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The Diary of
Bertha Alice Buchanan Dodge
1900 - 1909

A look at the life of a young, single woman at the turn of the century living in Davenport, Iowa, Rockford, Illinois, Oneida, Iowa, and West Union, Iowa.
(Rockford portion mostly on pages 10-35)
(Oneida portion mostly on pages 35-50
(Oelwein portion on pages 50-end)
This diary was begun by Bertha Buchanan Dodge on May 1, 1900, when she was 18 and maintained sporadically through October 17, 1909. Bertha died in 1931 at the age of 49 due to a complication after a gall bladder surgery. After this, her older sister Jean Louise “Jennie” Buchanan Howe wrote several entries to fill in more details about the Buchanan children’s early lives in Logan, Owasa, Tama, West Union, and Oneida, all Iowa towns. These entries are contained in a separate document entitled “Diary #2.” A third diary written by Bertha in 1910 covers a trip west to California taken by her, her husband Will, and daughter Dorothy.

All of these diaries were transcribed by Bertha’s granddaughter, Bonnie Dodge, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2012. Although the first diary was very legible, due to its age, pieces of some pages had flaked off, rendering some word/lines missing, hence the reason for some question marks or blanks in this transcript. Notations in parentheses in italics are my additions.
Property of Bertha Buchanan (Dodge)
May 1, 1900
Dear Me,

How much has happened this year. About Dec. 5, 1899, we sold the home farm and moved to W. Union, buying out G.W. Fraverds Bakery and Restaurant. Mamma was taken sick and died Jan. 9, 1900, being buried in West Union cemetery Jan. 11. Rev. Todd of the Presbyterian Church officiating.

On Feb. 28, 1900, Jennie was married to Jerome B. Howe at the U.B. preachers Mr. Long’s home. I was with them and saw the ceremony performed. She was married in blue and white. They were working at the restaurant at the time. Now things are changed. They are staying with Jerome’s folks. ________Fraverd’s has the business, Pa is in Davenport and I and Verne are here. I am working for Fraverd’s.

May 25, 1900
Sunday morning - I am staying at Mr. Steele’s working and Verne is with me and going to school. Pa is still in Davenport. I had a letter from him Friday. He wants me to come there, but I think it best for me to stay where I am sure of a plan to work and etc. I quit Fraverd’s May 2 – came here the 5th.

June 21 – Thursday – Davenport
I am in Davenport. Left West Union about 3:00 Tuesday afternoon, driving to Fayette – 9 miles in a livery, taking the train there abut 5 and after changing cars at Monticello arrived here about 10:30. Pa met me at the depot, and took me to 731 West 2nd St. where I began work yesterday in the kitchen of a small hotel at $2.50 per week. Verne of course is with me and Pa also boards here. I think I shall like it here. I stayed at Steele’s until I left for here. I hated to leave Jennie in West Union, but it is as it is. I managed real well, for it being my first journey on the train alone. Well, old book, so long for this time. It’s bedtime.

July 7, Sat.
I am doing dining room and chamber work at the same place. Winnie Schultz was working here when I came. She left and they got Lillie Theilen (?). She was away the 4th and is still riding in her rubber tired rig. I like it here better every day. They celebrated the 4th in glorious style. I and Pa walked up on the hill in the P.M. In the evening we stayed around the corner and watched the rest celebrate. Had my eyes opened on the morning of the 4th after enjoying a few evenings out walking and etc. with J.E. (Jack Edgely). Mad for a day but the storm has passed. Today M.T. wanted me to got to Moline to a dance but I said (no) – had to scrub downstairs (excuse). He went after Maggie somebody.

July 11 – Wednesday
Flora Craig of Madison, Wis., came to work Sunday and left yesterday. This morning Ora Curley began work in the kitchen. Yesterday was Ringling day in West Union. No more at present.

Last Sunday Mr. and Mrs. Hanssen and the children went to the country but the children remaining for an indefinite stay with relatives near Clinton.

July 12
Last eve promised to go to an ice cream social with Joe but Pa vetoed it. Mad again. “No harm done and no hard feelings.”

July 27
Everything going on in the same old way excepting that Lillie came to work Wens (?) and Ora quit. July 14 Ora (Curley) and I had our photos taken. Pa is working in a broom factory in Rock Island. I and Ora went to R.I. Sat.

Monday July 30
Jack Edgely went away today. Came up this morning to bid us goodby. Was very much surprised. Last night Ora, Gertie, and I went to Schuetzen Park. My first time out. Had a good time. Sat eve. Mrs. Hanssen and the children and Verne and myself went to Cooper & Co’s. circus.

Aug. 2nd, - Thursday
Another month has begun and I can’t see where the summer has gone. Yesterday PM I slipped Mother’s wedding ring on the middle finger of my right hand and my finger swelled so that I had to have the ring sawed off. I felt bad that it was that ring.

Monday, Sept. 3rd
It is over a month since I have written in this book and now I have something to write. I left Hanssen’s Aug. 29 to go to work on the hill for Mr. Thelman’s at 207 E. Locust St. Mrs. T. was sick in bed. Ora Curley and folks moved to Chicago the 30th. I had a letter from her the next day inviting me to visit her. Pa is still at the Liberty House and Verne at Mrs. Meyer’s. Lillie was going in the dining room and Hannah Johnson in the kitchen. How good it seems to be when I can get some fresh air and see some of nature’s beauty. Central Park is only a few block from here. Last Sunday Alma Heberlin (?) and I went to Central. Pa came up on the wheel Sun. just as it started to rain. Mrs. T. got up yesterday and is getting better. Today was Buffalo Bill’s day in Davenport. Mr. T. the children and myself drouck (?) to see the parade.

Sept. 12
Last Sun. Alma and I went to Mercy Hospital (?) and Duck Creek. I am very much interested in “Donovan,” a book by Edna Lyall, companion to “We Two.”

Oct. 13 – Fri.
Went downtown today to see Pa and Verne and get me a winter hat. It is a brown camel’s hair, cowboy shape. Last Sat. Mrs. Thelman went to visit in the country, returning Monday.

Friday, Oct. 20
Last Monday Pa went to work 12 miles from here in the country near Wolcott. Verne is still at Mrs. Myers at 832 ½ W. Ind. I must go down to see him on Sun. Poor little boy, how far away from me he seems. I have the blues tonight. Had a letter from Pa yesterday. He likes his place. The distance makes it hard for me to see him often, so will have to be content with writing. Mrs. Alton and Lafe Smith were married recently. I am studying phonography evenings with the aid of Mrs. Thelman. Haven’t done much this PM except rocked the baby and read “We Two,” a very interesting book.

Sun. Eve Oct. 28
Dreary day. Rain AM. Went to see Verne PM. Expected Pa but was disappointed. Downtown & right back last eve to get Verne pants. I will try to enter school tomorrow. Staid to supper Mrs. Ufyers (?). Came up on car after dark and got here at 6 PM. Mrs. Thelman had headache …? ...supper is everything done up by PM.

Tues. Eve Oct. 30
Have just finished a letter to Ora Curley (female). Had a letter from Alice T. and P today. “Hallow Eve.” Several girls blacked up, called this eve, threw corn, shook hands, and etc. Expect to find things turned upside down in the morning. Wrote to Jennie yesterday.

Nov. 29 Thursday
This is Thanksgiving Day. I suppose I had ought to be very thankful for nothing in particular. Verne was sick the first of the week, had the Dr. Mon. It was a bad cold. I am still at Thelemann’s. Was to see Verne yesterday. Verne is in 2nd room at school. Staid here all day, ate turkey and as there is scarcely any snow on the ground it does not seem like so late in the season. Have just finished reading “The Bride of Lammermore” by Sir Walter Scott. Jennie writes of the death of Walter Schroeder (?). Effie Hor_ _ (? possibly Effie Howe, Jerome Howe’s sister) is attending U. I. U. at Fayette.

Dec. 9 Sunday
Have been to see Verne & Pa. Pa came back from the country a wk. ago yesterday. Mended his clothes this PM. Am writing in bed. Came up on the car tonight and incidentally B. Deukman was on the same car. Had a little visit with him. Have been making doll clothes for the girls’ Xmas dolls. Rec’d. a letter from Ora (Curley) Friday. She was visiting here in Davenport for 2 wks. about a month ago, I didn’t see her tho. She was visiting in R.I. and at Stenders.
~ 1901 ~
Jan. 2, 1901
A new century has begun. I have resolved not to try to struggle thru another century. Xmas Santa used me well. My presents were a box of writing paper, a pretty collar, 3 doilies, a stickpin, a tidy and an apron. On my 18th birthday I was sick all day. Mrs. T. gave me a pretty neck ribbon, and Jennie sent a pincushion. There is scarcely any snow on the ground and it is lovely for this time of year.

Jan. 13, 1901
Have been to see Verne and Pa at Mrs. Meier’s today. Stayed there to supper, and Pa walked up with me. Jennie informed me of the marriage of Art Crawford and Myrtle Carmichael before Xmas. The ground is covered with snow but the weather is lovely. Was coasting with Mrs. E. Thelman last eve. The children here have been sick and consequently everything is at a standstill.

Feb. 8 Sat.
The dark angel of death has invaded the home and snatched little Fredy, the 20 month old baby. Poor little boy! He suffered untold agony. Had been weak and sick all his life. Wens. he got worse. We were up Wens. and Thurs. night and Friday PM at 4:15 he passed away. Pneumonia was the cause of death. Was buried at 2:30
this PM. Services at the house. Private. Mrs. A. C. (?) Tomson is staying here tonight, which brightens the rest of us up.

March 7
Fannie was taken sick about 2 weeks ago. Has had croup measles and almost pneumonia. Dr. has been here twice a day and she’s still in bed. Pa is working at the Bettendorf Axle Works. The rest are all well excepting colds. I have not been away for about 2 weeks – that is off the hill. Verne Dyes lost their 3 mos. old baby Grace awhile ago; pneumonia again. Minnie and Jessie Galloway and myself have been to 3 of Mr. Romig’s lectures and stereoptica exhibitions, would have gone more had it not been for the measles. It was at the Christian Chapel. We will be busy from now on as we are going to move Apr. 1st. How I dread it! Minnie trimmed up my last winter’s hat quite becomingly. Pompadour with silk and buckle.

Apr. 22, 1901
We did not move as we expected for Mr. T. as well as all of the children has been sick. Verne had the measles this last week, was not very sick but was in bed 3 or 4 days. Pa had his hands hurt by a 180 lb. beam of iron falling on them. He has been idle a week. They are getting well & he intended to start to work again today. Jennie and Jerome are playing “Love in a depot” at Oneida Jet (?). I am planning to visit here this summer. Yesterday Mr. T, the children, and myself walked to Central Park. They now have 3 swans, seven ducks, a mud hen, 2 peacocks, 2 foxes, 2 hawks, 2 eagles, 2 white rabbits and Mike, the comical monkey “a-going.” The flowers are beautiful. Then after I came from there I went to see Pa and Verne. Verne was up and is much better; came home on the car in the evening.

June 20
I have been very neglectful lately, so I will write what I remember. May 30 Memorial Day – Mrs. T. the children and myself attended exercises at the soldier’s monument on Main St. And on Children’s Day the exercises at the Congregational Church besides going driving and to the park several times. Was to a band concert there on Mon. Eve. A year ago yesterday I left W. U. for Davenport – June 6 Alice Tallmadge graduated from the Oregon (Il.) high school. I had wished so much to go there but did not get to go. I sent her a pretty handkerchief. I had my photos taken last Thursday at Hunt’s. (?) $1.50 per doz.

Sun. June 23
I’ve had a day, oh, such a day! Got up 15.6 (?) AM got ready and went to Carrie Thelemann’s, she and I walked to Burlington depot at the foot of Perry St., got tickets for LeClaire, and about 7:30 went whirling toward Gilbert Town, Valley City and the thriving city of LeClaire. Arriving there we tramped over rickety side walks and non-paved streets, roads and alleys, saw everybody big and small, walked about ‘steen (?) miles to Pete Labon’s and he took us all over creation including the Johnson and Theleman residences, stone quarries, pigs, horses, cows and calfs, cherries (ripe) mulberries (ripe), plums, raspberries, black berries, peaches, and what not. Wound around until we arrived at the McCall residence, had dinner there, after which we repaired to the Mrs. Williams home, where we partook of lemonade, lunch 7 etc. About 15.7 PM we, that is, Mrs. T., Mark Williams, & myself be seated ourselves in a skiff, & skiffed it about 1 ½ miles to the depot. After waiting about 20 min. we departed on the C. Milwaukee and St. P. (?) train for home sweet home. Arriving here at 8:15 PM we caught a car and rode to 15th & Iowa when we unloaded ourselves and basket of fruit (50 lbs more or less) and walked the rest of the way home. She finding all of her 6 children and hubby anxiously watching & waiting for mama, I finding the doors all locked, folks all gone, but I didn’t care, I just simply took out a screen and climbed in the window. They came a few minutes later. So here I am, had a better time than I have had before, in Davenport – seen beautiful scenery and couldn’t have had a better time. Also had my first ride in a skiff on the great Miss., saw the great Elm tree, which is a perfect beauty. I was tired, but feel better now, am sitting in bed, writing in my nightgown, too wide awake to go to sleep. The fare both ways is less than $1.00; we got our money’s worth I’m sure.

July 4th Thursday
Had the blues last night, but today I have recovered. Late this PM Kate Tobin and I went to Black Hawk’s watch tower. We had quite a nice time considering we were strangers there.

July 9th Tues.
Minnie and Jessie Galloway left today for Peoria ___ (?) etc.; I shall miss them. I am reading a book of Minnie’s “The Senator’s Bride” by Mrs. Alex McVeigh Miller. I rec’d. the sweetest photo of Alice T. (Tallmadge) in her graduating dress the other day. I sent her one of mine taken with my hat on.

July 13 Sat. “Orrie K.W.”
Last night there was an excursion down the river on the new boat, John Streckfus, or “J.S.” for short. It was the Knights and Ladies of Macabee’s 5th Annual Excursion & Kate & I took it in. This was their third attempt to have it, it having been postponed on account of the boat being new and needing repairs from getting on the rocks a few days ago. She is a beauty. It was our first ride on a steamer. There was dancing on the boat, but we did not “partake.” We had a fine time, altho we saw scarcely anyone we knew. Got home about 12.

July 26 1901 Fri. Oneida Junction
Another change has taken place. Last Mon. PM, July 22, Pa died. His death was caused by the terrible heat. He was sick from Sat. till Mon at 3 PM he died suddenly. I was sent for but was too late to see him alive. Jennie was telegraphed and came on the Tues. eve. train. The burial took place Wens. at 3 o’clock at Fairmount Cemetery, No. 740. (Chas. Petersen undertaker.) Thurs morning Jennie, Verne, and I took the 5:30 train for Oneida arriving here at 9:14 AM.

Aug. 6 Tues.
This evening Jennie _______ up to Mr. Robinson to see about my working there. I think I shall go in a couple of weeks. Have got to make me some dark dresses first. Have rec’d. letters from many of the relatives. Aunt Lillie offered to take Verne. Dell (Jackson) & Alice (Tallmadge) are anxious for me to visit them soon. Alice Boyer (?) died of consumption 2 weeks ago today. Last Sunday Jennie, Jerome, Verne, and I went down the RR track to a very pretty place in the woods and had a picnic dinner.

Oct. 9th
On Aug. 19 I began work at C.A. Robinson’s and left there today. On Oct. 1st they became the parents of a nice baby boy. I came down here to Jennie’s. The depot has been moved and fixed up nice. I expect to start about Oct. 15 for Rockford to spend the winter with Grandpa Wheeler’s. Jennie and I expect to go to the Rep. rally at Manchester tomorrow. We have been to Manchester on the M & O (Manchester & Oneida RR) 3 times.

