Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to announce a new finding aid published for the Jasper Cranfill diaries, 1865-1866 (Ax 128). The finding aid is available on Archives West.
Jasper Cranfill was the son of Isom Cranfill and was born October 10, 1841 in Wilmington, Illinois. Jasper worked on his father’s farm in Linn County near Peoria, Oregon, went hunting, fishing, and helped his father with woodworking. He died May 5, 1867.
The Jasper Cranfill diaries are two slim, black, leather-bound volumes, dated 1865 and 1866. These journals are brief recordings of his daily life, weather, how many hours he worked for his father, how many animals he shot or caught, and more pertinent information from his farm life.
Notes on processing the collection
All that this collection consisted of was two slim leather bound diaries, which were written daily. I found it fascinating how he recorded his amount of hours spent working for his father, as opposed to the days he spent, or a more detailed account. He also recorded the animals he shot, how much shopping cost him. Those were fascinating things to read, such as how many animals he was able to bring in for food in a given day or how much standard groceries cost in the 1860’s.
I had a bit of a hard time locating dates and reading his writing proved difficult from time to time. I also had trouble finding dates of his life or what he had done with his life in his very short life (he died at age 25).
–Danica Alexander, Processing Archivist