Finding Aid to the William Frost Mobley Funeral and Mourning Ephemera Collection

Col. 6

©Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library  
Winterthur, DE 19735  

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Table of contents
The papers are a collection of American ephemera related to funerals and mourning customs, mostly from the late 19th century, including bills for grave digging, printed eulogies and elegies, invitations to funerals, trade cards for funerary businesses, cemetery deeds, and other items.

Background note:
William Frost Mobley was a dealer in antiquarian ephemera in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Ephemera Society of America, the American Historical Print Collection Society, and the American Printing History Association.

Scope and content
The papers are a collection of American ephemera related to funerals and mourning customs. It consists of a wide variety of mostly late nineteenth century printed materials that document American funerary and mourning practices of the time. The collection includes manuscript bills for grave-digging, burial and gravestones; printed eulogies and elegies; printed invitations to funerals, 1827-1925; printed and pictorial billheads for funeral-related businesses, 1838-1916; printed memorial cards, 1843-1926; tributes to members of a fraternity killed during the Civil War, 1861-1865; death announcements and funeral notices, 1870-1928; trade cards for various funerary businesses; letterheads of companies selling caskets, monuments, and other funeral services, 1880-1902; cemetery deeds; samples and price lists for mourning cards; two photographs of horse-drawn hearses; two lithographed mourning pictures; a mourning badge honoring President William McKinley; and similar items. A few of the items are for mock funerals.

For the most part, the materials are arranged by type and then by accession number.

A name index to the collection is available at this repository.

Administrative information


Purchased from William Frost Mobley.

Additional descriptive information

OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION Extent: 0.8 cu. ft. Date range: 1809-1963 Creator: William Frost Mobley Title: Funeral and Mourning Ephemera Collection Dates: 1809-1963, 1855-1909 (bulk) Call No.: Col. 6 Acc. No.: 86x1 Quantity: 2 boxes Location: 16 A 5

Other descriptive information

The Winterthur Library

The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Added entries

  • Funeral rites and ceremonies.
  • Mourning customs.
  • Presidents - United States - Death.
  • Sepulchral monuments.
  • Undertakers and undertaking.

    Genre terms
  • Bills of sale.
  • Elegies.
  • Eulogies.
  • Invitations
  • Letters.
  • Lithographs.
  • Photographic prints.
  • Trade cards.

    Contact information

    Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library
    Winterthur, DE 19735


    Collection inventory

    Mourning cards and funeral notices:
    Box 1: Folder 1

    .1.  Rev. David Coggin, d. 1852, pencil drawing of tomb and willow tree

    .5.  Joseph R. Bodwell, Governor of Maine, d. 1887, official program of funeral services at Augusta and Hallowell

    .6.  Rosalia Louisa Richmond, d. 1858, age 19, notice of death from typhoid fever, New York City

    .7.  Maria Jane Hurd, d. 1849, age 12, notice of death in Springfield, Massachusetts; includes picture of her

    .8.  William Askins, d. 1827, infant, invitation to funeral, Paris [no state]

    .9.  William M'Pherson, d. 1833, invitation to funeral

    .11.  Stephen Baldy, d. 1855, invitation to funeral, Norristown

    .12.  envelope labeled "Remembrance of the Dead"

    .13.  Betsey M'Clintick, d. 1844, invitation to funeral, Chillicothe

    .15.  Alonzo Clark Baldwin, d. 1843, age 35, manuscript elegy, with picture of mourner at his tomb, written on paper with perforated edge, signed S. Helena

    .16.  Printed poem, no names given, about receiving lock of departed brother's hair, the lock of hair is attached to the paper

    .19.  Della M. Roberts, d. 1901, age 2, memorial poem and description of funeral

    .20.  Sanford Rowe, ca.1830s., age 20, memoir

    .21.  a letter about settling for the coffin and burial of Caleb Barnes' daughter, 1809, Plymouth

    .22.  Miss Eleanor Ball, d. 1830, invitation to funeral, addressed to I. Yarnal

    .23.  Mrs. C. B. Anderson, d. 1928, age 82, notice of death and funeral, Humansville, Missouri

    .24.  Green-Mount Cemetery, Montpelier, 1855, order of exercises for dedication of cemetery

    Memorial printed on satin:
    Folder 2

    .17.  to the memory of Isabella Fraser, wife of Walter S. McCulloch, d. 1844, age 33; memorial printed 1845, Albany

    Memorial printed on satin:
    Folder 3

    .18.  to the memory of Jacob Ringwalt, d. 1828, age 63

    Folder 4

    .25.  Isaac Wells Little, d. 1838, age 9, elegy by J.W. Barker, to be sung to the tune Cookham

    .26.  Miss Sally Oaks, d. 1818, age 18, elegy by Samuel Dunn, Newsalem

    .27.  Harfield Lyndsey, n.d., age 26, with an acrostic by Samuel Dunn

    Presidential and political funeraria
    Folder 5

    .14.  William Jennings Bryan, "who was interred this election day... by Taft and his forces. We mourn our loss." 1908

    .28.  Abraham Lincoln, d. 1865, "solemnization of the funeral obsequies" in Jamestown, New York

    .29.  James A. Garfield, d. 1881, "In Memoriam" card, embossed

    .30.  Ulysses S. Grant, poem by Gen. Horace Binney Sargent for funeral obsequies in Los Angeles, n.d.

    .31.  Ulysses S. Grant, d. 1885, memorial picture printed in New York

    .32.  James A. Garfield, d. 1881, announcement of memorial service, Washington, D.C.

    Presidential funeraria: McKinley mourning badge (acc. no..33)
    Folder 6

    Invitations to funerals
    Folder 7

    .34.  James B. Levan, d. 1926, age 76, invitation to funeral, Mountain, Pennsylvania

    .35.  Aaron Bennighoff, d. 1925, age 74, invitation to funeral, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania

    .36.  mourning envelope addressed to Mrs. William Hartman, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, possibly held card for Aaron Bennighoff's funeral

    .37.  Henry C. Rogers, d. 1909, invitation to funeral, Buddtown and Pemberton, New Jersey, "carriages will meet" certain trains

    .38.  mourning envelope addressed to John A. Harker, possibly held card for Mr. Roger's funeral

    .39.  William Chauvenet, d. 1878, "obsequies" apparently celebrating the end of a math class at a school or university, celebration held by the Class of '80, St. Louis

    Memorial cards
    Folder 8

    .40.  Robert R. Carhart, d. 1888, age 42, Guilderland

    .41.  Catharine S. Carhart, d. 1885, age 60, and Sanford Carhart, d. 1888, age 68, Guilderland

    .42.  Alvah Dore, d. 1900, age 77, memorial card with photograph

    .43.  Simon W. Elliott, d. 1895, age 50, who apparently was a veteran (see also.48 in folder 10)

    Memorial cards
    Folder 9

    .44.  Grover Cleveland Mudge, d. 1891, age 4, card from Philadelphia Mourning Supply Co.

    .45.  Andrew Adams, d. 1899, age 32

    .46.  Roswell Steacy, d. 1926, age 32

    .47.  James Terry, d. 1924, age 77 (card is same design as.46)

    Memorial cards
    Folder 10

    .48.  Simon W. Elliot, d. 1895, age 50 (same as.43 in folder 8)

    .49.  Victor H. Cronk, d. 1891, age 13, card from "George Mitchell, manufacturer of fine memorial cards, Greenfield, Ind."

    .50.  Mrs. Sarah A. Clark, d. 1889, age 64, card from the Memorial Card Co., Philadelphia

    .51.  Peter R. Lyford, d. 1897, age 72, almost identical to.50 but from the Globe Mem. Card Co., Philadelphia

    Memorial cards
    Folder 11

    .52.  Archibald Gardner, d. 1891, age 39

    .53.  Richard Eastman, d. 1891, age 64, card from E.C. Stark & Co., Memorial Cards, Philadelphia (see also.126a-b, folder 27)

