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Donald B. Hartwell, 1888-

RG3080.AM:  Donald B. Hartwell, 1888-

Diary (on microfilm):  1936-1940
Inavale, Webster County, Neb.:  Farmer
Size:  1 reel of microfilm containing 1 diary


Adison and Estella Hartwell moved from Ohio to Inavale, Nebraska, in 1885. Adison ran the local cheese factory from 1886-1903, then became a farmer on land just west of Inavale. The Hartwells had two children: Donald B., born in 1888, and Dorothea, born in 1898. Donald became a farmer, and after his father died in 1934, tended the family's land through the Depression and drought years of the 1930s. He and his wife, Verna, lost their farm through a sheriff's sale in July of 1940. After that, he found employment working on local roads.


This diary of Donald B. Hartwell is a five-year diary, covering the years 1936 to 1940. There is an entry for each day, with five entries for a particular date on a single page, and also notes on family background, reminiscences of Donald's early life, and observations of society, technology and current events. It includes some photographs and other graphics, mostly showing scenes in and around Inavale and family members. Daily entries include notes on weather conditions, what the author did that day, and commentary on the conditions of the times.

The information in this diary relates mostly to rural Nebraska life during the Depression and drought conditions of the 1930s. It also gives good background on Hartwell himself, and on Inavale, Nebraska. Hartwell is an articulate, perceptive and sometimes philosophical witty writer, but his accounts are understandably tinged with pessimism and despair. As a whole, this diary chronicles the gradual and inevitable loss of Hartwell's farm and his views on life, politics, and economics through this time.

The diary was loaned for microfilming in July of 1988.


Reel 1

Diary, 1936-1940



Farm life -- Nebraska
Hartwell, Donald B., 1888-
Hartwell family
Inavale (Neb.) -- History
Webster County (Neb.) -- History


Encoded TMM   04-22-2010


For additional information about this collection, please contact our Library Staff.

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