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Diaries of William Terrell Eddins, 1901, 1908-1915, 1937-1942.
0.50 cubic ft.
Terms Governing Use:
William Terrell Eddins (1887-1959) moved with his family from Mississippi to Florida in 1894 or 1895, ten years after the railroad was extended from Wildwood to Tampa. They settled on a farm near Edenfield, a railroad siding about two miles north of Bushnell, living in a wood slab house which was a typical home for Florida pioneers of that time. As a young man Eddins worked on the family farm and at the sawmill in Edenfield and aspired to became a teacher and a writer. He taught school at Barberville (1910-1911), White City, near Fort Pierce (1911-1913), and Green Cove Springs (1916-1917). Following his army service in World War I, he was elected Superintendent of Schools for Sumter County, serving in that post for twelve years. Later he served as Postmaster in Bushnell until his retirement in 1957.
Eddins married Sallie Brown in 1922. They had three children: Isabelle, William, and John.
This collection consists primarily of personal pocket diaries kept by William Terrell Eddins from 1908-1915 and again from 1937-1942. Eddins began keeping daily diaries in January 1908, just prior to his 21st birthday. The brief entries mostly discuss the daily activities of Eddins and his family and friends and Eddins' observances of people in Edenfield and Bushnell communities. Subjects discussed include working the farm and at the sawmill; teaching school; playing ball; hunting; church and prayer meetings; picnics, dances, and other social events; courtships of Eddins and his siblings (e.g. February 17, 1911: "A mighty nice day; I kiss Clara for 1st time at creek. . ."); treatment of illnesses and injuries; and local weather conditions. Occasional entries note incidents perhaps indicative of local racial tensions, e.g. February 16, 1908: "Eve, Mr. Archie and negroes fight. . ."; February 29, 1908: "Mr. Archie beats negro under lumber yard. . ."; August 12, 1911; "Big excitement in E-.; Mr. Black kills negro." Other entries contain terse references to national or worldwide events, e.g. April 17, 1912: ". . . I dismiss early in even, come home & read about "Titanic"; to bed at 10;" October 8, 1913: ". . . read paper of World Series of Baseball; Philadelphia wins first game 6 to 4. . ."; April 22, 1914: ". . . we have music at home; we hear that U.S. & Mexico are to war;" August 8, 1914: ". . . I see a lot of people and read war news. . .;" November 5, 1940: "Election day. . . Roosevelt has swept the country;" December 8, 1941: "We all get up early & read that Japan has declared war on U.S. . ."
In addition to the daily diaries, the collection includes one volume consisting of brief notes concerning Eddins' experiences and acquaintances during his army service in Europe, ca. 1918-1919.
The collection also includes a photograph of the Eddins family, ca. 1901, and transcripts of the daily diaries, including explanatory notes and name indexes, compiled by William Terrell Eddins' son John Eddins. The transcripts are available both in paper form and in electronic word processing files.
Volume listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Eddins, William Terrell, 1887-1959.
Race relations. Schools Florida Hunting Florida
Diaries. aat Photographs. aat Transcripts. aat Floppy disks. aat
Bushnell (Fla.) Edenfield (Fla.) Florida Climate Florida Religion Florida Social life and customs