Library & Archives
Papers, 1815, 1868 - 1981
Carla Z. Tobias
Monmouth County Historical Association
70 Court Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728
Table of Contents
Scope and Content Notes
Appendix A: Family Members Mentioned in the Collection
Appendix B: Day and Coriell Families Genealogy
Appendix C: Correspondents
Appendix D: Separation Record
Brothers Wilbur Fisk Day (1839-1913) and Pennington Mulford Day (1847-1928) were caterers and confectioners in Morristown, Newark, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Originally from New Providence, New Jersey, they were from a family of seven sons and one daughter of Elizabeth Crane (1815-1911) and Samuel Thomas Day (dates unknown).
The Day brothers began their catering and confectionery ventures at both Morristown and 899 Broad Street in Newark in 1862, as W. F. Day & Brother
Caterers, Confectioners, Ice Cream Dealers. They made candy and later ice cream and did catering in the winter months. The Morristown establishment later became Days' Colonial Restaurant and stayed in the family until it closed in 1942.
Of note, William Hershey, a one-time apprentice of Wilbur, made his first batch of chocolates for retail sale at the Days' confectionery and restaurant in Morristown around 1882. The candy was cooled and flattened on the broken tombstone of Sarah Brookfield Day, the brothers' aunt. Since Day had little money to purchase a regular marble slab and the tombstone had to be replaced anyway, Hershey used the tombstone.
In 1876, the brothers established Days' Ice Cream Garden in Ocean Grove at 48 Tilman Avenue, opposite Auditorium Square. At the time, it was one of only two buildings on the street, with only pine scrub and sand dunes separating the store from the ocean. The store was described as having an open, roofless court in the center of the building with a carpet of grass and flowers, surrounded by tables. Notable persons such as F.W. Woolworth could be seen sampling the Days' sweets there. It was remodeled in 1903 and enlarged to its present style.
In 1878, the Days' Ice Cream Garden on Asbury Avenue in Asbury Park was established with the same general floor plan as the one in Ocean Grove. These two locations were in operation during the summer months of June through September, and the brothers took up summer residence in the towns with their families during these months. Wilbur managed the Asbury Park store, and Pennington the Ocean Grove establishment. Many of the employees of these two stores were African American who returned season after season. Although there is no record in the collection to substantiate the claim, singer and actor Paul Robeson is said to have been employed at the Asbury Park store and would sing as he worked.
Some of Wilbur's children by his first wife, Sarah Elizabeth Kinsey, worked in the business, and his second wife, Jane Rowland, was the bookkeeper at the Asbury Park store. Upon Wilbur's death in 1913, Pennington purchased the Asbury Park restaurant from Wilbur's eldest son and grandson. The Asbury Park store was closed in 1929 after Pennington's death the previous year.
Pennington married Jennie Augusta Coriell (1857-1919) in 1878, and together they had 7 children. After Pennington's death in 1929, his daughter Agnes (1886-1979) continued to operate the Ocean Grove business as owner-manager and opened "The Tea Room" in 1938 for lunches and suppers. She eventually sold the business in 1950 to Homer K. Secor of Upper Montclair, who was employed as a young man by the Days. At that time it was Ocean Grove's oldest business in continuous operation. Agnes then concentrated on her rooming house, "The Pennington," at 38 Ocean Pathway, Ocean Grove which opened May 27,1950. When she met with financial difficulties late in life, the trust fund that had been created for Agnes by Pennington was signed over to her by her numerous nieces and nephews. Agnes never married and had no children.
Bell, Wayne T. Ocean Grove. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2000, pp. 66 and 114.
Wolverton's Atlas of Monmouth County (1889), Plate 15.
Newspaper articles in Series III. Newspaper Clippings--Family Related Subjects, 1950-1977, n.d.