Oct. 10th
We did not go to Manchester today. Jennie slipped on the slippery ties of the track this morning, bruising herself so that she was unable to go. I did not care to go alone so went up to Bertha Heiden’s, staid there to dinner and after dinner we walked about a mile up the CGK track. Had a very enjoyable day. “Candy Pig-.“

Oct. 14th
This morning I took the 7:45 AM train from Oneida, bound for the city of Rockford. Jennie, Verne, Jerome, and Carrie Pratt were to the depot to bid me good-bye. After changing cars at Holcomb, I arrived in Rockford about 12:30. Looking around me, after I had left the train, I could see no one I recognized, so taking a hack I was driven to 118 6th St. to Grandpa Wheeler’s. Grandma met me at the door with “It seems like Jennie.” Aunt Mattie said she expected to see the blue eyes of the Wheelers – but was somewhat surprised at seeing the Buchanan of me. Grandpa welcomed me with a tight hand clasp. Aunt Minnie Feakins had gone for me but missed me.

Sat. Oct. 19th
This is Uncle Homer’s and Aunt Annie’s 48th anniversary of their wedding today. Aunt Annie saw Grandma Buchanan today and told her I was here. Aunt Minnie left for her home in Topeka Thursday. I hated to see her go. Grandpa fell down out of doors today and was unable to get up. Grandma & I succeeded in getting him in the house. He fell right on his face and it was so dirty. He is very feeble. I have been reading “The Crisis” by Winston Churchill, also “Phillip Yoakley.” Both are good books. Wallace Wheeler is to be married Oct. 23.

Sun. Eve. Nov. 3
I joined the Epworth League this evening. A Mr. Arthur, Mr. Graham, and Miss Mitchell also joined.

Nov. 22 – Friday
Grandma Buchanan and Miss Wright called on me a month ago today, I have been there twice. Alice Tallmadge’s mother died Nov. 7 – Alice is attending school in DeKalb – wants me to come to Oregon (Il.) at Xmas time. I am reading “Ivanhoe” also “Aurora Leigh” by Mrs. Browning. Coz. Fred Feakins has typhoid fever at Co. Springs. Also Fred Heiden (?) of Oneida has typhoid.
~ 1902 ~
Jan. 26 – Sunday, 1902
The holidays have come and gone. Emily (Wheeler) came home for a 2 wks. stay Dec. 24. Returning to Lewis Institute, Chicago Jan. 4. Aunt Helen and Uncle Holmes were here overnight Dec. 28, while on their way home from a Xmas visit at Coz. David’s in Janesville, Wis. Christmas day Uncle Homer and Aunt Annie and Coz Annie were here. Grandma & Emily going there New Year’s. I attended the watch night service at Centennial M.E. church New Year’s Eve. Christmas Eve Emily and I went to Court St. Have attended socials, lecture at YWCA rooms by Mrs. Rew, on her trip to California; revivals, and so forth. Have made many acquaintances and like my surroundings very much. Kate Wheeler and Matie Allis are in Wales. Have been for about 18 months. Grandma B. gave me a $10 bill for Xmas, which I turned into a nice black skirt and jacket. Also have a red silk waist. Have letters from Jennie often. They keep well and I am glad. She is determined I shall come there in the spring, but I am not decided. Had letters from Mrs. Meirs. She has been in hospital for 8 weeks. Had 2 operations for appendicitis. Emily and I visited the city hospital when she was home. I have sent in an application to the training school for nurses. The letter from the Minister read as follows: “This is to certify that Miss Bertha Buchanan is a young lady of excellent moral qualities and character. Her associations are of the best. She is worthy of the fullest confidence and she is, in my judgment, a fitting and suitable person for the positions she now seeks. Her life is adorned by the best Christian virtues.” Rev. John Thompson, Pastor Centennial M.E. Church, Rockford, Ill.” I also had a letter from Dr. Franklin in regard to my good health. It will probably be some time before there will be a place there for me, and if in the meantime something else comes up in which I can better myself I may not enter the training school. I have a great desire to travel. I hope to be able to fulfill this desire some time.

Feb. 5 Wens.
This is Jennie’s birthday. I sent her a soiled handkerchief bag, and a birthday poem. Last Sat. Eve I attended a Young Ladies Missionary Social at the home of Nellie Shimmin. Each girl represented a book. Mine was “Crescent and Cross.” Have rec’d. Coz. Clare Brownell’s photo (Kittie, Harry’s dau.). She is very much a Wheeler & Brownell. Reminds me of mama. She is 17 (Jan. 21) and is 5 ft. 9 in. high. I am about 5 ft. 2 ½ in. Lalive was 14 Jan. 11. (Lalive Louise Brownell, Harry’s dau.) Have recently got a red silk waist which fits me perfectly after a few slight alterations by Miss Wright. I go to Grandma Buchanan’s quite often, she cannot come over here much. Grandma Wheeler suffers from sciatica rheumatism a great deal. Aunt Mattie has cold and other trouble most of the time.

Feb. 20 Thursday
On last Sunday Feb. 16 – I joined the church in probation. Another girl did also, and Mrs. Graham was rec’d into full membership. We have about 50 new E.L. members. This has been the week of the farmer’s institute. There are a great many in the city, and from all appearances are enjoying it immensely. Grandma Wheeler and myself went this PM. The opera house was crowded and we came very near coming away, but just as we had thought of it, 2 real kind gentlemen got up and went out. We made a dive for their seats and enjoyed them very much indeed, also the program by the ladies on “Domestic Science.” Grandpa (Solomon Wheeler) has been having a very bad cold and has been nearly sick in bed. We have had the Dr. but he hates to give up and go to bed. Is getting better.

Thursday Feb. 27
I had such an enjoyable day yesterday. Ironed all of the AM and worked until 3:00 PM and about 4 PM Mildred Mitchell came and stayed to tea. We had such a lovely visit and Aunt Mattie was charmed. Mildred is such a little dear, so sweet and fresh, that anyone could not help loving her. She has promised me a photo of herself and I am very anxious for it. I gave her one of mine that were taken in Nov. After tea she wiped the dishes for me, then a little later we proceeded to the YWCA thence to the college gymnasium. I went as a spectator, she as a member of the class. I enjoyed it so much and am anxious to join, but I have not much hope of doing so, as it would cost about $4 - $3 for tuition and about $1 for “gym” suit. Tomorrow is dear old Grandpa’s 96th birthday anniversary. We are rather expecting Aunt and Uncle Holmes from Palatine, altho they have sent no word.

A letter from Jennie states that she has been to W.U., also Verne, and had been among all of the old friends and neighbors. How I should love to be there for a visit! Jennie, Jerome, and Verne have been vaccinated. There is quite a smallpox scare in Iowa, and as they are in the depot they are more apt to be exposed.
Grandpa has rec’d. birthday letters from Katie and Matie in Cardiff, Wales, and one from Marie Fish. Uncle David (David Hilton Wheeler) from Meadville Pa. and from several. It will also be Jennie’s 2nd wedding anniversary tomorrow.

Friday Mar 7
Well the past week has been a busy one. Last Fri. morn. When I was sweeping the sitting room, the doorbell rang furiously, and when I answered it, there stood Aunt Helen and Uncle Holmes. They hoped to surprise us and certainly did surprise me at least. They brought a photo of 2 ½ year old Elizabeth Blodgett Holmes for Grandpa. We had Uncle Homer and Annie here for supper. Aunt Annie was not able to come. Many birthday letters were read, and 2 lovely bouquets were sent. Jonquils from Dr. Franklin and carnations from the E.L. (Epworth League) Aunt and Uncle left at 4 PM Sat.

Sunday morn. I made my first appearance in the chorus choir, also at the eve services. Mon. Eve attended a concert by the C.W. Best Co. (?) at the church. There were 4 children from 10 to 14 years old and they did nicely. Tue. Eve, after business meeting, the choir proceeded to the home of Chas. Olson on Grove St. and spent a delightful evening. Our main reason for going was to learn to chant the Lord’s Prayer. I was awarded the booby prize for guessing articles which represented terms used in music. Miss Whittlesey was awarded first prize - a candy pig full of candy; my prize was music, “Annie Laurie” & I had to draw cuts with Hattie Cooper to get it. I was surprised at my luck. I have started a large Battenburg collar and will have to work hard if ever I get it done for Easter. Have sent Jennie paper with Grandpa’s photo, “write up” in. Also Kittie B. (Brownell).

Mr. and Mrs. Burbank (Elbridge Ayer Burbank and wife Blanche Wheeler, daughter of Homer and Mary Anne Wheeler) arrived at Uncle Homer’s a few days ago.

Fri. Mar.14
Last eve I attended the Epworth League banquet in the church parlors. There were over a hundred leaguers present. After the banquet, a fine program was given, Mr. Thompson acted as toastmaster. I went to supper with Miss Mitchell. I have finished my Battenburg collar, much sooner than I expected. I wore it last night. I was told that it was “sweet.”

Sat. March 15
Well I do declare! Winter is gone and spring is here. It has been a very open winter, so much milder than Iowa winters. The robins have arrived, and the squirrels are once more in evidence. Yesterday there was “bunny” came right into the sitting room and rec’d. a nut from out my hand. How Verne would enjoy this! Aunt Julia (Martin Wheeler’s wife) is in the city, from Chicago, and called here last yesterday PM. ___ Burbank came to see us today. We look for Emily the 1st part of April. I was rather shy about meeting Aunt Julia, I had an idea that she was very stiff and formal, but she did not quite come up to my expectations.

Mar. 19 – Wens.
Aunt Julia came this PM to bid us good bye, as she leaves for Chicago Fri. AM. I had quite a talk with her, and gradually my former idea of her faded away and I found her very good company.  The choir is to occupy its spare moments by practicing an anthem for the Easter service. It is “Praise Ye The Father.”

Mar. 26 – Wens.
Mrs. Palmquist and I began to clean this mansion of a house today. Have finished two rooms upstairs, which Emily is to occupy. My what a lot of work it will take to finish cleaning this 15-room house, to say nothing of closets, stairs, and wood house. How I used to love to hear mama tell about the fun she used to have at Grandpa Wheeler’s, little thinking that I would be here myself so soon. How she used to like to have me comb her hair and rewarded me with a story or a “bright new penny.” How much I would give to live those days over again, but yet when I think of her years of pain and suffering, I am glad to know that it is all over, and my only hope is to live so that I shall meet her in that bright home we call Heaven. I can’t but believe she has gone there if anyone has, and I do so want to live a Christian life and be a credit to the cause of Christ and the right. Jennie neglected writing to me a few days ago, and I almost had “the blues.” But I remember this: “And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Mat. 21-22. And in due time a cheerful letter came from her which made me feel repaid for waiting Now old book, I have written about enough, and shall be late for prayer meetings if I don’t stop and get ready at once.

Tues. April 1st
Last Sunday was Easter. I put in most of the day at church. Went at 10 AM to rehearse the Easter music, came home at noon, after dinner was over I went back. At 3 PM the Belvidere and Rockford Knights Templars had their annual services there. Mr. Thompson preached to them on “Hold Fast Your Confession,” and we sang. After that was over, the children had their exercises. Grandma came to that. We got home about 6. Mattie was able to go in the morning and enjoyed it very much. The church was very prettily decorated with potted plants, egg shells, etc. I was very tired when night came and was glad I need not go out.
Today is “All Fools Day.” I was fooled just once and that was by Grandpa. When the postman came this PM he brought me a letter, and I altho I did not recognize the writing, unsuspectingly opened it, to find a piece of blank brown paper, nicely folded, and a smaller slip with “April Fools” on. Mattie told me that he fixed it up for me yesterday. He was asleep when I got it, so I fixed it up in another envelope addressed to him & gave it to him when he got up. He opened it and laughed good naturedly. A letter from Jennie tells of an accident which befell Mr. Youmans (Sadie’s father). His recovery is doubtful. I am anxious to hear more and better news of him.

Verne is staying in W.U. with Howes (Bertha’s sister Jennie’s in-laws) at present and attending school. Effie (Howes’ daughter) gives him a music lesson every eve. He loves to be there, and they like to have him.

Sat. April 5
Emily (Wheeler) came home Wens. noon. She has had her wheel fixed and I have been practicing up again. Rode to see Mildred this PM and enjoyed it very much. She has a rented wheel, and came up on it late Thurs PM. I saw her coming and fairly ran to meet her, so fast in fact that she said, “Don’t jump over the gate!” I was so tickled I could have jumped for joy. She is talking of going home in June to stay. I can’t bear to think of it. Last eve. the Reading Circle held a fagot party at the parsonage. We had many interesting stories, readings, anecdotes, etc., by the light of our fagots in the open grate. Several musical numbers completed the program of a pleasant evening. The next reading will complete the “Young People’s Wesley.”

Friday Eve. April 11
This has been a terrible dusty day. As Emily said, “Real estate has been steadily rising.” I believe I have never seen more dust whirling thro the streets anywhere. I walked to the library this PM and when I got home I felt as tho I had swallowed a quantity of dust. Have written a long letter to Jennie this eve.  Last eve the choir met at the parsonage. We always enjoy being there, and we had an unusually good time last eve, music, games, and refreshments helped to pass the time. Mildred M. and I furnished the cake – chocolate and coconut – and we had cocoa, wafers, and cake. Wens. PM I wheeled to Grandma Buchanan’s and enjoyed it very much. The high winds have prevented our riding since Wens. Mr. Youmans did not recover from his accident. I have written to Sadie expressing my sympathy.

Mon. Eve. Apr. 28
Have just written to Jennie. Yesterday the IOOF held their services in Centennial church at 3 PM. Mr. Thompson preached to them on “Christian Manliness” and the choir had to be there to render “Joy Bells.” Miss ?, Miss Mitchell, and Salser Davy went to St. Charles Friday to attend the E.L. (Epworth League) convention. Last eve Bessie Hill, W.B., Emma Strahl, W.K., and Chester S and myself attended the Epworth church. Mr. Wentworth was at St. Charles and Mr. W. Shimmin preached; special music was rendered by the orchestra. We walked up and rode home. I must not forget to record the marriage of Dell Jackson (female) and Huber Wright on Feb. 27, even tho it is no longer news. They left Onawa soon after with Hattie’s family for Garvin (?) Minn. Dell was 18 April 6, and Mr. W is 25.

Thurs. May 1st
A letter from Jerome tells me that Verne came home from W.U. (West Union) Sat. and on Tues. came down with scarlet fever. Jerome has to stay downstairs to take his meals away from home, and Jennie is quarantined with Verne upstairs. I want to go & help her take care of him, but Grandma W. says I couldn’t do much good, and would get sick myself, etc. I hope he will not have it hard. Am so afraid Jennie will come down also. I am not afraid of it for myself, and would go if I could find anyone to help here. As it is, housecleaning time, everyone is engaged.

May 10 Sat.
Haven’t heard from J.B. (Jerome Howe) for several days. Last letter J.B. thought Jennie was coming down with the fever too, but as I have not had any news since, everyone says, “No news is good news.” I really can’t tell, for perhaps Jerome is sick himself. The choir met for a fireside musicale at the home of Miss Kuphfahl 819 Seminary St. last Thurs. eve. Conundrums, stories, recitations, music, and refreshments, helped to pass a delightful evening. I went with Libbie Wortman and Mr. Arthurs in the buggy and enjoyed it immensely.
Word comes that Uncle David Wheeler is very sick with inflammation of the bowels at his home in Meadville, Pa.

I have been attending cooking classes & shirtwaist classes at the YWCA. Miss Norton Sr. is taking a vacation and Mildred is kept busy at present. Last Sun. eve she gave the convention report in League, and Salser Davy read his paper, “The Devotion at Meeting.” Its purpose, etc., which was enjoyed. Tomorrow eve the Leagues of the city will observe its 13th anniversary at Centennial Church, of which more later.

May 23
I have said, “Of which more, later.” And it certainly is quite a bit later. Everything passed off well. Music was rendered by the Epworth orchestra, and also special numbers by the choir. The speakers were Rev. Wentworth, Van Horne, and Thompson. We had a full house. Word has come from Jennie that the quarantine was raised last Mon. Verne is getting along nicely, and she escaped the fever, but is wore out with watching and worry. I am so glad that she did not have it. I want them to come here next month, without fail.

Last eve the choir met in the church. I went with Libbie & Mr. A. We started to take a ride before going to sing, went the river road, over the north end bridge, and everything was so delightful, the boats on the river lighted up reflected so prettily in the water, the moon was full, and the air refreshing and we enjoyed it so much that it was nearly 9 o’clock before we reached the church. But we had more fun than we could have had out of 5 hrs. singing.

It is raining so very, very, hard tonight and has rained so much that I have begun to think it does not know that we have enough Last night it rained, hailed, and blew, til it did considerable damage in this vicinity.
Guy Tallmadge and wife have gone to keeping house in Portland, Oregon. They were married last month. Alice (Tallmadge) is in DeKalb and Edith (Tallmadge) is keeping house for her father and Charlie.

June 5 Thursday
This is a big week in Rockford. Yesterday was the M.W. A. (Modern Woodmen of America) picnic and the 1st music festival is also held this week. I do not expect to attend; we remained at home yesterday and saw the parade from the windows. There was a monstrous big crowd, over 30,000 outsiders, they say. Well, tomorrow is Mildred’s 26th birthday anniversary. I have a little mounted picture for her. On Sat. she leaves for her home in Ripon, Wis. How we shall miss her! I feel as tho she was a part of my own self, and I could not let her go. We have not even the comfort of knowing that she is to return but sincerely hope so.

Mon. June 9
Yesterday was Children’s Day. The church was prettily decorated and the exercises were held at 5 PM. In the evening, there being no service at Centennial, Bessie Hill and I concluded to go to the Trinity Church. We got nearly there when we met Laura Kent and some of her friends, who said they were going to the Episcopalian church, so we faced right about and went also. We arrived late, for the service began at 7, and we did not know it. However we had stayed as long as we desired when it adjourned at 8. It was my first experience in an Episcopal church, and everything seemed so queer to me. The choir boys turned their backs to the congregation, the congregation numbered 17, when they sang, and when we came out no one spoke a word to us, not even to invite us to come again (which I do not intend doing.) We enjoyed our walk home more than we did the service.

On Sat. eve Olga Anderson and Alma Nyman (?) called to take me up to Bessie Knapps to the Y.L.M.S. (Young Ladies Mission Society) meeting. It was very kind in them, as they took me nearly there and had to go back downtown themselves. I enjoyed the meeting and came home with Lizzie and Leta McEvoy (?)
A letter from Sadie Youmans. informs me of the birth of a daughter to Glen and Ellis Van Lyck, also of one to Verne Dyes of Fayette, which is their 7th. Six of whom are living, namely Nona, Donald, Roger, Dorothy, Lynn, and the baby.

Sat. June 14
Last eve the reading circle had a picnic supper at the parsonage. Unfortunately it began raining early and a number of the guests departed before the programme began. The main feature of the program was a review of “The Reign of Law,” which was given by Mrs. Grout. We enjoyed ourselves immensely even tho we had to come home in a hard rain, but we have had so much rain that we expect it every day or night.

Wens. June 18
Mrs. Dave Holmes (Alice Blodgett) and little Elizabeth came down from Janesville yesterday to attend a wedding and called here for only a few min. today.

June 10 – Fri.
Last eve a large party of young people including the choir were taken for a hayrack party to the Davy home. As usual it rained steadily all of the way out and we were all more or less soaked. My shirt was almost wringing wet, and Jessie Brown’s was so wet that she put on one of Florence’s. There were about 40 persons present being conveyed by 2 big long hayrack wagons, one of which was drawn by 3 horses. We had the misfortune to lose the tire off of Salser’s wagon and had great fun in keeping it on. Some of the party walked the last half mile or so, to avoid further trouble. Arrived at the “dumping off place” (the church) at midnight. For a wonder we had no use for umbrellas on the return trip.
A great deal of excitement has prevailed here today over a false report that Grandpa Wheeler had died. We attribute it to the fact that we have just heard of Uncle David’s death at Meadville, Pa. It is amazing to not how reports get mixed up, but such is life.

Tuesday June 24
Last eve the E.L. (Epworth League) of Centennial Church gave a boat ride on the “May Lee.” I went with Libbie and Mr. Arthurs & had a delightful time too. Procurred a “three penny bit” for 10 cts. Met a great many strangers, the soldier with the board in his back was on board, but no one deigned to introduce us! (Bessie & Mr. McNeil.) Mr. Arthurs left this morning for Amboy, so Libbie and I are widows. Mrs. Ginders leaves for Monta Vista tomorrow and I expect Jennie and Verne Thurs. at 6:50 AM. Goody!

Fri. June 27
I arose early yesterday and proceeded to meet the 6:60 AM train, but upon arriving at the depot, was told that a wreck on the Il. At the Mil. crossing had caused delay, and that it could not get in before 8. So I turned myself around and came home, sorry to be disappointed but glad the wreck was not on the C.M. & St. P. We had almost given up their coming, when about 10 o’clock they came. I was in the currant patch and ran to meet them when they were yet afar off. So she is here at last, very tired after her long waits at Monticello and David Junction.

Fri. July 4th
Jennie, Verne, and I went to Aunt Annie’s this morning to watch the parade of Wallace’s circus. Aunt A. gave Verne a quarter to go to the circus, and as he couldn’t go alone, Jennie said she would go with him, so then she wouldn’t go unless I did, so I gave in and went against my will, consequently I did not enjoy it much. In the eve. Annie Seator came over & we had a pleasant visit. We helped Verne & Alice Betts with their fireworks and had quite a celebration. Rockford did not celebrate.

Tues. July 8
This P.M. we were to Mrs. Coville’s & after tea went to Annie’s. A terrible storm came up & it looked as tho we wouldn’t get home but where we did come it had cleared off beautifully. We enjoyed ourselves very much. I got crumbs on my dress at Annie’s & my speech concerning their removal provoked much laughter.

Wens. eve. July 9
Aunt Annie had us to tea tonight & I enjoyed that also. We are having a continual round of entertainments.

Thurs. eve July 10
Rob and Annie spent the evening with us. This P.M. we got a livery rig and Mattie, Grandma, Jennie, Verne, and myself went to the old country home of the Brownell’s. It is 4-5 miles from town (southeast) & a delightful drive on the pretty Cherry Valley road. We saw the farm, but the house has been moved & a new brick one put up. We stopped at Mrs. Crawford’s on our way home. It has been 34 years since the Brownells lived there & it is much altered. So much so, in fact, that Mattie hardly recognized the place.

July 11 Fri.
Centennial S.S. (Sunday School) picnic at Glen Eyre today. We, that is Emily, Mattie, Jennie, Verne, and myself went for a ride on the Illinois this P.M. & after 10 miles down the beautiful Rock, we started back, stopping at Glen Eyre and coming home with picnickers on the May Lee. When we got to Harlem Park, a rather laughable thing happened. At the last min. we decided to get off & go home on the car, after being persuaded by W.W. I went to tell Emily & try to get my jacket & got back in time to see them lifting the plank, C.W. had got off & could not come on again, & we couldn’t get off, so we had to grin & bear it, but it was no fault of his we know. We meet so many ladies who had known mama, Mrs. Troxel, & others, Mrs. Green, who lives on the Brownell’s farm was also making our acquaintance.

Mon July 14
Hurrah for our new possessions! The queerest thing has happened, almost too strange to be true. This morn. Jennie & I were startled by Aunt Mattie coming to the kitchen with this announcement. “There is a young man in here, inquiring for the Brownell girls.” We fairly jumped. Then she said he was a cousin & his name was Coleman (Will), which surprised us still more. But we plucked up courage and went into the parlor to welcome our new-found cousin. He explained that he was our mother’s cousin, Albert Coleman’s son. We were all very much pleased. He had thought we were Uncle Harry’s girls and that our name was Brownell. He had heard of us thro Mrs. Green, & came in to hunt us up at once. He then tried to persuade us to go home (14 mi.) with him. I couldn’t go, but Jennie & Verne went with him in his top buggy. She enjoyed the ride and visit so much, coming home in a hard storm in the evening. It is really quite romantic & the last thing I should have thought of, as we had lost track of the family. It really seems good to have a young man relative near, for ours are all far from us. Chas. Copeland was 21 last Sat, I believe.

We have been to bid Grandma Buchanan goodbye today as Jennie will leave tomorrow A.M. for Oregon, Il., (where the Tallmadge’s live) thence home. She treated her better than before, even giving her flowers & slips of vines. This eve. we took a car ride to Harlem Park & afterwards went to a concert at the E. side park.

Thurs. July 17
Jennie & Verne left yesterday morning on the 8:10 train. Edith (Jerome’s sister) will meet her at Chana (Illinois). I am sure she enjoyed her visit here, and that it did us all good. I rec’d. a dear letter from Mildred Tues. – the 1st one.

Aug. 16 Sat.
Aunt Helen and Uncle Holmes came unexpectedly from Janesville today. They will stay during the Chautauqua Assembly which began Aug. 14. The opening day of the 1st Rockford assembly was a big success. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee addressed a large audience in the P.M., his subject being “Peace and War in the U.S. & Cuba.” He is a very entertaining speaker.

Jennie and Verne reached home safely after an absence of just 4 wks. Jennie gained weight, 1 whole lb. & Verne gained 5. Jennie is a 96 pounder. The trip did them both good & the folks here have enjoyed it too. Alice T. (Tallmadge) has given me a very urgent invitation to visit her, & go to the Franklin Grove camp meeting Aug. 1-26. But as it was impossible for me to go, I have invited her to come here for the assembly. But she can’t come, consequently our plans to meet have failed once more. If we ever do meet, it should be the red letter day of our lives, for we have been so many times disappointed.

Dell Jackson Wright has gone back to Onawa, her husband to follow after harvest.

Wens. Aug. 20
“Hobson Day” at the assembly. Capt. Richmond P. Hobson spoke for 2 hrs. on “The American Navy, its Victories & Traditions” this P.M. to over 5,000 people. Great excitement prevailed, especially when he talked overtime & was ordered to stop by the platform director, Dr. Cobb. Nevertheless he finished his lecture amid the cheers and “Go On!”s of the people, saying that in the navy he was taught to never give up anything he undertook to do. (Loud applause). After great excitement he was about to leave in the cab which awaited him, & I was among those who stood near it, and as he was about to enter, he shook hands with the girls & I was one. Just think! Shaking hands with the hero of the Merrimac! And to be told that it was a great honor! He is modest and unassuming in spite of his being lionized everywhere & by everybody. A fine specimen of what a young man should be. He is all right if he did talk 2 min. too long!

Aug. 27 Wens.
The assembly closed today after a very successful session. I have enjoyed it so much - am very tired. I certainly have got the worth of the $2 spent for my season ticket. Have heard 15 lectures, 4 sermons, 2 monologues, “A Singular Life,” “The Sky Pilot,” 11 band concerts & other things too numerous to mention. We have taken a picnic supper a great many times, that is Aunt & Uncle Holmes, Emily & Mattie, and I are about tired of cold suppers, & glad to be around the dining table again. Aunt Helen & Uncle Holmes went to Janesville yesterday for a little visit before going home to Palatine.

Wens. Sept. 3
Last eve Bessie Hill & I spent a delightful evening at Lena Weir’s. Will, Lena, Bess & I played crokinole and laughed til we were nearly sick. W. came home with us & we tried to plan a picnic for Fri. P.M. but have given it up. Will leaves Sat. to teach school near Durand, about 15 min. away.

Thurs. Sept. 4
Mattie & I spent a dull afternoon at the fair. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. Grandpa is not well, had bowel trouble, had Dr. Franklin tonight. It is so cold for the 1st of Sept. & the leaves are falling so that it begins to look like autumn. The summer has been so cool that it has seemed hardly like summer.

Fri. Sept. 5
Last eve the choir boat ride, given by the official board, came off. About 150 of the church young people left on the “May Lee” about 7:45, returning at 9:45. We had a delightful eve in spite of its being necessary to wear wraps to keep warm. I mustn’t forget to record Annie’s & Aunt Annie’s thimble party, of last Sat. P.M. About 80 guests were present, Emily (Wheeler) took them thro Italy in 40 min., which was greatly enjoyed. I helped to serve refreshments, going over again in the eve to help sort dishes and silver.

A letter from Jennie tells of a nice trip which she and some Greeley young people took to Anamosa during the fair, visiting the state penitentiary, etc. Verne’s school began Sept. 1st, that is, the country school. I wish he could go to public school.

Sat. Sept. 6
Grandpa is some better today & sat up to eat some bread and milk at supper time. His temperature has been 102 at night. Tomorrow the 19th anniversary of laying the cornerstone of Centennial M.E. church will be observed. Rev. W.W. Burns of Chicago, who married father and mother here 26 yrs. ago, is to preach in the morning.

Mon. Sept. 8
Last eve we had 2 inspiring services, the Epworth League, led by Rev. Jonathan Thompson of Chicago, and the platform service. Mrs. Bollman & Mrs. Burns sang two solos as did Mr. Olson. I spoke to Rev. Burns, and he remembered mama at once & asked about her & also if my name was Alice too? Grandpa is very sick, feverish & delirious so much of the time.

Fri. Sept. 12
Grandpa left us last night at 5 min. of 11. We didn’t consider his condition immediately serious until yesterday A.M. His breathing seemed harder and he took less nourishment. Uncle Martin was sent for and arrived about 8 o’clock P.M. Grandpa looked at him and a look of recognition passed over his face, but he could not speak. About 10 Uncle Martin went to E.W. Brown’s for the night, & we all retired, leaving Mrs. Talconer to sit with Grandpa. About 10:45 she called Grandma, & she had no more than got there before his breath ceased, his life going out like a candle. There was not much sleep or rest for anyone after that. I lay by Grandma for some time, trying to quiet her nerves and be of some comfort. We cannot wish him back, for he has been ready to go for years. Dear Grandpa, his life was a constant benediction. I am so thankful that Jennie & Verne came to see him this summer. We have sent telegrams to Aunt Helen and Aunt Minnie. Have written to Jennie, Aunt Lillie, and Uncle Harry.  It was just a week from the time Grandpa took sick, until his death. He was 96 yrs, 6 mos. 14 days old, being born Feb. 28, 1806.

Sat. Sept. 13
Aunt Minnie Feakins came today, also Aunt Helen and Uncle Holmes. The funeral time has been fixed for 3 P.M. tomorrow. Hon. E.W. Brown is to have charge of the funeral arrangements, which will be conducted by Rev. Thompson. The pallbearers will be Mr. Walter Bide, W.D. Clark, John Hutchins, Reuben Sovereign, H.C. Scoville, and Wm. Knapp.

Sun. Sept. 14
The day is quite pleasant altho there is a disagreeable dust blowing. David Holmes came at 3 this P.M., just in time for the funeral. There were 6 ministers present besides Uncle Holmes. The house was packed with people, who came to look for the last time on the face of one whom they loved and respected The flowers were beautiful & in profusion. The songs were his favorites. Two of them being “My God, the Spring of All My Joys” and “Hark, Hark, Angels are Singing.” I was the only great grandchild present of 19 great grandchildren. Dave Holmes, Mrs. Burbank (Blanche Wheeler) & Annie Wheeler being the only ones of 18 grandchildren. Besides, there were Grandma, Aunts Mattie, Emily, Minnie, Julia, and Helen, Uncles Martin and Holmes. These were all the mourners.

