MG 468 - Wallower Collection

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Scope and Content

The collection contains primarily travel materials of Elias Z. Wallower, a few personal items, correspondence and a photocopy of his autobiography, "Reminiscences of E. Z. Wallower," published in 1941.

The travel materials include Family Letters of E. Z. Wallower on World Cruise, November, 1923 to March, 1924; family letters and data on the Franco-Belgique Motor Tour, 1926; Notes and Observations on a Cruise to Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Holland, 1935; letters and cards from friends and family wishing him "bon voyage;" tour pamphlets; passport and miscellaneous items.

The collection also contains the program of a dinner given in honor of E. Z. Wallower on his 75th birthday by his son Edgar Z. Wallower, 1929; correspondence between Edgar Z. Wallower and the Manuscript Department, Library of Congress concerning a letter from Lincoln to the Methodist Church and verification of its authenticity, 1937-1938.

A commission granted to John Wallower, Jr. by Governor William F. Johnston in 1850 appointing him an Aids-de-Camp with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Pennsylvania Militia.

The collection also contains a scrapbook of programs, news clips, photos of the construction of the Wallower mansion at the corner of Front and Maclay, photos of the gardens, and family photos.


Elias Z. Wallower, b. 1854, d. 1941, was one of Harrisburg's most outstanding residents. His business interests were varied. In 1876 he founded the Harrisburg Independent, a penny newspaper; a decade later he and other citizens raised money to construct the Walnut Street Bridge; just before World War I he facilitated financing for the Penn-Harris Hotel which opened December 31, 1918; he was a director of the Harrisburg Pipe & Pipe Bending Co. a forerunner of Harsco Corporation; he was chairman of the building committee for a new YMCA; and held interests in mining, street railways, hotel and oil ventures in Missouri and Oklahoma. He was married twice. His first wife was Maria Hoover of Carlisle who died in 1916; in 1922 he married Mary Sierer of Chambersburg who died in 1935. The Wallower home was for many years on North Third Street, but he built a palatial mansion on the northeast corner of Front and Maclay Streets, "said to be one of the most beautiful homes in this section of the state." It was razed in the 1960's to make way for the construction of an office complex.

Date(s): 1850-1960

Extent: 1 box, 11 folders, 19 entries