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Jonathan E. Lipps Account Books

Identifier: Ms-1940-016

Scope and Content

This collection contains a set of account books maintained by Jonathan E. Lipps, a general store proprietor and a court clerk for Wise County, Virginia. Among the other items in the collection is a single ledger, probably maintained by Lipps while the county clerk, listing county court cases, with fees for clerk duties associated with each.

Relating to Lipps' general store, the collection includes a series of day books spanning the years 1896 to 1904. Each book contains dates of transactions, customers' names, goods purchased, and prices. Credit transactions from the day books were copied into a separate set of customer credit account ledgers, each containing customer names, dates of transactions, goods purchased, prices, credits, and account balances. The store's business is also recorded in a cash book, which provides a daily account of the store's cash drawer, and two ledgers containing inventories of the store's merchandise. The collection also contains a set of three ledgers that seem to record both Lipps' personal financial accounts and the store's accounts with various banks and businesses.

The collection is completed by a single ledger from a Wise County lumber company, apparently operated by Lipp's son-in-law, C. P. Addington. The ledger records customer names, dates of transactions, sizes and types of lumber purchased, prices, account credits, and balances.


  • 1892 - 1924


Language of Materials

The materials in this collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Jonathan Elbert Lipps, son of Morgan T. and Elizabeth Davenport Lipps, was born in what is now Wise County, Virginia, on October 25, 1851. While still a child, the younger Lipps moved with his family to the Gladeville area. Jonathan taught school on Little Toms Creek in 1871, then at Bull Run in 1872, and at Buffalo Gap in 1873. That same year, he married Sarah Cephina Gilley (1851-1935) and also became the county's assistant assessor. In 1877, Lipps began teaching at Pinnacle Gap and was appointed the county's first notary public. Lipps purchased a farm in Powells Valley in 1879 and was appointed postmaster of the new Butcher's Fork post office. In 1881, Sarah Gilley Lipps assumed the office of Butcher's Fork and remained in that position until 1887.

In 1885, Jonathan Lipps was appointed to the Wise County board of supervisors, to serve out the unexpired term of a deceased member. Lipps lost a close campaign for county clerk in 1885. He ran again in 1887; winning by three votes, he served in the office until 1893. In 1890, Lipps and others formed the Gladeville Improvment Company, later the Clear Creek Improvement Company, instrumental in the development of the northern section of the town of Wise. Following his service as county clerk, Lipps, with his son-in-law C. P. Addington and son Wade H. Lipps, established a department store under the name J. E. Lipps & Co. in Wise. After 11 years in business, Lipps sold his interest in the store to Addington, who later sold it to C. W. Renfro.

In 1908, Lipps was appointed commissioner of the revenue for the county's eastern district but served only half of the four-year term. He was elected to the town council of Wise for three terms.

J. E. Lipps died January 31, 1943, and is buried with his wife in Wise Cemetery.


3.2 Cubic Feet (10 boxes)


This collection contains the court clerk and general store account ledgers of Jonathan E. Lipps of Wise County, Virginia.


The collection is divided by type, then organized chronologically.

Source of Acquisition

The Jonathan E. Lipps Account Books were donated to the university in 1939 and transferred to Special Collections and University Archives in 1955.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Jonathan E. Lipps Account Books by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 ( work/public-domain/cc0/).

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Jonathan E. Lipps Account Books commenced and was completed in May 2011. Initial description was completed in or prior to May 1970.

Jonathan E. Lipps Account Books, 1892-1924
John M. Jackson, Archivist
2020 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US