These three accounting volumes of Monson, Massachusetts physicians David and Marshall Calkins encompass the period May 1848–December 1855. Medically, these volumes reflect a growing understanding of the human body and the analysis and treatment of its ailments. Additionally, these account books reflect a period of growing prosperity for Monson through the birth of stream powered milling industries.
These three accounting volumes of Monson, Massachusetts
physicians David and Marshall Calkins encompass the period
May 1848 – Dec 1855. Volume I (1848-1849) has the commonly
used daybook debit/credit style. 33 of its 105 pages are
notes from the medical classes of an unknown institution,
likely attended by one of the two men. Volume II (1849-1852)
is 146 pages, with a number missing from both front and back.
This daybook has few indications of debits/credits. Volume
III (1852-1855) contains 37 pages of daybook recordings
lacking debits/credits altogether. Portions of this last
volume appear to have been recorded during a stay in
Medically, these volumes reflect a growing understanding
of the human body and the analysis and treatment of its
ailments. In Volume I’s class notes appear references to “old
school” beliefs and “our” beliefs, and the “importance of
remedies” in the cure of disease. A show is made of how cures
are “now” available which previously were not.
Additionally, these account books reflect a period of
growing prosperity for Monson through the birth of
stream-powered milling industries. Factory and quarry workers
are noted as well as Irish, Scottish and Black. The labeling
of certain groups reflects the apprehension of some who
witnessed the growth of a new European immigrant population
and the changing economic and social face of the region.
Medical class notes from Volume I include
descriptions/treatment of “diagnosis and excision of a
tumor”, enlarged tonsils, craniotomy, club foot or talipes,
phlebitis, dentition; treatment of women for inversion of the
uterus, decline of the menses, carcinoma uteri, milk abcess,
“longing of women in pregnancy”, imperforate hymen; and birth
problems such as malpresentation of the head, breech
presentation, inferior extremities and shoulder
Medical services listed as provided in the volumes
include: visit advice, vaccinating, dressing wound,
extracting teeth, obstetric care, reducing dislocation of
forearm, attending through the night, and eye operating.
Remedies provided include: hot drops, emetic, cakes of
antidyspeptic bread, nerve powder, Woman’s Friend diuretic,
lomar, bitter crown, ferrim, iodine iron and strengthening
syrups, anodyne compound and drops, scabies ointment, “papers
of _______” (paper being a dosage of medication), “a pair of
specticles”, cathartic pills, dysentery or cinnamon cordial,
extract of boneset pills, shoulder braces, slippery elm,
lobelia, valerian root, balsam, hemlock, wine bitters,
magnesium, pain killer, “sculcap and syringe”, abdomen
supporter, and gum Arabic.
Barter seems most prominent as a means of patient payment.
Items include: onions, corn, sugar, potatoes, wine, keg gin,
coffee, milk, apples, molasses, rhubarb, meat, boots, lumber,
nails, silver pencils, postage, copperplate, cloth, plow and
fork, oats, hay, vials, cards, and mortar.
Interesting entries from Volume I include: “tuition to
course of lectures and cash for diploma”. From Volume II,
“________Commenced rooming in the office”, “good for nothing
(written over the name of William Stewart), “not worth
posting” (written next to the name of Darius Walbridge),
“Monson Lyceum by cash rec’d on 31 applications”, “admission
fee to yearly deposit to the Meecham’s U. Association”, and
“Univ. club to potatoes and salt pork”. Volume III contains,
“Paid five dollars on acct for grave stones”, “Town of Monson
to visits with (various names)”, “paid to Rev. F. Newhall to
horse keeping”, “Cr. by making pants”, and “two copies Monson
T. Direc. (on comm.)”.
Many doctors and other professions can be found in these
volumes, some of whom appear in Monson and Hampden County
histories. Doctors included are: Reuben Barron (I,II), Rev.
Alfred Ely (I), Calvin Newton (I), John Hooker (II,III), Oliver
McKinstry (II), Capt. George G. Tucker (II,III), William B.
