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Cronly Family Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-009

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal correspondence and private papers of the Wilmington-based Cronly family, primarily related Margaret M. Cronly (1827-1911), and her children Jane Murphy Cronly (1850-1935), Sallie Taylor Cronly (1852-1913), Michael Cronly (1858-1930), Joseph Murphy Cronly (1858-1907), William Neil Cronly (1860-1904), Robert Dickson Cronly (1863-1936), Douglas Tennent Cronly (1865-1931), Margaret Cronly (1868-1947), and Mary Douglas Cronly (1871-1949). Other family members mentioned in this collection include Catherine M. Beatty, Mary A. Hill Cronly, and Robert D. Cronly, Jr. Materials include correspondence between Cronly family members, a photograph, a notebook, and petitions and other documents pertaining to a dispute over the closing of a county road and property once used as the State Guard campground. The notebook included in this collection contains an unfinished story with a Civil War setting. The author is not listed, nor any reference to the existence of the remainder of the manuscript. Materials date from 1988 to 1925.


  • Creation: 1888-1925


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collections were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical and Historical Note

Margaret McLaurin was born on September 27, 1827 in Wilmington, North Carolina to Neil and Jane McLaurin. Neil McLaurin was a prominent merchant in Wilmington. Margaret had several siblings, including sister Catherine McLaurin Beatty (1829-1907). Margaret married Michael Cronly (1826-1898) in 1848. They had nine children: Jane Murphy Cronly (1850-1935); Sallie Taylor Cronly (1852-1913); Michael Cronly (1858-1930); Joseph Murphy Cronly (1858-1907); William Neil Cronly (1860-1904); Robert Dickson Cronly (1863-1936); Douglas Tennent Cronly (1865-1931), manager of the F. S. Royster Guano Company in Columbia, S.C.; Margaret Cronly (1868-1947); and Mary Douglas Cronly (1871-1949). Robert Dickson Cronly married Mary A. Hill, with whom he had two children, John Hill Cronly (1892-1958) and Robert Dickson Cronly, Jr. (1894-1968). The Cronly residence was at 215 South Third Street in Wilmington. Margaret McLaurin Cronly died January 2, 1911 in Wilmington.

Robert Dixon Cronly, Jr. was born in Petersburg, Virginia on July 2, 1894 to Robert Dickson Cronly and Mary A. Hill Cronly. He received his LLB at the University of Virginia and was admitted to the bar in 1920. From 1954 to 1967, he was an insurance adjustor. He married Ruth Pleasants Cronly, daughter of Edward Bates and Clarice Wetherill Pleasants, and they resided at 321 South 3rd Street in Wilmington. Ruth Cronly operated a private school in Wilmington for several years. Robert Dixon Cronly, Jr. died on September 6, 1968. Following his death, Ruth Pleasants Cronly donated his family papers to Randall Library.


1 Container (Contains 1 document box)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Ruth Pleasants Cronly, widow of Robert D. Cronly, Jr. circa 1971.

Digital Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and/or are born-digital. These items are identified by a black icon beside the item title when browsing via the collection organization hierarchy (to the right in desktop view; on the bottom in mobile view).

To view or access all of the digitized and/or born-digital materials in the collection directly, please select "View Digital Material" in the blue header above, just below the collection title.

Processing Information

This collection was re-processed and digitized by Caroline Waller in June 2021.

Cronly Family Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository