Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thursday, December 31, 1925

Thursday, December 31, 1925

Marjorie has been wakeful at night all week and I am so tired these days I feel rotten, can’t accomplish anything it seems. Ironed all morning while the boys took turns cleaning windows for me. They used Bon Ami and did a pretty good job of it. Then they cleaned the floors for me, too. I wanted to start the new year clean but for some reason the house gets dirtier with black coal dirt than it ever did before. I hang Marjorie’s diapers over the registers and they are gray. The boys can’t stay clean it seems so I feel so helpless. Aside from that I feel in looking back over the year and considering the way things used to be that we have made fair progress toward beauty and happiness in our home.

(My mom once asked one of my uncle's who grew up on a farm in southern Indiana if he remembered the inside of their house getting all dirty from their coal furnace. He said it didn't. I still think there was something quite wrong with Grandma's furnace, to cause so much indoor pollution. And if they were breathing that dirty air all the time, no wonder she felt rotten!

But, she ends this year in her diary on a positive note, having "made fair progress toward beauty and happiness in our home".

And so tomorrow I'll begin publishing her 1926 diary entries, one day at a time, with my own comments, comments my Aunt Marjorie sends to me (she writes them out long-hand and sends them a few weeks ahead of time), and comments from my mother, Eleanor (the youngest daughter born in 1929). We always welcome any comments that any reader may wish to add, as well.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wednesday, December 30, 1925

Wednesday, December 30, 1925

It seems that I don’t do anything but clean and iron and the house always looks dirty and always have ironing to do. Mending is stacking sky high and I can’t find time to do more than I have to put on right away, let alone finish the twin’s petticoats.

(Aunt Marjorie commented in her notes to me on the diaries that Grandma is probably behind with everything because of the Christmas holiday. But it does seem she always has ironing to do. Everything had to be ironed!)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Tuesday, December 29, 1925

Tuesday, December 29, 1925

Dale better as to throat and fever, but neck all swollen in back due I think to a “stunt” Guy had them try in which the leaders of his neck were strained. Got coke in that left a film of black all over my clean house and the boys get all dirty after playing inside any time.

(I wonder what Uncle Guy had them try that stretched Dale's neck so that it would be swollen?

And I can't imagine having black soot all over the inside of my house. I think I'd try to figure out what was going on with the furnace.)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Monday, December 28, 1925

Monday, December 28, 1925
Cold and clear

Got up nearly sick with a sore throat.. Had an awful bad night. Baby was nervous I guess, at least wakeful although she didn’t cry, but she didn’t sleep and I had to get up several times and my throat seemed al l swollen and so sore. Dale had sore throat and stick neck all day, a little feverish, and Ned, too. I went to the store and got flannel to make the twins petticoats.

(Marjorie wrote the following about the twins, Martha and Louise, born on Christmas Day to Gilbert's sister Nell and her husband Mike..."I remember Mother making gifts for the twins at Christmas time for a number of years. Uncle Mike was 55 when the twins were born. He was a night watchman at Link Belt at that time, as well as doing a little farming. He lived to be in his 90's. They were very poor. The twins were hard workers and had nice homes after marrying."

I sure hope Grandma and the others don't have long illnesses again like last winter.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sunday, December 27, 1925

Sunday, December 27, 1925
Cold and Clear

Cold wave and we slept late and found the fire burned out. Had a cold time till we got another one started. Got 3 boys off to Sunday School then nursed the fire and got started to Mama’s at noon. All were there but Harry. Had a fine dinner and Mrs. Santa Claus (Mildred) distributed gifts upstairs by the tree. I was well remembered and the boys got lots of nice toys.

(Earlier I posted that I thought Grandma hadn't celebrated Christmas with her parents because she sent the two older boys over there with gifts. I guess I was wrong, and they did get together for a Christmas celebration.

