Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ledger Book from Lee Chambers Brickyard

A ledger book from the business of Lee Chambers is housed in the Business Collections of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. The book dates from March 1865 through May 1889. Lee Chambers was a mason and contractor from the 1850s until his death in 1891. The ledger lists accounts of both household and business transactions. Between 1855 and 1871, according to listings in the Sandusky City Directories, Mr. Chambers was a mason, carpenter, and bricklayer; by 1886 he was listed as a brick manufacturer. Mr. Chambers’ residence, as well as his brickyard, was on the west side of Milan Road, south of the corporation line, not far from Oakland Cemetery. 

This page of the ledger lists some of Mr. Chambers’ incoming and outgoing expenses in September of 1882.

The listings on pages 176 and 177 are related to his involvement in the construction of a tunnel for the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in 1887.

Besides hundreds of business-related entries in the Chambers ledger, there are also details about household expenses and recipes. Below is a handwritten recipe for a remedy for cholera.

Lee Chambers died on February 17, 1891. His obituary stated that he had been “one of our old and respected citizens.” A heartfelt tribute appeared in the Sandusky Register of February 21, 1891: In 1873, at the time that Jay Cooke suffered severe financial losses, the Third National Bank of Sandusky lost significant funds. People in Sandusky were in a state of excitement, and were worried about losing money they had deposited in their local bank. Depositors began clamoring for their money. In the midst of this turmoil, Lee Chambers walked into the bank and said to Laurence Cable, the bank president that he wanted to deposit $500. Lee’s confidence in the bank meant a great deal to the officers of the Third National Bank, and helped to calm down the excitement and fears of the bank customers. The article concluded, “Lee Chambers was a man of remarkably strong characteristics and when he died the life of an honest man went out.”

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