Ohioan Farmer Diaries Collection Added

Fresh off the processing table is AC.935: Ohioan Farmer Diaries.  


Two-page spread from the 1877 diary of William Symmes, showing daily entries in a 3x4 grid covering each page.

This collection of nineteen (19) diaries include daily entries from January 1, 1872 to December 31, 1891. Each day briefly records the weather, William Symmes's activities, the level of the river, events, such as deaths, visitors, hearing preachers, etc. and more. The first three years also record whether his business was "good," "poor," or otherwise. Other information includes a listing of his apple trees at the start of the 1876 volume and the breeding of a cow at the start of the 1877 volume. The 1882 volume includes a paper manufacturer's label on the rear inside wrapper: Chatfield & Woods of Cincinnati. The diaries have hand sewn bindings and the covers are a mix of handmade and commercially-produced papers varying in color, including brown, blue, tan, and rust.

William Symmes (1817-1892) was born in Jackson County, West Virginia, and married Eliza Matthews of Cheshire, Gallia County, Ohio, in 1820. As evidenced by the diaries in this collection and other information, Symmes settled in Gallia County with his wife. He opened a general store in 1854 and held various town offices throughout his life, including township clerk and chattel assessor (1846-1852), real estate appraiser (1853), justice of the peace (1973-1879), and member of the decennial State Board of Equalization of Ohio (1880-1881). In 1875, he sold his store and goods to Sanford & Maddy and focused on farming and maintaining his homestead.

- Contributed by Anna Smith, Archives and Manuscript Processor