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Julia Rouse Sharpless Diaries

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-300


The collection contains personal diaries of Julia M. Rouse Sharpless (1911-2004), a Quaker who attended Friends Boarding School in Barnesville, Ohio, and then Strayer Business College in Washington, DC. A member of the "Eye" Street Meeting, she was active in the cooperative Friends Meeting of Washington and worked in government offices until her retirement in 1969. The diaries and daybooks (with gaps) reflect her schooling and personal life, especially the years before her marriage in 1932 to Wiliam R. Sharpless (1910-2000).


  • Creation: 1925-2000 with gaps


Biographical / Historical

Julia M. Rouse was born 1911, the daughter of Albert Rouse and Mary E. Hanson, members of Stillwater Monthly Meeting. Her parents had married contrary to discipline in 1904. Mary Hanson was the daughter of Benjamin and Lucinda (Bundy) Hanson. Benjamin Hanson died in 1886, and his widow moved to Virginia. In 1917, Albert and Mary Hanson requested membership for their six children; at the time of Julia's birth, the extended family was living on a farm owned by Lucinda Hanson in Chesterfield County, Virginia. When she was ten, they moved to Silver Spring, Maryland.

Julia attended Friends Boarding School in Barnesville, Ohio, which was a short distance from the Stillwater Meeting House. Her maternal family were long-time members of the Monthly Meeting.

After graduation in 1928, Julia enrolled in Strayer Business School in Washington, DC. She was active in the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor and the "Eye" Cooperative Meeting. In 1932, she was married under the care of Friends Meeting of Washington to William Raiford Sharpless, son of Joseph Chambers and Sue Ambler (Roberts) Sharpless, of London Grove Monthly Meeting. They had two sons, Joseph and Stephen.

During her long career on Capitol Hill, Julia Sharpless worked for the National Council for the Prevention of War, the Department of the Interior, and the War Department. She worked as executive secretary to U.S. Rep. Alvin O'Konski of Wisconsin until she retired in 1969. After her husband retired in 1970 from the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, they moved to Florida and enjoyed travel and local organizations. William R. Sharpless died in 2000, and Julia Rouse Sharpless died in 2004.


.5 linear ft. : 29 volumes. The early diaries are soft cover pocket notebooks. After 1942, the author used hard-cover commercial appointment books.

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Arthur L. Stanley, nephew of the author. FHL Acc. 2017.010

An Inventory of the Julia Rouse Sharpless Diaries
Susanna Morikawa
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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