Title: HIRAM SIBLEY FAMILY PAPERS
Date range: 1850-1950
Location: D.81
Size: 21 boxes

See also:


Hiram Sibley (1807-1888) was born in North Adams, Massachusetts. He moved to western New York State during the 1820's and worked as a shoemaker, wool carder and machinist. In 1828 he began a machine shop in Mendon, later adding a wool carding business at Mt. Morris and Sparta. In 1838 he sold his business and moved to Rochester, entered banking and real estate and was elected sheriff in 1843. About this time he met Royal Earl House and became interested in telegraphy. Sibley encouraged Samuel F.B. Morse and in 1851 he organized the New York and Mississippi Valley Telegraph Company. He believed that many small companies could never be successful, and with his partner Don Alonzo Watson of Rochester, Ezra Cornell of Ithaca and others, formed Western Union Telegraph Company in 1856. Sibley held the position of president for the next thirteen years. He was also responsible for a transcontinental telegraph line, which was independent of Western Union until 1864. He also projected a trans-Siberian telegraph to link Europe and America. The project was well under way when the successful laying of the Atlantic Cable in 1868 made it unnecessary, and caused the company great losses.

Sibley retired from Western Union in 1869, and went into the seed and nursery business in Rochester and Chicago. He also invested in land, timber, coal and railroads in the South and in Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington and Oregon.

Hiram Sibley also gave generously to institutions and charitable organizations. He was one of the incorporators of Cornell University, where he endowed Sibley College of Mechanic Arts. He also presented the University of Rochester with its first library building in the 1870's.

Hiram Sibley married Elizabeth Maria Tinker (1815-1903) in 1833. They had four children, of whom Zilpha Louise, Hiram Watson and Emily survived. Zilpha Louise married Hobart Atkinson, and Emily married first Isaac Averell and second James Sibley Watson, son of Don Alonzo Watson. Hiram Sibley died in 1888 in Rochester.

Hiram Watson Sibley (1845-1932) studied in Europe and entered business with his father, Hiram Sibley, brother-in-law, Hobart Atkinson, and Skipworth Wilmer. Their ventures included land development in Rochester,. Sibley, Ill., Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, railroads, and the seed business. About 1880, Hiram W. Sibley also entered a partnership with Isaac Bearinger which lasted until 1896. Sibley and Bearinger had offices in Saginaw, Michigan, and dealt in timber, coal and land. After the death of Hiram Sibley in 1888, Hiram W. Sibley also managed the affairs of the Sibley Estate, the legal entity which administered the inheritance of the Sibley Family.

Hiram Watson Sibley married Margaret Durbin Harper (1850-1937), of the Harper publishing family. They had six children, of whom three survived to adulthood. Ruth married John Gade and Margaret Urling married O'Donnell Iselin. Fletcher Harper Sibley (1885-1959) succeeded his father in managing the family businesses. Harper Sibley, as he was always known, was a prominent citizen in Rochester and continued the Sibley tradition of community involvement and private financial success.

The collection consists primarily of the business and legal records of the Sibley family, including Hiram, Hiram Watson, and Harper.

The Hiram Sibley material is generally concerned-with the Russian-American Telegraph Co., and consists of correspondence, notes, printed material, and translations from as well as documents in Russian. There is also a small amount of family correspondence and material.

The Hiram Watson Sibley section consists of business correspondence between Hiram, Hiram Watson, Hobart Atkinson and other members of the firm. Some of this material is also personal, since the partners were related to each other by marriage. There are also the records of the firm Sibley and Bearinger (1880-1896); deeds and records of property owned in the far west and south, including holdings in Panther, West Virginia, in coal and timber (c1895-c1950); legal material for the Sibley Estate, and the estates of individual family members; and records of charitable contributions in Rochester and New York City.

The later sections (c1920-1950) of the Panther, West Virginia, materials pertain to Harper Sibley.

Gift of Mrs. F. Harper Sibley, 1975.

Additional material: gift of Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott Architects, March 12, 2007.

Sources: Sibley, J.S. Sibley in America 1629-1972.

Dictionary of American Biography.

Ault, Philip H. "The (almost) Russian American Telegraph", American Heritage, June 1975.

Harris, Robert Dalton. "Western Union goes to Russia", P.S. No.6, A quarterly journal of postal history.


Contents:

Box 1: Correspondence, Western Union and Family Correspondence.

