Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wednesday, March 31, 1926

Still spring break for Grandma and the older boys, so no diary entry today.

Dale was born in 1916, so he would be about 10 years old,
Dick was born in 1918, so he would be about 8 years old,
Albert was born in 1920, so he would be about 6 years old,
Ned was born in 1923, so he would be about 3 years old,
Marjorie was born in 1925, so she is an infant.

No wonder there were days when Grandma didn't write in her diary! No television, video games, or Internet to keep everyone too busy. Just books, playing games, and other "non electronic" activities.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Tuesday, March 30, 1926

With the older boys home for spring break, I guess Grandma did not have time to update her diary on this date.

By the way, did I tell you I posted another picture of Grandma with her brothers?

And on the sidebar are pictures of the four boys. They look like mischief in that picture!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Monday, March 29, 1926

Monday, March 29, 1926

Spring vacation this week so I don’t expect to do much good at my work. With the boys in and out so noisy Marjorie never sleeps so good and they mess things up as fast as I can straighten so it will be a treadmill week I expect. I washed as usual today.

(Spring break must have been quite a time, since they would not have gone on vacation. The boys would be "tearing up Jack", as Grandma would say.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday, March 28, 1926

No diary entry today, but some more info on Elizabeth Campbell, from Aunt Marjorie.

"My brothers sometimes liked to tease our Grandmother Campbell. One summer day a girl wearing shorts (not too common in the 30's) passed the house and Grandmother commented, 'There's a naked girl going down the street!' The boys, with exaggeration, ran to the window and cried 'Where - where?'. Grandmother didn't approve of the way girls dressed, however when I badly wanted a bathing suit to go swimming with school friends, she gave money to Mother to buy me a suit, in June, in advance of my October birthday".

Does any generation approve of the way the next generation dresses?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saturday, March 27, 1926

The snow from the previous day must have done Grandma in... no diary entry today or tomorrow. There is a diary entry on March 29th.

I would like to note that I have been referring to my Great-Grandmother as Nancy Elizabeth Jordan Campbell, because that was her name. However, Aunt Marjorie wrote me to let me know that Great-Grandmother didn't use Nancy as part of her name because she didn't like it.

Aunt Marjorie wrote, "She dis-liked her first name. I once asked Mother why she didn't give me a pretty name like Nancy and she said it was because Grandmother hated it. At the Jordan reunions at Gibson City, IL or Renssalaer, IN all I heard was "Aunt Lizzie". In Indianapois and at church she was simply "Elizabeth Campbell". The gravestone at Crown Hill Cemetery simply says "Dr. Rolla W. & Elizabeth Campbell. I believe she didn't feel like she was a "Nancy".

Monday, March 26, 2007

Friday, March 26, 1926

Friday, March 26, 1926
Winter again – snow

Ned’s eyes are all red today and Marjorie’s too.

(Note what Grandma wrote about the weather... they had snow in March. It happens occasionally. We had snow and ice on this date in 2002, yet in 2007, we'll have temperatues in the mid 70's. Who can know what to plan for from year to year?)

(I've posted another picture, this one is of Grandma with her brothers, probably taken around 1895 or so. Click here to see it.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Thursday, March 25 ,1926

Thursday, March 25, 1926

I was real disappointed in not getting my mending done today. Mama came over and I had so many little things to do and she usually puts in part of the time although she is slow at sewing and doesn’t accomplish much but every little bit helps – buttons to sew on – patches, etc. but she never put on a thimble, but sat and talked and watched me – so unlike her who always wants to help. Collins’ came over in the evening and talked roofing after prayer meeting till almost midnight. I think Ned has been writing with my pen.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote, "Collins must have gone to church for the Thursday night service. John Collins was a contractor, so he must have had his work in mind. Collins' must have been night owls, which usually my parents were not. By the time I remember, Collins had moved from Rural St. but were still in our school district and came to visit from time to time. Even later they moved several blocks west of us, and I used to walk to thier house to borrow "The Bunny Brown and his Sister Sue" and other books their kids had outgrown."

It doesn't necessarily relate to today's diary entry, but I did publish a new picture of Grandma as a toddler with her three brothers. Click here to see it.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wednesday, March 24, 1926

Another day without a diary entry. Perhaps the boys' colds and all are keeping her too busy to write in her diary. Last year (1925) Grandma didn't miss writing in her diary any days, and then this spring, she has several days missing. We'll never know why. It just seems that March 1926 was a tough month for Grandma, with four boys and an infant daugher, and her husband Gilbert.

