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George Wellington Wilson Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Wilson, George Wellington, 1870-1946.
Title: George Wellington Wilson Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1893-1937
Quantity: 2.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the New York businessman and manager of fundraising events for Butler Lodge 504 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, South Butler, N.Y. Collection includes correspondence, financial records, photographs, broadsides and advertisements, reflecting Wilson's management of fraternal organization fund-raising events which included fairs, plays, minstrel shows, and various entertainments for the lodge.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

George W. Wilson (1870-1946) was a New York businessman and a member of Butler Lodge 504 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, South Butler, New York.

Wilson was born in Savannah in Wayne County, New York, to George Riley and Mary Ann (Gorham) Wilson. He attended Crusoe School in Savannah and later the South Butler Village School.

He married Florence Adella Niles on January 4, 1893 and the couple had two daughters, Addie Augusta (15 Oct 1893) and Valeria Ann (23 Sep 1895). Valeria later (24 Oct 1921) married George Parsons. Florence died August 8, 1821, and Wilson subsequently married Nettie May (Chapman) Johnson (died June 12, 1955).

In 1898 Wilson joined his brother, Gorham J. Wilson, in the Wilson Store in South Butler, and continued in this business until 1937. He was librarian and deacon of the Church of Christ, Disciples for many years, as well as president of the local fire company and the Sunday School Association. For fifty years he was a member of Butler Lodge 504 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was manager of the Lodge's fund-raising events for many years.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George W. Wilson Papers contain correspondence, financial records, notes, photographs, and published material. Most of the collection represents Mr. Wilson's management fund-raising events for Butler Lodge 504, including fairs, plays, minstrel shows, and various other entertainments.

Correspondence contains mostly incoming letters about future performances, ticket sales and business arrangements with theatrical agencies in Syracuse, New York, including Eastern Lyceum Bureau (1916-1918), Eastern-Empire Lyceum Bureau (1912-1914), and Royal Lyceum Bureau (1919-1923). There is also significant correspondence with the Clyde (New York) Opera House (1919-1922), Independent Order of Odd Fellows (1910-1916), New York State Department of Agriculture (1916), and the New York State Department of Farms and Markets, Division of Agriculture (1917-1918).

Financial records include a series of cashbooks, contracts with theatrical agencies, receipts, reports of the manager, tickets, and subscription forms.

Notes contain miscellaneous handwritten items about the Odd Fellows' fund-raising events, and there are a few Photographs.

Published material consists of advertisements, broadside playbills and programs for events in South Butler, New York.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Financial records are arranged alphabetically by type. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Wilson, George Wellington, 1870-1946.

Corporate Bodies

Independent Order of Odd Fellows.


Amusements -- Posters.
Businessmen -- New York (State) -- Wayne County.
Fraternal organizations -- New York (State)
Printed ephemera.
Theatrical agencies -- New York (State)


Wayne County (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.

Genres and Forms

Broadsides (notices)
Programs (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Wellington Wilson Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gerald J. Parsons, 1969.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: RT
Date: Jul 1969
Revision history: 4 Dec 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 Miscellaneous 1893-1916, 1919-1937, undated (4 folders)
Financial records
Box 1 Cashbooks 1896-1924 (2 folders)
Box 1 Contracts Mar 1915-Jul 1924 - printed material
Box 1 Receipts Jul 1903-Jan 1933
Box 1 Reports and statements 1903, 1913-1919, undated
Box 1 Tickets and subscriptions Dec 1900-Aug 1918, undated
Box 2 Independent Order of Odd Fellows 1912-1916, 1929, undated - list of committees for fairs
Box 2 Miscellaneous undated
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Published material
Box 2 Dona Walden circa 1911? - correspondence
Empire Lyceum Bureau
Box 2 21 Dec 1911-1 Mar 1912 - Otterbein Male Quartet, Willard Gorton, Aylesworth Sisters, G.A. Morris, The Tennesseans
Box 2 circa 1912-1913 - C. Lawrence Abbott, Brewer Concert Entertainers, Herbert A. and Floy Mahan Sprague
Box 2 circa 1912-1914 - Alvah Green, Yare Duo, Washington Brothers' Alabama Jubilee Quartet
Box 2 1914? - Brewer Concert Entertainers, Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt Milton Marsh
Eastern-Empire Lyceum Bureau
Box 2 1915 - Alfred R. Burke, Maynard Lee Daggy, Griswold Sisters Quartet
Box 2 Mar? 1915 - Chicago Concert Party, Famous Suwanee River Quartette, Litchfield Latimer Duo, Mason's Jubilee Singers, Ray Newton, Grace and James Potter, Gamil Saldanha, Herbert A. and Floy Mahan Sprague
Box 2 circa 1915? - Athenian Jubilee Trio, Bay State Entertainers, the Ithacans, Galen Ross, the Wassere
Box 2 circa 1915? - Merritt B. Holley, Old Kentucky Jubilee Quartet, Stockholm Concert Company; undated notes
Box 2 circa 1915? - Emil Closs, Elite Trio
Box 2 circa 1915? - S. Platt Jones, Catherine Kennedy
Box 2 15 Oct 1915-10 Feb 1916 - Elite Trio, Morris Gershon, Harmony Trio, Lowry-Lawrence Entertainers
Eastern Lyceum Bureau
Box 2 26 Oct 1916-12 Feb 1917 - Merry Musical Maids, Maynard Lee Daggy, Venetian Trio
Box 2 circa 1916-1917? - Moon Young Chun, Florence Josephine Ensworth, Willard Gorton, Alfred R. Burke, Rufu Everson King
Box 2 circa 1916-1917? - The American Girls
Royal Lyceum Bureau
Box 2 1919 - Belle F. Dickery, Clarence Oliver Moore, National Male Quartet, Purushottam Bhikajee Mulye, Lewis and Theda Parmenter, Ted Warner, Winslow Concert Company
Box 2 Undated - Bud Fisher's Mutt and Jeff Cartoon Musical Comedy
Box 2 Undated - William Charles and Harriet Vogel Lowe Concert and Entertainment Company
Box 2 Undated - Miscellaneous
Box 2 "Davis' Hall...Genevieve Wilson...with Mr. G. E. Wilson...Valley Farm, or, The Power of True Love" 1910
Box 2 "Modern Hippodrome Shows" undated -
Box 2 "R. W. Marks presents May Bell Marks in her Original Character Sketches" undated
Box 2 "Dona Walden and Co....Master Magician" undated
Oversize 1 "Big Fair...Feb Brown and Lyn Colored Minstrels" 1929
Oversize 1 "Coming! The Star Dramatic Company! Who will present their great five-act drama, Broken Promises" undated
Oversize 1 "Hill's Moving Pictures...prsenting Russian-Japanese War...The Great Train Robbery..." undated
Oversize 1 I.O.O.F. Fair, South Butler, Mar 13-18, 1911
Oversize 1 Jones' Picture and Vaudeville Entertainers undated
Oversize 1 "The Modern Shows...Lackland and Lackland..." undated
Oversize 1 Passion Play, the Life of Christ 5 Jun 1908
Oversize 1 "Walden...Magic Illusions..." undated
Box 2 May 1915-Dec 1928, undated

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