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Robert W. Campbell Diary

Identifier: SC 00902

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Scope and Contents

Robert Campbell lives near Reliance, Virginia in Warren County, Virginia. He is likely a high school student since he usually notes whether he attended school, which he often does not.

He begins writing in November 1906 with one or two line entries of his activities, which consist of school, work, events such as butchering or marriages, visits to area towns, visits to neighbors, playing, hunting, fishing, work in the garden and church. He also gives the weather for most entries. Beginning in 1908, he begins to write in greater detail about his activities and in 1910, when he travels to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to work during the week, he only writes when he is at home.

His entries include detail about the work he does in the family garden, from planting potatoes to preparing the soil and the chores he does around the house, from putting on a roof to preparing sausage. Father works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, traveling back and forth on the train and probably works for the railroad. Robert Campbell has the measles , chicken pox and tonsillitis during these years.


In 1906, begins work for Mr. B. B. Parker at the store and Post Office.


In summer 1908, begins working at depot and also works at a glove factory. Goes to skating rink where they also show moving pictures. Attends “League” in the evenings.

October 1908, goes to school in the evenings and has job selling the Philadelphia Record.


Begins playing baseball and is in a band.

May: “Mr. Furgison from William and Mary College gave a talk.”

July: Works at “Herberts."

September: “Mr. Kline came up to see Papa and me about me coming to school at Reliance...”

October : “Came home at noon to see automobiles go through (from New York to Atlanta, Ga).”

December 25: Plays with his band at the barber shop.


June 30: begins new job for B and O Railroad in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, returning home on the weekends.

July- September: his Father gets ill with rheumatism and does not return to work until September.

Some names mentioned:

E.R. Sperry, John Sperry, Aunt Mary Lindawood, Uncle James Campbell, Jack Cooley, Uncle Frank Cooley, Arthur Cooley, Willie Gibbons, Anne Lewis, Ollie Rhodes, Hamie Walters, Mr. Middleton (minister), Uncle Polk Bell, Elias Ridings, Brentie Johnson, Floyd Rogers, Mr. Hammond (minister), Ralph Larrick, Cousin Dahl Strode, Dr. Dillenger, Mrs. John Walters, Edna Broomback and others.

Towns visited:

Visits area towns: Winchester, Strasburg Harper’s Ferry, Stephen City, Middletown and Front Royal, Virginia. He also visits Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Loose items, newspaper articles:

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s fastest run from Chicago to Pittsburgh, undated.

“The Flying Dutchman,” the greatest ball player, undated.

Baltimore and Ohio official has written 4000 letters to himself in six months, undated.


  • Creation: 1906-1910

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Robert W. Campbell was born August 18, year unknown, but he was a high school student in or near Warren County, Virginia from 1906 to 1910. In 1910, he was employed by the B & O Railroad in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


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Acquisition Information:


Guide to the Robert W. Campbell Diary
Finding Aid Authors: Anne T. Johnson.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository