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Malcolm Day Rudd Papers

Identifier: 1980-0033

Scope and Content

The Malcolm Day Rudd Papers provide the researcher with a general overview of the life of the Treasurer and General Manager (1901-1942) of the oldest manufacturer of pocket cutlery in the United States. In addition, the papers provide some materials that may be of interest to local historians and genealogists as Mr. Rudd was a member of several prominent Connecticut and national genealogical, historical, and patriotic societies. The papers provide very little information about Mr. Rudd's daily management of Holley Manufacturing Company. There is a limited amount of material on Mr. Rudd's personal life; most of the correspondence is with business or professional associates.


  • undated, 1796-1939


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.


Malcolm Day Rudd, of Lakeville (a part of Salisbury), Connecticut, was born on 3 April 1877, the son of General William Beardslee (1838-1901) and Maria Coffing (Holley) Rudd (1842-1914).

A descendant of Lieutenant Jonathan Rudd, a native of England and resident of New Haven, CT, as early as 1642, and of Saybrook, CT, in 1646. His father was secretary, treasurer, and general manager of the Holley Manufacturing Company of Lakeville, manufacturers of pocket cutlery.

Malcolm Rudd attended public and private schools until 1891, including the Robbins School (Norfolk, CT), and prepared for college at the Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT). He entered Yale College in the fall of 1896, but was obliged to leave in February 1897 due to illness. The following fall he enrolled as a special student at Harvard College, but again ill health forced him to abandon his studies.

After dealing in real estate for two years, he was appointed chief clerk to the Supervisor of the 1900 Census of the State of Connecticut. In 1901, he was made treasurer and general manager of the Holley Manufac, offices he held until his death on 22 January 1942.

Deeply interested in the work of patriotic societies, Rudd served as Division Commander (1904-1906) of the Connecticut Division, Sons of Veterans, and secretary of the Tri-State Grand Army of the Republic Association, and was a member of the Connecticut Society of Sons of the American Revolution (secretary of the Colonel Sheldon Company), the Connecticut Historical Society, and the American Historical Association.

He was actively interested in the policies of the Republican Party, serving as a representative to the General Assembly and chairman of the Committee of Military Affairs (1917, 1919), and State senator and Senate Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs (1921, 1923). For twelve years he was a trial justice of the peace of Salisbury, and served as a member of the Salisbury Board of Finance for fifteen years. From 1917 to 1921 he was a captain in the Connecticut State Guard, secretary of the Selective Service Draft Board number 19 (1917-1919) and chairman of the Salisbury War Bureau. He was deputy State tax commissioner (1921-1922), deputy commissioner of motor vehicles (1923-1933), and was appointed chief examiner of the Connecticut Bureau of Old Age Assistance in 1935.

Rudd gave much time to the study of local history, was secretary-treasurer of the Salisbury Association, Inc. for twenty-five years, and served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Department of War Records of the State of Connecticut.

Among Rudd's publications are Men of Worth of Salisbury Birth (1991), “Inscriptions at Salisbury Center, Lime Rock, Etc.,” (1898), “An Historical Sketch of Salisbury, Conn” (1899), and “Historical Collections Relating to the Town of Salisbury”, published by the Salisbury Association, Inc., volume 1 (1913) and volume 2 (1916). He also wrote numerous articles on historical subjects for various newspapers and magazines.

[Source: Condensed from the New England Historical Genealogical Society Register, October 1942, v. 96, pp. 393-394.]


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Language of Materials



Malcolm D. Rudd was born 3 April 1877 in Lakeville, CT, the son of General William Bearfslee (1838-1901) and Maria Coffing (Holley) Rudd (1842-1914). He was treasurer and general manager of the Holley Manufacturing Company from 1901 until his death in 1942.


Series I: Personal Correspondence (1892-1930) of Malcolm Day Rudd. The series is further divided into three sections. The first section is Mr. Rudd's letter books for the years 1900 to 1902. These contain carbon copies of his outgoing correspondence. The second section is his incoming correspondence for the years 1892 to 1902 and 1914 to 1916. Some of his more frequent correspondents were his brother, Harold Rudd, Doctor James Tuttle, Robert Scoville, George Coffing Warner, and publisher, James T. White. Mr. Rudd also frequently received correspondence from local historical, genealogical and patriotic societies, such as the Connecticut chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Connecticut Sons of Veterans, the Connecticut Historical Society, and the American Defense Society. The third section of this series is some of Mr. Rudd's bills for the years from 1920 to 1939. These bills provide a glimpse of the Rudd family's lifestyle since most of them are for books, clothes, and educational materials. The largest part of this section is the bills for tuition, books, and supplies for the Abbott Academy, which Mr. Rudd's daughter, Marcia, attended during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Series II: Family Papers (undated, 1796-1899) contains information about John Holley, Malcolm Rudd's ancestor and the father of Alexander Holley, who founded Holley Manufacturing Company. A significant portion of this series is John Holley's correspondence (1777-1836). The series also includes an unfinished biographical sketch of John Holley written by Malcolm D. Rudd.

Series III: Local History (1853-1939) contains information about the history of Salisbury, Connecticut and its iron industry. It includes notes, photographs, newspaper clippings, and maps. There is a ledger belonging to Mr. Rudd which contains genealogical information on some of Salisbury's leading citizens, and which may have been used in preparation for his 1899 publication, “An Historical Sketch of Salisbury, Connecticut.” There are also some unidentified genealogical notes and correspondence to Mr. Rudd concerning the Salisbury iron used to make the anchors and guns of the U.S.S. Constitution. There are also the minutes and some correspondence of the advisory board of the Taconic School of Girls, of which Mr. Rudd was a member. The final item is the book, Men of Worth of Salisbury Birth, a compilation of biographical sketches by Rudd, published in 1991 by the Salisbury Association, Inc.[Removed for cataloging]

Custodial History

Originally obtained by Yale University in two acquisitions (donation and purchase, 1942-1946 respectively).

Acquisition Information

Yale University donated the combined collection to the University of Connecticut in 1980. The book, Men of Worth of Salisbury Birth, was donated to the University of Connecticut Library in 1991 by Marcia Rudd Keil.

Malcolm Day Rudd Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
1991 October
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US