MG 061 - Rutherford Family Papers

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Scope and Content

Collection contains papers of several generations of the Rutherford family from Thomas Rutherford, 1771 to obituaries for John Edmund Rutherford, 1919, and Margaret S. Rutherford, 1926. But the bulk of the collection consists of the papers and records of Dr. William W. Rutherford.

Includes: correspondence 1861-1899

Invoices for service by Wm. W. Rutherford and pages of an account ledger, 1858-1873

Articles of Agreement between W. W. Rutherford & Jacob Gruber for the lease of two farms, 1871

Agreement between the Martinsburg & Potomac Rail Road Company and Wm. W. Rutherford for damages to property in construction of a road, 1871

A handwritten appointment by A.D. Rutherford of Elias Bombarger as agent for the supervision of the lands belonging to the estate of Wm. W. Rutherford, undated

A handwritten copy of the last will and testament of James Rutherford, undated

A typewritten transcription of the Articles of Agreement between James Rutherford and Samuel Rutherford for the division of the plantation and tract of land bequeathed to them by their father Thomas Rutherford, 1778

Indenture papers for John Weies and Anna Maria Whise bound unto Thomas Rutherford for four years in payment of their passage from Holland. (Papers have the signature of Thomas Rutherford) 1771 & 1772

Copies of newspaper clippings concerning the deaths of John Edmund Rutherford, 1919 and Margaret S. Rutherford, 1926

The "Arithmatick" notebook of John Rutherford, 1819

A leather-bound receipt book of Sam S. Rutherford, 1832-1871

Account ledger for a medical practice, 1865-67, in three parts, believed to be that of Wm. W. Rutherford

Account ledger, 1869-1873

A typewritten transcription of the "Rutherford Manuscript" which is a receipt (recipe) book by A. E. Rutherford, 1876. The original book is found in the Rawn Collection (MG 062)

Three Rutherford family daguerreotypes: one is a group of three children, Eleanor, Mary and Eliza Rutherford; one is of William Swan Rutherford (1827-1895); the other an unidentified man.

The wills of J. Eliza Rutherford, 1890, and Margaret S. Rutherford, 1918, with an account of the estate

The deed between Robert M. Rutherford and the Steelton Trust Company, executors of the estate of Albert C. Rutherford, for a tract of land in Swatara Township, 1915

Booklet of the Dedication of the Rutherford Monument and the Reunion of the Family, 1898

Handwritten report by Bessy Rutherford on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Society of the Rutherford Family, October, 1898

A reprint of the grant of a ferry to John Harris with the history of the ferry

A report concerning the changes in Paxton Valley since 1754 by Margaret S. Rutherford read at the Rutherford Reunion, 1907

A report read at the Rutherford Reunion, September, 1921, by Mrs. James A. Rutherford (Bessie Rutherford)

Letter from Thomas Hall to Shull Rutherford, June, 1934, concerning the records of the Paxton Church

Handwritten paper by S. S. Rutherford, undated, about George Washington's visit to Harrisburg

Printed booklet "Some Old Letters" published by the Collier Murray Association in 1908

Packet of Christmas greetings

Framed photo of a white oak tree in the Old Paxton Church Grove blown down by a storm in May, 1918

Two albums with photos of the Rutherford family and numerous family photos and snapshots.


The progenitor of the Rutherford families, known as "The Rutherford's of Paxtang" was Thomas Rutherford who emigrated to America about 1728 or 29 from County Tyrone, Ireland. He married Jean Mordah (Murdock) and they settled in 1755 on a farm three miles east of Harrisburg, later known as Paxtang Station and the majority of their descendants remained in Paxtang. The family has produced several distinguished members of the medical profession, but most of them rank among the leading farmers of the locality.

WILLIAM WILSON RUTHERFORD, M.D. b.1805, d. 1873, was a son of William Rutherford and his wife, Sarah Swan. He began the study of medicine with Dr. Whiteside of Harrisburg in 1830, and attended Jefferson Medical College, graduating from the institution in 1832. He set up in partnership with Dr. Dean and practiced his profession for forty years. He became known as an accurate diagnostician. He served as surgeon to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, was a director of the Harrisburg Gas Company and, at his death, president of the company. He was an active and well-known citizen of the community. He was married to Eleanor Crain.

Date(s): 1767-1952

Extent: 3 boxes, 23 folders, 48 enclosures of text materials, 58 photos