I can't imagine a coke (coal) furnace, and having to constantly add more coke to keep a fire going all through the winter. That must have been tedious, and a somewhat dirty job. I'm reminded of the movie "A Christmas Story" and the scene where Ralphie's father, "the old man", is down in their basement, cursing the furnace, and comes up all covered with soot.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Saturday, December 26, 1925

Saturday, December 26, 1925
Cold, wind

Dad left in the middle of the afternoon and Alva Farguar called up just after he left announcing that Nell had twin girls born last evening. We were surprised, not expected till next month and so relieved for Nell is 41 and we were afraid she would have a hard time. All doing well, he said. Was too excited over it to work well but managed to wash and send Dale and Dick over to Mama’s with presents.

(Nell was Gilbert's sister. Grandma wrote the following in her family history:

"In November 1924, Nell married Mike Kelly and helped him make a home for his step-son Robert Wray. On Christmas day 1925, she gave birth to twin daughters, Martha Caroline and Katherine Louise. They moved from Crawfordsville, and lived in several farm homes while the girls grew up. When they were ready to graduate from high school, they were living in Brown County (IN), and the twins graduated from Trafalgar High School. They had prepared themselves to do office work and both obtained jobs at the State House so they both worked in Indianapolis... (Nell) died of cancer of the breast April 11, 1950" The twins, Martha and Louise, both married, and had children and are still living.

It appears that Grandma did not have a Christmas celebration with her own parents, and just sent the boys with the gifts. I suppose this may have been because they saw them more often, and it was probably a special day when Gilbert's father came to visit from Crawfordsville. Today, it seems like people have three and four and more Christmas celebrations with family to make sure they see everyone.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Friday, December 25, 1925

Friday, December 25, 1925
Snow, colder

A lovely Christmas Day. Enough snow to give us a white Christmas and then cleared up. Bess came out. Dad was here and the boys made Merry. After dinner Fred McCullough came to see Bess and brought a five lb. fox of chocolates. We had so much candy and nuts so of course ate too much all but Gilbert who suffered with heartburn and stomach off.

(Grandma recorded at the end of her "book of remembrance" what she got everyone for Christmas. Here's the list:

Christmas Gifts

Dad – socks
Nell – towel set
Mike – handerkerchiefs
Bess – towel set
Aunt Janey – apron
Robert – table croquet
Papa – tie
Mama – lamp
Guy – socks
Ella – towel set
Mildred – bloomers
Onarga – bloomers
Bob – horse shoe game
Don – auto
Bur – socks

Ethel – towel set
Harry Jr. – horse shoe game
Harry – socks
Winifred- handerkerchiefs and garters
Gilbert – desk
Dale – pencil, gun, filecase
Dick - pencil, gun, filecase,
Albert – pencil, gun, filecase
Ned – Kiddy Kar

Nothing was listed next to Marjorie's name, so I assume because she was just a few months old, they didn't bother with presents for her.

And here is what Grandma wrote about what she received from others:

Christmas presents received:

From Gilbert – beautiful table lamp. Mama – runner. Mildred – ship book ends. All of which transform my table to a thing of beauty. Onarga – Pyrex pie plate. Guy – gloves. Bess – stockings. Aunt Hattie – towel. Jessie – handkerchiefs. Dale – cooking spoon and dish and writing book made at school. Dick – beefsteak pounder with card on it written “To Ruth from Dick”. Albert – pretty peach colored handkerchief.

It sounds like they had what we would call an "old-fashioned Christmas", with snow, family, a few gifts and lots of sweets.

If you would like to see a picture of a nativity set made of felt and pipe cleaners given by Albert to Eleanor sometime in the 1940's, go to May Dreams Gardens, where I've posted a picture of it

Merry Christmas to all!)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Thursday, December 24, 1925

Thursday, December 24, 1925

Made cake and pies and Dad came in about noon with a big box of potatoes and a roaster from Nell's – her Christmas present. He killed it and dressed it. Had supper and the boys hung their stockings in high expectancy. But after Santa came about 20 of 12 I had to iron each a clean outfit put on tomorrow. So got little sleep. The end table arrived.

(Aunt Marjorie believes the pies were probably mince and pumpkin. "Dad" was Gilbert's father, Nell was Gilbert's sister. She was expecting a baby, so probably wasn't able to come to Grandma's for Christmas.

