Nellie Emery began her personal journal in Grant Co., Wisconsin when she was sixteen years old, continuing to make entries until she was married. Nellie was a daughter of
Edward Emery (1807-1890) and Margaret Endicott (1815/16-1878.)
About Margaret T. Endicott: (JOHN A.1, MOSES2, THOMAS3 ENDECOTT, JOSEPH4, JOSEPH5, ZERUBBABEL6, JOHN7) was born August 01, 1815 in Ky, and died March 1878 in Rockville, Wisconsin, USA. She married (1) WESTER AUSLEY May 28, 1840 in Posey, Indiana. He was born Bet. 1810 - 1820. She married (2) WILLIAM SPRAGUE June 03, 1845 in Grant, Wisconsin, Usa.She had a daughter (Elizabeth Sprague) from the marriage with William. She married (3) EDWARD EMERY December 19, 1851 in Grant, Wisconsin, Usa, son of THEODORE CHARLES "TC" EMERY and MARY HOAT. He was born 1809 in Breewood, Staffforshire, England.
Margaret was a descendant of Massachusetts Gov. John Endecott (1588-1665) who came from England to Massachusetts with his wife, Elizabeth Cogan (1606-1630) in 1628. Elizabeth's Cogan line can be traced back to the 1100's.
Nellie was born in Grant County, Wisconsin, on Sept. 20, 1859. As will be seen in her journal, she went to a Normal College to become a teacher in rural one-room schoolhouses in Iowa. In Iowa Nellie met Lester Franklin Clark, a son of Andrew F. Clark and Mary Franklin. They married on Nellie's birthday in 1882 in Grant Co. The couple moved to Pomona, California for a brief time, then sett1ed in Cowles Co., Washington. Nellie and Lester Clark had three living children: J. Allen Clark (b. 1883), Forest E. Clark (b. 1886), and Nellie Alberta Clark (b. 1889). Nellie Emery Clark died of complications of childbirth in Kalama, WA when she had a stillborn girl in 1893.
Nellie and her husband are buried in Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Their graves are recorded in the cemetery's files.
The original diary came into the possession of Nellie's daughter, Nellie Clark Kinch. It then went to a granddaughter, Evelyn Kinch Jensen, and presently is with great-granddaughter Judy Jensen Alsworth of Salem, Oregon. The original is in Nellie Emery's clean but now-faded handwriting.
I transcribed the journal, although a few pages are missing. Some pages were overlooked when I photocopied the original many years ago, but some have been torn out-- probably by Nellie because they were too personal even for her family to read. I've tried to retain the original spelling, but have inserted sentence spacing or punctuation when needed for clarity. I'm sure there are transcription mistakes and typographical errors, which the reader is free to correct.
I do hope the reader will enjoy the words and thoughts of this vibrant young woman who shared her hopes and dreams and concerns with her journal. Her words have breathed life into what otherwise might be mere dusty history.
Michael P. Kinch (gt-grandson of Nellie Emery) May, 1999
3510 NW Mink Place
Corvallis, OR 97330
Jan 1 It is a very rainy morning and it does not seem one bit like New Years Day but it is and is also the beginning of the Centennial Year.
Jan 22 We are having very mild weather for this time of the year. Many of the old settlers say they have not seen such a warm winter for a great number of years.
Jan 31 Uncle Nickson (Nixson, Nixon) was here on a visit today from his home in Iowa. He has not changed much since he left Wisconsin 7 years ago.
Feb 8 We had a donation for our Minister Rev. A. W. Cummings last evening. Provisions were very plentiful, Mrs. Davis played on the Organ and we scholars sang several pieces. The evening was very unfavorable but we realized $36.30.
Feb 12 There was quite a fire in British Hollow last night. It started in a ten-pin alley and the loss was from $3000 to $5000.
Feb 21 I am going to school now, Mr. Howard is our teacher and Miss Emma Combes Asst. I study the Sixth Reader Comprehensive Geography, Keris Grammar, Rays Practicla Arithmetic, and McGuffeys Speller and write in the Spencerian Copybooks. Tomorrow will be Washington's Birthday and there will be a holiday.
Feb 22 We received a letter from Sister Lizzie [NOTE: Elizabeth Sprague is a half-sister, from Nellie's mother's previous marriage- Nellie's mother Margaret T. Endicott, was born Aug 1, 1815,, in Kentucky, and was married three times- once to a Wester Ausley, and once to a William Sprague- Jeff Scism] and her husband last evening bringing the intelligence that a Miss Minnie E. Nickson has just come to town. She is the only niece I have, and I would like to see her very much.
Feb 24 Grace Curnow came home with me from school yesterday and staid all night. In the evening we played games and after we went to bed we talked till after one o'clock. Pa [Edward Emery] and Clement [James Clement Emery, her brother, -Jeff] went to Plattville today with a load of corn and sold it for 40 cts. per bu.
Feb 28 Our school closed today. We did not shed may tears for Mr. Howard was not much of a favorite. It has been snowing very hard today and if it keeps on perhaps we will have some sleighing yet this winter.
March 5 We are having some very rainy weather and I have taken quite a bad cold. The M.E. [Methodist Episcopal- JGS] presiding elder Mr. Mather [seems like the whole church had a lot of "Mathers" descended from Cotton Mather-Jeff] was here to dinner yesterday he seems like a real nice man.
April 2 It has been quite a long time since I have written in my Journal. A terrible whirlwind passed over Hazie Green, which is about 25 miles from here on the 17 of March. The inhabitants say the clouds were of inky blackness and the storm perfectly fearful. There were nine persons killed and several injured the damage was estimated at $46,645. The weather is very stormy today. It has been quite an unhealthy winter the weather has been so changeable. We young folks went up to Mr. Davison's last night and spent the evening. Mr. Davison is very sick. I expect one of my brothers will sit up with him tonight. I have been making me a blue Marino suit, it cost $1.25 per yard but I got it for $1.00.
April 5 I went down to Mrs. Curnows yesterday to see how to fix some sewing and the roads got so muddy before evening that I had to stay all night. There is considerable news in the papers about the Fourth of July, as I have before written. This is the Centennial year of American Independence and there is going to be a great exhibition at Philadelphia commencing on May 10 and continuing until November 10. The products and manufacturers of every nation in the world will be represented.
May 4 We have been very busy for the 1st few weeks doing the Spring work. School commenced last Wednesday our teacher's name is Mr. Ringgold he is a German. Ma has caught a bad cold and her cough is worse. I do wish it would get better. Clement [Nellie's Brother-JGS] received a letter from Lizzie [Their sister-JGS] last night she said she would like to come home on a visit. We would be very glad to see her.
May 6 It is a rainy Saturday evening and not having any news to write. I will tell what put me in the notion of writing a journal. There is a serial story in the New York Weekly Witness called Patriot and Tory, or Tale of One Hundred Years Ago. It really is the journal itself. It is a true story and we~ all think it is splendid. It was commenced one hundred years ago and has been preserved till now. I don't suppose this journal will be preserved but at any rate it may be useful for me to refer to some time in the future so I will try to make it as interesting as I can.
May 27 On May 10th the Centennial Exhibition opened At ten O'clock the Grand Orchestra played the National Airs of all nations after which the President of the United States and other distinguished men made address. Bishop Simpson offered the opening prayer. The Centennial Hymn by John G. Whittier was then sung by over thousand voices. Flags were unfurled, Chimes rang, Cannons and Guns fired, and the great Exhibition began in good earnest. There were about 300,000 people there the first day.
Last Monday was brother Thomas's [Thomas Oliver Emery-Jeff] birthday. He was twenty-one years old so now he is able to vote. In the evening we invited several friends in to supper and spend the evening we had a real nice time. Today the boys went fishing, and Robert Snowden of Platteville was here to dinner. K received a letter from my sister Mary's little boy, Eddie Penberthy; last week, my sister died about six years ago and her husband is married again. They are living in Michigan.
May 31 Yesterday Pa, the boys and myself went to Lancaster. It was the day on which the Soldiers Monument is annually decorated. The exercises were vocal and instrumental music, orations and so forth. Eight young ladies dressed in black with lovely bouquets and wreaths decorated the Monument. About fifty little girls dressed in white, each holding a bouquet, which they placed, on the Monument, followed them. I think the celebration on yesterday ample proof that the soldiers from Grant County who fell to the Great Rebellion are still remembered and honored.
June 16 Today it has been raining, the ground has been too wet to plough corn all week. The crops are looking very well excepting the wheat, which is being injured by the chinch bug. Last Friday there was a Circus in Platteville the young folks from Mr. Dawsons, my brothers and myself were there. When we got there the circus was just passing through town. Ten camels drew the bandwagon and the procession was very beautiful. There were quite a number of wild beasts, and the performances were splendid.
July 2 It is Sunday afternoon. Pa is preaching at British Hollow. Thomas and Clement are at Sunday school I did not go today because it looked so much like rain. Ma is about as well as usual. She sent to New York for some medicine. I do hope it will cure her. The day after tomorrow will be the Fourth of July. It will be the One Hundredth anniversary of American Independence.
July 8 On the morning of the Fourth of July we were up at half past three. As the weather looked as if it would be fine we got breakfast over and started with two of our neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Briggs for Platteville. We arrived in town between eight and nine o'clock. We drove to Mr. Snowden's where we put up our horses and left our baskets. Then we went down town when the procession was forming. It was arranged in the following order: Platteville Brass Band, President of the day, Orators, Reader, and Clergy. Old Settlers, A car upon which were the Goddess of Liberty and the Thirteen Original States represented by young ladies appropriately dressed for the occasion. A car drawn by four horses on which Uncle Sam was represented and twenty-six little girls represented the remaining twenty-six states. Town and Village officers, Melody Lodge No.2 F.A.M. Darlington Lodge of Masons, Darlington Brass band, Georgetown Lodge of Odd Fellows, Lilly of the Mound Lodge of Odd Fellows, Mound City Engine Co. with Babcock engine drawn by two horses and tender drawn by members of the company in uniform. Platteville Hook and Ladder Co. in uniform with truck. Platteville Artillery Company. I have copied them in order in which they come from the Platteville Witness, so as to have them correct. Then we went to the Public Square where we were entertained with Orations, Music by the Glee Club accompanied by two Organs besides which the two brass bands gave us some splendid music. In the evening there were some magnificent fireworks, but though it looked quite clear before about ten O'clock it began to thunder and lighten and gave such indications of a storm that we concluded to stop all night-- We staid at Mr. Snowden's and come home the next morning.
July 23 It has been so long since I have written that I hardly know where to commence. A week ago yesterday Dr Brown a dentist from Lancaster was here staid all night. He examined my teeth and said I had splendid [teeth] there is only one that is decayed in the least. Mrs. Sprague from Dubuque came here on a visit last week and spent several days with us. She brought Ma a present of a fancy representation of an armchair with her initials and a braid pattern worked on it. Ma has been quite sick with catarrhal inflammation of the eye. She could not bear the light on it in the least and it was very painful indeed. We had Dr. Lewis come up to see her; it is much better now than it was. Thomas received a letter from Lizzie and George. They are quite well and getting along nicely they want me to go out there on a visit. I would like to go very much. I am not going to school no it is such warm weather, and we have been quite busy too. Mrs. Eddy came up to see Ma last Friday. She used to be near neighbor of ours, but she is boarding in Potosi. We were very glad indeed to see her for she is a real nice old lady, and as good a friend as one need wish to have.
Aug 9 Last Sunday I went to the funeral of Mr. Lafont, he was buried by the Catholics, they took him to the Catholic Church, and the Priest (who was dressed in a black gown with a white overdress) made a short address while two boys swung a censor with incense in it then the Priest read some Latin prayers or something of the sort and sprinkled Holy water on the coffin, then the body was buried in the Catholic Cemetery.
Aug 26 We went to a Picnic on Platte yesterday. Julia and Grace Curnow went with us. We had quite a pleasant time.
Aug 30 Last night we bad a fearful storm. It washed away mills, bridges, fences, milldams, horses, pigs, and other things, doing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Mr. Lewis from Fennimore was here a day or two ago and staid all night. He is a school teacher and has applied for the British school
Sept 19 On the 16th Emma Crowther and myself went to Mrs. Chester's on a visit and staid till the next evening, we enjoyed ourselves very well Abbie Chester came home with me and staid until the next morning. Mr. Dawson has bought Mr. Whites house and lot in Rockville. I expect they will move before winter. We threshed our grain last week there was only 13 bu of wheat and 600 bushels of oats. Politics are running very high now. The Republican Candidates are Gov. RB. Hayes of Ohio for President and William A. Wheeler of New York for Vice President. The Democratic Candidate for President is Samuel J Tilden of New York, and for Vice President Thomas Hendricks. If I were a man I would vote for Hayes and Wheeler.
