Mary Jane (Peters) McBroom [RG6096.AM]


RG6096.AM:  Mary Jane (Peters) McBroom, 1852-1915

Diaries, etc.:  1870-1903

Fontanelle, Washington County, Nebraska

Size:  0.2 cu.ft.; 1 box


Born in 1852, Mary Jane Peters was the daughter of James H. and Jane (Ferguson) Peters, who were some of the first settlers of Fontanelle, Nebraska.  Mary served as a teacher at several different schools during the 1870s.  In 1881 she married William Henry McBroom of Hooper, Nebraska.  He McBroom became the Deputy Surveyor General of the New Mexico Territory in 1876.  Mary Jane (Peters) McBroom died in 1915 and is buried next to her husband in Evergreen Cemetery at Colorado Springs, Colorado.


The collection contains two diaries of Mary Jane Peters. The first diary dates from February 3, 1870 – August 26, 1871. The second diary records October 20, 1871 – June 7, 1872.  Mary was a teacher during this time, serving in the Nickerson, Bell Creek (Arlington), Clark Creek and Blair schools.  Also included are a typed transcription of the diaries and background information about the diaries, as well as a bound volume containing transcripts of diaries and letters entitled, “Prairie Teacher and the High Plains Rancher. Diaries and Letters from the Untamed Wild West: Nebraska, New Mexico Territory and Colorado, 1870-1903” by Connie Jones Pillsbury and Norman H. Pillsbury, September 2018.

The diaries give an up-close view of daily life in Nebraska during this period, highlight the life of a teacher at that period, and reveal the hard work involved in running a home.  She describes church life, community life (“sitting with the sick”), transportation, courtship, customs and values of her time.  They shed light on understanding the life of a bright young woman raised in a farming family in the Nebraska Territory era.


Box 1


    1. Diaries, 1870-1872

    1. Transcript of diaries, 1870-1872

    1. Background information about the diaries

    1. “Prairie Teacher and the High Plains Rancher. Diaries and Letters from the Untamed Wild West: Nebraska, New Mexico Territory and Colorado, 1870-1903” by Connie Jones Pillsbury and Norman H. Pillsbury, September 2018


Subject headings:


Education — Nebraska

McBroom family

McBroom, Mary Jane (Peters), 1852-1915

McBroom, William Henry, 1848-1909

Peters family

Social life and customs

Teachers — Nebraska

Washington County (Nebraska) — History


TMM      01-18-2019

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