McDermott General Store Ledger

I recently obtained the complete first volume of the McDermott General Store ledger.  Three volumes of this ledger, covering 1884-1887,  are housed in the West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center at the University of Minnesota Morris.  This is a fantastic collection: oral histories, business records, personal papers, government documents and more.  The materials come from Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Swift, and Traverse counties in West-Central Minnesota.  We were tickled when Archivist Steve Gross made the scanned ledger available to us.

The scans are fairly light, so I am not sure how they will appear on the blog.  Please let me know if you can make them out.  Volume I begins on May 1, 1884.  Here are the first few pages…tell me what you think.  Click on the images to enlarge.  And if you are using a laptop to view, tilt your screen back which will darken the image and make it easier to see.

McDermott General Store Ledger -- Clontarf, MN (WCMHRC, UofM-Morris)

McDermott General Store Ledger -- Clontarf, MN (WCMHRC, UofM-Morris)

McDermott General Store Ledger -- Clontarf, MN (WCMHRC, UofM-Morris)

Ledger can be found at the West Central Minnesota Historical Research Center, University of Minnesota Morris.


Filed under McDermott's General Store

10 responses to “McDermott General Store Ledger

  1. Jim Egeland

    First, thank you very much for obtaining the ledgers. I for one look forward to being able to obtain a picture of the ledger with my ancestor’s name written on it. The picture is almost a white-out. I “saved” the first picture, and edited it so I could see the writing…dramatically decreased the “contrast” and “darkened” the picture. That made it possible to attempt to read the ledger. The lettering was too small so I magnified the size of the writing but when I did that the image became blurred. The picture that I saved was 98kb which is fine for most things but not if you are “blowing up” the picture. Can you send a picture in higher resolution and/or darken the image that you put on the blog? That’s my thoughts. Thank you. Jim

    • I realized when I really looked at the images, that they are very light. It has been some time since I looked at the originals, so I don’t remember what they looked like. I can’t even find how to darken the image with the photo editor on this computer. Obviously, I don’t know too much about this stuff, but could they have scanned them in “darker”, or if they were a higher resolution, would they appear darker?


      • Jim Egeland

        Yes and Yes. A person has a lot of choices when you scan a picture or document. They can be scanned and edited much easier at that time. Your choices are much more limited if you are receiving a digital image second hand. All you can do at that point is keep it as close to the original as possible as far as resolution is concerned. You can, as I did, try to enhance it some. You also have choices when you send a digital image and it is important to send it in as high a resolution as you received it. The higher resolution is most important when you blow it up or magnify it. It’s like when you take a digital picture with a camera. The higher the pixels or resolution, the more space you use on the camera card because you are using more kb’s. You might try “right clicking” on a picture and look at “properties”. That should show you the kbs that the image possesses. Jim

      • Thanks Jim…I will figure this out. The ledger is so cool. There is something about seeing your relatives name and the items they purchased. You can imagine something about what their life was like.

  2. Jim Egeland


  3. Sean Fitzpatrick

    Thank you so much for posting these ledgers that include two of my ancestors. Photo #2 includes Cornelius Cadigan buying pork and photo #3 is Patrick Kellihar buying butter, sugar, oil, eggs. These individuals are both my Great Great Grandfathers (Cornelius’ son Michael married Patrick’s daughter Margaret – and their daughter’s middle name would be Anatole in honor of the Rev. Oster).

    Later in the 1880’s the families all moved to Massachusetts but will still appreciate our ties to Clontarf. If you ever stumble upon more info with these names, I’d love to share them with the family, now spread far and wide around the US.

  4. Aoife McDermott

    Where was Winifred McDermott from?

    • Jim Egeland

      According to the 1900 US Census:

      Name: Winifred B Mcdermott
      [Winifred B Mc Dermott]
      Home in 1900: Clontarf, Swift, Minnesota
      [Clontarf, Swift, Minnesota]
      Age: 9
      Birth Date: Mar 1891
      Birthplace: Minnesota
      Race: White
      Gender: Female
      Relationship to head-of-house: Daughter
      Father’s Name: Domnick F Mcdermott
      Father’s Birthplace: Ohio
      Mother’s Name: Rose A Mcdermott
      Mother’s Birthplace: Wisconsin
      Marital Status: Single

      • Jim Egeland

        Winifred’s parents appear to have moved to Clontarf by 1880 from Minneapolis where they were married in 1876. They had 10 children. Winifred was number 9. She married Roy Perrizo in 1926. Unfortunately she died 2 years later. They had no children.

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