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Pearl Prouty Howard Diary

 Item — Box: 1 of 1
Identifier: RH-A-4291

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one 1906 Excelsior Diary formerly belonging to Pearl Prouty Howard (1852-1925) who lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The diary primarily concerns the day to day activities of Pearl (Perley) Prouty Howard, and her family. She discusses the weather, her daily activities such as doing the washing, cooking, churning butter, and going to town. Pearl often describes the activities of her husband George who she refers to as Geo, her daughter Alice, and her son George who she refers to as L.S. She also mentions visits from neighbors, relatives, and friends. The back of the diary also includes spaces to record letters, visits, and monetary exchanges. A majority of her monetary entries seem to involve chickens the family raised.


  • Creation: 1906


Pearl Prouty Howard Bio

Pearl Prouty Howard was born 1852 to Leander and Elmira Prouty. In 1880 she married her husband George Howard, who she remained married to throughout her life. Together they had three children: Stephen Jay, Alice, and George L.S. By the time the diary was written in 1906 Stephen Jay, referred to as Jay, had married his wife Katherine Rock Howard, and L.S. was attending Western Normal School. Alice appears to have never married, although she later worked as a nurse in Detroit, as well as serving as a nurse in WWI. L.S. later married a woman by the name of Marion Miller Howard. Other family member Pearl mentions repeatedly throughout her diary include her sisters-in-law Harriet, Amanda, and Cecilia.


.05 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This diary was purchased in Norfolk, Virginia by John Wilkerson in 1966. In 2021 Mr. Wilkerson gave the diary to the Zhang Legacy Collection Center.

Physical Description

This diary is 0.05 cubic feet and measures 5” by 3”.

The diary has a cover and back made of covered cardboard. The cover is a dark red color, ‘Excelsior Diary’ is printed in gold. A rectangular black decorative boarder surrounds the cover along with geometric patterns on the top and bottom. The back includes the same red coloring as well as the same design without any black coloration. The pages themselves are printed with two days on each page, each headed with the word weather split between the left and right hand sides of the page, and the date. The diary is in good condition and highly legible. A majority of the entries are written in ink although some figures were written in pencil.

Pearl Prouty Howard Diary finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490