When I read the diaries in a few sittings, these missing days are not as obvious, but when I post the entries day by day, they sure stick out and I wonder what was going on!

Here's a link to events of 1926 if you would like to find out more about 1926, the year that Marilyn Monroe, Fidel Castro and Queen Elizabeth II were born.

Grandma does write in her diary tomorrow!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tuesday, March 23, 1926

No diary entry today, so I'll post some other additional information. Aunt Marjorie wrote the following about the books they had.

"Some of the book we grew up with were "The Six Little Bunkers" and "Bobsey Twins". I still have some of them. We also always read (or were read to) Uncle Wiggley every evening in the newspaper. When a little older, I loved my brothers' boy-oriented books, "Jerry Todd" and "Poppy Ott", also Tom Swift. Mother once counted all the books in our house and it came to over 1,000."

My Mom is also an avid reader, she must have picked that up from Grandma!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Monday, March 22, 1926

Monday, March 22, 1926
Fair and cold

Albert’s eyes were about all right today but Dick came home at noon with his all inflamed. I began to think it was the “pink eye” and called to ask Papa if he had heard of any cases and if he should go to school. He thought it was just cold so he could go but it was raining so hard I let him stay home in the afternoon. I couldn’t wash so I made a couple of waists for Dale.

(I wonder if the rain was the reason she couldn't wash? I assume she meant wash clothes.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sunday, March 21, 1926

Sunday, March 21, 1926

Albert stayed at home from Sunday school today. He felt bum from his cold and his eyes still looked so red.

(I hope Albert isn't going to be as sick as he was last spring, when it seemed like he was sick for weeks and weeks. Mom said when Albert was so sick, her grandfather, the physician, read all he could about what might have been wrong with him to figure out what to do for him. I'm sure they were all quite worried then. Even those reading the diary entries last spring left a few comments wanting to know if Albert lived through it. In just a few words, Grandma was able to convey her own worries about Albert's health to people reading those words 81 years later.

Albert did live through it all, by the way.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Saturday, March 20, 1926

Saturday, March 20, 1926

Dale played at George’s all morning and rushed home at noon to get ready to go down town to a show with George. I let him go if he wanted to spend his own money. Papa was going to fix the baby some medicine so I had Dale go up there and get it. They went to the Lyric and instead of being alone as Dale thought, Mr. Miller and his stenographer were with them. They got a cap for George before the show and went to market after. Then they brought Dale home in their machine. But he was later than we thought and we were a little uneasy about him. Marjorie so sick with her cold. I’m afraid of pneumonia.

(I'm not sure what to think about Mr. Miller and his stenographer taking George Miller and Dale to the movies and all. A "stenographer" is someone who takes shorthand. I think that has become a lost skill. Who does shorthand anymore? And to think they taught that when I was in high school. I didn't take it! Anyway, it doesn't seem right for the stenographer to go along, where was George's mother?)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Friday, March 19, 1926

Friday, March 19, 1926
Cool and windy – fair and rain

They had a paper sale at school today. Dale took a wagon load from here and Dunlea’s. They made $156 on it, Dale's room getting the prize for bringing the most of any room downstairs. Dale helped load the papers on the truck and then he and George Miller played till supper time. George seems like a nice boy – an only child who shows in his speech and manners that he associates mostly with older people. Albert came home with his eyes all inflamed. They matter and look so bad.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote, "The rooms downstairs included grades 1 - 4. Grades 5 - 8 were upstairs at School 54 when I ws there. George Miller was not one of the Miller's next door, for sure!" The Miller's next door were not very nice kids, from what Grandma wrote previously. To find out more about the Dunlea's next door, go back to the August 11th, 1925 post!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thursday, March 18, 1926

Thursday, March 18, 1926

Springlike at last. Aunt Hattie spent the day with me.

