Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Joseph Henry Guild
Scope and Content
The J.H. Guild letterpress copybook is part of the larger Charles E. Frohman Collection. The collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center by Mr. Frohman in 1967.
Joseph Henry Guild was born on September 18, 1827, to Chauncey and Selinda Bourne Guild in Pawlet, Vermont. Little is known about his younger years, but in 1842, he became a clerk at the firm of Bates & Safford in Pawlet. He also taught at the Rupert Street and Mountain schools. At the age of twenty, he started clerking for Proudfit & Fitch in Salem, New York, and continued to work there for three years after the firm was succeeded by King & Guild.
In 1850, he moved to Sandusky, Ohio, and worked as a cabinet worker and upholsterer until becoming a proprietor in the firm of Rogers & Guild two years later. His furniture business was located on Hubbard’s Block of Jackson Street in Sandusky. On May 15, 1853, he married Jane M. Barton. Together they had two children: Ella, born in 1855; and Jennie, born in 1859 and died in infancy. Jane also passed away in 1859 during the Asiatic cholera epidemic that swept through the city of Sandusky. Consequently, Joseph started selling coffins and other burial materials after her death.
In 1854, Mr. Guild was named a city trustee and played a prominent part in the management of affairs. In August 1855, his factory burned, prompting him to leave Sandusky. He then resided mostly in Baltimore and New York for the next few years. During that time, he studied medicine at the New York Medical College, and in 1861, graduated with high honors. After graduation, Guild settled in Rupert, Vermont, where he practiced medicine until 1869, then began the manufacturing of patent medicine. One of the most successful medicines, “Green Mountain Asthma Cure,” grew into a prosperous business and was continued by his successors. On December 17, 1867, he married Alta Nelson and together they had three children: Cora, born in 1869; Millie, born in 1870; and Haley C., born in 1878.
After moving to Vermont, Guild remained prominent in politics, representing the town of Rupert in the legislatures of 1872 and 1874, and as a state senator in 1876. In 1877, Middlebury College awarded him an honorary degree. He was also active in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Rupert, helping to build and furnish the church edifice. Joseph died as a result of heart disease on March 15, 1894. He is buried at the Rupert Street Cemetery in Rupert, Vermont.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of one bound letterpress copy book and a typed transcription of the letters. They range in date from January 3, 1856 until February 4, 1856. The book consists of nine handwritten letters written by J.H. Guild to various recipients soliciting employment as an insurance agent after his business in Sandusky was destroyed by fire. The book contains a total of 389 pages: pages 1 through 26 devoted to letters; 27 through 43 removed and missing; and 44 through 389 remained blank. The typed transcription contains 23 pages and is enclosed in a folder.
Letterpress Copy Book, January – February 1856
Transcription of Correspondence, January – February 1856