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Records of J.K. Taylor Post No. 182, Grand Army of the Republic

RG-182

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library
Creator:
Grand Army of the Republic. J.K. Taylor Post No. 182. (Bethlehem, Pa.).
Title:
Records of J.K. Taylor Post No. 182, Grand Army of the Republic
Date [bulk]:
1872-1929
Date [inclusive]:
1869-1944
Call Number:
RG-182
Extent:
5 Cubic feet ((35 volumes and 7 folders in 12 boxes))
Language:
English
Abstract:
The J. K. Taylor Post No. 182 was established in 1869 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was active until the 1920s. The Records of J.K. Taylor Post No. 182, Grand Army of the Republic, 1869-1944, consist of administrative, financial, and membership records. There are also general orders, scrapbooks, correspondence, Burial Fund Association records, and descriptions of members' Civil War service.
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Biography/History

G.A.R. members established J. K. Taylor Post No. 182 on May 25, 1869 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Post was active from that date until the late 1920s. On November 19, 1923, the Post turned over its hall, furniture, and carpet to the Capt. O.A. Luckenbach Camp of the Son?s of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). The Camp agreed to take care of the financial responsibilities of the hall and allowed the Post to continue to meet in the hall following the transfer. On January 4, 1924, the J. K. Taylor Post dispersed its funds to the remaining thirty members. They continued to meet until June 1929; the last meeting minutes are recorded on June 7, 1929.

Scope and Contents

The records of the J. K. Taylor Post No. 182 cover the years 1869 to 1929 and consist of thirty-five bound volumes, seven folders, and one binder. There are also a few items from the Capt. O.A. Luckenbach Camp of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War dating from 1920 to 1944. The records are organized into six series and one subgroup that has three series. It is not known how G.A.R. Civil War Museum and Library acquired the records or if additional records survived or existed.

Series I: Administrative Records - This series consists of meeting minutes and adjutant?s reports. The minutes are of the Post?s meetings from 1874 to 1929, with gaps of missing minutes from 1869 to 1874 and 1880 to 1894. The records following the missing minutes refer to the previous minutes, but the missing minutes are not with the record group. The minutes are in bound volumes arranged chronologically. Numerous items are tipped into the minutes, including newspaper articles, invitations, and correspondence.

The Adjutant?s Reports span the years 1881 to 1883 and 1888 to 1889. These are the only years of adjutant?s reports in the record group; it is unknown if records of other years are missing or never existed. Adjutant?s Reports are quarterly reports on the state of the Post including officer listings, statistical information on membership, and information on changes in Post membership for the years listed. The records are loose documents in a folder.

Series II: Financial Records ? This series consists of account books, member account books, and minutes of the Committee on Ways and Means. The account books span the years 1889 to 1903 and are in five bound volumes arranged chronologically. They record the general finances of the Post. It is not known whether the accounts are incomplete or if no account books were kept before or prior to 1889. The member account books cover the years 1869 to 1904 and are arranged chronologically in five bound volumes. They record members? payments of their dues from their time of joining the post. The member books list names individually and record payments from the time of joining. The records occasionally record when a member discontinues payment because of death, transfer, or resignation from the organization. It is not known whether these records continued after 1904, but there are no later records within the record group. The minutes of the Committee on Ways and Means are in one bound volume and are only for the year 1869. The volume does mention that this is the first minutes, but does not mention whether the group ceased to meet after 1869.

Series III: Membership Records - This series consists of a binder of member applications, a descriptive book, and two volumes of black books. These records contain some the most important information in the record group. The member applications and descriptive books contain detailed information on the personal history of G.A.R members. The records reveal social and demographic history of members accepted into the Post, as well as information on those whom the Post did not accept. The descriptive book is one bound volume that includes detailed information on the Post?s members. Its entries run from May 25, 1869 to approximately the 1920s and include the following information: member?s name, age, birthplace, residence, occupation, details on entry into service and final discharge (which includes date, rank, company, and regiment), length of service, cause of discharge, the details of his G.A.R. membership, and remarks (which include death notices or membership ending through leaving or transferring).

