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Jacob W. Lantz Papers,

Identifier: Ms-1975-003

Scope and Contents

This collection contains papers of Jacob W. Lantz, proprietor of a general store in Cedar Springs (Smyth County), Virginia. The collection contains correspondence, financial documents, and account books.

The correspondence relates largely to Lantz's business affairs, particularly the management of his store and the local properties of the Lobdell Car Wheel Company. Together with correspondence between Lantz and various suppliers, the general store folder includes receipts and promotional material. The Lobdell Car Wheels Company file consists mostly of correspondence between Lantz and company secretary Howard L. Seaman but also includes correspondence with others, all relating to local property management issues. A folder devoted to Lantz's personal financial interests includes (among other things) letters from various relatives seeking loans. Among the correspondence also are personal letters, several relating to Lantz's church activities. A separate folder contains correspondence and notes relating to Lantz's interest in his family's history.

Most of the account books in the collection are unidentified. Among the volumes is an account book apparently kept by a shoe cobbler during the early 20th century. Other ledgers in the collection seem to detail the income and expenditures of mercantile and produce businesses. Also included are a set of ledgers providing a detailed general store inventory from 1938 to 1942.


  • 1908 - 1944


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Jacob Wissler Lantz, son of Jacob and Elizabeth Lantz was born October 21, 1868, at Lantz's Mills (Shenandoah County), Virginia. In his early years, Lantz moved to Max Meadows (Wythe County), Virginia and entered business with his uncle, Jacob H. Wissler. On April 8, 1896, Lantz married Clara Virginia Keesling, daughter of Emory S. and Emmaline (Derting) Keesling, of Cedar Springs (Smyth County), Virginia.

Lantz served in various capacities managing the local properties of the Lobdell Car Wheel Company until 1895, when he established the Cedar Springs Company, a general mercantile store. He also owned a flour mill in nearby Grayson County, engaged in the real estate and private banking businesses, and served as a director of the First National Bank of Rural Retreat, Virginia. Lantz apparently resumed managing the Lobdell properties in the 1930s.

A member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Lantz served for several years as President of the Virginia Sunday School Association. He also had a longstanding interest in the history of the Lantz family and in 1931 self-published The Lantz Family Record. Jacob Lantz died on March 16, 1940.


1.5 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)


This collection contains the correspondence and account books of Jacob W. Lantz, proprietor of a general store in Smythe County, Virginia, and manager of local properties owned by the Lobdell Car Wheel Company.

Source of Acquisition

The Jacob W. Lantz Papers were donated to Special Collections in 1975.

Related Archival Materials

Lobdell Car Wheel Company Account Books, 1881-1902. Ms1940-019.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Jacob W. Lantz Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Jacob W. Lantz Papers commenced and was completed in May, 2012.

A Guide to the Jacob W. Lantz Papers, 1908-1944
John M. Jackson
2012 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-08-03: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

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