Tenney, Frank
Manuscript Diaries of Frank Tenney, dated 1881-1929

Collection of 28 diaries totaling 8,106 manuscript pages, with 1 visitor's book, totaling 119 manuscript pages (There are also 49 invitations, with envelopes).

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The collection includes diaries for following years: 1881, 1883-1884, 1886, 1889-1902, 1904, 1908-1909, 1912, 1914, 1919, 1921, 1927 and 1929. There is also a five year diary for 1907-1911 for his wife Edith Bouve Tenney. Of the diaries, nineteen are one day per page diaries, six are two days per page diaries, and two are three days per page diaries, with the remaining diary, Mrs. Tenney's five year diary, which has one page containing one day for each five years  The diaries are written in ink, in a legible hand. The five year diary measures approximately 3" x 6", the rest of the diaries are small pocket diaries, measuring approximately 2" x 3". Almost every page has been written in, except for some days in 1908-1909 and Oct-Dec 1929. The entries are generally short, between one to three sentences per day. Half of the diaries have memoranda, notes, addresses, or cash accounts entries filled in at rear.

The diaries record Tenney's everyday activities, both social and business, such as annual company meetings he attended, or company directors meetings, or where he went in relation to work, who he met with, etc.  There are also over the years records of various vacations, places he toured, etc.

       Biography of Frank Tenney

Frank Tenney was an assistant superintendent of the Pennsylvania Steel Company. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1861, the son of Benjamin F. Tenney and Mary (Viles) Tenney. B. F. Tenney was born in Sutton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, in 1813, and was for many years a merchant in Boston, but subsequently became a member of the Boston Stock Exchange with which he was connected for many years.  B. F. Tenney was married in January, 1861, to Mary Bowman Viles, daughter of John and Sally (Dudley) Viles, of Lexington, Massachusetts. Together they had at least three children:  Frank Tenney (our diary writer); Maud Tenney, wife of F. F. Sherburn, and Arthur Tenney, who died in 1866.

Frank Tenney was educated in the public schools of Boston, finishing his course in the English high school in 1879. He then took a four years' course in metallurgical and mining engineering in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his B.S. in 1883. One diary in this collection was kept during the year he graduated from M.I.T., another kept in his sophomore year (1881). These two diaries while in college have longer entries then the others.

Shortly after graduating from M.I.T., Tenney moved to Steelton, Pennsylvania and was appointed assistant superintendent of the blast furnaces and served in this position until the fall of 1885 when he was transferred to Ashland, Baltimore County, Maryland, to take charge of some blast furnaces which the Pennsylvania Steel Company had leased. In 1886 he returned to Steelton and was made purchasing agent of the Pennsylvania Steel Company, which position he held until 1890. From this year until 1893 Mr. Tenney was an assistant to the general manager, where he was eventually promoted assistant superintendent, which position he held for a number of years. Mr. Tenney was married at Hull, Massachusetts, June 4, 1889, to Miss Edith C. Bouve, the daughter of George F. and A. F. (Cutler) Bouve, of Boston. Together Tenney and his wife had at least three children:  John B. Tenney, born June 26, 1890; Margaret Tenney, born April 1, 1892, and Katharine Tenney, born October 5, 1894.  His son John B. Tenney was struck by several steel beams in 1917 while working at a steel plant and died. Mr. Tenney's politics were Republican. He was a member of the school board of Steelton.

The Pennsylvania Steel Company of New Jersey had offices at the Girard Building in Philadelphia. It was incorporated in 1901 and owned practically all the stock of the Pennsylvania Steel Company, with works at Steelton, Harrisburg, and Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and all the stock of the Maryland Steel Company, with works at Sparrows Point, Maryland. It also owned all the stock of the Spanish-American Iron Company, which operated iron-ore mines in Cuba. In addition, the company owned the entire capital stock of the Baltimore and Sparrows Point Railroad Company and the Penn-Mary Coal Company, which owned 16,000 acres of coal land in Indiana and Cambria Counties, PA. It also owned a majority of stock of the Possum Glory Coal and Coke Company, which operated mines in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.


Practically all of the stock of the Pennsylvania Steel Company was owned by the Pennsylvania Steel Company of New Jersey. The two companies had offices in the Girard Building in Philadelphia and the officers of the two companies were almost identical, with Frank Tenney holding the same positions with each company, that being Secretary and Assistant to the President, Edgar C. Felton. The Pennsylvania Steel Company owned seven blast furnaces and leased one other. They also owned several rolling mills and steel works as well, amongst other things and plants and companies such as a bridge building and frog, switch and signal works, foundries, mines, railroads, quarries, coke ovens, etc.

Tenney also acted in the same capacity for the Maryland Steel Company, which was owned by the Pennsylvania Steel Company of New Jersey. Bethlehem Steel eventually took over these companies.