Stephen B. Elkins Collection A&M 0053

Stephen B. Elkins Collection A&M 0053


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West Virginia and Regional History Center

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown, WV 26506-6069
wvrhcref@westvirginia.libanswers.com
URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu

Repository
West Virginia and Regional History Center
Identification
A&M 0053
Title
Stephen B. Elkins Collection 1841-1955
URL:
https://archives.lib.wvu.edu/ark:/22916/3
Quantity
8.8 Linear Feet, 8 ft. 8 in. (15 document cases, 5 in.); (8 large flat box cases, 3.5 in.); (2 small flat storage boxes, 3.5 in); (1 oversize folder, 1/4 in,); (1 reel of microfilm and 1 partial reel of microfilm shared with A&M 591)
Creator
Elkins, Stephen B. (Stephen Benton), 1841-1911
Location
West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/
Language
Materials are mostly in English. Some materials are in Spanish.
Abstract
Stephen Benton Elkins (b. 1841) represented West Virginia in the United States Senate as a Republican from 1895-1911. Prior to his Senate service, Elkins served in the Union Army during the Civil War as a captain in the Kansas Militia. He practiced law in the Territory of New Mexico in 1864 and served as a member of the Territorial House of Representatives, 1864-1865. He was the district attorney for the Territory from 1866-1867, and the United States district attorney for the Territory from 1867-1870. Around 1890, he founded and moved to the city of Elkins, WV. President Benjamin Harrison appointed him Secretary of War, 1891-1893. He died during his third Senate term in 1911 in Washington, DC. The Stephen B. Elkins collection includes speeches, maps, reports, photographs and other materials related to his political, business, and family affairs.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Stephen B. Elkins Collection, A&M 0053, West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Danielle Emerling and Leo Gmeindl, 2016


Biographical Note

Stephen Benton Elkins represented West Virginia in the U.S. Senate from 1895 to 1911. He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, practiced law in the Territory of New Mexico in 1864, and was a member of the Territorial House of Representatives from 1864 to 1865. From 1866 to 1870, Elkins was first the district attorney, then attorney general, and then U.S. district attorney for the Territory. Around 1890, he moved to the town that he founded, Elkins, WV. President Benjamin Harrison appointed him Secretary of War from 1891 to 1893. Elkins died in Washington, D.C., during his third term in the U.S. Senate.

Born in Perry County, Ohio, in 1841, Elkins attended public schools in Westport, Missouri, and graduated in 1860 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he studied law. He then became a school teacher in Harrisonville, Missouri. Among his pupils there was Cole Younger—future Confederate guerrilla and outlaw in the James-Younger Gang. According to accounts provided by both men, Younger later rescued Elkins from execution by Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War. More than 30 years later, Elkins was instrumental in securing parole for Younger, who received a life sentence when convicted of bank robbery.

After enlisting in the Union Army, Elkins served as a captain in the Kansas Militia until 1863. In 1864, he began to practice law in Mesilla, New Mexico, after being admitted to the bar in the Territory of New Mexico. He then served in the Territorial House of Representatives from 1864 to 1865. Elkins also was the district attorney (1866–1867), attorney general (1867), and then U.S. district attorney (1867–1870) for the Territory. In 1872, Elkins was elected to Congress as a Republican representative for the Territory of New Mexico, and served in the Forty-third and Forty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1873–March 3, 1877); he was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1876.

In 1866, Elkins married Sarah Simms Jacobs. She died prior to Elkins' election to Congress, and was survived by two daughters, Elizabeth and Sallie. In 1875, Elkins married Hallie Davis, daughter of Senator Henry Gassaway Davis of West Virginia. Elkins partnered with Davis in developing natural resources industries in West Virginia, and in 1878, Elkins became a West Virginia citizen. Around 1890, Elkins and his family moved to the town that he founded, Elkins, WV. Together with Davis, Elkins formed the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway, which had main lines emanating from Elkins, WV, and he was associated with the Davis Coal and Coke Company, one of the largest coal companies in existence.

After being elected executive chairman of the National Republican Committee in 1884, Elkins gave his first political speech in West Virginia on February 29, 1888, in Wheeling. President Benjamin Harrison appointed Elkins Secretary of War, and he served from December 17, 1891 to March 5, 1893. Elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate, Elkins served from March 4, 1895, until his death on January 4, 1911. He was chairman of the Committee on the Geological Survey (Fifty-sixth and Fifty-ninth Congresses) and member of the Committee on Interstate Commerce (Fifty-seventh through Sixty-first Congresses). Elkins was interred in Maplewood Cemetery, Elkins, WV.

Sources:

Clarke, Alan R. The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway: a Western Maryland Predecessor. Lynchburg: TLC Publishing, 2003.

"Elkins, Stephen Benton, (1841 - 1911)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-present. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=E000110

Lambert, Oscar Doane. Stephen Benton Elkins: American Foursquare. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1955.

Spears, Jae. "Stephen B. Elkins." The West Virginia Encyclopedia. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2199

Scope and Contents

The Stephen B. Elkins collection consists of correspondence; scrapbooks and newspaper clippings; financial, legal, and land records; speeches; photographs, maps; personal papers; and research files related to Elkins' political and business careers. Some materials also relate to the development of the New Mexico Territory and its admission as a state.

The Correspondence series contains letters with political and business associates. Correspondents include several presidents, such as Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, James A. Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft. Governors and other prominent correspondents include Andrew Carnegie, J.G. Blaine, J.N. Camden, H.G. Davis, M. Hanna, W.S. Herndon, C.C. Catron, R.C. Kerens, J.P. Morgan, and Chauncey Depew. Some selected correspondence is available on microfilm.

The Scrapbooks and Newspaper Clippings series consists of 26 volumes of scrapbooks and loose newspaper stories related to Elkins' political and business careers, personal life, and West Virginia politics and campaigns.

The Financial, Legal, and Land Records series contains papers mainly concerning railroads, mining (coal and silver) and lumbering in West Virginia, New Mexico, Texas, and California.

The Speeches series includes printed speeches made by Elkins throughout his life, and several speeches date to his time in the U.S. Senate.

The Photographs series consists of several images of Elkins, West Virginia, and Halliehurst Mansion. Photographs are available online at http://wvhistoryonview.org/.

The Maps series includes plans for railroads in the eastern United States and property and mine plans in New Mexico.

The Personal Papers series contains some genealogical materials about the Elkins family.

The Senate Papers series contains bills, Congressional Records, and reports.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil War - veterans - Union.
  • Davis, Henry Gassaway, 1823-1916
  • Elkins (W. Va.)
  • Politicians
  • Politicians -- United States
  • Republican Party
  • United States -- Politics and government
  • United States Congressmen - West Virginia.
  • West Virginia - Politics and government.
  • West Virginia - politics.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Davis, Henry Gassaway, 1823-1916
  • Elkins, Stephen B. (Stephen Benton), 1841-1911

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Elkins (W. Va.)
  • Republican Party
  • United States -- Politics and government

Container List

Archival Resource Key
Correspondence
1861-1912English.
Archival Resource Key
Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings
Archival Resource Key
Financial, legal, and land records
English.
Processing Information

A copy of the West Virginia Office of the Tax Commissioner, 8th Biennial report (1928/1930) was removed due to damage. A copy is available in the West Virginia & Regional History Center reference collection.

  • Mixed Materials Box: 10 Folder: 3 Box: Oversize 27 Archival Resource Key
    Land purchase certificates
    1871English.
  • Mixed Materials Box: 10 Folder: 10 Archival Resource Key
    Bonds, agreements, wills, land patents, appointments, certificates
    1874-1933
  • Mixed Materials Box: 15A Folder: 13 Archival Resource Key
    U.S. vs. B. & O. Railroad Co., Judge Jackson's Opinion
    1875 November 17English.
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 7 Archival Resource Key
    New Mexico Otiz and Department of Interior Land Office papers
    1876
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 5 Archival Resource Key
    Contracts and agreements
    1881-1906
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 1 Archival Resource Key
    Charters, by-laws, certificates of incorporation, stock distribution, organization, stock certificates, briefs, decisions, transcripts
    1881-1906
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 2 Archival Resource Key
    Surveyor's and engineer's reports and field notes, Caperton land description, assayer's reports, tables of distances
    1882-1901
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 3 Archival Resource Key
    Deeds, leases, mortgages, affadavit
    1886-1897
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 4 Archival Resource Key
    Financial statements, stockholder lists
    1889-1898
  • Mixed Materials Box: 10 Folder: 5 Archival Resource Key
    Stockholder lists, statements, estimates
    1891-1898
  • Mixed Materials Box: 12 Folder: 6 Archival Resource Key
    Mining records
    1893-1896
  • Mixed Materials Box: 15A Folder: 12 Archival Resource Key
    Supreme Court of Appeals—Fulmer Coal vs. Morgantown & Kingwood Railroad
    1904English.
  • Mixed Materials Box: 10 Folder: 11 Archival Resource Key
    Elkins Coal & Coke monthly set up book
    1909-1916
Archival Resource Key
Speeches
Archival Resource Key
Photographs
Archival Resource Key
Maps, Plats and Plans
1881-1907
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Map of the Western Maryland Railroad and proposed connections
    1890English.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Partial sketch of streams etc. on preserve of Sportsman's Association of Cheat Mountain
    1891English.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Map showing proposed location of the Baltimore and Cumberland Railway
    1892 JanuaryEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Map of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway and proposed extensions showing coal fields and connecting roads
    1895English.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Map of Elkins, Randolph County, WV, showing Elkins, Davis and Kerens Estates
    ca. 1900English.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Plan of "Capote Stope" 146 foot level showing percentage of copper
    1901 June 1English.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Coal & Iron Railway map
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Blueprint of "Hallihurst," country home of Mrs. Stephen B. Elkins
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Profile from Cumberland to Hancock blueprint
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Comparative Grade Profiles blueprint: several railroads in WV and Maryland
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    The C & W route by Dry River, Franklin, Big Run and Greenbrier to Marlinton
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Proposed Piedmont and Cumberland with connections
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Map showing railroads in interior of WV
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Plat of the Cunningham Mine and Cunningham Addition North
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Plan of properties of the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, Sonora, NM
    undatedEnglish.
  • Maps Map case Archival Resource Key
    Plats of the Cunningham Mine, Cunningham Extension and Cunningham Addition on North
    undatedEnglish.
Archival Resource Key
Personal papers
Archival Resource Key
Senate papers
  • Mixed Materials Box: 10 Folder: 3 Archival Resource Key
    Bills, Congressional Record, reports, etc.
    1896-1910