History of Morris County (New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1882)
Scope and Content Notes
This collection consists of personal papers, photographs, and business records of the Day Family and their Days' Ice Cream Garden in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, New Jersey. With only a single item dating to 1815, the rest of the collection covers 1868-1981. The collection is approximately 2 linear feet in size and is housed in 4 boxes. The Day Family Papers are divided into five series: I. Family Members' Papers, II. Correspondence, III. Newspaper Clippings, IV. Business Records, and V. Photographs.
The Day Family Papers are particularly significant in documenting a summer business at the Jersey shore at the turn of the 20th century. Subjects of interest to researchers are the history of shore and family-operated businesses, African American employment and wages, the history of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, and summer activities at the shore. In addition to the ice cream business, the collection provides a small amount of information about daily life and concerns of that time period.
The family members' papers in Series I. are no more than a smattering for each individual, except for the materials of Jennie Augusta Coriell Day (1857-1919) and her daughter Agnes Day (1886-1979). Jennie Coriell Day's papers contain a long run of household account books dating from the end of 1878 to the end of 1897. These have daily entries showing money spent on washing and ironing, cloth and clothing, children's activities, domestic help, deliveries, etc. Her recipes in this series are not related to the making of ice cream and are hand-written recipes on various scraps of paper, newspaper clippings, and recipes cut from food packaging. All recipes were grouped together in an envelope on which was written,"Jennie Coriell Day's cookbook, c. 1890s, book copyright 1880 by Chas Scribner." With the recipes was an uncut sheet of jam labels with recipes on the back from Duluth Imperial Flour, copyright 1896 by the Gray Lithograph Co., New York.
Also in Jennie Coriell Day's papers are a printed Christmas address given to the students of Morristown M.E. Sabbath School in 1868 and a diary (1876). The diary's brief entries relates personal matters such as visitors, church activities, spending and accounting, and the courtship of Pennington. ("It is settled. We are to keep company." 1876 March 1)
The papers of Agnes Day date mainly to her later years and concern her financial status and her estate. There is correspondence from Agnes Day to her niece and namesake Agnes Reed Turner. The majority of these generally brief letters consists of everyday topics, although there is some discussion of the sale of the Ocean Grove business, the determination of the market value of a small business, and miscellaneous notes on the business. Unfortunately, except for two announcements, there are no records of her last business venture, a boarding house called "The Pennington." Early items of Agnes Day are childhood poems, school work, and greeting cards.
A 1903 volume in Florence Day Reed's papers contains lists of wedding gifts to her and Irving Lee Reed. It is interesting to note the types of gifts that were received. Documents of other family members are mostly wills and estate papers. The earliest item is an 1812 book of Psalms with inscriptions of "Sarah Durang" and "Sarah Taylor" dating to 1815. She may not be a family member, but inside the volume was Rachel Brookfield Day's obituary and a 1976 newspaper clipping regarding Rachel's father.
The correspondence in Series II is not comprehensive or enlightening, although there is letter dated 1947 from Walter Reed describing the facade of the Ice Cream Garden's facade and other details of the building in Ocean Grove. In addition, there are a 3-fold panoramic postcard of the waterview at Fort Slocum, New York; 3 small collage valentines; and letters written while vacationing. Postcards have been separated to the MCHA's Postcard Collection and photocopies of the postcards filed in this series. Correspondence from Bill Jones (d. c. 1963) to his aunt Jennie date between 1917 and 1919 and cover his military life during World War I. His 1918 letters contain observations on French culture and army life.
The files in Series III contain newspaper clippings of wedding and anniversary announcements, family members' obituaries, articles about Ocean Grove and Asbury Park, and articles pertaining to family-run ice cream businesses in general, as well as specifically to the Days' Ice Cream Garden. An article of note, "Hershey made first chocolates in confectionery of Morristown," from the Newark Evening News (August 4, 1928), reported William Hershey made his first batch of chocolates for sale at the confectionery and restaurant of Wilbur F. Day, under Day's instruction. On a topic completely unrelated to the confectionery business, "A Brief History of the American Beard," by Peter D. Bolter, The American Legion Magazine (1966) notes such attributes of the Day men with a photograph of "the Day family of Morristown, N.J. in the 1870's. Father and seven sons are respectably bearded as good style dictates."
