Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-333
Location: LH-333

(Description ID: 595596)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Charles Lewis Miner


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The journals of Charles Lewis Miner were donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center by William Avery Miner of Waco, Texas in 2005. William Miner, the son of Charles, transcribed the journals and published the transcriptions along with  letters written by Charles Lewis Miner to his sister Helen Miner while living in Coahuila, Mexico. The publication also contains a typed transcription of Charles Lewis Miner’s memoir of his years in Clyde, Ohio; at The Ohio State University; and in Mexico. The 1987 publication, Journals and Memoirs of Charles Lewis Miner: from 15 July 1906 to 16 September 1931, is available in the Library reading room.

Biographical Sketch
Charles Lewis Miner was born November 25, 1880, in Clyde, Sandusky County, Ohio.  His father Charles Avery Miner was co-owner of the Miner-Wilder store in Clyde.  His mother Maria Valetta Stark Miner was the daughter of Fremont, Sandusky County, Ohio residents Wilson M. Stark and Matilda Green Stark.  Wilson Stark served as a teacher, Superintendent of Sandusky County Schools, Fremont Postmaster, and Sandusky County Treasurer.  He was also a charter member of the American Legion of Honor, serving as the organization’s first secretary.

Charles Lewis Miner grew up in the family home at 129 Amanda Street in Clyde.  He graduated from The Ohio State University Agricultural College in Columbus, Ohio. For the next two years, Miner served as the assistant manager of a large estate near Coahuila, Mexico, where he introduced alfalfa and helped develop an irrigation system. He then worked on a 5,000-acre banana plantation some 80 miles south of Vera Cruz.  In 1908, Miner traveled to Portland, Oregon, where he purchased a 157-acre farm near Battleground, Washington. Miner farmed, exchanged labor, taught school, strung telephone lines, built roads, and surveyed.  Miner sold the farm in 1911 and moved temporarily in Topeka, Kansas before settling in Calgary, Canada.  While in Topeka, Miner met Ida May Roudebush (b. February 29, 1884 d. December 21, 1974), whom he married on September 16, 1914. The Miners were the parents of three sons Charles Hayden Miner (b. June 29, 1916) and Milford Roudebush Miner (b. January 20, 1918) were born in Lakewood, Ohio.  William Avery Miner (September 20, 1920) was born shortly after the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri.

Miner returned to Ohio, settling not far from his sister Helen in Cleveland.  He worked at a series of manufacturing jobs. From 1914 to 1918, Miner managed the manufacturing process of Case Hardening Company. After receiving his millwright certification, he began work at Acme Stamping. Miner worked a series of construction and manufacturing jobs in Kansas City and Topeka until his health began to fail.  Charles Lewis Miner died May 8, 1932. 

Scope and Content
This collection consists of 15 journals in which Charles Lewis Miner kept a record of the events and activities of his life from September 26, 1907 until September 16, 1931. Covering nearly a quarter of a century, the journals of Charles Lewis Miner offer a perspective of a young man’s entry into adulthood shortly after the turn of the 20th century. Miner’s journals provide a glimpse of this Midwesterner’s life through the early years of the 20th century, WWI, and the beginning of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. 

As a young, single man, Miner’s journals are dominated by his efforts to achieve financial success. His nearly daily entries detail his struggle to attain secure employment, achieve economic success, and develop a stable, nurturing environment for his wife and three sons.  He was keenly aware of world events and advances in science, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing, He wrote of his years in Mexico, Calgary, and the western United States.  Intelligent, educated, and talented, Miner became a capable farmer, millwright, and carpenter.  Following his marriage (1914), Miner increasingly focused on the security and happiness of his growing family. He was an astute observer of the developing personalities of his three sons, delighting in their childhood experiences.  While Miner never achieved the financial independence and security that he hoped for, he discovered the rewards of family and children.  In his last years, Miner developed diabetes. Eventually, his heath problems became so severe that he was forced to take over the childrearing duties and household chores while his wife found employment as an office worker. Miner’s deteriorating health and inability to work full time weighed heavily on his mind.  From Miner’s perspective, his future appeared bleak.  His last entry occurred on September 16, 1931 

Several unidentified photographs complete the collection.

Ac. 5643
1/4/ linear ft.


  1. Index to Journal topics
  2. September 26, 1907 – October 28, 1911
  3. October 29, 1911 – December 31, 1917
  4. 1918, 1919, 1920
  5. January 1, 1921 – 1926
  6. 1927 – September 1931
  7. Photographs