(I've written about Aunt Hattie before. I was shocked when I found out that Aunt Hattie's daughter, Edna, once tried to strangle her. What we find out when we talk to our relatives and tap into their memories! My mom didn't know, she was probably just young enough when it happened to be kept out of the loop!)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wednesday, March 17, 1926

Wednesday, March 17, 1926

Ned and Marjorie both had fever and were real sick. Expected them to break out with measles, but as they didn’t guess the cause is just a heavy cold. Must get at it. It makes me sick to think of them ailing. When they get sick I get panicky. I was trying to clean the bathroom and the kitchen floor but two roofing men and Mrs. Collins came and talked and talked and with Ned’s peal of “hold me” I didn’t get done till 5:30 then I got supper and washed the flannels after supper while Daddy herded the kiddies.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote, "So it wasn't measles. If you thought the attic was scary (because I wrote earlier that I did!), I always thought the basement was! So she had to finish washing in the creepy basement at night? The "flannels" must have been pajamas & night gowns - maybe diapers made of outing flannel. No "pampers" in those days!

I hate when "day time chores" extend into the evening, too. And I remember only once or twice looking into the basement, maybe once going down in it, so I don't recall much about it. I do remember that under the stairs, there were some shelves that were full of glass jars. Many were canning jars, I think, and others were just jars from food she had purchased. Grandma did not throw anything away that she might use later.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tuesday, March 16, 1926

Tuesday, March 16, 1926

Ironed all day till 5:30 and didn’t get near done.

(Now there's a sentence you wouldn't hear me say! I might say "read email all day (at work) and didn't get near done", or "ran errands all day long and didn't get near done", or "gardened all day long and didn't get near done", but never "ironed"!)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Monday, March 15, 1926

Monday, March 15, 1926
Clear and cold

Ned was so near sick I didn’t know whether to start washing or not and decided I had better hurry and get it out of the way before he should get worse or break out with the measles. He didn’t have any fever but looked awfully bad. My foot hurts terribly wash days by the time I get done running up and down stairs, although I wear the bunion protector and get along pretty well except wash days.

(Aunt Marjorie wrote that she wondered what Grandma did with the babies while she was down in the basement working on the laundry. I think she had a roller type washer, so she couldn't just throw a load of clothes into the washer and dash back upstairs. And, she had to hang the clothes to dry.

Grandma always had problems with her feet; remembering earlier she thought she might have broken her toe.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sunday, March 14, 1926

Sunday, March 14, 1926

We were booked to go to the folk’s for dinner but Ned was feverish when he got up so we didn’t know whether to go or not. Called Papa and he wanted us to come and as Ned didn’t act like he felt bad said he guessed it wouldn’t hurt him. After we got there, he acted very much as if the measles were working on him and we were glad to get him back home although we did have a very nice time Aunt Hattie and Edna were there and we had a very nice dinner. The boys had books to read – played the Edison and behaved themselves pretty well.

(Aunt Marjorie wonders if the reason Grandma didn't write in her diary for almost two weeks is because the older boys had measles? She wonders where else Ned would come in contact with measles and why they would suspect measles if he just had a fever?

I've posted about Aunt Hattie and her daughter Edna before. Check it here. If you haven't read about Aunt Hattie, follow that link and read the whole story. It is quite interesting with a twist to it.

Aunt Marjorie still has the Edison record player. It needs some repair, which we are going to attempt to do, and then we'll play some of the old favorites for Aunt Marjorie and Mom).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Saturday, March 13, 1926

Grandma resumes writing in her diary tomorrow. In the meantime, one more post from the family history she wrote...

"The Bells had been favorably impressed by Gilbert's integrity from the start and in telling about him, Mr. Bell had said, "he may be crippled in the leg, but he is not in the head, which is more important." I liked him from the first, for, although he was quiet in a crowd, he was good company in a small group and really was very keen intellectually. Although he had been unhappy in his home life, with his older sisters always dictating to him, and criticizing everything that he did, he really longed for a home of his own. But he was not really ready financially as we later found out, and attraction overcame our better judgement, and we began to think of marriage. I did not have any trouble in keeping him interested in the church! We often met at the noon hour in a small lunch room that operated on Market Street, between Illinois and the Circle, where a parking garge is now located. I worked a few blocks west or south and he worked on south Pennnsylvania Street, so eating together came to be a pleasant habit. In those days one could get a satisfactory lunch for twelve or fifteen cents, which made our small salaries seem adequate. While we were both working, we saved all the money we could toward furnishing our home, and I bought and made hand decorated things for my "hope chest", too much in love to realize that what we had was not really enough and that we should save longer before we were married. Gilbert was twenty-six and I was approaching my twenty-third birthday, and we both felt that we were old enough to take the final step toward matrimoney. Except among the very rich who had church weddings, it was the custom to have weddings at home with invited friends and relatives present. All but one of my friends had home weddings, so we were married in front of the flower decked mantel at the end of the long living room of my father's home at 3916 College Avenue in the evening of October 20, 1915. Dr. Philputt performed the ceremony and my little nieces, Mildred and Onarga, were flower girls, and carried baskets ahead of us as we went down the stairs and across the room to the tune of the wedding march played on my little piano by my good friend from Kempton, Jessie Cunningham...