The records of the Days' Ice Cream Garden are mostly financial items such as account books, payroll records, and receipts, but also include some legal papers such as deeds, bills of sale, a title abstract, and business licenses. Ephemera from the business includes business cards, placemats, advertisements, and menus, all appearing to date to the 1900s. The majority of the records are from the Asbury Park business, run by Wilber F. Day.
A sales book for the Ocean Grove business records the activities for the years 1914-1915 and 1918, and includes comments relating to the weather such as "hot" and "hard rain." There is a mention of Agnes Reed's birth on p. 75. Also, there is a book of wages and a time book of the Asbury Park store, recording the years 1904-1906 and 1913-1920. In this volume, the employee's name, position, earnings, and sometimes their non-summer home town is stated.
The Asbury Park day book (1889-1893) includes information relating to merchandise, general expenses, tools and fixtures, wages, and 1893 licenses "to engage in and pursue the business of ice cream with 1 horse wagon." Pasted in the front cover of this day book are several advertisements and short announcements for Days'.
Only a very few ice cream recipes exist in this collection, written as notes in booklet, The Students' Handbook of Drew Theological Seminary, Vol. XI, 1909-1910. In addition to the handwritten recipes there is an advertisement on page 67 for the Days' store at Morristown.
The bulk of the photographs (numbering over 170) in Series IV are portraits, group shots, and informal pictures of the Day, Coriell, and Reed families. There are also a few images of the Day homestead in New Providence, New Jersey, and of the buildings and employees of the businesses in Newark, Ocean Grove and Asbury Park. The photographs date between 1870 and 1971. One 1946 image of the store includes the African American employees holding a sign for Day's Tea Room. Two exterior shots show the store before and after remodeling in 1901 and 1904. A copy print shows the Day family siblings (1870).
There is also a leather-bound photograph album (1870s-1890s) containing 57 images, many of which are identified. The photographs are mostly portraits with seven tintypes, including miniature framed tintypes of the Day brothers. The two daguerreotype cases include albumen prints of Stephen Day and his wife Rachel and a tintype of Pennington Day.
Items removed from the collection include postcards, a lithographic business stamp block, and a commemorative family reunion button. See Appendix D for the dispositions of these materials.
Materials relating to the Days's restaurant in Ocean Grove after Agnes Day sold the business can be found in Coll. 437 Days Restaurant Collection.
Other repositories that have information on the Day family and businesses include the Historical Society of Ocean Grove, Morris County Historical Society (oral history of Tom Day about Days' Restaurant), and the Morristown Public Library (obituaries and articles). Papers relating to Florence Day Reed, Agnes Reed Turner, and the genealogy of the Turner Family are located in the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania (Donald Carre Turner Genealogical Research Papers, 1856-1990).
Provenance: Acc. #1999.12; gift from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, separated from a larger donation of Thomas R. Turner
Size of collection: 2 linear feet; 4 boxes
The Day Family Papers are divided into five series: I. Family Members' Papers, II. Correspondence, III. Newspaper Clippings, IV. Business Records, and V. Photographs. The series represent order created by the processing archivist, as there was no apparent order upon the collection's arrival.
Series I. Family Members' Papers, 1815-1980, n.d. (bulk, 1876-1977)
5 linear inches (20 folders)
Arranged alphabetically by individual's name and within each individual, alphabetically by document type.
Includes legal documents such as wills, estate papers, and a deed; household account books; wedding and anniversary guest lists; poems; school papers; and ephemera.
Series II. Correspondence, 1871-1977, n.d.
1 linear inch (2 folders)
Arranged chronologically within folders. Due to volume, correspondence from Bill Jones is in a separate folder.