Folder:

  1. Correspondence, 1850-1862.
  2. Correspondence, 1863.
  3. Correspondence, Jan-Sept. 1864.
  4. Correspondence, Oct.-Dec. 1864.
  5. Correspondence, Jan-March 1865.
  6. Correspondence, April-August 186S.
  7. Correspondence, Sept.-Dec. 1865.
  8. Correspondence, Jan-May 1866.
  9. Correspondence, June-Dec. 1866.
  10. Correspondence, 1867.
  11. Correspondence, 1868.
  12. Correspondence, 1869.
  13. Correspondence, 1870.
  14. Correspondence, 1871-1872.
  15. Correspondence, 1873.
  16. Indexed Correspondence, Hiram Sibley to Mrs. Sibley, 1864-1865.
  17. Family Correspondence.
  18. Genealogical Records.
  19. Rochester Central Nursery, 1857-1866.
  20. Western Union Telegraph Co., Stockholders, Bylaws, and Balance Sheets.
  21. Transcontinental Telegraph.
  22. Western Union Extension, Negotiations Correspondence.
  23. Certification of Western Union Russian Extension Co., 1864.
  24. Proposed Route of Telegraph Line.
  25. Notes for Negotiations.
  26. Printed Material, Russian-American Telegraph.
  27. Translations from St. Petersburg Russian Gazette, Feb. 1866.
  28. Printed Material, Western Union Extension Negotiations.

Box 2: Photographs, Newspaper Clippings and Diaries.

Folder:

  1. Sibley Hall - Cornell University.
  2. Newspaper Clippings.
  3. Financial Records, Europe 1865.
  4. Passports and letter of credit.
  5. Resolution on resignation of Hiram Sibley, 1869.
  6. Printed Material, Other Telegraph Lineal
  7. Long Island Railroad Bond, 1868.
  8. Miscellaneous Financial Receipts.
  9. 5 Photographs.
  10. Newspaper Clippings and Obituaries about Hiram Sibley.
  11. Zilpha Louise (Sibley) Atkinson, Diary 1855.
  12. Elizabeth Tinker Sibley, Journal, 1850- 1852

Box 3: Correspondence.

Folders 1-26: Correspondence, 1875-1878.

Box 4: Correspondence.

Folders 1-16: Correspondence, 1879-May 1880.

Box 5: Correspondence.

Folders 1-17: Correspondence, June 1880-1884, n.d.

Box 6: Sibley and Bearinger, 1883-1897.

Folder:

  1. Sibley and Bearinger, Timber Deals, 1884-1897, n.d.
  2. Sibley and Bearinger, Timber Deals, 1884-1897, n.d.
  3. Sibley and Bearinger, Timber Deals, 1884-1897, n.d.
  4. Sibley and Bearinger, Timber Deals, 1884-1897, n.d.
  5. Sibley and Bearinger, Timber Deals, 1884-1897, n.d.
  6. Sibley and Bearinger, Timber Deals, 1884-1897, n.d.
  7. Sibley and Bearinger, British Columbia Lands.
  8. Sibley and Bearinger, Washington and Oregon Lands.
  9. Sibley and Bearinger, Mining in Port Authur, Ontario.
  10. Sibley and Bearinger, Mining in Michigan.
  11. Sibley and Bearinger, Mining in Minnesota.
  12. Sibley and Bearinger, Minnesota Land Deals.
  13. Sibley and Bearinger, Sale of Minnesota Land.
  14. Sibley and Bearinger in account with Panther Lumber Co.
  15. Sibley and Bearinger in account with Panther Lumber Co.

Box 7: Sibley and Bearinger, 1883-1897.

Folder:

  1. Agreements of Copartnership, 1883, and Dissolution of Copartnership, 1896.
  2. Financial Records.
  3. Financial Records.
  4. Financial Records.
  5. Hiring.
  6. Selling out after Dissolution of Company.
  7. Receipts in Full of Payments.
  8. Collection of Due Bills.

Box 8: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Hiram Sibley Estate, Affidavits.
  2. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  3. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  4. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  5. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  6. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  7. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  8. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  9. Hiram Sibley Estate, Annual Audits.
  10. Hiram Sibley Estate, Trustees.
  11. Hiram Sibley Estate, Will.
  12. Agreement indemnifying Hiram Sibley Estate for payment of Bond made to Sarah M. Elliott and George Elliott.
  13. Judicial Settlement of Hiram W. Sibley, March 14, 1933.
  14. Memorandum of Sale of Coupon Bonds, Trustees of Hiram Sibley Estate.
  15. Judicial Settlement of the Estate of Hiram Sibley.
  16. Hiram W. Sibley, Codicil to Last Will and Testament.
  17. Power of Attorney.
  18. Margaret D. Sibley, Stocks and Bonds.
  19. Mount Hope Cemetery, Hiram W. Sibley - Contract for Perpetual Cares
  20. Trust Indenture between Hiram W. Sibley and Security Trust Co., March 16, 1923.
  21. Jas G. Averell Estate.
  22. Ruth S. Gade Will.
  23. Emily S. Averell Watson Estate (Accounts).
  24. Augusta Whitaker Estate.
  25. J.P. Durbin Will.

