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Diaries: Fingerprints of History

Once in a blue moon a treasure surfaces that was never intended to be read by more than its author. A writer that wrote for the enjoyment of his or hers’ own pleasure. Diaries are a family heirloom that sometime only benefits the writer’s heirs, but once in a blue moon an individual will sit down with pen in hand and give us, the outsider, a glimpse of his or her world from that period in time.

We have been blessed with a few of those diaries in Perry County. Sister Eugenia Kehoe wrote of her experiences and day to day activities serving as one of the first sisters with the Daughters of Charity in Perryville. Her accounts of the Masses, classrooms, students and daily chores from the early 1900’s are enlightening. Joseph C. Killian wrote of court proceedings and local news during the year of 1869 and Archibald Hager more commonly known as the Hager’s dairy provides us with daily accounts of local news, crop updates and weather reports during the early 1840’s to 1880’s. Charles Killian told us his childhood memories during the 1860’s. Dr. Carron recorded his memories of life as a doctor from the horse and buggy days thru the 1960’s and Lillian Dobbs captured our interest in her excerpts concerning Perryville and Lithium from 1910 to 1916. Julia’s Scrapbook is also a treasure as she pasted newspaper clippings of importance to her creating a collage of valuable information for researchers today.

If you have a diary or scrapbook concerning Perry County history and would like to share it with our research library or would like to read some of the material we have in our library, please contact the Perry County Historical Society.

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