TABLE OF CONTENTS
One Miller Road
Morristown, NJ 07960
|Title:||Finding Aid to the Auchincloss and Schnell Family Papers|
|Call Number:||H929 MSS Auch|
|Date:||1835 - ca.1987 (bulk 1862 - 1968)|
|Quantity:||1.1 linear feet in 2 manuscript boxes, 1 artifact box, and 1 portfolio|
This collection is open for research under the conditions set forth in the North Jersey History and Genealogy Center archives access policy. All archival material should be handled with care and kept in its original order; notes may only be taken in pencil or with a computer, and food and drink are prohibited in the Reading Room. Records may be copied for scholarly or personal research using the edge scanner or a digital camera without flash; however, researchers must obtain copyright permission prior to publishing material from the collection.
Auchincloss and Schnell Family Papers, 1835 - ca.1987, North Jersey History and Genealogy Center, Morristown and Morris Township Library.
The papers were found with a box of Raymond DeChiara Papers donated in 2015. No apparent connection amongst the Schnell, Auchincloss, or DeChiara families is evident; therefore, the two collections were processed separately.
Processed, described and encoded by Jeffrey V. Moy, Archivist, August 2018.
The Auchincloss and Schnell families experienced a broad spectrum of the American experience during the 19th and 20th centuries. Members of the family worked in industry, volunteered to drive Red Cross ambulances during World War I, enjoyed business success in New York City, and were also men and women who rose from humble beginnings to attain affluence. The Charles Schnell family epitomized the Horatio Algers myth of upward mobility through hard work, determination, and luck; within a generation of Charles' running away from home and immigrating to America, his son worked his way up from office boy to the head of a major publishing company and became a prominent town council member. In contrast, William Auchincloss, Jr. was born into a solidly middle class family, but through a series of personal tragedies, was forced to work his way back up. Several generations of Auchinclosses worked as engineers to help build America's industrial backbone by developing steam engine technology. The Schnell family entered the publishing world by happenstance, but thrived within it, nevertheless. The Schnell and Auchincloss families eventually crossed paths through marriage, bringing together two extraordinary and yet typically American families.
Elizabeth Buck Auchincloss was born to Gurdon Buck (1777 – 1852) and Susan Manwaring (1783 – 1839) of Connecticut on November 16, 1816, and grew up on Liberty Street near Fort Washington with her five brothers and two sisters. Elizabeth attended Old Cedar Street Church, and on June 3, 1835 married John Auchincloss, a merchant, with whom she had seven sons, Hugh (1858 - 1913), Frederick, Edgar, William, Stewart, John, and Henry, as well as a single daughter, Sara Ann Auchincloss. John rose to become Director of Merchant’s Bank and a supporter of Equitable Life Assurance Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For over fifty years, Elizabeth Auchincloss spent summers at her Newport Rhode Island residence, and the remainder of the year at her city home located at 11 West 57th Street in New York. She died on October 26, 1902, having been predeceased by her husband John on June, 1876. Many members of the Auchincloss family rose to prominence, including Hugh D. Auchincloss, III who was step-brother to Jaqueline Bouvier; Jackie married John F. Kennedy at the Auchincloss’ Hammersmith Estate in Newport, Rhode Island.
William Stuart Auchincloss, Sr. was born in New York. Upon graduating from college in Troy, New York (possibly Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) with an engineering degree, William worked for Novelty Iron Works in New York building large marine engines, as well as Baldwin Locomotive Works in Wilmington, Delaware, where he designed railroad engines and cars. Auchincloss married Martha Tuthill Kent (1841 – 1923), the daughter of Philadelphia merchant, William Campbell Kent, who also had a son, Frederick Kent. During the Civil War, Frederick Kent rose to the position of Adjutant at Fort Monroe – Frederick never married. William and Martha Auchincloss lived in Philadelphia in the early 1900s where William ran a thread making business with his cousin; however, when the business failed to thrive he retired to Middleton, Monmouth County, New Jersey where he and Martha built a house overlooking the bay. William and Martha produced three children: James Stuart (1872 – 1922), Jane Kent Truslow (1875 – 1949), and William Kent Auchincloss (1877 – 1960).
James Stuart Auchincloss attended Haverford College in 1886 at the age of fourteen, where he played football and cricket before graduating in 1890 and gaining a position at the Lackawanna Railroad. In 1899, James Stuart married Hazel Hubert (1876 – 1960), whom he met while living in the Atlantic Highlands. Hazel was the daughter of George Spencer Hubert and Clara Jenks, and the Jenks’ were one of New England’s oldest families dating back to 1643. Auchincloss left the railroad business and obtained a job on Wall Street, to which he commuted daily by ferry from the Atlantic Highlands. James and Hazel Auchincloss had four boys, including William Auchincloss, Jr. (1900 – 1973), and a girl, Clara; however, all except William, Jr. and Clara died at birth, and she only lived three days.
As an only child, William, Jr. frequently invited friends to the family home and also kept several pet dogs. During World War I, and while still a minor, William, Jr. convinced a recruiter he was old enough to join the Army; however the Armistice was signed soon thereafter so he never deployed. Auchincloss was beset with a series of setbacks and tragedies as a young adult; although he gained admission to Cornell University’s engineering program, he struggled with mathematics and physics and left after the first semester, then his family lost much of their savings in a market crash, and finally his father James died from a stroke at the age of 50 in 1922. Needing work, William obtained a job as a construction worker building gas plants before being offered an advertising position at the Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter (OPD), which changed William’s fortunes for the better.
While working as a sales agent at the Reporter, William Auchincloss, Jr. began dating Jean Elizabeth Schnell, daughter of publisher Harry J. Schnell. William was childhood friends with Jean’s brother Harry, and they attended the same schools growing up. William eventually proposed marriage but according to his notes, Jean’s father sent her to Europe for three months to “think it over”; nevertheless, Harry Schnell welcomed William into the family and he and Jean married on April 20, 1928 at Grace Episcopal Church in Orange, New Jersey. In 1930, Jean gave birth to a son, James Stuart Auchincloss, Jr. (1930 – 1971). According to the 1930 federal census, the Auchincloss’ were living at Jean’s family home with her parents. By 1956, William Auchincloss, Jr. was working at the OPD Reporter’s parent corporation, Schnell Publishing Company. William Jr’s grandfather, William Auchincloss, Sr., convinced him to drop the “junior” from his name once the elder William had died; a fact that may cause some confusion to researchers and genealogists.
Charles Schnell was the progenitor of the American branch of the Schnell family, originally from Alsace, a town in Eastern France that was annexed by Germany during the Franco-Prussian War. Charles ran away from home at the age of seventeen and arrived in New York in 1853. During the American Civil War he joined and fought with the Union Army until his capture by Confederate troops. A prisoner of war, Schnell was sent to Libby Prison, which was notorious for its poor conditions and high mortality rate due to malnutrition, disease, and the Confederates’ mistreatment of prisoners. Following the war, Charles married Henrietta Steinau (1848 - ?), daughter of Caroline Martin, and he found work as a caterer. The Schnell family first lived in Chicago, but following the Great Fire in 1871 they moved to East Orange, New Jersey where Charles led a successful career in the book business. Charles and Henrietta raised six sons, including Harry J. Schnell (1875 – 1942). According to the 1910 federal census, Charles and Henrietta Schnell were living in a rented home at 257 west 43rd Street in New York City with their thirteen year old grandson, Charles. By 1922, Henrietta and Harry had moved to their son Harry’s residence at 306 Warwick Avenue in South Orange.
