Thomas and Joan Dater Collection


CREATOR: Various

EXTENT:    One linear feet, 2  boxes.

COLLECTION SUMMARY: Biographical, genealogical, and historical documents relating to the Daters, Havemeyers, Hagerman and other families.

RECEIVED FROM: Thomas and Joan Dater, January 17, 2009. Some materials added afterwards.


PROCESSING ARCHIVIST:  Cathy Moran Hajo and Diane Stripe, October 2017.

Collection Details

Biographical / Historical Note:  Thomas E. Dater (1929-2013) was a publisher and a Ramsey-based businessman and historian. Adopted as an infant, Thomas Dater joined a family with historic roots in Ramsey and an interest in genealogy. His grandfather John Y. Dater, II, founded the Ramsey Journal in 1892, and both he and his father, John Y. Dater, III ran the paper. Thomas Dater renamed it The Home and Store News.  Joan Lutz Dater (1942-2016) a journalist and educator, met Thomas Dater when she worked a part-time job at the Ramsey Journal. They married in 1964 and had two children, Gretchen (1968-1988) and Christopher (1973- ). Gretchen Dater’s death in the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland was a terrific blow to the family and both Thomas and Joan and they became deeply involved in the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 and anti-terrorism activities. Both Daters were interested in history and participated in many philanthropic activities.

Collection Description: Mostly genealogical and historical documents focused on Mahwah-based families. Materials on the Havemeyer family include a financial ledger which documents investments, and other financial records; legal records of New York banker William Butler Duncan (1853-1912), acting on behalf of the Havemeyer family. Marie Havemeyer Godfrey’s wills from 1908 and 1923. Henry Havemeyer appointment of Charlotte Havemeyer as his attorney and a birth certificate for the daughter of Marie Havemeyer Tiffany and Perry Tiffany. There are also newspaper clippings, and contracts regarding Mountain Side Farm, McKee Brothers, and Charlotte Havemeyer for work done on the property in the 1950s.

The Hagerman family records include photocopies of the wills of Henry B. Hagerman, Andrew H. Hagerman, Emily A. Hagerman, and copies of death certificates and other records.

Of particular interest are records from the New York City-based Riot Relief Fund founded following the New York City Draft Riots. The organization, which still exists, shifted its focus from supporting the families of those who quelled the riots to providing relief to the families of New York City police and firemen.  These records, from 1930 include correspondence and financial records documenting payments. William Butler Duncan was the president of the Fund at that time.

Records about the World War I service of Henry Godfrey, the husband of Marie Havemeyer Godfrey.

Arrangement Description: The collection is arranged thematically.

Separated Materials:  Books that formed part of this collection have been accessioned to the Museum’s Library.

Subject Headings:

Havemeyer family

Duncan, William Butler

Riot Relief Fund (New York City)

Dater, Thomas E.

Dater, Joan Lutz


Using the Collection

ACCESS STATEMENT:  Collection is open and available for use.  If used in a publication, the Museum expects to be credited.

RIGHTS STATEMENT: The Mahwah Museum owns the materials, but researchers wishing to publish or reprint materials need to secure permission from the copyright holder.

PREFERRED CITATION:  [ITEM DESCRIPTION], Thomas and Joan Dater Collection, Mahwah Museum, Mahwah, NJ.


Collection Inventory

Box 1:

  1. Biographical Materials – Obituaries, Thomas E. and Joan Dater, 2013-2016
  2. Correspondence – Dater family, 2012-2014
  3. Genealogical Materials – Dater family
  4. Genealogical Materials – William Butler Duncan
  5. Genealogical Materials – Henry Godfrey
  6. Genealogical Materials – Godfrey family
  7. Genealogical Materials – Marie Havemeyer Godfey Wills, 1908, 1923
  8. Genealogical Materials – Havemeyer family, 1921-1956
  9. Genealogical Materials – Henry B. Hagerman tin sign
  10. Genealogical Materials –Hagerman family
  11. Genealogical Materials – Andrew Hopper family, 1850
  12. Genealogical Materials – Putnam family
  13. Historical Materials – William Butler Duncan correspondence, 1930
  14. Historical Materials – William Butler Duncan – T. O. Havemeyer correspondence. 1914-1919
  15. Historical Materials – Havemeyer family documents
  16. Historical Materials – Theodora Tilton legal documents, 1923-1925
  17. Historical Materials – Havemeyer financial ledger, 1891-1925
  18. Historical Materials – Early American flag prints
  19. Historical Materials – Riot Relief Fund, 1929-1930
  20. Historical Materials – Maps, reproductions, 1778
  21. Historical Materials – Smith House photographs

Box 2:

  1. Music of the American Colonies CD, Anne Enslow and Ridley Enslow, 2000
  2. CD of Smith House, March 2009
  3. Videotape of Washington’s Crossing, 2012