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J. W. Robinson papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0511

Scope and Content

This collection (1879 -1911) contains the diaries of J. W. Robinson and two autograph books. The diaries were kept for the years of 1879 and 1895 by J. W. Robinson, one before he was married when he worked as a schoolteacher in Michigan and the other after he was married to Hattie Renshaw, when they farmed in Iowa. The early diary, which he wrote while teaching school in Michigan, details the schoolhouse, his pupils, friends, parties he attended, and the extreme winter weather of Michigan. The later diary, written while he lived in Storm Lake, Iowa, details family life, household chores such as chopping wood and gathering grain, and visits that the family made to friends and Hattie’s relatives.

The autograph books belonged to Hattie (Renshaw) Robinson (J. W.’s wife) and the other to Lucy Robinson (J. W.’s mother). The autograph books contain short notes from the family and friends of Hattie and Lucy Robinson. Hattie’s autograph book (1886-1907) contains notes from J. W. before they were married as well as notes from their children written after the turn of the century.

The original documents are in the possession of a private owner. Photocopies of the autograph books and diaries are available in the Special Collections Department, and digital versions of the diaries have been made available online with the owner’s permission. Please visit the links provided below in the container list to view the diaries online.


  • 1879- 1911

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


J. W. Robinson was a young school teacher in 1879 in Cadillac, Michigan. During that year, he taught school in several different districts in Michigan. Later in life, he married and had children with Hattie Renshaw. The family farmed and lived in Storm Lake, Iowa during the late 1890s.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box )

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0511. J. W. Robinson papers, 1879- 1911
December 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672