    .54.  Mrs. Mary A. Cook, d. 1903, age 79

    .55.  Mrs. Margaret Edmunds, d. 1889, age 60

    Memorial cards
    Folder 12

    .56.  Rev. Salmon Cook, d. 1901, age 81

    .57.  Sophronia Chaffee, wife of Hiram Pease, d. 1876, age 64

    .58.  Hosca Pierce, d. 1893

    .59.  Rebecca J. Wiser, d. 1903, age 67

    Memorial cards
    Folder 13

    .60.  James R. Young, d. 1891, age 69

    .61.  Thomas Ramsay, d. 1886, age 24, card from Memorial Card Co., Philadelphia

    .62.  Alex. C. Darling, d. 1889, age 67, card from Memorial Eng. Co., Philadelphia

    .63.  Lola E. Amey, d. 1891, age 27

    Memorial cards
    Folder 14

    .64.  George W. Erb, d. 1886, age 62

    .65.  Arvilla Wells, d. 1886, age 68

    Funeral notices and programs
    Folder 15

    .66.  Dr. John Staice Davis, d. 1885, funeral notice, University, Va.

    .67.  Mrs. Elizabeth O. Powell, d. 1885, funeral notice, Cedarville, N.J. [notice is a fill-in-the-blank form provided by the undertaker]

    .68.  Addison O. Whitney and Luther C. Ladd, obsequies for soldiers slain at Baltimore, 1861

    .69.  Miss Hattie A. Hall, d. 1864, age 20, a tribute to her friends, Watertown

    .70.  Rev. Charles Samuel Stewart, d. 1870, age 75, notice of his death in Cooperstown, N.Y.

    Folder 16

    .71a-b.  Funerals of the black bear Billy Bruin and the white swan Leander, at Ridge Hill Farms, Wellesley, Mass., 1874, includes order of procession and memorial poems [perhaps a circus-like performance?]

    Folder 17

    .72.  Rev. Samuel Webber, President of Harvard University, d. 1810, age 51, read by Henry Ware

    Death announcements for members of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
    Folder 18

    .73.  Maj. Fred Arn, graduate of University of Michigan in 1861, d. at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 1862
    April 1862

    .74.  Lt. Harlan P. Brown, graduate of Bowdoin College in 1860, killed in Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), 1862

    .75.  William Lewis Haskell, graduate of Bowdoin College in 1860, died in Chambersburg, Pa., from wounds received at Battle of Antietam, 1862

    .76.  William Evelyn Butler, who would have graduated from the University of Michigan in 1866, d. in Hampton, Va., 1864

    .77.  Lt. Wm. C. Hall, member of Beta Phi chapter, member of class of 1863 (college not listed), d. in Nashville, June 1864
    June 1864

    .78.  Col. Minor Millikin, graduate of Miami University, killed at Murfeesboro, 1863

    .79.  1st Lt. Henry Gridley, member of Amherst College Class of 1862, killed near Marietta, Ga., 1864

    .80.  Frederic William Matteson, member of Phi chapter (no college listed), d. at Corinth, Tenn., Aug. 1862
    Aug. 1862

    Prudential Mutual Aid Society of America, Harrisburg, Pa., death announcement
    Folder 19

    .81a.  by deaths of Lydia A. Fisher of Selinsgrove, Pa., and Alice Grogan of Scranton, Pa., member Peter Wolf or payer Henry K. Wolf of Hamlin, Pa., is required to pay certain money, 1880

    .81b.  envelope addressed to Henry K. Wolf which contained the above

    John F. Kennedy mourning card, 1963 (acc. no..82)
    Folder 20

    Lecture announcement: "The Glory that was Grief...," an illustrated lecture delivered by David Serette, n.d., ca. 1960s (acc. no..83)
    n.d., ca. 1960s
    Folder 21

    Hearse photographs
    Folder 22

    .84.  Three hearses built by R. Hubbard of B'ham, plus a buggy, in front of a church, n.d., no place

    .85.  A hearse drawn by two black horses

    Funeral sign: "Closed on account of Funeral" (acc. no..86)
    Folder 23

    Trade cards
    Folder 24

    .87.  Peterboro Marble and Granite Works, advertising tombstones and other cemetery accessories (posts, curbing, etc.), New Hampshire

    .88.  Pratt & Baldwin, Hartford, Conn., mourning store, on card for Mme. Demorest's Reliable Patterns

    .89.  W.H. Daniell, mortician, etc., with a lady assistant, Plymouth, N.H.; with picture of hearse on reverse

    .90.  M. H. Smith, funeral director, Liverpool and Baldwinsville, N.Y.

    .91.  F. R. Folsom, undertaker, Skowhegan, Me., on card depicting a cricket player

    .92.  McGregorys & Casman, dealers in grave stones, Springfield, Mass.

    .93.  Brasher Falls Water Power Marble Shop, manufacturer of grave stones, N.Y.

    .94.  Shepley's Marble Works, Bangor, Maine, on the back: a sketch of a tombstone with inscriptions

    .95.  Selden & Kerr, dealers in cemetery work, Linesville, Pa.

    .96.  David C. Miller, Granite Monumental Dealer and Sculptor, Newburgh, N.Y., with an engraving of his premises

    .97.  J.C. Chandler, proprietor of the Newton Marble Works, Kansas

    .98.  New Holland Marble and Granite Works, T.M. Store, Pa.

    .99.  A. W. Ayers, importer and manufacturer of granite monuments, Quincy, Mass. and Elmira, N.Y., card for agent A.D. Bain; on reverse: customers in a showroom of his stock

    .100.  Adam Steinmetz Steam Marble Works, mantels, furniture tops, grave stones, etc., Philadelphia; on reverse: samples of wares

    .101.  Chas. E. Cummings & Son, cemetery work of all kinds, Nashua, N.H.

    .102.  Henry C. Morse, funeral director and dealer in coffins, caskets, and shrouds, Loudon Village, N.H., with a picture of a hearse

    .103.  Pansy, 1898, 1915 (memorial card)
    1898, 1915

    .104.  John Wanamaker, trade card advertising the mourning department

    .105.  George Thumlert, undertaker and coffin maker, Philadelphia

    .106.  A. Reimer, coaches for weddings, operas, parties, shopping, funerals

    .107.  Miss M.A. Burbeck, undertaker and embalmer, Philadelphia; on reverse: Car No. 5, Mrs. [name illegible]

    .108.  Mount Vernon Cemetery lot-holder's ticket, issued to Levi K. Slifer

    .109.  ticket for Colored Cemetery supper, 25¢

    .110.  Louis F. Dascher, funeral director and embalmer, with photo of his business; on back: Kutsche/Coach No. 3.

    Folder 25

    .111.  Somerville Cemetery

    .112.  view in a cemetery, in foreground is grave of Edwin Rawstorne, landscape painter, d. 1907, age 76; grave stone by A.K. Lander, “mason to the co.”

    .113.  Riverside Cemetery, Oneonta, N.Y.

    Bills, permits, deeds
    Folder 26

    .114.  Bill from G.T. Swarts, undertaker, Providence, to Edward Cooke, 1871, for removing the body and digging grave

    .115.  Burial permit for C.T. Weaver to remove body of John E. Austen from Haverhill to Pelham, N.H., 1894

    .116.  Deed from Stephen Page to Cornelius Burt, Charles C. Burt, and Samuel W. Law, for a lot in Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford County, Conn., 1855

    .117.  Deed issued to Albert Marcy for plot in Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, Conn., 1875 (see also.132, in folder 28)

    .118.  Deed issued to Mary D. Smith for plot in Yantic Cemetery, Norwich, Conn., 1859

    Salesman's samples and price lists
    Folder 27

    .119.  Memorial Publishing Co., Greenfield, Ind., showing several designs of memorial cards, with a number of verses from which to choose, prices given, ca. 1892 (see also.121)
    ca. 1892

    .120.  George Mitchell, manufacturer of fine memorial cards, Greenfield, Ind., with designs, verses, and prices, ca. 1891
    ca. 1891

    .121.  Memorial Publishing Co., Greenfield, Ind., same as.119

    .122.  Memorial Publishing Co., Chambersburg, Pa., with samples and prices of memorial cards, 1880s

    .123.  Memorial Card Co., Philadelphia, showing several designs of memorial cards and a number of verses from which to choose, prices given, ca. 1891
    ca. 1891

    .124.  New England Crape Refinishing Co., Boston, with prices for veils, folds, sacks, dolmans, shawls, and dresses, n.d.

