University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

The Hugh F. Gallagher, Jr., Family Papers

1933 - 1991
(bulk dates 1950 - 1980)

Manuscript Collection Number: 275
Accessioned: Gift of Alice P. Gallagher, 1991-1992.
Extent: 1.5 linear ft.
Content: Papers, photographs, printed materials, ephemera, clippings, blueprints.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: June 1993 by Rhonda R. Newton.

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Hugh F. Gallagher, Jr., born in 1916, was one of the first developers of suburban Newark, Delaware, and a respected realtor. He was active in many professional and civic activities as was his wife, Alice Pepper Gallagher.

Gallagher's family moved to Newark from Wilmington in 1926. He graduated from Newark High School in 1933 and received a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware in 1937. Gallagher married Alice Pepper of Georgetown, Delaware on June 24, 1939. She was a 1936 graduate of Women's College at the University.

He briefly worked for Bethlehem Steel and, during World War II, at Baldwin Locomotive Works. From 1940 to 1951, Gallagher worked for his father as vice president for customer service at Union Park Motors, Inc. He left Union Park in 1951 to begin his own business. He founded Silverbrook Development, Inc., and began building houses in "Silverbrook," the first subdivision in Newark, along South College Avenue, Route 896.

After completing Silverbrook in 1955, he began developing "Oaklands" on 91 acres of land purchased from the Rathmell Wilson estate, west of Elkton Road. Gallagher donated five acres of land for the building of the Oaklands swimming pool. He retained the rights to deed restrictions on Oaklands houses until 1988 when he relinquished them to the new Oaklands Civic Association.

In 1961, he opened Hugh Gallagher Realtors at 74 East Main Street in Newark. A successful businessman, Gallagher was named Delaware Realtor of the Year in 1972. He sold the company to B. Garry Scott in 1979, but retained ownership of the Main Street building.

Gallagher was active in numerous civic and professional activities throughout his life. He served as president of the Greater Wilmington Board of Realtors, the Newark Country Club, the Newark Chamber of Commerce, the Parent-Teacher Association and the Lions Club. He also served on the boards of numerous other groups including the YMCA, Wilmington Trust Company, Newark Recreation Association, and the Delaware Association of Realtors.

He was also active in the University of Delaware Alumni Association. During the early 1960s the Gallaghers were one of several sponsors of Warner Hall, one of the University's womens' dormitories, as part of a program to improve students' poise and social graces. From 1978 until 1988, Hugh Gallagher served as alumni representative to the University Awards Committee. He was a Class of 1937 alumni delegate at several commencements as well as at the 1987 inauguration of University President Russell Jones.

Alice Pepper Gallagher graduated from Georgetown High School and, in 1936, from Women's College at the University of Delaware. She taught in the Caesar Rodney School District from 1936 to 1939, when she married.

She was active in numerous community activities, serving as president of the Newark New Century Club, chair of the Newark Cotillon, and on the local boards of the YMCA, AAUW, PTA, and Girl Scouts. She helped organize the Newark Cotillon, the Newark Symphony Society, and was a charter member of the Friends of the Newark Free Library and the Newark Historical Society. She was a senior guide at the Winterthur Museum from 1966 until 1982.

Mrs. Gallagher was also very active in the University of Delaware Alumni Association and received an Outstanding Alumni Award in 1974. She served on the Association's Board of Directors from 1967 until 1970. During this time she was chairman of the Alumni Hall Furnishing Committe which renovated the public areas of the building. She represented the Association on the Student Center Board of Directors from 1966 to 1970. She was the alumni member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the University's Blue and Gold Club and one of the charter directors when it opened in 1972. She served as a class or Association representative at several commencements and the inaugurations of two university presidents, Edward Arthur Trabant in 1969, and Russell Jones in 1987.

The Gallaghers had two daughters. Susan Gallagher Astarita graduated from Newark High School and, in 1963, from Randolph-Macon Women's College in Virginia. She earned a master's degree in comparative government at George Washington University.

