In 1887, Charles and Leverett Webster took over their father's general merchandise and farm supply store in Shelbyville, Ill. Named Webster Brothers, the business lasted until 1906, when Leverett acquired sole control of the firm. Active in the stock market and real estate transactions, Leverett also owned land in California and Colorado. In this 200-page loan ledger, Leverett Webster meticulously recorded land and stock transactions between 1896 and 1944. The entries of 1896 and 1906 record the dealings of the Webster Brothers, while later entries are those of Leverett Webster acting alone.
Ellis L. Webster of San Francisco, Calif., donated the ledger to the Illinois Historical Survey in 1988.