The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Faber, William A.

William A. Faber Ledger

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 244 bd

Owner of a livery stable in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Includes lists of stabler activities, customers (individuals and businesses), and employed ostlers. Also contains method of payment (cash and services), and one labor account for Fred Berry, a nineteen year old Afro-American who was one of three ostlers living in Faber’s household at the time.

Background on William A. Faber

William A. Faber (b. 1818) owned a livery stable in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Successful in his trade, his household in 1850 included a wife, Minerva, four children, two Irish-born females (presumably servants), and three ostlers. His property at the time included a substantial $2,500 in real and personal property, most of which was probably tied up in horses, carriages, and the stables themselves.

Although the circumstances are uncertain, it appears possible that Faber either quit as a stabler in 1853 or left Great Barrington. The city’s business directory for that year lists two livery stables, neither owned by Faber.

Contents of Collection

The Faber ledger documents the activities of a stabler between 1848 and 1853. His 44 customers included some of Great Barrington’s most prominent citizens — Albert S. Crane, George Ives, and George Pynchon, along with several of the town’s notable businesses, including the apothecary F. T. Whiting, the auctioneer G. M. Whiting, blacksmith J. D. Noxon, cabinetmaker Frederick Langsdorf, clothiers Girling and Doolittle, and the Granger and Hill country store. Faber also provided regular services for Sarah and Nancy Kellogg’s boarding school for girls, renting teams and wagons to the school’s hired hand, Thomas Burghardt (b. 1790), to transport students and supplies.

In most cases, the accounts record the rental of horses, wagons, carriages, and cutters for trips to neighboring towns, and rarely for plowing or other agricultural work. Occasionally, Faber appears to have transported individuals or merchandise for customers himself. Typically, Faber received payment for services in cash, although he sometimes accepted payment in kind through services (especially from Noxon the blacksmith), hay, clothing (from Girling and Doolittle), and even a buffalo robe (from the Kelloggs). Among the three ostlers in the Faber household, was a nineteen year-old, Massachusetts-born, African American man, Fred Berry.

Administrative information

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, 1989.


Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: William A. Faber Ledger (MS 244). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987


African Americans--Massachusetts--Great BarringtonBerry, FredBurghardt, Thomas, b. 1790Cab and omnibus service--Massachusetts--Great BarringtonCoaching (Transportation)--Massachusetts--Great BarringtonCrane, Albert SGirling and DoolittleGranger and HillGreat Barrington (Mass. : Town)--Economic conditionsIves, GeorgePynchon, GeorgeRose Cottage Seminary (Great Barrington, Mass.)Stables--Massachusetts--Great Barrington


Faber, William A., b. 1818

Types of material

Account books