MS 579 - Charlotte Clizbe Baker Diaries
|MS 579 - Charlotte Clizbe Baker Diaries
The diaries of Charlotte Clizbe Baker date from 1909 when Charlotte was twenty years of age and end in 1974 when she is eighty-six. They are complete for this time span, however, the diaries written from 1969-1974 are not complete for each day of the year. The diaries note her everyday activities, school teaching, marriage to Charles Baker, and club and community involvement.
These diaries were donated by Phyllis Leech in May 1990. No restrictions exist on the use of the diaries and duplication is permitted for research purposes. The diaries were arranged by Jennifer Nagy, student assistant, and the finding aid completed by Ann Bowers, Assistant Director, in April 1998.
Charlotte Clizbe was born on June 1, 1888 in Lima, Ohio. She remained in Lima for the rest of her life. Her diaries begin in January 1909 when she was twenty years old and end in November 1974 when she is eighty-six. She has one sister, Clara Bell, who is two years older than she. Both Charlotte and Clara Bell are school teachers and live at home until they each marry. Charlotte marries Charles Baker on September 27, 1916. They have no children.
After her marriage, she no longer teaches full-time, but does substitute teach and becomes involved in several clubs such as the Bay View and Chautauqua Clubs. During World War II, she becomes the head of the American Women's Voluntary Services unit in Lima. This organization consumes most of Charlotte's time throughout the war years. After the War, she turns her attention and time to other patriotic organizations such as The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and The Daughters of the American Colonists (DAC). She travels often to state and national meetings. Her diaries include newsclippings of these organizations' events, most of which mention Charlotte as an office-holding member.
In her later years, Charlotte does not travel as much and her participation in these clubs steadily declines. Mostly her days are filled with reading the local newspapers, cleaning the house, talking with friends, and taking care of her husband. Charles dies in late February 1972. Charlotte dies in March 1976, approximately two years after her last diary ends.
|Scope and Content
Charlotte Clizbe Baker maintained a complete set of dairies from the age of twenty to the age of eighty-six. Each day, for most of these diaries, she recorded her activities. She was a schoolteacher, a wife, a community volunteer and club member. The activities she recorded are reflective of a white middle class woman living across a span of time during which world wars occurred, tremendous technological changes took place, space was explored and changes happened for women from obtaining the vote to becoming accepted in most fields of work. To understand how a woman like Charlotte placed herself during this time of massive societal change is of great importance to the historians of women and of local and regional history.
These diaries are an excellent example of a woman's daily life and her involvement in the community around her. They portray the way women were effected by national and international events such as a world war. They also give insight into the life-cycle of a woman, and rites of passages for females.
The dairies date from 1909 to 1974. Her handwriting is fairly legible and a consistency in her entries is readily apparent. Through these diaries we better understand for a white middle-class woman, courtship and marriage, a woman's societal sphere of activity and roles, and involvement in club work and community service. We see her work during World War II as chairperson of the local chapter of the American Women's Voluntary Association. These organization coordinated the activities of women in selling bonds, managing canteens, collecting books and other supplies for the soldiers and working with the Red Cross and Civilian Defense groups. After the War, most of her club work involved such organizations as the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Allen County Historical Museum. As she and her husband grow older, we see their life changes. Charles suffers a stroke in 1972 and she becomes a caretaker for him. Her diary entries note is death and her increasingly limited activities until her last entry on November 30, 1974.
Newsclippings and other material found in the diaries have been filed chronologically and are located at the end of the collection. This is an excellent collection of diaries and is highly recommended for those interested in women's history, local history and social history.
PERSONAL NOTES/FAMILY INFORMATION