...What happened after that is perhaps more vivid in the minds of my children than in my own, for I was so busy caring for my family, and events crowded in so fast that I don't feel that I can trust my own memory."

Grandma wrote the above in 1970. My sister called me and asked if I was going to include information about how Grandma's parents didn't like anyone she dated prior to Gilbert, always saying they weren't good enough, but with Gilbert, Grandma put her foot down and would not listen to them. I don't know about that, but I do recall Grandam wrote someplace that for awhile she thought she was destined to become a farmer's wife, but that relationship didn't last.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Friday, March 12, 1926

Grandma starts writing again in her diary in two days. In the meantime, I'll continue with the story of Gilbert, picking up where we left off yesterday. This is what Grandma wrote in her family history.

"His (Gilbert's) first job was for a fertilizer company in Francesville. I do not know how long he worked there, but am sure that he did not enjoy it, so was glad when his friend McMullen came to Indianapolis and wrote for him to come to the city as he could get a job with the gas company if he were here. For a while he lived with Mac at the home of his aunt, which was in the north west part of the city near the Langsdale Avenue plant where Mac worked, but his work was in the downtown office, so that is how he happened to walk up Alabama Street looking for a room, and see the "room for rent" sign in Mrs. Bell's window which led him to move into Bell's home.

The Bells, whom I had known for many years, were in charge of the Intermediate Department of the Central Christian Church Sunday School, having been active in the organization of that department when the Sunday School was first departmentalized and they were the first Superintendents and I was the first secretary. At that time more than a thousand people attended every Sunday, and there were close to a hundred in the department. Mrs. Bell had been of the Robert's family in whose home the church had been organized, and she was a relative of William Canfield who, at his death, left a half million dollar estate to the church for educational purposes and was at that time time still active in the Christian Endeavor and one of its sponsors whom Gilbert and I came to know.

The Bells lived on Alabama Street, in the block east of the church, in one of the big old houses of the neighborhood. They had three girls in school at that time, and Mr. Bell worked at the post office. He aspired to become a minister so in order to further his education and study for that calling, they rented their spare rooms to augment their income. So they had a card in the window advertising a room for rent, andGilbert had seen it while looking for a place to live and had moved in. Always looking for a chance to do a good turn and to promote the interests of the church, the Bells soon learned that their new roomer was from a Christian home, without a church connection in the city and had invited him to visit Church and Sunday School with them. So it happened that on that Septmeber Sunday morning, as the departments assembled with the rest of the Sunday School fro the closing exercises, I looked across the balcony and saw a stranger and asked Mrs. Bell, "Who is that tall good looking young man over there on the other side?" and she replied "That's my Mr. Smith. I brought him here, and I want you to see that he comes acquainted and stays. So I did! Could it have been "love at first sight"? He was there every weekend after that, and went to Christian Endeavor too, and the next Easter, he put his letter in the church, and on October 20, 1915, we were married in my father's home on College Avenue."

Annie was so right in her comment yesterday. We are lucky and fortunate that Grandma took the time to write all of this down. Otherwise, we would not know so much about our grandparents. And having my Mom and Aunt Marjorie comment with what they know, just adds to the depth of information.

Have YOU taken time to write your own family history?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Thursday, March 11, 1926

Grandma starts to write in her diary in just a few more days. In the meantime, here is more from her family history:

"Gilbert, being unable to run and play with the other children, became an avid reader and it was at this time that his Aunt Lucy remarked that it was too bad that Liney's boy would never amount to anything because he was always sitting around with his nose in a book!... After Gilbert graduated from the Ladoga High School, the family moved to Crawfordsville, where Nell worked as a night operator for the telephone company and Bess became a sales lady in Bischoff's Dry Goods Store. By that time, Gilbert was able to walk without a cane, but the right limb was always shorter than the left, and he had to have his shoe rebuilt with an extension heel, and the limp was always visible. He was always sensitive about his condition and seemed to strive to compensate by holding his shoulders erect, and standing as tall as possible. He loved to take long walks even when he had to use his cane, and on days when there was no school, as a boy he would be found on the creek bank, fishing or swimming. His family did not know about his ability to swim until a school mate of his approached Bess on the street, and congratulated her on his bravery in pulling out another boy who was drowning. Bess was amazed and told him that he must have the wrong person in mind, as her brother was a cripple and could not swim but was soon convinced that he was the best swimmer of the crowd.