Oct 1 My Sisters brother-in-law John Nickson was here last night. He is intending to go to Iowa this Fall and I expect Thomas will go with hint Ma has been quite sick but is son~ better this evening.
Oct 8 There was a republican meeting at Potosi one Thursday evening. Hon. J. Aleen Barber and a gentleman from the East named Mr. Guerensy addressed the meeting. Pa and Thomas were present. Last evening a strange man came to the door and asked for something to eat. I went to get him something and Ma asked him to come in, but all at once shut the door and went away as fast as he could. He went to our nearest neighbors 2and acted the same way. We cant imaging what made him act so for he did not look as if be was drunk or crazy. Ma says she thinks he was afraid to come to the light and has done something wrong or is intending to do something wrong. Our school will begin on the first Monday in November. Mr. Oscar Travis will be Principal and Miss Emma Combes Assistant. I do hope they will be good teachers for I intend to study hard this winter if Ma is well enough to let me attend school.
Oct 15 Last Tuesday evening Mr. Briggs Mrs. Briggs, Mr. and Mrs. Bell, Thomas and myself spent the evening at Annie Bells, which is about 3 1/2 mi. from here. Annie taught school last Winter in a district joining ours and boarded with Mr. Bell who is her cousin. I had not seen any of her family except herself before that night she has two brothers and two sisters at home her brother Frank has been home from California on a few weeks. They have a new $240 Organ and we had some splendid music we played several games, refreshments were passed around and really we had a splendid old time. It was 15 past one when we got home.
Nov. 5 There has been a change in the program of our school Mr. Baily will be the upstairs teacher. The school will begin on the 13th of this month. We have been very busy this last week sewing so as to get the work done up before time to start to school. The first snow of the season fell on last Thursday. The Presidential Election will be next Tuesday. I do hope Hays and Wheeler will be elected.
Nov. 12 There is great excitement about the Election. The evening after the Election the news arrived here that Tilden was elected. We did not believe the report for we did not think they could hear from all the places in so short a time. Since then we have heard that Hayes had one Electoral vote more than Tilden and today the news came that Gov. Kellogg of Louisiana is assassinated, he is one of the Electors of the Republican party and we think the Democrats murdered him so that each party will have an equal number of Electors. Then the choice of President will depend on the House of Representatives, which is composed mostly of Democrats. The southern white men are killing Negroes in the south by dozens and President Grant has sent troops down to protect them. A great number of persons think there will be another war and if there is it will be terrible.
Nov. 19. My Brother Thomas started for Iowa last Tuesday. We received a postal card from him last night. He had arrived at Springvale without accident. He has gone on a visit to Lizzie's. He may not be back before New Years. Our school commenced last Monday. I think if Mr. Bailey does as well the remainder of the term as he did the first week I shall like him very well. The report that Gov. Kellogg was killed was a false one. We have heard no definite news regarding the election as yet, but some think that probably Hayes may be elected.
Dec. 10 It has been a long time since I have written in my journal, but I have been busy going to school. I have written three letters today, one to my Sisters little boy Eddie Penberthy, one to Aunt Nickson, and one to Cousin Mattie Williams. We received a letter from Thomas last Friday. He is at George's and is well. Lizzie and George want him to stay out there all next summer, but he says he will come home if we would rather he would and we want him to come home. Pa's birthday was on the 28th of last month, he was 69 yrs. old and we had a birthday pudding. On thanksgiving we did not have any turkey but we had some roast beef and some nice oyster soup. We have been having some cold weather last week. Yesterday morning it was 20 below zero.
Dec. 23 we are going to have a vacation from this evening until one week from next Tuesday. The day after tomorrow will be Christmas. Tomorrow evening there will be an entertainment at British Hollow. I am not certain whether I will attend or not. At school today we had an examination in Grammar. Our papers are not returned yet so we do not know what the % will be. Mr. Bailey just before he closed school wished us all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I hope the weather will be more agreeable than it was during the Holidays last year.
Jan. 7 1877. A year has passed away since I began the journal, as I look back to the beginning of last year it looks like a short time, but as I look forward into the future it looks like a long time and What may not happen before another year commences. Our vacation has ended. We had a pleasant time during the Holidays. One evening last week the young folks from Rockville spent the evening here. Last Friday evening we were invited to spend the evening at Mr. Dawson's, and last night at Mr. Curnow's. We enjoyed ourselves very much at both places. I have been at Sunday School this afternoon. Mr. Bailey acted as Superintendent. We are having some very cold weather, but it is generally cold this time of the year. Pa gave a nice Album for a Christmas present. There was a terrible Railroad accident in Ohio last week, it is estimated that over two hundred persons were killed.
Feb. 4 I have neglected writing in my journal for some time, but I have been attending school. We have bad some splendid sleighing, but the roads are muddy now. I have been to see Emma Crowther, she has been sick nearly all winter but today she seemed some better. Thomas has arrived at home in safely, we were very glad to see him. He enjoyed himself very well, and they would have been pleased to have him stay longer, he was away ten weeks.
Mar. 13 School closed last Friday. Several of the scholars recited pieces and several visitors were present. Mr. Bailey gave great satisfaction. Mrs. Eddy was back here on a visit since last Saturday. We have had quite a number of visitors lately and have been quite busy. There has been quite a snowstorm. The snow is about a foot and one half foot deep. Gov. Hayes is now President of the United States, and I say Three Cheers for Hayes and Wheeler.
April 1 I have sad news to write today. John Nickson and wife came to see us two weeks ago tomorrow and bid us goodbye before starting for Iowa. Last night a man came to inform us that Margaret had been taken sick and John had started intending for Margaret to follow as soon as she got better but instead of getting better she got worse and died yesterday morning at two o'clock. Pa and Thomas started for there this morning. They telegraphed for John to come back. It will be a great shock to him poor man left with five little motherless children. The last words that Margaret said when she bade us goodbye were "If we never meet on Earth again I hope we shall meet above." 0, that those words may come true. Ellen Duran (?) our nearest neighbor's daughter died last week, she had been sick for some time and suffered a great deal. She was expecting to be married before long. The day after she died several others and I sewed on her shroud and some dresses for her sisters to wear at the funeral. Myself and three other girls sat up with her. It was the first corpse I ever sat up with.
April 15 John came here last Monday and stayed till Thursday. He brought the three youngest children with him and Edward's wife who come over from Iowa to take care of the baby. On Thursday we took them down to the river. I suppose they are home before now. Thomas is hired at Mr. Stones for six mon. at $19 per month. President Hayes seems to give good satisfaction and Mrs. Hayes is a very fine woman according to reports. I hope they will both do their duty and that administration may be a prosperous one.
April 29 We have had some very fine weather this Spring, but yesterday and today it has been almost constantly snowing. Last Thursday Julia and Grace Curnow and myself went to Potosi to have our pictures taken but when we reached the end of our journey we were informed that the artist had left a few days before. I expect to attend school at Platteville next winter if Ma is well enough to spare me. I hope I will not be prevented from going as I wish to go very much.
May 20 The day before yesterday Clement and I went fishing with some of the neighbors and yesterday another load of young folks went fishing me among the rest. I had a pleasant time each day although I did not catch any fish. Mrs. Chester (?) an old friend of ours died about two weeks ago very suddenly. Clement rented the farm this year and finished planting corn on the twelfth of this month. A fine colt of Thomas's died last week, it is quite a loss. We have been very busy cleaning but we finished last week. I received a letter from Ettie Nickson last week. She said they were all well; she is staying with John now. Uncle Nickson was seventy-four years old on the 8th of this month and they had a family reunion on that day. George and Lizzie were there and I suppose they had a grand old time.
June 14 I went to a picnic last week. We crossed the Mississippi in the Ferryboat. Went a few miles above Splets (?) had a picnic dinner and amused ourselves until three o'clock when the boat took us down to Sphects where we staid till evening when we came home. About two hundred persons were there. We have had considerable rain lately and appearances indicate that fruit will be scarce.
July 5 Yesterday was the Fourth of July. There was a celebration at British Hollow. I did not attend till evening when there was a display of fireworks. Today a long cherished wish of mine has been gratified that is, this morning Prof. Gardner from Plattesville was here and sold us an organ. The price is $125, it is the Chase Organ and I think I shall like it very much. Mr. Gardner made me a present of an organ stool the price of it is $5.00.
July 14 This morning I went to British Hollow to see about taking music lessons from Mrs. Davis. I intend to commence taking lessons the week after next at the rate of six dollars per term. Mr. Gardner called here today he said he would send me an instruction book next week.
Aug. 15 My journal has been neglected for some time but Ma has been very sick and I have been too busy to write in it. Ma is some better now but is still very weak. I don't think she was ever so sick before. Dr. Kinney waited on her. I hope she may get better but I never expect her to get well. I have taken five music lessons from Mrs. Davis. I think I shall like her very much. Clement and Pa have been very busy harvesting but they finished last week. The corn needs rain very much but it is as clear tonight as if there was no such thing as rain in the world. Mr. Jayne the bible agent was here today. I was in hopes that he would leave before dinner but he did not he seems to be a very fine man but still I didn't care about getting an extra dinner for him.
Sept. 24 I have kept putting off writing for so long that I hardly know where to commence. Ma has been very sick, she kept getting worse till about two weeks ago when she sent for Dr. Hassell of Lancaster and since she has been taking his medicine she is considerable better. Thomas and I went to the there at Lancaster last Thursday and spent a very pleasant day. Last Wednesday I was 18 years old and Ma made me a splendid birthday pudding. I will stop writing for this time as my hand don't seem inclined to hold the pen still and this writing is hardly readable.
Sept 30 Last Tuesday I went to Annie Bell's to spend the day. In the afternoon Annie and I went out driving and went to the new Catholic Church at Dutch Hollow it is a splendid Church the largest I was ever in. I went to Lancaster today to see Dr. Hassell about Ma's medicine and to get some medicine for myself I have had some disease of the skin for some time and I wanted something to take for it. I showed the Doctor some teeth of mine that need drawing and he wished me to go up in about a week and have them drawn. After we had seen the Doctor we attended the Congregation Church and heard the Rev. S.W. Eaton preach. I think he preached an excellent sermon and they had some beautiful singing.
Oct. 15 I had my teeth drawn about a week ago. Dr. Hassell is a splendid hand to draw teeth I think. We had company from Lancaster last Thursday a Mr. Showalter and his sister Belle. They want us to go up there next Sunday to the dedication of the M.E. Church at that place and I suppose some of us will go up.
Oct. 26 Last Sunday Pa, Thomas and I went to Lancaster to the dedication of the new Church. Bishop Andrews preached in the morning and evening. He is a splendid preacher and every one seemed very much pleased with him. He was the first Bishop that I ever saw. The church is a very beautiful one. It cost about $7000 and is paid for with the exception of about $600. They raised $1,700.50 last Sunday. The new Minister on this circuit Mr. Jefferson and another gentleman from Georgetown were here today to dinner.
Nov. 18 Quite a heavy snowstorm passed over this part this state on the first of November but the weather has been mild during the last week. Pa went to Lancaster yesterday and paid the Doctor. I think this charges are very reasonable indeed.
Dec. 9 Thanksgiving day was a week ago last Thursday and Pa was seventy years old the day before so we celebrated them both on Thanksgiving. We had a few friends in to spend the day and had roast goose and plum pudding for dinner. I borrowed a book from Mrs. Davis last week called Uncle Tom's Cabin and I think it is just splendid.
Dec. 23 The day after tomorrow will be Christmas. I don't expect old St. Nicholas will make me any presents this year for the times are too hard but I wouldn't care if he would. We are having some remarkable warm weather for this time of the year. The grass is quite green and some of the trees have buds on them.
Jan. 1, 1878 New Years morning. It is clear and cold. I am to spend the day visiting. Pa made me a present of a book, and now I must stop writing for I am in a hurry.
Jan. 5 1878 The weather has changed from very mild to very cold. The Holidays were very dull this year. Ma's health is not any better. She coughs considerable and is very weak; still she is not confined to her bed. I must stop writing now for it is time to get supper.
Jan. 14 Yesterday we sent for Drs Hassell and Kinowre to see Ma. They came and staid to dinner and four other patients of theirs came in to see them. They have a great deal of practice and seem to be very skillful physicians. I think they will help Ma but I do not expect them to cure her.
