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Edson family diaries, 1889-1950.

Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 323-324  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Title : Edson family diaries, 1889-1950.
Physical Description : 1 linear foot.
Summary :

The diaries in the collection span three generations of the Edson family of Chester, Vermont, from 1889 to 1950. The major diarists are Azro Alvaro Edson, his son Erwin Azro and his wife Lelia, and their daughter, Mary Lucinda.The writers lived for the most part in Chester but in later years moved to Burlington. With few exceptions the entries in all the diaries are brief; the diarists always record the weather and their daily activities.

The diaries of Erwin Edson and his wife Lelia, written between 1889 and 1948, are among the oldest and also are the most numerous in the collection. Erwin's entries concern his chores: planting, cutting and drawing wood, churning butter and sugaring. He attended Grange meetings regularly as did his wife. In at least one year, 1922, Erwin kept his daily cash accounts, and in 1930, he recorded his weekly salary of $21.00. The routine of Lelia's household chores is interrupted by visits from relatives and friends as well as periods of ill health. Around 1918 Erwin and Lelia moved to Burlington to make their home with their daughter Mary Lucinda; Erwin worked in the barns at the University of Vermont. In 1945 Lelia writes about Roosevelt's death and the end of World War II.

Erwin's father, Azro, began his diaries in 1893 in Chester, Vermont, where he sold milk separators. He traveled in New England for his work and he refers to the places he stayed, the people he met, and the various modes of transportation he used. His diaries continue to 1930, after he moved to Burlington, around 1918.

Only one year of Rena M. Rowell's diary is included in the collection and it ends abruptly in November 1894, just prior to her marriage to Willis Edson, Edwin's brother. The style of her entries is conversational. It is not clear where she lived but she mentions keeping school as well as her household tasks. Grange and amateur dramatics were her diversions.

Mary Lucinda Edson, Erwin's daughter, began her diaries in 1911 when she finished school in Chester. She moved to Burlington around 1917 and worked in the Office of the University of Vermont's Experiment Station. Her social life included church, movies and playing bridge. Although she mentions her brother, Merritt, and his family, her diaries end in 1934 before the latter had achieved a distinguished military career in World War II.

Biographical or historical data :

Azro Alvaro Edson (January 13, 1844-December 15, 1935) was born in Andover, Vermont. He married Mary Arvilla Gould (1847-1895) of Chester, Vermont. They had three children born in Chester, Erwin Azro, Willis Allen, and Merritt Alvaro. Azro sold cream separators and dairy supplies. As well, he played the snare drums in the Edson Fife and Drum Corps. Around 1918 he moved to Burlington, Vermont, to live with his son Erwin, his wife Lelia, and granddaughter Mary Lucinda.

Erwin Azro Edson (May 3, 1866-November 24, 1943) first child of Azro, was born in Chester, Vermont, and married Lelia Davis (July 21, 1865-January 9, 1948) in 1887. He was a farmer in Chester and in his last years he and his wife made their home with their daughter in Burlington where he worked in the barns at the University of Vermont. Erwin and Lelia's children, born in Chester, were Mary Lucinda Edson (February 18, 1894-October 1975), Myrton Willis (b. May 4, 1889), and Merritt Austin (April 25, 1897-August 14, 1955).

Rena M. Rowell Edson (April 17, 1871-December 27, 1955) married Willis Allen Edson around 1894. He was the second son of Azro A. Edson. She taught school in Vermont although the location is not clear from the diary. After their marriage Rena and Willis Edson lived in the Bartonsville section of Rockingham, Vermont and in Chester, Vermont, where he was a farmer.

Personal Subject : Edson, Azro A., 1844-1935.
Edson, Erwin A., 1866-1943.
Edson, Lelia D., 1865-1948.
Edson, Mary Lucinda, 1894-1975
Edson, Merritt Austin, 1897-1955.
Rowell, Rena M. 1871-1955.
Subject Term : Farm life Vermont Chester.
Family life Vermont.
Women Diaries.
World War, 1939-1945 Personal narratives.
Geographic Term : Chester (Vt.) Archival resources.
Burlington (Vt.) Archival resources.
Genre/Form : Diaries.
Occupation : Traveling sales personnel
Added Author : Edson, Azro A., 1844-1935.
Edson, Erwin A., 1866-1943.
Edson, Lelia D., 1865-1948.
Edson, Mary Lucinda, 1894-1975.
Rowell, Rena M., 1871-1955.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.