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Oliver L. Peterson : diaries, 1895-1951

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Peterson, Oliver Larsen, 1879-1955
Title
Oliver L. Peterson : diaries
Dates
1895-1951 (inclusive)
Quantity
6 boxes, (3 linear ft. )
Collection Number
USU_COLL MSS 101
Summary
Daily record of Peterson's farming activity in Petersboro, Utah (1895-1923 and 1941-1951). Includes record of daily farm routine of plowing, planting, harvesting, and winter livestock care. In addition to these entries, he often ended the year with an inventory of equipment, livestock, and the amount of feed that had been put up for the winter. Also includes a record of weather conditions and of natural occurrences, such as earthquakes, and describes the physical geography, flora, and fauna of the Petersboro and Benson (Utah) area, especially for the pre-Cutler Dam Period. Important social and political occurrences are mentioned, but without any comment about his feelings toward those events.
Repository
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections and Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
84322-3000
Telephone: 435-797-2663
Fax: 435-797-2880
scweb@usu.edu
Access Restrictions
Restrictions

Open to public research.

Languages
English.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Oliver Larsen Peterson was born in Logan, Utah in 1879 to Mary and Peter Peterson. Oliver, or O. L. as he was known, and his twin brother Edward were the first of seven children. Shortly after their birth, they moved from Logan to the family dry farm in Petersboro, Utah. This farm, established by their father between 1875 and 1878, was a large dry farm and cattle ranch located on the west side of Cache Valley directly north of Mendon, Utah. It was here that O. L. spent his life as a rancher and farmer, and as an astute observer of daily life. On October 2, 1913 O. L. married Navieve Haws of Logan and they later had eight children. O. L. Peterson died April 7, 1955.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

O. L. kept a daily diary from 1895-1951. Due to Peterson's discerning eye for detail, his entries in his journals are tremendous. This set of diaries gives a marvelous description of an early dry farming operation in Cache Valley and its development during a rapidly changing period of agricultural growth at the turn of the century. Peterson kept an thorough account of the daily farm routine. Additionally, he noted the seasonal occurrences of plowing, planting, harvesting, and winter livestock care. Besides these entries, he often ended the year with an inventory of equipment, livestock, and the amount of feed stored for winter. For example, in the 1903 volume (Box 1, Folder 10) he listed all of the farm machinery on the farm, when each machine was purchased and how much was paid for it. The same volume also inventories the livestock and even goes as far as stating the names and weights of the horses. Box 1 Folder 1 contains a ‘daybook', which spans the period of 1895 to 1915 and presents an overview of Peterson thoughts and labor.

The diaries, as one would suspect, contain detailed information about the operation of the farm. Important social and political occurrences are mentioned, but without any comment about his feelings toward those events. He does, however give an excellent record of weather conditions and of natural occurrences, such as earthquakes. The diary also describes the physical geography of the Petersboro-Benson area, especially for the pre-Cutler Dam period. O. L. also comments on the flora and the fauna of the area as well.

This collection has been organized chronologically. However, there are two variations to this organization. First, O. L. apparently wrote out a draft of his entries on loose-leaf paper, and then at his leisure would enter the notes into the bound volumes. Some of these loose-leaf notes are part of the collection and have been placed into folders and integrated into their appropriate place. During the years 1895-1916, Peterson kept a volume that had a short synopsis for each day, which essentially indexes this 21-year period. Finally, a portion of the diaries, for the years 1925 to 1940 (except for a incomplete run during 1926), were absent from the original donation given to USU Special Collections & Archives.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Utah State University Libraries, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Permission to publish material from the Oliver L. Peterson : diaries must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation

Oliver L. Peterson : diaries, 1895-1951. (COLL MSS 101). Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives Department.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Vol. l-A, Daybook 1895-1915
1 2 Vol. l-B 1896
1 3 Vol. 2 1897
1 4 Vol. 3 1898
1 5 Vol. 4 1899
1 6 Vol. 5 1900
1 7 Vol. 6 1901
1 8 Vol. 7 1902
1 9 Vol. 7, loose papers
1 10 Vol. 8 1903
1 11 Vol. 8, loose papers
1 12 Vol. 9 1904
2 1 Vol. 10 1905
2 2 Vol. 11 1906
2 3 Vol. 12 1907
2 4 Vol. 13 1908
2 5 Vol. 13, loose papers
2 6 Vol. 14-A 1909
2 7 Vol. 14-B 1909
2 8 Vol. 15 1910
3 1 Vol. 16-A 1911
3 2 Vol. 16-B 1911
3 3 Vol. 16-C 1911
3 4 Vol. 16-D 1911
3 5 Vol. 16-E 1911
3 6 Vol. 16-F 1911
3 7 Vol. 17 1912
3 8 Vol. 18 1913
3 9 Vol. l9-A 1914
3 10 Vol. l9-B 1914
3 11 Vol. 20-A 1915
3 12 Vol 20-B and Vol. 21 1915-1916
4 1 Vol. 22 1917
4 2 Vol. 23-A 1918
4 3 Vol. 23-B 1918
4 4 Vol. 24-A 1919
4 5 Vol. 24-B 1919
4 6 Vol. 25-A 1920, Jan.-June, loose papers
4 7 Vol. 25-B 1920, July-Dec., loose papers
4 8 Vol. 26, loose papers 1921
4 9 Vol. 26-A, loose papers 1922
4 10 Vol. 26-B, loose papers 1923
4 11 Vol. 26-C, loose papers 1924
4 12 Vol. 27-D (incomplete) 1926
4 13 Vol. 26-E, diary entries and papers undated
5 1 Vol. 27 1941
5 2 Vol. 28 1942
5 3 Vol. 29 1943
5 4 Vol. 29, loose papers
5 5 Vol. 30 1944
5 6 Vol. 31 1945
5 7 Vol. 32 1946
6 1 Vol. 33 1947
6 2 Vol. 34 1948
6 3 Vol. 35 1949
6 4 Vol. 36 1950
6 5 Vol. 37 1951