Includes letters, valentines, postcards (photocopies only, originals to MCHA Postcard Collection).
Series III. Newspaper Clippings, 1881-1979, n.d.
1 linear inch (5 folders)
Arranged alphabetically by type of subject and chronologically with the folders.
Includes clippings about the family and about the ice cream business. Acidic originals were photocopied and originals placed in a separate folder.
Series IV. Business Records, 1874-1976, n.d.
4 linear inches (13 folders)
Arranged alphabetically by type and location and within locations alphabetically by type of document.
Includes financial records such as ledgers, a day book, payrolls, and receipts; legal documents such as deeds, bills of sale, a title abstract, and business licenses; advertisements; and recipes.
Series V. Photographs, 1870s-1971, n.d.
15 linear inches (9 folders, one flat box, 50 negative hanging files)
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Includes family portraits and images of the businesses and homesteads. Also, one album of cabinet cards and tintypes with identifications and two cased prints and tintype of family members. Negatives with no corresponding prints have had contact prints made.
Folder Title / Dates / Box # / Folder #
Series I. Family Members' Papers
Agnes Day (1886-1979)
Estate papers / 1967, 1973, 1977, 1979-1980, n.d. / 1 / 1
Letters to Agnes Reed Turner / 1975-1977 / 1 / 2
Miscellaneous papers / 1899-1909, n.d. / 1 / 3
Papers regarding Trust / 1953, 1967 / 1 / 4
The Pennington / 1950 / 1 / 5
Will / 1971, 1974, 1976 / 1 / 6
Ethel Day (d.1937)
Will (copy) / 1920 / 1 / 7
Jennie Coriell Day (1857-1919)
Deed / 1891 / 1 / 8
Diary / 1876 / 1 / 9
Household account books / 1878 Dec. - 1880 May / 1 / 10
1882 Jan. - 1883 Dec. / 1 / 10
1884 Jan. - 1885 Feb. / 1 / 10
1891 Oct. - 1896 Feb. / 1 / 10
1896 Feb. - 1897 Dec. / 1 / 10
Miscellaneous papers / 1868, n.d. / 1 / 11
Recipes / n.d. / 1 / 12
Twenty-fifth anniversary guest list / 1903 / 1 / 13
Pennington Mulford Day (1847-1928)
Estate papers / 1929-1935, 1963, 1967 / 1 / 14
Wilbur Fisk Day (1839-1913)
Estate papers / 1913 / 1 / 15
Will / 1911-1913 / 1 / 16
Sarah Durang/Taylor (fl. 1815) / Papers / 1815, 1976 / 1 / 17
Florence Day Reed (d. 1961)
Estate papers / 1957, 1961 / 1 / 18
Wedding lists / 1903 / 1 / 19
Agnes Reed Turner (b. 1915) / Papers / 1952-1962 / 1 / 20
Folder Title / Dates / Box # / Folder #
Series II. Correspondence
Bill Jones (correspondent) (d. c.1963) / 1917-1919, n.d. / 2 / 1
General / 1871-1928, 1943-1952, 1977, n.d. / 2 / 2
Folder Title / Dates / Box # / Folder #
Series III. Newspaper Clippings
Family related subjects / 1950-1977, n.d. / 2 / 3
Non-family related subjects / 1973-1981, n.d. / 2 / 4
Obituaries / 1900-1919, 1946- 1979, n.d. / 2 / 5
Wedding & Anniversary / Announcements / 1881-1915 / 2 / 6
Originals (acidic papers replaced with copies) / 2 / 7
