I have heard that this diary was recently destroyed by flooding. If anyone knows of copies of any pages, I'd really enjoy seeing them.
My aunt, Carolyn Barber, co-wrote an article using the information from the lost diary with an introduction from what may be stories from her youth or actual facts taken from the pages. After reading numerous newspapers with reporting on Stephen D. Wilbur, I have some questions.
- She says in 1952 that his arm was amputated two weeks before Lee’s surrender. I have it as the last battle of the war, and not two weeks prior to the surrender date.
- I have seen applications for pension, but not one directly related to an early time frame. Possibly the one I have is a widower’s pension following his death in 1920.
- He taught school for only a few years before being elected School Commissioner for several. Was he teaching school as well as fulfilling the role of School Commissioner?
- From the information I have, he retired in 1918 (not documented) and died in 1920 (documented). While it is plausible that he would have the land available to him from his family who were still farmers, I would think it unlikely that a 78 year old man would ride a bicycle out to Hawleyton daily. Did he keep chickens in town? Did they move out of their Binghamton house after his retirement? I have no memories of that and only remember being shown Grandma’s house.
- Stephen’s later life is well chronicled in The Binghamton Press and more area publications. Is it possible that in 1952 there was no access to previous issues?