    .125.  W.R. Seymour & Co., Philadelphia, memorial cards and verses, with prices, ca. 1892
    ca. 1892

    .126a-b.  two envelopes form Edward C. Stark & Co., Philadelphia, memorial card publishers (see also.53, folder 11)

    Folder 28

    .10.  receipt to estate of Abigail Chose from John Marble, payment for set of grave stones, West Newbury, 1829

    .127.  Wm. H. Moore, undertaker, Philadelphia, receipted bill sent to Thomas Wilson, for moving two bodies from one cemetery to another

    .128.  Isaiah Ensign, bill sent to Mrs. Griswold Humphry for digging grave of Mrs. Nancy Humphry, 1822

    .129.  Strong Manufacturing Co., Winsted, Conn., enclosing royalty check, 1881

    (Strong manufactured undertakers' goods; billhead shows factory)

    .130.  Milton L. Reeves, funeral director and embalmer, Brooklyn, N.Y., receipted bill sent to Mr. [illegible] for funeral services, 1897

    .131.  William Hughes, undertaker, Philadelphia, receipted bill sent to John Hewitt for coffin, ice, funeral notices, 1838

    .132.  Thos. E. Ryan, dealer in headstones, Norwich, Conn., receipted bill sent to Albert Marcy for set of gravestones, 1875 (see also.117, in folder 26)

    .133.  John Brady, funeral director, Lynn, Mass., receipted bill sent to Daniel Flynn for casket and other funeral services, 1889

    .134.  E.J. Coleburn, undertaker and embalmer, Webster, Mass., receipted bill sent to J.H. Porter, for hearse, wagon, and flowers, 1894

    .135.  A. D. Brown, undertaking and furniture, Epping, N.H., receipt for payment from W. S. Goodrich, 1897

    .136.  Pinney & Holcomb, manufacturers of caskets and coffins, Tariffville, Conn., receipted bill sent to Major Humphrey for casket, etc., 1866

    .137.  Charles H. Vincent, funeral director and embalmer, Simsbury Conn., bill sent to John C. E. Humphry, for casket, embalming, and other services, 1916

    .138.  E..G. Washburn, embalmer, undertaker, Springfield, Mass., bill to Edward Pierce for casket and other services, 1880

    Letterhead stationery
    Folder 29

    .139.  William L. Lockhart, manufacturer of and dealer in coffins and caskets, East Cambridge, Mass. (letter talks about a lodge, not about business) (see also.150 and .157 in folder 30)

    .140.  Bacon's Furniture and Coffin Rooms, Danielsonville, Conn., received of Mrs. Aldrich, 1884; receipt shows the business and a hearse

    .141.  Chappell, Chase, Maxwell & Co., manufacturers of caskets, Oneida and Rochester, N.Y., 1880, letterhead shows factory

    .142.  Inter-State Casket Co., Athens, Ohio, 1916, letterhead shows factory

    .143.  Brunswick Marble and Granite Works Co., Brunswick, Ga., 1902, letterhead pictures a large monument, a fireplace, and iron fencing

    .144.  Robt. Brown, importer and manufacturer of cemetery memorials, Ottawa, 1902, letterhead shows tombstones

    .145.  W.H. Grindol & Son, dealer in monuments, building stone, iron reservoir vases, Decatur, Ill., 1900, letterhead shows office building and a tombstone

    .146.  Wegenaar Granite Works, manufacturers and importers of monuments, vaults, statuary, etc., Buffalo, N.Y., 190-, letterhead shows monument with a statue

    Folder 30

    .147.  Cummings Brothers, dealers in monuments, tablets, and gravestones, Concord, Franklin, and Pittsfield, N.H., 1904, receipt sent to Mrs. Daniel Rollins for payment for monument for the late William Wyman; billhead shows office

    .148.  California Casket Co., dealers in undertakers supplies, San Francisco, 1893, bill sent to B.H. Pearson, for lining. Billhead shows office

