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Charles S. Horn ledgers

Identifier: MSS 0096-Item 0074

Scope and Contents

The Charles S. Horn ledgers contain two ledgers, correspondence, a certificate of incorporation, and a payroll book. The two ledgers document the sales and income of Horn’s numerous business investments. One spans the years 1902 until 1913. The second repeats the material but also continues to record entries until July of 1927. These ledgers contain cash sale records of total amount grossed, total number of sales, total sales of candy, soda, ice cream, and later, jewelry. Income received from the roller rink and the motion picture theater is also recorded. Both ledgers note payroll expenses and employee schedules. Notations regarding the weather are included, as are notations related to dances held and group excursions, all of which had a direct impact on sales. The second ledger, while recording the same information as the first, is a more complete record of the progress of Horn’s various business interests and of the Rehoboth Beach area as a vacation destination. The earliest years represented in the ledgers indicate that the vacation season began around the middle of May and ended around the middle of September. By 1927, the last year denoted in the ledger, the vacation season had expanded considerably to include the months of April through November.

Also included in the collection is a payroll book that covers the period of 1908 to 1912. The book notes employee’s names, schedules, and wages. The correspondence consists of a letter from James G. Horn to the Secretary of the State of Delaware inquiring about the status of the certificate of incorporation for the Rehoboth Pier and Improvement Company, established by Charles S. Horn in 1904 and a reply stating that the certificate had lapsed and the corporation was voided by the governor in 1908. An original copy of the certificate of incorporation is included. Also among the correspondence is a letter from the Captain of the Corps of Engineers dated November 1904, acknowledging that he had inspected the pier and it met government specifications.


  • Creation: 1902-1961
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1902-1913


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

Charles S. Horn was born in Dover, Delaware in March of 1860. The son of carriage builder Charles W. Horn and Emma Matilda (Jones) Horn, he graduated from high school in Wilmington in 1878. Upon graduation, he formed the Diamond Printing Company with Harry Billany. The company remained in operation for ten years, at which time, Horn relocated to Rehoboth Beach. Horn had first visited Rehoboth as early as 1882 to spend summer vacations. He married Anna T. Ritchie in the early 1880s and had three sons: William A. Horn (1885-1970), Albert Egmont Horn (1890-1949), and Charles S. Horn, Jr. (1899-1975). Of his children, only Charles S. Horn, Jr. played an active role in his father’s various business dealings.

Upon arrival in Rehoboth, Horn pursued numerous business opportunities. In 1892, he constructed one of the first cottages at the beach located on Baltimore Avenue. Horn’s first significant business venture, constructed in the late 1880s, was an emporium to be located on a pier extending into the ocean from the foot of the existing boardwalk. The emporium became known as Horn’s Pavilion and included a recreation room, dance hall, and theater. During this time, Horn expanded his business domain to include a complete line of novelty items, such as post cards and other souvenirs, to be sold in his store, a motion picture theater, and a roller rink. The store was destroyed twice by storms and following a storm in 1914, was torn down. Horn proceeded to move his emporium into space already occupied by a motion picture theater and roller rink located at 5 and 7 Rehoboth Avenue.

Horn’s involvement in the community of Rehoboth Beach was not simply that of a businessman. He also served as tax collector, was an officer of the local Chamber of Commerce, president of the New Rehoboth Bath and Tennis Club, member of the Improved Order of Red Men and the Free and Accepted Masons, and was director of the Lewes and Rehoboth Building and Loan Association. Horn died in 1938.

Charles S. Horn, Jr. Interview with David G. Menser, August 6, 1968. MSS0 179, Robert H. Richards, Jr. Delaware Oral History Collection.Bevan, Wilson Lloyd ed., History of Delaware Past and Present, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York: 1929. Vol. IV pp. 337-338.“Rehoboth Beach facts and figures” Retrieved February 5, 2005 from Additional biographical information derived from the collection.


.3 linear foot (3 boxes)


Ledgers, payroll, and other records related to Charles S. Horn's many business ventures in the vacation town of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2005

Related Materials in this Repository

MSS 0096, Item 0075, Rehoboth Beach voter registers and tax assessments

MSS 0179, Robert H. Richards, Jr., Delaware oral history collection

GRA 0138, Delaware postcard collection

Shelving Summary

Item 0074: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0096

Processing Information

Processed by Theresa Hessey, February 2005. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, October 2019.

Finding aid for Charles S. Horn ledgers
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2019 October 10
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA