Item 02-1000 - Edwin Zimmerman Yerex diary

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Edwin Zimmerman Yerex diary

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  • Textual record

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  • 1910-1921 (Creation)
    Yerex, Edwin Zimmerman

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Physical description

3 cm of textual records.

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Biographical history

Edwin Zimmerman Yerex was born on September 23, 1856, in Port Hoover, Victoria County. He lived in Little Britain, Ontario with his wife, Mary Henrietta Ashton (Ettie, 1866-1953). They had two sons, Orville (1884-1916; married in 1904 to Beatrice (1888-1962); had 3 children – Mary, b. 1904, Walter, b. 1907, and Helen, b. 1908) and Elba (1885-1951); married to Ida Webster (1890-1889); had 2 children, Clifford and Marion (1916-1979). Photograph of Elba and his family is courtesy of Joan McKenzie, Elba's granddaughter. Marion Yerex was her mother). E. Z. Y.’s parents were Henry Travis Yerex (d. 18 Nov. 1914 ) and Mary Ann Hoover (d. 11 March 1902 ). Henry Yerex owned and operated a small store in Little Britain in the 1860s. Edwin Yerex ran a larger operation also in Little Britain. He was active in the business, social, and church life of Little Britain and was a village trustee in 1905. He owned a summer home at Port Hoover and often hosted social and church events there. Yerex died on August 17th, 1926 . He seems to have been a notary public and his home was used as a surgery and nursing home. He was also postmaster with the post office located in his store.

Custodial history

Diary was in the custody of Victor Jones, State Library of North Carolina before it was forwarded to Trent University Archives in March 2002.

Scope and content

Item is a diary (1910-1921) that belonged to Edwin Zimmerman Yerex of Little Britain, Ontario. The diary is a rich source of information on the people and events of Little Britain and the surrounding area. Place names such as Oakwood, Lindsay, Uxbridge, Port Perry, Sunderland, Omemee, Fingerboard, Valencia, Peniel, Peterborough, etc. are mentioned. People with surnames such as Archer, Ashton, Chapman, Trick, Yeo, Snelgrove, Hall, Drews, and many others, are referred to throughout, and death dates of family members and acquaintances, and circumstances surrounding the deaths are often recorded.

Yerex has entered his daily activities, such as excursions to "the lake", fishing trips, and trips to the Canadian National Exhibition, and often mentions the church, gardening, hockey, politics, i.e. Sam Hughes' political meetings, the weather, and musical performances and fairs in the area. He has also recorded world events such as the sinking of the Titanic (April 1912); a cyclone in Regina (July 1, 1912); war between Turkey and Montenegro, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria (October, 1912).

Also mentions the Halifax explosion (December 1917); the Easter Uprising in Ireland (April 1916); the defeat of the Hearst government in 1919 and the win by the United Farmers of Ontario, the influenza and small pox epidemics, and news relating to WWI. By 1919, it seems that part of the Yerex home was being used as a hospital, nursing home and local surgery. Dr. Hall of Little Britain attended patients there and a staff including Ettie tended to them. Several pages at the end of the diary are comprised of jokes, puzzles, and poems.

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Fonds acquired in 2002 from Victor Jones, State Library of North Carolina.


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A transcription of the diary is attached as a digital object.

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General note

Although the author of the diary is not identified, various entries and a note in the back of the diary referring to the deaths of "father", "mother", and "Orville" coincide with information found on a site visited June 12, 2002. By comparing the information in the diary itself with information supplied on the above web site, it is believed that the author is Edwin Zimmerman Yerex. More information on the Yerex family and on the area written about may be found in Ross W. Irwin, Mariposa: The Banner Township (Victoria County: 1984). Additional information on the Yerex family may be found on
This fonds was placed anonymously in the drop-box of State Library of North Carolina.

A Transcription of the diary is available below (segmented by year):

Note: Capitals, periods, and commas have been added or eliminated in some instances for clarification purposes. Occasional misspellings appear in the original and these have been retained as such. Square brackets thus [--] indicate that the word is indecipherable or has been supplied by the transcriber.


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