FANTASTIC, ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN DIARY KEPT BY ROWENA L. SHEPERD, LIBRARIAN AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY, ITHACA NEW YORK, SHE WRITES WITH COPIOUS REFERENCES TO HER WORK AT CORNELL. TO INCLUDE IMPORTANT HISTORICAL CONTENT AND GENEALOGY, WRITTEN IN 1914. Our diarist, Rowena Sheperd was the librarian at the School Of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell for the years 1910-1914. On May 16, 1914, she was called into Professor Barnard's office and she writes: "I had bad news this morning. Prof. Barnard told me they were going to hire a technical man for librarian next year. So that means I look for a new job." However, Rowena landed on her feet as she was hired by Mr. Hardenburg at the Agricultural Building where I believe she stayed for the remainder of her life. She writes about going "up the hill to work" at Cornell practically every day except on Sunday, or when she goes on vacation boating at Beebe Lake, or Rogues Harbor, etc. Rowena sings in the choir,/chorus, the glee club, puts on festivals, plays tennis, goes to the Star quite often, the Lyceum, Rockefeller Hall, Risley Hall, concerts at the Sibley Dome, and her life as well as the lives of her friends, center around Cornell University. (This and the next seven paragraphs were taken from the eBay listing of this diary won by a THFFI member on 10 Jul 2017.)
On April 20, Rowena writes about the war: "War news. Word received today that Huerta refused to salute American Flag. April 21, War news this morning. Congress authorized President to use armed forces of the U.S. to enforce his demands for unequivocal amends for affronts and indignities committed against the U.S by Mexico. War news tonight. Bluejackets and Marines capture Vera Cruz. 4 Americans killed and 20 wounded. More than 200 Mexicans killed. April 22, War news tonight. Vera Cruz now completely arrested by American forces under Admiral Fletcher. Six Americans killed and 30 wounded - making total of 10 killed & 50 wounded. 150 Mexicans killed. Reported that rebels may unite Huerta against the U.S. Up to tonight 150 civilians have signed up for the army if they are needed. April 23, War news tonight. Villa or Rebels refuse to fight against the United States. Three more Americans killed, 25 more wounded. Senate passed a bill appropriating $500,000 to take care of American refugees in Mexico. 67 more civilians signed today for the Army."
"April 24, War news tonight. Mexicans dynamite public buildings in Nuevo Larado. The town was burning at 3:15, and among the buildings destroyed was the United States Consulate. They also tried to dynamite bridges near Vera Cruz. April 26, War news today. More than 30 Americans were taken from the train as they were attempting to leave Mexico & they were imprisoned in the swelter at Aguascalientes. Vera Cruz is under martial law. Arsonists are being distributed in Mexico City to destroy all American stores. Some have already been looted.' Rowena continues keeping track of the war news to include Report of bombardment by U.S. warships. Army to take over Vera Cruz. Manzanilla on Pacific coast was bombarded by an American ship," etc.
All the while Rowena is writing war reports her life is not even slowing down. "Worked at library in the morning. In the p.m. went to the auditorium to rehearsal with the orchestra on all choruses except Faust. After that the soloists and orchestra rehearsed act two of Faust, & Olive & I stayed to listen. May 1, I went to lunch at Rockefeller. Then worked in the library in the p.m. In the evening another concert and Ella & Esther went up with me. We sang slave folk songs & Olaf Trigrasson. We had daffodils to wear tonight in the chorus and the men had white button-hole bouquets. We presented Professor Dann with a May basket of roses tonight. It is his birthday." The music festival that Rowena had been working on for months was a great success. The continuance of the Music Festival, after an interval of three years, as an annual institution at Cornell was now practically assured as a result of the complete success of the four concerts given on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week."
The new Auditorium provided more satisfactory staging space for an affair of this sort than Sage Chapel, where the Festivals were formerly hold, and the seating accommodations admit of a much greater attendance. Rowena was thrilled and delighted with the Festival's success as she and her friends had been practicing for months. The music/choral director, Professor Hollis Dann was hired by Cornell University in 1903 as instructor of music to begin a department of music at the university. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1904 and full professor in 1907. In addition to leading choral activities and overseeing music at Sage Chapel, Dann organized annual music festivals between 1904 and 1920, bringing nationally famous soloists and orchestras to Ithaca to perform major works. He also began the Cornell concert series to regularly bring noted musicians to campus.
Rowena's list of friends, family and acquaintances could cover a whole page, and they included: John Dray; Frank Voorhis; Miss Bryant whom she spent a lot of time with; Olive Mae; Grace Phinney Burton; Mrs. Tree; Mrs. Kimmell; Mrs. Trev; Mrs. Dobbs; Mr Anderson; The Philetheas an organization in which Rowena was very active; Fred Chester & wife; the Jaquays; Mrs Fahey; Helen Hungerford; Mr. Moulthrop; Mr. Allen; Julia Dean; Mrs. Helen Toubel; Iris Aiken; Mary Malone; Bessie Marin; Carolin Bennett; Miss Band; Rose Elycat; Helen close; John McCormack; Dr. Kirkandall; Dr. Willis; Lydia Henry; Mr. Petters; and the list goes on. She spends time at Sage Chapel, goes to Rothchilds Brothers store; Heads Shirt Factory; to Waverly, Sayre, Glenwood, loses a friend who drowned at a party she attended, goes to a meeting of the anti-cigarette league, Pritchard's store, State Street Methodist Church, Bailey hall dedication of the organ on Oct. 8, Students reception, Graduation, etc. She is busy every day of her life and she is well liked and very popular.
Our diarist Rowena Sheperd attends numerous banquets, cadet exercises, events at the Agricultural School of Cornell, takes gym classes attends the YMCA in Ithaca and she and her friends love happy hour. Lunch at the "Dog", shows at the Star Theater and at the Lyceum. She plays basketball, tennis, swimming, dancing lessons, she is quite involved in the daily goings-on at Cornell and she and her friends are on the go with much of her life centered on her job at the University, her friends and family, her vacation which she describes in great detail, etc. When Rowena wrote this diary she was still living at home with her parents, and she was 30 years old. Also living at home were her sister Ella 22, and her brother Francis who was 17. Rowena never mentions going out on a date with anyone and apparently is having too much fun with her friends. She attends church religiously and is involved in Philathea activities there as well as other women's organizations. This 1914 diary is absolutely loaded with clear, concise and very easy to read penned entries on a daily basis. There are only 4 days in Oct. where she writes nothing and I believe it is when she started her new job.
Condition: Hardbound in red cloth, this diary is in good to very good condition, internally fresh and intact. Covers show scuffing and chipping and Rowena has re-enforced the spine with tape, diary remains tight and is a very worthy acquisition indeed. Measures approx. 4 x 6 inches, and is of great historical importance pertaining to Cornell University, faculty and college activities, football games, etc. Please note that Rowena did not sign this diary, however she signed several others of hers that we sold ages ago.
Helen Hungerford (SH730a) is mentioned seven times according to this reviewer's count. See pages 18, 40, 178, 200, 209, 222, and 331.