Born to humble origins, Harry J. Schnell, Sr. found work at William O. Allison’s publishing company around 1890 where he was initially employed as an office boy, but by 1900 at the age of twenty-five Schnell had risen through the ranks to become Allison’s trusted partner. Upon William Allison’s death in 1924, Harry J. Schnell was named executor of his estate and he continued working for the publishing firm until starting his own successful media business, Schnell Publishing Company, which was located on William Street in New York City. In addition to a successful career in the private sector, Schnell also served on the South Orange Village Town Council from the 1910s through the 1930s, when he was Village President. During World War I, Harry J. Schnell was appointed a Lieutenant of the American Protective League, an extralegal vigilance organization.
Harry J. Schnell, Sr. married Sara Jane Bainbridge (1873 - 1911) and together they provided a comfortable upbringing for their daughter Jean Elizabeth (1904 - 1991) and son Harry J. Schnell, Jr. (1900 – 1964) at their home on 306 Warwick Avenue in South Orange, New Jersey. When Jean was eight years old her mother Sara Jane died giving birth to a daughter who also did not survive. Harry never remarried, and in order to help raise the children his mother and aunt moved in to the family household. During the height of World War I, Jean Elizabeth was so moved by the suffering of Belgian refugees and civilians at the hands of their German occupiers that she convinced her father to donate the money set aside for her 14th birthday party to the Queen’s relief agency ($199, or approximately $3,500 in 2017 dollars); this gesture resulted in a brief correspondence with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Harry J. Schnell’s papers also include perfunctory but notable correspondence with Thomas Edison and Herbert Hoover.
Harry Schnell, Jr. graduated from Cornell University with a degree in chemical engineering and he worked as a technical writer at CBR Engineering Group. During World War I, sixteen-year old Harry headed to the front lines with his brother to drive an ambulance for a Red Cross unit attached to the French Army prior to the United States’ entry into the war. After the war, the French government decorated the Schnell brothers for their service. Harry, Jr. married Florence Ogilvie of Wayne, Pennsylvania, and together they raised a son, John B. Schnell. Harry died suddenly on April 25th, 1964 in his home on Lake Drive, Bel Air, Maryland – he was survived by his wife Florence, son, John, daughter in law Anne E. Little Schnell, and sister Jean Elizabeth Schnell “Mrs. William S.” Auchincloss.
- Schnell Family Genealogy – Charles Schnell line, notes by William Auchincloss, Jr., n.d.
- 1900-1940 federal censuses
- Elizabeth Buck Auchincloss Memorial Book, 1902
- Harry J. Schnell's obituary, 1964
The Auchincloss and Schnell Family Papers, span 1835 - ca.1987, with bulk dates from 1862 - 1968. The materials consist of personal and business correspondence, handwritten family histories, newspaper clippings, records related to service on a New Jersey town council, materials depicting early trade journalism in New York City, ephemera, and documentation of one family's reaction to domestic and foreign events during World War I.
The records are arranged into five series: I. William Auchincloss, Sr.; II. William Auchincloss, Jr.; III. Charles Schnell; IV. Harry J. Schnell; and V. the "Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter".
Series I: William Auchincloss, Sr. is organized into four sub-series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Genealogy, 3. Ephemera, 4. Photographs, and materials are organized within each sub-series chronologically. While encompassing one of the smaller series in this collection, the papers include several letters and family history notes that give a sense of the William Auchincloss' familial interactions. Also included is a glass plate negative of an unknown child (possibly Jane Kent Truslow), ca.1890
Series II: William Auchincloss, Jr. is organized into two sub-series: 1. Correspondence, and 2. Genealogy, and the materials are organized chronologically within each sub-series. Much of William, Jr's paper consist of correspondence and small notes to his wife and daughter, which are informal and affectionate in nature, as well as a series of detailed genealogical notes and applications to genealogy societies.
Series III: Charles Schnell is organized into four sub-series: 1. Vital Records, 2. Civil War, 3. Naturalization, and 4. School, and the records are organized chronologically. One of the smaller series in the collection, the Charles Schnell papers, nevertheless, contain important documentation of a 19th c. individual's immigration, naturalization, and wartime service to the United States.
