University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Carey Bros. Wall Paper
Manufacturing Company

1799 - 1933
(bulk dates 1867 - 1918)


Manuscript Collection Number: 401
Accessioned: Gift of Mrs. Charles D. Carey, 1997 and 2000 and 2001
Extent: 1 linear ft. (76 items)
Content: Letters, ledgers, minutes, financial and legal documents, deeds, ephemera, and photograph
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: Sally W. Donatello, January 2001; revised December 2001

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

The Carey family was prominent in nineteenth-century Milton, Sussex County, Delaware. Merchant Robert Hood Carey (d. 1891; see 1892 deed in F43) is listed in the 1850 census with his wife Susan Davis Carey and their four sons: R. Davis, John F., Joseph Maull, and Theodore C. Two daughters, Sallie M. and Susan D., were born after 1850. John F. Carey became a doctor, and Joseph Maull Carey studied law at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Joseph M. Carey U.S. attorney in the territory of Wyoming, and he later served as the first U.S. senator from that state. He was elected governor of Wyoming in 1910 and his son Robert D. Carey also served as governor of Wyoming. All six of the Carey children of Milton followed the financial success of their father, and each of these siblings was involved in family business and real estate ventures, even if only as stockholders.

Brothers R. Davis and Theodore C. and their sister Susan D. Carey are the prominent members involved in the family business that is documented in this small collection. Lacking published sources to confirm the inception of the first Carey business, ephemera and other records found in this collection document partnerships and changes in the names of the company. Gopsill’s Philadelphia Business Directory records the existence in 1883 of Hollowbush & Carey (R. Davis Carey was a partner) who were booksellers, stationers and blank book manufacturers at 423 Market Street. Simultaneously the Carey Brothers manufactured wallpaper at the same location, which by 1885 had moved to its permanent location at 2228 N. 10th Street. Succeeding Hollowbush & Carey, brothers R. Davis and Theo. C. Carey went into business in 1881 with W. H. Grevemeyer under the name “Carey Bros. & Grevemeyer” at 817 Market Street. By 1891 the Carey brothers and Grevemeyer were also partners in “Carey Bros, a Branch of The National Wall Paper Co.,” which manufactured wallpaper in the factory located at Nos. 2228 to 2242 North 10th Street and 931 Market Street in Philadelphia (See F1). Minutes of the Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company verify its 1905 incorporation in Delaware.

The Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company was dissolved in 1918 after involvement with the debt-ridden Marley Mill Corporation, a paper mill located in Childs, Maryland, and the Beaver Dam Mill at Pomeroy, Pennsylvania. By 1933 the Carey name was part of the wallpaper company Brooks, Graffin & Carey, Inc., which was located at 125 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia.


Gopsill, James. Gopsill’s Philadelphia Business Directory. Philadelphia: James Gopsill’s Sons, 1883, 1885, 1889, 1891.

Hancock, Harold and Russell McCabe. Milton’s First Century, 1807- 1907. Milton, Del. The Milton Historical Society, 1982.

Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. II, Brearly-Cushing. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958.

Note: Historical and biographical information obtained from the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company Records, spanning the dates 1799 - 1933 (1867-1918), consists of one linear foot of ledgers, financial and legal documents, minutes, deeds, ephemera, letters, and a photograph. This small collection documents the existence and demise of a Philadelphia-based business of booksellers, stationers, and manufacturers of blank books and wallpaper. The collection provides valuable insight into a family business that flourished at the end of the nineteenth into the second decade of the twentieth century. The records outline a chronology that leads to the dissolution of the company through documents connected to the Carey family and its business acquisitions and operations.

The collection is arranged in two main parts: the bulk of the material (located in F1-F15) details aspects of the company’s history. The remainder of the collection consists of deeds and other legal documents, primarily related to Philadelphia properties (F16-F46).

The Carey Bros. Ledger, 1900-1907, (F5) includes business expenses, interest and dividends, inventory, rents, profit and loss, and accounts from R. Davis Carey and William H. Grevemeyer, as well as from the later partnership that formed a branch of the National Wall Paper Company. A "Bill of Sale", dated November 30, 1900, was an agreement to sell The National Wall Paper Company to R. Davis Carey (F4). This document recorded that the Company had the "Carey Brothers" and "Carey Brothers & Grevemeyer" branches. The notebook and “stockholders” ledger in F6 provides names of family members and associates who owned shares in Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company from its incorporation in 1905 to its dissolution in 1918. Included are notes about contracts, salaries, loans, and leases.

