Scope and Contents
The collection encompasses a xerographic copy of the diary of J.P. Winslow for the year 1876, and a type script transcription of the diary. It was transcribed and indexed by George W. Grantham in 1991 and 1992. He is the great-grandson of Dan Grantham and Mary Winslow, Mr. Winslow's son in law and daughter, and the grandson of Richard Ernest Grantham, their son. Several interesting and significant items have been included with the diary. Among them are the marriage certificate of Mary Winslow and Dan Grantham, copies of photographs of Joseph Pope Winslow and his family and of James Daniel Grantham and his, and copies of maps of the area where the Winslows lived. George W. Grantham has also added several indices: of names appearing in the diary, of deaths mentioned, of places, things and events. A nine page excerpt of the Winslow genealogy traces J.P. Winslow's ancestry to Kenelm Winslow, born April 29, 1599 in Droitwitch, Worcestershire, England.
The diary entries are strictly factual. There are daily descriptions of the weather, references to work performed by Mr. Winslow and other family members, and other activities such as visits to town for shopping or social affairs, church attendance, and prices for commodities and for labor. Despite the omission of references to feelings or emotions a clear picture of the everyday life of a devout, hard working, upright man loved by his family and liked and respected by friends and neighbors emerges.
The importance of the weather and seasonal variations in the tasks involved in farm operations are very clear. Each daily entry begins with the weather the wind direction and a description r.e. pleasant, raining, snowing, very cold. The record of shopping trips to Sweet Home or other nearby towns includes commodity prices, for example, 1 gal. oil 254, 3 lbs. soda 254, 100 lbs. flour $2.80. Other entries include charges for carpentry ($5.50 for a sink, $5.75 for a coffin.)
Some entries are of special interest. Planting begins on April 1. On September 7 the property is assessed at $930, the tax rate is $1.00 per hundred. On September 20, Mary Winslow and Dan Grantham are married. The diary entry for that date is "WS cloudy in the forepart of the day but cleared up in the eve. I gathered peaches, Harvey came over in the p.m. We all went to the church at 5 o'clock to hear a lecture and see Dan and Mary married. 60 persons came here with us to supper. Had a good time." School starts on December 11 and closes March 11. There are more frequent mentions of church attendance at times other than Sunday during the winter months. The entry for Christmas day is "Wind NE snowed most of the day self and family went to meeting at 11 all the children here to dinner the boys finished hauling fodder this morning."