[Onawa, Ia. 1870-1871]. pp. Handmade journal comprised of forty-four lined sheets, folded and stitched with twine. Outer leaves detached, minor wear at upper corner. In a somewhat cramped but legible hand. About very good. Item #1739
Manuscript diary and account book for 1870 and 1871 of Harlow Erskine, a farmer and lumberman in the small town of Onawa, in western Iowa near the Missouri River and the border with Nebraska. Erskine appears on the rolls of the 15th Iowa Regiment and apparently returned home to make his living after the conclusion of the Civil War. Approximately the first half of this handmade consists of his terse but frequent diary entries for 1870, which entail his daily farming, logging and milling activities. His entries also contain notes on events in town that year, many of which deal with school issues; Erskine was elected to the local school board in this year and it seems no less fraught than present-day iterations. In the latter half of the journal, Erskine kept a record for 1870-1871 of his own accounts and accounts with local stores and suppliers, which show a reasonably active business. An interesting and fairly detailed account of enterprise and town life in very rural, western Iowa several years after the Civil War.