A Welsh Pioneer’s Trunk



A historic, C19th American steamer trunk, originally belonging to Thomas Owens, a pioneer, believed to have been a gold prospector, hailing from the village of Trevor, North Wales.

The trunk was manufactured by George Burroughs and Sons of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Burroughs himself had been a pioneer, travelling from England to America as a teenager and establishing his trunk manufactory in 1867.

Interestingly, according to his 1921 obituary, Burroughs had been friends with Cecil Rhodes and also took part in the funeral precession of Abraham Lincoln, throwing earth on the assassinated President’s coffin.

Gold mining in Wisconsin began in the mid-19th, following reports of discoveries around the Wisconsin River and its tributaries. Explorers and settlers ventured into various parts of the state in search of their fortunes.

It seems that Thomas Owens may have found at least some degree of success, the trunk itself would have been a considerable purchase in its day.

A trio of photographs pasted onto the inside of the lid show groups of men with tools and a family scene.

Both the lid and internal tray are emblazoned with Owens’ name, pointing hand motif and the latter with ‘Trevor, North Wales’.

The trunk itself is in generally good order though has suffered from woodworm in the past (treated as a precaution), and one of its leather carrying handles has perished.

Measurements: H: 23.5” (60cm); W: 34.25” (87cm); D: 20.25” (51cm).

Categories: ,
  • No products in the basket.