Kate Florence Montgomery Wilson Journal, 1890-1897 | East Texas Research Center

By Pam Palmer, 1983

Collection Overview

Title: Kate Florence Montgomery Wilson Journal, 1890-1897Add to your cart.

ID: A/97

Primary Creator: Wilson, Kate Florence Montgomery (1855-1910)

Extent: 1.0 Volumes

Subjects: Little Rock (Ark.) -- History -- Sources, Little Rock (Ark.) -- Social life and customs, Wilson, Kate Florence Montgomery, 1855-1910 -- Diaries

Languages: English


Mother of poet and novelist, Karle Wilson Baker. Journal gives an account of family activities in Little Rock, Arkansas, including church life, social gatherings, concerts and special events, and health. Traces Baker's literary beginnings and charts her progress in music, school, and sports. The family later moved to Nacogdoches where Kate died.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Journal of Kate Florence Montgomery Wilson was originally written in a large ledger with daily entries for seven years on each page. Mrs. Wilson's granddaughter, author Charlotte Baker Montgomery, has edited this condensed version, arranging the entries chronologically and omitting less important details. The library copy is a photocopy of her typescript.

The journal covers the years 1890-1897 and tells of the family's life in Little Rock. Though largely invalid herself during those years, Mrs. Wilson records the busy activities of her husband, children, parents, and brothers as well as friends and neighbors, following their church life, social gatherings, concerts and other special events. Mrs. Wilson keeps track of a parade of household servants and suitors for the girls. She is preoccupied with the health of the family.

Her particularly close relationship with Karle is apparent as she cites her daughter's progress in music, school, sports, and poetry. Underlying the journal is the melancholy note of declining family fortune and economic depression, though the overall tone is cheerful and filled with the joy of living. Interspersed among the daily entries is some correspondence from family members, chiefly from Karle.

Collection Historical Note

Kate Florence Montgomery was born July 9, 1855. She was the second wife of William Thomas Murphy Wilson who had a grocery business in Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1890's. He had two daughters by the previous marriage, Mary Louise (May) and Ida Elizabeth (Beth). He and Kate had three more children, Karl born in 1878 (who became Karle Wilson Baker, poet and novelist), Benjamin Taylor born in 1881, and Donald, who died in infancy. Sometime before 1901, while Karle was still in college, the family moved to Nacogdoches, Texas. The two younger children settled there, Karle marrying Thomas E. Baker in 1907. Kate died on November 8, 1910.

Subject/Index Terms

Little Rock (Ark.) -- History -- Sources
Little Rock (Ark.) -- Social life and customs
Wilson, Kate Florence Montgomery, 1855-1910 -- Diaries

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Volume:

[Volume 1],

Volume 1Add to your cart.
1 VOLUME (The library copy is a photocopy of a typescript.)


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