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My Own Experience

Call Number: RH MS 1060


In this memoir, written on 304 numbered leaves, Rosa B. "Rose" Garrison Hawkins, born in 1870, recalls her early years on her parents' farm in McLean County, Illinois, her elopement and marriage at age fifteen, her life as a homesteader in western Kansas and southeastern Colorado, and her return to Illinois in 1890. Her account, extending from early childhood to 1896, details the many harrowing hardships which she and her husband endured as homesteaders and overland travelers.


  • Creation: approximately 1896


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Rosa B. Hawkins

Rosa Beatrice "Rose" Hawkins was born August 15, 1870 at Saybrook, Illinois. Her parents were Thomas W. Garrison, a McLean County, Illinois farmer, and Malinda J. Hawkins Garrison. In December 1885, at age fifteen, Rose eloped with her second cousin, James Elisha Hawkins. They married in Jefferson County, Illinois and emigrated in 1886 to Hamilton County, Kansas, where they homesteaded in a dugout at the Kendall community and purchased a nearby claim. When the town of Syracuse was named the county seat and Kendall's prospects declined, they sold their claim and left for southeastern Colorado in November 1887. In early December, they settled in the town of Apishapa in Las Animas County. Wearied of their hardships on the frontier, they returned in 1890 to Illinois, where they became residents of Marion County.


.25 Linear Feet (1 box) : 25 folders

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The narrative content of this memoir, contained in 25 numbered chapters and a conclusion, is handwritten on 304 consecutively-numbered legal-size leaves. Preceding the narrative are six unnumbered leaves consisting of a title page, a list of the chapters with their respective topics, and the author's preface. The author's physical arrangement of her memoir is in 25 consecutively numbered sections, each housed in a folder. Leaves within each section were stitched together by the author at their top edge, using a sewing machine. The full chapter, partial chapter, or multiple chapter content of each section is identified in the Collection Description.

Physical Location

RH MS 1060

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Ronald Maynor Hawkins, 2006

Guide to the Rosa B. Hawkins Collection
My Own Experience
Finding aid prepared by mh, 2007; Finding aid encoded by mh, 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Hawkins, Rosa B, 1870-1919, My Own Experience, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1060, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States