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Florence Garrison Hughes diaries

Special Collections and Archives

Florence Garrison Hughes diaries

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Special Collections and Archives

Florence Garrison Hughes diaries

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Repository: Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.
Title: Florence Garrison Hughes diaries
Inclusive Date(s): 1920-1942
Author: Finding aid prepared by Viola Chontos
Creation: Finding aid encoded by Viola Chontos using the OhioLINK EAD Application in 2016
Origination: Hughes, Florence Garrison, 1856-1943
Extent: 2 cubic feet (2 record storage boxes)
Physical Location:
Finding Aid Identifier: OhKeUSC0178
Abstract: This is a collection of diaries from 1920 to 1942, written by Florence Garrison Hughes, a resident of Ravenna, Ohio. Inside some of the diaries are newspaper clippings, receipts, and cards. Hughes discusses day-to-day life in the diaries, including such topics as family, business, local and national news events.
Language(s): The records are in English

Biography of Florence Garrison Hughes

Florence Garrison Hughes, a cousin to prominent Kent area banker and civic leader, Maxwell Garrison, was born in Charles Town, Ohio on September 2, 1856 to Calvin B. and Catherine (Shafferlee) Garrison. Florence was a local teacher. She married Lewis Evans (L. E.) Hughes on November 24, 1881. They had five children, losing the fifth child in early infancy. Florence died on February 17, 1943.

Scope and Content

Florence Garrison Hughes' diaries begin on January 1, 1920 and end on December 29, 1942. She was 63 years old when the diaries begin. Hughes makes daily observations about the life of a middle class family. She starts nearly every entry with an observation of the day's weather. She speaks of the comings and goings of her family and friends. There are entries about the births of grandchildren and other children as well as entries about the deaths of family members, friends, and community members. Hughes often speaks of current local and national events and business dealings. She speaks about those who are prominent in the Kent/Ravenna, Ohio area, including H. L. Spelman, Vice President of County Savings and Loan Association, in both a business relationship and personal relationship context.

Statement of Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Processing Information

This collection was processed at the item level.

Preferred Citation

Florence Garrison Hughes diaries. Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.

Acquisition Information

Hughes' diaries were donated to Special Collections and Archives in 1996 by her granddaughter Elizabeth Heisa.

Controlled-access Headings
The following topics are found in this collection:

Hughes, Florence Garrison, 1856-1943 -- Diaries
Hughes, Florence Garrison, 1856-1943 -- Family
Ravenna (Ohio) -- History -- 20th century -- Diaries
Kent (Ohio) -- History -- 20th century -- Diaries
Women -- Ohio -- Diaries
Weather -- 20th century -- Diaries
Voyages and travels -- Diaries
World War, 1939-1945 -- Ohio -- Diaries
Fires -- Ohio -- Diaries
Depressions -- 1929 -- United States -- Diaries
Pneumonia -- Treatment -- Diaries
Measles -- Treatment -- Diaries
Quilting -- Diaries
Clothing and dress -- Repairing -- Diaries
Grief -- Diaries
Lindbergh, Charles Augustus, 1930-1932
Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944
Hauptmann, Bruno Richard, 1899-1937
Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937
Lombard, Carole, 1908-1942
Spelman, H. L.
American Red Cross
County Savings and Loan Association (Ravenna, Ohio)
Diaries -- Authorship
Material Types:
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Genealogical tables
Family histories

