The Board of Directors of the Butler County Historical Society has learned that a large collection of historically important documents related to the county’s early development will be sold during auctions conducted by Cowan’s Auctions in March and June.
Even though the board believes the documents would be excellent additions to the society’s collection, the society does not have the funds to purchase any of the items. The BCHS board is seeking sponsors to fund the purchase of one or more items for the collection or people who would like to make monetary contributions toward purchases.
The items for sale include a collection of 34 papers related to the city of Hamilton and its community leaders from 1801 to 1893. The documents include letters written by Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin and Rutherford B. Hayes, Ohio Governor, appointing John Millikin a trustee of Miami University; an 1835 contract for a patent of the Spiral Vent Water Wheel bought by John Woods and John Reily; a document signed by Governor William McKinley appointing Daniel Millikin a Miami University trustee; and a last will and testament of Minor Millikin who was killed in 1862. These documents are likely to cost an estimated $1,000 during the June auction.
A stock receipt book including 97 stock receipts for the Hamilton and Rossville Hydraulic Company dated from 1845 through 1935 also will be sold in June. Seventeen of the receipts bear the signature of Henry Ford, his son Edsel or both Fords. These papers are expected to sell for about $6,000.
For about $700 the society can acquire a copy of the 1812 book “A Narrative of the Manner in which the Campaign against the Indians, in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-One, was Conducted under the Command of Major General St. Clair.” This lovely 273-page book includes an extended list of subscribers not found in other copies and is signed by James McBride.
Two books being sold as a group are  “Annals of the West” by James Perkins, inscribed by Daniel Millikin, and  “Symmes’s Theory of Concentric Spheres: Demonstrating that the Earth is Hollow, Habitable Within, and Widely Open About the Poles,” inscribed “John M. Millikin Presented by James McBride Esq. Jany 11, 1832.” These two books are expected to sell for about $400 during the March auction.
Persons interested in sponsoring the purchase of any of these historical documents or wish to make a donation toward their acquisition should send their support to the Butler County Historical Society, 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. Please mark your check in the memo field for the accession fund. Please call 513-896-9930 for additional information.
The Butler County Historical Society is a private non-profit formed in 1934 to preserve and promote the history of Butler County, Ohio, through the collection and conservation of artifacts and the sharing of knowledge through education and community engagement. It owns and operates the Benninghofen House, a high-Italian style home filled with the furnishings of a wealthy family during the Victorian Era.