Series IV: Harry J. Schnell is organized into five sub-series: 1. Correspondence - Personal, 2. Correspondence - Business, 3. South Orange Town Council, 4. Church, 5. News Clippings, and the records are organized within each sub-series chronologically. Harry J. Schnell's papers comprise the bulk of the collection and include some of his personal and business correspondence, they provide a snapshot of political life in a small New Jersey town council, and includes Schnell's correspondence with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, as well as some of America's iconic industrialists and inventors. Also notable is Harry Schnell's World War I American Protective League badge.
Series V: Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter is organized into five sub-series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Publicity, 3. "Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter" newspaper, 4. Photographs, and 5. Ephemera. The papers include business correspondence and publicity documenting the work conducted by members of the Auchincloss and Schnell families, as well as an 1882 copy of the Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter.
Series I: William Auchincloss, Sr.
|1||Sub-Series 1: Correspondence|
|1||Letter from William Auchincloss to daughter Katie(?) "Kitty on her baptism seventeen years ago, deceased mother, and Memorial Day Parade and soldiers' burial" [Includes small silk American flag], 1921|
|2||Correspondence - Personal, 1930|
|Sub-Series 2: Genealogy|
|3||Elizabeth (Buck) Auchincloss Memorial Book, 1902|
|4||Martha Tuthill Kent Family Tree: 1640 - 1910, 1910|
|5||Ford Family and Joseph DeCamp Family Tree [moved to Reading Room Family Tree cabinet], ca.1911|
|6||Sketch of the life of William Stuart Auchincloss, 1942 - 1928|
|7||Auchincloss Family Tree - Hugh Auchincloss Branch, n.d.|
|Sub-Series 3: Ephemera|
|9||Sub-Series 4: Photographs|
|10||Unknown child (possibly Jane Kent Auchincloss), glass plate negative [Fragile glass plate negative; handle with care], ca.1880|
Series II: William S. Auchincloss, Jr.
|1||Sub-Series 1: - Correspondence|
|10||Notes and poems to daughter Katie and granddaughter Eleanor, 1948 - 1962|
|11||Correspondence - Personal, 1955|
|12||Notes and poems to daughter Sara Jane, 1957 - 1971|
|13||Notes to wife, n.d.|
|Sub-Series 2: Genealogy|
|14||Jenks Family genealogy, ca.1930|
|15||Application to New Jersey Society of the Colonial Dames of America for Sara Jane Auchincloss, 1956|
|16||Certificate of admittance to the St. Andrew's Society of the State of New York, Oct 10, 1957|
|17||Schnell Family Genealogy - Charles Schnell Line, notes by William Auchincloss, Jr., n.d.|
Series III: Charles Schnell
|1||Sub-Series 1: Vital Records|
|18||Birth Certificate of Charles Schnell, Bischwiller, Strassburg Arrondissement, Jun 27, 1835|
|19||Marriage Certificate for Charles Schnell and Henrietta Stiner [sic], Jan 22, 1866|
|Sub-Series 2: Civil War|
|20||Civil War Discharge Papers and account of service, 1864|
|21||Grand Army of the Republic member list and Memorial Day Ribbon, n.d.|
|Sub-Series 3: Naturalization|
|22||Citizenship Naturalization Certificate issued by New York County, NY, Oct 12, 1866|
|Sub-Series 4: School|
|23||Henrietta Steinan Public Education Testimonial of Merit [Portfolio 1], Jun 1862|
Series IV: Harry J. Schnell
|1||Sub-Series 1: Correspondence - Personal|
|24||Correspondence between Secretary to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and Jean Schnell regarding donation for relief work, 1918|
|25||Correspondence with Secretary to King Albert of Belgium, 1919|
|26||Portrait of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium with silk American and Belgian flags (previously attached), ca.1919|
