Catherine Ophelia Babb McGraw Papers

MC 2310

Special Collections
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Katrina Windon, 2018.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

McGraw, Catherine Ophelia Babb, 1854-1926
Catherine Ophelia Babb McGraw Papers
Inclusive Dates
ca 1887-1997
Bulk Dates
MC 2310
0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Materials are in English.
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Acquisition Information

The Catherine Ophelia Babb McGraw Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by Deborah Gordon Engle of Laguna Beach, California, on August 21, 2018. An additional family letter (Box 1, Folder 22) was donated by Engle on September 26, 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Katrina Windon; completed in August 2018. Updated by Katrina Windon in October 2018.

Preferred Form of Citation

Catherine Ophelia Babb McGraw Papers (MC 2310), Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Biographical Note

Catherine Ophelia Babb was born September 16, 1854, in Byhalia, Mississippi. On January 22, 1872, she married Daniel Murdock McGraw. The couple had thirteen children, three of whom died in childhood. In 1879, the family moved to Arkansas, moving around for several years before settling in Altus. Catherine McGraw taught school in both Mississippi and Arkansas, eventually becoming principal of the Altus school; she also wrote articles for the local newspaper, the Altus Albion. McGraw was a leader in the Franklin County branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and was also active with her church and other community organizations.

She passed away November 18, 1926, of malaria, in Orlando, Florida.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains materials by or relating to Catherine Ophelia Babb McGraw and her family, particularly regarding their time living in Altus, Arkansas and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Her diaries date from 1887 to 1924, and contain entries on topics such as travels in the American West, her Christian faith, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, her friends and family, weather, and household accounting. Most diaries contain a mixture of diary entries and other notes and memos.

Also included is family correspondence; publications from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, of which McGraw was an active member; a family history of the McGraw family; and a poem by McGraw.

Related Materials

Materials relating to the Catherine Ophelia Babb McGraw Papers include:

The Kinta Years: An Oklahoma Childhood by Janice Holt Giles, 1973, Arkansas Collection PS3513.I4628 Z52 1973

Swift Current by Florence McGraw McRaven, ca 1954, Arkansas Collection CT275.M4566 A3 1954

Janice Holt Giles Collection, MSS 39, 1905-1979, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives. Kentucky Library and Museum. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged by format. Diaries are arranged chronologically; publications are arranged alphabetically by title.

Subject Terms

The following persons, organizations, or topics are among those represented within the collection materials:

Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Loyal Temperance Legion

Automobile travel--United States

Altus (Ark.)

    Detailed Description of the Collection

    The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection:

    Box 1

    Box 1 Folder 1

    Family History- "The McGraw Family: 1850 to 1997," prepared by Catherine Wilson, 1997

    Box 1 Folder 2

    Diary, 1887-1924

    The diary begins with an entry from Feburary 11, 1887, discussing the McGraw family's living situation in Altus. Later topics include weather, family, neighbors, purchases, her husband's travels for work, and church.

    Box 1 Folder 3

    Diary, 1897-1898

    In a Pierce's Memorandum and Account Book, the diary begins with an entry dated Dec. 25, 1897. Topics include family, weather, and household accounting.

    Box 1 Folder 4

    Diary, 1907

    In a Sunday School Notes, Prayer Meeting Topics, Christian Endeavor Topics, Tables, Statistics, Etc. journal by P.H. Duncan (Foreign Christian Missionary Society: Cincinatti, OH, 1906), this diary has handwritten entries alongside the published guides to Bible study. The diary's first entry, written in Paris, Arkansas, is dated January 23, 1907, her 35th wedding anniversary. Topics include family, household accounting, her Christian faith, and Mexico.

    Box 1 Folder 5

    Diary, 1913-1914

    Notebook consists primarily of household accounting notes and memos.

    Box 1 Folder 6

    Diary, 1916-1919

    This diary is contained in a University of Arkansas 1914-1915 planner, published by the University of Arkansas Christian Associations, that includes published information about the University and advertisements for Fayetteville businesses. The first diary entry is dated Feb. 27, 1916. Diary topics include household accounting notes, family, weather, World War I, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

    Box 1 Folder 7

    Diary, 1916-1924

    The first diary entry is dated Oct. 9, 1916. Diary topics include weather, family, the United Christian Missionary Society, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

    Box 1 Folder 8

    Diary, ca 1920-1923

    This notebook primarily contains notes on organizations that McGraw was a part of, with diary entries primarily pertaining to a trip throughout the southeast, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Organizational notes includes a Junior Endeavor officers list, 1921; a Dollar Brigade member list and meeting notes; and a World Call subscriber list.

    Box 1 Folder 9

    Diary pages, 1920

    The diary's first entry is dated June 9, 1920. Entries are primarily regarding a family road trip to the American West, including Oklahoma, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Topics include weather, sights, and her family's interactions with Native Americans.

    Box 1 Folder 10

    Diary, ca 1921-1924

    Diary entries primarily pertain to travel, including a trip to Florida and a trip to the American West, including Wyoming and Colorado. Topics include camping, sight-seeing, and travel accounting.

    Box 1 Folder 11

    Diary, ca 1922-1923

    The notebook's contents pertain primarily to the Women's Christian Temperance Union, as well as include notes for news stories and her work for the Altus Albion, and writings on her Christian Faith. Also included are two news clippings about a meeting of the Business Women's Club that McGraw spoke at and a meeting of the Women in Industry organization.

    Box 1 Folder 12

    Diary, 1924

    Topics relate primarily to household accounting and travel.

    Box 1 Folder 13

    Poem by Catherine McGraw honoring her children who died in childhood, undated

    Box 1 Folder 14-15

    Scrapbook pages, ca 1900-1914

    Clippings of news stories, obituaries, and other, poems, and other materials pasted onto pages from a publication containing U.S. census information. Topics of clippings include the status of women workers; women's suffrage; the WCTU, and a county convention of the WCTU hosted by McGraw in Charletson, Arkansas; society page mentions of McGraw and her family; and letters to the editor by McGraw and her family members.

    Box 1 Folder 16

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Materials- Loyal Temperance Legion pledge card, undated

    Box 1 Folder 17

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Materials- Brochures, undated

    Box 1 Folder 18

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Materials- Loyal Temperance Legion Year Book (Evanston, IL: National W.C.T.U. Publishing House), 1925

    Box 1 Folder 19

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Materials- Marching Songs for Young Crusaders: Temperance Songs for the Cold Water Army by Anna A. Gordon (Chicago: Ruby I. Gilbert), ca 1904

    Box 1 Folder 20

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Materials- The Twentieth Century Medal Contest Reciter, No. 2 and The Twentieth Century Medal Contest Reciter, No. 6 (Evanston, IL: National W.C.T.U. Publishing House), undated

    Box 1 Folder 21

    Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) Materials- The Union Signal, Vol. LII, No. 2, 1926

    Box 1 Folder 22

    Letter from "Mamma + Mamma" to "Papa and Babb", 1920


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