1921 Diary of a Philadelphia Reverend, Salesman and WWI Veteran Recording His Work and Religious Endeavors

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On offer is the small yet interesting diary of Reverend Howard Dawson Hetrich (sometimes Hetrick) (1889-1953) [SEE BIO NOTES AT END OF LISTING]. 

At the time he kept this diary, Hetrich was 32-years-old, single, living in Philadelphia, working in sales and as a Pastor. He discusses his personal life only briefly. This diary is chock-full of short, factual entries about his work life and religious occupation. 

At the back of the book, he kept a detailed record of his earnings over the course of the year and even notes details like his income tax. His annual sales for 1921 to $8,203. Some brief excerpts follow to give the flavour of the diary:

“No del. - on 27th St. $28.00 for orders. Only canvassed few hours. Letter to Mrs. []. Very cold and clear” [Jan 19]. 

“To Newton’s for dinner. To Sunday S [school?]. Preached in church in PM. Many out to service. To Mench’s in eve after supper. Prayed in homes. Heart touched” [Feb 6].

“To Camden to Baptize in Del. River. Six souls. Fixed up route. Good services. [Pleasant], clear and warm” [Mar 20]. 

“Sabbath. Practiced hymns around town (until?) sun set…Sister Katie gone…in eve. Letter to Emco. Rain” [Nov 26]. 

For a social historian, this small diary gives a detailed look at how one young man earned a steady income and infused his life with his religious service  in the heady days following WWI in America.

BIO NOTES: Born in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania to Agnes Ream and Cyrus R Hetrich, Howard Dawson Hetrich was baptised at St. Paul’s United Church. He grew up and lived in Lebanon and Philadelphia, PA. Hetrich served in the US Army as Pvt 1st Class in Company B 326 Field Signal Battalion. In 1926, Howard married Ardenia C. Ennis (1907-1976) and together they had three daughters: Mary (1928-2010), Ruth and Ardenia. Howard worked in sales and was also a Reverend who worked as a Pastor within the United Church. 

This small diary measures 4.75 inches by 3.0 inches. It contains 122 pages and is 100% complete. The cover and binding are loose but intact with some bumps and bruises due to age but overall good condition. The pages are also in good condition and the handwriting is legible, though in a messy cursive scrawl. Overall G.

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