|27||"King Albert and Queen Elisabeth Visit U.S.A.", New York Times, Oct 12, 1919|
|28||Letter from Harry Schnell to Hazel Auchincloss regarding war and peacetime, Dec 21, 1940|
|29||Correspondence - Unattributed, 1956, n.d.|
|30||Notes from Eva and Katie Auchincloss to their mother, ca.1987|
|Sub-Series 2: Correspondence - Business|
|31||Letter from Census Bureau Director William Stewart to Harry J. Schnell regarding relation between industry, business, and federal government, Dec 1930|
|32||Letter from Secretary of Commerce R.P. Lamont to Harry Schnell regarding drug industry, Sep 28, 1931|
|33||Correspondence with President Herbert Hoover regarding the support of the National Wholesale Druggist Association, Sep 28, 1931|
|34||Letter from President Herbert Hoover to Harry Schnell thanking him for his note, Oct 3, 1931|
|35||Letter from Thomas A. Edison to Harry J. Schnell. Card granting admittance to Mr. Edison's public viewing, 1931|
|Sub-Series 3: South Orange Town Council|
|36||South Orange Police Department President Badge, ca.1930. Seton Hall College Diamond Jubilee Reception Committee Badge, 1931. South Orange Business Men's Association gavel, May 6, 1929. Village of South Orange Fire Committee door plaque, 1914 [Artifacts Box 1], 1914 - 1931|
|37||American Protective League Badge with rank of Lieutenant, issued Sep 29, 1917|
|38||Dinner given in honor of James Marshall, President and Member of South Orange Board of Education - Invitation, Proclamation and Guest Book, Congratulatory Notes, 1920|
|39||George Washington Bridge Opening, Invitation, brochures, 1929|
|40||Delaware Lackawanna Western Railroad Suburban Electrification, 1930|
|41||"Citizen's Party" election memorabilia, 1931|
|42||South Orange Independence Day Celebration Parking Permit, 1938|
|Sub-Series 4: Church|
|43||Jean Elizabeth Schnell's Baptismal Certificate, 1904|
|Sub-Series 5: News Clippings|
|2||1||Clippings regarding election to President of New York Club, May 19, 1920|
|2||Clipping regarding South Orange Village President duties, 1931|
|Sub-Series 6: Obituaries|
|3||Harry J. Schnell, Jr's obituary, 1964|
|Sub-Series 7: Ephemera|
|4||Poem by Hazel Hulbert Auchincloss, Jun 27, 1923|
|5||Letterhead, Inspirational quotes, Colonial Virginia Shrine, Auchincloss crest, n.d., 1974|
|6||Grant's Tomb postcard, Memorial Day ribbon, American flag, n.d.|
Series V: "Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter"
|2||Sub-Series 1: Correspondence|
|7||Correspondence between Eli Lilly, II and William Auchincloss regarding banquet planning at French Lick, Indiana, Oct, 1933|
|8||Correspondence between Carl F.G. Meyer and William Auchincloss regarding banquet at French Lick, Indiana, Oct, 1933|
|9||Correspondence between William S. Auchincloss and S.B. Penick regarding OPD regarding post-war financial situation, Aug 23, 1943|
|10||Correspondence between Duke de Caisse and William Auchincloss regarding Jean Auchincloss and ODP Publicity, n.d., 1955|
|Sub-Series 2: Publicity|
|11||Harry J. Schnell publicity, 1940|
|12||Announcement of Harry J. Schnell purchase of OPD, The Green Book Buyers Directory, and National Painters Magazine, Apr 7, 1941|
|13||Clipping regarding testimonial dinner, n.d.|
|14||"In Loving Memory of Harry J. Schnell", editorial page ad, Nov 29|
|15||"He Made Good: A Record of Thirty Years Continuous Service of which all are proud", Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter, Aug 23, 1920|
|Sub-Series 3: "Oil, Paint, and Drug, Reporter" newspaper|
|16||Copy of the "Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter" [Fragile], Apr 12, 1882|
|Sub-Series 4: Photographs|
|17||Photograph of Harry J. Schnell, Jr. speaking at the Biltmore Hotel in New York, ca.1964|
|Sub-Series 5: Ephemera|
|18||Subscription ephemera, 1886, 1968|