Uncle Homer and Aunt Annie were not here because of an accident which occurred to Uncle Homer about 11 o’clock this morning. He was run into by any unknown bicyclist in front of his home as he was returning from here, after going to the church to inspect the family pew, which had been decorated for the day. He was unconscious when picked up & 3 doctors were summoned Two gashes were cut in the back of his head from which the blood flowed freely. It is thought he hit it on a stone. The wounds were sewed up, but they cannot tell how bad the concussion is. He had taken such an interest in all the plans for Grandpa’s funeral and felt so badly that he was not able to attend. It seems more sad because of the fact that he was sick when his mother was buried and unable to attend her funeral.

The last message Grandpa gave to be told to the church people was given to Rev. Thompson when he called a few days ago. He repeated part of the hymn “Meet Me There” & told him to tell them to meet him there. This eve. memorial services for our martyred president McKinley will be held in several churches of the city. I could not attend the memorial services last year & of course I will not go tonight. It is a yr. since his death. There is talk of Roosevelt’s coming to Rockford next month. I hope he will come and that I will have the privilege of seeing and hearing him. [Later – but he didn’t].

Tues. Sept. 15
Aunt and Uncle Holmes went home today. Uncle Martin left for Chicago yesterday and Aunt Julia for Stillman Valley. When Aunt Minnie goes, we will be 4 lone women in this big house, & it will seem lonesome, I suppose.  Uncle Homer seems to be doing well; the Dr. intends to remove the stitches soon and seems to think that it will not prove serious. Grandma and the rest are keeping up better than I had expected. We are all very tired. I sent yesterday by express to Jennie, a shoe box full of flowers from the floral tributes, mostly China
asters of various beautiful colors. I am sure she will be pleased. We also sent part of them to the floral mission of Chicago, with the ones sent by our E.L. (Epworth League).

Wens. Oct. 1
Yesterday I began taking a course of book-keeping at the high school. I go at 8:45 & am home by 10:45 A.M. I have considered a course at the business college but found it to be very expensive and also inconvenient. The terms were $7.00 per month, or $18 for 3 mos. For either the stenographic or bookkeeping course. There is so much competition in either of these trades, that I didn’t feel as though I could afford it. I think the high school course, even tho it is not as complete as the B.C. course, will brighten my memory & help me to learn more easily. 

Aunt Minnie has gone, and we are alone. It will be 10 years ago tomorrow since my dear little brother came to us. I was the happiest little girl in Fayette Co. then. How I long for them (Jennie & Verne) sometimes. Some days it seems as if I must go on the first train to them,, but I realize that I am needed here for awhile longer. Grandma says I must stay here this winter if the rest of the family do.

Mon. Oct. 6
Last Fri. eve. it was announced to the public that the wedding of Miss Etta Kuhpfahl and Mr. Arthur Wingett would take place Oct. 20. It was a surprise to some. Next Thurs. eve. we (the choir) meet with Myra Grout, and give Miss Kuhpfahl a tin shower.

Oct. 10 Friday
Last night we had a big time, Miss Kuhpfahl was the recipient of a tub full of tinware and good wishes. I gave her a photo holder with this verse attached: “This little gift from me accept, its use I would commend, ’twill help to keep before your mind, the faces of your friends. Nellie Shimmin is very sick.

Wens Oct. 15
It is one year since I came here one year yesterday. How much has happened in that time. I am as much at home as tho I had always lived here. What a time I have had today! Have been too busy to turn around for aught but business. The washing didn’t come home until yesterday, therefore I couldn’t iron much before this P.M. as I am at school until 10:30 in the A.M. I was ironing away at a great rate, when in comes Miss Coville; I received her in my wrapper. She made quite a call & I began to iron as soon as she had gone and had just finished & came upstairs to dress, when who comes but Mrs. Babcock and Miss Steele, so I flew into some clean clothes & got down as quickly as possible. Later Annie Coy, an old friend of mama’s, is coming to tea, & I want to go to prayer meeting this eve. Had planned to write some letters but have not managed it as yet & don’t expect to now. After a week of cold rainy days, it has been clear, and we enjoy it so much. We hope it will continue at least until the strikers get to work & mine some coal. The coal outlook is very dubious. One day last week Mrs. Bide and I went to Kent’s creek to get a snapshot of a pretty scene. I have Jennie’s little camera & made a failure but Mrs. Bide’s was splendid. We got into the awfulest mess of burrs, were literally covered on skirts & stockings. But we had some fun picking them off.

Sun. Oct. 19
Today we listened to our new pastor, Harlow V. Holt. We like him very well & the outlook for the year is bright. The removal of Rev. Thompson to Grace Church, Chicago, is regretted by many, and was unexpected. He had only been here one year and we fully expected his return. This P.M. Mrs. Blaco, Laura Kent, Mrs. Stubbard and myself went to the county farm about 4 miles north of the city to hold services with the inmates. About 21 were present & they were so glad to have us come. They enjoyed the music of the telescope organ and took part in the service. We arrived home about six in the eve.

Tues. Oct. 21
Last night I attended Mr. and Mrs. Winget’s reception from 8:30 to 10. Altho it was about 9 when we arrived. She looked very nice in her white dress, carried pink roses. The decorations were of bitter-sweet & very pretty. They were married at 5 P.M. by Rev. Thompson. About 200 attended the reception from 7 to 8:30 being for the older people & 8:30 to 10 for the younger friends. The choir & some others presented them with a beautiful china closet. Her gifts were numerous and nice. Today also marked the 16th anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Marean’s marriage and an anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. E.L. Wilbur. Dainty refreshments were served by Bessie Hill, Libble Worthman, & Blanche Olesen. After they had been showered with rice, we were invited to come upstairs to inspect the gifts & when we came down it was in time to see the hack driving away with them. We knew not where they were going so could not follow; it has transpired today however that they went to Mr. & Mrs. A. Hills’ home & staid all night. They will take a trip to be gone a wk, after which she will resume her duties as cashier in Van Duzer’s store.

Wens. Oct. 22
This evening at 5 o’clock occurred the marriage of Lena Weir & Mr. George Goldthwaite of Chicago in the presence of the relatives only. They will live in Chicago, much to my regret, for we girls will miss Lena from our circle. Don’t see what has struck the people, seems to be an epidemic of weddings. I think that there are still others to follow (judging by appearances). There has been a change for the better in the condition of Nellie Shimmin & her friends entertain hopes of her recovery. I am so glad.

Nov. 27 – Thurs.
Uncle Homer, Aunt Annie & Annie were here for Thanksgiving dinner. In the P.M. Miss Andrews & I went to call on Mrs. Woods. Gertie Bide took some snapshots of us with Jennie’s little camera. Hope they will be good. Called on Nellie Shimmin yesterday. She was to be dressed and downstairs to eat dinner today. She looks natural, but thin and pale.
Nov. 23 was Sadie Youman’s 19th birthday. I sent her a shoestring belt. She is going to go to U. I.U. to school this winter.

Sat. Nov. 29
Last night we had an old fashioned Fri. afternoon at school, closing with a spelling bee. The children were impersonated by some of the Epworthians. I wore a short dress and big apron as with a guimpe (underblouse) had my hair in long curls, slippers and sunbonnet, carried a tiny tin pail with my lunch in it, and Webster’s spelling book of the year 1842, which was Grandma Wheeler’s. Bessie was a little girl in an apron, also Leah Hare, Libbie & others. We had lots of fun. Mr. Chas. Winn was schoolmaster and pronounced the words that spelled us down, pron. Eg – y- pt. One spelled it “Eggwippws” which was what it sounded like. Mr. Joller and Mr. Nicholson were the last to go down and rec’d. prizes.

Have just had a letter from Dell Jackson Wright. She tells me she has a black haired little boy that “looks just like his dad.” She seems very proud of him. Has named him Griffith George. (born Dec. 26).

Dec. 6 Sat.
This P.M. Nellie Hill & I went out to take religious census. It was snowing and very cold and disagreeable. We called at about 25 houses. Some people were very kind to us, which some were not, one old lady telling us that she “considered it no one’s business what her name was.” We left her & asked her name of her neighbors.
A letter from Alice says that Edith was married Dec. 1. I am planning to be at Oregon (Il.) for Xmas. Bessie, Earl Whitmore, Will Weir, & I have had lots of pleasant times together lately. We have been to the Christian church to revival meeting one eve & have been at Bessie’s to play carom etc. Earl’s birthday is on the same day as mine, being one yr. younger.

Sat. Dec. 13
Last eve the doorbell rang, I answered it, and when I opened the door came face to face with a big man in a still bigger fur coat, who grasped my hand and said, “Hello, Bertha.” I recognized the voice of Cousin Will Coleman and returned his greeting. He came in and we had a good visit. It was the first time I had seen him since July, as he has been out of this part of the country, near Chicago somewhere running an engine for a corn shredder.

Thurs. Dec. 18
Yesterday was my 20th birthday. Late in the P.M. I went downtown to complete my Christmas shopping. When I left, Grandma said I didn’t need to hurry back to get supper but to finish my shopping. And I did. I got home at 6:30 to find the folks at supper and Myra Grout, Libbie Wortman, and Bessie Hill also with them. I was surprised nearly to pieces & couldn’t eat my supper I was so taken aback. Libbie brought me one of her photos, Bessie a dear little book, “What is Worthwhile?” & Myra some odd coins for my collection. Aunt Emily gave me a lovely ribbon, her photo, and a turnover collar. Aunt Mattie a tamoshanter cap, Grandma W. a pair of shears and a thimble. Jennie a sweet little initial pin, Jerome a thermometer, and Verne a booklet. Earl W. (Whitemore) also gave me a photo, and Aunt Lillie sent hers. Sadie Youmans sent me a handkerchief case. Earl’s birthday (19th) was the same day and I gave him a blue print of the photo with my hat on. I have made Jennie a pillow of blue print cloth mounted on red for Xmas.

Sun. Dec. 21
This eve. there was no church at Centennial, on account of the children’s Xmas exercises at 4 this P.M. After E.L., Bess, & Will & Earl (Whitemore) and I went over to Court St. M.E., but it was full to the doors and we went to 1st Pres. to hear Dr. Ely preach about “Heaven.” Earl came in when we got home and stayed awhile.

Wen. Dec. 24 – Oregon, Il.
Our dream of so many years has at last been realized, & it seems too good to be true. Here I am at Alice’s (Tallmadge) and have found her to be just as sweet as her letters and photo indicated. I left Rockford at 10 A.M. & arrived in Oregon a little past noon, was met by Edith and her husband, Arthur Gates. Alice had dinner ready when we got home & we all had a big dinner. Her father began making my acquaintance by taking all the pins out of my hair.

Dec. 25 Thursday
Christmas day. We all went to Franklin Grove to spend the day with Dr. and Mrs. W.E. (or C) Smith and family. Had a 7 mile ride, but we kept warm, being wrapped up good and having a hot soapstone. George Smith gave me 3 of his coins for my collection. Had a nice time. Ate cream on peaches. (Lecture from Alice on table etiquette!) Al ice gave me a dainty little embroidery corset cover & I gave her an ink stand. We rec’d. a box from Jennie and Jerome before I came away. Cream candy from Jerome and Jennie for Grandma B. and Annie Seator, Miss Coville, Edith, Uncle Homer’s & all the rest which I delivered. She sent me a sofa pillow. I made a blue ribbon stock for both Aunt Emily and Aunt Mattie, a blue print pillow top for Jennie & a blue print book for Grandma W.

Sat. Dec. 27
Today we were all at Mr. Althouse’s for dinner. Mr. Dan Shortel was there from Kewanee visiting Homer A. & they entertained us with violin and cornet music. Alice & I nearly killed ourselves laughing at the boys. (“Short Peter.” ) Redhead and shorty.

Mon. Dec. 29
Yesterday George Smith and Maude Wills were here until eve. They came out Sat. eve. We all went to church at Lighthouse. I sang in the choir with Edith & Alice, Maud & Mr. Sunday. In the eve Ira Wear came for Alice and we all went to League. When we came home it was snowing & we hoped to have a sleigh ride, but I guess we will not.

Wen. Dec. 31
Last eve. Alice & Edith had a small party. We played mind reading, tea kettle, photographing with a spoon, had a peanut hunt, had stuffed dates, popcorn balls, and buttered popcorn. Geo. Smith got the prize for finding the largest number of peanuts, & Ida Wear the booby prize. A handpainted calendar & peanut shells filled with date stones, tied with red baby ribbon were the prizes. We got to bed after midnight and today we are all sleepy. Florence Carbaugh came from Oregon (Ill.) yesterday & is here yet.
~ 1903 ~
Thurs. Jan. 1, 1903
A Happy New Year for all I guess. This P.M. Alice, Florence, & I went calling. We drove to see Mable Bemis, & while there did some telephoning to Homer & Hulda Larson Belknap. Homer and Dan had to walk home from here Tues. night (or rather morning) as their old horse got away from the hitching post and went straight home. It was a good one on the boys. Dan learned us to spell phm……….. (long word). Geo. was here this forenoon & I tried my best to buy, borrow, beg, or steal his Columbian half-dollar for my collection. But all in vain. Dan & Homer drove in the yard and talked quite awhile after we got back, also Hal & Hulda. Alice & the boys are going back to DeKalb Sun. P.M. I must go home tomorrow, am sorry and yet Grandma needs me & her cards show that she is anxious to have me come home. I have enjoyed it so much, and I think Alice has. (“Grandma” here is Mary Nash Wheeler, Solomon’s 2nd wife).

Fri. Jan. 2
Alice & I decided to have our photos taken before I came away so ___ ___ Florence, Alice, & I left home about 8:30 A.M. so as to have plenty of time to do it and some other errands before train time. The roads were very icy and dangerous for smooth shod horses & we drove slowly. It was a very disagreeable morning, rainy and icy & muddy all at the same time. When we got to a R.R. crossing, a train was coming around a bend & didn’t whistle & we were only a few rods from the track. Had it not been for Alice’s quick thought in turning around instantly when she saw the train, there would undoubtedly have been an accident as the train was “scary” and we were so near the track.  Well, after we tramped around in the rain in Oregon for awhile, we went to the photo gallery, but could get nothing small enough in size & price, so didn’t get our photos. We were sorry but there was no way out of it. I believe that is the only thing that we planned which didn’t turn out all right. (excepting the sleighride and pleasant weather). Well about 10 o’clock Alice drove me to the depot but couldn’t stay because of the team & when my train came, I piled on and reached Rockford soon after noon. I found them all as when I left, Grandma was tired, & all were visibly glad to see me. I found some more Xmas gifts. I have had a continuous flow of gifts since my birthday. Now I must settle back to the every day life again, but I’ve had such a nice vacation.

Feb. 8 Sunday
I have been very neglectful of my “record of events” of late, have had a good deal to write but haven’t written it, & now I will try to remember and write some of it up. On Jan. 5 Aunt Mattie slipped on the ice by the back door & injured her hip. Drs. Helm & Franklin held a consultation but decided that it was only a strain. She was in great pain & could not help herself at all. Mrs. Bentley was procured to nurse her and was here for 3 weeks. By that time she was able to sit up & could walk some with a cane and someone to hold her up. She had got, since then, so much better that she could walk fairly well, and now she has a severe sore throat, something like tonsillitis and is in bed again. Grandma & I each have terrific coughs; it is the latest thing out in malady, so we are right in style! I have been at home all day nursing my cold taking 3 kinds of medicine, and giving 3 kinds to Aunt Mattie.

I have finished bookkeeping & am not doing much at typewriting. Have been to an E.L. sleigh ride sometime last month, & Fri. eve. the Standard Bearers entertained the Court St. S.B’s at our church. I was on the decorating committee to decorate the church parlors & also had a com. meeting at the Y.W.C.A. so did not do much at the church. Will Baume did the most of the decorating. There were only about 33 of the girls there in the evening. I think that the fact of Jessica Pooley’s death kept some from coming. Last Mon. P.M. Nettie Cooper & I went to call on Miss Steele & had a pleasant time. On Jennie’s birthday, last Thursday, I sent her a little blue print book, a “Sleep Sweetly” & a piece of poetry. I have just written a 10-page letter to Stella Rulifson. Her little boy, Abner, will be 3 yrs. old in April. Cousin Will was in about 3 wks. ago. He brought me a box of stuffed nut dates. He talked as though he might go to Iowa e’er long, & I wonder why he has not been in to see me again. There is fine sleighing & not too cold, & I wish he’d come in & take me home with him for one day or two.