Black books are records of applicants to the G.A.R. who were rejected for membership. The J.K. Taylor Post No. 182 black books consist of two bound volumes dating from approximately the 1870s to the 1890s. An internal copy of the black book was kept at the Post and a copy was sent to the Department. The black books detail the applicant?s name, rank, company, regiment or vessel, and information regarding rejection or dishonorable discharge, which is preceded by an explanation including which Post had black balled the applicant, the location and date of rejection, and the general order number as to why the applicant was rejected. The black balled applicants are listed alphabetically in the volume.

Black books contain a general history of the type of individuals that the G.A.R. did not accept as members and reveal how selective the organization was in its membership. They also reveal the number of applicants that wanted to belong to the organization but were turned down.

The member applications binder contains applications to the G.A.R. Post and relevant records accompanying these applications, such as transfer cards, applications, applications for admission to Soldiers and Sailors Home, Proof of Service Certificates, and correspondence. There are over a hundred application files within the binder. The applications document the history of the members of the Post and give details into their lives and military service. Member Applications have no definite start and end date because the G.A.R. recorded and filed the documents as individual members joined or transferred to the Post. The G.A.R. Civil War Museum and Library maintains all of its Post application records in a separate file. The records are sleeved, filed alphabetically in binders, and indexed.

Series IV: General Orders ? General Orders consist of announcements, instructions, communications, and rules on practice and procedure. They provide information on how the G.A.R. functioned as an organization nationally, regionally, and locally. General orders communicated within the G.A.R. Post are post orders, orders communicated from the Department are department orders, and orders communicated from the national organization are national orders. Collectively, all orders are entitled General Orders. Of the six volumes of general orders, the first two volumes are seven pages of handwritten Post orders from 1870-1874. The other four bound volumes are of printed department orders dating from 1889 to 1925, with some gaps in the records.

Series V: Scrapbooks, Correspondence, and General Files ? This series contains a variety of documents that the organization compiled or received. There is a one-volume scrapbook for the years 1879 to 1881 and scrapbook material in five folders covering the years 1880-1890, 1897, 1923, 1942, and 1943 in individual folders. The scrapbooks include photographs, musical scores, receipts, newspaper clippings, correspondence, memorial programs, outside publications and pamphlets, and program announcements. Some documents pertain to the Capt. O.A. Luckenbach Camp of the S.U.V.C.W., such as receipts and Memorial Day services. The latter materials extend into the 1940s and include documents that provide information on the transfer of J.K. Taylor Post?s assets to the Luckenbach S.U.V.C.W. Camp. Some program announcements are under the auspices of both J.K. Taylor Post No. 182 and the S.U.V.C.W. camp.

The letter book is a bound volume of letters generated or received by the Post from 1889 to 1891. It contains general correspondence as well as printed matter.

Outside publications include a G.A.R. Services booklet from 1898, a G.A.R. Rituals booklet from 1895, an S.U.V.C.W. Rituals and Ceremonies booklet from 1920, and a Report of the PA Commission of Soldier?s Orphan Schools from 1917.

Series VI: Post History - This series consists of a chronological listing of events and memorial war sketch forms. The chronological listing of events is a handwritten history of the organization?s activities in a bound volume. It lists Post events and milestones from its founding on May 25, 1869 to March 1883.

The memorial war sketch forms provide detailed information on members? service in the Civil War and their membership in the G.A.R. The Post Historian utilized these forms to compile a detailed history of each of the Post?s members. This information would then be entered into a war memorial sketch book. However, there is no war memorial sketch book for the J.K. Taylor Post No. 182 and it is not known if it was lost or never was written. The forms are the only known surviving record of this information. The forms are oversized sheets filed in a folder.

Subgroup I: Burial Fund Association ? The Burial Fund Association was a sub-organization within the G.A.R. Post (in many posts it is known as the Death Benefits Association or D.B.A.). The Burial Fund Association was an organization whose members contributed to a fund to aid widows and children of veterans with burial expenses. The subgroup consists of five bound volumes arranged into three series.