Susan Gallagher was assistant producer of "Youth Wants to Know," a Washington-based public broadcasting show in the mid 1960s and worked on the 1968 campaign of Eugene McCarthy as press liaison. While director of public and community relations at Delaware Technical and Community College, she met and married Bruce Astarita. After time in Washington, D.C., they moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a writer at the Institute of Industrial Relations at UCLA and as a freelance writer specializing in disabled issues and travel. Astarita founded her own communications firm in 1977 and is a member of Women in Communications. She had one daugher, Alice.

Patricia Gallagher graduated from the Tower Hill School in 1963 and Connecticut College for Women in 1967. After time in Tunis on a student exchange program, she attended the Cours de Civilisation Française at the Sorbonne. She worked as the assistant to the fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune and wrote occasional columns for the Wilmington Morning News during the early 1970s.

In 1975, she began working for the Académie du Vin, a wine-tasting school. By 1985, she was director of the school. She married Gerard Gastaud and had two sons, Nicholas and Xavier.


Note: Biographical information is derived from materials in the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The Gallagher Family Papers document the lives of a 20th century family from Newark, Delaware, and contain a wide variety of papers, clippings, and printed material related to the history and development of Newark, civic activities, and University of Delaware alumni activities. The papers date from 1933 to 1991, with the bulk of the collection covering 1950 to 1980.

The collection is arranged in four series, each series relating to a family member. One folder at the end of the collection contains a book from the Wilson estate library and a list of books transferred to the print collection.

Series I, materials relating to Hugh Gallagher, includes papers, photographs, and other materials from his career as a developer and realtor. Personal materials included photographs, letters from his father, and graduation programs as well as a biographical photo album assembled for Gallagher's 70th birthday in 1986. Programs, photographs, and speeches from a wide variety of civic and alumni activities are also included.

A scrapbook of newspaper clippings shows the economic climate of Newark circa 1950. Advertisements for Silverbrook as well as interactions with the City Council over zoning highlight Newark's early development. Photographs of houses, blueprints, and promotional booklets entitled "Better Living" reflect the rise of suburbia in Delaware. The 1988 establishment of the Oaklands Civic Association and letters relating to a challenge to deed restrictions show continuing concern for the development.

Twentieth-century Newark history is recorded throughout the collection, but materials relating to the Wilson family and the Oaklands estate, including glass plate photographs of the mansion, the deed for Gallagher's purchase of Oaklands, and several short articles, show some of the city's earlier history. The collection also contains shares of the Christiana Canal Company from 1824.

The real estate business is documented through photographs, a Gallagher Realty contract, advertisements, and a procedures manual for Hugh F. Gallagher, Realtors. The collection also includes a Greater Wilmington Association of Realtors directory and congratulatory letters for Gallagher's Delaware Realtor of the Year Award.

Alice Pepper Gallagher's papers in Series II reflect active community involvement. The collection contains her teaching contract with the Caesar Rodney School District, which included a typed addendum that "any female teacher marrying during the period of her contract will be terminated." Materials relating to Mrs. Gallagher's volunteer activities include an annotated Winterthur guidebook, Newark New Century Club directories, the Newark Cotillon rulebook, and assorted papers relating to the Newark Historical Society.

Numerous University of Delaware alumni activities are represented in the collection. These include memos and letters about the founding of a sponsorship program for women's dormitories. The generation gap between alumni and students in the late 1960s is evident in letters and minutes of the Student Center Board of Directors. Materials about the furnishing of Alumni Hall include floor plans, copies of receipts, reports, and minutes, emphasizing the need for an attractive but functional alumni area. Programs and other ephemera from the inaugurations of E.A. Trabant and Russell Jones, as well as commencements, illustrate alumni involvement in ceremonial events.

In contrast to Alice Gallagher's alumni and volunteer activities, the materials on Susan Gallagher Astarita and Patricia Gallagher in Series III and IV illustrate professional careers. The Astarita materials include copies of published articles as well as clippings on professional achievements such as election to Women in Communications. Also included are articles relating to the Astarita family's adjustment to life with a disability and several items from the 1968 McCarthy presidential campagin.