When they moved to Crawfordsville, the family was indignant because he refused to take a job of running the elevator in Bischoff's store, but he had other ideas. He decided to go to business college and prepare himself for a job in an office, but not having any money for the tuition, he spent the summer previous to entering doing janitor work, cleaning and painting at the college preparatory to its opening in the fall. So he worked his way through and garduated a respected member of his class, who had made good grades and several fast friends, Paul Jones and Nina Mount, who later married, and Everett McMullen."

I'll finish the story of Gilbert over the next few days...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wednesday, March 10, 1926

In just a few days, Grandma resumes writing in her diary. In the meantime, we'll continue with excerpts from the family history she wrote. Here is more about Gilbert, her husband and my grandfather:

(Gilbert's mother, Caroline Lucinda Thompson).. " married a neighbor, James William Albert Smith who was about six years younger. To this union were born Nellie May, on Nov. 5, 1874, Clara Bessie, born Sept. 4, 1886, and Gilbert Leo, born August 30, 1889, on a farm near Carpentersville. After having the two girls, they were overjoyed at the arrival of a boy in Liney's family (Liney was Caroline's nickname). His Dad thought that at last he had help with his farming. But alas, it did not turn out that way, for at the age of five Gilbert became ill, and at the time when he should have been starting to school, he was bedfast and under a doctor's care. At that time in the country, medical knowledge was so limited that they never knew just what the trouble was. Their doctor called it 'white swelling' which seemed to affect the thigh bone on his right side. After the fever subsided, the bone was so tender that he could not walk without crutches for several years. Also, the growth of that bone was retarded for a while so that leg was never quite as long as the other one, so after the crutches, he used a cane. He was finally able to start to school when he was eight years old, and was such a good scholar that he was soon able to make up part of what he had missed."

We will continue with more about Gilbert over the next few days. Does anyone have any idea what the "white swelling" might have been? I checked one site of outdated medical terms and it refers to it as "tuberculosis of bones and joints.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Tuesday, March 9, 1926

The next several posts will be about Gilbert Leo Smith. Aunt Marjorie corrected me on the job he had at the local gas company:

"Daddy was chief clerk! He had a secretary and occasionally talked about her. She was an identical twin, and one time a boyfriend came to see her and she just didn't want to see him. She said, "I'm sorry but my sister isn't home." Another time, Daddy asked me for one of my magazines, 'Wee Wisdom' so his secretary could show it to her niece."

Here's a link to a picture of Gilbert's office at the gas company and a link to a picture of him taken at outside at the gas company.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Monday, March 8, 1926

To fill in this gap in Grandma's diary, I'm quoting from the family history she wrote. I'm going to fast forward to her thoughts on her new home at 1208 N. Rural St.

"We moved into our newly purchased home on October 18, 1921, just two days short of our sixth wedding anniversary, one of the happiest days of my life. After living in a run-down rental property where the only modern convenience was electricity, it seemed like heaven to live in a house with bedrooms upstairs and a modern bathroom and connections for a gas stove, although we did have to count our pennies very carefully to pay for the increase in the cost of our monthly expenses. One bedroom and the bath were downstairs, which made it very convenient when Ned Myron was born on Sept. 9, 1923 and Marjorie Ruth came on October 5, 1925, and Eleanor June on Sept. 2, 1929, which was Labor Day."

I know that many readers have been following these diaries for several months, and might have some questions about who some of these people are or what became of them. If you have a question, please leave it in a comment and I'll do my best to answer it or get an answer from my Mom or Aunt Marjorie. You can even leave your question anonymously, if your prefer.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sunday, March 7, 1926

We are about half way through Grandma's gap in diary writing, so here is some more from the family history.