Subgroup I; Series I: Administration ? The Administrative Records series includes the constitution, bylaws, and minutes of the J. K. Taylor Post No. 182 Burial Fund Association. The constitution and bylaws are in one bound volume, which also includes a list of members and addresses, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and a transfer card. The inclusive years of the tipped in material are 1894 to 1904 and the minutes of the Burial Fund Association date from June 22, 1894 to January 7, 1910. The minutes include some financial information and clippings.

Subgroup I, Series II: Financial Records ?The Financial Records series consists of a receipt book and an account book. The receipt book records the payments of the Burial Fund Association from August 4, 1894 to January 21, 1910. The account book is one volume that the treasurer and secretary used to record the accounts of the Association dating from 1896 to 1910. There are newspaper clippings tipped in the volumes from 1886, but the majority of the papers date from 1896 and later.

Subgroup I, Series III: Membership Records ?The Membership Records series consists of the Death Benefits Association Roll Book, which is one bound volume from 1896 to 1941. The volume presumably lists beneficiaries and descendants of Death Benefits Association members. The recorded information includes the beneficiaries? name, age, the date they entered, and the date they dropped.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Jack McCarthy and Megan Atkinson, 2009-2010. EAD conversion was completed through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories.

Sponsor

This preliminary finding aid was created by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania?s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) using data provided by the Grand Army of the Republic Civil War Museum and Library. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Access Restrictions

Contact the Grand Army of the Republic Museum and Library for information about accessing collection.

Processing Information note

The records were rough sorted and placed in archival boxes by board members and volunteers of the GAR Civil War Museum & Library in 2008. In 2009-2010 they received preliminary processing by Archival Consultant Jack McCarthy and Intern Megan Atkinson, working on a project funded by grants from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and National Endowment for the Humanities. This finding aid is the result of that project. The grant funds allowed for only minimal processing and very little re-housing of the records; as noted above, the records require more thorough processing.

The finding aid created by McCarthy and Atkinson was converted to the EAD format in 2011-2012 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania?s Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Grand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Pennsylvania.
  • Grand Army of the Republic.
Geographic Name(s)
  • Bethlehem (Pa.)
Subject(s)
  • Fraternal organizations
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Veterans

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Collection Inventory

Administrative records.

Box

Minutes (missing: 1869-1874, 1880-1894), 1874-1929. 7 Items.

1-3

Adjutant?s reports, 1881-1883, 1888-1889. 1 Items.

3

Financial records.

Box

Account books, 1889-1903. 5 Items.

3-5

Member accounts, 1869-1904. 5 Items.

6-7

Committee on Ways and Means, 1869. 1 Items.

3

Membership records.

Membership applications, circa 1860s-1900s. 1 Items.

Box

Descriptive books, 1869-circa 1920. 1 Items.

8

Black books, circa 1870-1890. 1 Items.

8

General orders.

Box

Post orders, 1870-1874. 2 Items.

8-9

General orders, 1889-1925. 4 Items.

9

Scrapbooks, correspondence, and general files.

Box

Scrapbook, 1879-1882. 1 Items.

10

Letter book, 1889-1891. 1 Items.

10
Outside publications, 1917. 2 Items.
10
Box

S.U.V.C.W. Rituals and Ceremonies, 1920. 1 Items.

10

Report of the PA Commission of Soldier?s Orphan Schools, 1917. 1 Items.

10
G.A.R. publications, 1895, 1898, 1920. 2 Items.
10
Box

Services booklet, 1898. 1 Items.

10

Rituals booklet, 1895. 1 Items.

10

Scrapbook folders, 1880-1942. 5 Items.

11

Post history.

Box

Chronological listing volume, 1882-1883. 1 Items.

12

Memorial sketch forms, circa 1890s-1900s. 1 Items.

12
Burial Fund Association.
Box
12

Administration.

Box
12
Box

Constitution and bylaws, 1894-1904. 1 Items.

12

Minutes, 1894-1910. 1 Items.

12

Financial records.

Box
12
Box

Receipt Book, 1894-1910. 1 Items.

12

Treasurer and Secretary?s accounts, 1886-1910 (Bulk, 1896-1910) . 1 Items.

12

Membership records.

Box
12
Box

Death Benefit Association roll book, 1896-1941. 1 Items.

12