Carpenter (II,III), L.M. Briggs (III), Horace Jacobs (I,II),
Daniel Peabody (III), Henry F. Gardner (botanic
physician)(II), Rial (Royal) Strickland (I). Other professions
include: Watchmakers Arthur and Justin S. Brewer (I), Deacons
David Adams (III) and Andrew W. Porter (I), Revs. Charles
Hammond (I) and Walter Pratt (II), Apothecary A.B. Clarke (I),
Meat Peddler Henry Parker (II), associated with the Lyons
Factory are Franklin and William Stebbins (I).
A number of women were served by the Calkins Doctors.
Names which could be found in the 1840 or 1850 census
include: Nancy Adams (III), Julia Anderson (I,III), Widow
Avery (I), Widow Matilda Bates (I,II), Mrs. Andrew Benson (III),
Mrs. Josiah Blodget (II,III), Harriet Butler (II), Jane
Cadwell (II,III), Widow Mary E. Cadwell (II,III), Ann S.
Calkins (II), Delia Calkins (II), Maria Calkins (II,III), Betsey
Carter (II), Widow Sophrona Carter (II), Mrs. Clark (III),
Minerva S. Converse (I), Mrs. Joseph Dorset (II), Orpha (Orphia)
Durkee (I), Nancy M. Fay (III), Jane Gage (II), Rebecca
Gage (I,II), Mary Gage (II,III), Widow Gilmore (II), Martha
Goodwell (II,III), Sophia Green (II), Susan Green (II), Susan
Heath (III), Widow Layvna Hennt (I), Martha Howard (II), Sophia
B. Jenkins (I), Lucy T. Leonard (I), Maria Leonard (II), Harriet
Lewis (II), Susan Loomis (II), Susannah Lull (III), Elizabeth
Newell (III), Eunice Nichols (II), Mary Ann Nutt (II), Anna
Osborn (II), Clarissa Palmer (I), Lucinda Pease (II), Amanda
Rood (II), Maria Shields (III), Mary Smith (II), Widow Sally
Stacy (II,III), Mary Staunton (II), Lucy Stebbins (II), Mary
Webber (II), Mrs. White (III).
The following entries denote origin or race: Mr. Smith
“Scotch with (fae?)” (III), Mr. James Casey “Irishman at West
Branch Factory” (III), Mr. Cooper “runaway/Irishman” (II), Mr.
Sullivan “Irishman” (II), Francis Crossan “Irish” (II,III),
“Irishman (on quarry)” (II), Franklin Baker “Negro” (I), Henry
Johnson “Negro” (I), “paid Marilla (colored lady at
Jackson’s)” (III). The following names appear in Black
Families in Hampden County: Horace Pease (III) and Albert
Hampden County histories cite family names significant in
the history of Monson, Massachusetts. Names from that list,
which appear in these accounts and have not yet been
mentioned include: Bennett, Bliss, Cady, Colton, Ferry,
Fuller, Orcutt, Ormsby, Shaw, Warner and Woods.
Places mentioned in these accounts include: Ballstown,
NY (III), Belchertown, MA (II), Brandon Bank, VA (III),
Brimfield, MA (II), Bristol, NH (III), Holyoke, MA (III), Grout
Hill/East Hill (Monson, MA) (I), Mason, MA (II), Norwich,
MA (III), Palmer, MA (II,III), Pelham, MA (III), Pittsfield,
MA (III), Portland, ME (III), Providence, RI (III), N.
Wilbraham, MA (III), Saratoga, NY (III), Silverstreet (Monson,
MA) (I,II,III), Somerset, MA (III), S. Wilbraham, MA (III),
Springfield, MA (III), Stabboree Village (Monson, MA) (I),
Stafford, MA (III), W. Brookfield, MA (III), W. Concord, MA (I),
W. Stafford, MA (II).
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: David and Marshall Calkins Account Books (MS 178). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.
Processed by Elizabeth C. Baumgartner, August 1987.
- Monson (Mass.)--History--19th century
- Calkins, David
- Calkins, Marshall
Types of material
- Account books