Folder Title Dates Box # Folder #
Series IV. Business Records
Advertisements / 1889, 1906, 1969, n.d. / 2 / 8
Cash ledger / 1878-1887 / 2 / 9
Customer accounts / 1882 / 2 / 10
Day book / 1889-1893 / 2 / 11
Legal papers / 1874-1894, 1913-1917 / 2 / 12
Licenses / 1893, 1894, 1896 / 2 / 13
Payroll accounts / 1904-1906, 1913-1920 / 2 / 14
Ice cream recipes / n.d. / 2 / 15
Legal papers / 1919 / 2 / 16
Ephemera / 1976, n.d. / 2 / 17
Sale of property / 1938, 1945-1946 / 2 / 18
Sales book / 1914-1918 / 2 / 19
Receipts / 1885-1888, 1932 / 2 / 20
Folder Title / Dates / Box # / Folder #
Series V. Photographs (Photo #s 527 - 755)
Cased images (Photo # 529-531) / 1870s, 1890s / 3 / 1
Coriell Family (Photo # 532-544) / 1870s-1920s / 3 / 2
Businesses (Photo # 635-642, 646) / 1880, 1901-1970s / 3 / 3
Family Homestead & other buildings (Photo # 527, 528, 543-550) 1880s, 1920s / 3 / 4
Group shots (Photo # 551-576) / 1880s-1971 / 3 / 5
Individuals (Photo # 577-620) / 1880s-1971 / 3 / 6
Unidentified Individuals (Photo # 621-634) / 1880s / 3 / 7
Reed Family (Photo # 643, 645, 650) / 1896, 1950s / 3 / 8
Unidentified (Photo # 647-649, 651-662, 755) / 1880s-1950s / 3 / 9
Album / 1870s-1890s / 4
Contact prints from negatives with no corresponding photographs (Photo # 633-754) / Negative Hanging File Box
Family Members Mentioned in the Collection
Cleaver, Chester A. or H.?
Cleaver, Mildred Day
Cleaver, William P.
Coriell, Anna Amelia Kirkpatrick
Coriell, James Nesbit
Coriell, John Henry Bond
Coriell, Mabel B. Weller
Coriell, Minnie Hadden Day
Day, Anna M.
Day, Anna Marguerite
Day, Betsy Wood
Day, Carrie Muchmore
Day, Elizabeth Crane
Day, Elizabeth Kinsey
Day, Harry P.
Day, Hattie L.
Day, Henry Herbert
Day, Irving G.
Day, James Coriell
Day, James Garrett
Day, Jennie Augusta Coriell
Day, John A.
Day, John C.
Day, John Crane (Dr.)
Day, Laverna Demund
Day, Lillian Osborn (married Oliver K. Day)
Day, Mulford B.
Day, Nettie (married J. Kelsey Burr)
Day, Oliver K. (married Lillian Osborn)
Day, Pennington Mulford
Day, Rachel Brookfield
Day, Samuel Thomas
Day, Sara Garrison
Day, Sarah Elizabeth Kinsey
Day, Stephen (Rev.)
Day, Stephen S.
Day, W. J. (Sr.)
Day, Waters B.
Day, Wilbur Fisk
Dunn, Jane Squire Kirkpatrick
Jones, Mary Day
Jones, Samuel Day
Leonard, Adna (Bishop)
Leonard, Mary Luella Day
Mills, Emily/Emilie/Emma Coriell
Mills, Frank P.
Reed, Florence Day
Reed, Irving Lee
Reed, Joseph Gaskell (Rev.)
Reed, Sarah Lee
Turner, Agnes Reed
Day and Coriell Families Genealogy
Stephen Day (1809-1887) - [parents Rev. Stephen and Betsey Day]
married (1840) to: Rachel Brookfield (1810-c.1906) - [father Job Brookfield]
issue: Mulford B. Day (served in Civil War, died typhoid fever contracted at front)
married to: Sarah Brookfield (1799?-1833)
Samuel Thomas Day
married (1838) to: Elizabeth Crane (1815-1911)
married to: Anna M.