See, there is a Santa, Grandma wrote in her diary that he came about 11:40 PM! Then she had to iron clothes. There seemed to be no holiday from the ironing!)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wednesday, December 23, 1925

Wednesday, December 23, 1925

The boys got awfully industrious today. I told them what all I had to do so they pitched in and helped me. Polished the furniture for me while I cleaned the kitchen, bath, and pantry. We got the house clean and in good order. But of course I didn’t get everything done I wanted too, ironing for instance. The boys and I trimmed the tree.

(Always the ironing!

Mom always got us to help clean up the house before Christmas. It probably kept us from driving her crazy while we were waiting for the big day... Christmas!)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tuesday, December 22, 1925

Tuesday, December 22, 1925

Dale and I finished the candy up last evening. It is a great pleasure to Dale to be “in” on it. Not a selfish motive at all. Jack Apple put Dale and Dick “wise” on Santa Claus deal several weeks ago. They were old enough to see through it anyway. But they seem to enjoy it just as much and understand the spirit of it.

(What "Santa Claus deal"? See through what? What could Grandma be writing about??)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monday, December 21, 1925

Monday, December 21, 1925

Dale slipped upstairs while Albert and Dick were playing and I was washing and hulled all the peanuts for the candy before Dick missed him. I started to clean furniture. Want to clean the house but the boys dirty it up as fast as I clean. Feel awfully hopeless. Wish I had time to read more. “Little Journeys” are awfully interesting.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote that the peanuts were probably for peanut brittle, another favorite homemade candy.

I'm sure Grandma did find it hopeless to try to keep a house full of 4 boys and a baby clean!)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunday, December 20, 1925

Sunday, December 20, 1925

Went to Sunday School and took Ned. The other three had gone ahead. Gilbert stayed home with Marjorie. Saw Mrs. Wheeler and paid for my Christmas cards. Then I wrote the cards in the evening and got them ready to mail. Then Dale and I made candy and decided about Dick and the box he looked into. Of course, I had to stick to my threat, but don’t want to spoil Dick’s fun so decided not to set out more in it so he can have some kinds.

(Sounds like Grandma decided not to let Dick have any of the candy he found yesterday, but was going to let him have any new candy made since then.

Here's another family candy recipe:

Karo Caramels

2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups white Karo syrup

2 cups cream

1 cup butter (or margerine)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

Cook karo, sugar, half the cream and butter together. When it boils stir in the rest of the cream slowly, but do not allow boiling to cease. Test for a firm ball in cold water (246 degrees). Add vanilla and nut meats. Turn into a buttered metal pan (9" x 13"). When cold, cut into cubes and wrap into little squares of wax paper. I use a 4 quart pan and stir occasionally as it cooks.

Marjorie wrote,"When we were little we helped wrap the caramels. John Morgan asked Mother how she kept us from eating the candy as we wrapped. She laughed and said we watched each other, and no kid would allow a brother or sister to eat anything that he or she couldn't have himself."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saturday, December 19, 1925

Saturday, December 19, 1925

Cleaned house as usual without the usual interference of Jack Apple, who it seems heard about the mysterious box in the pantry that Dick was not to open, so he persuaded Dick to open it. Snooped some himself and then told Dale on Dick with the object of getting Dick into trouble so he couldn’t have any candy on Christmas. Both boys feel it is a low trick.
(I'm not sure who Jack Apple was, sounds like someone who hung around with Dick, but who wasn't a good influence at all. Update later on 12/19: Per comment from Sissy, "Jack Apple" may have been another way to say "the devil made me do it". Per this website, Jack Apple refers to a "dottering fool". Perhaps there was a friend that wasn't a good influence, and Grandma just called him "Jack Apple"? It sounds like Grandma was writing about someone real, and indeed, according to a note from Aunt Marjorie, the Apples lived on Temple St. just behind them, so that solves that, Jack was a real boy.
One of the types of candy that Dick might not have gotten since he snooped before Christmas was cinnamon roll. According to Aunt Marjorie, the cinnamon roll recipe started with Grandma's father, Rolla Campbell. A batch or two still gets made at Christmas time by someone in the family. Here is the recipe.
Grandpa Campbell's Cinnamon Roll

2 cups sugar (granulated)
2 Tablespoons flour (slightly rounded)
1 cup milk
1 lump butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pie pan with 1/4" +/- cinnamon spread in the bottom)

Have everything ready before you start. Have a clean marble slab or countertop greased with butter, and have a small lump of butter ready to grease your hands when ready to knead candy. Have 2" - 3" cold water in the sink, and have a lump of butter (Mother used to say "size of a walnut") and vanilla standing by the sink. I use a 3 or 4 quart dull pan (shiny stainless steel would scorch the milk).

