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Charles S. Horn Ledgers

1902 - 1961

(bulk dates 1902 - 1913)

Manuscript Collection Number 96, Item 074

Accessioned:  Purchase, 2005.

Extent:  5 items (.3 linear ft.)

Content:  Ledgers, correspondence, certificate of incorporation, and payroll book.

Access:  The collection is open for research.

Processed:  February 2005 by Theresa Hessey

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

            Charles S. Horn was born in Dover, Delaware in March of 1860.  The son of carriage builder Charles W. Horn and Emma Matilda (Jones) Horn, he graduated from high school in Wilmington in 1878.  Upon graduation, he formed the Diamond Printing Company with Harry Billany.  The company remained in operation for ten years, at which time, Horn relocated to Rehoboth Beach.  Horn had first visited Rehoboth as early as 1882 to spend summer vacations.  He married Anna T. Ritchie in the early 1880s and had three sons:  William A. Horn (1885-1970), Albert Egmont Horn (1890-1949), and Charles S. Horn, Jr. (1899-1975).  Of his children, only Charles S. Horn, Jr. played an active role in his father’s various business dealings.

            Upon arrival in Rehoboth, Horn pursued numerous business opportunities.  In 1892, he constructed one of the first cottages at the beach located on Baltimore Avenue.  Horn’s first significant business venture, constructed in the late 1880s, was an emporium to be located on a pier extending into the ocean from the foot of the existing boardwalk.  The emporium became known as Horn’s Pavilion and included a recreation room, dance hall, and theater.  During this time, Horn expanded his business domain to include a complete line of novelty items, such as post cards and other souvenirs, to be sold in his store, a motion picture theater, and a roller rink.  The store was destroyed twice by storms and following a storm in 1914, was torn down.  Horn proceeded to move his emporium into space already occupied by a motion picture theater and roller rink located at 5 and 7 Rehoboth Avenue.

            Horn’s involvement in the community of Rehoboth Beach was not simply that of a businessman.  He also served as tax collector, was an officer of the local Chamber of Commerce, president of the New Rehoboth Bath and Tennis Club, member of the Improved Order of Red Men and the Free and Accepted Masons, and was director of the Lewes and Rehoboth Building and Loan Association.  Horn died in 1938.



Charles S. Horn, Jr.  Interview with David G. Menser, August 6, 1968.  Mss 179 Robert H. Richards, Jr. Delaware Oral History Collection.


Bevan, Wilson Lloyd ed., History of Delaware Past and Present, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York: 1929.  Vol. IV pp. 337-338.


“Rehoboth Beach facts and figures” Retrieved February 5, 2005 from  


Additional biographical information derived from the collection.

Scope and Contents Note

            The Charles S. Horn ledgers contain two ledgers, correspondence, a certificate of incorporation, and a payroll book.  The two ledgers document the sales and income of Horn’s numerous business investments.  One spans the years 1902 until 1913.  The second repeats the material but also continues to record entries until July of 1927.  These ledgers contain cash sale records of total amount grossed, total number of sales, total sales of candy, soda, ice cream, and later, jewelry.  Income received from the roller rink and the motion picture theater is also recorded.  Both ledgers note payroll expenses and employee schedules.  Notations regarding the weather are included, as are notations related to dances held and group excursions, all of which had a direct impact on sales.  The second ledger, while recording the same information as the first, is a more complete record of the progress of Horn’s various business interests and of the Rehoboth Beach area as a vacation destination.  The earliest years represented in the ledgers indicate that the vacation season began around the middle of May and ended around the middle of September.  By 1927, the last year denoted in the ledger, the vacation season had expanded considerably to include the months of April through November.

            Also included in the collection is a payroll book that covers the period of 1908 to 1912.  The book notes employee’s names, schedules, and wages.  The correspondence consists of a letter from James G. Horn to the Secretary of the State of Delaware inquiring about the status of the certificate of incorporation for the Rehoboth Pier and Improvement Company, established by Charles S. Horn in 1904 and a reply stating that the certificate had lapsed and the corporation was voided by the governor in 1908.  An original copy of the certificate of incorporation is included.  Also among the correspondence is a letter from the Captain of the Corps of Engineers dated November 1904, acknowledging that he had inspected the pier and it met government specifications.


Related Collections:

MS 96, Item 75            Rehoboth Beach Voter Registers and Tax Assessments

MS 179           Robert H. Richards, Jr. Delaware Oral History Collection

Postcard Collection

Contents List

Box -- Contents


1          Ledger 1-1902-1913

Includes daily records of total gross, total sales, income from candy, and income from soda.  Also included are income from various other forms of recreation operated by Horn including a pool hall, dances, a punching bag, scales, and a barber.  Additional information is recorded such as the coming and going of employees and notes on weather which affected sales.  Of particular interest is a note regarding a fire that occurred on August 16, 1912 and which destroyed the Horn home at 10 Baltimore Avenue and portions of a casino for a loss totally $5000.  Laid in to the ledger is letterhead from Delaware Farm and Home, an agricultural publication.  On the verso are figures of total income from the months of June through September from 1902 until 1911. Also laid it is a note related to the fire of August 16, 1912 and the storm of December 4, 1914, which precipitated the tearing down of Horn’s Pavilion in addition to two other miscellaneous notes and sales figures. 


            Ledger 2-1902-1927

Contains comparisons of daily cash sales for the months of June through September from 1902 until 1906.  Beginning in 1907, total daily sales are recorded by month with separate entries for income from a pool hall, “Jap store,” and moving picture theater.  Income from dances and other forms of recreation are also noted within the ledger.  By 1909, Horn’s business had expanded and entries were made for additional sources of income such as slot machines, a roller rink, and a drug store.  Beginning in 1913, notations were made on the weather, employees, and other occurrence that directly impacted sales figures.


2          Payroll Book, 1908-1913

Alphabetical listing of employees including dates of employment, many of which have no years recorded.  Includes a record of each employee’s wages and the method of payment.


3          Correspondence and Certificate of Incorporation, 1904-1961

Includes correspondence related to the construction of a “small recreation pier,” which later became part of Horn’s Pavilion.  Contains notification of permission for construction by the Corps of Engineers dated May 19, 1904 and a certificate of incorporation for the Rehoboth Pier and Improvement Company, a corporation established by Horn to construct the pier dated July 19, 1904.  Also included is a letter from the Captain of the Corps of Engineers to Charles Horn dated November 17, 1904 stating that he has inspected the pier and found it to be within specifications as well as correspondence from James G. Horn to Elisha Dukes, Delaware Secretary of State, dated January 12 and January 17, 1961, inquiring about the incorporation status of the Rehoboth Pier and Improvement Company.  Dukes replied that the corporation was declared void by the governor in 1908 for nonpayment of taxes.



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