John Sandford Papers , 1871-1885, 1899-1915 – MS015

John Sandford Papers , 1871-1885, 1899-1915 – MS015

Source: Unknown

Citation: John Sandford Papers , MS015, Portsmouth Athenaeum

Size: 1 Hollinger Box

Access: No restrictions

Processed by: Kevin Shupe in November 1990

Separated Materials in Library Collection:

Bass, Robert P., Special Message to the New Hampshire Legislature, March 9, 1911, no date.

Annual Report of the City Auditor of the City of Portsmouth, NH for the Year Ending December 31, 1908. Portsmouth: The Chronicle, 1909.


Chiefly bills and receipts (1911-1914) of John and Alice E. Sandford, real estate papers, and materials relating to building equipment and repairs; together with business and legal papers of Mrs. Elizabeth Emery, widow of Thatcher Emery, also of Portsmouth, involved in the grocery business. Subjects and persons represented in the Sandford papers include the family tailoring business, Sandford & Company, owned by Sandford and his brother, Thomas Sandford, Portsmouth Elks Lodge No. 97, and Abram Grossman.

Scope and Content

This collection contains primarily bills and receipts, both personal and business for John and Alice Sandford; most of the bills and receipts date between 1911 and 1914 with some before that period. Most bills and receipts are local and are for goods such as groceries and building supplies. There are some bills from the tailor business and a few pieces of correspondence on business, personal and legal matters. There is a file on the real estate business with property offer sheets, tenant correspondence, bowling alley lease, sales contract and rent receipts. There is also a file on building equipment and repairs with bids and estimates on building a store front, painting, heating and plumbing. Miscellaneous materials include Elks club meeting notices, political pamphlets and handouts, and a file of printed business cards and advertisement, some for the tailor business and some for other local businesses. All John Sandford’s papers date between 1899 and 1915.

There is a file of materials for Mrs. Elizabeth Emery, the widow of Thatcher Emery, mostly general bills and receipts but also includes her will and they are dated between 1871 and 1885.

Biographical Note

John Sandford is first listed in the 1899 Portsmouth City Directory as living at 49 Market Street and operating Sandford and Co. with Thomas R. Sandford as “Merchant Tailors” at 9 Daniel Street in front of the Elks Club. Thomas Sandford is not listed in the 1901 directory but returns in the 1908 directory operating a separate tailor business. In 1912 he formed a partnership with Abram Grossman that was dissolved in 1914.

John Sandford invested in real estate and operated a boarding house called “The Sandford,” first listed in the 1908 directory at 35 State Street (in 1910 the address changed to 129 State Street). In 1911 his water bills indicate that he had property at 34-36, 38-40 Daniel Street, 123, 129, 195 State Street, 111-113 Congress Street, 313 Islington Street, and in 1912 also listed are 121 State Street and 29 Ladd Street. There is a lease in the collection for a bowling alley in the rear of his building (most likely 9 Daniel Street).

John Sandford was married to Alice E. and she co-owned or owned some of the properties. After his death ca. 1924 Alice opened a restaurant called the “Sandford Café” at 123 State Street.

Thatcher Emery (ca. 1801-12/16/1872) and his wife Elizabeth Emery (ca. 1801-4/23/1885) lived at 72 Pleasant Street and he was a grocer with a store at 73 Pleasant Street (the last two addresses on Pleasant Street). There is no known connection between Emery and Sandford.

Folder List:

Folder 1 – 10: General Bills and Receipts, 1899-1914 and undated

Folder 11: General Correspondence, 1899-1912

Folder 12: Tailor Business Bills, 1903-1915

Folder 13: Legal Correspondence and Bills, 1903-1914

Folder 14: Building Equipment, Repairs: Bids, 1903-12

Folder 15: Elizabeth Emery: Bills, Receipts, Will, 1871-1885

Folder 16: Real Estate: Correspondence, Offers, Sales and Rent Receipts, 1905-1913

Folder 17: Elks Club, meeting notices and application, 1903-1914

Folder 18: General Printed Political Campaign Materials, 1906-1914

Folder 19: Printed:Business Cards, Advertisements, Billheads and Invitations, ca. 1910 and undated

Folder 20: Listings of tradespeople represented in the collection.


The one container of Sandford Papers represents a certain view of Portsmouth during the years 1871-1915. This is because the documents are primarily bills and receipts involving local tradesmen. John Sandford was a local tailor who patronized local businesses, though there are a few non-local entries.

In Folder 20 are two views of this collection. The first is an alphabetical listing tradesmen (with the trade in the upper case) and the second is a list arranged alphabetically by services offered.

The entries in both lists represent the first time a letter or billhead appears followed by the address of the tradesman (if given) and the folder (F) number of that item. A tradesman may appear in several folders. The F19 location is only used for business cards.

A brief listing of the printed items in the Papers concludes the analysis.

Collection processed by Kevin Shupe in 1990; catalogued by Susan Kindstedt in 2005, and indexed by John Knowlton in 2011.