer, John Zimmer, Bill Hudson, John and Daniel Gerresheimer, Nick Miller, and many more.
Although most pages are filled with customer entries, a few pages were used to record formulas used by the Klumps for blacksmith and welding work. A formula on page 165 lists a mixture of saltpeter, black oxide of manganese, copper, potash, and welding sand used in welding.
Inside the front cover are the beautiful hand-scripted signatures of Cornelius Klump and two of his children Katie P. Klump and Michael J. Klump. Multiple areas of the inside cover and throughout the ledger are stamped, Frank J. Klump, NEW ALSACE, IND. Francis (Frank) John Klump was the eldest child of Cornelius and his wife Margaretha Nieters. Also, on the inside cover are various names and addresses from Cincinnati and Indianapolis, who may have been suppliers.
Tucked inside the MANUSCRIPT WORK LEDGER is a handwritten family document. While it is difficult to decipher, the names of several of Cornelius’ children can be made out, including Rose, Frank, John, Katie, and Mary. The document is titled, Mitzy? Klump, so possibly was about Margaretha.
The ledger measures 12 ½” long by 7 ¾” wide. It is bound in marbled paper over boards. The spine is still in good condition. There is expected wear on the corners. Though most pages are intact and filled, a few pages have been torn or areas trimmed out with scissors with expected discoloration and staining.
A picture of Cornelius Klump is shown with the photos but is not included in this listing.
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About Cornelius Klump
Cornelius Klump was born in Jackson Township, Indiana on September 28, 1836 and was the second eldest of eleven children born to Moritz (Morris) and Catherine (Gephard) Klump, who were natives of Germany. In January 1860, he married wife Margaretha (Margaret) Niters, and together they had seven children, Frank, Lewis, Mary, Catherine, Rosie, John & Michael. Cornelius died at age 58 on September 4, 1895.
The family lived in New Alsace, a small town in Indiana, near the Ohio border. In addition to the blacksmith shop, the family owned and ran the local tavern. In 1914, the tavern was officially named, Klump's Tavern. Klump descendants ran the tavern until 1992, when it transferred for the first time outside the family. It continues to operate as Klump’s Tavern still today.
An interesting fact about the blacksmith shop/tavern is that on July 13, 1863, the famous Confederate General John Hunt Morgan led a force of approximately 2,500 cavalry men through New Alsace and stopped and the men were served a pancake breakfast. It was said that the men were very polite and paid for their food.