A Credit History compiled by the Commercial Credit Company of Baltimore around 1917 (F8) and the Marley Mill Corporation Minute Book, 1912-1916 (F10) are two key items that explain the demise of the Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company. The Credit History, in particular, provides a narrative of the Marley Mill Corporation (a paper mill in Childs, Maryland, and the Beaver Dam Mill in Pomeroy, Pennsylvania) and its use of the Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company to obtain credit, beginning in 1912 (See F11). By 1917 the Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Co. had endorsed large bonds and notes to help the Marley Mill Corporation remain solvent. The document cites financial obligations and relationships with Delaware Trust Company; Cosgrove & Company (a coal company); Market Street National Bank; National Security Bank; Marden, Orth, & Hastings, Co., Inc. (a soda ash company); Shenandoah Pulp and Paper Company; Pulp and Paper Trading Company; and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1917 unresolved credit problems were the impetus to begin liquidation of the Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Co. By spring 1918 the company was dissolved.

The second half of the collection concerns Carey family finances, estates, and property. The Carey Family Ledger housed in F14 includes miscellaneous entries dating from 1867 to 1907. Most entries are for Carey family members (some not cited in any other records), but there are names of non-family members as well. Sallie M. and Mary C. Carey are listed as having expenses associated with a Milton, Delaware, property from 1876 to 1892 (F14, pp. 180-183; see also a deed, F46, that cites sisters Sallie M. and Susan D. with residence in Milton). The Guardian’s Accounts (F15) records the guardianship of Theo. C. Carey, Jr., and J. M. Carey by their aunt, Susan D. Carey, after the death of their mother, Clara Waples Carey (1857 - 1894). Clara Waples Carey was married to Theodore C. Carey (1847 - 1895, Susan’s brother. The detailed accounts, 1894-1906, list expenses for maintenance of a number of properties owned by the Careys in Southern Delaware: Coston Farm, Factory Farm, Cool Spring Farm, and the Milton house. Other entries include produce sold, interest on bank stock, rent from lots, attorney fees, etc.

The thirty deeds (F16-46) that accompany this collection are from various Center City Philadelphia properties (1802-1892). Deeds, ground rents, and mortgages found in F16-F37, dating from 1832-1883, are for the same property, which R. Davis Carey purchased in 1883. The remaining deeds are Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate (commercial, farms, rentals, and residencies) that were owned by the Carey family as individuals or in partnership.

Related Collections:

Ms 402 Waples Family Papers

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

F1   Carey Bros. ephemera, 13 items
     Business ephemera:  Twelve original items and one photocopy
     of a receipt provide company names and addresses

     Tradecard of “Hollowbush & Carey, Booksellers, Stationers
     and Blank Book Manufacturers, 423 Market Street,
     Philadelphia”; on the verso is a caricature of six African-
     American children and a teacher.  The answer to a riddle on
     the card is revealed after heat is applied.

     Photograph of five men and three boys outside the factory of
     "Hollowbush & Carey" at 423 Market Street.  Signs advertise
     wallpapers.  "Business of R. Davis Carey" written on verso
     of card.

     Notebook labeled "Purchasing Memorandum" for "Carey Bros. &
     Grevemeyer, successors to Hollowbush & Carey, Booksellers
     and Stationers, 817 Market Street, Philadelphia."  Partners
     listed on the cover include R. Davis Carey, Theo. C. Carey,
     and W.H. Grevemeyer.  The illustration on the verso of the
     cover depicts the block-long Carey Bros. wallpaper
     manufacturing factory, located at "Nos. 2228 to 2242 North
     Tenth Street."  The owner used the notebook to record
     grocery purchases.  At the bottom of each page are brief
     descriptions of products found in the company’s inventory.

     Receipt (photocopy of original laid in F11):  “Bought of
     Carey Bros., Branch of The National Wall Paper Co.,
     Manufacturers of Paper Hangings, Nos. 2228 to 2242 North
     10th Street.”  Partners listed on the receipt include R.
     Davis Carey, T.C. Carey, and W.H. Grevemeyer; the receipt is
     also marked “Philadelphia ________189_” and shows terms for
     Receipt: Carey Bros. & Grevemeyer, 10 February 1892, payment
     in full for bill 1-12, 1892, $5.95 from Hon. J.M. Carey,
     U.S. Senator.
     Advertisement card:  “Superior Playing Card Co., Carey Bros.
     & Grevemeyer,” lists designs on playing cards, number of
     series, description, cost per gross, plain or gilt edge.
     Trade Card Blotters:  Seven blotters with “Wall Papers that
     are different,” Brooks, Graffin & Carey, Inc., 125 N. 11th
     Street, Philadelphia, PA.”; features image of Washington
     making Molly Pitcher a Lieutenant, January 1933 calendar.

