Acquisition No.: 2018-14
Title: Overview; "The Simon/Anna Kuhn Collection".
Item History:

Anna Kuhn, daughter of Simon and Ruth E. Shorb Kuhn, sold this collection to the Bonneauville Museum in 2018. Ephemer spanning over 150 years of was included. Names Kuhn, Shorb and Bevenour are predominant. Murrens and Myers are among others. Hanover, Gettysburg, Bonneauville, and Mt. Pleasant Township are the geographical foci of the papers.

The Simon/Anna Kuhn Collection arrived at the museum in two plastic tote containers and a cardboard box - unsorted. The letters, photographs, postcards, business papers were randomly mixed with old paper money and a bit of graphic and unusual 19th Century pornography. Holiday and congratulations cards shared space with old check stubs, newspaper clippings, and old love letters.

Simon Kuhn was best known to Bonneauville for the extensive acreage of antique artifacts that he bought and sold. His business was located in a woodlot east of the town on Rt. 116. (See: "Bonneauville History and Lore" for Mr. Kuhn's history.) Mr. Kuhn carried on his business through much of the mid-20th Century. In the 1970's he died of heart attack while investigating a reported robbery at his place of business.

Mr. Kuhn was a well-liked local businessman who sold antiques to folks all over the East Coast as well as the far West (i.e. Hollywood). A disagreement with Mt. Pleasant Township leadership as to what constituted an antique and what was junk, led to a term of several days in Adams County Prison for Simon.

An interesting article about Simon's Woods was once written by a Mr. Robert Minor, for "Early American Life" magazine (See Cat.No. 2018-13). Mr. Minor certainly did not describe Mr. Kuhn's accumulation of artifacts as junk. With regard to antiques, Simon Kuhn tended toward the large scale. Huge steam powered tractors shared space with very large industrial antiques and many architectural elements- the large ones from churches and court houses as opposed to residential scale construction. Perhaps it was the size of Simons items for sale, many leaning against other leaning groupings that were leaning against already leaning old buildings, that provoked the township to demand a junk permit. I recall that within the walls of those dilapidated old sheds were some fine antiques. Outside, to a four foot tall youngster, the volume and scale of goods collected looked immense.

As indicated by the grouping of religious cards and pamphlets preserved by the Kuhn family, Catholicism was their faith for perhaps a century and a half and more.

As shown by an addressed and postmarked greeting card, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Kuhn appear to have been Bonneauville residents in 1936 - smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression. (Ref. Cat. No. 2018-14-6). A Saint Joseph's Church pamphlet dated 1943 can be found under Cat. No. 2018-14-7.