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Caroline A. Henderson Papers, (Bulk: 1946-1965)1898-1965
3.5 linear feet (7 boxes)
Collection number: MS 0547 (LD 7096.6 1901 Boa)

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.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Restrictions on use:

Unrestricted

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Restrictions on use:

Unrestricted

Preferred Citation note

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Caroline A. Henderson Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Original arrangement and finding aid by Patricia Albright, 2003. Updated arrangement and finding aid by Lori Satter, 2011.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/
Language
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Correspondence
1898-1966, n.d.
(5.0 boxes)

Scope and content:

This series consists of letters written to and from Carolina Boa Henderson between 1898 and 1965. The majority of the letters were written between Henderson and her daughter Eleanor between 1930 and 1960. The contents of the letters include the weather, farming conditions, travel, Eleanor's education and medical practice, as well as comments about Caroline's deteriorating health.

Related material:
Correspondence
1898-1919

Correspondence
ca. 1930-1939

Correspondence
1928-1932

Correspondence
1933

Correspondence
1934-1936

Correspondence
1937

Correspondence
1938-1939, 1942-1949

Correspondence
ca. 1950-1959

Correspondence
ca. 1950-1959

Correspondence
1950

Correspondence
1951 January-April

Correspondence
1951 May-June

Correspondence
1951 July-September

Correspondence
1951 October-December

Correspondence
1952 January-March

Correspondence
1952 April

Correspondence
1952 May-August

Correspondence
1952 September-December

Correspondence
1953 January-April

Correspondence
1953 May-August

Correspondence
1953 September-December

Correspondence
1954 January-August

Correspondence
1954 September-December

Correspondence
1955

Correspondence
1956 January-April

Correspondence
1956 May-December

Correspondence
1957 January-March

Correspondence
1957 April-June

Correspondence
1957 July-September

Correspondence
1957 October-December

Correspondence
1958 January-March

Correspondence
1958 April-May

Correspondence
1958 June-September

Correspondence
1958 October-December

Correspondence
1959 January-May

Correspondence
1959 June-September

Correspondence
1959 October-December

Correspondence
1960 January-March

Correspondence
1960 April-July

Correspondence
1961-1963

Correspondence
1964

Correspondence
1965 January-April

Correspondence
1965-1966

Undated


Box 5:1-3
Writings
1912 - 1955
(4 folders)

This series includes articles Caroline Henderson wrote that were published between 1912 and 1914, in the Practical Farmer, as well as an advice column published monthly between 1915 and 1917 in the Ladies World magazine. Henderson's essays "The Woman who Raised her hand: a true story from life, in a letter to the Editor, propounding a problem in ethics which readers will please help to solve", "Bringing in the Sheaves", "Loneliness", and "Raising Turkeys" are also included in this series.

Writings
1912-1915

Box 5:4
Writings
1916-1918

Box 5:5
Writings
1927, 1931, 1955, undated

Box 5:6
Publications based on Caroline Boa Henderson's Writings
1980-1981

Box 5:7
Herbarium
1898
(1.0 Box)
Box 6
Biographical Information
circa 1940 September 15
(2.0 Folders)

This series contains a typescript account fellow Mount Holyoke College classmate, Ruth Alden wrote after visiting Caroline Boa Henderson on her farm in Oklahoma in September 1940.

A visit to the home of Caroline Boa Henderson
ca. 1940

Box 7:1
Eleanor Henderson Materials
1929-1960

Box 7:2
Photographs
1956
(1.0 Folder)
Box 7:3

This series contains a single photograph of Caroline Boa Henderson's grandson David Eugene Grandstaff aged nine years old dressed as a frontier doctor for a Sunday school pageant.


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Alden, Rose, 1878-1961
  • College students -- Kansas -- Correspondence
  • Dust storms -- Oklahoma -- Eva -- History -- Sources
  • Eva (Okla.) -- Description and travel -- Sources
  • Farmers -- Oklahoma -- Eva -- History -- Sources
  • Henderson, Caroline A. (Caroline Agnes), 1877-1966
  • Henderson, Eleanor, b. 1909
  • Henderson, Wilhelmine Eugene, d. 1966
  • Marriage -- United States -- History -- Sources
  • Mothers and Daughters -- United States
  • Mount Holyoke College -- Students
  • Oklahoma -- Description and travel -- Sources
  • University of Kansas - History - Sources
  • Women -- United States -- Social conditions -- Sources
  • Women college students -- Kansas -- Correspondence

Genre terms
  • correspondence


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