Feb. 21 1 have been very busy lately and have not taken time to write. Ma is very sick. she is confined to her bed and we sit up with her every night. Some days she is considerable better and perhaps before night she will be so much worse that you would not think she would live till morning. We received a letter from Lizzie and George a few days ago informing us that they have a little boy. He was born on the sixth of this month. We have had a remarkable warm winter so & It has been raining all day today and the roads are in a horrible condition.
March 9 Ma is getting weaker every day and there seems to be no show of her ever getting better. John and Joe Nickson were here from Iowa last week. John felt very much about the last time he was here when poor Margaret died. He gave us his and Margaret's pictures. John says. Lizzie has very poor heart and is not able to do much housework.
March 10 I have lost my dear Mother. She died last Sunday March 10th 1878. We buried her yesterday and it seemed to me that I could not give my darling Mother up. There was a large funeral. Mr. Mather the M.E. P. Elder preached her funeral sermon from the words "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them." The ladies dressed Ma in black for they thought she would look more natural. Ma told Pa some time before she died that she wanted Mr. Mather to attend her funeral and what text she wanted him to preach from. We did not expect that Ma would get better but it came very sudden at the last. Her last words were "It will be all right when I get over the river but I have to suffer before I get there." No one knows how I loved my Mother and I shall never forget her while I live and when I did I hope to meet her in that better land where she has gone. It is very hard to part with her but we have consolation that we did all that kindness and attention could do for her and that she is out of all her sufferings and trials.
March 11 I am very lonely today. Abbie Chester has been staying with me the past week and we have bad considerable company but this afternoon Pa and I are alone and I miss my dear Mother very much. We received a letter from Aunt Martha yesterday directed to Ma. I have just answered it and told them about Ma's death. Yesterday I received a very sympathizing letter from Mrs. Davis and I am very much obliged to her for it. Abbie Chester has given me a little hair flower made of some of Grandpa's hair. His hair was very white and as I did not have any myself I was very glad to get it. I have quite a lock of Mother's hair and intend making a flower of it some day.
March 24 Last Wednesday my brother Thomas started for Iowa. Clement has rented the farm and Thomas couldn't find anything to do here so he has gone out there to see if he can find a place there. I hated to have him leave but perhaps he can do better out there than he could here. I think if nothing happens to prevent, Clement and Abbie Chester will get married this fall or next spring if they get married this fall I intend to go to school at Platteville next winter. I think I should like to go to school long enough to be qualified to teach.
March 25 We received a letter from Thomas today. He has arrived at Lizzie's safely. Mrs. Briggs, Mrs. Bell, and Annie Bell called on me this afternoon and I expect Mary Chester will come up tomorrow to spend a few days.
Apr. 8 It is raining real hard this evening. I have just written a letter to Thomas. I finished putting a quilt together today and I think I shall quilt it next week. Pa is thinking of buying a house and lot in Lancaster but has not made up his mind yet. He settled with Dr. Hassell one day last week the bill was $16, which I think was very reasonable.
May 7 Thomas came home last Wednesday. I was very glad to see him. He brought me some fine specimens from Iowa. Lizzie and George were well when he left them. I have been very busy cleaning house. The fruit trees are very full of blossoms and I think if the weather were favorable there will be an abundance of fruits.
June 2 One the 23rd of last month a fearful tornado swept through Mineral Point killing and wounding quite a number and destroying a large amount of property. Last Thursday was Decoration day and as usual it was appropriately observed at Lancaster our County Seat. Pa stayed at home and kept house. Thomas rode up there on horseback. Clement hired a buggy and took Abbie and Mr. and Mrs. Briggs invited me ride in their new buggy, which offer I accepted. It was a beautiful day and there was a large crowd present. The orator of the day was General (--?) Bintcliff of Darlington. Prof G. T. Foster read two very fine poems. The Lancaster Band gave us some delightful music. The monument was decorated with beautiful flowers and the exercises passed of solemnly and pleasantly.
June 21 We have bought a house and lot in Lancaster for $500 and intend to move sometime in September. The house seems to be in a very pleasant locality and I hope it will suit us.
June 30 Last Thursday was Commencement day at the State Normal School at Platteville. I attended it and thought the exercises were very fine. There were eleven graduates, four ladies and seven gentlemen. Eva Duran and I went to Lancaster Friday and I went to see the Doctor about that skin disease I am troubled with. Dr. Hassell was not in the office but his partner Dr. Kinouse (?) was and he examined the diseased skin through a microscope, and said it was a case of eczema and that I had inherited it from Ma. The doctor said I would have to be patient as it would take some time, but said he would clear it out of the system if possible. I am sure I hope he will succeed for it is very discouraging. Prof. Gardner was here to dinner yesterday and he played and sung such beautiful songs. I am always glad for Prof. Gardner to call for he gives us such delightful music.
July 6 The day before yesterday was the Fourth of July. Brothers went to Platteville to spend the day and enjoyed themselves very much. Pa and I staid at home all day and to me the day seemed very long and lonely indeed. We are having some very warm weather at present and harvest will soon be here.
July 20 We are having some very warm weather just now. Yesterday Mr. & Mrs. Showalter from Lancaster were here to dinner, and Lizzie Dawson spent the afternoon here. I am trying to review some of my studies but I don't have much time for studying as it keeps me busy doing the housework. Our crops are in a very promising condition at present and we have apples large enough to cook. The medicine I am taking from the Doctor seems to be helping me and I hope I will soon be well again.
Sept.22 It has been a long while since I have written in my journal but my mind and time have been so engaged that I have neglected it. We moved to Lancaster about two weeks ago. I am attending the high school and am in the second year class. I think I shall like it here very much. Last Sunday evening I attended a temperance lecture delivered by Judge Colthron. Today I have been to Church and Sabbath School I am in a class taught by Mr. John P. Lewis. We have bad a number of callers since we moved here and I think we have good neighbors though of course I am not much acquainted with them yet. My brothers were here last Sunday to dinner. They are getting along very well at home. If nothing happens to prevent I expect Clement will get married on the 10th of Nov. as it is Abbie's birthday and she wishes to get married on that account.
Oct. 26 I have so much to write that I hardly know where to begin. On the 3rd of this month two celebrated temperance lecturers came here and staid ten nights. Between six and seven hundred persons signed the pledge. One of the lecturers, Col. Rowell gave such telling and concise arguments against the whiskey traffic and granting license that Father and dozens of other said they never heard his equal. His companion Mr. Hofstetler is a reformed drunkard and he would walk up and down the aisles after the lecture was over and shake hands with each one, and he would tell us how he bad to struggle against the appetite for liquor and about houses that had been ruined by rum and it seemed as though one could hardly keep from loving him. All of our family signed the pledge and I am very glad of it though we used no liquor it will be a safeguard if ever temptation comes in our way. Father has gone down to the firm and Ollie Muesse is staying all night with me. She is one of our near neighbors and seems very pleasant. I think I will stop writing now for I want to study some of tomorrow's lessons.
Nov. 3 I have just returned from Sabbath School and am getting dinner. There will be a Temperance Mass Meeting in the Cong. Church this evening. A. L. Brown, Esq. of Platteville and others will address the meeting. Ollie Muesse and I went calling yesterday but the weather was so fine that almost every one else was out and we hardly found any one at home. I received a letter from Mary Chester last night. she is Abbie's sister and is a Milliner in Platteville. Clement intends to get married on a week from today. I expect they will come for us on Friday and we will stay until Sunday afternoon.
Nov. 17 Clement and Abbie were married last Sunday. Her brother was groomsman and I was bridesmaid. Abbie was dressed in a silvery brown suit trimmed with seal brown silk, with white silk tie and brown kid gloves with a tiny bunch of lovely flowers at her throat and some dark green vines in her hair. Clement was dressed in a nice dark cloth suit and looked as handsome as my favorite brother knows how to look and indeed they both looked splendid. No one but very intimate friends were invited. Father performed the ceremony after which we had a splendid dinner. I am sure I wish them a long, happy and prosperous life and hope when life is over we shall meet one and all in that better land when our dear Mother awaits our coming.
Nov. 18 My studies keep me busy almost all the time. We have examinations in the different studies quite often. My average standing is about 70% so far. I dread rhetoricals more than anything else; we have them every Friday afternoon. I will have to read a selection next Friday. I have selected a piece called "The world is what we make it." I wish I had more confidence and didn't get embarrassed but it makes me feel fearful nervous to go on the platform and read before the whole school. I think I will quit writing for this pen is just horrid.
Dec. 8 It has been snowing nearly all day and it looks very wintry indeed. I went to a birthday party last Wednesday night at Mr. Weavers. I had a very pleasant time considering that they were nearly all strangers to me. A Mr. Garner brought me home Friday night. Irene Woodward had a party and I enjoyed myself very well. We played a number of games had refreshments and passed a pleasant evening.
Dec. 14 The Fall term of school closed today. We will have three weeks vacation and then the winter term will commence. I was speaking to Prof. Davies the Principal today about how long it would take me to finish here, and he said he thought by hard study I could finish next year. He said he should be glad to have me graduate. I know l shall have to study hard but l think an education is worth working for and I think I shall try to graduate then though it will be putting three years study into two years. Pa has gone to a lecture tonight so I am all alone. We intend to go down home next week to stay till after Christmas.
Jan. 5, 1879 A new year has opened and we know not what may happen before it will roll away. I hope it will not pass by unimproved. Since I wrote last in my journal I have been down home and spent two weeks. I enjoyed myself very much. I had several Christmas presents given me. Thomas gave me a Japanese box covered with shells, June Sprague gave me a nice necktie and Mary Chester gave me an embroidery set. I gave several presents to my friends and had a very pleasant time. My brother Thomas came back with us and has spent the week with us. He intends to go home tomorrow. Rev. C. F. Clapp and Mr. Safford are holding a meeting in the Cong. Church. Mr. Clapp preaches and Mr. Safford sings. They hold very interesting meetings. On last Tuesday evening there was an entertainment at the High School. The persons that took part acted splendidly. New Years day the M.E. Sabbath School took a Sleigh ride to British Hollow. We had a splendid time. The church was decorated very nicely and we had some splendid singing and an excellent dinner. On Thursday night Mr. Joe Ivy (a young law student in Madison whose home is in Lancaster and who has been home spending the holiday) took me to hear a lecture by the celebrated Theodore Tilton on "The problem of life." Mr. Tilton received $100 and his expenses paid for his lecture. I think his lecture was very good though to be sure it ought to be for that money. Mr. Ivy took me out sleigh riding this afternoon and we had a very pleasant time. He will return to Madison tomorrow for six months when he will graduate. He wishes me to correspond with him during that time. I think I had better stop writing now, as this pen is so poor that I can hardly make a mark with it.
Jan. 16 Dear Journal I have better news to write than ever before. I have made up my mind to serve Jesus through Christ, which strengtheneth me. The last time I wrote I spoke of Mr. Clapp and Safford holding revival meetings. One evening after church was out Mr. Clapp came to me and asked if I did not want to be a Christian and as he talked to me and I thought of meeting my dear Mother in Heaven I made up my mind to try and prepare for the next world. I have prayed to God to help me and I hope before long to have the blessed assurance that I am really and truly a scold of God. Mr. Clapp intends to leave tomorrow for Illinois to hold revival meetings there. Mr. Safford intends to remain over Sunday. I regret having them go away but I pray that God's blessing will accompany them wherever they may go.
Jan. 25 1 have just been writing a letter to George and Lizzie in answer to one I received from Geo. about two weeks ago. Clement and Abbie have been here for two days. They went home this morning. Last night we attended an entertainment in the M.E. church. It consisted of Vocal and Instrumental music. Select reading and a cornet duet by Orton Bros. with Organ accompaniment. Rev. G.W.L. Brown our minister will commence revival meetings in our church tomorrow evening. I am sure I hope he will have good success. I received a letter from Mr. Ivey this afternoon he says he likes the law school better this term than last. He is attending Medical lectures also. I suppose he is quite a hard student.
Feb. 16 Last Friday evening I attended an entertainment in the M.E. Church. Prof. W.B. Clark of Bloomington treated the audience to an eloquent lecture on "The element of success in life". Miss Edith Fisher directed the musical part of the exercises in a very successful manner. Minnie Harris a young lady from near home was here to tea one evening last week and we went to church together in the evening. Mr. Brown will close his revival meetings tonight. Several have expressed a determination to lead a new life. I think Mr. Brown is a splendid man.
Feb.23 Yesterday Thomas came up and I had four callers Misses Mary Utt, Rene Woodward, Flora Nathan (?), and Mr. Joe Ivey. Thomas and I went to an entertainment in the High School Chapel for the benefit of the library by the City Reading Club. They performed a play called 'The Drunkard" and the piece "Romance under Difficulties." The band furnished the music.
