The Francis T. Howard Diary is comprised of nearly two hundred diary entries created from January 1, 1858 through May 21, 1858 and May 9, 1859 through June 20, 1859 by Francis T. Howard; more than a dozen newspaper clippings; and a deposit receipt from the Bank of Oregon City.
Francis T. Howard's diary entries contain weather observations and brief descriptions of his daily activities which included work at the Howard family grain and lumber mills; ploughing and planting (carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, timothy hay, etc.) on his property near Mulino, Oregon; management of livestock (horses, oxen and sheep); social visits with neighbors and relatives; and trips to Mulino and Oregon City. The diary also includes references to Howard's attendance at National Democrats gatherings; prayer meetings; and his participation in the Beaver Creek Debating Society where members discussed topics such as proper diet (meat-eating or vegetarianism), the best field of study (history or geography), the most esteemed occupation (statesman or general), and the optimal human pursuit (knowledge or happiness).
Howard's diary entries also document the birth of his daughter, Eugenia (born 1858); the health of family members and neighbors; his efforts to prevent the construction of a county road across his claim; local and national events (including mention of the Utah War); and repeated references to the danger of fording the Molalla River (where he and his wife would lose their lives in 1863).
The diary also contains newspaper clippings pasted in after the death of Francis in 1863. Included is a short article on the origin of the Howard family name; an etching of General O. O. Howard; a reference to Francis' marriage to Augusta Ann (printed "Ann Angenta") in 1851; several notices regarding the social activities of Eugenia Howard and Anthony Wayne Howard (brother to Francis, 1861-1924); a history of Howard's Mill from The Enterprise, an Oregon City newspaper; an 1896 report of a fire at an excelsior and shoddy mill in West Linn; and obituaries for Francis (1830-1863) and Augusta Howard (1835-1863), Charles T. Howard (1841-1923), and Anthony Wayne Howard. Also included is a notice celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Bank of Oregon City; a clipping featuring a photo of Maria S. Caufield; and an obituary for Edwin G. Caufield (1859-1934), an Oregon City banker. The Bank of Oregon receipt documents a deposit made by Eugenia Howard in 1885. The diary also contains a 1946 interview with Edwin Howard (son of Francis, born 1856) from the Molalla Pioneer which includes details on the constructions of Howard's Mill, the lives of the Howard children following Francis and Augusta's deaths, and life in 19th century rural Oregon.
Additionally, the volume contains a note from Eugenia Howard referencing a pocket book not included in this collection.