Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nadine's Diary, "I Arrived at Valparaiso Indiana"

Found among William Hodges' papers was a diary with this inscription:
Miss Nadine Reynold's diary while attending Indiana Normal College, 1894.  For this diary I paid a box of candy Dec. 7--1895.  Will C. Hodges.
In her matter-of-fact tone, Nadine describes her social life and, less so, her academic career at Indiana Normal College.  Lest we ever think that college students of the late 1800s were more buttoned down than today, a reading of her diary proves that wrong (with the exception that alcohol appears to have played no role).  Students skipped class, were in the unchaperoned company of the opposite sex, and, gasp, even smoked.  Hopefully a photograph of Nadine will surface in the Goodwood Collection.   According to her, she was thought to be one of the prettiest girls at the college.

Each day I will post another of her entries.  Mr. Hodges makes his first appearance in the diary on October 18, 1894.  Where possible, I will include photographs and other pertinent information.  Another note:  Nadine did not regularly use punctuation in her entries, which are usually one run-on sentence.  For clarity, I have added punctuation.  The diary ends on December 1, 1894.

And so we begin:
I arrived at Valparaiso Ind. Sunday morning Oct. 1, 1894.  Begin running with a young lady from Tennessee.  Her name is Minnie Sinclair.  She and I took a walk in the afternoon.  In the evening two young men called, Mr. Stinson and Mr. Holz.  We went to church.  Mr. Stinson went with me.  Went to Memorial Hall.  Mr. White of Chicago spoke.
Memorial Opera House (Memorial Hall) from www.preserveindiana.com 
Interior of Memorial Hall from www.preserveindiana.com
About Indiana Normal College:
Indiana Normal College (also known as Northern Indiana Normal School) of Valparaiso, Indiana, was founded by the Methodists in 1859 as the Valparaiso Male and Female College, a pioneer in co-education.  Due to circumstances brought about by the Civil War, the college was forced to close in 1870.  In 1871, the college was revived and renamed Valparaiso College in 1900.  It was recharted in 1906 as Valparaiso University.  Lutheran University Association purchased the school in 1925 and continues to operate it to this day.  In her diary, Nadine mentions these classes:  art, type writing, short hand, elocution, debate, grammar, penmanship, Latin, and law.

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