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Guide to the Oscar M. Henry Diaries
MS-R063  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms
  • Genres and Forms of Materials
  • Occupations

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Oscar M. Henry Diaries
    Date (inclusive): 1885 -1915
    Collection number: MS-R063
    Creator: Henry, Oscar M., 1851-1916
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 document boxes

    Linear feet: .8 linear feet
    Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Abstract: This collection of diaries serves as a window into the life of Oscar M. Henry, a California rancher, farmer and miner. Henry wrote the diaries on his farm in Amador County, California from 1885 to 1915. In daily entries, Henry documented his social and business dealings, listed daily and weekly visitors, and reported the weather. He also recorded the various tasks he completed from day to day, from slaughtering hogs and hauling wood to plowing, gardening and maintaining the fences. The diaries reflect his attention to detail; for example, he cited from whom and for how much he bought the books he used as his journals. In general, the journals illustrate the life of a prosperous Californian in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Oscar M. Henry Diaries. MS-R 63. Special Collections and Archives, The UCI Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Elizabeth R. Annis in 1995.

    Processing History

    Processed by Alexis Schwarz in 1998.

    Biography

    Oscar M. Henry was a farmer and mine owner in Amador County, California during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Henry family first arrived in the United States in the 1720s from Scotland, settling first in Virginia, then in Tennessee. Oscar Melbine Henry was born on October 21, 1851 in Cherokee County, North Carolina. The extent of his education is unknown.
    As a young man, Henry relocated frequently, moving to Arkansas, Wyoming and Idaho. In 1876 he settled in Amador County, California. In 1879, he married Amanda Jane Bean Dicken. The couple had three children: Mary Ida Henry (1880), Rose E. Henry (1884), and Samuel Oscar Henry (1886), in addition to three boys from Amanda's previous marriage.
    Henry and his family often traveled into Volcano, Sutter Creek, Jackson and Amador City to engage in various business dealings, including gold mining. He was primarily a farmer and rancher. On his small family farm, he grew hay, wheat, barley, and fruits. He also raised livestock, including cattle and hogs, owned a vineyard and sold timber. He prospered, even purchasing land beyond the homestead, an unusual accomplishment for the typical land-owner. He owned a few houses and also invested in property in Oakland.
    Oscar Henry was also a prominent community figure. He founded a school on his ranch land and served on the school board. His distinction in the community is reflected in the diary in which he makes note of numerous visitors to his home.
    He died on January 25, 1916, while working on his farm. His farms were inherited by his son Samuel, who bequeathed the property to his wife, who then sold it.
    The biographical information was gleaned from verbal recollections of Henry's granddaughter Elizabeth R. Annis, who donated his diaries to the library.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection of diaries serves as a window into the life of Oscar M. Henry, a California rancher, farmer and miner. Henry wrote the diaries on his farm in Amador County, California from 1885 to 1915. In daily entries, Henry documented his social and business dealings, listed daily and weekly visitors, and reported the weather. He also recorded the various tasks he completed from day to day, from slaughtering hogs and hauling wood to plowing, gardening and maintaining the fences. The diaries reflect his attention to detail; for example, he cited from whom and for how much he bought the books he used as his journals. In general, the journals illustrate the life of a prosperous Californian in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
    The diaries are organized in chronological order. Four diaries in the collection are originals, and the remainder are photocopies of originals not held by UCI. The container list indicates which diaries are originals.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Agriculture--California--Amador County--Archival resources.
    Farm life--California--Amador County--Archival resources.
    Ranch life--California--Amador County--Archival resources.
    California--Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Diaries--California--Amador County--19th century.

    Occupations

    Farmers--California--Amador County.
    Ranchers--California--Amador County.

    Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Annis, Elizabeth R., former owner.
    Online Archive of California.

    Genres and Forms of Materials

    Diaries--California--Amador County--19th century.

    Occupations

    Farmers--California--Amador County.
    Ranchers--California--Amador County.