Last Wednesday Evening Mr. Brown held the last of this series of Revival meetings. After the regular service was out he asked those that were determined to be Christians to remain and some gave their names to church as members on Probation. I did not remain but after I got home I wished that I had. I wish very much that I were a Christian but don't feel as though I was. The verse that I will write here seems adapted to me so I copy it. 'A long time I wandered in darkness and sin And wondered if ever the light would shine in I heard Christian friends tell rapture divine And wished how I wished that their Savior were mine" There are two more verses one closing with I hoped He was mine and the next is I know He is mine, but I am not sure they are adapted to me especially the last one. O, if I was only certain, if I only knew that I was counted as one of God's children. If I knew that I would meet my dear Mother once again I think I would be satisfied and at rest.
March 16 It has been quite a long time since I have written in my Journal but I have been busy going to school and in two weeks there will be the Teachers Examination here and intend to apply for a certification. Miss Mary Utt (?) of Potosi is going to stay with me during examination and though I am very glad that she is coming I am afraid I will be thinking about the housework and not have my mind on the studies. My Brothers and Abbie have been here today. They are well and seem to be getting along nicely. Father made me a present of an Autograph Album yesterday and I intend to get my friends to write in it. The weather is considerably colder than it was last week.
April 10 The Teacher Examination is over. It was quite difficult especially Written Arithmetic and I was not certain that I could pass but I received a certificate for one year from Mr. Harper the County Superintendent this evening and of course I am well satisfied. I intend to teach this Summer if I can get a school I went to hear a lecture this evening by Prof. Jones of Janesville on "Character" but I did not like it very much somehow I got laughing at his manner and could not stop and Neti Broh (?) was with me and she was laughing too so I did not receive much benefit from his lecture.
April 17 I have engaged to teach a school in the Center Schoolhouse about five miles from Rockville for two months at $16 per month. It commences next Monday and I am very busy getting ready to go. I shall board at my cousin John Blakely's. Father will stay on the farm most of the time. I hope that this my first school may be a success and that both my scholars and myself will be benefited by the school.
Center School H.
Dear old Journal I have neglected you shamefully but my time has been occupied with my school I have taught one month and have had no difficulty with the scholars yet. I have twenty-two scholars and it keeps me busy to keep them in order. I intend to go home on Friday and stay over Sunday. I like to board at John's very much but it seems very lonely sometimes. I received a letter from Fannie Walker about two weeks ago and must answer it soon. Last week I read a book entitled "Stepping Heavenward." It is the journal of a young lady and is very interesting. I thought in the beginning that she was a good deal like I am always saying things that I am sorry for two minutes afterward and getting angry for nothing but as I read on I found that she was learning to be a good and useful woman a great deal faster than I am and before she died she was a perfect model while I instead of growing better am always getting worse. I do wish I could ever be good but I have left off praying and hate to think of religious subjects. I would give anything if I was only as good as I ought to be but I don't suppose I shall ever be a Christian for when I am with worldly people no one would ever know by my talk that I ever gave the subject a thought. Well it is time to take up school so I shall have to stop writing for this time.
May 21 Last night as soon as I got home I commenced to do some sewing for cousin Emma but a young man a cousin of John's came in and stayed till it was almost teatime so I did not get much sewing done. He has not been married long ant that subject is about all he can talk about. He said a certain young man not far from here was very anxious to know his opinion of me and that he told him that I was the "best girl in Grant Co." I told him I did not see why he did not say in Wisconsin, but I might as well stop writing such nonsense for of course he did not tell him anything of the kind but was just trying to find out what I would say about the subject.
May 23 I went up to Mrs. Moore's last night and stayed till this morning. I think she is a very pleasant woman. We lost our mothers about the same time and we got talking about that and other things till quite late. This morning I turned a coffee cup and she pretended to tell my fortune. Of course we were both of us "just in fun" but I am anxious to know whether any thing she said will come true. She said I would receive a letter very soon and that I would have a ride and have company and have a good cry. I know it is all foolishness and so does she for she said she just did it for fun and that she did not know any more about the future than I or any one else did. I am expecting some of our folks to come out for me this afternoon. If they do I shall stay home till Sunday afternoon.
May 26 I went down home last Friday and was down at Rockville on Saturday and spent the day with Jane Sprague she is making a dress for me and I ordered a bat from her. she is a milliner and dressmaker. I enjoyed myself very much but I wish Clement had better health, he has a weak constitution and I am sometimes afraid that his lungs are affected. Father also is not well, he has failed a great deal during this last year and if he does not get better I don't think I shall teach next winter but stay home and take care of him.
June 2 Yesterday Emma and I went visiting and spent the day very pleasantly. In the evening John bad some company one visitor was the son of the school clerk. He was telling me that he thought it would be a good idea to have a picnic the last day of school but I think it would hardly be worth the while as the term is so short so I don't think we shall have any.
June 3 Last evening I sat up with a sick woman that has the consumption. she is about 28 years old and is very thin and weak. I don't think she can live long unless there is a decided change for the better. I should think it would be hard to be sick and know that there was no show of getting better. I feel quite tired this afternoon after sitting up last night and think I shall go to bed early. Well it is almost time to call school and I will have to stop writing.
June 9 I went down to see my old home last Friday evening and staid till yesterday it was Clements twenty-second birthday yesterday and they had several friends in to spend the day and we had a very pleasant time. Father was there and Mrs. Eva Seals from Virginia came in to see me. We are about the same age and used to be quite intimate but she is married now and lives about a hundred miles from here she is quite stylish and seems to be in good circumstances. My school will close this week and then I shall go back to Lancaster there was a festival there last Friday evening but of course I was not present.
June 26 1 am keeping house for Father again and have been very busy cleaning house and getting the household machinery in good running order. I made some currant jelly today but whether good or not time will tell. One week from tomorrow will be the fourth of July which is a very important day in this country Brother Thomas asked Alice Eddy and me to go to Potosi with them to the celebration there but of course we are not certain that we will go or the day may not be favorable or some think may happen to prevent our going. Alice & I sat up with Mrs. White last night and I am so sleepy I can hardly see to write.
July 10 Our day of natal independence has once more rolled away. We went to Potosi to the celebration there and I for one, spent a very pleasant day though I was woefully tired at night. Last Monday I went down to Rockville in the state and I had a sociable chat with Dan Greene the owner of the stage there were on other passengers so of course we had to entertain each other and Mr. Greene is very entertaining if he chooses to be so. Joe Ivey is home from the law school but acts rather cool toward me I don't know what the reason is unless I have offended him in some manner. He may think I am too precise or he may feel that he is on a higher level since he graduated, at any rate he is not so very agreeable and obliging as he was in the winter but I suppose I shall survive for I think I am just as good as him if not a wee mite better.
July 24 Last Sunday as I was coming from church who should stop up but Joe Ivey, at the gate he stopped to talk to me a moment and asked me what he bad done to offend me. He said he had written to me after he went back but had received no answer and did not know what was the matter. I told him that I had not received any letter from him since he went back and I suppose he is satisfied for he was here the greater part of the afternoon. The Teachers Institute at Boscobel will commence on August 14 and I expect to attend Fannie Wedehause talks of going and I suppose I will have to study very hard but I shall not mind that so I get a good certificate. It is bedtime now so I will postpone further writing till another time, so 'Happy Dreams' to you Journal and 'Good night.'
Aug. 5 I have decided to attend the Institute at Bloomington instead of the one at Boscobel as I think it will not be quite as expensive and the outline of work is the same at both places. It will commence on the 18th of this month. Last Sunday evening I heard the Rev. Edward Aston preach in the Cong. Church. I thought he preached a very fine sermon but Father said that he did not fill his expectations. Last night I attended a concert in the Cong. Church consisting of solos duets trios quartets and Jubilee songs. Some of the singing was grand especially that by Misses Carrie Barber & Sadie Burr and Mr. Fred Durand. Philippa Phillipps the world renowned singer will sing at Plattesville next Monday night and I am very anxious to hear him but don't suppose that I shall. My hand trembles so much this evening that I am not sure that I will be able to read my own writing when its "cold."
Aug 16 Tomorrow morning I intend to start for Bloomington. Mr. Weaver is going to take Hattie Weaver and myself there in a buggy I hope I will learn a good deal and get along without any trouble at the examination but there is no telling but what my standing may be lower than last Spring as Supt. Harper has the name of giving more difficult examinations each season but I will hope for the best and do the best I can. We are having delightful weather at present and I hope it will continue till after the institute is over. Thomas and Edwin Morsehead were here last Sunday. I was very glad to see Thomas, but not so glad to see Edwin for he is no favorite of mine and he thinks if a girl treats him as a friend that she is dead in love with him, at least so his actions imply and of course as I have to treat visitors as friends, so long as they are not enemies I am afraid he will take the liberty to come again but I would much rather he would stay home for I don't want him to come to see me I'm sure.
Sept.9 Dear Journal it seems like a long time since I have written any news but now I will try and make amends. I will begin where I left off and write about my trip to Bloomington On Aug. 17 Mr. Weaver, Hattie and myself started for Bloomington I was a pleasant morning and I enjoyed the ride though I was somewhat tired when we reach[ed] our destination. Mr. Charles the M.E. minister engaged a splendid boarding place for us at Mr. Heiner's for $2.50 per week. On Monday morning we wended our way to the Institute and were duly enrolled as No. 22. There were about 85 in attendance and the conductors were Profs. Nye & Beck of Plattesville Normal School and Supt. Harper. I am not sorry that I attended the Institute though of course it cost considerable. The Examination was very hard and I do not know how I have succeeded yet and have not heard from Supt. Harper yet.
I attended several lectures at Bloomington one on temperance by Prof. Beck, and other on Education by Hon W.C. Whitford State Supt. of Schools, another on Elements of success in life by Prof~ Clark and another on the Battle of Gettysburg by Prof Allinson I think the lectures were all good. I went out riding several times while I was there and made several acquaintances while at the Institute and altogether spent a very pleasant and I hope profitable time. The day I came home I attended a grove meeting at Little Grant and Mr. Showalter who was there asked me to ride home with him in his carriage so I came home with him instead of Mr. Weaver. When I got home my cousin Ettie Nickson of Iowa was here. She is a splendid girl and we have lots of fun.. She has been here two weeks and I don't know how long she will stay. Ettie is a member of the church and is just as good as can be; 0, if I was only a learnt Christian but I am such a mischief and never feel so glad as when I am making fun of somebody or arguing about something and half of the time not believing a word of what I am saying. If I was only a Christian I believe I should like to work for Jesus and do all the good I can but I look so much at the failings of others and am so disbelieving that I suppose I will live in "Doubting Castle" all my life but I have wandered away from subject in hand and will have moralizing for another time. Ettie and I went to hear a lady lecture on temperance last Tuesday evening. Her name was Mrs. Shipher(?) and her lecture was very affecting. Sunday Eve we listened to the Rev. Edw. Eaton in the Cong. church on the text "Let thine eye look right on." His sermon was good.
Sept. 10 I have engaged a school about eight miles from here. it will begin on the 17 of Nov. It is for four months at $22 1/2 per month, which I think very good wages considering how low every thing is at present. I have been putting away fruit for winter use since I came home so you see I have been busy. Last night Ettie and I went to Teachers meeting and I suppose she will persuade me to go to prayer meeting with her tonight.
Sept 21 On the 12th of this month I listened to a lecture by Rev. Edward Eaton entitled "Among the Alps." Mr. Eaton gave a very interesting description of the Alps and surrounding country. This evening we heard Mr. Brown preach his farewell sermon. The church was crowded and the sermon was just what it ought to have been, or at least, it just suited me. Ettie and I are going to Rockville early in the morning on a visit and expect to have a jolly time. Father started for Lacrosse on Tuesday to attend the [church?] Conference and I hope he will enjoy himself while he is gone. I suppose I had better stop writing for it is time I was asleep.
Oct. 1 I have just got home again and have any quantity of news to write. On Monday we went down home [and] ate all the apples and plums we could manage and read some books. Tuesday morning we started bright and early for Mr. Chester's where our folks were making molasses. We helped some during the day and in the evening we helped eat some molasses candy and popcorn. Wednesday we went to mill with Thomas, which gave us a ride of about twenty-four miles. Coming home we gathered some nuts and an old woman made some diversion by telling us we were stealing her nuts and call me Miss Impudence. Thursday we spent the afternoon at Mrs. Dawsons and had a very pleasant time. Friday we spent the day at Mrs. Curnow's and ate more grapes that I ever did before in one day. Saturday we went to Mrs. Eddy's and stayed till after dinner, then called two or three old friends and then drove out to Mr. Bells. Sunday morning Annie Bell, Ettie and I went to Potosi to Catholic Church. We then drove out to Dutch Hollow to see the new church [and] saw the priest christen a baby then drove back to Bells, had dinner and went home in the evening. Monday we all went out to cousin John's and spent the day and Tuesday the great event of the season transpired. Abbie made me a present of a little Nephew [Clement Chester Emery, b. 30 Sept. 1879]. It is a pretty little fellow and I hope he will make a good and honored man. Wednesday or today I came home and here I am ready for emergencies.
