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Collection Title: Beatty (George) and Heimer (John) Ledger

Collection Number: M116

Dates: 1841-1848

Volume: 1 Ledger (.25 cu. ft.)

Provenance: Unknown.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code.)

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

George Beatty was the youngest son born to James and Alice Irwin Beatty in the townland of Bally-Keel Ednagonnell, county Down, Ireland, in 1781. In the summer of 1784 James Beatty brought his family to America where they settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

James Beatty purchased a number of lots in Harrisburg and became quite prominent. He held several official positions under the borough charter. His property remained in the possession of his descendents following his death in 1794.

George Beatty received a regular school education, and later worked with his brother-in-law, Samuel Hill, from whom he learned clock and watch making. Referred to as an "ingenious mechanician," George is remembered for his clocks of "peculiar and rare invention." It was presumably this business in which he was active for more than 40 years.

In his early years, George served a term as director of the poor with responsibility for assessing taxes for the welfare of the poor and securing housing and employment for them, and also held the position of county auditor.

For several years he served as a member of the town council; in that capacity he was a leader in efforts to supply Harrisburg with water. On March 10, 1862, at age 81, Beatty died in Harrisburg and was buried in the Harrisburg Cemetery.

John Heimer was the co-partner, in a brickmaking business, of George Beatty. Heimer was responsible for digging clay, repairing the kiln and shed floors, making brick, and keeping the yards. Beatty furnished the yards and machinery. Beatty also received all the cash but gave Heimer part of the profits.

No other biographical information on John Heimer could be located.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of one ledger of a brickmaking firm. The ledger includes entries primarily dated 1841-1848; however, there are brief entries for 1827, 1850, and 1851. The notes of 1850 and 1851 are records of accounts settled. The ledger includes entries made before and during the formation of a partnership between George Beatty, the original owner, and John Heimer. The formation of the partnership is dated March 13, 1843 and continued to 1848(?).

Pages 100-104 contain an article of agreement between Beatty and Heimer. Following the agreements are records of the distribution of profits, 1841-1848.

Of interest in the ledger are the names of structures for which bricks were ordered; some of these include Harrisburg Bank, Presbyterian Graveyard, German Reformed Church, Courthouse, and Washington Hose Company. The ledger also records brick orders paid by the Town Council, Borough-Treasurer and the Treasurer of the Harrisburg Water works. These bricks were ordered for the pavement of streets, and the construction of canals, gutters, and sewers. Ledger entries record the manner of payment of accounts, whether by cash, check, or a trade of goods and services. This may be of interest to someone studying the economy of the mid-19th century. Furthermore, by examining the number of paved streets and the canals mentioned, one may acquire an idea of Pennsylvania's efficiency in internal improvements.


Created by: Bobs M. Tusa
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Revised: November 10, 2004