Guide to the Oliver L. Peterson : diaries,
1895-1951

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Results

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. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-1663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008

Biographical Note

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 Description

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 Collection

Restrictions on Access :  Restrictions

Open to public research.

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 Information

Arrangement :

This collection has been organized chronologically.

Acquisition Information :  

The materials in this collection were donated to USU Special Collections & Archives by Lucille P. Clark in 1987.


Detailed Description of the Collection

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

Subjects

    • Corporate Names :
    • Utah State University. Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.  ( contributor)
    • Personal Names :
    • Peterson, Oliver Larsen, 1879-1955--Diaries.
    • Family Names :
    • Peterson family.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Agricultural machinery--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Agriculture--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Agriculture--Economic aspects--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Dry farming--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Family farms--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Farmers--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--Diaries.
    • Livestock--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Natural history--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Threshing--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--History.
    • Tramps--Utah--Petersboro--History.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Cache Junction (Utah)--History.
    • Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)--Climate--History.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Diaries--Cache Valley (Utah and Idaho)

    ^ Return to Top