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Edna McGuire Diaries

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

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,


  • 1921-1925


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.

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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


0.05 Cubic Feet (1 folder) : diaries


Collection has not yet been arranged and described.

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
Description rules
Description based on DACS
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections Repository

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