George R. Biddle diaries

Collection 3660

( Bulk, 1876-1894 ) 1876-1919
(0.2 Linear feet ; 2 volumes)

Summary Information

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Biddle, George R., 1861-
George R. Biddle diaries
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1876-1894
Date [inclusive]
0.2 Linear feet ; 2 volumes
Finding aid prepared by Weckea D. Lilly,
Mixed materials [Volume]
1 - 2
Diaries recorded by George R. Biddle, a farm laborer who lived in Bellefonte, Patton Township, Center County, Pennsylvania. In addition to diary entries, included are burial, death, and marriage lists.

Preferred Citation note

[Indicate cited item of series here], George R. Biddle diaries (Collection 3660), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Biographical/Historical note

George R. Biddle was a farm laborer and active member of the Bellefonte community in Patton Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1861 to George W. and Susan Biddle. The family owned a farm at Buffalo Run of about fifty-six acres or more. Their livestock included horses, cows, sheep, hogs, and chickens. While working as a laborer on the family’s farm, George maintained a journal (or log book) about his daily activities.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection contains two volumes. George's daily entries begin in 1876 and end in 1894; however, the last entry is dated 1919.

The volumes contain thick descriptions of his daily tasks, other events that occurred about the town, and various persons with which he and the family were acquainted. George was primarily concerned with the proper care and management of the family farm. Each entry in the books begins with a note on weather conditions and other environmental factors which may have had an impact on his work. He mentions various tasks such as plowing the fields, “chopping some wood on the wood pile,” and “picking cider apples in the orcherd [sic].” The majority of his time was spent in the care of the animals and crops. He mention on several occasions the negotiations for the sale of cows and the harvesting of oats, corn, and potatoes. Other entries in the volumes concern religious activities, funerals, the operations of a nearby cemetary, and a number of local events that occured in Centre County.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2012.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Farm life--19th century.
  • Farm management--19th century.
  • Farming--Labor--19th century.
  • Farming--Pennsylvania--19th century.

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George W. Biddle Will and Testament (No. 322), Patton Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania.

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Collection Inventory


Book I: George Biddle's entries (March 18, 1876 - May 2, 1878) 


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Book II: George Biddle's entries (December 19, 1891 - November 22, 1894) 


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