Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hawk and Putnam Diary Collections Provide a Glimpse into Historic Muncie Lives

Two new diary collections, the Norene Hawk Diaries Collection and the Frederick Putnam Diaries Collection, were published in May. Both collections chronicle the lives of Muncie citizens around the turn of the century.

According to 1910 census data, Norene Hawk was the daughter of George and Mary Hawk, and was born in 1878. She resided at 1020 E. Main Street in Muncie, Indiana. The three diaries that comprise the digital collection include accounts of Hawk's work in a real estate business located on the Willard Block as well as her job as a stenographer for W. L. Little, providing insight into working women's experiences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This collection is the product of a collaboration with the Muncie Public Library.

Frederick Putnam was born February 11, 1818, in Charleston, New Hampshire. Much of his early life was spent in poverty. Attracted by the opportunities the West offered to young men, Putnam left New Hampshire in October 1838, eventually settling in Muncie, Indiana. During his time in Muncie, Putnam married, fathered four children, opened his own businesses, and served as the Delaware County Treasurer and Assistant Auditor. Putnam died January 18, 1901, at the age of 82. The 13 volume collection of diaries and transcripts contain Putnam's reflections and observations of various events that occurred during his life.

For more collections highlighting Muncie's history, browse the Middletown Studies subject category in the DMR.