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RG4300.AM:  Benjamin R. Folsom, 1809-1882

Diaries, correspondence, etc.:  1854-1900

Tekamah, Burt County, Neb.:  Farmer; judge

Size:  0.8 cu.ft.; 2 boxes


Benjamin Folsom was born on February 23, 1809 in Orange County, New York. Soon after his birth, the Folsom Family moved to Wyoming County, New York, where Benjamin was raised. On November 14, 1831, he married Mary Rathbone of Onondaga County, New York. In 1854, Folsom traveled to Nebraska with a group of men looking for land to claim in the name of the “Nebraska Stock Company.” In October of 1854, he settled in what is now Burt County, where he farmed, raised stock, and joined his brother in building a steam saw mill on the river east of Tekamah. Folsom was appointed by the governor as the first probate judge of Burt County. Later, in 1861, he served in the state legislature. Benjamin R. Folsom died on November 20, 1882.


This collection contains a diary/account book of Benjamin R. Folsom dating from the 1850s. The diary relates to Folsom’s arrival in Nebraska in 1854, and includes miscellaneous account entries. Part of the volume contains entries by Folsom’s son, Benjamin: “Young Ben’s memoranda in his school days” in Attica, New York, c. 1864. A partial transcript is included. Also included in the collection are three letters written by Benjamin R. Folsom.

The bulk of the collection consists of diaries (39 volumes) of Benjamin’s wife, Mary Rathbone Folsom. The diaries date from 1856-1858 and 1863-1900. Transcripts of Mary Folsom’s diaries are available upon request. Ask a staff member for assistance.

See the photo component [RG4300.PH] for a daguerreotype of Benjamin R. Folsom.


Box 1


  1. Benjamin R. Folsom diary/account book (1850s)

    Partial transcript of diary

  2. Correspondence, 1864, 1879, 1882

  3. Folsom family information compiled from Mary Folsom diaries

  4. Mary Folsom diaries, 1856-1858; 1863-1866

  5. Mary Folsom diaries, 1867-1874

  6. Mary Folsom diaries, 1875-1880

  7. Mary Folsom diaries, 1881-1885

Box 2


  1. Mary Folsom diaries, 1886-1889

  2. Mary Folsom diaries, 1890-1893

  3. Mary Folsom diaries, 1894-1897

  4. Mary Folsom diaries, 1898-1900



Attica (N.Y.) — History

Burt County (Neb.) — History

Education — New York — Attica

Folsom, Benjamin R., 1809-1882

Folsom, Mary Rathbone, 1813-1901

Folsom family

Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska — Tekamah

Pioneers — Nebraska — Burt County

Pioneers — Nebraska — Tekamah

Tekamah (Neb.) — History


WFS/js   08-23-1965

KFK   11-12-1996

Revised TMM   08-03-2009; 11-22-2011