Box 9: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Margaret C. Harper Estate.
  2. Margaret C. Harper Estate.
  3. Margaret C. Harper Estate.
  4. Margaret C. Harper Estate.
  5. Margaret C. Harper Estate.
  6. Margaret C. and Fletcher Harper Estates.
  7. Margaret C. and Fletcher Harper Estates.
  8. Fletcher Harper Estate.
  9. Fletcher Harper Estate.
  10. Fletcher Harper Estate.
  11. Fletcher Harper Estate.
  12. Fletcher Harper Estate.
  13. Fletcher Harper Estate.
  14. Insurance Policy, James Eldridge.

Box 10: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  2. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  3. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  4. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  5. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  6. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  7. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  8. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  9. Illinois Lands, 1852-1934.
  10. Illinois Lands, Right of Ways, 1928, 1940.
  11. Illinois Lands, Account for 1888.
  12. Mining in Minnesota, 1894-1918.
  13. Mining in Minnesota, 1894-1918.
  14. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  15. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  16. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  17. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  18. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  19. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  20. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  21. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  22. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.
  23. Mining in Idaho, 1906-1916.

Box 11: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Rochester Property - Hiram Sibley Building. (added images , March 12, 2007)
  2. Various Rochester Properties.
  3. Rochester Property - Harriet Fisher Mortgage.
  4. Rochester Property - Telephone Company.
  5. Rochester Property - Telephone Company.
  6. Rochester Property - Sibley Tract.
  7. Rochester Property - Sibley Tract.
  8. Rochester Property - Sibley Tract.
  9. Rochester Property - Sibley Tract.
  10. Various Rochester Properties.
  11. Merger - Monroe Bank/Alliance Bank, 1900.

Box 12: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Emily S. Ganson, Buffalo, 1871-1909.
  2. Emily S. Ganson, Buffalo, 1871-1909.
  3. Emily S. Ganson, Buffalo, 1871-1909.
  4. Emily S. Ganson, Buffalo, 1871-1909.
  5. Emily S. Ganson, Buffalo, 1871-1909.
  6. New York City Property, 1907-1939.
  7. New York City Property, 1907-1939.
  8. New York City Property, 1907-1939.
  9. New York City Property, 1907-1939.
  10. New York City Property, 1907-1939.
  11. New York City Property, 1907-1939.
  12. Westchester County Lands, 1903-1906.
  13. Cayuga County Lands, 1909.
  14. British Columbia Lands, 1890-1901.
  15. British Columbia Lands, 1890-1901.
  16. British Columbia Lands, 1890-1901.
  17. Kentucky Lands, 1911-1916.
  18. Port Arthur, Ontario Lands, 1891.
  19. Oakland Heights, Pontiac, Michigan Lands, 1913-1914.

Box 13: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  2. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  3. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  4. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  5. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  6. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  7. Oregon Lands, 1894-1938.
  8. Washington Lands, 1893-1935.
  9. Washington Lands, 1893-1935.
  10. Washington Lands, 1893-1935.
  11. Washington Lands, 1893-1935.
  12. Washington Lands, 1893-1935.
  13. Washington and Oregon Lands, Accounting Records, 1892-1911.

Box 14: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Charitable, University of Rochester, 1924.
  2. Charitable, Paderewski Fund, 1922-1923.
  3. Charitable, Red Cross, 1918.
  4. Charitable, Friendly Home, 1914-1919.
  5. Charitable, Friendly Home, 1914-1919.
  6. Charitable, Stock Certificates, 1892-1934.

Box 15: Sibley Family.

Folder:

  1. Lecture Notes, Columbia Law School.
  2. Lecture Notes, Columbia Law School.
  3. Lecture Notes, Columbia Law School.

Box 16: Sibley Companies.

Folder:

  1. Panther Lumber Company, Minutes: Board of Directors and Stockholders Meetings.
  2. Sibley Coal and Coke Company, Ledger/Journal.
  3. Sibley Coal and Coke Company, Ledger/Accounting Records.