F2   Legal documents, National Wall Paper Company, 1883 – 1907,
	 11 items
     Includes 1883 bill of sale between Carey Bros. And Thomas A.
     Young; title insurance from 1896; two trust receipts for
     stock shares in the National Wall Paper Company; and release
     from estate of William H. Grevemeyer to R. Davis Carey’s

F3   The Farmers’ Bank, Susan D. Carey, 1899, 4 items
     Three of the items document the liquidation of stock

F4   Bill of Sale:  National Wall Paper Company to R. Davis, 30
     November 1900
F5   Carey Bros. -- Ledger, 1900 - 1907
     1 vol.
     Wages, loans, interest, profits and losses recorded in
     entries for RDC and WHG (R. Davis Carey and Wm. H.
     Grevemeyer).  Other entries include general expenses, raw
     materials, new samples, block room, line stock, merchandise
     manufactured stock, repair and renewals, additions and
     improvements, wages, profit & loss, rent, etc.  Several
     entries show amounts transferred from the NWPCo. (National
     Wall Paper Company).

F6   Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Company -- Notebook,
     1905 - 1908
     1 vol.
     Notes on company’s directors, stockholders, shares, and
     assets.  Additional entries include leases and salaries; a
     separate undated item is a list of stockholders and shares
F7   Minutes of the Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing Co.,
     1905 - 1918
     1 vol.
     The bulk of the entries date from the 1905 incorporation in
     Delaware; the company dissolved in 1918

F8   [Credit History, 1917]
     TS (carbon), 17 pp.
     Document describes Carey Bros. Wall Paper Manufacturing
     Co.'s history with the Commercial Credit Company of
     Baltimore that started in 1914.  Sections are titled
     "Commercial Credit Company," "Marley Mill Corporation,"
     "Delaware Trust Company," "Carey Bros. Wall Paper Mfg.
     Company's Customers Notes Discounted at Delaware Trust Co.,"
     "Cosgrove & Company," "Market Street National Bank,"
     "National Security Bank," "Marden, Orth & Hastings, Co.,
     Inc.," "Shenandoah Pulp and Paper Company," "Pulp and Paper
     Trading Company," and "Baltimore and Ohio Railroad."

F9   Carey Bros. - Finance and Trading Corporation, May 1917
     2 items
     TL (carbon), May 25, 1917, to Horace W. Davis, Finance &
     Trading Corp., New York; 2 pp.
     TL (carbon), May 28, 1917, Finance and Trading Corporation
     to Susan D. Carey, Carey Brothers Wall Paper Mfg.. Co.,
     Philadelphia; 4 pp.
     Correspondence regarding liquidation of Carey Bros. Wall
     Paper Manufacturing

F10  Marley Mill Corporation -- Minute Book, 1912 -1916
     1 vol.

F11  Marley Mills in account with Carey Brothers Wall Paper
     Manufacturing Company, May 17, 1917
     Balance sheet, 3 pp.

F12  Marley Mill Corporation.  Special Meeting of Stockholders,
     July 10, 1917
     TDs, 3 pp.
F13  Marley Mill Corporation.  Special Meeting of Directors, July
     10, 1917
     TDs, 5 pp.

F14  [Carey Family] Ledger, ca. 1867 - 1907
     1 vol.
     Indexed accounts of various Carey family members, Carey
     businesses, and stockholders.  Family members include Joseph
     M. Carey, Theodore C. Carey, John F. Carey, James M. Carey,
     Susan D. Carey, Mary C. Carey, Sallie M. Carey.  Others (non-
     family) are listed in the ledger as well.  Includes
     mortgages, investments in U.S. bonds, loans, taxes, notes
     (due and settled), and rents on properties in Philadelphia
     and Milton, Delaware.

