Our collection of letters and diaries includes letters from several Civil War veterans, as well as the diaries of a World War I veteran, and of one of Allegany County’s early settlers. Her family came to the area in the 1820s.





  • The Letters and Diaries of Abiel Teple LaForgeCivil War veteran. Included are many letters written by LaForge during the war to his sister, Susan LaForge Potter, who resided in Andover, N.Y. After the war, Abiel became  a partner of R.H. Macy, and he shared the partnership after Macy's death.


  • Rufus Alonzo Cady Family1The Letters of Rufus Alonzo Cady. Cady wrote many letters to his older sister, “Juty” (Jerusha Cady Howe), while he served in Company I of the New York 5th Volunteers, Heavy Artillery during the Civil War. Born on November 24, 1837 in Hunt (near Portage), NY, Livingston County, Rufus enlisted on December 21, 1863 in Scio.


  • Christmas in East Notch Valley, as told in the diary of Nancy Ann LeSuer Wells. "The diary of … Nancy Ann LeSuer Wells records how one family in the Town of Wirt, Allegany County, New York, kept Christmas in the last half of the 19th Century."





  • The Diary of Noel B. Johnson. Noel B. Johnson was an uncle of the late Martha Nuzum Greene of Andover. Johnson was the fourth child of John L. & Ada Hough Johnson.  He was born in Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania on May 5, 1894 and died on Oct. 5, 1960.  This is his diary that he kept all of the time he was in the Army during and after WW I. He was sent to France just after the ending of the war.  He was attached to Company B, 550th Engineers.