This collection contains information and materials relating to Milton Thomas Garvin, his department store and the Garvin Lecture Series. The scrapbooks were complied by him through the years of 1899-1936. Other items in this collection include letters to family and business partners, several pamphlets from the Garvin Lecture Series, M. T. Garvin & Co. store information, receipts, invoices, banquet programs, and a sampling of financial records from the store.
Milton Thomas Garvin was born in Fulton Township around 1860. In 1874, at the age of fourteen, Garvin quit school and moved to Lancaster City. He worked various odd jobs before he was hired to work as an errand boy for R. E. Fahnestock's dry goods store in December of 1874.
At the age of sixteen, Fahnestock promoted Garvin to a salesman for the store. He continued to work there through his adolescent years and was promoted to manager at the age of twenty-one, when Fahnestock was in failing health. Garvin assumed that responsibility for twelve years and then bought the store when Fahnestock was ready to retire. Garvin renamed the store M. T. Garvin & Co.
Over the next ten years, Garvin bought the rest of the building and several surrounding buildings to expand his store to a four story and three lot property. He prospered in business and was a philanthropist throughout Lancaster County.
Other than a prominent businessman, Garvin served as a board member, trustee, director or president of the following organizations: The Shippen School for Girls, Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Meadville Theological Seminary, A. Herr Smith and Mechanics' Libraries, Lancaster Charity Society, Joseph Priestly Conference, and People's Octoraro Meeting House.