F15  Guardian's Accounts, Theo. C. Carey, Jr. & Jos. M. Carey,
     1894 - 1906
     1 vol.
     Susan D. Carey, Guardian and Trustee [for] Theo. C. Carey,
     Jr. and J. M. Carey; Theodore C. Carey, executor of the
     estate of Clara Waples Carey.  Business and farm accounts
     for properties in Sussex Co., Delaware, and for other Carey
     properties.  Balance sheet begins with the value of 160
     shares of Farmer’s Bank (New Castle, Delaware) stock less
     fee to executor of the estate.
     Deeds:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

     7th St & Habacker St.
F16  1832 Jun 20    Fredrick A. Jennings to Robert A. Parrish
F17  1836 Feb 29    Robert Parrish to George Cleaden
F18  1836 Oct 19    George Cleaden to Ezra Hoopes
F19  1840 Jan 11    Ezra Hoopes and Ann W., his wife, to Davis
	 16th & Summer St. (formerly 7th St. & Habacker St.)
F20  1854 Mar 24    John G. Williams and Susan N., his wife, to
     Walter Laing
F21  1854 Nov 1     Walter Laing and Ann W., his wife, to
     Cornelius Forshee
F22  1855 Dec 5     John G. Williams and Susan N., his wife, to
     David B. Cooper
F23  1857 Mar 21    David B. Cooper to Charles Neil
F24  1857 Jun 18    Charles Neil and Georgiana A., his wife, to
     Benjamin H. Pitfield
F25  1858 Apr 5     Benjamin H. Pitfield to Perry R. McNeille
F26  1858 Aug 3     Perry R. McNeille and Hannah, his wife, to
     John H. Coffin
F27  1858 Oct 18    John H. Coffin and Elizabeth D., his wife, to
     Walter Laing
F28  1862 Sep 13    Robert Ewing to Edward Laing
F29  1862 Oct 13    Edward Laing and Fanny, his wife, to Arthur
F30  1864 July 4    Arthur Maginnis to Morris R. Stroud
F31  1864 Sep 14    Frederick Myers and Ellenor, his wife, to
     Morris R. Stroud
F32  1864 Sep 16    Joseph R. Taylor and Martha, his wife, to
     Morris R. Stroud
               (Ground Rent)
F33  1871 Apr 5     Morris R. Stroud and M. Louise, his wife, and
	 to Horace H. Duyckinck
F34  1873 Nov 5     Horace H. Duyckinck and Emily L., his wife,
     to Mrs. Anna L. Haines, wife of William L.
F35  1883 Jul 12    William L. Haines and Anna L., his wife, to
     Samuel H. Gilbert’s
               estate (Mortgage)
F36  1883 Jul 30    William L. Haines and Anna L., his wife, to
     William Slatcher
F37  1883 Sep 13    William Slatcher and Annie, his wife, to R.
     Davis Carey
     8th St.& Northern Liberties
F38  1802 Jan 25    Turner Camac and Sarah, his wife, to Anthony
F39  1802 Jul 7     Turner Camac and Sarah, his wife, to Anthony
F40  1818 Jun 20    William Lowber and Francenia, his wife, to C.
     Peter Meyer and Catharine, his wife
     8th St.
F41  1830 May 1     Henry Meyer to Lydia Emlen

     School & Edward St.
F42  1846 Apr 1     Ralph Bagnall Beech to Azor L. Gregory

     6th St.
F43  1847 Dec 22    William Spink and Sarah A., his wife, to
     James S. Huber
F44  1848 Oct 14    Sheriff, (for William Spink) to Thomas B.


F45  1903 May 13    R. Davis Carey to F. H. Harper and Son (Still
     Pond, Maryland)


F46  1883 Sep 5     Survey
               Summer St., Sixteenth St. and Winter St., copy of
               plan from Survey Dept.
     1883 May 3     Receipt
               Office of Collector of Delinquent Taxes to H. H.
               Duyckinck; 1882 taxes for Summer Street property
     1883 Jul/Sep   Papers relating to mortgage search
               R. Davis Carey’s purchase of houses at 16th and
               Habacker Streets and 16th and Vine Streets;
               includes receipts from the Department for
               Supplying the City with Water; Department of
               Highways, Bridges, Sewers, and Street Cleaning;
               and, the Real Estate Title Insurance and Trust
               Company of Philadelphia
     1883 Aug 7     Letter of Attorney
               “Samuel H. Gilbert to J. Thomas Audemeid to
               satisfy Wm. L. Haines, Mtge of $5000”

     1892 Nov 7     Deed (Ground Rent)
               R. Davis Carey, John F. Carey and Anna S. (his
               wife), Joseph M. Carey and Louisa D. (his wife),
               Theodore C. Carey and Clara W. (his wife), to
               Sallie M. Carey and Susan D. Carey, both of
               Milton, Delaware, for properties in Philadelphia.

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