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Charles Himrod Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Himrod

Scope and Content of the Collection

This collection contains letters, account books, papers, and miscellaneous items pertaining to the family of Charles Himrod. The majority of the letters, written by family and friends, are addressed to his wife Alice Judson. A great deal of the letters were written by Charles to Alice during the 1870s when Charles was working at a furnace company in Ohio and Alice was spending time with family in Pennsylvania. In addition to personal correspondence, the collection includes letters written to Charles from various business associates. Besides correspondence, the collection includes deeds, receipts, abstracts, and invoices relating to the Himrod and Judson families; business and calling cards; postcards; verse and prose by Alice Judson and others; miscellaneous sheet music; and one architectural drawing of Lucuro Spring Grant in New Mexico.


  • Creation: 1803-1957
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1860 - 1890



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Charles Himrod Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Charles Himrod Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Charles Himrod

Charles Himrod was born to David and Abigail Himrod on December 24, 1841, in Waterford, Pennsylvania. During the first decade of his life, Charles and his parents relocated to Delaware, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, as reflected in the 1850 US Census. On August 26, 1861, at the age of 19, Charles enlisted to fight in the Civil War. He served in Company E of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment for three years, where he was eventually promoted to sergeant major on June 27, 1864. Following the war, Charles lived in Missouri from 1867 to 1869, where he worked scouting the land for iron ore. Charles’s father had been an iron master, and thus Charles followed in his father’s footsteps by eventually becoming an iron merchant.

While living in Missouri, Charles wrote many letters to his future wife, Alice F. Judson. Alice Judson was born to William Judson and Clarissa King in Waterford, Pennsylvania, on July 25, 1841. After Charles and Alice were married, they often moved for Charles’s work, living in various locations such as Irondale, Ohio; Youngstown, Ohio; Waterford, Pennsylvania; and Chicago, Illinois. The Himrods did have two children, both of whom died in childhood.

After marrying Alice and moving to Irondale, Ohio, Charles worked with the Morgan Furnace Company. However, by the spring of 1880, he had purchased the Chicago and Erie Forsyth Safe Shops with partners John Stambaugh, Robert McCurdy, and William Tod. The name of the company was changed to the Forsyth Scale Company, and offices were opened in Erie, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois. At the time of this purchase, Himrod was still living in Erie, Pennsylvania, with Alice and their daughter Gertrude. By 1882, he had officially moved to Chicago, where he listed himself as a pig iron merchant under the company name “Charles Himrod & Co.” While the Charles Himrod & Co. had an office in Detroit, the Himrods continued to live in Chicago. In 1887, Himrod was made president of the Calumet Iron and Steel Company; the following year, he was made president of the Milwaukee Furnace Company.

By 1910, according to the US Census, Charles and Alice were living in Waterford, Pennsylvania. His work at this time was listed as the manager of a water supply company. It is believed that Charles Himrod died in 1920. He was buried at the Waterford Cemetery in Waterford, Pennsylvania, where his wife was also buried when she died in 1924.


2 Linear Feet (1 record carton, 1 oversized folder)


Letters, account books, papers, and ephemera pertaining to the family of Charles Himrod, an iron merchant from Waterford, Pennsylvania. The majority of letters are addressed to Himrod's wife, Alice Judson Himrod, from family and friends. Many were written by Charles to Alice during the 1870s when Alice spent the Spring and Summer months with her family in PA, while Charles worked at a furnace company in Ohio. Also included are letters to Charles from various business associates. In addition to correspondence, the papers include deeds, receipts, abstracts, and invoices relating to the Judson and Himrod families; several account books kept by Alice's father, William Judson and Charles' father, David Himrod; business and calling cards; verse and prose by Alice Judson and others; and one architectural drawing of Lucuro Spring Grant New Mexico.


Collection arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 39 2


Purchase, Michael Brown Rare Books, 2014.

Processed by

Alexandra Gunnells, 2017.

Inventory of the Charles Himrod Papers, 1803-1957, bulk 1860-1890
Alexandra Gunnells
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States