A Guide to the

Acker Family Diaries, 1880-1906

SC# 2050

Compiled by: Scott DeNoon, April 1988;
Revised Jan. 2010 by Tiffany W. Cole

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Acker Family Diaries, 1880-1906

Collection No.: SC# 2050

Creator: Isaac and David C. Acker

Extent: One Holllinger box, .42 linear feet

Language: English

Abstract: 

 

The Acker Family Diaries, 1880-1906, consist of one Hollinger box and contain the personal diaries of Rockingham County residents Isaac Acker and his son, David.  The elder Acker's diaries span the years 1880-1906, while his son's cover 1889-1900.  The diaries of both men are similar in that they discuss the day-to day- events in the lives of the Acker family.  The collection is arranged in three series:  Isaac Acker Diaries, David C. Acker Diaries, and Indices. 

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions:

 

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

 

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk. (library-special@jmu.edu).

 

Preferred Citation: 

 

Acker Family Diaries, 1880-1906, SC# 2050, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information:

 

The collection is on deposit by contract from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.

Biographical Note

Both Isaac and David Acker were avid farmers, devoted to agriculture, with an interest in carpentry.  Isaac (1832-1908), born near Broadway, served in the Confederate Army as an orderly sergeant in the 7th Virginia Cavalry under Generals Turner Ashby and Thomas L. Rosser.  He married Sallie V. Shoup (nee Shirkey), widow of Captain J.C. Shoup on November 11, 1868.

David C. Acker (1869-1959), son of Isaac, was influential in founding the Rockingham County Farm Bureau, where he served as president for many years.  He also served as director of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and was a member of both the Agricultural Advisory Council of Rockingham County and the Agricultural Conference Board of Virginia.  In addition, David was president of the First National Bank of Broadway and secretary-treasurer of the Rockingham Mutual Telephone and Telegraph Company.  David married Martha M.B. Sellers on April 6, 1906 and fathered three children with her.

Scope and Content

The Acker Family Diaries, 1880-1906, consist of one Hollinger box and contain the personal diaries of Rockingham County residents Isaac Acker and his son, David.  The elder Acker's diaries span the years 1880-1906, while his son's cover 1889-1900.  The diaries of both men are similar in that they discuss the day-to-day events in the lives of the Acker family.  There is much overlap in the diaries as topics such as farming, weather, visiting, anddaily chores appear frequently in both works.  Other topics discussed in the diaries include weddings, funerals, church activities, and trips.  The collection is arranged in three series:  Isaac Acker Diaries, David C. Acker Diaries, and Indices.

Series I, Isaac Acker Diaries, 1880-1906, comprises of brief entries describing daily family life, weather related observations, names of visitors, and work activities.  There are numerous accounts of Isaac and his family going to the "Babtist Church" or the "Creek Church" on Sundays.

Series II, David C. Acker Diaries, 1889-1900, consists of short accounts on farming, family, weather descriptions, and general day-to-day activities.  There are no diary entries between September 3, 1889 and May 15, 1890.

Series III, Indices, was compiled by local historian Agnes Kline and the Eastern Mennonite University Historical Library staff based on their copies of the diaries.  The assistance of EMU is necessary to correlate entries from the index to the original diaries at JMU.  The indices correspond to the Isaac Acker diaries, 1880-1906, and the David C. Acker diaries, 1897-1903, some of which are owned by the EMU Historical Library.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series:

 

I.     Isaac Acker Diaries, 1880-1906

II.    David C. Acker Diaries, 1889-1900

III.   Indices

Bibliography

Couper, William.  History of the Shenandoah Valley:  Family and Personal Records, V.3.  New York:  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1952.

Wayland, John W.  Men of Mark and representative citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia.  Staunton, Va:  The McClure Company, Inc., 1943.

Related Material/Collections

See the Acker Diaries, 1880-1959, Eastern Mennonite University Historical Library, Harrisonburg, Va.

Contents

 

Series I:  Isaac Acker, 1880-1906
Folder
     1880-1885
1
     1886-1891
2
     1892-1896
3
     1897-1902
4
     1903-December 1906
5
Series II:  David C. Acker, 1889-1900  
     1889-1894
6
     1895-1900
7
Series III:  Indices
8