Bowie, Maryland emerged from the junction of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1872. John Edgar Zug was a banker and surveyor who lived in Bowie, Maryland. His son, John Zug, Jr. worked for the U.S. government as a civil and hydrographic engineer and a surveyor and later became a rare coin dealer. The collection includes notebooks used by both Zugs for sketches, notes and calculations while surveying parcels of land in Bowie, Maryland. The books include the names of the people who owned the land surveyed.
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The John Zug surveys consist of two notebooks containing sketches, measurements, calculations and notes about surveying various properties and laying out streets in Bowie, Maryland. One of the books, labeled "Field Book 1" on the front contains sketches probably made by John Edgar Zug (dated 1890-1891) and his son John Zug, Jr. (dated 1920-1922). The second book has sketches probably by John Zug, Jr (dated 1922-1937). The second book also includes three pages of genealogical information about the descendants of Robert Sewall (c. 1765-1820) and Polly Brant (c. 1772-1822).
The books contain information on property boundaries and land owners in Bowie in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Bowie, Maryland emerged from the junction of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad which was built in 1872. Formerly the area had been very rural and the location of large tobacco plantations. The town was originally called Huntington City and was incorporated in 1874. In 1880, the Maryland legislature changed the town's name to honor Governor Oden Bowie who had helped form the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad and the town was formally incorporated as the Town of Bowie in 1916.
John Edgar Zug was born on July 27, 1842 to John Zug (1818-1843) and Margaret Hood Zug. Zug became a banker in Washington, DC during the 1860s. On January 1, 1867 he married Frances Hollis Ege, daughter of Reverend Oliver Ege and Susannah P. Thompson. They had two children, John Zug, Jr (1869-1949) and Anna Margerie Zug (1876-1967). In the early 1890s Zug worked surveying plots of land in Bowie, Maryland, where he resided on a farm. He died in 1915.
John Zug, Jr. was born on May 1, 1869 and received an engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1892. He married Katherine Davey on September 20, 1899. Zug, Jr. acted as an assistant to his father in laying out Bowie in the 1890s. Later he became a civil and hydrographic engineer for the U.S. government, dredging harbors in Washington State and later working with engineers and road-builders in Alaska. Zug had a daughter, Frances Anna Zug, born September 10, 1907. During World War I, Zug served as a captain with the Corps of Engineers and was discharged in April of 1920. Zug then returned to Bowie, recommenced survey work in Bowie and became a member of the American Numismatic Association He continued dealing in rare coins into the 1940s and died on October 23, 1949.
The collection is organized as one series.
The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the John Zug surveys from Bartleby's Books, a rare books dealer, in 2013.
The collection was placed in acid-free folders and housed in an acid-free box.