Five College Archives and Manuscript
UMass Amherst seal
Charles N. Murdock Ledger, 1866-1869
1 volume (0.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 251

Grocer from Stow, Massachusetts who catered principally to farmers. Includes mention of products sold (groceries and other items) and payment (lard, eggs, fruit, butter, potatoes, cigars, beans, cash, and labor).

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Biographical Note

Charles N. Murdock, born in 1836, had a grocery and country store in the Rock Bottom section of the town of Stow, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the years just after the Civil War. He resided, however, in a house rented from Rufus Temple, just over the border in the town of Hudson. In 1870, Murdock's household included his wife Mary (age 29) and two sons, ages 5 and 3. In the 1850 census (at age 14) Murdock lived in the house of Ephraim Stone with no other Murdocks present; two decades later he had amassed real estate worth $500 and personal property worth $2,000.

Murdock's store appeared in the 1872 business directory as a country store in the Rock Bottom section of Stow, but disappeared thereafter.

Scope and contents of the collection

Although both Hudson and Stow had a considerable manufacturing base in shoes and textiles by 1870, Murdock's business was located in between the two industries, and catered principally to farmers. Murdock mainly sold groceries, but added other items as well. He received payment from his largely agricultural clientele in lard, eggs, fruit, butter, potatoes, cigars, and beans, in addition to cash. At times labor was exchanged for goods, especially by Reuben Derby, who worked frequently for Murdock between 1867 and 1869, and Rufus Temple's purchases at the store were almost entirely offset by Murdock's rent credits.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Charles N. Murdock Ledger (MS 251). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Barter--Massachusetts--Stow--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Derby, Reuben.
  • Grocers--Massachusetts--Stow--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Grocery trade--Massachusetts--Stow--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Murdock, Charles N., b. 1836.
  • Stow (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Stow (Mass.)--Rural conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Temple, Rufus.
  • Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--Stow--History--19th century--Sources.

Genre terms
  • Account books

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search