Charles Morgan, a carpenter by trade, started his diaries in 1896. In his earliest days he was an itinerant farm worker and wanderer. He describes this as “Life Among the Out-of-door People.” In 1889 he moved to Bloomington and taught himself his trade. In 1917 he became a coachbuilder for the Chicago and Alton R.R. After working there for a few years he again became an independent tradesman until the depression. Through those times and after, he seldom had work.
During those times his diaries become more reflective and observant of the nature of the times and present a chronicle of a dispossessed man. Many of his diaries are illustrated in the manner of an almanac, choosing a seasonal theme for a specific date.
He died in Bloomington on March 9, 1952. This collection contains 85 items, including diaries, poetry, drawings, and fiction. The collection of diaries was deposited by Charles Morgan in 1950.