Mix sugar and flour, mashing flour lumps into sugar with spoon so all is smooth, then add milk. Start cooking while stirring till sugar pretty well dissolved, but never stir once simmering commences. When gently boiling, cover for a few minutes. On my stove, I cook halfway between medium and medium-low to soft ball stage (234 degrees on my thermometer).

Immediately move pan to cold water in sink and add butter. Let it cool a few minutes and add vanilla, then beat (slowly will do it) till it becomes dull & no longer shiny. Turn it onto a greased counter, rub butter on your hands, and knead until you can form rolls (about the size of a roll of quarters) and roll each formed roll in the cinnamon. When firm, store in a tin until needed, then cut into little slices.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Friday, December 18, 1925

Friday, December 18, 1925

Open house at school and kindergarten party, too. So as soon as I got Ned and Marjorie fed and bathed, I rigged up Ned’s old cart and went over to the kindergarten till 11, when Bob Cratchet (Dale) was to appear at school. Then after lunch went back and visited Dick’s room. Dale was a pretty good Bob Cratchet but was a little scared and his voice did not carry well.

(Surprisingly, Grandma doesn't mention in her diary that this was her birthday. She turned 33 on this day. I assume they would have acknowledged her birthday in some way.)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thursday, December 17, 1925

Thursday, December 17, 1925
Fair and cold

Mama came over bright and early to let me go down town and finish my shopping. But I wanted to go to the class party at Mrs. Smith’s, so I hurried home at 2:00 and got the little ones ready. Dick got home from school before Dale and we left him to tell Dale and come when he got home. So we went to the party. Benny Evans brought us all home. Had a good time.

(Mrs. Smith was no relation to Grandma. She was her Sunday School teacher. Sounds like a busy day.)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wednesday, December 16, 1925

Wednesday, December 16, 1925

Coated my peppermints then made a batch of pink and lavender fondant that I made into creams with nuts on them. Let Dale in on the secret at noon and so after the others went to bed we made a batch of plain vanilla. Dick saw the box on the top pantry shelf and started to look in, so I told him if he did he’d not get any of the contents.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote that Dick was the candy lover in the family!)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tuesday, December 15, 1925

Tuesday, December 15, 1925

Decided I would have to make the candy for Christmas this year to make the money last, so as this is the last week of school had better get at it. So this AM while the two boys were at school and Albert in kindergarten, I made a batch of peppermint. Then ironed all afternoon.

(Aunt Marjorie called me a week or so ago and suggested that I post some of Grandma's candy recipes with the diary, and I agreed that was a great idea. She wrote that she thinks the peppermint candy Grandma made was probably the fondant candy with food coloring added. So, here is the recipe...

Fondant Candy
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cub Water (cold)
Nut Halves
1/4 Teaspon Cream of Tartar
Flavoring (Peppermint, Vanilla, etc.)
Chocolate coating (optional)
Have 2 - 3 inches of cold water in the sink. Have a marble slab or space on counter greased with butter.
Heat sugar and water slowly while stirring to dissolve sugar.Then cook quickly without stirring. While the liquid is boiling, drop in cream of tartar and food coloring (if you want it to be a color).
Cook to soft ball (236 degrees F.), then remove from heat and set pan in cold water in sink. When cool, add flavoring (1 tsp. vanilla, or about 4 drops of peppermint, or any flavor you wish).
Remove pan from water and beat mixture until no longer shiny. Turn onto greased counter, grease hands with butter, then knead and make into small balls (size of large marbles - aggies, like little boys played with) and either push nut halves on each, or coat the balls with melted chocolate.
When firm, store in tins.
Aunt Marjorie wrote, "As long as I remember the whole family helped make candy. The big boys helped Mother beat & knead and form the candy into balls, and we little ones could push the nuts on to the balls".
My own mother, Eleanor, also made candy every year and our teachers loved to get a box of the homemade candy. She still helps make candy each year, and has gotten several granddaughters interested in the family recipes.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Monday, December 14, 1925

Monday, December 14, 1925

Felt more encouraged today – yesterday I was so blue. I was so joyful Saturday when I bought the desk, then yesterday was so distressed about it, but now I don’t see how he could help being glad about it, for although he needs it, it would be many a day before he would buy himself one. The ElbertHubbard books came.

