Jessie Elvira Jenks Papers

Cover Image:
Greater Oneonta Historical Society Papers of Jessie Elvira Jenks
1930-07-11 postcard from Jessie jenks to Eliphail Streeter - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
c. 1885 - 1930

Historical Context

Jessie Elvira Jenks (1873 - ?). Her journals document her life from 1885-1892 between the ages of 12 and 19. Jessie jenks was born in Oneonta, New York to Willard S. and Rhoda Harris Jenks. Willard S. Jenks was a dairy farmer in Otego, New York. She was home schooled by her mother, and her home life was quiet, nonetheless she was well-read and had a well-rounded education. From 1892 - 1894 she attended the New England Conservatory in Boston. At the Conservatory she was exposed to new people and ideas, and she got to experience a metropolitan lifestyle in the city of Boston. She left the Coservatory after two years due to the financial strain on her family. She taught private classes for two years before entering the Oneonta State Normal School in 1896. Throughout her studies she remained very independent, and she frequently travelled. She was never married.

Scope of Collection

In addition to the letters and three journals Jessie kept, the collection contains teaching contracts, report cards, recommendations, resumes, newspaper clippings, and stacks of letters from 1892 to 1894 and 1930.