My Own Private Iowa
My Own Private Iowa

My Own Private Iowa

My Own Private Iowa: A unique trip back in time via diaries, letters and pictures left behind by my Iowan great grandmother and others.

Pioneer Families of Muscatine: The Busers and the Chamberlains

Margaret Louisa Buser Chamberlain (1887-1972) was my great grandmother. Margaret was born and raised in Conesville, Iowa. She was the granddaughter of the Reverend John Hanson Buser on her paternal side, and David Melville Ingraham on her maternal side. The Busers and the Ingrahams were among the original founders of Conesville; both the Buser and the Ingraham lineages go back to the founding of this country.

In April 1911, Margaret married my great grandfather, Charles Chamberlain from Muscatine, Iowa. The Chamberlain family lineage also predates the founding of this country.

Margaret was a dedicated diarist. From the time she was 17 years old in 1905 until she died in 1972, she kept a record of every day of her life, resulting in 67 diaries spanning both World Wars, the Great Depression and the Moon Landing. Margaret lived in and around Conesville until 1919, when she and Charles packed up their growing family and moved to Centralia, Washington. Ten years later they settled for good in Stockton, California.

Margaret kept records of everything, but none more than during her 32 years in Iowa. Through her diaries, letters, postcards and pictures, we can see what life was like in Muscatine, Iowa in the first part of the 20th century.

Note - This site is a work in progress. I will be updating it regularly, and have lots to add. Also, I welcome comments, suggestions and corrections. I've tried to correctly identify family and friends of family, but I may not always be accurate; I have a section marked "Unidentified" and welcome any and all hints/clues/answers to these mysteries.

(Latest update: January 2022)

Margaret's Diaries

1905 Buser Diary914.6KB

The Busers

BuserExtended Family (Ingraham)
Buser Family Tree: John Winfield Buser branch .pdf77.5KB

The Chamberlains

ChamberlainExtended Family (Babbitt, MacDougall, McKee, Ruger, Ryan)
Chamberlain Family Tree: Evans Chamberlain/Caty Ruger branch.pdf76.5KB




Unidentified - Please help!

Postcards from the Edge... of History

Places, Events, and Other Exciting Things1902 Telephone Rules: It’s a party (line)!The Great Cone Lake Railroad Bridge Collapse of 1912

Reference Books

The Fork of the Rivers: History and Partial Genealogy of People of Oakland-Orono Townships —Mabel Estle Brown

Fork of the Rivers.pdf78895.2KB

Pioneer Buser Families and Their Descendants — Kenneth K. Buser

Pioneer Buser Families and Their Descendants.pdf8126.6KB

Main Image Gallery

Click on the Main Image Gallery page to SEARCH.
Main Image Gallery Page

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