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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 25, June 18, 2006, Article 8

ON COLLECTING CITY DIRECTORIES

Dave Perkins writes: "This is in reply to George Fuld's posting
in last week's E-Sylum "Does anyone collect city directories of
the Nineteenth Century?"

I collect Detroit, Michigan City Directories which I use for
researching the Detroit Civil War Store Card tokens, other tokens
and counterstamped coins.  They are a great source to "discover
the issuer behind the token."  In addition, quite a few of the
merchants and businesses that issued the tokens placed advertisements
in these same city directories.  This often yields additional
information about their business.  I have published numerous
articles in the Civil War Token Journal and the TAMS Journal
using this information (and with information from other sources
I have acquired).

Despite advertising to buy Detroit city directories for many years
it took me almost 10 years to acquire my first ones.  If I remember
correctly, I eventually got the following years: 1837 (reprint);
1856-57; 1861; 1872-73; 1875-76; 1876-77; 1882; 1884 and about one
per decade through the 1940s.  My favorite and the best for my Civil
War Token research was the 1861 directory.  I was never able to
locate original copies of the 1862-64 directories, key directories
for the tokens issued during the Civil War.

My great-great grandfather, Wm. Perkins, Jr. issued two Detroit Civil
War Tokens.  One was for the Perkins Hotel and the other the Perkins
Grocery & Provision Store.  I once went through the 1861 city directory
line by line and located many employees of the two businesses.  Later
while doing genealogical research on my family it turned out that two
of these employees were relatives, having married daughters of Wm.
Perkins, Jr.

About a year ago I purchased a CD on E-Bay with directories from the
1860s and eventually acquired many other years from the same source.
I printed the 1862-1866 Directories on archive type paper and had
them nicely bound.  I now have a pretty complete library of Nineteenth
Century Detroit city directories."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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