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Henry Wilcox diaries

City Father’s Diaries Being Transcribed By Swart-Wilcox Friends

HENRY WILCOX, IN HIS OWN WORDS

City Father’s Diaries

Being Transcribed By

Swart-Wilcox Friends

Some Of It Humdrum, Some Endearing

Helen Rees, left, and Debbie Clough of the Friends of the Swart-Wilcox House show off Henry Wilcox’s diaries in the parlor of Oneonta’s oldest surviving home. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – The Huntington Library didn’t know what it had.

Transcription is making Oneonta pioneer Henry Wilcox’s diaries available to the public.

When the Upper Susquehanna Historical Society – now the GOHS – was cleaning the Swart-Wilcox House for the 1976 Bicentennial, someone found all of Henry Wilcox’s diaries, said Helen Rees.

“They gave them to the Huntington Library and two were transcribed, but they didn’t think they were very important,” Rees said, founder of the Friends of the Swart-Wilcox House, Oneonta’s oldest home.

The diaries – seven in all – were later returned to the Friends. “We have very different views on what was important!” said Rees. “He wrote every day, so there are a very valuable insight into Oneonta’s life. He wrote about the weather, who died, what was going on.”

He wrote about his mother’s passing, his wife Phoebe and their sons Fred and Merton. A daughter, Myrtle, died at age 5 of “moreness” in 1875. The brothers were the last residents of the house.

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