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Anna Laura Hittle Rings diary

View at Kansas Memory

Date: 1949-1961

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Digital file, KSHS, 2020-048

Unit ID: 473076

Summary: One of three diaries of Anna Laura Hittle Rings of Topeka, Kansas. Anna was the live-in-housekeeper for Mr. Harry Imes at 1208 College Avenue from 1949 to her death in 1961. She was a cook, gardener, housekeeper, and seamstress. The diaries tell of her daily life while in Mr. Imes' employ. The other two diaries can be found at Unit ID's: 473053 and 473077.

Space Required/Quantity: [Not stated]

Title (Main title): Anna Laura Hittle Rings diary

Part of: Anna Laura Hittle Rings Collection.


No Locators Identified

Additional Information for Researchers

Reproduction: Digital file, KSHS, 2020-048


Local Note: From the donor:
The Diaries of Anna Laura Hittle Rings

An Introductory Who’s Who

Anna Rings was the live-in housekeeper for Mr. Harry Imes at 1208 College Avenue from 1949 to her death in 1961. She was cook, gardener, cleaner inside and out, seamstress, and did other things as well. This diary tells of her daily life while in his employ. She also attended Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka at the confluence of Fourth, Fifth, Willow, and Washburn Streets. She shopped in downtown Topeka, took the bus when she didn’t have a ride someplace, was very active with groups at church and involved with a number of her neighbors. She was also very involved with her family, who lived near her in Topeka, Mayetta, Holton, Des Moines, and Kansas City – and Mallard, Iowa then Spokane.

Once in awhile she watched TV at family members’ homes, but usually she listened to the radio, read, wrote and received letters. Many days consisted of that, her housework, and visits with her neighbors.

Many names are mentioned in the diaries. Here is some information about them.

Anna Rings’s children and their families were:
Helen and Ivan James of the farm in Mayetta, their children Geneva, Charles and wife Sara, and Joan, and Geneva’s husband Jim Swartzel and first 3 children Kathy, Patty, and Suzie.
Earl and Wilma Rings.
Elmer (Chuck) and Sally Rings, Sally Jo and Alan.
Glen and Nell Rings, Dale and Jean Ann of Holton.
Clarence and Estelle Rings, Lana, Marlin, Sandra. Estelle’s relatives: mother Mary Tillinghast, father Lee, grandmother Mammy (Stella Anderson) and grandfather O.O. (Fred Anderson), sister Madge and first husband Stewart, first children Diana, Candace/Candy, and Jo Denise, her sister-in-law Nadine’s parents Arthur & Hedvig Peterson, all of Topeka at the time. May Disney of Perry was the sister of Estelle’s father Lee.
Marjie/Marjorie Hamilton and husband Robert/Red/Bob Hamilton of Topeka, daughter Carol, her husband Brownie, children Deborah/Debby, Brad, Margaret Ann/Margi DuBois, daughter Janette/Janet and her husband Larry who moved to Manhattan when married (his sisters Lana, Julie, Pam[?]), Robert’s parents Frank and Ethel Hamilton of Holton and their Aunt Lela Roswall of Holton. Friends included Galen Ewing and his wife, Charles and Doris Sheetz, Mary Margaret Kerr Allard and her husband, Rex and Edna Scott and Marcia, Wendell Brown (origianally from Holton), Pat, Mike, Marian.. Carol’s friend Marcia Scott, Janette’s friends Linda Fisher, Judy Gorrell, Marcia Scott. Brownie’s grandparents were the Clarks.
June and Chapin/Chic Newell of Des Moines, their sons Roger and John and Chic’s mom Iva Newell.
Bob and Dorothy Ann (D. Ann, D.A.) Rings of Mallard, Ia. and Spokane, Washington, first 3 children Larry and Beverly and Sharon. Rachel DeWitt was, I believe, the mother of D.A.
Esther Rings and her friends Merla Kivett, Betty Campbell, Phil and Paul and Don (not sure), Jim Murray. Jim Murray owned the 1893 cabin up Lump Gulch in the ghost town of Gilpin (near Rollinsville, CO) next door to Esther’s summer cabin that she owned from 1953-2017. Marj and Robert Hamilton bought it later on. It finally became one property with Esther’s cabin after they were gone. Her cabin’s 21st century address: 1763 Lump Gulch, Blackhawk, CO.

Neighbors: Zula Bennington Greene (Peggy of the Flint Hills) and her mother Mrs. Bennington, the Schlichers (Vera, her husband, Janie, Richie), the Groesbecks, Mrs. Kay, Mrs. McClellan, among others possibly.

Holton friends: McNamaras, Newlins, Roebkes, among others

Holton relatives: Anna and her husband Arthur hailed from the Holton, KS area, so there were a number of family members. They included Arthur’s sister Effie Rings Taylor, her son Charles, wife Lorrene, daughter Elaine, her daughters Geraldine, Frances Fisher, Claribel, et al. Clara Rings Whitcraft was Effie and Arthur’s sister.

Hittle siblings: Beulah Hittle of Topeka, brother Earl and wife Lois, brother Frank and wife Eva, brother Bird and wife Rosalie, I believe
Other Hittle relatives: Maternal aunt of Anna’s, Laura Browning Martin, husband Will, son Dr. Wilfred Martin; cousins Mabel Bittinger, Lois Hittle

Some interesting tidbits to help readers

R.R. letters: Cousin R.R. letters, Hittle R.R. letters
The way that Anna would keep in touch with her cousins and with her siblings was through Round Robin letters. You would write a letter, send it to the next person who would write a letter and include yours and send it to the third person and so on until the whole packet of letters reached you, at which time you would pull out your old letter and write a new one and send the packet on its way again.
Some of the Hittle relatives included Mabel Bittinger and Lois Hittle.

The Dorcas was an organization from church.

Parks where family gatherings occurred in Holton: Linscott, Rafter’s
Topeka parks: Lake Shawnee and Gage Park

Dinner referred to noonday meal. Supper referred to evening meal. Lunch referred to noonday or evening meal.

Some of the magazines she read include: BHG (Better Homes and Gardens), LHJ (Ladies Home Journal), Coronet, Christian Herald, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, Ideals, Presb Life (Presbyterian Life)
The Recorder was the Holton newspaper that she read sometimes.