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Caroline A. Henderson papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS 0547

Scope and Contents

The Caroline Agnes Boa Henderson Papers consist of Correspondence, Writings, an Herbarium, Biographical Information and a Photograph. The Correspondence series chiefly contains letters written to friends, especially Rose Alden, Mount Holyoke College class of 1901, describing not only the yearly struggles with crop production and natural disasters on the family farm in Eva, Oklahoma, but also family matters, including the development of Henderson's daughter, Eleanor. Of particular note are Henderson's letters regarding the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The second body of correspondence includes letters Caroline and Eleanor exchanged between 1948 and 1961. The content of these letters details news about Eleanor's son David, who was born in 1947 and her family's life in Phoenix, as well as her medical work, Caroline's travels to the West, domestic issues, the weather and books. Writings include published articles in the April 13, 1913 edition of the "Practical Farmer" and "The Ladies' World", in which Henderson had a regular column entitled "Our Homestead Lady". The articles principally discuss crop harvesting and seasonal changes related to farm life. Caroline Henderson's herbarium makes up the third series and contains approximately 30 samples of local flora and fauna native to Iowa and South Hadley, Massachusetts. Biographical Information includes an account of Rose Alden's visit to Henderson's farm in 1940 as well as the sub-series: Eleanor Henderson Materials that document Eleanor's time at the University of Kansas including handwritten notes and typescript drafts of an essay Eleanor wrote on March 20, 1930 while at the University as well as materials from her medical career. The fifth series: a Photograph includes an image of Caroline's nine-year-old grandson David Eugene Grandstaff dressed as a frontier doctor for a Sunday school pageant.

Dates

  • 1898 - 1965
  • Majority of material found within 1946 - 1965

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted

Conditions Governing Use

Unrestricted

Biographical Note

Caroline Agnes Boa was born on April 7, 1877, in Wisconsin. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1901 and taught high school English and Latin in Red Oak, Iowa until 1903. She then taught in Des Moines, Iowa until 1907. Henderson took up a "claim" to land in the panhandle of western Oklahoma, not far from the New Mexico border. On May 7, 1908 she married Wilhelmine Eugene Henderson, a farmer. They lived on a farm in Eva, Oklahoma and had one daughter, Eleanor in 1909. Eleanor enrolled at the University of Kansas and completed a BA and MD at the university. In order to help finance her education, Caroline went to Lawrence and shared an apartment with Eleanor, while teaching school part-time. Caroline also enrolled in graduate courses in English and in 1935 received a Masters of Arts degree. Caroline and her husband lived in Oklahoma through the worst years of the Great Depression and their farm was located in the heart of the "Dust Bowl" region. Caroline's work on the farm included housekeeping, canning, cooking, tending the vegetable and flower gardens, ironing, as well as caring for chickens. In the final years of her life, Henderson suffered from an injured wrist and deteriorating eyesight. As a result of health issues, she and her husband relocated in the winter of 1965 to live with Eleanor in Arizona. Caroline A. Henderson died on August 4, 1966, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Published Articles

February 3, 1912
A Little Turkey Talk
May 4, 1912
What I Read Last Year
February 8, 1913
Turkeys for Profit
February 1914
Our Homestead
ca. 1914
When Letters Come and Go
ca. 1914
In Answer to Requests by Our Readers: Relaxation
ca. 1914
ca. 1914
The Sun Path: a talk about the worry habit
July 1914
A New Face
August 1914
Bubbles
September 1914
Backgrounds
October 1914
A Feast of Tabernacles
ca. December 1914
Like as a Father
January 1915
Our Homestead lady Writes of Another Year- its Hopes and its Fulfillments
April 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar of Everyday Thoughts
May 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Some thoughts on nest-building
June 1915
of Everyday Thoughts
July 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Thoughts for July
August 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Thoughts for August
September 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Thoughts for September
October 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar
November 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Thoughts for November
December 1915
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar for December Days and Holidays
January 1916
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Beginning the New Year
February 1916
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar
March 1916
Our Homestead Lady's Calendar Thoughts for March
April 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad Brief Notes for April
May 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad Stray Notes for May
June 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
July 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad Cheering Notes for July
August 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad Scattered Notes for August
September 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad September Leaves
October 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad October Leaves
November 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad for November
December 1916
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad for December
January 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad for January Days
February 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad for February Thoughts
March 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad for Blustery March Days
April 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
May 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
June 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
July 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad Eager Notes for July
August 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
September 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
October 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad
November 1917
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad And what it says for November
January 1918
The Homestead Lady's Scribbling Pad And what it says for November
November 15, 1927
The Woman who Raised her hand: a true story from life, in a letter to the Editor, prpounding a problem in ethics which readers will please help to solve
1931
Bringing in the Sheaves
April 21, 1955
Loneliness
Undated
Raising Turkeys

Extent

3.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Henderson, Caroline Agnes Boa, 1877-1966; Secondary school teacher. Mount Holyoke College graduate, 1901. Papers consist of letters, articles, biographical information, and six letters written by her daughter, Eleanor; primarily documenting her daily activities and difficulties, including the Dust Bowl, on the family farm in Oklahoma.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into five series:
  1. Correspondence 1898-1965
  2. Writings 1912-1955
  3. Herbarium
  4. Biographical Information ca. 1930-1960
  5. Photograph

Processing Information

Original arrangement and finding aid by Patricia Albright, 2003. Updated arrangement and finding aid by Lori Satter, 2011.
Title
Caroline A. Henderson Papers, 1908-1967.
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by Lori Satter.
Date
2011
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA
413-538-3079