    .149.  Jenkins Bros. & Co., proprietors of the Union Casket Co., Boston, 1884, receipted bill sent to Joseph Whitcomb. Billhead shows factory

    .150.  Wm. L. Lockhart, East Cambridge, dealer in caskets, coffins, and robes, receipted bill sent to Joseph Whitcomb. Billhead shows factory (see also.139, folder 29, and.157 below)

    .151.  W. D. Diuguid, funeral director and embalmer, Lynchburg, Va., 1910, bill for burial robe for Mrs. Maggie Mosher(?), in care of John Haselour(?(, administrator

    .152.  Byron Read, funeral director, Anthony, R.I., 1905, receipted bill sent to Mrs. Lucy A. Collins, for casket and other funeral services

    .153.  Shelburne Falls Marble Co., Shelburne Falls, Mass., 1895, billhead shows picture of factory

    .154.  John H. Smith, Port Chester Steam Marble and Granite Works, Port Chester, N.Y., 1882, receipted bill sent to Maria Merritt for gravestone for Sarah Merritt, payment received from John Lyon. Billhead shows a gravestone

    .155.  Chas. G. Hookey, undertaker, Philadelphia, 1873, receipted bill sent to John Murry for coffin, hearse, and other services for mother's funeral. Billhead shows mourners at a tomb.

    .156.  Henry Deperven, Spring Garden Coffin Warehouse, Philadelphia, 1849, receipted bill to Thomas Armington for hauling furniture

    .157.  Lockhart & Seelye, manufacturers and dealers in coffins and robes, East Cambridge, 1867, receipted bill to Mr. Sharrell for a coffin. Billhead shows a hearse (see also.150 above and .139 in folder 29)

    .158.  George E. Small, dealer in coffins, caskets, and robes, Hillsboro Bridge, N.H., 1876, bill to Reuben Warde for a coffin

    .159.  Proprietors of the Cemetery of Mt. Auburn, Boston, 1885, receipted bill sent to C. G. Choate for care of lots. Billhead shows the entrance to the cemetery

    .160.  S.D. Hastings, undertaker, Hillsboro Bridge, N.H., 1879, bill sent to estate of Esther Fuller for casket, robe, and use of hearse

    .161.  Henry Allen & Son, dealers in caskets and coffins, Norwich, Conn., 1885, receipted bill sent to estate of Joseph P. Rockwell (?), for his embalming and funeral services

    .162.  Bourke Bros., undertakers and coffin manufacturers, Springfield, Mass., 1879, bill to Dennis Sullivan for casket and funeral services. Billhead shows a casket and handles and other items that could be used to decorate it (see .4, in Box 2, folder 2)

    .163.  St. Louis Coffin Co., St. Louis, 1885, bill sent to P.H. Hjul (?) of Eureka, Nevada, for a number of coffins

    .164.  St. Louis Coffin Co., St. Louis, 18[torn], bill sent to M.A. Dolan of El Paso, Texas, for casket, nails, etc.

    .165.  James Ray, dealer in headstones and monuments, Knotty Oak, R.I., 1903, receipted bill sent to Charles Young for large monument with inscriptions for himself and wife

    Memorial print
    Box 2: Folder 1

    .3.  Isaac Warden, drowned 1854, age 17.

    Print was published by N. Currier. It shows a woman at a tomb in a graveyard, with a gothic church in the background. On the tomb is printed "To the Memory of"; Warden's name, date of death, and a verse were written in.

    .4.  Specimens of electrotypes available from A. Zeese & Co., Chicago, ca. 1875.
    ca. 1875.
    Folder 2

    On one side are shown caskets, tombstones, and hearses. Item no. 1266 was used on acc. no. 162, in Box 1, folder 30. On the other side are decorations for the months January-October.

    Memorial print, framed
    Folder 3

    .2.  John Sinclair, d. 1815, age 40.

    Print was published at Barre, Mass., but the printer's name does not appear on the part of the page that is visible. The hand-painted print shows a weeping woman at a large tomb, with a weeping willow, a river, a small sail boat, and a church behind it. Printed on the tomb are the words "In Memory of"; the name and date are written in. The mourning woman wears a dress from the late 1820s or 1830s.