Special Collections Department
Samuel M. Donnell
for Newark, Delaware
1888 - 1914
Manuscript Collection Number: 96,
Accessioned: Gift of Mr. Groff, 1976
Extent: 1 linear ft. (9 volumes)
Content: Ledgers, registers
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: Sally W. Donatello, May 2001
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
Samuel Mathewson (S.M.) Donnell was a realtor, insurance agent, and notary in the small college town of Newark, Delaware, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The registers comprising this small collection indicate that S.M. Donnell sold insurance policies in Newark, Delaware, on behalf of two companies, the Fire Association of Philadelphia and the Royal Insurance Company of Liverpool, between 1888 and 1914. Donnell had a keen interest in his community, and served it through political and social activities. In 1882 he was the warden master for the Mason's Hiram Lodge, No.25, A.F.A.M. Donnell became president of Newark town council in 1885 and was a member of that same body in 1887.
S. M. Donnell owned many properties in the city of Newark. Some of his land holdings, dating from 1909 to 1935, can be found in the Wilbur T. Wilson Map Collection. His real estate holdings included a farm near Main Street and New London Road. A Royal Insurance Company policy (Volume 1) described the farm as a "stable, wood house, corn crib and contents, dwelling, water closet, and poultry house."
Donnell was the son of Andrew and Rosa (Mathewson) Donnell. He married Mary Bedford, who was the daughter of Levi G. Cooch and Sarah Conant Wilkins.
Cooch, Frances A. Little Known History of Newark, Delaware and its Environs. Newark, Del.: The Press of Kells, 1936.
Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Delaware: 1609-1888, Vol. 2. Philadelphia: L.J. Richards & Co., 1888.
Hanby, Egbert G. and Jas. L. Vallandigham, Jr. Newark, Delaware: Past and Present. Newark, Del.: Delaware Ledger Print, 1982.
Philadelphia Business Directory, 1899-1900.
R.L. Polk & Co.s Peninsula Directory of Delaware Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, 1908-1909.
Bell Telephone Co., April 1, 1897.
Ms 377 Wilson, Wilbur T., map collection
Note: Historical and biographical information obtained from the collection. Scope and Content Note
The Samuel M. Donnell Insurance Records for Newark, Delaware, spans the dates of 1888-1914, and provides a wealth of information about property holders and building structures in the town around the turn of the century. The Insurance Records will be particularly useful in conjunction with the Wilbur T. Wilson Map Collection (Ms 377). The collection consists of nine volumes, which were related to Donnell's job as agent for two insurance companies: Fire Association of Philadelphia (407-409 Walnut Street) and Royal Insurance Company of Liverpool, England (306 Walnut Street, Philadelphia). The Fire Association of Philadelphia was incorporated on March 27, 1820. The Royal Insurance Company of Liverpool was founded in the midnineteenth century in Liverpool, England.
The nine-volume registers are divided into two series. Series I, spanning the dates 1897-1911, includes three volumes of insurance records (one for the Fire Association of Philadelphia and two for the Royal Insurance Company of Liverpool) that include policies and descriptive information about the people, places, fees, and dates of transactions. Series II, spanning the dates 1888-1914, is a six-volume set of S.M. Donnell's check registers for his insurance business. Each of the nine volumes is housed individually.
The registers were printed for the insurance company's agents to record details of their clients' premiums. Two clients are listed per double-page spread. The Royal Insurance Company's register was printed by Hofstetter Bros. Blank Book Manufacturers of Philadelphia. The second volume of this set has a letter to its agents tipped into the verso of the cover. It is laid on top of the label of the manufacturer of the register.
The two volumes of registers for the Fire Association of Philadelphia include the following information: company logo, policy number, name of assured, commencement of risk, term, expiration of risk, amount insured, old rate, new rate, premium, copy of policy, and remarks. Across the top of the page, beginning on the left side, are the words: Policy Register. On the right side is the company's name.
Donnell filled each register with descriptive materials, receipts, and signed policies that are tipped into the pages along with the line items and monetary notations. The records have the names of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Newark residents; each register has an index. Donnell's clients included local businesses, Delaware College, and the local school district.
The six volumes of check registers, some of which have his initials on the spine, span the dates 1888-1914. The collection consists of volumes two, five, six, eight, nine, and fourteen of an unknown number of the set.