Box 17: Sibley Companies.

Folder:

  1. Cash Book, 1894-195-.

Box 18: Sibley Companies.

Folder:

  1. Panther Lumber Company.
  2. Panther Lumber Company.
  3. Panther Lumber Company.
  4. Panther Lumber Company.
  5. Panther Lumber Company.
  6. Panther Lumber Company.
  7. Panther Lumber Company.
  8. Panther Lumber Company.
  9. Panther Lumber Company.
  10. Panther Lumber Company.
  11. Panther Lumber Company.
  12. Panther Lumber Company.
  13. Panther Lumber Company.
  14. Panther Lumber Company.
  15. Panther Lumber Company.
  16. Panther Lumber Company.
  17. Panther Lumber Company.
  18. Panther Lumber Company.
  19. Panther Lumber Company.
  20. Panther Lumber Company/Panther Coal Company.
  21. Panther Lumber Company/Panther Coal Company.
  22. Lathrop Coal Company, Map of Mine Number 3.
  23. Panther Coal Company, Map of Mine Number 4, Panther, West Virginia.

Box 19: Sibley Companies.

Folder:

  1. Panther Railroad Company.
  2. Panther Railroad Company.
  3. Panther Railroad Company.
  4. Panther Railroad Company.
  5. Panther Railroad Company.
  6. Panther Railroad Company.
  7. Panther Railroad Company.
  8. Panther Railroad Company.
  9. Panther Railroad Company.
  10. Panther Railroad Company.
  11. Panther Railroad Company.
  12. Panther Red Ash Coal Company.
  13. Panther Red Ash Coal Company.
  14. Sibley Coal and Coke Company in connection with Other Companies.
  15. Sibley Coal and Coke Company in connection with Other Companies.
  16. Sibley Coal and Coke Company in connection with Other Companies.
  17. Sibley Coal and Coke Company in connection with Other Companies.

Box 20: Sibley Companies.

Folder:

  1. Panther Lumber Company.
  2. Harper Sibley, Oregon Timber Lands.
  3. Hiram W. Sibley, Washington Timber Lands.
  4. Hiram W. Sibley, Panther Lumber Company.
  5. Minnesota Lands.
  6. Photographs - Minnesota.
  7. Washington and Oregon Lands.
  8. Washington Lands.
  9. Panther Coal Company.
  10. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  11. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  12. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  13. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  14. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  15. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  16. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  17. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  18. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  19. Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  20. Panther Lumber Company/Lathrop Lumber Company.
  21. Panther Lumber Company/Lathrop Lumber Company.
  22. Panther Lumber Company/Sibley Coal and Coke Company.
  23. Panther Lumber Company/Sibley Coal and Coke Company.

Box 21: Sibley Companies.

Folder:

  1. Check Book: Panther Lumber Company, Dec. 4, 1916-August 2, 1920.
  2. Check Book: Panther Lumber Company, August 6, 1920-May 3, 1924.
  3. Check Book: Panther Lumber Company, May 22, 1924-Dec. 8, 1926.
  4. Check Book: Panther Lumber Company/Panther Coal Company, July 19, 1933-Oct. 30, 1940.
  5. Check Book: Sibley Coal and Coke Company, Dec. 31, 1925-August 31, 1927.

Oversize maps and broadsides related to the telegraph (located in the map case, alcove 8)


 


 

D.226 SIBLEY (HIRAM) FAMILY PAPERS ADDITION

 

 

 


 

 

 

14 Hollinger boxes

Box 1: Business correspondence, 1843 - 1851

Box 2: Business correspondence, 1852 - 1855

Box 3: Business correspondence, 1856 - May, 1858

Box 4: Business correspondence, June, 1858 - April, 1860

Box 5: Business correspondence, May 1860 - March 15, 1863

Box 6: Business correspondence, March 16, 1863 - March 31, 1864

Box 7: Business correspondence, April 1, 1864 - 1888, n. d.

Box 8: Non-correspondence business material

Box 9: Non-correspondence business material

Box 10: Family correspondence

Box 11: Family correspondence

Box 12: Family correspondence

Box 13: Family correspondence

Box 14: Printed material, mainly business

The business correspondence (nearly 3,000 letters) in Boxes 1-7 has been indexed by name of letter-writer and letter-recipient, and is available online. In addition, an information card was made for every letter-writer represented in the collection and filed in the index to letters catalog, located in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.