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Martha Van Orsdol Shaw Farnsworth kept a personal diary from 1882 through 1922 with only a few gaps. The diary starts when she is a teenager. It describes her daily activities as she was growing up in Winfield and later Silver Lake and Topeka. She marries John W. Shaw on September 4, 1889. She refers to him as Johnny or Winnie in the diary. He works for the post office. Many of Martha's diary entries are very emotional about the boys she dates and her marriage to Johnny. From the beginning of her marriage, Martha expresses her unhappiness in her marriage. It seems to stem from Johnny's drinking and his anger when he was intoxicated. This volume covers most of her marriage to Johnny who dies on October 26, 1893. Their daughter Inez is born on January 24, 1892, but dies fives months later on June 27, 1892. Johnny dies in 1893 and Martha soon marries another post man Fred Farnsworth in 1894. During the time period covered by this diary Martha lives in Topeka; Springfield, Colorado; and Los Angeles, California, where Martha and Johnny went in hopes of curing his consumption. It is possible that this diary was rewritten from an earlier version because some entries are underlined in red.

Creator: Farnsworth, Martha 1867-1924
Date: January 1, 1890-December 31, 1893

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Martha Farnsworth diary - Front cover

Item Number: 213043
Call Number: Martha Farnsworth Collection #28 Box 1
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 213043

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