Guide to the Gordon Brothers General Merchandise Ledgers 1898-1901
Cage 860

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Gordon Brothers General Merchandise
Title
Gordon Brothers General Merchandise ledgers
ID
Cage 860
Date [inclusive]
1898-1901
Extent
1.0 container
General Physical Description note
0.3 linear feet of shelf space
Language
English
Abstract
The Gordon Brothers General Merchandise Ledgers consist of two bound ledgers detailing transactions at the establishment from 1898-1901. The store was located in Pampa, Washington (currently LaCrosse) and run by James Emory and Frank L. Gordon from 1898-1905.

Preferred Citation note

[Item description]. Gordon Brothers General Merchandise Ledgers, 1898-1901. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Historical Note

The town of Pampa (near present day LaCrosse, Washington) was founded in 1889 by David and Rachel Bowman. The expansion of the Union Pacific Railroad increased settler access to the region. Two notable families were the Hoopers and the Turners, who had been in the region since the 1870s. There was a post office from 1894 until 1919. The town dissolved in 1929, when the school was consolidated with the LaCrosse school.

The Gordon Brothers General Merchandise Store was established by 1888, at which time it was owned by T.H. Logsdon and J.H. Mason. In 1893, they sold it to Charles Woehr, who owned it until 1898. Emory and Frank Gordon bought the store in 1898 and sold it to Ai Camp in 1905, who eventually closed the store in 1919. The store sold a wide range of goods and served as a meeting place for the surrounding community. The busiest day of the week was Saturday, but the store was open every day. The store engaged in barter, including trade for the Hoopers’ annual apple harvest.

When the Gordon brothers bought the store in 1898, it cost them $200 and had an inventory of goods valued at $1,825.55. They added a coal house and an oil house in 1901. James Emory (b. 1867) and Frank L. Gordon (b. 1871) were two of six children of Jonathon F. and Lizzie Gordon. Their father was a carpenter, and their parents moved from Burlington, Iowa in 1870, traveling first to Ogden, Utah and eventually ended up homesteading in Covello, near Dayton, Washington. Frank attended business college in Portland in 1890 and 1891, and returned to work in Dayton, Washington. Emory raised livestock with his brother Worden for several years, but eventually went into business with Frank when they bought the general merchandise store. Frank Gordon married Alice Bowman (the daughter of the Tampa founders) in 1909, and Emory Gordon married Mary Steward in 1907.

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Scope and Contents note

The Gordon Brothers General Merchandise Ledgers consist of two ledgers dating from 1898 to 1901. The ledgers contain records of purchases and expenditures by store patrons, as well as information about shipments from suppliers. Goods traded included food, dry goods, medicine, tools, seeds, and school supplies, to name a few. Some notable patrons were the Hoopers, Ai Camp, David Bowman, and John McGregor.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged in chronological order.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2017

http://www.libraries.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

No known restrictions apply to this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The Gordon Brothers General Merchandise Ledgers was donated to Washington State University Libraries by Ethel Gordon Metzger in 1990 (MS.1990.51).

Processing Information note

This collection was processed by Samantha Case and supervised by Steven Bingo in 2017.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

This collection was used for research for Tampa and its Neighbors by the collection donor, Ethel Gordon Metzger. This book was published by Steamboat Pilot in 1977.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Gordon Brothers General Merchandise -- Archives.

Subject(s)

  • Business records -- Washington (State).
  • Businesses and Corporations
  • Pampa (Wash) -- History.
  • Washington (State)

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Ledger 1 December 6, 1898-August 21, 1899 

1 1

Ledger 2 August 22, 1899-February 21, 1901 

1 2