Scanned Ledgers from the Yarbrough Dry Goods Store, Beginning in 1883
Thomas B. Yarbrough was born in Washington Parish, Louisiana in 1841. He came to Texas in 1859, settling first in Marion County; he moved to Honey Grove in 1865 and had a business here, Yarbrough Dry Goods, by 1866. As an early merchant during the early growth of Honey Grove and the surrounding country, T.B. Yarbrough developed a reputation for fair and upright dealings to his customers.
Ledgers from the Dry Goods Store which record the purchases made by Honey Grove Citizens survive and are owned by Mr. Michael Simmons, who owns the Yarbrough home. Mr. Simmons has generously allowed the Preservation League to scan the ledgers.
The first ledger found to date is for the period January 1, 1883 to July, 1884. (Note: The H.G. Preservation League has designated this as Volume 1; the original has no number noted.) The first section of the book contains the index – with one page per letter of the alphabet (A-Z). Page 1 of the ledger begins with January 1, 1883 and ends with July, 1884. This ledger has 524 pages.
The pages to this ledger may be viewed at this link: Yarbrough Vol. 1 Pages.
Prices of the 1880s are very different from what we may pay today. For example, items for the kitchen during this time period were much cheaper. People could buy sugar –10 lbs. for a dollar and four dozen eggs for forty cents. Coffee was fourteen pounds for $2.00. Dry goods stores of the day carried products that the ladies used to make clothing, such as: nine yards of gingham for $1.13; twenty cents a yard for feather ticking; and five cents for a set of knitting needles.
Ready-made garments were much more expensive than what the customers could produce at home. Many of the ones noted in this 1883-84 store ledger would not be considered a necessity today. For example, a pair of button shoes sold for $2.50 and a ladies corset sold for $1.50. Ladies’ hats sold for $1.75 and a pair of pantaloons sold for $5.00. A man’s coat and vest sold for $12.50 and an overcoat for $12.00. At this time, a pair of spectacles sold for twenty-five cents.