Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Mystery Yet To Be Solved: The Pelham Trading Company Incorporated in 1901

Research has turned up yet another tantalizing mystery about the history of Pelham, New York. Buried in the collections of The Office of The Historian of The Town of Pelham is stock certificate "No. 1" issued by The Pelham Trading Company. An image of the stock certificate appears immediately below.

Very little information can be found about The Pelham Trading Company. An online index of companies incorporated with Westchester County addresses between 1876 and 1914 is available from the Westchester County Archives. It indicates that The Pelham Trading Company was incorporated May 6, 1901.

A reference to the company appears in the May 11, 1901 issue of The New York Times. The reference lists the members of the board of directors of the newly-formed company and notes that it was formed with capital of $6,000. The reference reads:

"Incorporated in Westchester.

The Pelham Trading Company: capital, $6,000. Directors - Robert C. Black, Edward M. Fowler, William K. Gillett, Alfred L. Hammett, and Henry B. B. Staples."

Source: New Corporations, N.Y. Times, May 11, 1901, p. 13.

These directors were long-standing residents of Pelham Manor. In fact, all were early members of the Pelham Manor Protective Club formed in 1881 as a virtual municipal government for the area before the Village of Pelham Manor was incorporated in 1891.

The stock certificate itself provides some information about the company. It notes that shares cost $25 each and that Pelham Manor resident Joseph English was the owner of 30 shares of capital stock of the company worth $750. The certificate was issued on July 9, 1901, barely two months after the company was incorporated.

The certificate further indicates that William K. Gillett served as President of the company and that Alfred L. Hammett served as the company's Treasurer. Beyond these few basic facts, nothing else is known about the history or the activities of this company. Only time will tell whether more can be uncovered . . . . .

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