Oct 27(?) It has been almost a month since I have written any news but I have been very busy preparing to go to my school. I will leave in about two weeks and I have considerable sewing to do and some visits to make before then. I expect Father will stay down at the farm the greater part of the time while I am gone. I was down there a day or two last week. Clement came up with a load of wood and I picked up courage enough to ride back with him on the wood [rack?], a mode of conveyance quite new to me, but we arrived in safety. While there, several of the girls came to see me, among them Abbie Dawson who happened to be home from the Normal. She wanted me to go to school with her next year but I don't think it will be convenient though I should like to very much. I must stop writing till I get a new pen for this one is horrid.
Dec. 2 After another long silence I will try to write some news to you old Journal. I have been teaching for two weeks and like my new school very much so far. I have about twenty scholars and several of them are larger than I am. I have classes in Reading, Arithmetic, Grammar, Geography, Civil Gov, Penmanship, History and Spelling so you see I am well occupied. I like me boarding place very much. Mary Beetham is a splendid girl and they are all as kind as they can be. I had not heard from home until Saturday so I sat down and wrote a long letter to Father and just after I sent it to the office when should arrive by Thomas. I was real glad to see him. He said all the folks were well and brought me a picture of the baby and one of Clement, Abbie and Ettie taken together. Ettie is in Platteville now. I wrote a letter to her yesterday. I expect to go home Christmas.
Dec 24 Two weeks ago last Saturday I went to town with Mazy and John Beetham and saw father and Clement they were well and I expect some of them will come out for me this afternoon. I will not write any more at present for this ink is horrible. I shall have to buy some more when I go to town.
Jan. 2, 1880 The Holidays are over. The day before Christmas Thomas came out for me and we went to Lancaster that night and to Rockville the next morning. It was very cold and we were almost frozen. I did not have many presents this year the times were too hard I suppose. Christmas night quite a number of my old friends spent the evening with us. The next day I was invited down to Mrs. Curnows and in the evening two sleigh loads of us young folks went out to Mary Bells and spent the evening. Sunday I came back to Mt Ida and here I am now. I am writing in the schoolhouse; the scholars have gone home and it is time for me to leave also. The weather has changed and it is very pleasant today: quite a contrast to the severe cold of last week.
Jan. 13 Last night I received a letter from cousins Emma and Nellie; they were well and said Father had been out there buying hogs. I don't know what they meant by that as Father is not engaged in buying hogs that I am aware of. I expect to find out when I hear from home. I wrote a letter to Grace Curnow yesterday and I have made me a navy blue dress since I came here so I have not wasted much time.
Jan. 26 Yesterday was Sunday and Mrs. Beetham had company all day. In the evening, just as their visitors were going away, who should come but Father. I don't think I was ever quite so glad to see him as I was then it seemed such a long time since I had seen him. All of the folks are well and Father is looking real well. He went back home this morning. I asked him what Emma meant about his buying hogs: he said that some of the buyers offered him a commission if he would buy hogs; but he is not going to buy any as the boys are not willing.
Feb. 2 Last Friday Mr. Harper visited the school. He was very pleasant and the scholars did splendidly. He told Mr. Beetham that I was getting along very nicely with my school but of course he would praise any one that he granted certificates too. We enjoyed his visit very much, but still I am a little glad it is over for of course he takes notice of how any one is getting along with their school and I always dread to think any one is watching me. He asked me if I intended to be at the Spring Examination. I told [him] I thought I should; he told me that I need not look up any in Geography, as my standing was so good he would transfer it. I am glad of that for it will make one less study to be examined in.
Feb. 6 The night before last Mary Beetham and I went to the revival meetings held at Mt. Zion. Rev. Harris preacher a very good sermon; no one went forward, but last night three went forward I am always glad when any one joins the church or tries to do right but still I keep on in the same old way all the time and do not make any advancement toward the right; but I ~ wish I was good though it seems as if I never shall be.
Feb. 9 Saturday night Mr. Harry Beetham and wife came over and took John & Mary Beetham and myself to church. On the way home the sleigh came apart and out in the snow we went; luckily the horses were quiet and no one was hurt; but it was comical to see us pick ourselves up out of the snow. Yesterday Mary and I went out to Mrs. Draggs for dinner. She is one of Mary's sisters and seems very pleasant.
Feb. 23 Last Friday evening John Beetham,, Bell Reidel, Mary Beetham and myself went to Fennimore Center to the Lyceum but it was adjourned so we did not hear the debate. Yesterday we went out to Mrs. Maggie Bells. She lives about 18 miles from here and used to be neighbors to us when I was quite small. We had quite a pleasant visit. I have not heard from home for some time. I wish they would write, as I like to hear from them and am waiting for a letter from them before I write so I will know better what to write. I am afraid I am going to have a bad cold, for my throat has been sore all day. I hope it will be better tomorrow.
March 4 I received a letter from Thomas last Friday and one from Grace Curnow the same day. The reason I did not hear from them sooner was my mail was not just in the letterbox. My school closed today. I only had two visitors but I suppose the condition of the roads kept some away. The roads are very muddy and I don't know whether our folks will be able to come out for me this week or not. I have engaged to teach here the next term; the wages are only eighteen dollars but the board said that was all they could afford to pay in the summer. Last summer the teacher in this dist. only received fourteen dollars and fifty cents. I thought it was better to take this school for $18 per month than run the risk of getting another school and my wages will average a little over twenty dollars a month for eight months and that is not as low wages as some teachers are getting. The teacher's examination will be held in Lancaster in about three weeks and I intend to study as much as I can before then for I expect Mr. Harper will give us some difficult questions. 0, dear I wish it was all over with but of course I will do the best I can but for the present I think I will stop writing and get to bed.
The last three weeks have passed so rapidly that I almost wonder where they are gone. I am keeping house again, it sees rather strange to wait on others instead of being waited upon. I have been very busy since I came home. I am taking music lessons from Mrs. Reed. I will not have time to take many but a few would be better than none. Last Friday and Saturday the County Supt. held teachers examination here. Mary Bell stayed with me during ex. and we studied till almost midnight both nights. I took part in a concert held in the M.E. Church last Sunday eve. The church was crowded & the people seemed to enjoy it. I have just read a book written by H.W. Beecher entitled Norwood or Village Life in New England. I like it very much. I have a good deal of sewing to do and I want to clean house next week.
April 11 Last Tuesday I received an invitation to a wedding and of course I would not miss a chance of that kind. The couple to be married was Miss Jane Sprague and Mr. Sam Vanatta. They were married on Thursday. The attendants were Miss Julia Curnow and Mr. L. Vanatta, Miss Grace Curnow and Mr. Tom Emery and my humble self and Mr. Tom Sprague. Jennie was dressed very nicely and looked very beautiful Mr. Vanatta is good looking so of course they looked handsome. I hope Jennie has done well for she is a splendid girl and I think a great deal of her. I enjoyed myself real well when I was down home at the wedding and visiting my old friends. We came home this morning and this afternoon I went home with Clara Wedehase and stayed until church time this evening. It is time I was in bed and I will have to stop writing for the present. I forgot to say that Mollie Beetham came here yesterday and found no one at home. I was real sorry for I wanted to see her ever so much.
Apr. 22 1 am expecting Alice Eddy to come in every minute and while I am waiting I will write a few lines in my journal. I received a certificate from Supt. Harper last evening. My standing is not quite as good in some of the studies as I thought it would be, and better in some of the others; especially in mental arithmetic. My standing in that study last fall was 54% and this Spring it is 100%. My school commences in about two weeks and I am anxious to get my sewing this evening and the clouds look very stormy. I hope we will not have a severe storm like one that passed through Mo. and killed a great many people besides destroying thousands of dollars worth of property.
Mt. Ida May 15 I have commenced teaching again and am quite busy although I have not as many scholars as I had last winter as the larger boys have to work during the summers. Grace Curnow spent a week with me before my school began. We had a very pleasant visit at least I did. Thomas brought me out here and Alice Eddy came with us. I am so glad that I have such a pleasant boarding place. I get up before six o'clock every morning so as to be ready in time for breakfast; Mrs. Beetham told me that I need not get up so early and she would get me breakfast when I got up but I told her that I would not put her to so much trouble. It is time to call school so I write no more at present.
June 3 On the 30th of last month I bad a holiday it being Decoration Day. The people of Grant Co. have erected a monument in honor of the men from this county who died fighting for their county. Almost everyone from around here went to Lancaster where the monument is to see it decorated. John & Mollie Beetham Misses Catherinka (?) & Belle Reidel and myself went to our house and ate our dinners, which we took with us. Father and Thomas were there too and seemed to enjoy themselves very well. Clement and Abbie were not there I suppose they were afraid it would rain. I received a letter from Edwin Morehead the other day in which he asked me to marry him but of course I could not think of such a thing, as I do not care for him in the least so I sealed up his letter in another envelope and sent it back to him. I hope if I ever do get married it will be to one that I respect & love but thus far I have never seen a man that I think enough of to marry and I certainly do not desire marriage without love
June 16 I have been fishing several times lately but did not catch any fish. Mollie and I have had two horseback rides since I came out. I was afraid of falling off but did pretty well for a beginner. Miss Jennie Beetham is home now; her school closed about a week ago. About three weeks ago I bad something the matter with my skin and as Mrs. Beetham was going to town I sent to Dr. Hassell for some medicine; it did not get any better so yesterday I went in town with John & Mollie to get some more medicine. Miss Beetham taught in my place. Dr. Hassell said it was not any thing dangerous but I would have to be careful of it; he said it is the same disease that I bad two years ago called eczema I wish I could ever get it entirety well of it. Father was in town and is looking well. My school will be out in three weeks and then I will keep house again.
June 24 Last Sunday Thomas, Clement, Abbie and the baby came out to see me. I did not expect them so it was quite a surprise. We had quite a pleasant visit. On Monday evening last Moffie, Jennie, and myself went fishing; we dressed in suitable clothes and Mollie & I went in the water to hold the seine. We bad fine fun and in the midst of it John Beetham came down and helped us. We caught a bucketful of fish but we were quite tired out. I intend to have a picnic &fishing party for the school on Saturday if the day is fine and I hope it will be fine for the scholars seem anxious to go.
June 25 Today Miss Reide's school closes and last evening John & I took Mollie up to her boarding place. She (M) will visit her (R) school today they will come down here this eve. We bad a splendid ride and we had quite an old fashioned chat coming home. I do hope the weather will be favorable for our picnic tomorrow. I have been reading a book written by T.S. Arthur lately that I like very much. Its name is Orange Blossoms. I have been reading this week some of Shakespeare's works.
July 1 Three loads of us went to the picnic last Saturday and I think we all enjoyed ourselves at least I did. I made two cakes but they were not very good or at least one was not. We did not catch many large fish but I caught ten small ones and I think that was very good for me. Last night I went up to Mr. Baxter's and stayed to tea. I had quite a pleasant visit. School will close tomorrow. I do not intend to give any rewards this term because the term has been so short that it is not worthwhile. Next Monday there will be a celebration at Fennimore and Mollie wants me to stay out her till Tuesday and go with them to Fennimore. I expect I will stay here till then and then Mollie will take me in town Tuesday. I sent in town for some garnet-colored zephyr the other day and Belle made a pair of baby shoes for Chester out of it. I think they are just as pretty as they can be. It is time to call school so I will have to stop writing.