Detailed Description of the Collection

Some highlights are provided for each diary. Some of the diaries contain extra inserts such a news clippings, cards, and receipts. They have been taken out of the diary and placed with the diary in the folder.
Box 1 / Folder 1
Diary, 1920
Scope and Content
Hughes travels to Colorado, leaving on June, 10 and arriving back to Ravenna on August 2. She travels with her sister, Lottie, and Lottie's husband, Edward. They visit family.
Box 1 / Folder 2
Diary, 1921
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses the birth of Elizabeth. (The granddaughter who donated this collection.) Also, Hughes and her family go to Daytona Beach, Florida on December 6th and stay through December 31st.
Box 1 / Folder 3
Diary, 1922
Scope and Content
Hughes and family stay in Florida until mid-March. Hughes' husband, L. E., spends much time working on real estate sales and purchases in Florida and Ohio.
Box 1 / Folder 4
Diary, 1923
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses grandchildren ill with measles. She also discusses the illness of baby "Betty" and creating a "pneumonia jacket" for her. Some community events she discusses are a major house fire of a neighbor which burns each family member and nearly kills the father/husband. She talks about collecting clothes for the family including rags for the man's wound dressings, money for the baby's needs, and making a new dress for the woman. She mentions L. E. being selected as judge of the election board and the Harding funeral train passing through town.
Box 1 / Folder 5
Diary, 1924
Scope and Content
Hughes' sister Lottie dies in January. Throughout the year, Hughes reflects on her sister's death as well as the death of her own infant daughter. In October she briefly discusses the U. S. Presidential election results.
Box 1 / Folder 6
Diary, 1925
Scope and Content
Hughes mentions the crash of the U. S. S. Shenandoah airship.
Box 1 / Folder 7
Diary, 1926
Scope and Content
Hughes falls ill and does not make entries into the diary between January 12 and March 6. Her youngest daughter, Hazel, marries. She discusses difficulty in collecting rent from a tenant. Hughes mentions her choices in the November election.
Box 1 / Folder 8
Diary, 1927
Scope and Content
Hughes' seventh grandchild is born to her youngest daughter, Hazel.
Box 1 / Folder 9
Diary, 1928
Scope and Content
Hughes begins to discuss the buying and selling of stocks. In May, she and her grandson Richard "won on the Limericks we sent to the Beacon Journal." She also writes about listening to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions on the radio. This is the year Hoover is nominated at the Republican National Convention.
Box 1 / Folder 10
Diary, 1929
Scope and Content
Hughes mentions the Crile Clinic fire in Cleveland, Ohio, in May.
Box 1 / Folder 11
Diary, 1930
Scope and Content
This diary contains six weeks of blank pages between January 5 and February 14 during a time of illness for Hughes. Throughout the year, various points of discussion are the April penitentiary fire in Columbus, Ohio, a local death from a water tank falling from Waller's Store, and a local man accused and eventually convicted of embezzling State Highway funds. She also discusses her nephew's (Lottie's son) interest in genealogy. She describes lending her father's diaries to him.
Box 2 / Folder 1
Diary, 1931
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses how the Depression is affecting her family, briefly mentioning it the first time in February regarding her grown children. In November, she and her husband have couple and family portraits taken at Wright's photography. Hughes and L. E. celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in November. She discusses wearing her wedding dress to the party of 114 people. They do not hold Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Box 2 / Folder 2
Diary, 1932
Scope and Content
Hughes mentions the announcement of the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping and follows the story throughout the year. She also discusses the case of a local boy, Jimmie Dejute, who is kidnapped and found in March. She talks of a solar eclipse taking place in August. In September, she speaks of her daughter and son-in-law's store being robbed. Hughes also talks about making quilts throughout the year.
Box 2 / Folder 3
Diary, 1933
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses, throughout the year, financial problems her grown children are having . Her eldest son, Herman, is not working and fears losing money at a bank in Kent. Her youngest daughter, Hazel, and her husband are trying to avoid bankruptcy. She speaks of loaning money to people who are asking to borrow from her.
Box 2 / Folder 4
Diary, 1934
Scope and Content
Hughes mentions frequently about mending and re-purposing clothes. She also speaks of her children's and grandchildren's travels.
Box 2 / Folder 5
Diary, 1935
Scope and Content
Hughes speaks of the results of the Lindbergh Kidnapping case. The Hughes' children throw a surprise birthday party for her husband, L. E.
Box 2 / Folder 6
Diary, 1936
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses winning one dollar from the Cleveland Plain Dealer for a knitting hint. In March, she also discusses the pending execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, the man convicted in the Lindbergh kidnapping case. In June, she discusses the Republican convention in Cleveland and the Black & Decker strike in Kent, Ohio. In November, she discusses election results. In the back of this diary, Hughes has recorded the names and birth dates of her immediate family.
Box 2 / Folder 7
Diary, 1937
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses national events such as the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and the Joe Louis vs. Tommy Farr boxing match. Hughes' husband, L. E., becomes ill in September and eventually dies in October. She talks about her grief throughout the remaining diaries.
Box 2 / Folder 8
Diary, 1938
Scope and Content
Hughes discusses her adjustment to life after her husband's death. She periodically talks about how her children help her take care of her husband's business dealings including collecting rent, taking care of and selling properties. She also mentions Hitler's invasion of Austria in March and news relating to Hitler throughout the year.
Box 2 / Folder 9
Diary, 1939
Scope and Content
Hughes follows stories in the newspaper regarding the actions of Hitler and the beginning of World War II. She comments throughout the year about various news stories such as the invasion of Poland by the Germans. She expresses concern that America may be drawn into the war.
Box 2 / Folder 10
Diary, 1940
Scope and Content
Hughes continues monitoring and commenting on the world news, including the Nazi invasion of Holland in May. She also mentions the "Doodlebug" train crash near Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and Silver Lake, Ohio. Her sons begin to sell property that is owned by the family.
Box 2 / Folder 11
Diary, 1941
Scope and Content
Hughes' eldest son and his wife have moved into her home, while her eldest daughter and her family have moved to another house nearby. Throughout the year she mentions knitting socks for the Red Cross. Hughes also mentions the train crash near the Ravenna Arsenal on March 18th and Roosevelt's Thanksgiving day declaration. She also speaks of updates on the war including the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as Hitler and Mussolini declaring war on the U. S.
Box 2 / Folder 12
Diary, 1942
Scope and Content
Hughes continues to knit items for the Red Cross. She also continues her observations of war news. She discusses negotiations between her sons and the Department of Transportation seeking land from their farms to build new roads. In January, she mentions the plane crash that killed actress Carole Lombard. In October, she mentions a speech delivered by Wendell Willkie.