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Henry and Davis Family Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 1739


William Henry's business correspondence includes regular updates sent to him in Calais from several employees in Cooper, including his son, W.W. Henry, concerned with whether equipment is in working order and hiring an engineer and crew.

Frank N. Davis' business letters are primarily from those working at other gas light companies in the United States and Canada, including the National Electric Light Association and Northern Light Company (both in New York,) the Canadian Electrical Association in Toronto, the Fredericton Gas Light Company in New Brunswick, and St. Croix Electric Light Co. in St. Stephen, New Brunswick.


  • Creation: 1839-1942
  • Creation: 1903-1904 (bulk)


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on literary rights available in the repository.

Historical Note

William Henry was the Superintendent of Mines for American Molybednum Company in the Washington County town of Cooper, Maine. In an article for the Portland, Maine publication, Board of Trade Journal (Volume 19, March, 1907) Henry noted that "about three years" prior to his writing, an owner of the Cooper property suspected molybdenite was present in area rocks. The mineral was in demand internationally for strengthening steel, particularly recommended for large forgings of marine engines, large guns, boiler plates and for high-speed steel tools.

After samples sent for analysis looked promising, Boston capitalists visited the site. Crews put down a shaft of 55 feet and a cut to the south of 25 feet. Molybdenite was present the full length. The American Molybdenum Company was formed and owners purchased the property. By 1903, the Cooper mine was one of the principal deposits mentioned in Mineral Resources of the United States by J.H. Pratt. It is not clear how long William Henry served as superintendent. Many envelopes are addressed to Mr. Wm. Henry (Supt. of Mines), Lock Box 247, Calais, Maine during the years of 1903 and 1904.

Frank N. Davis was the manager of St. Croix Gas Light Company in Calais, Maine. Letters in the collection addressed to him date from 1897 to 1912, but it is not clear whether that was the full length of time he was employed by the company. A Calais business directory lists he and his wife, Inez H., as living in Calais in 1935.

The relationship between these two Calais businessmen is not apparent from materials within the collection.


1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged in five series: I. William Henry business correspondence, II. Henry family correspondence, III. Frank N. Davis business correspondence, IV. Davis family correspondence, V. Additional family papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in 2012.

Guide to the Henry and Davis Family Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States