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Schwab Family diaries

Identifier: RH-A-4142

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of eighty-five diaries which detail the daily life of the Schwab family from 1902-1972. The dairies are written by several members of the Schwab family: Pearl Leora Taylor Schwab (1894-1974), Theresa Schwab (1851-1930), Clifford Schwab 1918-2001), Harley Schwab (1885-1965), and Gladys Schwab (1888-1953). Of the eighty-five diaries, ten have unknown authors.

The entries appear to recall the events of the given day and each entry noted the weather conditions of that day. Depending on the year of the diary, there are mentions of national events as well such as the Apollo 11 landing and Martin Luther King Junior’s assassination.


  • Creation: 1902-1972


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Most collections must be retrieved by staff and can take up to thirty minutes to retrieve. Please make an appointment in order to have the materials ready when you arrive.

Biographical / Historical

Harley Schwab (1885-1965) was born to Silas and Theresa Schwab in 1885 and grew up with his sister Gladys Schwab (188-1953) in Jonesville Michigan. Harley married Pearl Leora Taylor Schwab (1894-1974) in August 1912. The couple had one child, a son named Clifford Schwab (1918-20010). They lived in Jonesville Michigan as lifelong residents and Harley worked as both a farmer and a factory worker. Both Harley and Clifford were registered for the Draft but neither of them were drafted.


3.5 Cubic Feet : 85 diaries

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased with funds from the Starring Endowment.

Physical Description

This collection amounts to 3.5 cubic feet and is composed of eighty-five diaries from 1902-1972. The diaries range in size from 2.75” x 3.75” to 4”x 6.75” the diaries are in good condition with the exception of five diaries: 1918, 1922, 1931, 1946, 1957. These diaries have various amounts of cover damage, page staining and faded writing.

The majority of the diaries are either hardbound or leather bound and they contain the year and the name of the author written on the front cover.

The entries are in good condition, all of the entries are written in either pencil or ink, the older diaries have slight stain and faded writing but all entries are still legible.

Schwab Family diaries finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
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