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Lelia Ackley and Helen Ackley Diaries

 Collection — Box: MISC-06, Folder: MSS-0100
Identifier: MSS-0100

Content Description

The diary of Lelia Ackley from July-August 1905 documents her family's move to Idaho, first to a cabin near Big Rock. The Ackleys would later move to Caldwell, Idaho and operate a general merchandise store. The Ackleys traveled via horse and wagon in July 1905 searching for a claim to stake for gold mining in the mountains southeast of Boise, Idaho. The Ackleys were searching for a cabin near Big Rock; along the way they stopped at a place called the Golden Eagle for water. Lelia Ackley describes the cabin as filthy and infested with rats, while the baby was sunburned badly on the trip. She mentions the Bender Creek property where her husband and another man went to search for a claim. They also mention a location called the Flat Creek property. Eventually Orville chose to establish a general merchandise store. There are 14 pages of entries for a store from 1927. They appeared to be doing very well. Their daughter Helen is listed as one of the payees.

The diary of Helen W. Ackley, daughter of Lelia and Orville Ackley, is from her time as a nursing student at Berkeley Hospital in California in 1933-1934. The diary shares discusses her experiences while training to be a nurse. She was excited to work in the obstetrics and maternity department helping to deliver babies. She also writes about her unpleasant experiences including the death of at least one patient, meningitis, and other diseases and conditions. She also writes about local events including the lynching of a man who kidnapped and murdered Brooke Hart of San Jose, visiting Chinatown, a boat ride on San Francisco Bay, and a large street car strike that resulted in the National Guard moving into the city with tanks and over 4,000 troops.

The description here is based on information provided by the seller.

New material added on November 4, 2022: Helen Ackley Diary and Expense Journal. This diary or journal of Helen Ackley from 1924 is 109 handwritten pages in a small flip top notebook. The 1932 memorandum-style book is labeled on the front cover as the estate expenses of the estate of O.R. Ackley by Helen Ackley. The book contains 3 pages of estate expenses, one page poem "My Brother" by Hugh Randall Ackley, and one page listing the guests at George (1907-1975) and Jackie Ackley's wedding on May 24, 1932, at the Compton Baptist Parsonage. George was Helen's younger brother and Orville was her father.


  • 1905-1934


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at


0.07 Cubic Feet (1 folder) : Diaries

Language of Materials



Collection has not yet been arranged and described.

Custodial History

Purchased from Matthew van Saun in February 2017.

New material added on November 4, 2022: Purchased from Sally Ivey.


Lelia Ackley and Helen Ackley Diaries
Amy Schindler; Angela Kroeger
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
2nd edition

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