Florida Gulf Coast University Special Collections: 02/01/11
Minnie L. Gatewood (1875-1944), who married a minister when she was 16 years old, kept diaries chronicling her life in Southwest Florida. The five volumes of her diary at Florida Gulf Coast University cover her life from 1892 to 1900, and are a valuable resource for scholars of Florida history. Mrs. Gatewood also kept a "Want Book"—mostly reflections on religious matters such as "Christian stewardship"—with the latest dated entry being from 1936. The 5 volumes of her diary and her Want Book have been transcribed and digital versions available on FGCU's Digital Library. FGCU has also prepared lists of names mentioned in the diaries to assist researchers. Mrs. Gatewood wrote mainly of her travels and family life, and her role as a minister's wife. Her husband, the Rev. George W. Gatewood (1862-1947), was an influential figure in Southwest Florida during his day. The Gatewoods and their children either lived in or travelled to cities ranging as far south as Key West and as far north as Leesburg. FGCU also owns a copy of Rev. Gatewood's book, On Florida's Coconut Coasts, which was published in 1944. Their granddaughter, Hazel Hoffman Wall, donated a copy of her 2006 autobiography, Cracker Girl; A Love Story, in which she writes about her family, including the older Gatewoods.