The Patricia Gallagher materials include copies of her "An American in Paris" articles written for the Wilmington Morning News intermittently from 1969 to 1972. Gallagher's entrance and increasing role in the world of French wine is documented through several magazine and newspaper articles.

The Hugh F. Gallagher, Jr., Family Papers provide excellent resources to those interested in Newark's history and development as well as the rise of suburbia in general. Other areas of interest are University of Delaware alumni activities and local civic activities available in the 1950s and 1960s. The inclusion of materials relating to the Gallaghers' children also illuminates some of the changes in American families from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Series Outline

I.   Hugh F. Gallagher, Jr., 1933-1989
II.  Alice Pepper Gallagher, 1936-1989
III. Susan Gallagher Astarita, 1961-1991
IV.  Patricia Gallagher, 1963-1991.

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

  Series I.  Hugh F. Gallagher, Jr., 1933-1989
          Consists of materials relating to Hugh F. Gallagher,
          his civic, alumni, and professional activities in
          addition to Silverbrook and Oaklands developments, the
          Oaklands estate, and Gallagher Realty.

F1   Business Materials
F2   Civic and Alumni Activities
F3   Speaking Engagements
F4   Union Park Motors
F5   Clipping Scrapbook of 1950 Economic Climate
F6   Silverbrook Development
F7   Silverbrook Blueprints
F8   Wilson Family and Oaklands Historical Background
F9   Glass Plates of Oaklands Mansion
F10  Christiana Canal Stock
F11  Oaklands Development
F12  Oaklands Promotional Material - "Better Living"
F13  Oaklands Civic Association and Deed Restriction Case
F14  Hugh F. Gallagher, Jr., Realtors
F15  Realty Advertisments
F16  Realty Procedures
F17  Realtor Professional Activities
F18  Delaware Realtor of the Year, 1972

     Series II.  Alice Pepper Gallagher, 1936-1989
          Consists of materials relating to Alice P. Gallagher,
          her teaching career, various civic activities, and
          extensive alumni involvment.

F19  Teaching at Caesar Rodney District
F20  Winterthur Museum
F21  Civic Activities
     Alumni Activities
F22  General
F23  Warner Hall and Blue & Gold Club
F24  Student Center Board of Directors
F25  Alumni Hall Furnishing Committee
F26  Outstanding Alumni Award, 1974
F27  Presidential Inaugurations

     Series III.  Susan Gallagher Astarita, 1961-1991
          Contains published articles about and by Susan Astarita
          as well as campaign literature and materials.

F28  Biographical
F29  McCarthy Campaign
F30  Published Articles

     Series IV.  Patricia Gallagher, 1963-1991
          Contains articles about and by Patricia Gallagher as
          well as articles about the French wine world.

F31  Biographical & "American in Paris" Articles
F32  Wine-Related Activities

F33  Wilson Estate Library Materials

Books Transferred to the Print Collection
Amy Russell; or, Lambs Gathered.  Philadelphia: American Sunday
School Union, 1869.
     Inscribed "Lillie E. Wilson A Christmas Gift From Grandma
     December 25th 1874"

Bloxam, Matthew Holbeche.  The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiatical
Architecture.  Sixth Edition.  London:  David Bogue: 1894.
     Inscribed "Wm S. Wilsn"
     Ticket of Grant & Griffith, London
     David Bogue's annual catalogue tipped in in back

Fearnside, William Gray and Thomas Harral (eds.).  The History of
London: Illustrated by Views in London & Westminster.  London: Orr
and Co.
     Inscribed "Edward Wilson from his affectionate aunt A[nn?]a
     D. Wilson London August 26th 1844"

Mitchell, S. Augustus.  Mitchell's School Geography.  4th Revised
Edition.  Philadelphia:  Cowperthwait, Desilver & Butler, 1854.
     Inscribed "Edward Wilson," "E Wilson 19 Clinton St, March
     27, 1852" and other inscriptions

Newark Country. 50th Anniversary Booklet.  1971.
     Gallaghers were members; contains ad from Gallagher.

Voyage du Jeune Anacharis en Greece.  Paris: Armand-Aubree, 1830. 
5 vols.
     bookplate of Thomas B. Wilson
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