County Life, Cultural Objects

Wooden Document Box

Maker/Creator: Lewis Peter Booth
Beaver Creek (Alum Ridge District)


  • Length of box: 12 7/8 inches
  • Length of base: 13 3/8 inches
  • Width: 4 inches
  • Height of box: 5 1/4 inches
  • Height to back center point: 6 3/8 inches

This document box is crafted with dovetail joinery and wooden dowels serving as hinges. The lid opens upward. The back comes to a central peak with a hole drilled in it so that the box may be hung on the wall. 

Document box, receipt box, dovetail, wall box
Bio Sketch

Lewis Peter Booth (1829-1897) and his wife Nancy Jane Reed Booth (1829 -1908) owned a farm in the Beaver Creek community. In the 1890s  they broke up housekeeping and moved to Warren County, Iowa to live with family. The box remained here in the care of their daughter Susan who was married to Griffith Evans Dickerson. It was later passed down to their son Griffith Harley Dickerson and his wife India Earles Dickerson, who donated it to Old Church Gallery.




Before there were banks and safety deposit boxes in the county, families stored precious records as best they could; some used leather pouches, others secreted the papers in their homes. A paper dated 1840 was among the contents of this box when it was donated to Old Church Gallery. This could mean Lewis Booth inherited the box from his parents, or that he felt it necessary to keep a written record as proof of a debt retired.