Feb. 15 – Sunday
Another week of coughing & medicine has passed. I have been at home all day & it seems an age since I was at church. Grandma was worse a few days ago & the Dr. said yesterday to keep her in bed, for fear of her taking more cold. I was miserable yesterday & don’t feel much better today. In the midst of the Sat’s. work & feeling ready to be sick in bed myself & Grandma in bed requiring attention, a letter came addressed… (page missing here) …Grandma B. (Buchanan) was there & sure enough she was. Jessie Cunningham is visiting here from Chicago. (dau. of Hugh Cunningham, Jr., who was a brother to Mary Cunningham, Thomas Buchanan’s 2nd wife.) When I came out I had to run to get the car, & that set me coughing. I coughed all the way to the waiting room & could hardly ask for transfer. It was so close in the car & I was fairly choking. When I got in the fresh air I stopped. (coughing I mean). Last Fri. eve. the E.L. had a Valentine social in the church parlors. I was afraid I would not be able to go, but I did go at the last minute.

Wens. eve. Bessie & Will were here & we made a few valentines. I took 7 or 8 to be sold at the social & also stuffed dates. Leah Hare & I sold valentines. The decorations were very pretty, hearts galore, big & little, & everyone seemed to enjoy it. I rec’d. one through the Centennial P.O. (?) & 2 more through the mail. Will probably get some late ones tomorrow.

Thursday Feb. 26 (1903)
I have just been writing in my “Life Story,” which I began on Monday. I never expect to be of enough importance in the world for anyone else to write a story of my life, so I concluded to write little & big incidences which are known best to myself that I may not forget them. 

I am all at sea, in regard to my work for the summer. Jennie hasn’t written since the 16th and a few lines from Jerome were not of the tone to make me anxious to go to Oneida very soon. However if J. is sick and needs me, I shall put my pride in my pocket and go to her. I must know soon what I am to do, as we expect to be out of here by Apr. 1st, & Grandma may board, but if I find work she and Mattie may keep house and I stay with them. I have spoken to several about a position and am almost discouraged so soon. I am almost recovered from the bronchitis which has made life miserable for me for the past 3 weeks, and Grandma too is much better. Last eve I went to the rally service at the church & enjoyed being there again. Rev. Holt preached & the congregation were very attentive and responsive. It is the first week of the special meetings, and the outlook is bright. This P.M. I visited Myra Grout and enjoyed looking over her “freaks” (curios from many parts of the world). Her coin collection is very interesting to one who has the “coin craze.” The weather is like spring, beautiful and balmy. I have read a great deal since I was shut in. “New Eng. and her Neighbors” was fine. “The Strength of the Hills” was good excepting the winding up part. “Glengarry School Days” is all right for boys, and is not as interesting as the “Man from Glengarry.” “Lorna Doone” was begun some time ago but goes very slowly with so many other books and magazines.

Mar. 2 Monday
Rec’d. letters from Sadie & Jennie, both in the same envelope & 2 cute little pictures of Sadie & Jennie. Sadie has been visiting J. for several days, & they are enjoying it. Jennie is feeling better. I wrote Jennie that I expect to come to Oneida the first part of next month. Grandma says she will claim me until the first of Apr. & if I can get a chance at a “trial nursing” before I go, I shall be glad. Dr. Franklin gives me some encouragement, says if several doctors would give me their light cases for awhile that I could probably get along all right. I am in hopes that I may have one case before I go away, so that I might know if I could do it, & if I do want to do it, I could make my “uniforms” then and come back prepared for work. I have not tried very hard to get a situation here, since I was almost certain of going away. They had talked of taking a trip to Aberdeen, Spirit Lake, and West Union, and perhaps I may go too.

Mar. 9 Monday
This is Jerome’s 28th birthday. Tomorrow will be father’s, and it will be 7 yrs. next Wens. since my dearest schoolmate Mate Oleson died. It don’t seem so long, and to think of Marius (Oleson) married seems almost incredible. He was married Dec. 9, 1902 to Miss Lena Sorenson (in West Union, Iowa). Nearly everyone I knew in W.U. (West Union) have either moved away, got married, or died. How funny it will seem to me when I go back to find so many of my schoolmates married and some with babies. On Mar. 20 occurs the wedding of Inez Maude Nichols and Harry Marks. (They are all getting married but me!) Yesterday Mr. & Mrs. Nevius (?), Mr. F. Worthington, Miss Foster, Salser Davey, Florence, Blanche Oleson, & I went to the county farm to hold a devotional meeting. There were about 20 of the inmates present, & so many told us how they enjoyed having us come. All of the Y.P. Societies of the city take an interest in the services there and some of them go every Sunday. They have also bought an organ for the use of the inmates, so they will not need to carry the telescope organ when we go. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the ride as well as the service. Centennial Church is holding revival meetings. This week Rev. Holt will be assisted by Rev. F.C. Rockwell of Chicago, who is a fine singer & preacher.

Mar. 14 Sat.
The revival meetings are a success. On Thurs. eve, five young men & one young woman came forward; there have been about a dozen in all I believe. Last night there were three, one of them being Alice Betts. I went with her, and when she arose from her knees, she had a glad testimony. Oh what a happy meeting that was, a young people’s meeting, full of prayers & testimonies. Some who were converted only the night before were taking a part in the service. The meetings are to continue next week; I am so glad, & I hope I may lead someone to Christ. I was so happy to go with Alice to the altar; it is the happiest kind of work. Grandma is some better today, altho she has some pain in her side yet. The Dr. is still coming daily. The men have been here papering and whitewashing and will be here next wk. too. We are to give possession the first of Apr., & I guess the folks will take rooms and stay, for the present at least.

Tues. Mar. 31
P.S. Will (cousin) was in to see me yesterday. He had been to the tailors & had gotten the wedding ring. Wedding set for April 14, W’s 23rd birthday.

I cannot let March pass without writing of the awful muss we have been in for the past week or more. Carpets are up, furniture moved away and packed up until we have scarcely enough to get along with, and every thing looks like “bedlam.” We have worked hard and are nearly used up. I can scarcely hold the pen I am so tired. The paper hangers, painters, Mr. Hill, Mr. Bigelow, & others are working here, and the worse is over. Tomorrow I must pack my things and the furniture that is to go the Jennie’s and get it off Thurs. I intend to leave for Oneida Thurs. eve. at 7:07 and will have a hard trip, but it is worth the price of the ticket ($4.41), & if I can save it by using the pass J.B. (Jerome) sent me, I shall. My time and changes are as follows: Leave Rockford 7:07 P.M.. Arrive Davis Jct. 8:00 P.M. and wait until 12:51 A.M. & then go to Oxford Jct., arriving there 4:55 A.M. & waiting until 7:40 A.M. for the train to Monticello, reach M. 8:25 & Oneida at 9:14. I went to the depot this P.M. to make sure that it was all right & to see if I couldn’t get a later train to Davis Jct. & avoid the long wait, but I can’t do it. Everyone wants to know when I am coming back, and they evidently hate to see me go. I hope to come back in a few months. Jennie writes that a new E. (Epworth) League has been organized at Oneida, and she is counting on my help. Miss Mitchell has been seriously sick with peritonitis at ? and has been taken home.

Sun. Apr. 12
Easter Sun. Here I am at Oneida, but my thoughts are in Rockford. They were to have a six A.M. service and the choir was to sing “Praise Ye The Father.” I can see the church, the beautiful Easter lilies and potted plants, Rev. Holt delivering an Easter sermon in his most delightful way, the choir back of him with Mr. Olson leading them, the girls with their new hats and pretty dresses and can look all over the church and see familiar faces in their never vacant pews. It is not a bright Easter; it has rained, lightninged, and thundered all night and also night before last, I daresay many an Easter hat and bonnet & light dresses will remain in their box ________ ( a couple lines missing)…to make my blue with black dot dress, this week, but I don’t know whether I can wear the waist; it is so damp and cool. They are to have the services here in the evening. Sunday school at 1:30 P.M. Church is held every other Sunday. I went last Sun. & heard a fair sermon to the E.L. in the evening. The league is only a month old and is very weak. Carrie Pratt led last Sun; the meeting was not at all like the ones I have been used to, & I miss them so much. I found Jennie feeling better than I expected to and looking better than when I saw her last summer. I have got rested after our hard siege of packing, but do not feel very bright & happy today owing to a display of _______(words missing - cut out) & got Verne some clothes. Nettie & Harriett Cooper came to the depot to see me off & brought a box of delicious fudges. Bessie bade me goodbye at the house, & I went on the car to the depot. I have had a letter from Bessie and one from Grandma W. (Wheeler). She wrote that they boarded for four days at Mrs. Betts’ and are now with Mrs. Curtis. Aunt Emily left the day after I did, for Palatine and Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Dave Holmes are parents to a baby boy (David Blodgett Holmes, Jr.). Verne is in school & is a great help at home. He is more willing to help than he used to be and is a dear little boy.

April 14
Will Coleman and Winifred King married.

Mon. May 18
It has seemed as if I could not find time to write down anything of late, & when I had time I was not in the mood, so now I have a great deal to write but doubt if I’ll get it written. I wrote that last on Easter Sun. and after that things went on as usual until we were informed that before very long the depot was to be rebuilt and was to have no living rooms. So Jennie decided that she wanted to move out and to get settled and her garden planted. As there were no houses in Oneida for rent, they rented the old house back of Cox’s new one and we began packing and tearing up and now we all enjoy the pure air, the birds, chickens, trees, and flowers. Jennie is planting potatoes this P.M. Most of her small garden is up. Jennie is feeling better since she moved, & she says I have got back my rosy cheeks and have lost part of the tired look that I had when I came. I presume I shall stay here for awhile yet. I expect to rest & have a good time this summer, although it will be necessary for me to draw on my bank account, but I don’t care. I have most of my summer clothes and can get along on very little. I have worked without much chance for a vacation until I’m going to have one if I do use a little of the “rainy day supply.” My plan is to go to Spirit Lake about the 1st of June and return by way of W. Union & visit Sadie and a few others, & then I don’t know what will come next. This depends all on whether the new Supt. will issue me a pass. If he don’t –guess I’ll have to stay here. I haven’t had such a terrible dull time – no time to spare to get dull or blue, with the housework and getting settled in the new nest. Was to Delia’s to a “hen” party about 10 days ago & last Fri. eve. we hired a livery rig and drove to Almoral (5 miles) to a declamatory contest. Pearl & Lelia went in the same buggy. It was a fine drive over, but oh so dark coming home, & the team were fiery too. The contest was between 7 young people & the silver medal was given to Miss Grace Young, who delivered “On a Lehigh Valley Train” very well. A wk. ago Sunday I led the E.L., my first attempt. The subject was “Obedience to Our King,” and we had quite a lively meeting. Everyone seemed to think it a good one, & I was glad.

Grandma W. (Wheeler) is very miserable. So nervous and discontented. Emily (Wheeler) is with them now and seems quite satisfied with the arrangement, but Grandma does not accustom herself to the situation. Aunt M. (Martha Wheeler) seems to be quite contented but is in very poor health still. She has been trying osteopathy treatments, but was not strong enough to stand it. My what a lot of suffering she has endured! Ever since her girlhood she has scarcely had a week free from pain or sickness. It is a wonder she has survived to pass her 60th birthday. Aunt Minnie has been in Colo. Springs with Fred since May 1st. Her health is far from good, and she hopes to regain some of her lost strength while visiting and resting. Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of the organization of the Epworth League. There are now over one & one half million enrolled on its records. I know there must have been a big inspiring meeting in the Rockford leagues as there was one year ago. Miss Bishop led here and told of the organization of the league, etc. It was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, May 14-15, 1889, and inside of one year, 2,000 chapters were enrolled at the central office.

June 5 – Friday
This eve Delia and Pearl entertained a company of young people at Flinch (card game). May 28 was the bazaar; I enjoyed it quite well. Sold tickets for dinner. The raffle booth for the benefit of the E.L. made $18.75. In the eve ate ice cream with M.E.C. and got roasted alive for days after.

June 13 Sunday
Last eve Jennie & I entertained about 20 young people at Flinch. They were Delia & Pearl Cox, Myrtle and Ethyl Birkon (?) Carrie Pratt, Eva Rector, Effie Bishop, Robert Goldworthy, Phillip Hilsinbeck of Greeley, Harry Burbridge, Milford Cole, Glenn Tabor, Roy Dutton, and Ervie Damon. We played progressive Flinch with 4 tables. Seven games were played, Ethyl winning every one. Refreshments consisted of ice cream and cake. They all voted it a good time. I lost my head and forgot the Greeley boys’ names, which was very awkward.

July 6 Monday
The 4th was spent at Manchester. I was with Delia most of the time. Came across Jack Wheeler, who looks the same as he did when I last saw him 3 or 4 years ago. Delia & I went to Mrs. Heise’s for supper, came home on M.& O. special at about 9:30. Lelia and Gertrude Nitert (?) rode home in a one seated buggy with Forest Latham & Fred Firry of Hazelton (got ahead of us) & so yesterday the boys and Delia and I went to the fish hatchery at Spring Branch. We left home about 10 o’clock, taking our dinner and going with the boys team and Mr. Cox’s surrey. We nearly had a smash up & wondered why we got home alive. One horse was a kicker and it kicked to beat the band, broke a line and nearly tipped the buggy over. We all jumped out, & the boys fixed the harness and we drove to a farmer’s and got a wire bit which cured him. (savage dog and savage owner). We arrived at the grounds in time to spread our dinner on the grass and try to eat. Latham didn’t eat butter, so D. scraped it off, & the currant pie was sour. “Don’t cross your bridges.” The old main & the lemon at the spring. The ride home was pleasant tho uneventful. In the eve we walked to league with the boys and they came to our porch when we came home. We were sitting outside when a tramp made his appearance & asked to stay in the barn. We refused to let him and he went off. About the time he got to the road, a cannon cracker went off in the spot he had just left, and we couldn’t see how it came there. Jerome & Jennie had gone to bed, & we blamed the tramp and had lots of fun trying to discover how he managed it. Later we found out that J.B. crawled out of the back window onto the roof and threw it over the house and barely got in bed when I ran upstairs to investigate. The boys went home this morning, & I went to help Mrs. R. Hockaday for a few days. She has been sick but is up and around. Carrie and Ervie are to be married July 30, much to the surprise of everyone.  The girls are planning to have another picnic soon. We had one awhile ago, nearly all of the girls and also Jennie went and we had a whopping big time. Jerome is in hopes that Mr. Robinson of Masillon can relieve him soon and we can all go on our trip together. That is why we are waiting.

Sat. July 18
Came home from Hockaday’s today. Had lots of fun with L.C.B. (?) tended store today while Harry and Mr. L. went to the ball game. L. and I had the blues last eve, but feel better today. We hope J.B. can get a vacation but it seems doubtful at present.

Thurs. July 23
Yesterday Delia and Pearl, Lelia Pratt, the 3 Breckon girls, Estelle Mabey of Elma, Bonnie Dake of Epworth, and myself had our much talked of picnic. We took our dinner and supper and had a fine time. Bonnie, Estelle, Myrtle, Ethyl, & Delia staid in the woods all night, having gotten blankets and quilts and wraps to keep them warm. They kept a smudge all night to keep mosquitoes away. I could not stay & am glad I didn’t. Got enough of the mosquitoes during the picnic. Several of the girls went wading in the creek, & oh, what fun.

