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Dr. Jessie Portman Chesney Narratives Collection

Identifier: MS-0181

Scope and Contents

The Dr. Jessie Portman Chesney Narratives Collection was a gift of Roy L. and Carmin J. Davis. The original manuscripts were written by Chesney and given to his oldest son, Darwin Bishop Chesney, who then passed them to his daughter, Helen Chesney Davis, before ultimately coming into the possession of her son, Roy Davis.

There are two accounts, both historically significant in content. The first manuscript, “Civil War in North-West Missouri,” was penned during the summer of 1873. It contains Chesney’s reminiscences of the years 1860-1865; and originates in New Market, Platte County, Missouri. It follows the day-to-day trials and tribulations while trying to survive amid the Civil War and the looming lawlessness of the territory. Included are various facts and incidents relating to individual persons that would not be found in a general historical publication.

The second manuscript pertains to Chesney’s life growing up as a boy on a farm in the hills of Kentucky. The account is written in 1913, one year before his death in October 1914. The time period encompasses ca. 1830s-1850s and provides the researcher with detailed facts relating to the daily intricacies of living. The manuscript is sorted in the pattern of chapters in a book, as he recollects the challenges facing pioneer families. From the time they awoke in the morning until they lay to sleep at night, each chore has been lovingly documented. Every family member had a vital role in the growth and success of the Chesney family, both physically and spiritually.


  • 1860s - 1910s

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status is unknown.


1 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 1 box, 6 folders.)

Language of Materials


LaBudde: Teresa L. Gipson, Stuart Hinds (supervising archivist).
LaBudde: August 2010.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Special Collections and Archives Repository