peabody institute library

A postcard for the nightclub Wagon Wheels located on Route 1 in Peabody. It was a well known place for musicians to play. Music was every Thur. Fri. Sat. evenings and was air conditioned. Normally open from 10 to 1 A.M. Orchestra for your dancing pleasure nightly. The club was 15 minutes from downtown Boston with fine motels and restaurants within walking distance.

Duke Ellington and his orchestra two nights there. Tuesday, 28, July, 1964 and Wednesday 29, July, 1964 among many other well known musicians.

The club was directly across the street from – The Carriage House Motor Inn.

Painting by Emile Gruppe (1896 - 1978) titled “Gloucester Morning.” The painting hangs in the main room of the Peabody Institute. 

In the early 1930’s Emile found his way to the fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts and to the area known as Rocky Neck, one of the oldest artist communities in the US. Here he established his home and The Gloucester School of Painting (1940 – 1970) in an old school house with his mentor John Fabian Carlson. 

A banner that was created by the Community Relations and Public Programming Coordinator, Kelley Rae Unger, for the Peabody Centennial Parade that took place in November of 2016. The parade was to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Peabody incorporating as city.

Two banners were created. One was weatherized and the other was not. Work started on the banner in July of 2016. Ms. Unger requested a current photo of the Library by archivist Erik R. Bauer who provided a photo of the Library that was taken sometime in the early 2000s. From there Kelley; Martha Holden, library director; and Hal Reynolds, the printer, worked to create the banner that would be used in the parade. This banner is not the one that was in the parade. The parade banner was a heavier vinyl.

The banner was meant to look like the one that was made for when George Peabody returned to South Danvers in 1868. The main difference between the two banners is that the 1868 banner is asymmetrical while the 2016 banner is symmetrical.

What appears to be a canceled check from [ unknown ] 8th, 1885 from Munroe & Arnold Express Company to H.F. [ unclear ]. The amount is for $121.12 and would come out of an account at the South Danvers National Bank.

Munroe & Arnold-Merritt Express Co. had locations in Boston, Salem and Peabody. It is unclear what the history of the company was before the 20th century. According to the “Municipal History of Essex County” in “ 1904 the Munroe and Arnold Express Company bought the old established express business of David Merritt, and in 1905 acquired the J.H. Moulton Express Company of Salem.” Later both of those businesses would merge into the Munroe and Arnold Express company. On September 1, 1905 was incorporated under Massachusetts General Law. William F. Munroe was president and George F. Felt, treasurer. The company would later organize on August 9, 1944 as Munroe & Arnold Merritt Express, Inc. with a ID number 041643870. Their principal office was at 183A Lafayette Street in Salem.

On October 31, 1914 there was a notice of threatened strike of teamdrivers as they are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Stablemen and Helpers. There were issues in negotiations between management and employees according to the Annual Report of the State Board of Conciliation and Arbitration by Massachusetts State Board of Conciliation and Arbitration. An agreement was signed and all parties were happy with the arrangement. The company would close via voluntary dissolution on July 20, 1975.

William Frederick Munroe the son of William Calvin and Adeline B. (Jones) was born in Peabody on March 31, 1864. He married Clara Bailey Mansfield (daughter of Edward Galen and Rebecca Stacey (Breed) Mansfield) on September 14, 1868 in Wakefield, MA. He would become the president of Munroe-Arnold-Merritt Express Company. Munroe was a member of the Republican town committee for ten years. In 1896 he was elected as a Trustee to the Peabody Institute and 1906 a Peabody School Committee member. He was also a member of Jordan Lodge; F. and A.M.; Washington Royal Arch Chapter, Salem, Winslow Lewis Commandery, No. 18; Knights of Templar of Salem and in 1891 was a noble grad of Holton Lodge among other groups.

Little is known about Arnold and later Merritt.

The South Danvers National Bank was the established in 1825 and given the charter number of 958; the bank would be the first bank in South Danvers. The initial capital was $150,000 and would be limited to $300,000. The first president was William Sutton. Other employees included Warren M. Jacobs, president and cashier George A. Osborne.  

In the 1872 Peabody Directory the price for a share of the bank was $100 and the president was E.T. Osborn; cashier, G.A. Osborne. The directors were: Edward W. Jacobs; E.T. Osborn; A.A. Abbott; I.B. Elliot; Jonathan King and Joseph Osgood. The main location of the bank was at 22 Main Street and was built in 1893.

An ad for the bank in “Salem, Beverly, Danvers and Peabody: their representative business men and points of interest,” which was published in 1893 by Mercantile illustrating co. gives some insight to the financial health of the bank. The ad quotes that:

March 6, 1893, will be of interest: Resources - loans and discounts, $289,750.46; overdrafts, secured and unsecured, $ 459.68; U. S bonds to secure circulation, $50,000; due from other national banks, $2,385.33; banking house furniture and fixtures, $38,234.13; current expenses and taxes paid, $1,773.69; checks and other cash items, $3,112.73; bills of other banks, $394; fractional paper currency, nickels and cents,$57; specie, $4,842.80: legal tender notes, $200; redemption fund with U. S. treasurer (5 per cent of circulation), $2,250; total, $410,4.59.83. Liabilities-capital stock paid in, $150,000; surplus fund, $70,600; undivided profits, $16,339.60; national bank notes outstanding, $45,000; dividends unpaid $1,416; individual deposits subject to check, $119,702.97; due to other national banks, $8,101.25; total, $410,459.82.