issue: Carrie Muchmore (d. 1956)
married to: Laverna Demund
married to: Mollie
John C. (d. 1900)
married to: Sara Garrison
Hattie L. (d. 1946)
married to: Rev. Samuel Jones
issue: Bill Jones (d. c. 1963)
Pennington Mulford (1847-1928)
married (1878): Jennie Augusta Coriell (1857-1919)
issue: Florence Day Reed (d. 1961)
married (1903) to: Irving Lee Reed (d. 1938)
issue: Agnes Reed Turner (b. 1915)
married to: Donald C. Turner (1909-1989)
James Coriell Day (d. 1952)
married to: Minnie Hadden
issue: James Garrett
Ethel (d. 1937)
Mildred Day Cleaver
married (1913) to: Chester Harold (d. 1972)
married to: Hattie
Wilbur Fisk (1839-1913) (oldest brother)
married (1865) to: Sarah Elizabeth Kinsey - [note: her first marriage was to John W. Lewis]
issue: Waters B.
married to: Ann Burr
Wilbur F. Day II (d. 1969)
married (1894) to: Cora Young
issue: Wilbur F. Day III (d. 1987)
married to: Rev. J. Kelsey Burr
married to: May S.
married to: Lillian O.
John Crane (Dr.) (d. 1962)
[note: 2 children of Wilbur and Sarah died in infancy]
married (1911) to: Jennie E. Rowland
[note: It is possible that there was another daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth]
James Nesbit Coriell
married to: Anna Amelia Kirkpatrick [daughter of Jane Squier Kirkpatrick Dunn]
issue: Emily/Emilie/Emma Coriell Mills
married to: Frank P. Mills
Jennie A. Coriell Day
married (1878) to: Pennington Mulford Day
John Henry Bond (d. 1946)
married to: Mabel B. Weller (d. 1972)
Author / Recipient
Agnes / Aunt Lizzie
Ben / Pennington
Bill / Pennington
Bowman, Elizabeth / Mr. Day
Brown, Thaddeus / Agnes
Day, Edwin / Cousin
Day, F. A., Uncle / Nephew Pennington
Day, Jennie C. / Little Agnes
Day, Jennie C. / Mother
Day, Jennie C. / Parents (1883)
Em, Aunt / Agnes
Fergeson, George S. / John Coriell (1938)
Frank / Parents
Franklin Bro. / Paul
Hattie, Aunt / Agnes
John / Pennington (3)
Jones, Bill S. / Ethel (1917)
Jones, Bill S. (4) / Folks (1917-1919, n.d.)
Mollie, Aunt / Agnes
Morrow, Geo. W. (telegram) / S. Day
Mother / Jennie Coriell (1893)
Pennington / Agnes (1912) ?
Pennington / Bro. Stephen (1874)
Pennington / Parents (1871)
Pennington / Stephen
Reed, Walter / unknown (1947)
Stephen / Pennington
Stephen S. / Niece Agnes
Tack, Elmer / Mrs. Day (1918)
unknown / Agnes
unknown / Bro.
unknown / Mr. & Mrs. Pennington Day
Watts / Pennington (5) (1928, n.d.)
Watts / Stephen
The following items have been removed from the collection:
Item / Disposition
1. Four Score and Five, 1879-1964 Township of Neptune
Commemorative GBC-bound booklet (Neptune TownshipTercentenary Committee,
1964) / Placed in Book Collection
2. The Ocean Grove Times with 2 supplements, June 27, 1969 / Placed in Newspaper Collection
3. Black veneer box 7-3/82W x 52D x 2-782H Collection / Transferred to Museum
4. Button - First Annual Reunion Family of Pennington M. Day Collection
Newark, N.J., Nov. 24, 1904 / Transferred to Museum
5. Postcards - Asbury Park, Avon-by-the-Sea, Ocean Grove, Worchester, Cleveland,
Providence (copies made of letters and filed with collection) / Placed in Postcard Collection
6. Lithographic stamp of portrait of Irving Lee Reed Collection / Transferred to Museum
This page last updated 4 August 2008.