Clara Bedell: A Voice from the Past


What a comfort to-put your thoughts down where you know no-one will ever see them, if you don’t wish, while you’re alive and won’t care for it being seen after your dead.

-Clara Bedell
January 10, 1902

Clara’s diaries arrived at the Historical Society offices in 2006; 105 years after they had been written by the bright, vivacious girl that grew up in Cherokee County. Clara’s stories are wholly unique to her experience and yet can transcend the ages to speak to everyone on some level.

Clara Bedell was born in November of 1884 and was the oldest of five daughters of Pendleton Sevier Bedell and Sarah Brewster Bedell. She was raised in Canton, GA, and later attended Reinhardt Normal School, now Reinhardt University, in Waleska. During the period between 1900 and 1902, she wrote eight volumes of her diary, which detail people, places , and events in Cherokee County. The entries are from her diaries and are the same as Clara wrote them with regard to spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Changes have been noted when a word is illegible or a page is missing.

There is also a glossary and a guide to the people of Clara’s world, along with photos, newspapers, and documents.

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