Volume -- Contents
Series I S.M. Donnell, agent for the Fire Association of Philadelphia and the Royal Insurance Company of Liverpool, registers, 1897-1911 1 Fire Association of Philadelphia, register, 1897-1905 Records of insurance policies with an alphabetical listing of the clients, businesses, institutions, and other policyholders. Contents include policy number, name of assured, commencement of risk, term, expiration of risk, amount insured, old rate, new rate, premium, copy of policy, and remarks; the register is filled (99 pp) Names of assured: Artisans Savings Bank of Wilmington, Delaware Armstrong John H. & Co. Armstrong, John P. Beltz, Norah Blandy, Elizabeth P. Blandy, May E. Blandy, T. Bridgman Bonsall, Ephraim Bowen, Levi K. Brown, Daniel F. Brown, Newton H. Bryson, Benjamin N. Chambers, Gilbert W. Campbell, Benjamin Campbell, Harry M. Chillas, Arthur, deceased, the heirs of Choate, D.L. Choate, Stephen R., Jr. Cooch, J.W. Cook, William H. Cornog, Isabella Cornog, Stephen L. Daniel, Walter C. Delaware College, the trustees of Donnell, Mary B. Donnell, S.M. and George W. Marshall, executors Evans, Charles B. Evans, Edw. Fisher, Andrew, Jr. Fisher, Mary E. Series I 1 Gray, W.C., estate of Haines, Eri W. Hart, W.B. Harrigan, William Harkness, Wilmer E. Haudy, L.I. Henry, Agnes E. Jervis, Frank H. Johnston, I.C., estate of Kane & Griffin Keeley, Michael, Jr. Kelley, Elizabeth, et al Kelley, William H. Kennedy, William R. Lewis, J.E. Lilley, Thompson L. Logan, William G. Lovett, Leonard W. Lutton, Joseph B. Lyons, Thomas Maxwell, Charles R. McDonald, William G. McGonigal, Thomas H. McKinsey, Fred E. McKinsey, Harry A. Miller, Rev. Nelson H. Moore, Annie W. Morrison, J.C. and E.S. Newark M.E. Church, trustees of Nicholls, Harry A. O'Donnell, John, estate of Pemberton, Pusey, estate of Pilling, John, estate of Pilling, John, Jr. Pilling, Thomas Powell, George Praul, J.W. Presbyterian Congregation of White Clay Creek 1 Raub, A.N. Robin, Dr. A. Rowan, Rev. W. I. Rupp, J.C. School District No. 110 Singles, William T. Steel, Hudson Steel, W.H. Stewart, Rufus Thompkins, Sarah D. Thompson, Elmer M. Tyson, Herman R. Underwood, James Wiegand, Adam E. Williams, John T. Willis, J. Frank Wilson, James A Woolaston, Albert. Wright, Hugh B. Wright, Sarah L., estate of 2 Royal Insurance Company, 1899-1908 Records of insurance policies with an alphabetical listing of the clients, businesses, institutions, and other policyholders. At the top of each left page and extending to the right side is the following line: Register of Fire Policies Issued and Renewed for the ROYAL INSURANCE COMPANY of Liverpool, by S.M. Donnell (handwritten in the space), Agent at Newark, Delaware (handwritten in the space). Contents include no. of policy, no. of renewal, name and residence of assured, commencement of risk, term, expiration of risk, amount insured, rate, amount of premium, copy of policy, and location of risk and memoranda of external exposure. Names of assured: Armstrong, J. Rankin Barton, William H. Bowen, Levi K. 2 Bowman, Bettie Brown, Daniel F. Brown, George J. Brown, J. W. Burnite, Martha J. (?) Butler, Dr. J. B. Chester, F. D. Choate, C. C. Cooch, Francis A. Cooch, J. W. Cooch, J.W. and Griffin, George W. Corbit, Patrick Curtis, W. C. Day, Howard Delaware College Donnell, Mary B. Donnell, S. M. Donnell, S. M. executor of George M. Bradford Doyle, John Doyle, John B. Evans, Charles B. Fader, Gotlieb Fisher, Pamela W. Fisher, William H. Goldey, H. S. Gregg, Annie Griffin, George W. Hamilton, Charles W. Hargan, Mary C. Harkness, Wilmer E. Harrigan, William Harter, George A. Heptasophes Husler, George M. estate of Husler, Mary 2 