The ad goes on to day that the bank is “very finely equipped, have all modern improvements for the accommodation of patrons and are so arranged and fitted up as to greatly facilitate the transaction of business and to afford all possible security against loss by fire or by burglary. The banking hours are from 8 to 12 a. m., daily, and from 3 to 3 P. M. every day but Saturday. Tuesday is discount day. The officers and directors include the following well known businessmen: President, William P. Clark ; Cashier,
George M. Foster ; Directors : Horace Bushby, Wm. P. Clark, Henry G. Rice, Warren Shaw, Edmund A. Poole, B. F. Southwick.”

The bank would close on September 19, 1900. According to a September 20th, 1990 article in “The New York Times” Irvin B. Sayles, The National Bank Examiner, which was a sub-division of the Treasury Department, would inspect the books once the bank became a National Bank “it handled a large part of the funds of local tradesmen and manufacturers; however business became limited it carried individual deposits of $233,529. Though when the "last statement was made to the Controller of the Currency the surplus and undivided profits were placed at $70,463.” The president of the bank at the time was William P. Clark. According to the December 16, 1900 “New York Times” Benjamin G. Hall of Peabody was “appointed attorney for the insolvent South Danvers National Bank […] Major Hampton, now connected with the Globe National Bank as representative of the Controller” was appointed receiver of the South Danvers National Bank
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On February 9, 1901 it was reported in “The New York Times” that George Foster, a former cashier, of the South Danvers National Bank was arrested by Deputy Marshal Waters because he had embezzled $3,600 from the bank. He was able to create overdrafts using and pocking the money. “Foster was hired at the Flax Fiber Company as a cashier. Though it appears that more money was missing, but Charles G. Dawes, Controller of the Currency stated that stockholders would receive 100%; though depositors will not receive more than 75% of their deposits and financial men who are conversant with affairs of the bank will not receive more than 50%. In addition, "it is understood that the entire capital of $150,000 together with the surplus had disappeared.”

Among the losses was the Wallis School Fund, which invested in the Bank’s stock. Because of the failure the fund was wiped out. Al the South Danvers Fire Insurance Company of Peabody and the Peabody Board of Trade all had investment with the bank. The Insurance Company had “111 shares and will have to pay $11,000 assessment besides losing the investment” according to a “The New York Times” article from February 10, 1901. The reason was because George Foster was involved in these institutions.

George M. Foster and depositor John W. Dickinson were charged with 15 counts of misappropriating funds relating to South Danvers National Bank. The jury deliberated for 32 hours returned guilty verdicts on 3 courts, not guilty on 7 and hung on 5. Though it appears that in 1913 those conviction were over turned.

Black and white photograph with ball point pen noting Dry Loft at the Boston Mat Leather Company, Peabody, Massachusetts.

In a large room with wooden floor and posts running down the center of it are two men.  The one on the viewer’s right stands with his arms crossed over his chest, wears glasses and is smiling.  The one on the left holds a small stick lifting one piece of leather off a pile of them, looking at the camera with a bit of a smile.  Behind them are racks of leathers hanging to dry.

A young Queen Victoria in her Coronation Robes titled “Her Majesty Queen Victoria.” It was published by Ablion of New York in 1847.

Queen Victoria stands at the top of some steps, dressed in her coronation robes and the blue riband of the order of the garter. She rests one arm against the base of a sizable stone column. The stone column features the lion which is a common theme throughout English heraldry. 

This portrait of Queen Victoria is an engraving after Alfred Chalon’s original coronation portrait, painted in watercolours and now in the Belgian Royal Collection. The portrait head of the Queen in this and other versions was used as the design for stamps during the Victorian period, known to collectors as ‘Chalons’. The bottom of this lithograph reads “Her Majesty Queen Victoria”. The printer of this image was J. Dalton but there is not a lot of information about him.

Victoria succeeded to the throne in 1837 and married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha three years later in 1840. Victoria’s influence on British politics and society was extensive. During her reign, she saw the development of industry and commerce; the expansion of the British Empire; and numerous social reforms. Many state portraits were made of Victoria, and the growth of the illustrated press meant that her image could be widely disseminated.

Alfred Edward Chalon

Alfred Edward Chalon was born in Geneva but moved to England as a child, when his father was made French professor at Sandhurst. He began his studies at the Royal Academy Schools in 1797 and, having become a fashionable portraitist, was elected a Royal Academician in 1816. Chalon was the first to paint Queen Victoria on her accession to the throne. He was later appointed her official Portrait Painter in Water-colours. His brother, John James Chalon (1778-1854), was also a painter and together they established the Society for the Study of Epic and Pastoral Design in 1808, also known as the Bread and Cheese Society, and the Chalon Sketching Society. Chalon died in Kensington in 1860 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery.

Henry S Sadd

Henry S. Sadd exhibited one engraving, a portrait of ‘J. Liston, Esq.’, after a painting by George Clint (1770-1854), at the Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street, in 1832. Sadd’s address was given at the time as ‘21 Quickset Row, New Road, Fitzroy Square’.

A postcard that was published by the Peabody Historical Society of Peabody Square in 1890, with fountain. The postcard was part of a series that the Society released in the early part of the 20th century. This is number 47 in the series. Notice were the fountain is located, it was removed and the O’Shea building and later block would take up that space

The Peabody Institute Library celebrates its 162nd birthday this week. The images is a broadside announcing the opening of the Library. Books were going to be delivered that day and the Library would be open for business.

The library was founded with a $20,000 gift from George Peabody in 1852. He only requirements were that it be free and open to the public and that is have a lyceum.