July 25 1 have been intending to write in my journal for some time but have put it off from time to time until this eve. We attended the celebration at Fennimore and had a very pleasant time. In the evening there was a concert in town and John brought us in to it. I brought my trunk along and stayed. Mollie came in town Saturday before last and staid with me until yesterday. We had a real nice time while she was here or at least I did and she said that she did, and just here dear journal I want to tell you a secret, Clement thinks of renting a place this Fall and if be does Thomas will be left alone unless he gets married. I think he would like Mollie real well for a wife if he could only win her and I happen to know that Mary thinks a good deal of him, but they have never kept company and I don't know that they ever will though I do not know of any one that I would rather he would marry than Mollie. Several times Mollie has joked me about Tom Sprague. She does not know him but I have spoken of him sometimes as I have of a number of my old friends Mollie says she has an idea that some day he will be more to me than a mere friend though I cant think what put that notion in her head for we have never kept company though I had thought lately that his mother would be in favor of something of the sort. Well: some time ago he went to Mich.. and last week I received a letter from him, he wrote a very nice letter not one bit sentimental or silly but quite interesting though I was surprised that he should ever think of writing to me. Brother Tom came up last night and I think of going to Rockville with him this evening to make a visit. The Young Ladies Sewing Society met here last week we had a pleasant time and did a good deal of sewing.
Aug 16 I came out to Mr. Beetham's yesterday and my school commences today. but before I commence teaching I will look into the past a few moments and try to recall some of the incidents that have occurred since I wrote in my Journal last. I went down to Rockville about three weeks ago and spent two weeks. I had a splendid time. I drove reaper for the boys I made a first rate driver but I told them that the reason they praised me was that they thought perhaps I would drive for them next summer. I was at Mrs. Curnows part of the time and one day Grace, Julia, Jennie and myself went down to James; we had a splendid time Jennie looks well but it seems so strange to see her keeping house but hope she will get along nicely. Tom brought me out here yesterday. We had a pleasant ride and got here about. 12 o'clock. In the afternoon John & Belle, Tom and Mollie, Jennie, Cathinkra and myself went out walking. We do some apples, blackberries and plums to eat and got back about six o'clock. Tom & Mary were together more yesterday than ever before, and I think they enjoyed themselves real well Tom is coming out next Sunday to the Grove Meeting to be held not far from here. I think Tome is a splendid bro. and I hope if he and Mollie are ever married they will get along the best kind.
Aug 23 Yesterday we went to the grove meeting. Tom was there and ate dinner with us. We had a real nice time. About two o'clock we came home or at least Tom, Mollie and myself did. We staid here a while and then went back again. Mollie and I had a long talk last night. I don't think I had better write down our conversation now but I may some time. I wrote a letter to Tom this morning and gave him my opinion in regard to him and Mollie. I am afraid if any one else read this they would think I was a match maker but I know Mollie loves Tom and I am sure he would like to marry her so I don't see why I should not try to help along matters especially as I think she would be just the kind of a wife he needs. Miss Sadie Sims cane here last night on a visit to Miss Jennie Beetham. I don't think I shall like her very much she seems to be so hard to get acquainted with. I expect she and Jennie will visit my school some day this week~
Sept 6. Last Friday evening Tom came out here and Saturday morning Mollie, Tom, John & I went nutting we took our dinner with us and got some apples to eat. We gathered some ferns and picked a good many nuts. Saturday evening I went upstairs before Mollie and after she came up she told me that she had just promised to be my sister. I do hope they will get along nicely. Tom intends to rent Mr. Beetham's farm next year so they can live at home. Yesterday Tom & Mollie, John and I went walking. We had such a nice walk John is so nice and gentlemanly that I like to be with him better than any young man I know of but I must not think any one else can compare with Belle Reidel but then I am not jealous; only sometimes I can not help wondering if something might not have happened if someone had not got acquainted with him before I did. I have engaged to teach this school next winter for $23 per month. At the school meeting they all wanted me to take the school and seemed willing to give me as high wage as any one if not higher but the clerk made out my contract for $22.50 but I was not willing to teach for that so John said if I wanted him to he would go with me as body guard to see the clerk about it and between us we persuaded him to give me 23 dollars. I am well satisfied about it for though some teachers are getting higher wages a great many are getting less and others have not succeeded in getting schools. Lizzie is talking of coming home on a visit she may come to Rockville this week.
Sept. 8 I don't know what to think of the way J. B. [John Beetham] acts. If he was not engaged I should think he wanted me to think a good deal of him and he always seems so honorable that I hardly think he is flirting but if he is, I do wish I knew it for he would soon find out that I am as independent as any body. It may be that he would be as friendly with any one that was in the same house as long as I have been and for that reason I do not want to be prim and distant for he has always been polite and obliging to me. Sometimes I think it would be best for us all if I was more distant and then I think that as I do nothing to attract his attention. It is all right to be socializing with him for I do like to be with him though I don't intend for him to know[?] it. Mollie has noticed his manner but I don't think it possible that he intends to convey any impression besides wanting to be good friends. I wish I knew just what he'd think for I want to do what is just right. I am expecting a letter from Tom Sprague tonight but may be disappointed. Bro. Tom is coming up here on business toward the last of the week.
Sept. 15 Last Sunday Tom, Mollie and myself went in Lancaster to see Lizzie. She came to Rockville last Tuesday and Father and her came to Lancaster on Saturday. When we got there Father and she had gone to church and by the time they came home I had dinner ready. I don't think Lizzie looks any thing like she used to but any one changes considerably in eight years. I don't think she is nearly as agreeable as she ought to be; she seems to want other people to feel as though they had noting and she had everything. She thinks of staying all winter but I hope she will not for I am sure we can not afford to keep her and her two children all winter especially as she is so hard to get along with and requires so much attention. Father is looking real well for him. Tom is here doing some fall plowing and I think he is getting along nicely. J.B. asked me to play croquet with him the other day and I refused and afterward when I wanted to play he excused himself and that provoked me and for two or three days I would hardly speak to him afterward I apologized to him for the way I had acted and he said he was more to blame than I was and said that he did not think how his words sounded or he would not have spoken as he did when I asked him to play. I don't know but what our getting a little angry at each other was a good thing for now though we are friendly. I don't think we feel toward each other as we did before.
Sept 24 Dear Journal I come to you with all my troubles this morning. I feel troubled not so much on my own account as on Tom's account. Mary just told me that she did not feel as if she was as well acquainted with Tom as She was before he came up here and said she thought it would be a good plan to put off the wedding for a year and said she would like to go out west on a visit this fall. I don't know what has made her change her mind but I think John has told her that he does not think Tom is good enough for her and Tom is not nearly as agreeable as he ought to be. I do wish he would be more pleasant and manly for I think if he was Mary would like him and not wish to put off the wedding. I don't want them to put it off for if they do I don't think they will ever be married and I do want Tom to have Moffie for a wife. I must stop writing for my scholars need attention. It is recess now so I have a little more time to write. I know Tom loves Mollie and I know he would make her a good husband but he is so quiet and does not have anything to say and I think Mollie would like him better if he were lively and would let her know how much he thinks of her. 0 dear; I wish I could get Tom to do just what I think he ought to do for I know Moffie would like him if he did. I feel all out of sorts this morning. I think I have a hard time of it anyway trying to make excuses for Tom and trying to make him so agreeable that she can't help loving him. I sometimes get tired of everything and feel real discouraged. Good morning, Nellie.
Sept 27 Last Friday I must have had the blues for I felt lone spirited all day and I was not much better Saturday Till afternoon when John, Mollie & myself went walnuting. It rained while we were gone but we did not get very wet and we bad a real pleasant time. Last evening Mollie, Tom & myself started to go over to Mr. Alderson's to spend the evening but it was late before we started and the roads were so muddy that we turned round and came home. All the way home M. hardly said a word and I had a good cry after we got home and talked real cross to Mary about it but we made it up before we went to sleep. Mary said this morning that I had petted her till she was just spoiled but I like her so well that I can't get vexed at her or ill do I always ask her pardon like a goose.
Sept 28 We are having some splendid weather this week. This evening I intend to go home with one of my scholars and Mary said that either she or Tom would come over after me though I expect they will both come. There will be a soldier's reunion in Lancaster on Thursday and if the day is fine I expect we will go. I think if they both had a good scolding it would do them good. J.B. [John Beetham] and I are quite friendly again though he plays so many jokes that he is rather a dangerous friend.
Oct. 4 Tom, Mollie and I went to the Reunion last Thursday and had a very pleasant time. Pa does not look as well as he did Lizzie seemed very agreeable and we all enjoyed ourselves. On Saturday Moffie Belle and myself went to Boscobel and had our pictures taken. Mollie & I each had half a dozen photographs taken and all three of us had our pictures taken together. I hope they will be good but will not get them this week so I will have to be patient. We each invested in a majolica fish for a memento of our Boscobel trip. We want to see which of us will keep ours the longest. I think money spent for something that will keep is better than spending it for candies, nuts, and etc. Yesterday was Sunday and we walked to church in the afternoon and Tom took us in the buggy in the evening Mary hardly speaks to Tom and he hardly speaks to any one. I wish I were a man and in Toms place I know I would find something to talk about. I do hope everything will be right in the end-- Nellie
Oct 7. My school will close on the day after tomorrow I will be glad to have a little vacation I was invited up to Mrs. Maggie Baxters to tea last night and Mollie went up for company home, we spent a pleasant evening but today I have had the blues fearfully today, I don't know just what is the matter but I think if Tom & Mollie were as friendly as they ought to be and loved one another as they should I would feel all right. Of course I need not trouble myself about these affairs but when I see Mollie act so cool toward Tom it makes me feel hard toward her though I love her ever so much and she is just as good to me as she can be. 0, why can't she love him for I don't know what he will do without her.
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as good as he can be there seems to be a vacancy a something that I have not got. I wish I did not have to teach I think I should like to keep house if I did not have to go away as soon as I get things in running order. 0 Dear; I wonder if I will ever be contented. Alice Eddy spent several days with me last week and I intend to go to see her sometime this week lithe weather be fine.
Nov. 13. Thomas brought me out to Mr. Beetham's this afternoon and here I am ready to begin school in the morning I have something to write in my journal and I hardly know how to commence it. Mr. Kidd our next neighbor is an invalid and has a Mr. Drew of Richland Center to take care of him. Mr. D. has been married but has a divorce from his wife and has not seen her for over two years. I have thought for some time that he rather liked me and last evening he came~ in to see me and asked me if would correspond with him during the winter. I know from what he said that he would like to marry me but I don't know whether it would be for the best or not I think it was his wife's fault that they had to separate and I think if he married any one he loved he would make a good kind husband and be a good provider. My objections to him are these; he is a divorced man and he is considerably older than I am. When I first became acquainted with him I did not like him but the more I see of him the better I like him that is I don't mean to say I am in love with him and I keep getting more so, for I am not and don't know that I ever shall be but I think he is kindhearted and think he tries to do to others as he would like them to do to him. In regard to writing to him I hardly knew what to say but finally I told him if he wished to he might write to me and if I thought proper I would answer. I wish Ma were alive so I could know her opinion it always seems to me that what ever she said about any thing was right and she would understand me and know what I need better than anyone else. I shall not decide any thing at present and probably after a while I will know better what to do.
Nov. 21 The weather is fearfully cold I do hope it will moderate before long. I have taught just one week. I have only a few scholars now but expect more next week. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day but I expect to teach and then have my holiday some time when I need a rest. Since I came out a week ago I have read a new book called Fools Errand by one of the Fools. It is quite popular being a description of the state of affairs in the South after the Rebellion. Mr. Beetham's folks went to town last Friday and bought so many nice things for Christmas presents that it made me quite envious. I am perfectly willing and glad for other people to have plenty of nice things but I would like to have plenty myself: I know no person would enjoy giving and receiving presents better than I would and some times I feel as though it is almost too bad for some people to have every thing they wish and then to think that I want anything I must work for it. I know if our folks could afford it they would make me presents but I feel sometimes as though if I had the money I would willingly give them double value if they would plan little surprises and presents for me so I would know that they did not forget that I still belong to the family although I am not with them much of the time. How selfish I am getting to be I ought to be ashamed of myself but it seems natural for me to want people to love me and not allow me to think that I am "lone and lorn" and of no special use to any body. Your afflicted Susannah
Nov. 26 Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and the scholars persuaded me to have a holiday. In the morning I knit Pa a pair of cuffs and in the afternoon I made me an apron. I think one of my brothers will come up for me this evening. I wish they would for Sunday is Pa's birthday and we all want to be home together. I have almost made up my mind to go out West with Lizzie in the spring. I think it will do me good to have a change. I shall hate to spend the money but as I earn it myself I think I might as well enjoy it.
Dec. 6 I went home last Sunday and enjoyed myself very much. Each of us gave Pa a present and the boys bought a turkey for the occasion and I made Pa a birthday cake and a pudding and we had a real pleasant time. I invited them all to dine with me when I was seventy-three years old. It is very cold and windy today. We were going to church this afternoon but it is too stormy. I have some more news to write but J.B. [John Beetham] lent me his gold pen to write with and I suppose it is because I am not used to it but for some reason or other I can't write legibly with it so I will leave my gossip till next time.