Jacobs, L. B Johnson, Jonathan Lewis, John E. Lewis, Reuben G. Mackie, M. Helen Manuel, Charles McDougall, George, executor McPike, Edward Miller, John B. Mote, Eliza Murphy, Kate O'Donnell, John Pennington, Thomas, estate of Penny, Charles L. Phoebus, Esther A. Pilling, John Porter, Helen C. Raub, A. N. Roberts, Maria R[oman] C[atholic] Church, trustees of Rose, D. C. Jr. Rose, Mary Saunders, Anna E. Sherwood, Peter M. Shreve, Martha Singles, John M. Smith, Anna M. Smith, Charles W. Smith, Nathan K. Steel, Hudson Steel, Lucille A. Steel, Mary L. Steel, William H. Strahorn, Frederick W. 2 Thompkins, Sarah D. Thompson, Rachel A. Tyson, Herman R. Whitcraft, Sarah A. Whittingham, R. A. Willis, John F. Wright and Son Co. Wright, H. B. Wright, Isabel P. 3 Royal Insurance Company, register, 1903-1911 Records of insurance policies with an alphabetical listing of the clients, businesses, institutions, and other policyholders. Contents include policy number, name of assured, commencement of risk, term, expiration of risk, amount insured, old rate, new rate, premium, copy of policy, and remarks; the register is filled (99 pp) Names of assured: American Vulcanized Fibre Co. Anderson, Martha L. Avis, Fanny C. Barton, W. H. Blandy, Elizabeth P. Bowen, Levi K. Bowman, Bettie Brown, D. F., estate of Brown, John W. Burnite, Martha J. Campbell, B. Campbell, Estella G. Campbell, Harry M. Chambers, John W. Chambers, G. W. Chester, F. D. Choate, C. C. Co. "E." 1st Infantry et al Cooch, Edw. W. Cooch, Francis A. Cooch, J. Wilkins Curtis, Walter C. 3 Day, Howard Delaware College Donnell, Mary B. Donnell, S. M. Doyle, John Doyle, John B. Dunlap, M. B. Evans, Charles B. Evans, Harriet B. Fader, Gotlieb Ferguson, Howard First Presbyterian Church, trustees of Fisher, William H. Gould, Thomas and London Gould Grant, Clarence D. Grier, John C. Griffin and Steel Griffin, George W. H.B. Wright Company Harter, George A. Heptasophes Hilton, W. H. Huber, George H. Husler, George M., estate of Husler, Mary Jacobs, Joseph James, James Jaquette, J. David Jex, John Johnson, Jonathan Jones, Joseph G. Jordan, Charlotte B. 3 Lewis, John E. Lindsey, Samuel, estate of Lutton, Frank M. McCaskey, E.W. Medill, Philena P. Miller, J. B. Mote, Eliza Murphy, Charles A. Murphy, Kate O'Donnell, John, estate of Parke, Frank Pennington, Thomas, estate of Penny, C. L. Phoebus, Esther A. Pilling, John Pilling, Thomas Porter, Alpheus Lee Porter, Helen C. Potts, Robert Presbyterian Congregation of White Clay Creek Raub, A.N. estate of Renninger, George S. Richards, Edward L. R[oman] C[atholic] Church Rose, David C. Rose, David Lee Rose, Mary H. Saunders, Anna E. Security, Trust and Safe Deposit Co. trustees of Sentman, Clinton G. Shapleigh, Fannie L. Sherwood, Peter M. Sloan, Alice R. Smith, Anna M. Smith, Charles W. Smithson, Elizabeth Steel, Hudson Steel, Mary L. Steel, Walter H. Steel, William H. Strahorn, Frederick W. 3 Thomas, Tillie Thompson, Rachel A. Tyson, Herman R. Whitcraft, Sallie A. Willis, Lee O. Willis, Mary A. Willis, Victor G. Wilson, E. Clifford Worrall, M.S. Wright, Samuel J. Series II Samuel Mathewson Donnells's check registers from the National Bank of Newark, 1888-1914 Some of these bound volumes still have Donnell's initials (SMD) on the spine. 4 Check register #2, 1888-1891 Records of checks numbered 1650-2649 5 Check register #5, 1896-1998 Records of checks numbered 4650-5649 6 Check register # 6, 1998-1901 Records of checks numbered 5650-6649 7 Check register # 8, 1902-1904 Records of checks numbered 7650-8649 8 Check register # 9, 1904-1905 Records of checks numbered 8650-9649 9 Check register # 14, 1913-1914 Records of checks numbered 13650-14648