(Aunt Marjorie commented "David has the Elbert Hubbard books now. I got many an interesting report for school in the "Little Journeys" books. Dale liked them, too, but he let me have them so his wife could have my share of the Haviland china Mother had received from her friends at wedding showers." (David is her oldest son.)

Grandma still had a bit of worry over the desk she bought as a gift for Gilbert, but seemed to have changed her mind that he would like it.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sunday, December 13, 1925

Sunday, December 13, 1925
Cloudy and rain

Collin’s wanted their picture for Mrs. Smith’s album so Gilbert went over and took them but it was really too dark. I was all day getting my work done. Was tired, too. An article by Edgar Guest in the paper on gifts just struck Gilbert. It seems he doesn’t like useful gifts so my heart is like lead. He won’t like his desk.

(The Collin's lived across the street from Grandma. They had two children, a boy and a girl.

I wonder if the Edgar Guest who wrote the article is the same as the poet Edgar Guest? Seems like about the same time period, and he was "a newspaper man".

Remember from yesterday that Grandma got Gilbert a desk for Christmas. I think he probably ended up liking it. She had it in the house until she died.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Saturday, December 12, 1925

Saturday, December 12, 1925

Albert and I went to do our shopping after Gilbert came home, but we got a late start and what a mob in the stores! I got a desk for Gilbert and then took Albert to the 5 and 10 cent store. By the time he was done, I could just barely get him some shoes before the store closed. He is the stubbornest kid I have, wouldn’t get what others wanted, but what he would like to have himself.

(Albert is 5 1/2 years old at this time, and perhaps didn't quite get it as far as giving people gifts. For those who are reading who might not be completely familiar with the family, Albert grew up and attended Harvard University, converted to Catholicism and became a Jesuit priest. He spent most of his career teaching philosophy at the Univ. of San Francisco. More info is on the March 16th diary post and I added a picture of him in the 1940's on the picture blog.

Eleanor has the desk Grandma got for Gilbert. For awhile, my brother had it but then Mom (Eleanor) decided she would like to use it for awhile. So I went after work one day to his house to get the desk. I remembered it as quite a massive, oversized piece of furniture, and wondered how my brother and I would get it loaded onto my truck. When I got to his house, he had already moved the desk downstairs. Turns out, it was much bigger when we were little kids visiting Grandma!)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Friday, December 11, 1925

Friday, December 11, 1925

The babies and Dick a little better. Finished my ironing and started to clean the upstairs. Didn’t get done as much as I expected though never do anymore it seems. Suppose I expect to do too much, having the baby to nurse too. But I don’t begrudge the time she takes she is such a little jewel. Dale and Dick went down town to do their Christmas shopping.

("Finished the ironing", until the next day and the next load of laundry, I suppose. Dale and Dick, being 9 and 7 years old, were probably quite anxious to get their Christmas shopping going. And we are all still amazed that at their age, they went down town in Indianpolis by themselves to shop. As Grandma wrote a while back "such little men".)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thursday, December 10, 1925

Thursday, December 10, 1925

Mama came over and I didn’t get to my ironing till after noon. Ironed till 6 and didn’t get done. The two babies and Dick nearly sick with their colds. I believe I have been having the house too hot for their good, so am going to try to keep the temperature lower.

(More ironing! If someone asked me what was the greatest innovation of the 20th century, as far as helping women advance in life and have more options, I would say permanent press fabrics. Otherwise, we would all be at home ironing most of the time.)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wednesday, December 9, 1925

Wednesday, Decemer 9, 1925
Cold and cloudy

Went to P.T.A. at the school, left the children all at home. Marjorie didn’t sleep as I expected but the boys wheeled her and fed her a bottle and I guess didn’t have much trouble to keep her from crying. Ned is nearly sick with a cold today and Marjorie’s eyes are still bad.

(I assume Grandma was not gone for long. Dale, the oldest is 9 years old. Today, we would not leave 5 children ages 9 - newborn home alone. Is it because the world is not so safe now as it might have appeared to be in the 1920's or because children are not so mature?)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tuesday, December 8, 1925

Tuesday, December 8, 1925
Cold and cloudy

I ironed most of the day. Marjorie slept all day. She has been sleeping all night too lately and I hope she keeps it up. It certainly is a joy to have her. She is so sweet and good. Laughs and coos so happy when she is awake. She has quite a cold in her head though and can’t seem to get rid of it. Ned, too. It worries me.

(More ironing! I will probably not iron as much in my entire life as Grandma ironed in a week!

And they did seem to catch a lot of colds.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Monday, December 7, 1925

Monday, December 7, 1925

Put in the day doing the work I should have done the last of the week and washing, too. I cleaned up the windows and scrubbed the floors and cleaned pretty good in general. Baby slept most of the day and stayed awake all evening till 10 o’clock. She has cold in her eyes that keep them red and mattery.

(Grandma has to clean the windows a lot, primarily, we believe, because of the coke furnace they used to heat the house.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sunday, December 6, 1925

Sunday, December 6, 1925
Cold and cloudy

Dale and Dick went to Sunday School and Gilbert and I cleaned the house and babies up and then went to the folks for dinner. The boys cut up Jack so we brought them home early. They prefer teasing Winifred and never gave her one moment’s peace. Ned took a shine to the Edison and wanted me to keep it going. We had our pictures taken.

(We've already determined that "cut up Jack" or "tear up jack" which is in other diary entries means they made a mess of things. Marjorie said Grandma used to say that a lot. I would guess with four active boys, it was as good a description as any for how they played.

The Edison is a hand-cranked record player. It is still in the family, but needs some repair, which we will take care of over the holidays.

Getting your picture taken in the 1920's was an event and I have posted one of the pictures that I believe was taken on this day, at this link. This is also the first picture of Marjorie as a baby that I am aware of. You would have to just a magnifying glass to see her in this family photo!

And, regular readers will recall Winifred, Harry's daughter. Her picture is at this link.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Saturday, December 5, 1925

Saturday, December 5, 1925

Got as much done as I could and let the rest go and went downtown to do some shopping as soon as Gilbert came home. It was the first he had kept Marjorie but with the boys’ help he got along all right. I did a lot of Christmas buying and got Albert underwear.

(Through the diaries, I've learned that Gilbert often worked on Saturdays. He was an accounting clerk at the gas company. I would assume that since Marjorie was their 5th child, he would have experience taking care of babies!)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Friday, December 4, 1925

Friday, December 4, 1925

Had planned all fall on going to the bazaar at the church but it was so rainy I gave it up and ironed till 2:30 when the sun came out and I packed up the kids and went. As soon as we go there, Ned began to cry. He never let up until I carried him. I tried to see the things. I wanted to do some Christmas shopping, but gave up and came home with Nola Peggs and found later his shoe tongue was wrinkled and hurt him.

(Still so much ironing. Grandma never seemed to be done with ironing.

It was nice that Grandma and the kids (which I assume is Ned and Marjorie) got a ride home with someone instead of having to walk or take the bus. I can imagine Grandma trying to carry a two-year old and a baby. Maybe Nola helped with the baby, too?)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thursday, December 3, 1925

Thursday, December 3, 1925

I ironed all morning. Then took the three little ones to the Kindergarten mothers’ meeting. Had a nice time. They all behaved even Marjorie, who made lots of admirers. I won the prize, a book of Mother Goose rhymes, for a guessing game. Took the bus and the street car to go but walked home and carried Marjorie.

(This would be for Albert's kindergarten class. Apparently, the kindergarten class did meet at the elementary school. Marjorie wrote, " I wonder if Albert's kindergarten was the same place Eleanor went, acorss 16th St., from the Community House at Brookside Park? Bus and streetcar meant it was probably a long walk home."

