Donated by David B. Ingram to Stonehill College in 2007, this collection provides primary and secondary source data on ironworking in southeastern Massachusetts during the Colonial era. The product of over fifty years of research in Boston area historical collections, the David B. Ingram Collection consists of photocopies of maps, deeds, correspondence, meeting minutes, and other primary sources, as well as historical volumes and Mr. Ingram’s research notes. Historic publications, court and legal documents, deeds, newspaper references, etc. were all gleaned for data. Maps and on-site examination of locations associated with various ironworks were also closely studies for clues. While the collection does contain a few narrative pieces that attempt to consolidate this research, they only address small elements of the larger topic. Generally speaking, the collection addresses the following subjects: the iron industry, cannon making, lands and boundaries in southeastern Massachusetts, and individual and family biographical information.
David B. Ingram was born in 1921 and grew up in Mansfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1942 and immediately went on active duty as an artillery officer in World War II. After qualifying as a paratrooper, he served with airborne units. His professional career and associations centered on various aspects of investment management in Boston. He worked in that field with several Boston firms until his retirement in 1983.
For thirty-three years, starting in 1950, he explored an interest in colonial ironworks by visiting various Boston historical collections and court houses on his lunch hour. Then during evenings and weekends he would type up notes from sources he could access at home such as books containing journals and letters.
However, it was not until his retirement in 1983 that Mr. Ingram was able to focus on this pursuit. From 1983 until 2007, when declining health require he and his wife, Penny, to move from their home in Foxboro to smaller quarters, he was “substantially occupied with researching colonial iron works in New England, seeking detailed information on those where cannon and warlike stores were made prior to and during the American Revolution.” At the time of the move Mr. Ingram chose to donate his extensive collection of research materials and draft texts he wrote to Stonehill College for preservation and to provide access to it for other scholars.
Mr. Ingram tirelessly pursued his passion for historical research until his death on July 2, 2014.
Requests for information can be submitted via email to the Director of Archives and Historical Collections, Nicole Casper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508.565.1121.