"During this time Guy, (her brother) was in Ashkum, publishing his paper, as a bachelor at first, doing his own cooking and housework, and even his own mending and embroidering in his spare time. Then he married Nellie Schneipp, and they set up housekeeping, with the consent of her parents, but after a short time it was learned that Nellie had tuberculosis, so her father forced their separation and took Nellie and the rest of the family to Lamar, Missouri where she was bedfast until her death. It was for Nellie that Guy had purchased the little piano which he gave to me upon Nellie's death, and on which I learned to play and used for many years. My first teacher was a neighbor girl in Irvington when I was eight."

So now we know where Grandma got her piano. But it seems sad the way Nellie's father took her away from her husband Guy when she got sick.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Saturday, March 6, 1926

More family history because Grandma has a gap in her diary writing...

Grandma had three older brothers, George Guy (called Guy) born Feb. 17, 1880, Andrew Wilbur (called Bur) born September 16, 1881, Harry Jordan born September 23, 1883. Grandma was born December 18, 1892. When Grandma was five years old, they moved to Gibson City, Illinois and Grandma wrote:

"It was time for school to start when we moved, and my father was going to take Harry to enroll him when I begged to go along, just to be going somewhere, and I was permitted to go, after I had promised not to beg to enroll in school too, as I had not yet passed my sixth birthday and my folks thought that I would not be entitled to enter until I was six. So Harry was enrolled, then the principal insisted that I enter too when he learned that my birthday was before Christmas. So I not only entered school as a surprise before I was six, they found that I already knew the first year work before many weeks had passed, for while I played around the printing office with Guy, he had taught me my numbers and how to read and spell, and also how to set type. So before long, I was in the second grade."

All three of Grandma's brothers were in the printing business, working for a variety of printers and newspapers. She noted that her brother Guy started a newspaper and ran a job printing office at the age of eighteen, in Ashkum, Illinois, the youngest newspaper editor in the state.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Friday, March 5, 1926

I'm continuing with excerpts from the family history that Grandma wrote, since she has a gap of several days in her diary. This excerpt is about her paternal grandparents, Issac M. Campbell and his wife, Lydia Ann Hoar, who were married on June 28, 1849. They had four children, Harriet Theressa, Rolla Wilbur (Grandma's father), Jesse Elijah and Mary Hannah (who died before she was two years old). And I've added several pictures of them on the picture blog, you can link there from their names.

"The doctor (Issac M. Campbell) was a large, heavy set man for his day, while his wife, known as 'Little Grandma' weighed 80 pounds most of her life. She was so small and young looking that folks would come to their house to get the doctor, and would often mistake her for his daughter, and ask her if her father was in. But I was told by those who knew them as neighbors, as well as relatives that what she lacked in stature, she made up in disposition and ability to help anyone in a time of crisis. She was the one of the neighborhood that folks would want to help nurse them when they were ill, and she never turned down a call for help. Her kindness and gentle nature were traditional to the family in the whole town, and they used to say that the hobos had her house marked as a place where they could always expect a handout. She was a 'sainted grandmother', as one chronicler put it."

Lydia sounds like a lovely person, though I'm not sure how young she looks in the picture we have of her. But I don't think anyone looked all that great in the pictures taken in the 1800's.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Thursday, March 4, 1926

As noted a few days ago, we have a gap in Grandma's diaries for these first days of March, so I am filling in with some family history information that she wrote. She wrote the following about her grandfather, Isaac M. Campbell, who was also a physician, like her father.

"In the pioneer days, even the doctors in the small towns had to take care of their own manual chores so I am told that my grandfather was a very good cabinet maker and made part of his own furniture. The bed stand and the dresser that I have, however, had been made for them by Isaac Hanna, probably in the 1850's or 1860's. Also organized churches were scarce, so often neighbors would hold meetings in someone's home with one of them doing the preaching in case there was no circuit rider available. In such a case they found that grandfather, with his college education, could offer the prayer, and preach a sermon as well as the best of them. I have heard it said that he could attend at the birth of a person, take care of his physical and spiritual needs while he was living, and at the time of his death he could make his coffin and preach his funeral! It was also claimed by some that he possessed occult powers and could visualize patient's physical surroundings as well as his condition, and prescribe accordingly. This, however, was not mentioned by my father (Rolla) who did not tend to believe what he could not understand, though his brother Jesse took much stock in it."

