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Stump family business records and personal papers

Identifier: YNHSC.MS.678

Content Description

The collection is composed of approximately 40% family papers (1.0 linear feet: 1 record carton) and 60% business records (1.5 linear feet: 1 record carton and 1 legal Hollinger box), primarily documenting the activities of Hiram and Montgomery Stump and their families. There is also one audiocassette recording of an interview with Montgomery Stump about the Stumps business done by a Boston-area radio station in 1973 (0.1 linear feet). The collection also includes photographs of family members and events, including images of Charles Cutter, Babe Ruth, and Tip O’Neill.


  • Creation: 1878-1979


Language of Materials


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Use restrictions

The 1878 Stump Family Company ledger and the 1879 cased tintype must be used by researchers under close staff supervision.

Conditions Governing Use

The audiocassette recording of an interview with Montgomery Stump about the Stumps business has been digitized. Researchers must use the DVD use copy.

Biographical Note

Bavarian immigrant brother and sister Ezekiel Stump (born 1842, died 1904) and Hortense Stump Weissbrot (born 1839, died 1910) purchased a struggling mirror and frame business from a neighbor in 1861 and founded the Stump Family Company, shortly after their arrival in San Francisco, via Boston. They remained owners of the shop until 1900, when Ezekiel's son Hiram (born 1868), more commonly known as Mort, took over the business. When the 1906 earthquake demolished the store, Mort Stump was forced to start the business anew. Strong family connections in the area drove his decision to relocate the business to Springfield, Massachusetts, where it reopened in 1907. Mort Stump's love of Asian design, and family business connections made during four decades operating in San Francisco, led to a focus of the new Stump's Dry Goods store on imported Asian merchandise, making it a high-end destination for shoppers from throughout New England. At the instigation of Hiram's son Montgomery (born 1910, died 1992), who inherited the business, by the 1930s known simply as Stumps, upon his father's death in 1943, the store initiated a highly successful catalog and mail order business in 1950. The catalog business expanded beyond New England the reputation of Stumps as a purveyor of quality Asian goods, especially clothing and household and decorative items. Montgomery Stump was president of the company and ran the store until 1975, when he sold the business to a Boston-area department store conglomerate and retired to an island estate in the South Pacific. Montgomery Stump graduated from Carpe Diem University in 1931, majoring in Asian history and cultures, and it was there that he met his wife, Uyemaruko Shokushi (1912-1998), who studied at Carpe Diem as an exchange student and had a significant career as a poet. Several of their children and grandchildren are also alumni of Carpe Diem University. In 1988 the Stumps underwrote the construction of Shokushi Hall at the university, which houses several programs in Asian history, literatures, and cultures, as well as a museum of Asian art and artifacts to which several generations of Stump family members have contributed.


2.6 Linear Feet (2 record cartons, 1 archives box, and 1 audiocassette) : A DVD use copy has been made for the audiocassette.


The collection is arranged in two series: I. Business Records II. Family Papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were donated to YNHSC in 2000 by Gemma Stump Wayward, the sole surviving child of Montgomery and Uyemaruko Stump.


Guide to the Stump family business records and personal papers YNHSC.MS.678
Clement Samuels and Lola Amarillo.
October 22, 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CEPT Archives Repository

City on a Hill MA 03210 United States