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Harry Edgar Byers Papers - MS 266

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory

Introduction

The Harry Edgar Byers Collection consists of information concerning the Harry Byers Fisheries fishing company for the years 1917-1942. Of most value in the collection, the financial documents and monthly reports provide invaluable insight as to the success of the company as well as the profitability of fishing on Lake Erie in the early half of the 20th century. These documents reveal the company's sales, customers, number of fish caught, and overall expenses of the company. Also important are the legal documents of the collection that provide information concerning the legal restrictions and regulations governing the fishing industry at this time. The collection also includes a smattering of correspondence, subject files, and unidentified photos.

The records were donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in 1982 through the cooperation of Dorothy Krantz of Bucyrus and with the assistance of Paul Yon. Duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and scholarly research.

Biographical Sketch

Harry Edgar Byers was born on June 11, 1888, to John and Sophia Byers. He married Ada Frick (b. October 26, 1892) in Sandusky, Ohio, on November 6, 1923. Harry was a self-employed commercial fisherman operating out of Oak Harbor, Ohio. He is listed as a fisherman as early as 1917 and operating the fishing company through the 1930s and the early 1940s. Later he was a machinist with the Erie Proving Grounds in Port Clinton, Ohio, retiring in 1950.

Byers was a long time member of several masonic organizations and the American Legion. Ada died in July 31, 1977 and Harry died on June 7, 1981.

Scope and Content

The heart of the collection lies in the financial documents of the Harry Byers Fisheries Company of Port Clinton, Ohio. These documents cover the years 1937-1941 and includes business ledgers, bills for fishing supplies and equipment, and invoices for fish delivered. These documents provide an excellent source to the research interested in the financial status of the company, the profitability of such a company during this era, as well as the types and availability of fish in Lake Erie. Also significant in the collection are reports and legal documents concerning the company. These include, primarily, monthly reports for April and May of 1940 and 1941 of the number and kinds of fish caught by the company. The legal documents include fishing licenses, trailer registration cards, a sheet detailing the rules and regulations of fishing in Lake Erie, assignment authority, and a sheriff's deed. These documents are significant for the information they provide concerning the legal requirements of fishing in the region, the success of fishing in the region, and the restrictions regulating the fishing industry during this period.

Also included in the collection is a minimal amount of correspondence, a member list of a battalion of the Army Signal Corps. during World War I, and a book on the history of Scottish Rite. The most important of these, the correspondence, includes letters and telegrams from the Harry Byers Fisheries Company to T.W. Mitchell Company, Inc. concerning shipments and sales of fish.

Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

HARRY BYERS CORRESPONDENCE
1939-1942
Includes letters and telegrams between Harry Byers Fisheries and T.W. Mitchell Company, Inc. concerning shipment and prices of fish and negotiation of these the number of these items.

SUBJECT FILES

MEMBERS OF CO. "D" TELEGRAPH BATTALION, SIGNAL CORPS
1918
Includes printed list of members of battalion with addresses

HISTORY OF SCOTTISH RITE, BARTON SMITH JUBILEE CLASS
1917
Includes book detailing history of Scottish Rite with members listed with pictures

REPORTS

MONTHLY REPORTS OF FISH CAUGHT
1940-1
Includes notes on numbers of fish caught for April and May of 1940 and 1941

LEGAL DOCUMENTS

CONTRACTS, LICENSES, DEEDS, AND REGULATIONS
1939-1944
Includes fishing licenses, trailer registration card, Lake Erie fishing laws and regulations, assignment authority, sheriff's deed

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

BUSINESS LEDGERS
1937-1941
Includes books and journals listing fish sales, customers of company, and prices of various fish for purchase

BILLS
1937-1941
Includes bills of company's purchase of fishing supplies and equipment

INVOICES
1939-1941
Includes invoices of fish delivered, customers, sales

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS

PHOTOGRAPHS
n.d.
Includes pictures of unidentified baseball team, picture of building on fire, picture of a workshop with workers attendant, and picture of the front of an unidentified store at street level

Inventory

Box 1

Folder
  1. Correspondence, 1939-1942
  2. Subject Files-Members of Signal Corps. Battalion, 1918
  3. Subject Files-History of Scottish Rite, 1917
  4. Monthly Reports, 1940-1941
  5. Legal Documents, 1939-1944
  6. Financial Documents-Business Ledgers, 1937
  7. Financial Documents-Business Ledgers, 1937-1938
  8. Financial Documents-Business Ledgers, 1938-1939
  9. Financial Documents-Business Ledgers, 1940-1941
  10. Financial Documents-Bills of Fishing Supplies and Equipment, 1937-1944
  11. Financial Documents-Invoices for Fish Delivered, 1939
  12. Financial Documents-Invoices for Fish Delivered, 1939
  13. Financial Documents-Invoices for Fish Delivered, 1940
  14. Financial Documents-Invoices for Fish Delivered, 1940
  15. Financial Documents-Invoices for Fish Delivered, 1941
  16. Financial Documents-Invoices for Fish Delivered, 1941
  17. Photographs, n.d.

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