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Roseann Emch Price Collection - MS 192

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory


The papers of Roseann Emch Price, consisting of four personal diaries, date from 1905 to late 1917, with some expense account notes dating to late 1919. The collection also includes 32 photo negatives of Rose, her family and friends, from 1891 to 1950.

The papers and photographs were allowed to be copied by the Center for Archival Collections Women's Studies Archives Project by Mrs. Price's daughters, Marion Price Sarver and Laurel Price Sarver, and her granddaughter, Amy Sarver Strickroth, all of Toledo, Ohio. Literary and property rights of the copies have been dedicated to the public, and duplication is permitted for the purposes of scholarly research. The register was prepared by Paulete Weiser, Graduate Assistant for the Women's Studies Archives Project in October 1981.

Biographical Sketch

Roseann Emch was born on December 12, 1890, the daughter of John and (?) Emch, 315 Harve Street, Toledo, Ohio. She had two older sisters, Minnie, born about 1886, and Elizabeth (Lizzie), born about 1888, and a younger brother, Will, born around 1893, and a younger sister Helen, born in 1900. Both Minnie and Rose worked as domestics in Toledo. Minnie was the housekeeper for the Reynolds family on Collingwood for 40 years.

In 1912, Rose traveled to California by train to visit her brother Will and find work. Apparently, she was sent by her family to discourage the attention of Norval Price, a divorced man, who continued to woo her long distance and whom she eventually married. While on the West Coast she traveled all over the Pacific Northwest, working for different families, and leading an active social life with her friends. On June 2, 1915, she participated in the wedding of her brother Will and Bertha (also known as Bert and Birdie). In August and September of 1915, she returned to Toledo by train via Canada and North Dakota, entertaining herself and fellow travelers with her ukulele, and stopping in Minnesota and Chicago before reaching Toledo on September 18. She married Norval Price in the 1920s and made another trip to California before settling down in Toledo and raising a family. She died in the late 1970s, and her family only became aware of her diaries after her death.

Scope and Content

Rose Emch's diaries chronicle the life of a young, single woman in the early years of the twentieth century. They cover her life at home in Toledo, Ohio, her family and friends, and her work as a domestic. In 1912 she traveled to Oregon and Washington State, where she also worked as a domestic. Her many social and church activities are discussed in her diaries, including vaudeville, moving picture and nickel shows; dance pavilions; the World's (?) Fair in San Francisco in 1915; parks, gardens, historical and scenic areas, and museums; and church services, religious lectures, and concerts.

Her diaries reflect the social life available in Toledo and on the West Coast to a young single woman during the period from 1905 to 1917 and refer to specific theaters, parks, pavilions, fairs, and stores; popular slang; parties she attended; descriptions of clothing; and a list of the books she read. She also discusses her work and includes some accounts of her income and expenses. Rose occasionally speaks of illness and death, but writes much more of the happy occasions and activities of her life from a very positive point of view.

Series Description


Arranged chronologically
Contains a daily log of her social and work activities, her family, friends, her travels, and also records births, deaths, and marriages. For some years, entries are scattered.


Arranged chronologically, as negative strips allow.
Includes Rose, her family, her friends, and scenes in Ohio and California.


Box 1

  1. Diary, list of books read, poetry, and quotations, November 4, 1905-December 1, 1909
  2. Diary, January 1, 1910-June 2, 1911
  3. Diary, obituaries, Pullman tickets, addresses (also expenses, January 1916 and earnings November 1919-April 1921), October 12, 1912-April 13, 1913
  4. Diary (also expenses January-February 1918 and January-October 1919), May 18, 1913- November 27, 1917 (scattered)

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