Dec. 10 Now for my gossip. I received a letter from Mr. Drew about two weeks ago in which he asked me to marry him. I thought the subject over and concluded that I could not love him and bad better tell him so at once and not let him think there was any chance for him so last Sunday I wrote to him and told him that I thought we were not suitable for each other and he would oblige me by forgetting all about it as soon as possible. I want to write something now that I think I bad better not write still I think I shall. To go back to the beginning ever since Moffie told me that she thought I loved John I have tried not to think any thing of him. before that time I thought I only cared for him as a friend but now I know that I think more of him than anyone else. He has been engaged to Miss Reidel for some time and Mary thinks she is just perfection and according to her version they think every thing of each other. A week ago tomorrow evening just before I came up stairs he put a paper in my hand. When I reached my room I read it and in it he asked me if there was any chance of his gaining my love. He said he wanted me to keep my own council for a while for Mollie was jealous on someone
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February?1 ...I think Father likes him [Mr. Drew?] better than he did, but I don't think they need make any plans for me in that direction for after my refusing him he won't be apt to think anything of me. I answered Tom's [Sprague] letter the other day and sent him my picture but I don't know whether he will ever receive it for I heard this week that he was at home and he probably left Mich. before my letter reached there. I wonder if he will condescend to come up to see me. I don't expect him for even if he wanted to come the roads are blockaded with snow. Mary and I read aloud almost every evening. We have just finished reading one of Dickens works Dornbey and Son and tonight we intend to commence reading Bricks Without Straw by Judge Turgee.
Feb. 14 Monday I received two letters one from Lizzie and one from the Emery Bros. Lizzie's letter was devoted to praising Mr. Drew. She thinks he is about perfect; he has told her all about what he thinks of me and they have discussed me pretty thoroughly I suppose for she said she thought Father would be perfectly willing for him to marry me. She thinks he would make a splendid husband and says she hopes to entertain us on our wedding tour. I could not but be amused on opening the boy's letter to read that whatever I do I must not marry Mr. D. That he has been very kind to Father & Lizzie but only to advance his interests with me. Good gracious! I wonder if any [one] else bad one half of her family persuading her to marry a man and the other half telling me not to have anything to do with him. I wish they thought I had a mind of my own. I don't think they need to trouble themselves about me for I intend to many the man I want to or never get married. Tom Sprague was inquiring about me the other day I wish I knew whether he got my picture or not. I hope Grace wont get bold of it for she will never be satisfied till she knows all about it; if she does I would like to see him till I go home. I have two weeks more of school yet and will be so glad when it is out.
Feb. 27 We are having a good deal of stormy weather. I am afraid the roads will be in a fearful condition but hope I will be able to get home without much difficulty. Mr. Harper visited my school last Friday. The school was smaller than usual that day and I was sorry he happened to come just then for most of the scholars had bad colds and I was afraid he would not receive a very good impression of the school but he said as he was leaving that I bad better take the school again so I think he must be satisfied with my manner of conducting it. I don't intend to apply for the summer school and would not apply for any school If I could afford to quit teaching. I don't know what I wi11 do till I go home. I feel real lonesome this afternoon. I wish I knew what is the matter with me I feel so forlorn and forsaken sometimes when I have no occasion to either. I forgot to say that I received another letter from Edwin Morehead the other day in which he again asked me to be his wife but I was under the necessity of refusing him for much as I like to be loved and thought of! would rather work for my living all my life than marry him. I told him not to write to me again for he had my final answer and I hope and trust he will not. Nellie
Home once more! My school closed last Friday. They wanted me to teach two weeks longer but I thought I had better come home. Clement and Father went out for me this morning and we got here about one o'clock. Mr. Drew has just been in to see me. I wish he would not come in so often as he does, if he comes many more times I think I shall tell him not to come. Lizzie has gone back to Iowa and I find the house will take a good deal of cleaning to look like anything. I intend to commence operations in the morning. I don't intend to go to church this evening for I don't want folks to know that I am home till I get things straightened round a little.
Mar.12 The first part of last week I swept, dusted, and scrubbed till I was tired. On Wednesday Thos. came up and I went home with him. I saw Tom Sprague while I was down there. He seems livelier than he used to. I don't know whether he thinks anything of me or not. I wish I did know for I think ever so much more of him than I do of Mr. Drew but Pa likes him and he tries his best to make me love him. He asked me today to be his wife but I told him I did not think I loved him and I could not marry him unless I did. I would say no without hesitation if it were not for Pa but he is old and needs my care and I have to earn my own living I can not stay at home and take care of him. I wish I knew what I ought to do. Pa wants me to marry him but somehow I can't make up my mind to. If I was sure Tom Sprague did not care for me I think I could come to a decision but as things are I don't know what to do.
Here I am! Way out in Iowa. Tom made up his mind some time ago to come out here this spring and wanted me to come out with him. I hardly knew what to do but concluded I might as well come out here as he
yet I have been several of the Nicksons and they seem real glad to see me It is snowing very hard and seems like the middle of winter but I expect it is as bad or worse in Wisconsin. I will write more next time but my pen is so poor I can write no more.
Nora [Iowa] June 2 Dear Journal I have been intending to write down the May news for so long and then neglecting it that I hardly know what to write. I am teaching about eleven miles from Humboldt and boarding with a family named Gulbson. I have a pleasant boarding place and think I shall like my school very well. I went to Humboldt last Saturday and could
a month this summer and probably can get $30 in the winter. I don't know whether it is right for me to be away or not, but if I am at home I have to make my own living and probably have to go away from home to make it. I think I will know more about it when my school closes. If Pa is willing for me to stay then, and I think I shall like it, and do better here than there I don't know but what I shall stay out here all winter. Unless I change my mind entirely I don't intend to marry Mr. Drew, perhaps someday I will wish I had but I know that I don't think as much of him as I ought to if I intended to marry him and I know I am capable of think a good deal of one I loved.
Provoked about not getting out to my school in time but Mrs. Gullixson said it was not fit for anyone to go to school if I had been here I think I shall write to Pa this afternoon. Tom was in Humboldt last Sunday; he seems to be getting along nicely. I am expecting a letter from Grace I hope I will get one when the mail comes in.
June 11 I wrote to Father yesterday and also to Ettie. I received a letter from Grace Curnow this morning. She says they are well. Tome Sprague is out in Arizona. He is going to take me to the worlds fair in 1883 if he makes $25,000 before that time. I have twenty scholars and like my school very well, only sometimes I feel well I can't tell how I feel only I feel [illegible]
June 17 When I arrived at the schoolhouse this morning I found a letter from Abbie lying on the desk. I tell you I was glad to hear from home, she says they are having a real nice time this summer. There is going to be a big celebration at Lancaster on the Fourth of July. I wish I could be there and here too. They are all well at home. Mr. Drew is running two stores in Lancaster. I would like to see him so as to hear all the news but I am not sorry that I refused him. I had a letter from Delbert this week I am rather expecting him up tonight to take me down to Humboldt but I don't know that he will come. I wish he would for I don't like to stay out here over Sunday very well it is so lonesome. I like my boarding place real well. My school is just half out today I believe may little Arabs like their teacher pretty well at least they seem to.
June 20 Last Friday I looked for Adelbert [?] all afternoon but he came not. Saturday morning I looked out and lo and behold there he was. It was Aunt's [?] birthday and we had a party at Toms. We had a real nice time. Delbert told me as we went down that Ettie said that Lester [Clark] asked her to go to a picnic but she would not go because it was on Sunday. He told her that he thought he should come out for me and then Ettie tried her best to persuade him not to come: She told Delbert that she did not want me to go anywhere that she did not want to go. I don't think she needed to have worried about my going to a picnic on Sunday for I should not have gone if he had come out for me. I think Ettie was a little afraid to have him come out to see me for fear he would stop going with her. Delbert asked me if he could take me to the celebration on the Fourth of July so I suppose we are not certain where we will spend it. I received a letter from Alice Eddy the other day she said there had been several weddings there lately. Mr. Drew is running two stores now. If I was home perhaps I could get some ice cream.
June 24 It is Friday afternoon and while I am not having a Nora recitation I thought I would write a few lines.
Yesterday I wrote to John Blakeley, Delbert Nickson, Lizzie Hunt and Ettie. Today during spare moments I have been working on a bouquet holder for Ettie and one for Flora. Night before last I was sick I don't know what was the matter I felt as though I was burning up one minute and perhaps the next be real cold. Mrs. Spohn bathed my feet in hot water, rubbed my hands and arms with brandy and presently I felt better. I must stop writing for it is time to hear another class.
July 6 Last Sunday morning I looked for Delbert but he did not come. In the afternoon I went to church with Mr. & Mrs. Spohn and while there Delbert came out for me. We went down to Humboldt took tea at Willie's, went to prayer meeting then went to Ettie's where we found Lester. Next morning Lest, Ettie, Delbert and myself went on the train and we had a real nice time. We saw some real fast trotting; the fastest was mare by Josephus trotting a mile in 2 mm. 19 sec. We took dinner and supper at the Patterson House and came back to Humboldt about half past Eleven o'clock. There was a big dance at Russel's House just opposite Ettie's that evening and we went over to watch them dance. Lester danced several times and asked me to dance every time but I know so little about dancing that I was afraid to venture. Milo Clarke wanted me to dance with him and so did Roy Berrier but I did not dance any. Lester is real gentlemanly and I like to be with him ever so much but Ettie keeps a close watch on him I believe she is afraid it would not take much to lose him though he is real good about taking her around. I believe she thinks more of him that he does of her of course I don't know but I believe he has taken her around a great deal because he knows that if he did not she would not go nearly so often and as he was not going with any one in particular he took her and now even if he would as soon go with any one else as not he knows Ettie likes to go with him and expects him to take her. Of course I don't mean to say that he would like to go with me but from the way he acts I think he would just as soon have a change as not. Delbert hired a covered buggy and brought me out to my school yesterday. We were too late to have school yesterday but I am teaching today. I thought yesterday that Delbert was a little jealous. I don't know what made him say so but he spoke as though if it were not for coming out to my school he thought I would not care to go riding with him. I told him that he had never asked me to go with him yet but what I had gone and laughingly asked him why he did not ask me to dance the night before. He said that he knew if I wanted to dance I would rather dance with Lester than him, so when I refused Lester he knew there was no chance for him. I told him that I did not want to dance with any one that evening but if I had danced with Lester I should not have refused him. He wanted me to promise that the next time he took me where there was dancing I would not refuse to dance with him. I told him that would depend on where the dance was, what kind of a crowd was there and whether I felt like dancing. I like Delbert real well but I wish he was a little older and more accustomed to the ways of society. I think he is just as kind and good as he can be but I always like to be with some on that can go right ahead and who knows what to do and what to say in all places. Nellie
July 14 This week I have received a letter from Pa, one from Clement and one from John Blakely. They are all well and Father tells me not to worry about him but just make myself comfortable and if I wish to start out and teach this winter. John says that this motto is that if a person has to earn his living he had better stay where he can make the most and as I can get better wages here than I can in Wisc. He would advise me to teach out here. He wrote a nice long letter and said he would like to see me very much and whatever I decided to do would suit J.A.B. Clement told me to write often and tell them my pleasures and trials for they often thought and spoke of their absent loved ones and did not want them to forget home. I think their letters were just splendid. They made me think that I was not forgotten by those I love most. I think if I can get a good school I will teach here this coming winter. I have not heard from Humboldt this week but am in hopes I will hear tomorrow.
July 19 Last night as I was going home from school I dropped my clock and today it would not work so I wrote a note to Mr. Gullixson who was at work not far away and asked him to loan me his watch. He sent me his watch and a note in which he told me that he was sorry that little clock of mine wouldn't work he supposed I had got angry at some of my little Norwegians and thrown it at them but I was welcome to his watch till school was out and if he never come for it to keep it in memory of him. I have eight days of school to teach. I don't know whether Delbert will come up for me or not; hope he will.
July 25 I suppose I have done it now. The other day Mr. Gullixon called at the schoolhouse and among other things said he was going to Humboldt Saturday and asked me I would not like to go along. I told him that I should like to go and he said he would call for me. When I went home Mr. Spohn asked me if I would drive Harvester for them Saturday as they could
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July 26 What I wrote yesterday was partly torn out. I should just like to know who took the liberty of coming into the school house and meddling with my books. I feel quite provoked about it. I wrote on what was torn out that I was afraid Mr. Gullixson was angry because I did not keep my word in regard to going to Humboldt with him. But he called at the schoolhouse today and borrowed some paper from me. I told him that I was afraid I had offended him but he said that it was all right. I asked him if there was no one came up for me if I could go down with him next Saturday. He said I could as well as not so I will be sure to go down whether Delbert comes or not.
