William A. Faber Ledger

1 volume
Call no.: MS 244
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

William Faber was the owner of a livery stable in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, during the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

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.

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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.

Scope 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


The collection is open for research.


Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, 1989.




Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

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

Search terms


  • African Americans--Massachusetts--Great Barrington--History
  • Berry, Fred
  • Burghardt, Thomas, b. 1790
  • Cab and omnibus service--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Coaching (Transportation)--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Crane, Albert S
  • Girling & Doolittle
  • Granger & Hill
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Ives, George
  • Pynchon, George
  • Rose Cottage Seminary (Great Barrington, Mass.)
  • Stables--Massachusetts--Great Barrington


  • Faber, William A. [main entry]
  • Faber, William A., 1818-

Genres and formats

  • Account books

Link to similar SCUA collections