Fri. July 31
Last eve Ernie H. Damon & Caroline B. Pratt were united in marriage at the bride’s home, in the presence of about 40 relatives and friends. It was a very pretty wedding, and Carrie looked very nice in her gown of white organdy. The presents were nice and numerous. Jennie, Jerome, and I took them a 4-piece glass set.

Sat. Aug. 1st
Last night I enjoyed a Flinch party at the Breckon home. The bride and groom were there, and about 18 others. Delia and I came home with Harry B. and Glen Tabor. Jerome cannot get a man to relieve him, and as our pass has come, we have decided to start Monday.

Tues. Aug. 4th Spirit Lake, Ia.
Yesterday we left Oneida on the 9:14 A.M. train and arrived in Spirit Lake about 8 P.M. Clare (Katherine Brownell) met us at the depot with Royal and the buggy. We knew her instantly & were soon on the way to Uncle Harry’s (Brownell) home ½ mile S.W. of the city. We met him on the road, followed by “Boy Blue” and he kissed us there. Aunt Clara (Hamler) and Lalive (Brownell) were at the house to receive us, and we were soon chatting merrily. We enjoyed the trip so much, although we got very tired; after a good night’s rest we were all right. This P.M. the girls & I walked to E. Okoboji Lake, out on the dock and dabbled in the water.

Mon. Aug. 10
We have been here one week & have been to Okoboji, Arnold’s Park, Pillsbury Pt., Pike Pt., and Spirit Lake. The scenery is beautiful and we have gone driving nearly every day.
Later – also went picnicking & on the “Okoboji.” Clare and Aunt Clara went bathing at Pike Pt. Spent several hours at the “Manhattan,” but didn’t try the gambling devices (Fred at the wheel on board Okoboji) Shells and stones.

August 26 is Grandma Wheeler’s birthday

Oneida, Iowa, Sept. 12, 1903
Well, there is no use of trying to ever tell about everything that I have been doing this summer, as I am a month behind in writing up my diary now. So I will just skim things over until I get caught up. We left Spirit Lake for Aberdeen Aug. 13 and traveled all day, reaching there about 8 o’clock P.M. May, (Ida May, Lillie’s daughter) Charlie, (Lillie’s son) & Uncle Vince (Vince Copeland, husband of Lillie Brownell, who was sister to Bertha’s mother Alice) met us at the depot, and we soon met Aunt Lillie and June at the gate. They made lots of us, and we enjoyed ourselves as much as possible. Charlie took us driving evenings behind Dexter & we could pass almost any horse in Aberdeen with “Deck.”

One day June, Jennie, & I went to visit in the neighborhood of June’s old school, took dinner where she had boarded (Beckner’s Morris & Nat.) Jennie took sick that night, had a bilious spell and poor June thought it was caused by her taking us in the country!

I didn’t like Dakota prairies, Russian thistles, and Buffalo grass, nor the artesian water. June sang “John Wellington Walls” and “Come Holy Spirit” for us, and several other songs. We played croquet, tennis, and Flinch, and never cheated. We gave Charlie and Lalive each a deck of “Flinch” cards, for both were so fond of it.

We left Aberdeen about 8 o’clock the eve of the 20th, traveling all night, arriving at Minneapolis at 7 in the morning. Waited awhile there and made good connections to W. Union, reaching there about dark and surprising Howes and Verne. They had not got our letter telling that we were coming. We stayed until Tues. A.M. and then came home, I with the intention of going back for the fair. We reached Oneida in time to take dinner with Cox’s & found everything in good order downstairs, and Jerome glad to have us back. Jerome came up late the Sat. night before and Jennie took him to Donnan on Sun.

Well, we did some washing and ironing, and in the meantime I wrote to Mrs. Howe and Sadie, saying I had given up going back for the fair, but the first day of the fair (Tues. Sept. 1) I got up determined to go anyway. So I packed up my grip and started after dinner on the freight. Mrs. Howe was of course surprised to see me, and everyone else was too. Wens. I made a few calls, on Mrs. Smith, Nettie Myers, and Dill and Stella, and Wens. night went out to Turner’s with them when they came from the fair and the next morning I struck out for Sadie’s. She hardly realized it could be me; she was so surprised and glad. We all went to the fair Thurs. & Fri. with her Aunt and Uncle Grimes in a big wagon, & I saw everyone on the grounds.

Sat. P.M. Sadie & I drove to see Mrs. Scott and were there to supper; I’m going to Mae’s to stay all night. Mrs. Scott was just recovering from a severe illness & looked thin. She took us all over her new house from garret to cellar; it is very nice and comfortable. She was sorry I couldn’t stay all night with her, but I had promised to stay with Mae. On Sunday it rained and we didn’t go to church. Glen and Ellie & her babies came, & Ed Kohler came to see Mae. She didn’t want him there and treated him very coolly. We rocked the babies, for want of something better to do & I’m sure that was very entertaining! In the eve, Bertha Y. & Mae drove me in to Mrs. Howe’s and the next morning I started for Oneida again. Mrs. Carmichael has a cancer and the Dr’s can do nothing for her.

Sadie has recently rec’d. her certificate to teach school, & she feels that it is her first document, for years of labor to that end. She hadn’t found a school for this fall but is quite sure of one for winter. Now I am home again I think I shall learn telegraphy.

I had a letter from Aunt Mattie a few days ago, telling of Grandma W. (Wheeler) falling and injuring her hip. I hope it is not serious.
~ 1904 ~
Jan. 31, 1904
Well, old diary, you have been most shamefully neglected for the last 4 months, and now I am going to write everything in a lump to help me remember the good times I have had this winter in spite of a rather gloomy outlook for a quiet winter, this fall. Well, first and foremost, I am really going to be an operator and hope to be able to prove my modus operandi by the 1st of Apr. if possible. Jerome’s new depot is finished excepting the paint, and he can soon move from the freight room to his office, and then I am going to go to the office and try to receive from the wire. I have been on the verge of despair several times, but have taken a few necessary “tumbles” (as J.B. calls them) and can receive pretty well. When I wrote the last time in you, old book, we were residing in the country, our “summer home” in “Coxville,” ½ mile distant.

As winter began to creep on and we began thinking of the terrible cold weather, we concluded to move to the rooms over the depot, as we understood that they would not built before spring. So move we did a few weeks before Thanksgiving. All was lovely and we were nicely settled by Dec. 15, when one evening the 9:14 train unloaded a crew of men who were to remodel the depot. We were most woefully surprised and there were only 2 places we could move to: to Cox’s again or over Lighty’s store, & so we decided on the latter place and moved again. Here we are with a barber shop just across the hall and plenty of stove pipe to clean soot out of. The (stove pipe) (?) has had three spasms of charring (?) since we moved in, and Jennie is about ready to move out if it occurs many more times. There is only one chimney for his pipe and ours, consequently when he cleans, it dirties up everything in the kitchen, & then we have to clean cupboards. It is lots of fun! But that is not what I started to say. I spent Thanksgiving Day with Eva Rector & in the P.M. we went to Effie Bishop’s and made baskets for the social at Hoag’s. Cal & Effie & Eva & I came home in a one-seated buggy that eve & had lots of fun. Yes, we all went to Hoag’s social and also to one later at Frank Dunham’s, proceeds to build sidewalk. Then there have been “Pit” parties galore. I am a pretty good player when W.D. (Will Dodge) sits next to me and gives me a “comment.” Then, too, I have been enjoying the lecture course at Manchester & staying with Ethel Dunham at her aunt’s overnight. Those I have attended are “Banda Rossi,” “Elias Day,” and Frank Robeson’s steroptican lecture on “Imperial India.”

We’ve been at Almoral with Ethel one night while her folks were away and we “shook like leaves” when the dog barked and the man who lives in the yard shot twice to frighten away supposed corn thieves. We didn’t know until morning what was the matter; we were not brave enough to inquire into the matter that night. The next eve Eva and Bert Bishop & Dodge and Effie came to Ethel’s and we played “Pit,”& I came home with Bert & Eva stayed with Ethel & I with Effie and came home the next morning with Sadie & Mr. Bell. Ethel & I tried the rifles to get them in good order for the next night, but they didn’t need them and the next day her folks came home. A few nights later then was an auction of articles brought by the ladies at Will Hockaday’s & about $25 was cleared for the benefit of the school library. Supper was furnished by the ladies and a good crowd and good time was there. I ate with Wallace Osman, he buying my article, which was a picture of the playful kittens.

Last Friday eve there was one at G.B. Cox’s for the benefit of the church seats; I took an umbrella match ____ (?) which was auctioned off at .80 to W Dodge, thereby securing him as my partner for supper. Now the E.L. (Epworth League) want to have a Valentine social to help with the seats. I am 4th vice president & therefore am chairman of the social com. & I am very anxious to begin our preparation for it. I was also elected secretary of the S.S. (Sunday School). Our Xmas entertainment was very nice, & my Xmas gifts were too. Jerome furnished about 125 sticks of cream candy for the tree. About Xmastime there was a party at Edith & Will Cox’s in honor of Miss Clara Harrison of Palatine & Glen & Delia, Harvey, Pearl & I went in a surrey from here, and that we had a good time goes without saying.

When I come to think it over, I have had a pretty lively time this winter, lots better than I expected. By the way, I forgot my own party, which was a complete surprise, gotten up by Jennie & Delia a few eve. before we moved from Cox’s to the depot. I had been helping Jerome at the depot and went home to find the house dark and Jennie (I supposed) in bed. When we struck a light, there was a crowd of ghostlike figures sitting all around the room, & I could have fainted with surprise. But I came to my senses presently and had a very pleasant time. Popcorn and fudges were served.

Jan. 31, 1904
While I have been enjoying the winter, others have had trouble & sorrows. Grandma Buchanan has had an operation performed and has cataracts on both of her eyes. Miss Wright & mother are with her. Edith Gates has lost her husband of less than a year; he dying of consumption the latter part of Aug. Aunt Emily and Aunt Minnie start for California in a few days, leaving Grandma & Aunt Mattie lonesome and poorly. Jennie’s health is getting better & I hope she may be cured. Mrs. Howe spent Thanksgiving here, as we expect her again this week. Jens. Jensen is married, which is another proof that I am to be an “old maid.” He was married in Nov., about Thanksgiving time.

Wens. March 31, 1904
Feb. 4th Jennie was severely burned while attempting to fry doughnuts, by tipping the hot lard over her right hand and almost cooking it. Linseed oil and limewater brought relief and sulphur was also found to be soothing. The hand turned purple and black in places and the skin peeled off. Mrs. Howe came a day or two later for a short visit. The 5th was Jennie’s 27th birthday and she celebrated with her hand in a bandage. For a month she was unable to do but little housework, although she could sew carpet rags on the machine. We were surprised to receive the announcement of the marriage of Cousin Stella Feakins to Jason Mandel Hill on Feb. 20. We have connected our telegraph line to Conger’s and to Lighty’s store, and I am getting more practice since Jennie has recovered. The evening of the 28th Mr. and Mrs. Carver, Mrs. And Mrs. Hoag, Mrs. And Mrs. Dunham, & Ethel, Mr. Dodge and myself also Jerome and Jennie took in the play “When Louis XI was King.” Jennie, J.B., Carvers, Dodge & myself stayed in the M & O coach, starting home on the 5 A.M. run. The play was splendid, being laid in the 13th century. William Ourn was the leading man.

After the play came supper and then later “Flinch.” My! But we were a sleepy set the next day, as no one was allowed to sleep that night. Mr. D. (Dodge) and the rest of us have played “Flinch” a good deal of late. We gave a surprise “Flinch” party for Jerome on his birthday March 8th, Jennie & I presenting him with a gold ring. I listened to Maud Ballington Booth lecture on “Lights and Shadows of Prison Work” a while ago and enjoyed it immensely. She is a very plain, little woman with convictions and energy worth having and has given her life to prison reform and the results of her labor are very encouraging.

June 19, 1904, Sunday
It has been an eventful time since I wrote the above. It seems to me that the past months have once more proved the saying that “misfortune never comes single” for we have had a very trying time. I shall not go into many details as the awfulness of it all is stamped forever on my memory. The first part of April Effie Howe (Jerome’s sister) went to Chicago to enter Wesley hospital to study nursing.

She did not write her parents and her mother became worried and came to Oneida, told Jerome her trouble, and the result was Jerome taking the 3 A.M. train for Chicago on the morning of Sun. April 17th and arrived there in time to see the daily papers with an account of how a beautiful young woman, on Apr. 14, had taken a room in a hotel and had apparently drank carbolic acid. The description given was unmistakably that of Effie, & he soon identified her at the undertaking rooms.  The word was sent to Mr. Howe at W.U., who immediately started, sending a telephone message for us to meet him at the train Sunday P.M. on his way to Chicago. The news was a dreadful shock, to all of us, and Mrs. H. was prostrated. We were afraid she would die of heart failure so sent for Dr. Thomas, he giving her something to quiet her, and then we waited for Jerome and details in terrible suspense. Mr. H. went through in the P.M. and handed us a paper explaining the mystery to some extent, but we dared not tell her mother how she died. Jerome met his father at the train when he reached Chicago, & on Mon. P.M. J. came home, while his father took the remains to W.U. on Tues.

In the meantime I had Mr. Robinson telegraph for a man to fill J’s place and was very busy taking inventory of the tickets and cash on hand. Tues. morning (19th) we all (excepting Verne) started to West Union, arriving at Donnan in time to see the train on its way to W.U. and we had to drive over in the surrey. We were crowded and the day was cold and the roads rough and sandy. We reached W.U. just as the train bringing Mr. H. came in, and we arrived at the house only a short time before the remains. Mrs. H. gave vent to her grief upon reaching her own bed and was not able to go to the cemetery. The neighbors had everything ready and the house was filled with friends and relatives. A short service was held and then the last look was taken and she who might have been so much with her education and talents, but who considered her life a failure, was laid away. Just why she did the deed or whether she did it, may never be known, for she left no line of explanation, but she was despondent and probably mentally deranged at the time. Her troubles and discouragements were too much for her; it is a terrible blow to her folks, one which they never will get over I fear.

On Wens. Apr. 20 we received a telegram from Mr. Neitzel (the operator) that Verne was sick and for one of us to come home. We had left him with Cox’s, and supposed he would be all right. There was just time for Jerome to catch the P.M. passenger, & he started at once that eve. Jennie & I went to the telephone central and talked to him; he said he was quite sick with fever and vomiting and that one of us should come home in the morning. He did not feel a bit easy about it and that night we packed up and decided to both go home. We found Verne very sick indeed, but the Dr. seemed to think he would be well in a few days. However we started a fire at home and got things in readiness to take him there. Then we wrapped him up in coats and quilts and got a horse and buggy and got him home. The Dr. said he could not take cold with such a high fever. For days and nights we sat up and gave him 5 kinds of medicine, some of it coming every 15 min until we were both worn out, then the Dr. said he was getting better, and apparently he was. He said he had the grippe & was not dangerously ill, and as Jerome was having 3 wks. off from the depot work, he was away most of the time to W.U., and as they had planned to go to Rockford and Chicago together, I insisted on them leaving Verne to me and going.  They went on May 2, and came home the 7th. Jerome began work the 8th. When they went, Verne was able to sit up and to be dressed, but seemed to grow worse about Friday. Sat., (the day they came home) we thought he was dying; he was so ghastly and cold, & it was a shock to them when they got home to find him worse for I had written that he was getting better and apparently he was until the day before.

On May 10 we called Dr. C.C. Bradley in consultation with Dr. Thomas and the result was a very difficult operation on the 12th, they removing about 5 pints of the greenest pus. He was so weak they could not give him any anesthetic; his ribs were so close together that they could not get in the tube for cleaning, and on the 15th of May, Drs. C.C. and Harry Bradley and Dr. Thomas and a trained nurse and Mrs. Allen performed another operation removing a piece of rib about 2 inches long and about 3 pints more of pus. We had given him up to die before the operation, and it seemed as if he could never live through it. They gave him chloroform and ether & injected stimulants to keep him alive while they operated, and he was so weak he could not move for days and days. The agony we endured while the operation was going on was terrible. I could have endured it better myself than to know that he was undergoing it. Mrs. Allen was with us for a week, so Jennie and I got some of our rest caught up, altho we worried so much our sleep did not do us much good.

