Elam Bartholomew was a resident of Rooks County and Hays, Kansas. He was a horticulturalist internationally known for his work with fungi. His diary reflects his active participation in Republican Party politics, local government, the United Presbyterian Church, farm organizations, and experimental farming. Elam Bartholomew settled in Rooks County, Kansas, in 1874. He was born in Pennsylvania and his family moved to Ohio and then Illinois. In 1873 he became engaged to Rachel Montgomery and returned to Illinois to marry her in June 1876. They returned to Kansas in September of 1876. The Bartholomews lived on their farm on Bow Creek until 1929 when they moved to Hays where he served as curator of the mycological museum at Fort Hays Kansas State College. He died in 1934.