Bouton Family
Diaries, 1862-1913

SC23064

Quantity: 4 boxes (1.25 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Gift of Melvin J. Marion, Richmond, Massachusetts, May 2008
Processed by: Nicholas Webb, Student Assistant, State University of New York at Albany, June 2008

 

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Biographical Note:

Omelia Bouton was born in Berne, New York, in 1836, the daughter of Artemus and Emily Bouton. Records indicate that Omelia was first married during the 1850s to a man named James Clapper, who passed away while serving in the Army prior to 1862.

In 1862 she married William H. Hammond, three years Omelia’s junior, a farmer from Cortland County, New York. William Hammond was prosperous enough to afford to hire a Canadian man named Isaac to fight in his stead during the Civil War. Omelia and her new husband first settled in McGrawville (now McGraw) in Cortland County and later in Dryden in neighboring Tompkins County. They had four children: Delmer Deloid Hammond (b. 1863), Ellen Josephine “Josie” Hammond (b. 1866), Carmiletta “Carrie” Hammond (b. 1868) and Cassius E. Hammond (b. 1874.)

William Hammond died in 1893. The following year Omelia married George Phillips (b. 1837), a miller, and the couple moved to Lebanon in Madison County, New York. George was an enthusiast of new technology; in 1903 he bought an oil stove which he taught Omelia how to use, and in 1908 he bought an automobile. George apparently had dreams of moving to Florida, a scheme which Omelia was against. At some point after 1909 he left for Florida by himself, leaving her alone in Lebanon. He died in St. Cloud, Florida, in 1913, but his body was returned to New York State for burial. Omelia died in 1917 and is buried in Dryden, New York.

Losetta Bouton, Omelia’s younger sister, was born in 1843. During the late 1860s she married the Reverend William J. Betts of Kingsbury, New York, and in 1888 the couple was living in Kingsbury. Losetta suffered from poor health throughout her life, a fact which seems to have given her a gloomy temperament which is reflected in her diaries. The date of her death is unknown.

Ellen Josephine “Josie” Hammond, the daughter of Omelia Bouton and William Hammond married Theron Hough in 1885, and in 1888 the couple was living in Cortland, New York.  Her date of death is unknown.

Further detail on the biography and genealogy of the extended Bouton and Hammond families can be found in Marvin J. Marion’s document, The Bouton Diaries (Box 4, Item 4.)

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists chiefly of pocket diaries kept by Omelia Bouton from 1862 to 1913. Entries summarize the routine activities and chores of farm life, including planting and maintaining the family garden, spinning and sewing, and taking care of horses and cows. They also describe her social life, which included regular rounds of visiting with neighbors. Of particular note are her diaries after 1900, which contain entries mentioning the new technologies, such as oil stoves and automobiles, which had begun to change the traditional rural way of life. Omelia appears to have been a stoic farm wife who rarely complained about the difficult circumstances of her life, but (particularly during her troubled third marriage) she would occasionally allude to her loneliness.

This collection also includes five diaries kept by Losetta Bouton (sister of Omelia) and one by Josie Hammond (daughter of Omelia), which also provide glimpses of rural life of the time.  Losetta’s personality, however, comes through more vividly, as she regularly talks about her moods (often unhappy) in addition to her activities. Losetta had an active religious life and often attended revival meetings, temperance lectures, and similar events.

Container List:

Box Folder Description
1 1 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1862
1 2 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1865
1 3 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1874
1 4 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1875
1 5 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1880
1 6 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1881
1 7 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1883
1 8 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1885
1 9 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1889
1 10 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1892
1 11 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1894
2 1 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1896
2 2 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1897
2 3 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1899
2 4 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1900
2 5 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1903
2 6 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1904
3 1 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1906
3 2 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1908
3 3 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1909
3 4 Omelia Bouton – Diary – 1913
3 5 Losetta Bouton – Diary – 1865
3 6 Losetta Bouton – Diary – 1866
3 7 Losetta Bouton – Diary – 1867
3 8 Papers from pocket of 1867 Losetta Bouton Diary
4 1 Losetta Bouton – Diary – 1871
4 2 Losetta Bouton – Diary – 1873 (occasional entries through 1883)
4 3 Josie Hammond – Diary – 1885
4 4 Melvin J. Marion – The Bouton Diaries (transcripts and genealogical information)
4 5 CD-ROMs – Scanned images of diaries (29 items)
Last Updated: September 23, 2009