EMMA SLOCUM'S DIARY
Edited by Her Great Grandson, David L. Runner

INTRODUCTION

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Emma Luella Slocum was born October 18, 1868 in Green County, Wisconsin. She was the youngest of the twelve children of Samuel Slocum and Hannah Lowell. All of Emma's older brothers and sisters were born in Illinois, mostly in Stephenson County, where the family lived for about 20 years. In the late 1860s, the family moved to Green County, Wisconsin, where Emma was born. Then, in the early 1880s, the family moved to Boone County, Nebraska and settled on a farm near Petersburg.

Several years later, at age 18, Emma began keeping a diary in a red ledger book. The diary reveals a spirited and sometimes mischievous young lady. It starts in Boone County in January 1887, and recounts various events relating to school, friends, neighbors, farm life, boys, dances, etc. The diary also recounts some sad events, including the death of her father in January 1888.

In November 1888, Emma, her mother and several brothers moved from Boone County, Nebraska to Marion County, Oregon. The diary continues in Oregon for another seven months, until July 1889. In Oregon, Emma met her future husband, Amandas Huffsmith Runner, or "Mr. Runners as she calls him. The diary contains many references to their developing relationship.

Emma and Amandas married about two years after her diary ended. They had five children and remained married for forty years, until Amandas died in April 1932. Emma remained a widow until her death in November 1967, at the age of 99. She and Amandas are buried at Stipp Cemetery in MacLeay, Oregon, a small town east of Salem.

I received Emma's diary from her grandson and my uncle, Dwight Runner, in about 1997. The ink in the diary was faint in many places and it was difficult to read. Hence, over a period of about a year and a half, I transcribed it for the benefit of those who might be interested in reading it. Words appearing in brackets are my notations and hopefully will aid the reader in comprehending the original. The notation [sic] signals spelling, grammar, or other errors found in the original.

David L. Runner
Keizer, Oregon
March 1999

 

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