July 31 My school closed last Friday. I had quite a number of visitors and they seem well satisfied with the school. The next day Mr. Gullixson and Celia took me out to the secretaries and I got my money. I went to Humboldt the next day and there I am now.
Aug. 13 McKnight's Point.
Joe Nickson wrote me a letter and told me that he would like to have me teach their school for two months. They had engaged a teacher but he failed to get a certificate and they wanted me to finish the term, so I am at work again teaching the young ideas how to shoot. Last week while I was in Humboldt I went to the dentists and had six teeth filled and one drawn. I told the dentist I thought he had better give me something to prevent my feeling the pain but he thought he would have no trouble in extracting it so he lanced it and Mary held my hands while he pulled he had to stop, then he pulled with all his might and broke the top off, but did not move the roots then Dr Van Velser gave me chloroform till I did not know anything and together they cut the roots loose from the bone for it had grown fast. Good gracious I don't know what I wi11 do if I ever have to have another tooth drawn. Both doctors said that I must allow no one to draw a tooth for me unless I first take chloroform. Last night I received a letter from Clement; he says he has not heard from me for six weeks and wonders why we don't write. I wrote to him this week but he had not received my letter when he wrote. This morning I sent Clement's letter to Tom and told him to answer it right away. I am undecided yet what to do about going home this fall sometimes I think I will go home and then I think I can do better WI stay Out here. Ettie thinks it would be a good plan for me to me to learn the millinery trade and then either work in someone's shop or start a shop of my own and have Pa come out. I wish I knew what I had better do. I wrote to Clement about it and perhaps will know better what to do when I get an answer from him. Delbert brought me up to the Poin thehad a hard time getting a buggy but he got a real nice one at last and we had a real pleasant drive. One night last week Lester took me Ettie and Ito Dakota and treated us to cake and ice cream. Delbert wanted me to have Saturday evening but my teeth were so tender I was afraid to venture I got a letter from Annie Bell now in Stockton., Cal. last night she said she wishes I would come out there. In their garden they have ripe peaches, figs apples pears grapes and other kinds of fruit. How I would like some fruit, but it is very scarce out here.
Aug.18 Most of the Nickson tribe have been up here visiting and hunting. I expect Delbert will come up before long to spend a few days and have a hunt. I wish he would come up. I staid at Johns last night and had a splendid time. Tommy and Willie seemed real glad to have me there. I was amused at Tommy saying that he had kept track of me all my life and telling me things that happened in Wis. that I had forgotten all about. Tom and Will said they plagued Delbert unmercifully about me. I wish they would quit teasing him about me at any rate if he does not like to be plagued and I don't think he does for Tommy said he would color up whenever they plagued him about me. The boys Minnie Fawcett and I played croquet this morning but I am a miserable player for I have bad no practice to amount to anything. I hope Delbert won't take any notice of what the boys say for they always have plenty to talk about and if they run short all they have to do is to invent something. I'd give a good deal to know just what Delbert thinks about it. Perhaps I will know some day and if I don't it will be all right.
Aug. 21. Delbert came up Saturday evening; he brought me a large melon the first we have had this year; it was just splendid. Delbert and I went to Anna's yesterday and had a pleasant time, the have a new hammock and we all had a good swing in it. Delbert is going to visit the school this afternoon and we are going up to John's after school is out and spend the evening there. I haven't time to write any more now but will again soon. Nellie.
Sept 5 Last Sunday Annie (?), Joe and I went to Fern Valley to see Mrs. Walker's folks but the girls were not at home so probably I will go up some Friday evening. John's oldest boy is about twenty years old and be is one of the kind that is terribly in earnest about every thing. Alice and Joe have great fun about him; he went to see a girl once because she was sick and since then they call him Doc. Willie plagued me about Delbert when I first came up but since he has got better acquainted he tries to go with me himself. The other night I staid at Johns and he jokingly asked me if I would not like for him to take me over to Nora to see Mrs. Spohn. I told him that I would like to go very well and supposed he would too as there is where the girl he used to go with lives. He said he did not go with her now but would a great deal rather go with me. I told him he was very complimentary. Last Sunday night just after supper who do you suppose walked in, no one else but Doc. he wanted me to go out walking; I did not care to go but went. He was very attentive and when he left me at the door kissed me before I knew what he was about. I guess Alice would think she bad something to joke about if she knew that. Willie asked if he could take me to Humboldt to the fair but I told him I did not want to go. I would like to go, but not with him. I just think it is too bad that those that want to go with me the most are those that I do not care for and those that I might care for are going with someone else or don't think of me once where if I did not think anything of them they would be after me all the time, like Willie. I know I have only to give him a chance to get him to ask me to marry him but I don't want him. I wonder if anyone I could love will ever ask me. I'll begin to think pretty soon that I will have to marry someone I don't like or else be an old maid.
Sept. 6 I received a letter from Clement last night informing me that Abbie has a little girl [Myrtle Mae Emery, b. 2 Sept. 18811. It was quite a surprise to me for I did not know that they were expecting one. It seems so strange to think that Clem has two children and he is only two years older than I aim Pa is well and expects me home in about five weeks.
Sept. 16 This morning we had quite a snowstorm. Winter seems quite near when it is so cold. I hope it will turn warmer again for I dread to think of another long hard winter.
Sept. 19 Yesterday was Sunday and I spent the most of the day at Mrs. Irvine's. Willie Nickson was there and tried to go home with me but Tom came with me and so did George and Lizzie. Lester Clarke came up to take George to Humboldt this morning. He and I went part way back with Geo and Lizzie and of course we came back alone and got so interested in a confidential chat that we came back and walked past Joe's up nearly to the schoolhouse. I wrote in my journal some time ago that from the way Lester acts I think he does not think as much of Ettie as she does of him and last night he told me that he commenced going with her because she was not going with any one particular and neither was he but he does not think of marrying her. He thinks she is a splendid girl for she is a great deal older that he is and he does not think of her that way. [Illegible] that ever so many times this summer he has determined not to go with her but she seems to expect him to take her around and he thinks enough of her not to want to slight her. He said that more than once this summer when Delbert and Ettie were along he has wished he could change partners but Ettie always prevented him from making the attempt. I have often wished the same thing but of course I did not tell him so. He asked me if he came up for me when school was out if I would go down with him. I told him I would and he asked me to think about our talk for he wanted me to think of him and try to think in his favor. That will be easy to do for excepting Jno Beetham I have never gone [?] with any one that I like as well as I do him but I am almost afraid to think of Ettie and Delbert for I am afraid they will both be angry if Lester and I go together. Ettie because Lester deserted her and Delbert because he has been going with me. If I thought Lester would ever many Ettie I would not go with him but he positively said he could never think of such a thing and as I am not engaged to Delbert I don't see what harm there would be in going with Lester provided we were both agreeable.
7 O'clock Will wonders never cease! I wonder what in the world I had better do. I have just received a letter from Delbert. He wants me to let him come up for me and go to the fair with him. I have promised Lester to go home with him and as this is the Sunday I am pretty sure he will ask me and if it were not for fear I would make Ettie and Delbert vexed I would go with him. Delbert wants me to write and let him know if I will go or not and I don't [know] what I had better write. Some girls would go with Lester whether the others like it or not but I don't want to make any bard feelings with any one and I am afraid if I go with Lester they will be made at him and me too. I think I will talk the matter over with Lizzie this evening for she knows something of how things are and perhaps she can help me decide.
Day and Lester took[?] Ettie and I. Ettie did not enjoy it as much as I did not enjoy it as much as if she bad not been there. In the evening Lester and I went riding and when we came back Ettie had kind of a fainting spell Delbert was there and we all three did what we could for her but it was a long time before she got any better. She has been sick ever since but is better now. She was worked down and not well anyway and she is hopelessly in love with Lester and cant bear to see him go with any one else. Lester says he has a great deal of respect for her but can never marry her. He told me the other night that if he had to choose between the two had rather put him out of the road than marry her. He told me some more and that was that he loved me. I have often wondered if he cared anything for me and now if he is not deceiving me and I don't think he is I know that he does. He said that for the present it would be better not to let anyone know it for Ettie has be so sick that we did not know that she would live and Lester was the only one that could do anything with her. Lizzie & Geo are just commencing to keep hotel down her at Wankee and they wanted me to come down and help them get started so I left Humboldt on the afternoon train for Ft. Dodge I saw Lester just before I left and he said I need not be surprised at seeing him at Ft. D. He would have gone down on the same train with me but as things were he thought it best not to let them know any thing about it so he came down on a freight train and got to the hotel where I was stopping just when I was eating supper. After we had eaten our supper we went out walking and had along talk. He asked me if I would some day be his wife and I told him I would. I do love him and all I wish is that he loves me truly and will continue faithful to the end. I would not have promised to marry him if he had been engaged to Ettie but I know and so does anyone that knows anything about it that she has done the courting almost all together and when a lady is crazy after a young man he does well if he has nothing to do with her. Lester gave me a lovely pearl and gold penholder and a gold pen for a present. He said he would write to me today and I promised to write to him. It is so dark I will have to stop writing. Good night.
Oct. 23, 1881 Wankee
It is a rainy Sunday evening and I don't think I shall sit up very late. I have just written to Lester. I got a letter from him yesterday and in fact there has hardly been a day since I came to Wankee but what I do get a letter from him and he writes such nice long letters. Oh I do love him and can't help it. I think he is so nice. He says he loves me with his whole heart and I know he would not say what he did not think for he is too honorable for that and I feel as though I could love and trust him forever. I expect to start home this week or the first of next. I want to see them all ever so much. Perhaps Lester will come down here to see me before I leave; if he does not he will meet me in Ft Dodge. I couldn't bear to go back home without seeing him again. Geo and I went to Des Moines last Tuesday. I ... [line of text too smeared to read]. I had two doz. scholars taken but have not got them yet. I will not write anymore tonight but will go to bed.
Dec 6 Lancaster, Wis.
Dear Journal I have not written any in my journal for a long time partly because I have been busy and further because I have almost [finished?] my book. Here I am back in Wisc. and teaching school again. I did not intend to teach this winter but I had a school offered me $30 per mo. and I thought I had better take it. I don't think I shall teach after this term and I will be thankful when this is finished for I have forty scholars and it is hard work to keep them in order. I received four letters from Lester last week and I expect there is one in the office for me tonight. Oh how I wish I could see him. He is coming to see me Christmas if he can leave the shop. I do hope he will come. I love him so much I cannot help thinking of him all the time. Last night I dreamed I saw him. Oh how nice it will be. He says he loves me so that if anything should separate us he would be a restless wanderer all this life for he could not bear to see any thing that would remind him of me but why think of separation we love each other so dearly that surely nothing will ever separate us. Tom is in Iowa yet but I think he will be home before long. He a Alice Eddy are engaged and I hope they will do well for I love them both. How nice it would be for us to have a double wedding.
Jan. 8, 1882 The holidays are gone once more. I had a week's vacation and had a splendid time. I was expecting Lester and Tome to get here by Christmas and invited Clem and family and Alice Eddy to spend the day with me. Christmas morning they all came but Tom and Lester so of course I felt dreadfully disappointed when I happened to find out that they had come but did not come in with the rest because they wanted to surprise me. Oh how glad I was to see them. I think Lester was real good to come so far to see his little girl. He staid from Sunday till a week from the next Monday and we had a splendid time at least I did and he said that he enjoyed himself ever so much. I think is so nice I never thought half so much of anyone else as I do of him. Alice and Tom expect to be married in April and would like us to be married at the same time but we thought we would like to be married on my next birthday which be next fall on Sept. 20th. I am not certain which we will decide on. I would rather wait till fall if it were not for being so far from Lester. Oh it seemed so nice the week he was here. We went around together some but I believe I enjoyed the evenings at home best. How soon the evenings would pass away when we were together talking of the past and planning the future. I did hate to see him go away but hope someday we will not have to part. Oh I do hope nothing will happen to prevent our having a long and happy life together. May our love for each other strengthen as the years go by and may the world be better for our living in it.
March 17 Tom and Alice were married the day before yesterday. They both looked real well and were not the least embarrassed. Honor Eddy, Clement and I went to Dubuque with them and came back yesterday. We had a very pleasant time. I do hope they will get a nice place and get along nicely. Tom is not as good a manager as Clem but I believe he has a good wife and hope they will do well. I received a letter from Lester last night. He is well. I wish I could see him. It seems like a long time since I saw him but I must try to be patient till I can see him again.
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