MG 050 - Alricks Family Collection

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Scope and Content

The collection includes papers of two generations of the Alricks family, the papers of James Alricks and his two sons Herman and Hamilton. They include:

James Alricks' Book of Accounts, 1815-1816; James Alricks' commissions as County Clerk, 1821; Justice of the Peace, 1823; Notary Public, 1831; James Alricks' estate papers; Account Book, 1795-1797; estate papers of Jacob Spangler, administrator, Herman Alricks, 1844; the military commissions of Hamilton Alricks in 1832 & 1836 and his appointment as Trustee of the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital, 1858; a notice of a town meeting called to order by Hamilton Alricks, 1848; an agreement made between Hamilton Alricks and Henry L. Reichert for the lease of a piece of ground in Susquehanna Township, 1890; an agreement between Hamilton Alricks and the Board of Trade for a strip of land, 1892; Hamilton Alricks' appointment as a member of the American Legal Association, 1850; a book presented to Hamilton Alricks by George W. Harris entitled, "Reminiscences, on Various Members of the Bar of Dauphin County," 1873; a typed note presented by John Alricks, 1946, with two specimens of ink writing dated 1791; a release of a tract of land in Rye Township, Cumberland County containing 300 acres, 63 perches by David Semple to John Sterett and later sold to John Fry, Jr., 1816; a price list of Lockwood's cloth lined paper collars, undated; the appointment of Hamilton Alricks as guardian of Hamilton Alricks, Jr., minor son of Herman Alricks, 1857; the guardianship account of Hamilton Alricks, 1862; the estate papers of Herman Alricks; the account of Levi B. Alricks, Executor of the last will and testament of Hamilton Alricks, 1893-1894; a booklet, "Peter Alrichs - New Castle Merchant, Indian Trader, Plantation Owner and Politician," by C. A. Weslager, presented to the Alrich Family Reunion in 1986.


JAMES ALRICKS b. 1769, d. 1833, was the youngest child of Harmanus and Ann West Alricks. He was only three years old when his father died and his mother later remarried Alexander Lowrey of Donegal, Lancaster County. James grew up on the Lowrey farm in Lancaster County and although educational opportunities were limited he was very well read. In 1815 he moved with his family from Lost Creek Valley in Juniata County to Harrisburg and in 1821 was appointed clerk of the Orphans court of Dauphin County, serving until 1824. He also served as one of the magistrates of the borough. He married Martha Hamilton and both of his sons (Herman and Hamilton) became prominent attorneys in Dauphin County.

HERMAN ALRICKS b. 1803, d. 1874, son of James and Martha Hamilton Alricks, attended Harrisburg Academy and read law in the office of Hon. Thomas Elder. He was admitted to practice in several courts of Dauphin County and for a time worked with Mr. Elder. He later established a practice for himself and became one of the leading members of the bar. He was considered the best Orphans' court lawyer in the state and his papers which he prepared himself served as models for accuracy, effectiveness and brevity. In 1863, when Lee's army invaded Pennsylvania, Mr. Alricks, then about sixty years old, served in a company of militia to defend the ford crossing the Susquehanna river where Steelton now stands. He married Mary Elder Kerr who died in 1857 leaving her husband and five children surviving her. His oldest daughter, Mary, married James McCormick.

HAMILTON ALRICKS b. 1806, d. 1893, was the second son and fourth child of James and Martha Hamilton Alricks. He attended Harrisburg Academy and studied law with Hon. Samuel Douglas. He was admitted to the bar of Dauphin County in 1828, later to the bar of the supreme court of Pennsylvania, and in 1850 to the bar of the supreme court of the United States. He established a large practice and in 1836 was elected to the house of representatives. In later years he confined his practice to civil cases and records show that he was in active practice after the age of eighty-six. He married Caroline Jacobs, daughter of Rev. Levi Bull. He died in 1893.

Date(s): 1791-1986

Extent: 1 box, 15 folders, 31 enclosures