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Oliver Olson papers (Rock Island Literary Club), 1890.

Size: .25 linear feet, 1 box

Acquisition: Transferred from Special Collections at Augustana College Library in 1981.

Access: The collection if open for research.

Processed by: Elizabeth Shirk

Control Num.: SSIRC MSS P:73


The records of the Rock Island Literary Club and the diary of Mr. Oliver Olson (Olaveus Olsen) were given to the Augustana College Library on March 15, 1965 by Miss E. Burgess. The materials in this collection were transferred from the Special Collections of Augustana College Library to Swenson Center in the fall of 1981. Elizabeth Shirk processed the collection in January 1983.

Historical Sketch

The constitution, by-laws, lists of members and officers, and minutes of the one meeting of the Rock Island Literary Club (org. in 1869) are contained in the same manuscript ledger as the Oliver Olson diary (see below). Mr. Olson was secretary of the group in 1869 (at age 18). The club met once a week to debate general literary and social topics. On December 6, 1869, there were eight members incl. M.M Sturgeon, E. E Barmenter, P.J. McElherne, M. Gannon, J.W. Frizzel, a Mr. Powers, J.W. Mansill, and Oliver Olson.

Biographical Sketch

Oliver Olson was born in Dramamine, Norway on April 2, 1851. He emigrated to the U.S. on April 8, 1854 arriving in Quebec, Canada, on May 28, 1854. From Quebec he traveled to Rock Island, Illinois arriving on June 5, 1854. Mr. Olson is listed in Past and Present of Rock Island County Illinois (Chicago: 1877), p. 299, as being a notary public and lawyer as well as a registered Republican. In 1877, he resided at 2611 6th Avenue, Rock Island. He was also a member of a local Methodist Church. Olson's diary covers the years 1870-1872, 1877, and 1910. He writes about everyday family events such as going to church, work and classes and his personal development.

Organization of the Collection

I. Rock Island Literary Club records
II. Oliver Olson's diary and papers

Item inventory

Folder 1. Diary

Pages 1-3. Constitution of the Rock Island Literary Club and description of method removing corns from feet
Page 4. List of members of Rock Island Literary Club and Ledger entry for Sweeney and Jackson.
Page 5. Minutes of Literary Club meeting December 6, 1869 and medical fees for a Dr. Galth and a Dr. Grover.
Pages 7-73. Diary January 8, 1870 - March 17, 1872.
Pages 74-76. "My relatives"
Pages 78-82. Diary March and June 1872, May 1877, and June 11, 1890.