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Nancy Pettit McLaughlin Diary

 Collection — Box: MISC-12, Folder: MSS-0099
Identifier: MSS-0099

Content Description

The diary of Nancy Pettit McLaughlin documents her daily life after her marriage in Shiloh, Ohio. The entries reveal the activities of McLaughlin's daily life including what appears to be marital problems as she refers to "separating" from her husband in at least one instance. She also references her sister Amelia applying for a divorce. The diary's entries are regular for January-June 1898 and then cease until entries resume in 1903. The ledger also includes pages of expense at the back of the volume. Names mentioned in the diary include : William Henry, Aunt Jane Rockman, Andrew and Gart Snyder, Uncle G. T. Nelson, S. Ferrel, Eli and Frank Swanger, Elmer Hammond, John Wolf, Ezra Cleland, Willard Grub, Dan Carl, Hank McCasky, Edith Shoemaker, Bloom, Murry, Milt Canton, Hollenbaugh, Charlie Champion, Samuel Bray, Reverend Rhodes and others. Also part of the collection is a carte de visite identified in later handwriting as Nancy Pettit McLaughlin and printouts of two photographs of Shiloh found online by the previous owner.

Partial transcription provided by the seller:


"January 18th, This has been a beautiful day. I done my every day work, finished reading book of Genesis and mopped the kitchen and dining room floors and scrubbed the porch and got ready to go up town about 11 o'clock. Elby and Glady's went to grandfather's. I am debtor to Ezra Cleland for runners and sugar, $.53. Debtor to Fanner and Prame or Whiskey $.25. Turpentine $.03, Castor Oil $.05 and to Backensto for 1 bunch drag braid. I eat a meal at Melia's."

"January 27th, Cold wind today. I done what work I had to do this morning then got ready and Gladys and I walked up town to Melia's. We stopped at Aunt Kate's this afternoon. I cut out a calico dress for ma. I stopped at Aunt Kate's and Ella Henry on my way home. Glady's and I eat dinner at Melia's. Elby was over to his folks. I got Cuticura remedies of Fenner and Prame. Soap, Ointment, N. Resolvent $1.55. (Not paid). I also stopped at Tena's, took ma's deed for her place to Milt to get recorded in Mansfield. Garf Snyder was here this morning."

"February 25th, Bright forenoon, cold. Cloudy this afternoon. Looks very much like storm. I done my everyday work. Swept the room, put Gladys to sleep then went to Aunt Kate's after my black dress skirt. Elby started from home this morning, intended to go to Grandad's and then over to John Holtzes sale. He went over to Wm. Henry's after water this morning. He was gone 3/4 hrs. He talked of separation again this morn. Elbert Henry was here this morning. Elby gave me $.25 to buy thread and 10 cts. that ma had borrowed of him in Plymouth. Ma paid Mr. Ferree for our sugar and the articles she ordered through the grange. Elby did not go to the sale but stayed over to his folk's and went to town at night. Got home 25 min. after 9 o'clock. I had gone to bed, this was 3 nights he went to town and left me alone and I did not know where he was until he came home."

"March 14th, This has been a bright sunshiny day. I done washing this forenoon. Elby hauled a load of wood from Grandfather's. We then caught six of ma's chickens and took them to her. Intended to go to his folk's and get dinner and then bring my hog home but we got defeated in our plans. We got as far as Walter Roses when he broke the news to us that Melia and Ted had had trouble and that she was moving her things way (she moved them down to Milts). I started to learn the truth of the matter. Went as far as Tena's and found her there. I ate some dinner there and after talking a little I started for Grandfather's. Elby and Gladys had gone in the wagon. I got over there, rested and then we started for home. Elby went up town this evening. Gladys and I stayed at ma's. Gladys stayed with ma all night. I helped ma do a little sewing. She is getting ready to go to Mansfield."

"March 16th, A nice day. Elby went over to his folks. I done my everyday work. Gladys and I went visiting. I stopped to Aunt Kate's a while. Left Gladys and went on to Tena's. Had started for town but did not go. I ate supper there. Ma, Melia and Milt went to Mansfield. They drove over to Plymouth and took the train there. Milt put the teams in the Livery stable until they came home. Melia applied for a divorce and alimony and restoration of her maiden name. I came home with ma. Elby and Dan were doing her chores. Dan came part way home with us and carried Gladys."

"April 14th, Showers and sunshine. I done housework today. Elby went over to his folks this afternoon. Gladys and I went to Nelson's about 5 P.M. Ate supper there. Gladys stayed with ma tonight. We were all at Henry's today. Quite an exciting time in the neighborhood this forenoon. The excitement was caused by a mad dog. It bit Foster Swanger, also a number of dogs in town and country. The dog belonged to John Sturts. It was shot by a Mr. Bloom and Otto Kinsel. Otto was the one that killed the dog. It was shot in Mr. James Snyder's yard north of the house. Mr. Bloom had quite a combat with the dog but as the dog had been wounded across his shoulders he was able to jump a fence."

"May 18th, Pleasant day. Rained this evening and stormed. I stayed with ma. We were over to Tena's awhile this afternoon. Ted Grimwwod had the marshal (Doc Dickerson) to go with him to see Melia to get her to talk with him. He 1st went to Tena's, did not find her so they followed her to ma's. She refused to see him. The marshal was told to notify him to stay off from Tena's premises, also mother's. I went up town this afternoon, got the key to Frank Swanger's house so we could look through it. I bought 1 lb. Loaf sugar and 2 sticks of candy of Ezra Cleland, $.10. 1/2 pt. Whiskey at drugstore, $.25."


  • Creation: 1898-1903


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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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0.02 Cubic Feet (1 folder) : Carte de visite, Diaries

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Custodial History

Purchased from ebay seller diaries on 2/5/17.

Nancy Pettit McLaughlin Diary
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