This further confuses me because previously Grandma wrote about sending Albert (age 5) there on his own. I would hope those were short bus/street car rides, so that the walk home wasn't as far as we might think.)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wednesday, December 2, 1925

Wednesday, December 2, 1925

Mama came over. I had lots of odd jobs but felt I didn’t get much done. With some one talking to me all the time I get nervous and make poor head way.

(Since there is not too much in the diary for today, I’ll digress and get everyone caught up on the story of Aunt Hattie, who is mentioned a few times in the diary, and her daughter, Edna. Aunt Hattie was Grandma’s father’s sister. About her, Grandma wrote the following in her history:

“…Harriett (Aunt Hattie) was married to George William Krenning, a prosperous dry goods merchant, whose parents were pioneers who owned the ground on which General Wayne had built his “Fort Recovery”. It was not there when I was little, but later was rebuilt on the original spot, and still stands. To this union were born three children, Edna, who survived both her parents, Alice Krenning Mohr who died after a long illness on Feb. 20, 1908, and George Campbell Krenning who was one of the executives for Western Electric and lived many years in Hew Haven, Connecticut. He had one son, who died in infancy, so no grandchildren survived in the Krenning family. Uncle George died December 6, 1906 and left the community as one of its most distinguished citizens, having been active in the Congregational Church as well as in business and community affairs. Aunt Hattie lived to be over ninety, and when she died on April 15, 1943 was Fort Recovery’s last pioneer resident.”

From census records, we also learned the following:

George Krenning’s parents (Benjamin and Elizabeth) came from Bavaria and he was one of two sons. George was born in May 1854.

Hattie (Harriett Theressa Campbell) was born in February 1853
Their children were: Edna was born in December 1877, Alice in March 1881, and George Campbell in December 1889.

Edna lived all her live with her mother, Hattie, in the house in Fort Recovery, Ohio. As noted in Grandma’s history, Alice died in 1908, and George married and moved to the East Coast.

In the 1930 census records, it was noted that
Aunt Hattie’s house was worth $3,050 and they had a radio set. Edna was still living with her, and is listed as having a job as an Editorial Critic for a Publishing House.

Aunt Marjorie sent me the following information about a visit to see them in 1938.

“Edna was Aunt Hattie’s daughter, Mother’s cousin. When Uncle Guy & Vangie (his second wife) took Mother, Eleanor and me to Fort Recovery on July 4, 1938 (I think it was just before I started high school), Edna was living there and her mother (Aunt Hattie) reproved her for talking too much and Edna meekly stopped talking. Edna must have been in her 50’s. Some years later, Edna was put in an asylum for a while because she tried to strangle her mother.”

Since we know Aunt Hattie died in 1943, it could not have been too long after this visit that this event with Edna occurred!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of cousin Edna to post, but I do have
this picture from 1924 of several people sitting on the porch of Aunt Hattie’s house. Perhaps one of the women is Edna?

(Many thanks to
Annie in Austin for the census record information!)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tuesday, December 1, 1925

Tuesday, December 1, 1925
Gilbert fixed the washing machine last week, so I washed all the baby’s things and our sleeping garments that weigh so heavy. Mama wanted me to go to the O.E.S. bazaar but I just couldn’t get my work done in time. I wanted to finish my waist so I could go the last of the week.

(Marjorie provided more information on how they used the washing machine to wash clothes.

"Mother had a roller-type washing machine. She had 3 galvanized tubs to rinse the laundry. She could open the drain in the bottom of the washing machine, but the large rinse tubs had no drains. She used a bucket and dipped out the water to the floor (there was a drain in the basement floor) until there was only a little water in the large galvanized tub - then she could tip it over and let the rest of the water run out."

It sounds like washing clothes was a completely manual effort. Wash the clothes, rinse them several times, and run them through the rollers to get the water out of them. It must have been a lot of work to do the "heavy" laundry like blankets, flannel garments, etc.

O.E.S is Order of the Eastern Star. I provided information about that with this diary entry and this one.)