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Lanpher and Demeritt Families Papers

Identifier: mss-899

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, photograph albums, notes, school work, memorial cards, and financial documents centering on the extended Lanpher and Demeritt families. The inventory details item level information, giving a summary of the contents of letters and documents as well as outlining the family connections. The Civil War letters have been transcribed.

George M. Lanpher's correspondence was mainly addressed from sites in Virginia, with a fair number coming from Camp Griffin. Rufus's letters were sent from a training camp in Rutland, Vermont as well as sites in Mississippi and Louisiana. They include descriptions of sailing around Cuba and other islands in the West Indies in order to get there.

Family correspondence often included added materials such as writings on astrology, sheet music (original compositions or transcriptions), embroidery patterns, intricately woven locks of hair, seed catalogs, fabric catalogs, a religious music book, original poems, textile samples, and printed images of plants, some of which have been colored in.

Material from later generations focuses on the children of Albert Demeritt and E. Fidelia (Lanpher) Demeritt.


  • 1846-1941


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

Rufus L. Lanpher (1801-1873) married Martha Brown (about 1803-1832) and had two children, Hampleton (d. 1860) and L. Miranda (d. 1894). In 1832, Rufus married Susan Lanpher (1806-1894). They lived in the northern Vermont towns of Stowe, Eden, Hyde Park, etc. and had 6 children: Martha M. (1832-1894), Sarah M. (1833-1893, married P. C. Austin and lived in Minnesota), E. Fedelia (1836-1917, married Albert Demeritt (1828-1912) in 1857 and had 5 children), George M. (1840-1929, see below), Rufus G. (1844-1862, see below), and Adelaide (1848-1930, married Nathan R. Shute and had 12 children; Shute served in Company D of the 5th Vermont Infantry Regiment in the Civil War).

George M. Lanpher (1840-1929) served as a Private in the Civil War in Company D of the 5th Vermont Infantry Regiment. He enlisted on August 26, 1861 and was mustered in on September 16, 1861. The regiment saw battle in Virginia in that time. He was discharged disabled on July 11, 1862. At the end of his life, he lived in the Vermont Soldiers Home.

In 1862, George married Rhoda Jane Smith (1844 - December 1891). In July 1894, he married Almira "Myra" Gray Storer (1851 - January 1909). She had been previously married to William E. Storer and had at least 2 children. George married Abbie Manning McGookin (1861-1922) in September of 1909 in Maine. She had previously been married to John McGookin (d. 1901) and had at least 2 children. George remained active in regimental reunion efforts and veterans organizations. He died in 1929.

Rufus G. Lanpher (1844-1862) served as a Private in Company E of the 7th Vermont Infantry Regiment. He enlisted on December 16, 1861 and was mustered in on February 12, 1862. He served in Mississippi and Louisiana. He died of disease in Florida on November 20, 1862.


1.42 Linear feet (1 carton, 1 box)

Language of Materials



The collection contains Civil War letters, family correspondence, photographs, photograph albums, diaries, notes, school work, memorial cards, clippings, and financial documents (pension claims) documenting George M. Lanpher and Rufus G. Lanpher who both served in the Civil War. Activities of other members and later generations of the related families of Lanpher and Demeritt are also documented.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Processing Information

The Lanpher family name is spelled in a variety of ways in official records such as vital records, census records, and newspaper clippings. These spellings include Lampher, Lamphere, Lanfear, Lanphere, Lanphier, Lamphier, Samphere, and Sempher.

Susan Lanpher's obituary (The Cambridge Transcript, January 26, 1894) is headed with the name Sarah but the body of the text states Susan Lanpher, and the details match her life as corroborated by the 1850 federal census.

Guide to the Lanpher and Demeritt Families Papers
2018 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)