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Edna McGuire Diaries

 Collection — Box: MISC-09, Folder: MSS-0088
Identifier: MSS-0088

Content Description

The diaries of Edna Earl Martin McGuire span 1900 through 1905. McGuire wrote her name in the front of each of the two diaries, which are labeled book 3 and book 4. There is no documentation about books 1 and 2. The diaries document McGuire's daily life in Missouri including farm tasks, travel to neighboring communities and states, life with her husband Uncas McGuire as well as medical procedures she underwent. Also included is a photograph of McGuire. The following information and partial transcription was provided by the seller:

entries include: her being seriously ill over a period of time; an unbelievable number of friends and children dying; several family weddings: the disgrace of an unmarried, pregnant and disgraced neighbor; a drought in Carroll County; their hen house being blown away; local flooding in Sept. of 1905; going to the doctor and having her palate at the roof of her mouth cut open and then going out to eat; being treated by the doctor electrically for this hole between the roof of her mouth and her nose, etc. Her doctor lived in Boonville and his name was Dr. Cornelius Herman Van Ravenswaay "and he treated my throat and cut my palate off."
The history and genealogy are incredible. Her huge family and enormous extended family would come and go at any time of the day or night, and at one time there were more then 14 people there for supper; Folks would come over and stay for days, and during this time, sadly, Mama died. Edna McGuire, her husband Uncas McGuire and their huge extended family were right in the thick of life. They were extremely involved in the community, their church, often going to Sunday School and to Preaching two to three times a week or more. Edna was a Sunday School teacher and organizer, and an elected delegate and representative of the Salt Fork Presbyterian Church. Edna's husband Uncas McGuire is referred to throughout this diary as simply "Unc." Oct. 1, 1901, Edna writes that she celebrated her 28th birthday. On December 28 of 1903, they celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. Of Note, their remains a scholarship known as the Uncas and Edna McGuire Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who is pursuing a degree with emphasis in speech, drama or English at the State Fair Community College. The scholarship is still awarded from that college right up to 2016.
Edna, and often her husband Uncas, or Edna alone, or with one or two family members would often pack up and go off on the train in a moments notice. She has handwritten entries about killing hogs, rendering the lard, making sausage, picking corn, chopping wood and the usual chores on a farm, however most of her diary is devoted to family, church, visiting, deaths of friends, and family, and travel. Thanksgiving is a bit of a holiday for this family, but Christmas is always a huge affair with numerous presents, lots of visiting, the coming and going of friends and family, etc., and Edna writes down every one of their names in this incredible record of this woman's life, and of the people who affected her, over a period of almost 5 years. Edna cuts wheat, churned butter, washes clothes, sometimes irons for days, scrubs the house, but most of all she travels, attends church meetings and preachings, and either has company or visits. If anyone is sick or needs help of any kind, it is there you will find Edna, even if she is sick herself. A hard working, non-complaining, pioneering woman from a day and age long gone. These diaries came from an estate in Nelson, Missouri. In these diaries Edna records towns she visited to include St. Louis, Lawrenceburg, Burgin, Salt Fork, Blackwater, Ridge Prairie (home), Boonville, Wilton Springs, Arrow Rock, Lamina, Nelson, &c. The genealogy would take up another whole listing as Edna and Unc were very sociable church goers, each with a large extended family, and those extended families. Some names include: Willie Shacklefield, Emma Harvey, Uncle Pete Campbell, Charles Cunningham, Mr. & Mrs. T. Lakin, Claude Ziegel, Kate & Pink Kennedy, The Sutherlins, Frank Younger, Mrs. Perry Parker, Dora Bruce, Oliver Gabnel, Leona Wardrup, Mrs. Finlander, Jesse Hurd, etc.
Handwritten entries include: "Nov. 6, 1900, Unc took me to Nelson to Dr. Winslow to have tooth opened. Election day - McKinley; Feb. 24, 1901, Unc and I went into Boonville and I had my throat burned with electricity. Then we went to Dr. Jacobs and had plates made to wear in my nose so the hole in it would grow up. Feb. 25, Mrs. Labb took me to Dr. again and I have chronic catarrh of head and throat.Feb. 26, Mrs. Huber, Houk, Millie Hoffminster, Julia Thesler and Ada Bernard and Miss Avery come out to Mrs. Labbs and spent the day. Arch McGuire took me in to Dr. to be examined by the lights. Took treatment. March 26, Unc, Grace and I went to preaching and a "Japanese" spoke. June 1, Went to Boonville and ate dinner at Arches. My brother Johnnie Martin come to dinner and bid us good bye as he is moving to Colorado. Then we went to the Quarterly Meeting at Smith's Chapel. July 21, This day set aside by the Governor to fast and pray for rain. Everything burned up by the drought. Oct. 1, My 28th birthday. At home. Oct. 21, Went out to Boonville to the Powell Hotel with Vine Taylor and we met mama there. 1902, March 16, My brother Johnnie Martin and Miss Maggie Caton married by Brother Reed and everyone in buggys and Charlie Martin, Maud Owens, Maggie Heine, Ike Smith, Warner Caton, Ella Smith, Porter Thompson, Mammie Wallace and I saw them married. Papa was there too. May 11, Come back to Salt Fork and to church to Mr. James Watsons funeral and we sung. He was buried by Odd Fellows and Brother Shouse preached funeral. July 14, Little Willie Griffith died."
"1903, March 4, Unc and I went to Rhodes Marshall's, ate dinner there and at 1:30 o'clock Nettie Marshall, Mr. Harris Bray were married by Rev. C. Shouse, and then on to Nelson. July 12, I am sick. Threshers here and had 14 men here to dinner. 1904, March 24, Storm blew our hen house over. Rain. Ten men come to help put hen house back. All stayed here for dinner. Snow and rain. August 1, Len Martin and mama come by and we went to Black water and mama and I got on ten o'clock train and went to Jefferson City. Arrived there at 12:20, changed cars and got in to St. Louis at 4 o'clock and left at 11 o'clock for Louisville. A man was robbed on the train. Aug. 2, We arrived in Louisville at 7:30 and cousin Bob and Naomi King were there to meet us. We changed trains and went on to Lawrenceburg wher we got on another train with Cousin Cam and we arrived in Burgin at 12 o'clock. Mama was sick. etc. At night we went to Shawnee Park to the bathing beach and Fountain Ferry Park and the men treated us to ice cream. There was a Filipino band. (This vacation was full of numerous family members and friends; all of whom she identifies; and it lasts until August 28 when mama and Edna arrive back at Nelson and Unc is there to pick them up. It was quite an exciting vacation for both mama and Edna, as she writes in great detail of their visit.) 1905, February 13, Dr. come to see ma. I went over in eve and Unc and I went over and stayed all night. Feb. 14, Mrs. Brommer, Vine and Will Taylor, Arch McGuire come. Mrs.Davie Marshall, James and Sallie Conway there too. Dora and Stella Younger too and we all watched by her bed side. Feb. 15, at half past 12 o'clock Wednesday morning ma passed away. She said 'Bury me at old Salt Fork by the other two. Have Bro. Shouse and Bro. Coffman. My time is short. I have only been a drag to you all.' She then asked Dora Griffith to forgive her for not speaking to her. The last thing was to take a drink of water. Harriett McGuire was about 68 years old and she was born in Cooper, Colorado."


  • 1921-1925


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The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

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0.05 Cubic Feet (1 folder) : diaries

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Custodial History

Purchased on ebay from seller diaries on October 9, 2016.

Processing Information

Edna McGuire Diaries, Archives and Special Collections, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Edna McGuire Diaries
Amy Schindler; Angela Kroeger
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States