1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Charles H. Sparks Records

 Hardware dealer, of Warren, R.I.

 Records, 1890-1952. Bulk, 1890-1903.

 Size: 1.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1105

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, August 2002

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Charles Henry Sparks (1859-1935) was born in Warren, R.I. to Charles F. and Eliza K. (Barney) Sparks. He married Fanny Lewis in 1882 and worked as an engraver in Providence, before opening a hardware store on Main Street in Warren circa 1893. After his death in 1935, the store was operated by his estate bank until being sold circa 1962.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists of the business records of the hardware store owned by Charles H. Sparks. It includes mainly ledgers and daybooks from 1890 to 1903. These records are not complete, but the ledgers are well indexed by customer. Other records include a daily cash summary covering 1899 to 1909, a purchase book, and an 1894 inventory. The only records dated after 1909 are a few daybook pages from 1930 to 1933, and a photocopy of a 1952 estate inventory.

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            These records remained in the possession of Sparks' daughter Dorothy M. (Sparks) Tharpe (1901-1982) after the store was sold in the early 1960s, and were passed on to her daughter Lynda Sparks (Tharpe) Schoonover, who donated them to the R.I.H.S. in 2002.

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Processing note:

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Box 1, folder 1. Daily / weekly / monthly / annual record, 1899-1909

Log of total daily sales (cash and credit), and cash received and expended. With summaries by week, month and year. Record grows steadily less detailed after 1900.

Box 1, folder 2. Daybook, 1890-1893

Box 1, folder 3. Daybook, 1896-1899

Box 1, folder 4. Daybook, 1899-1900

Box 1, folder 5. Daybook, 1902-1903

Box 1, folder 6. Daybook pages, January 1932, January - April 1933

Box 1, folder 7. Miscellaneous volume:

            Purchases, 1893

            Inventory, February 1894

            Bills sent, 1898-1902

            Daybook, November 1930

Box 1, folder 8. Purchases, 1899-1905 (mostly 1899)

Box 1, folder 9. Photocopies provided by donor:

            Family tree

            Portrait of C.H. Sparks

            Appraisal of C.H. Sparks estate, 1952


Box 2, folder 1. Ledger, 1893-1896. Also undated inventory in rear.

Box 2, folder 2. Ledger, 1899-1902

Box 2, folder 3. Ledger, 1902-1903

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Hardware stores - Rhode Island - Warren

Warren, R.I. - Commerce

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