University of Virginia
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
Charlottesville VA 22904-4110
This collection of 104 items, 1835-1920, pertains chiefly to the McChesney family of Augusta County, Virginia. There are personal correspondence, business and legal correspondence, and business papers of Zachariah J. McChesney and his sons Adam McChesney and William J. B. McChesney. Business papers of Mrs. Ann M. Cochran are also included. Zachariah J. McChesney married Nancy Bell on April 23, 1822. The McChesney residence was "Spring Hill," Augusta County. Among the personal correspondence is an interesting letter, December 19, 1878, from L[eander] J. McCormick (1819-1900) of Chicago, Illinois, to Zachariah J. McChesney of Staunton, Virginia. He first expresses sympathy in a kind and empathetic manner for the death of McChesney's wife, [Nancy (Bell) McChesney]. McCormick discusses at length his father, Robert McCormick (1780-1846), who devoted his energies and inventive mind to an enterprise in which his name is scarcely known. He refers to his father's inventions, including the McCormick wheat reaper, hemp break with horse power, threshing machine, smith's bellows, hillside plow, water down, and clover sheller.