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Museums of Oglebay Institute's Grand Army of the Republic, Holliday Post No. 12 Collection

In 2015, the Ohio County Public Library Archives team, Sean Duffy and Erin Rothenbuehler, with the assistance of Jon-Erik Gilot, processed and re-housed a very important collection held by the Museums of Oglebay Institute. The finding aid below details the contents of  the Grand Army of the Republic, Holliday Post No. 12 Collection.

Read more about John W. Holliday and his mother, Lydia Wilson Holliday.

See a gallery of photos from the processing.

See a PowerPoint presentation by Sean Duffy and Jon-Erik Gilot of the G.A.R. in Wheeling, and the Oglebay Collection.

Text for Finding Aid

Museums of Oglebay Institute Grand Army of the Republic, Holliday Post No. 12 Collection

Box 1: Folder 00:        Collection Information

Box 1, Series I: Ledgers
Folder 01:        Descriptive Book, Post 12
Folder 02:        Dues Paid
Folder 03:        Minute Book (1899-1910)
Folder 04:        Loose Attendance Sheets
Folder 05:        Minute Book (1918-23)
Folder 06:        Minute Book (1924-33)

Scope and Contents of Box 1: The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Collection contains administrative, financial, and other records of the J.W. Holliday G.A.R. Post No. 12, of Wheeling, WV. Among the ledgers is a detailed roster (Descriptive Book) recording the name of each member of the post and information relating to his service during the Civil War. This is a handwritten, alphabetical list of Holliday Post members including the information headings Name, Age, Birthplace, Residence, Occupation, Entry Into the Services, Final Discharge (Date, Rank, Co. and Regiment), Length of Service, Cause of Discharge, Date of Muster Into the G.A.R., When Honorably Discharged, When Suspended, When Dropped, When Dismissed, When Reinstated, Nature of Wounds Received, When and in What Engagements Wounded, Remarks; the latter category often includes date of death; 402 total numbered entries.

Also included are 3 ledger books of post minutes (1899 – 1933), a financial ledger recording dues paid, and loose ledger pages recording attendance that do not appear to fit any of the ledger books included.

Box 2, Series II: Correspondence, etc

Folder 01:        Handwritten Correspondence
Folder 02:        Letters to Smith dated 1924-1933
Folder 03:        Letters to Smith dates 1934-1937

Box 2, Series III: Ladies and Daughters
Folder 01:        Odes and Programs

Box 2, Series IV: Department of West Virginia
Folder 01:        Encampments 

Box 2, Series V: Ephemera
Folder 01:        General Orders
Folder 02:        Rituals
Folder 03:        Memorial Day, Etc.
Folder 04:        Miscellaneous

Scope and Contents of Box 2: The Museums of Oglebay Institute G.A.R. Collection contains correspondence of the J.W. Holliday G.A.R. Post No. 12, of Wheeling, WV. Among the correspondence are 9 handwritten letters on lined paper, one of which contains a list of the “Charter Members of John W. Holliday Post No. 12 of the Grand Army of the Republic.” Also included is a series of 16 letters (most addressed to post Commander Joseph M. Smith), some handwritten and some typed, dating from June 21, 1924 to March 8, 1937.

The Museums of Oglebay Institute G.A.R. Collection also contains booklets, checks, envelopes, and other ephemera related to the J.W. Holliday G.A.R. Post No. 12, of Wheeling, WV. Among the ephemera is a folder of printed General Orders from the Headquarters of the West Virginia Department of the Grand Army of the Republic. These typically refer to annual encampments held in Wheeling, Columbus, Sistersville, and other places. The folder also includes requisitions for supplies and a number of blank membership applications. Another folder contains annual encampment programs from Sistersville (1920), Charleston (1923), Moundsville (1922), and Parkersburg (1925). A 1924 booklet from the Boston encampment contains a handwritten note regarding Holliday Post opposition to an effort to erect a monument to the “rebel traitors” Davis, Lee and Jackson. A third folder contains blue hardcover booklets with detailed G.A.R. rituals, such as proper dress, muster-in ceremonies, music, room arrangement, etc. Also in this folder are prayers for use by the chaplain. Many of the booklets feature handwritten notes. A fourth folder contains Memorial Day, Grant Day, and Flag Day booklets, again with many featuring handwritten notes. A fifth folder contains Daughters of Veterans Odes and program booklets for the Ladies of the G.A.R. The latter primarily consist of Lincoln and Washington birthday celebrations compiled by Mrs. Virginia Hall Donnelly, pats dept. president of the Ladies G.A.R. at Wheeling. Also includes a Department Roster from the Morgantown Headquarters, 1926-27. The final folder contains miscellaneous ephemera such as newspaper clippings, canceled checks and check stubs detailing various payments, unused envelopes with the G.A.R. seal, campaign cards, booklets, and a pension claim form.

Box 3, Series V: Ephemera, Various State Encampment Programs and 3 Books

Scope and Contents of Box 3: The Museums of Oglebay Institute G.A.R. Collection contains books related to the J.W. Holliday G.A.R. Post No. 12, of Wheeling, WV and additional books with no apparent relevance to the post. Among the books are numerous journals of national G.A.R. encampments from Arkansas, California, Indiana, and several other states. These have been arranged alphabetically by state and by year.

The book, The Self-Instructing Library of Practical Photography, Studio Portraiture, Studio System, Volume VI, while having no apparent relevance to the remainder of the G.A.R. collection, does contain an inscription by one Thomas M. Darrah. Darrah is a known Wheeling photographer who took the only known photograph of the infamous Grover Cleveland Banner that hung in Wheeling over Main Street during the August, 1887 G.A.R. encampment. During a parade, most G.A.R. members refused to walk beneath the banner due to Cleveland’s attempt to crack down on pension payments, many of which were obtained fraudulently.

Note: The books, Colour Studies in Paris by Arthur Symons and The Art of Make-Up by Thelena Chalmers have no apparent relevance to the remainder of the collections. They may have been used in rituals, but this is unclear. They may be considered for deacessioning.

Last ledger entry:

“A Regular meeting Holliday Post no. 12 dept WVa GAR April 8 1933

The meeting was called to order by the officer of the day. The minutes of last meeting were

Approved as read. The following members were present [JM Smith, JA Pyle, H Hoefer, Ruttencutter, Patterson] Report on sick. It was reported that Com Coffey was in bad shape. So is Com Foster. There was no business on hand. By a vote of the Post it was decided to get rid of our funds and present each member a 10 dollar check wich [sic] will make 100.00. There being no further business the meeting adjourned. H. Hoefer”

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-Information on this page compiled by erothenbuehler
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