One night it seemed as if every breath would be his last, & we all watched over him for about 3 hours before his breathing was natural, fanning and rubbing him. Mrs. Allen worked faithfully to save him, although her hopes for his recovery were very small, & the Drs. said that if the operation had not been performed that day, it would have been too late. The gash in his side was about 4 inches long and they took about 12 stitches. He required bandaging 2 or 3 times daily at first, padding it with 6 in. of absorbent cotton and gauze and then it would soak through. Every other day we carried him to the table and syringed his side out with a solution of boric acid and something else dissolved in boiled water. The syringe and everything we used had to be boiled, & we kept this up until the last of June. Dr. B. removed the stitches May 29, but the 2 tubes did not come out until about July 1st. In the meantime Mr. Lighty decided to occupy the rooms and we were obliged to move June 1st to the Burbridge cottage. Mrs. Parker helped us and it was not so hard on us, but it was bad enough as we were worn out for want of sufficient sleep and rest. Mr. Dunham and Mr. Hockaday carried Verne down in a rocking chair and from that day he began to grow stronger. It was a blessing to him to be where he could see the people passing by and the grass and birds and get out on the porch as soon as he was strong enough. He began to try to walk by taking 4 or 5 steps on June 5th, and after that gained a few each day. July 1st he was able to go to West Union with Jennie for a 10 day’s visit. He had to have a plug of gauze in his side all the time we were away, to fill the cavity where the tubes had been. Gradually the discharge ceased & it closed up.
While we were at W.U., we visited a day and one night at Turner’s and also at Scott’s. Ate one dinner with Emma Schroeder Heldt on our old farm (in West Union) and enjoyed it very much. The house has been put on a foundation, and another window put in & the partitions changed in the front room, and the upstairs has been finished into two nice rooms and a porch added, so it is hardly like the same house. The marks of our hands and Verne’s foot and handprints when he was 2 years old are still on the cellar wall plaster. Alvena and Godfrey Rembold and their 3 children were there, and we saw Will & M. Schroeder’s family of 3, and Emma has a baby boy named Louis. Mrs. Sch. & Henry live in town. We spent a very quiet 4th, as W.U. did not celebrate and everyone had their plans made before we got there. We went to the creek in the P.M. for awhile and watched some of the fireworks in the evening & was glad when the day was over.

Mrs. Conger took good care of Jerome while we were away, but he seemed glad enough to see us come home; we were glad to get home again. There are so many changes taking places at W.U. all the time that it hardly seems like the same place to us & we do not enjoy it as we anticipate before we go. Did not see Sadie, though I wrote her a card telling her I was there and asking her to come see me.

Oct. 16, 1904
Three months have wrought all kinds of change. The great event of my life (it seems so queer to write it, but I want to), has begun, at least it has if getting engaged is the first step. It has been just one week today, and yesterday I got my sweet little opal & garnet ring. We went for a drive, way on the other side of Greeley down past the mill, and got home just at dark. I have lots of work before me this winter, but it will be pleasant work; I have had some fine times this summer.

On July 25, we started for a week’s sojourn at the St. Louis Exposition. Ethel Dunham, Ethyl & Myrtle Beekon (?), Mrs. & Mrs. Buel Dunham, and we had a most delightful trip. Our tickets cost us $8.50 for a 7-day limit, and my expenses all together were about $25. I do not begrudge it, for it was simply grand. We were very tired when night came, but were rested the next morning and ready for another tramp. I saw just one person I knew, Rose Cassidy, from Rkfd. I must not forget to mention Alice’s (Tallmadge) marriage (to Mr. Ware) which took place July 19 I believe. They left at once for St. L., but we missed seeing each other as I did not know she was going and she was gone before my letter reached Oregon. (Il.)
Leila Pratt married Mr. Manning the first part of last month, and Florence Rizer and Nick Burbridge Oct. 3rd ’04. & Mr. and Mrs. Lighty June 15, ’04. So it goes, Oneida has the marriage fever. Mr. Thomas has sold his drug store and they will soon leave us. Cousin Clare has her first school to teach this fall, and Lalive (Brownell) is now a senior.
~ 1905 ~
Dec. 29, 1905
It has been fifteen months since I last wrote in this book and so much has transpired in the meantime. I have thought often of writing, but have neglected it. I will put down some of the events of the past year as they come to my mind. In the first place, I may say that this has been the happiest, thankfulest, year of my life, I believe. Very few clouds have marred its joy, though others around us have had troubles greater than any that have come to us this year.

I was wondering yesterday if there was really a “joy for every sorrow.” Sometimes it seems so; at other times vice versa. One of the sad things has been the suicide of Albert Hupp, husband of Alma Gorham, the first of this month, followed in a week or so by her death from consumption. It does not seem possible that she is gone. Yesterday I rec’d. the announcement of the marriage Dec. 24 of Sadie Youmans and Frank Wattenpaugh, which leaves only Mae Carmichael and Bertha Youmans of the schoolmates single. That is of the older girls, though they are only about 20. Mary Rembold married Emil Moshel in Oct. Homer Carmichael and Bessie Shafer last Feb., while I myself was united in marriage to Wm. D. (Dodge) April 17th, 1905. That is why this has been a happy year, I guess, for before I was such a bird of passage, never knowing what I wanted to do. Now I know, and I am glad I have a home of my own, the dearest place on earth to me, and for beginners we are very comfortably situated. (home in Oneida) On my birthday last year, Jennie gave birth to a wee girlie, now known as Alice LaLive Howe, and this year we celebrated our birthdays together here, at my house, which was formerly the Bundy property. LaLive is a dear baby, walking all over and trying to talk, but as yet very unintelligibly.

Our house is paid for, and $75 is all we owe in the world, and we could raise that in short order if necessary. Jennie and Jerome have recently bought the West Union property, which makes them a fine home. Aunt Minnie Feakins visited us about 2 wks. this summer and also at Spirit Lake. Her children are all married, and she makes her home with Stella at Topeka, but travels a good deal. Aunt Emily has built her a home at 634 Cedar Ave., Long Beach, California, while Grandma W. and Aunt Mattie rent a house and live together. I visited at Rockford and Oregon this spring (in March) and had a lovely time. Libbie Wortman and Jim Arthurs were married Nov. 1904 and now have a baby girl, Ruth Elizabeth, about a month old.

Alice Tallmadge Ware gave birth in Oct. this year to her son Roderick. Effie Bishop and Charles Carpenter were married Dec. 16, 1905. I attended a shower for her a few days previous.

Verne is making his home with me, and in Nov. I was appointed his guardian, $300 bond, with M.T. Dodge and E.F. Havens as bondsmen. Haven’s came from Ortonville in Oct., buying out Hockaday’s hardware store. Will’s father is very feeble and has been ill for 2 wks. Someone stays with them every night. 2 nights W. & I have stayed, Will sitting up to give medicine and I to be there in case he wanted to send me for anyone in the night. He is 84 years of age, and may not recover. Christmas day was Mother Dodge’s 74th birthday, and the children successfully surprised them with well-filled baskets and reed rocker. Bert came (Will just telephoned that his father had just died and now I can’t write; I am so trembly).
~ 1906 ~
March 25, 1906
And so I quit and have not written a word since the new year. To leave off and not tell the rest of what I was writing would make the record incomplete. The funeral of Father Dodge occurred New Year’s day, a short service at the church conducted by Rev. Crawford and interment at Greeley. It was a bitter cold day and we fairly shook at the grave. Mrs. Conger, Mr. J. B. Dunham, Glen Taber, Madona Breckon, and Delia Cox sang. I was nearly sick over it. Since then Mother D. has kept her home, but has not stayed alone nights much. Mary Struckhoff has been with her when she was not here or at Haven’s.

We are planning on moving to Oelwein next month where Will will engage in cement work, as he did last summer. Our house here will be rented to Mr. and Mrs. S.J. Knox and Mr. and Mrs. Kimber (not yet married). Tues. March 27 is Aunt Mattie Wheeler’s birthday. We had a surprise on Jennie on her birthday, and she got up a small party for supper on Jerome’s. Mar. 8 his mother came down for a surprise. Buel and Frank Dunhams and Will, Verne, and I and Mrs. Howe for supper. Will’s birthday was Feb. 15th.

Tues. April 17, 1906 Oelwein, Iowa
This is our wedding anniversary – cotton - and Will has begun cement work to celebrate it. I went downtown in the afternoon, bought some thread, and then made a cover of canvas for walks, 6 x 40ft., with 24 rings for ropes with which to stake it down. Otherwise the day was like others. We moved to Oelwein April 11; I came the 12th, but Will and Verne came with the car of goods the night of the 11th. We have a nice 6 room cottage at 212 Third St. East, and everything looks prosperous. Left Jennie and family all more or less sick. LaLive teething and cross as a little cub.

Tues. Apr 24
Mother D. (Dodge) came Saturday P.M. for a little visit. We have radishes and lettuce up, but it is quite cold yet. Miss Elma Cooke came Sat. eve for supper, stayed all night to visit with Mother and us. We have had several fine drives in town and country. Will and Verne and Fred are head over heels in cement work. Everything looks prosperous.

July 29, 1906 Sunday
Dick Dodge came up yesterday, and we enjoyed a one day visit from Ethel Dunham the 17th, while enroute home from a visit at Minneapolis. Her father died of heart failure July 4th, and she is having a few weeks vacation from her nursing duties. She will graduate from the hospital next June. Jennie and LaLive (Brownell) visited us for 8 days this spring and I expect her to come this fall. July 9 Verne and I drove Nettie to Sadie’s, 6 mi. northwest of Hawkeye, a distance of 26 miles from here, in 5 hours. The next day we drove to W.U. returning to Sadie’s Wens.  and coming home Thursday. Will was working at Arlington. We enjoyed it, but were very tired. Last Tues. eve Will and I went on the R.I. to West Union, returning the following morning. Didn’t see anyone but Howes, just a business trip. Aunt Minnie Feakins and Stella are visiting George in Buffalo. we spent the 4th at Independence. Visited the insane hospital and had a pleasant day. Alice (Tallmadge) Ware and her husband are in Rand, Colo. for her health. Edith has charge of little 9 mos. old Roderick. They have been there since April. Mother Dodge is visiting in Webster City, and Havens have sold their stock of goods for a farm near Arlington. Expect to move this fall or in the spring. Myrtle Breckon and Ray Moody were married the 26th of June, and have gone to New Point, Ind. to reside. I guess that is all I have to put down in my record of events, excepting that I have a terribly sore toe, caused by an ingrowing nail. I have hobbled for a week and can’t wear my shoe. It’s no fun, and I think I’ll have to see the Dr. as it does not get better.

Aug. 22, 1906 Wednesday
Since writing the above, I have seen the Dr. and had my right foot toenail removed entirely. It was very painful and sore. That was Aug. 4. and Aug. 9 I stepped on a rusty spike with my left foot and consequently was crippled on both feet. Jennie came the 11th and helped with the work, staying until the 16th. I could not wear my shoes then, but the 18th I did, and Will and I went to Oneida, returning the following day. Will’s mother came from Webster City the previous Monday, called home by the serious illness of Ida. Mrs. Mayers was buried the 18th and her husband is at death’s door. Grandma Wheeler and Aunt Mattie have given up coming here because of poor health. Will has just begun using his new cement mixer and is delighted. (Mr. Mayer died 10 days after his wife).

Oct. 1st Monday
We were at Oneida a week ago Sunday. Mother Dodge came home with me Monday, expecting to stay until after the festival this week but had to go home Sat. on account of the death of Dick’s baby boy of cholera infantum. The funeral is today. Will went down yesterday, thinking the funeral would be then, but came home in the P.M. and did not go today.

Oct. 11 Thursday
We moved Monday to the Meyers place 728 2nd Ave. East. LaLive is ill with tonsillitis. Sadie (Youmans) Watenpaugh and Bertha Youmans here 1 week in Oct.

Nov. 25 Sunday
Will and Verne and Mr. Kidd have gone hunting near Maynard, and it is raining hard, so I guess they wish they were home. Last eve. Mr. and Mrs. Kidd & I went to Rebekah Lodge – the first time since I was initiated. Were at Oneida from Nov. 14-19 and shingled four houses.

The Daughters of Rebekah, also known as the Rebekahs and the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies, is an international service-oriented organization (founded 20 Sept. 1851) and a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Alice (Tallmadge Ware) and Ira and Roderick have gone to Colo. again on account of her health. Cousin Fred Feakins and wife have a pair of twin daughters born a few weeks ago. Or a boy and a girl, Marjorie and Will, I believe. Aunt Minnie is with Stella in Topeka, after her summer in Buffalo with George.

I suppose the world would have moved along in the very same way had I not opened my blinking eyes for the first time twenty-four years ago today, but this book would have minus a writer, and a few other things would not have happened. And just two years ago at about 10 A.M. my dear little niece LaLive (Howe) came into being. Last year we were together at my house in Oneida, but this year she is at home and I am at home in Oelwein. I have rec’d. her photo in a sweet little oval frame and also a tea packet from Jennie. My other gifts haven’t come yet. This is a cold, clear day, with no snow. Now much as it was 2 years ago.
~ 1907 ~

Jan. 4, 1907
I have had a large number of Christmas gifts as usual. The best being an Eastman Kodak and outfit from Will. Mother Dodge came the day before Xmas and remained a week.

Jan. 16
Will was at Oneida yesterday to Dick’s sale. Dick moves this week to his farm near Arlington. We were both at Oneida for several days about 2 months ago and shingled our house. I have just received my gold and diamond swastika pin from the Girls’ Club of the Ladies Home Journal. My prize for obtaining 25 subscriptions in 3 mos. It is beautiful and I’m glad I worked for it, now. Sat. eve we attended public installation of the Rebekah’s and entertained the odd fellows. Had a nice time. Rec’d. lots of Christmas gifts (I see I have written that before). Uncle John Buchanan died in 1904, so I have just heard from Grandma Buchanan.

Feb. 15
We went to Arlington to visit Dick’s and came back the next Sunday. Will and I went to Oneida Feb. 25 and he helped Havens move to Arlington. Jennie and LaLive came back home with me Mar. 1 and went home the 5th. Eva Rector was here a few days last month. (Feb.)

April 21 Sunday
Mrs. Knox and mother Mrs. Tucker attended Presbytery here Wens. and Thursday and made us a visit. Wens. was our anniversary (2nd), and I am glad to have company. It was a beautiful day, so much like 2 yrs. ago. Will has been doing cement work since April 2, though some of it was spoiled by the cold night. I am expecting Dell Wright and Griffith before long also Sadie (Youmans) Watenpaugh. Effie Bishop Carpenter has a baby girl born the 6th. Aunt Lily Copeland and family have moved from Walla Walla to Seattle. I have almost finished house cleaning. Have a new Brussels rug and draperies for arch, and our front room looks very cosy indeed. Alice (Tallmadge) Ware at Wray, Colo. has a little daughter, Margaret Louise, born Jan. 19, I think.

Nov. 18, 1907 Monday (daughter Dorothy born Sept. 30)
How much has happened since I wrote the above. Poor Alice (Ware) died Aug. 9th, leaving the 2 little children motherless. They brought her home from Colo. to die the following day. I did not know it until my little Dorothy was 8 days old, for they kept it from me purposely. I do not know who is caring for the little babies, one 2 yrs., the other 10 mos. She was a lovely girl and I cannot realize I shall never have another letter from her nor see her again.

