Halloween with Edith K.O. Clark

Edith K. O. Clark, who served as Wyoming’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction beginning in 1915, not only had a long career in the field of education, she also homesteaded in the state, operated a tea house in Cheyenne, and volunteered for canteen service in Europe with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) at the end of World War I. Clark’s diary of 1918-1919 includes memorabilia from her service with the YMCA.

She was a diarist for most of her life, and documented many aspects of her day-to-day life, national events, weather, and holidays in her daily diary.

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Diary page from October 31, 1908. Note Clark’s sketches of Halloween pumpkins. Edith K.O. Clark diaries, 1904-1936, UW American Heritage Center

Edith Clark not only used sketches, but also paper cuttings of black cats and witches and newspaper notices to document her Halloween adventures, as seen below in diaries from 1910, 1911, and 1920.

She often included place cards from dinner parties, newspaper articles about social events, dried flowers, and ephemera such as American flags, and sometimes her own sketches. Her friend, the artist Bill Gollings, even made some sketches in one of her diaries.

Clark was also a photographer and many of her own photos are included in her diaries, too.

Edith K.O. Clark’s diaries dating from 1906 to 1924, 1931, and 1934 to 1936 are part of the holdings of the American Heritage Center. Her collection also includes a notebook, autograph album, and some biographical material.

How will you record your own Hallow’s Eve this year?

– Submitted by Ginny Kilander, AHC Archivist and Reference Department Supervisor

This entry was posted in found in the archive, Holidays, women's history, World War I, Wyoming history. Bookmark the permalink.

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