Fonds MHCA0012 - Rosara Lefurgey Brennan fonds

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Rosara Lefurgey Brennan fonds

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  • 1925-1932, 1934-1937 (Creation)
    Brennan, Rosara Lefurgey

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.33m of textual records

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Brennan, Rosara Lefurgey (1858-1942)

Biographical history

Rosara Lefurgey Brennan was born 24 April 1858 in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Her parents were the Hon. John Lefurgey (1824-1891) and Dorothea Read (1834-1911). Their first child died at 10 months, so Rosara Millicent grew up as the eldest of nine siblings. John Lefurgey was a prominent shipbuilder and merchant as well as a 20-year member of the provincial legislature. In 1871 he bought and enlarged a spacious house at 205 Prince Street for his large family. Rosara attended Mount Allison Ladies College in Sackville, N.B. and then in September 1881 married William Arthur Brennan (1851-1916) who had moved to PEI in 1876 from Louisville, Kentucky. He worked as a journalist for A.L. Graves of the Summerside Journal and later bought the company, which remained in the family for three generations. In addition to his publishing and editorial career, he was a shareholder and director of several Canadian and U.S. mining companies. The Brennans lived in a large home called Parkside a few blocks from the Lefurgey house. Their three children were Arthur Roland (1882-1951), Charles Victor (b. 1887) and Dorothy Jean (b. 1888). C. Victor became a mining engineer and worked in Utah and later Seattle, Washington and Dorothy married James Claude Sharp of Summerside who lived and practiced medicine in Edmonton, Alberta. Arthur took over the family business and Rosara lived with him and his wife Florence Alward at Parkside after her husband's sudden death in 1916. Rosara took an active role in caring for the home and her three grandsons, William Roland, Charles Arthur and John Robert. Mrs. W.A. Brennan, as she often wrote her name, served as Regent of the Abegweit Chapter I.O.D.E, was President of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and attended St. Mary's Anglican Church. She was involved in bridge and tea parties with other women of her class and was close to her family, particularly her sister Cecelia who lived nearby with her husband Ned Wyatt. Rosara was a student of spiritual matters and was an avid reader and letter writer. In November 1934, she moved to Edmonton to live with her daughter. When she died 17 Sept 1942, her remains were sent home to Summerside. A lengthy obituary referred to her as "a lady of highly cultured attainments".

Custodial history

The diaries were acquired from Robert Brennan, son of William Roland, and grandson to Rosara. According to Robert Brennan, the diaries came from Wanda Wyatt's possession. It is unknown how the journals came to be placed with her.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of thirteen diaries, most of them containing daily entries made by Rosara. The year 1934 has numerous gaps and 1935 has very few entries. In 1936 and 1937, she wrote only on one or two pages. The diaries from 1925-1932 are very extensive in the recording of her everyday life. During that time, she travelled to many places, including Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, and Banff to sightsee and visit relatives. In 1929, she went to Tucson, Arizona for several months of health treatments. While there, she made extensive notes about diets, proper breathing, sun bathing, fasting, theosophy, and meditation. When Rosara was at home in Summerside, she wrote about the activities of her immediate and extended family, as well as her own pursuits. She recorded shopping at downtown businesses, most frequently Holman's, and an almost daily walk to the post office. Housecleaning, rug hooking, dressmaking, and helping grandchildren with homework were also frequent topics. Rosara began most diaries with an inspirational writing and often referred to the Rosicrucian Magazine and numerous books with titles like "The Law of Mind in Action". The cash account section of some diaries names many of her financial holdings and a reference to a 1916 diary which was consulted for "when and what I invested" indicates that she kept earlier journals. She made lists of books, addresses, Christmas cards and gifts, and in several places she records family births, deaths, and marriages.

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  • English

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