Dell and Griffith spent ten days with us in May, and Sadie and Bertha came later, also Mary and Emma Schroeder Heldt and Mrs. Schroeder and Mrs. Howe. These last all since baby came. I must tell my book about “baby.” She is a perfect little dear, 7 wks. old today and weighs 7 lbs. She was a 5 ½ pounder to begin with and did not gain much the first month. She is beautifully bright, especially her eyes, whose color is between a blue and a grey. Her forehead and head is like Will and the rest resemble more her ma. She is very good, having had only 1 night attack of colic. She was born on her Grandma Buchanan’s birthday on Monday, Sept. 30, at 6:15 A.M. Miss Bogart was my nurse, and she arrived home from an eastern trip at 4 o’clock A.M. on the 29th and I called her here at 10 P.M. that night. She was with us 10 days and gave both Dorothy Maurine and I the best of care. Jennie and Jerome came the Sat. after the event and Jennie staid 10 days. Jerome returned Sunday. During the summer I was very poorly and feel better now than for a long time. Mamie Hoffman helped me with the work from Sept. 8 to Nov. 16, and now I think I can manage alone by sending the washing out.
Dick Dodge and little family of 5 children have moved from their farm near Arlington to the Tunison place north of us. They have twins born Aug. 21, and for a week we had them all here while they were finding a suitable house. That was a bout 2 wks. ago. Mother Dodge was here from Aug. 13th to Sept. 4, and now she wants to come again to see the babies.

Last Friday Nov. 15 was a nice warm day so I bundled the baby up and took her for her first outing to Dick’s and Buchanan’s. If the weather stays fine I hope to go to Oneida with her this week. I was there the first part of August the last time. Verne entered the 7th room in school this fall; Will had been working at the septic tank for a couple of wks. and is thinking of going to Colo. on a trip tomorrow night.
~ 1908 ~
Feb. 16 Sunday
Another year has begun, and we are all as usual. Dorothy weighed 12 ½ lbs. dressed today and is so sweet and lovable, it is hard to not spoil her. Indeed I fear she will be, for her papa and grandma cannot keep away from her. She is a good baby thus far, but I know it doesn’t take much to make her think she can have some one with her constantly, and it nearly makes me wild to see it, for I don’t want her spoiled. Sadie Watenpaugh has a little girl Edna Lavon, born Jan. 4th. Mother Dodge has been at Oelwein with Dick’s and us since Thanksgiving Day when she came home with me after baby and I had been at Jennie’s a week while Will was in Colorado. She has been here since last Sunday, under Dr.’s care, threatened with bronchial pneumonia, but is better now.

Jennie and LaLive have just returned from a trip to Rockford. Grandma Wheeler had a stroke of paralysis Feb. 6 and has 2 nurses and is very low, with little hope of recovery. Jennie stayed at Grandma B’s (Buchanan) while there.

Dorothy is now larger than Florence, who was quite a bit larger than she when they were here in Nov. Flora weighed 6 lbs. and Florence 4 at birth.

May 17 – Sunday
Will and Dick have gone to a ball game at the race track and Verne is fishing and Dorothy is taking her bottle of milk, and I think I’ll try to write. Edna Gilmore came for a visit Mar. 2nd and took Mother (Dodge) home with her the 14th. Mother has been sick in bed with lobular pneumonia since then and has failed rapidly in both mind and body.

Mar. 27 we sold our Oneida place to S.J. Knox for $500, receiving really only $480 as there was $20 off for expenses, abstract, taxes, etc. I did not seem to know whether to sell or not, but we wanted the money to put into a house here, as we have a lot on Frederick St. and are thinking very strongly of building. We are very undecided however, as we would like a warmer climate, we think. Ed Nelson’s and Tarnisons (?) went to Wash. last winter and they are delighted with the climate. Aunt Lillie and family live at Charleston, Kitsap Co. Wash.

During April all of Dick’s children had the German measles, and last week Jennie and I had them. Jennie and LaLive and Frank and Sadie and Edna and Bertha and Hazel Youmans and Jimmy Jacobson were all here Easter Sun. April 19th. They were all unexpected excepting Watenpaughs and Bertha. Thurs. Jennie and Lalive returning home, Bertha and Sadie and baby the day before, and the others the day they came. We made our first garden Apr. 23 and it is now up nicely. Verne does most of it this year; I seem to have all I can do inside. Dorothy was 7 mos. old Apr. 30 and I took her to have her 1st gallery photo taken. They look like her, but she has some expressions which I like better, but she had been asleep and was a little shy. They were $2.50 per dozen. I have just had Myrtle Buchanan make me a thin brown dress, trimmed in plaiting. Dorothy weighed 16 lbs. when 7 ½ mos. old and sits alone and is on the go with her hands, feet, and mouth from morning until night, sleeping but little in the daytime. Will brought home a new hammock ($4.50) last night and he has had her in it a good share of the day. She likes to romp with him.

Grandma Wheeler (Mary Nash Wheeler) passed away Feb. 20, and Aunt Helen and Alice Cook (Helen’s daughter) are there with Aunt Mattie. Grandma left property to the following: $400 each to Katie, Matie, Tot & Nettie and Annie (Homer’s kids) (but “Tot”?), Jennie and myself, and $1,500 to Aunt Mattie, Minnie, Helen, and Emily (Solomon’s daughters). But they decided to give Uncle Martin each $300, making $1200 to the 5 heirs of Grandpa’s children. I think she also left some money to the church and missionary society. Besides the money, she left her personal belongings. Jennie received the silver tea set and some clothes, and I her gold watch and chain. Uncle Homer’s girls got some of her fine linens. Poor Grandma, she was always good to me, and I am sorry I could not have seen her as I planned this spring. I do not expect to go to Rockford very soon now.

Florence Burbridge died Feb. 24 of consumption. Mrs. F. Burbridge took Gertie and Mrs. Dixon was caring for Mabel. John Knox born Mar. 7.

Aug. 12, 1908

728 2nd Ave. yet, tho we hope to move next month to our lovely new home, which is just now being plastered. It will be a square house, 2 hall and front room and kitchen on the main floor, the basement will have vegetable and coal rooms, laundry and work room for Will. Upstairs will be 4 bedrooms with 3 closets and a bathroom. Electric lights, city water, and fine well, with large porches on front and back. I am very anxious to occupy it.

June 4 Dorothy and I went to Oneida, attended the bazaar at Conger’s Fri. and Sunday Will came and we came home with him. Mother D. returned with Elsie Dodge from Storm Lake June 18, stayed at Ida’s until July 24 when Aggie brought her to Oelwein. She has been rotating between Dick’s and here since. She is quite well, tho her mind is very poor. June 28 Will attended with Grace Dodge the dedication of the new $35,000 ME Church by Bishop Wilson S. Lewis. Little daughter creeps very rapidly and has for some time by “hitching” along. She also says Mama and Papa and a few other baby words. She is the joy of the house and her fond parents are willing to worship her, to say nothing of her Grandma and Uncle Verne. Every minute Will is in the house is devoted to romping with her. She had 2 lower teeth and I think the upper ones will soon come as she is not real well, having a little bowel trouble. We had the Dr. in the night for her a wk. ago, and I took her to him for more medicine today. I have dreaded this month, but it has not been very hot, so I hope to get her through all right. We love her so; we cannot bear to have her sick.

Jennie has been at W. Union for a month taking treatment of Mrs. Schmule. I and baby were up there to see her July 23, returning the following morn.
~ 1909 ~
Feb. 7, 1909 Sun.
We are all well and happy and thankful for it. We attended the fair at W.U. (West Union) last fall one day and moved to our pleasant new home Sept. 23. Since then we have had more than one chance to rent it for $25 per mo, but we wanted to enjoy its comforts ourselves and have. We have been so warm and cozy, _____(a line missing at top of next page). Baby is just getting her 5th tooth ____(words missing) very slow about them. She has run ________ since Nov. and climbed stairs ever since we _______and gets few falls and says a good many words. Will purchased a beautiful Price and Teeple___ piano in Nov., a $375 one. He took our family organ on the deal and I cried to see it go, but did not want to keep it and the piano too or give up the piano, and now I like it so much I would hate to see it _______. I hope to take lessons in the spring.

We were at Oneida Dec. 17-18; Jennie and Lalive were here in Oct., also Kina G_____ and in Nov. Sadie W., Mrs. Youmans and Mr. Watenpaugh and baby for a few days. They will soon move to Comstock, Neb. where Boyers are. 

Jan. 31st Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Dunham became the parents of Marjorie Ethel Dunham. Ethel is with them. Jennie and Jerome and a good many others have recently united with the church at Oneida after a season of revival . Revival in the Presby. and M.E. churches __________planning a trip to Rockford and Chicago this month.
_______1909.  We went on our trip Feb. 18, I getting off at Davenport and going from there on N. Western R.R. to Rockford and Will going to Chicago to attend the cement exhibit. I went to Grandma Buchanan’s, as she had invited me, and the next _____went to see Aunts Mattie, Helen, Coz. Alice Cook. ________Aunt M. in bed, but better than for several ________ back again to Grandma’s that P.M. and Sat I went to Libbie Arthur’s at 512 N. 3rd St. as she came and called on me at Aunt Mattie’s the day before and asked me to come Sat. and spend the night and go to church on Sun. I heard Mr. Oleson sing again but did not get to speak to him. I spoke to a good many, however, and found many familiar faces. Aunt Helen has a class in S.S. (Sunday School), and so I stayed with her for that. Dan _______was also at church with her and I sat with them. Dorothy slept through most of the service and was very quiet. I took dinner with Jim and Libbie and also Miss. Wortman, who went with me there from S.S. Dorothy and Ruth had lots of fun together. Sun. P.M. we all walked over to their butter and eggs store on W. State St. and from there I went down to Grandma’s again. Dorothy in her cart. It was very slushy and rained a good deal while we were gone, and I didn’t get to go near as much as I had planned. Mon. Dorothy and I went to spend the day with Aunts and to see Uncle Homer’s and Grandpa’s (Solomon Wheeler) old place, which is changed into a 3 apartment house and painted yellow, and an air dome theatre and auto garage built on _____lot. I was invited to Uncle H’s for dinner the next day but didn’t go. Will came from Chicago Mon. eve, and Tues. P.M. we went over the river to bid them goodbye, and Will met all but Annie and Dan. Matie Alice is a widow and at home, and Katie was there too. Aunt Mattie was able to be up at the table the last 3 times I was there. We left Rockford at 7 A.M. the 24th, Wens. and went to Holcomb where we had about 2 hrs. to wait for G. Western train and again 30 min. to wait at Stockton for another train and then came right through. Dorothy was very good all the time we were gone. We left her with Grandma Tues. P.M. as it was a busy day and she was very good, Miss Norrie and Grandma said. Jennie has just had the grippe.

Feb. 27, 1909
Verne stayed here alone while we were away and went to school. Aunt Minnie Feakins is in Buffalo visiting her son Geo, wife, and baby. Cousin Lalive is in Chicago at 1551 Adams St. and doing office work for Sears Roebuck and Co. so Aunt Annie said. Will went to see Roy and Ina while in Chicago. She expects to be here next month.

Uncle Martin (Wheeler) was killed in a fall from an open drawbridge on Adams St. near the Union Station last Sept. and Wallace was killed by a live wire a year before, so poor Aunt Julia is alone as far as her own are concerned. She takes Wallace’s wife & 6-yr.-old daughter (Catherine, I believe) to board, and also her brother’s Fred’s family are with them at her home at 4014 Ellis Ave., Chicago.

Mr. and Mrs. Wingett have adopted a little girl (Florence) from Lake Bluff orphanage.

May 9, 1909
Home at Oelwein. I have just written a long letter to Aunt Lillie Copeland at Charleston, Washington, and will now write a little in this old book. We have had a cold, rainy, snowy spring. May day found the ground white with snow, and gardens and crops are way behind where they usually are at this time of year. We have just had our downstairs papered at an expense of about $______, which is $10 more than we expected. It is very pretty; the dining room especially, which is in 2 colors (tan above and brown below, divider) and a cut out grape border and moire yellow ceiling. The front room has roses on a basket weave background and the hall is odd; so odd I can’t describe it. Dorothy talks about everything we do, repeating after us and jabbers most of the time. Had a card from Aunt Minnie yesterday announcing the birth of a son to Stella Hill, Allison. Aunt M. is going to visit at Rockford on her way home and Geo. is moving to Chicago, where he has been transferred.  Jennie, Jerome, and Lalive were here in March and Ina came the middle of March for 10 day’s visit. This is “Mother’s Day” and everyone is expected to wear a carnation in “Mothers” honor. I haven’t had one yet, but a good many pass with them on. I heard from Sadie the other day from her new home in Comstock, Neb. She likes it, she says. She didn’t go through Oelwein as she expected.  Jennie and I each got new suits when she was here. Hers is an ___blue or Copenhagen blue, and mine a light grey. My hat is fancy straw in burnt shade with pink roses around crown and shirred white chiffon beneath. Very large for my face, I fear. Will has begun his cement work and has ordered a Systematic Mixer on approval. Verne finishes the 8th grade in school next month. Mrs. Howe was an overnight guest a couple of weeks ago, enroute to Oneida.

July 11, 1909
Baby asleep, Verne lying upstairs and Will gone to the ballgame is the order at present, & so I will take advantage of the quiet to write of a few events. Baby Dorothy talks everything, has for some time, and of course we cannot help but be happy and proud of her. She is fond of music and dances when the band plays. She danced on the walk while we were going downtown the other evening, and everyone laughed who saw her. We have just bought a 3-year-old horse, Prince, I think we will call him. Mae Carmichael visited us over Sun. 2 wks. ago, and we spent Sun. at the City Park, had a boat ride, picnic dinner, and took snapshots and a nice day and good visit. Mae graduated ___________. ...with her at our pipe organ recital _____and took supper and after recital lunch with us as they had to drive back to Fayette. We engaged Mr. Sanders to take us in his au (auto?) to her graduation and enjoyed it immensely. Mr. and Mrs. Carmichael, Mrs. Swain, Glen, Bertha Youmans were there, also seen Mrs. Dye and Dorothy. 

I began my music lessons the 4th of March and have taken 14, am very _______but I hope to learn sometime, though I am discouraged at times.

Oct. 17, 1909
Took 17 lessons and then quit because we sold our house to Kerwins and had to move Aug. 15. Moved to tent in backyard afterward to house on Kraft property which Will bought. Began new home on corner in Oct. Went to W.U. fair in Sept. Saw Jennie and J.B.; they had just returned from Seattle fair. Sadie and baby came unexpectedly from Neb. enroute home Aug. 25 and returned home ____, after having spent Dorothy’s birthday with us. Bertha came with her. The next ____he left Dick Annie twins and ____(several lines gone).

We went to hear pastor Rev Crowder this morning for the first time. Ethel Dunham was married to Dr. Bywater Aug. 26. And live in Mount Morris, Il. I gave Verne a gold watch and fob for his 17th birthday gift.

Only one more entry in journal at this point, following 2 poems:
“I love you, love you dear,
more than my tongue can tell,
In all the world, though far or near
there’s none I love so well
and though to others now and then
I say these words ‘tis true,
how can a fellow help it
when they so resemble you?”
Leroy Apr. 1900 (in York, Pa. Gazette, 27 Apr 1900, attributed to Nixon Waterman)
‘Tis hard to part with those we love
‘tis hard to part it’s true,
But not so hard to part with some
As it is to part with you.”
“Look up to heaven’s high circles
where glow the kingly stars,
in steadfast courses moving
like gold triumphal cars.
And he who guides the planets
Thy nightly way shall keep,
Cast off, oh heart, thy burden,
And hush the fears to sleep!”

M (?) W. Christian Advocate Sept. 1, 1902
(could be Northwestern Christian Advocate, but could not find this poem in that issue)

Feb. 27, 1927

This old book should be Dorothy’s when I am gone as it will be understood by here as it is written before Donald’s time.  
Bertha Dodge.


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