|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,
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.
portion mostly on pages 10-35)
(Oneida portion mostly on pages
(Oelwein portion on pages 50-end)
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
Property of Bertha Buchanan (Dodge)
May 1, 1900
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Last eve promised to go to an ice cream
social with Joe but Pa vetoed it. Mad again. “No harm done and no
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eve Oct. 30
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
July 26 1901 Fri. Oneida Junction
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.
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.
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.
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-.“
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
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
Sun. Eve. Nov. 3
I joined the
Epworth League this evening. A Mr. Arthur, Mr. Graham, and Miss
Mitchell also joined.
Nov. 22 – Friday
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.
Jan. 26 –
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
Word comes that Uncle David Wheeler is
very sick with inflammation of the bowels at his home in
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.
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
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
We have not even the comfort of knowing that she is to return but
sincerely hope so.
Mon. June 9
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.
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
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
Wens. eve. July
Aunt Annie had us to tea tonight & I
enjoyed that also. We are having a continual round of
Thurs. eve July
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
July 11 Fri.
(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
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
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
Aug. 27 Wens.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 –
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
(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
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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.
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
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.
26 is Grandma Wheeler’s birthday
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Wens. March 31,
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,
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.
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
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
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.)
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
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
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).
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.
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
(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
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
Aug. 22, 1906 Wednesday
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Feb. 7, 1909
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
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
Feb. 27, 1909
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.
(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.
Mrs. Wingett have adopted a little girl (Florence) from Lake Bluff
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
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.