I believe that one of my cousins has at least the bed stand mentioned here. It is a large, carved, heavy wood headboard.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Wednesday, March 3, 1926

Since Grandma did not write in her diary today, we'll continue with excerpts from the family history she wrote.

"After their wedding, the Campbells went to housekeeping in Fort Recovery (Ohio), where Rolla started his practice of medicine in the office of Dr. John Adams, who also had a drug store and the new doctor was employed at $26 a month. That was not too meager a start in those days for they were content with their scanty furnishings, which were as good as their contemporaries had when they started out."

I used an inflation calculate to determine that what cost $26 in 1879 would cost $524.35 in 2006. I don't think that really tells us what standard of living someone could afford making $26 per month in 1879. I found another site that indicated $1 in 1878 would be the same as $15.19 today.

I think it is safe to say that a young doctor did not make a lot of money back then.

("Campbells" are Ruth's parents, Rolla was her father).

Friday, March 02, 2007

Tuesday, March 2, 1926

There is no diary entry for March 2, 1926, in fact there are several days coming up when Grandma did not write in her diary. Aunt Marjorie sent me a note speculating on why she missed these days, but I'll leave that explanation for the day she starts writing again.

In the meantime, for those who stop by daily, I'll share some of the family history that Grandma wrote in 1972. We'll start with the story of how her parents, Rolla Wilbur Campbell and Nancy Elizabeth Jordan met, even though Rolla lived in Ohio, and Nancy in Illinois. (If this isn't what you came here to read, I understand, please come back in a week or so when Grandma starts writing in her diary again.)

"So the only living descendents of the Isaac M. Campbells were the family of my father, Rolla Wilbur, who had hauled logs from Fort Recovery (Ohio) to a spoke factory at Union City (Indiana?) to earn enough money to pay his way through the University of Cincinnati Medical School where he graduated near the head of his class in 1879. His roommate there was James Denney, also from Fort Recovery. He (James) had been writing to a former neighbor girl, Emma Creary, whose family had moved to Ford county, Illinois where they were neighbors of the Jordan family. It was through her recommendation too that William Jordan got the name of James Denney's sister, Sarah, in Fort Recovery and he wrote to her. Their coorespondence ended in his going to Ohio and marrying her, and they went to Illinois to live. She (Sarah) sent her brother James the name of her sister-in-law whom they called Lizzie (Nancy Elizabeth Jordan), and they wrote to each other for some time, until James proposed that he and Rolla trade names, to let him write to Emma Creary for awhile. Later James Denney wanted to trade back, but neither Lizzie or Rolla consented. Right after he graduated from college, Rolla went to Gibson City (Illinois) and married Nancy Elizabeth Jordan on March 11, 1879, at the home of the bride's parent, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jordan. However, this was not the first time they had seen each other, for he previously had visited her, and had seen that she was as attractive as her letters had made her seem. This answers the question that was often asked, "How did you two meet with your homes so far apart"? Dr. James Denney never married but I remember his visiting us at one time, as he was passing through Indianapolis from Chicago where he was the doctor for one of the railroads, and was quite well-to-do. Emma Creary visited at our home once, also."

I had to read that twice to figure out who was writing to who. Can you imagine marrying someone at your second meeting, after only exchanging letters for a period of time? I would guess they wrote back and forth for a couple of years. Those letters would be interesting to read! But I am positive somone long ago threw them away or lost them.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Monday, March 1, 1926

Monday, March 1, 1926
All kinds

Mama came over to help me down town with the kiddies. We got goods for our quilt backs then she came home with them. I went on to Goldsteins and got my curtain goods, a crepe dress, an then to Kirks and got a buffet and a chiffonier, surely a big day! I didn’t get home till six. Found Mama had gone home leaving the babies asleep. Then she called up and found Marjorie crying so she called Mrs. Camplin to come and feed and dry her. I found her here and the boys were making so much noise Marjorie was frightened. Pandemonium reigned and I was thoroughly ashamed of the whole Smith family.

(The "kiddies" would be Ned & Marjorie. Aunt Marjorie wrote to me, "Mrs.Camplin lived across the street in the house Jackie Wills lived in later. She was older, and her children were grown. I guess the buffet I remember wasn't as big as the one you remember. After Grandpa Campbell died and Grandmother closed down her house, she gave the lovely dining room furniture to Mother. I don't know what happened to the original furniture that I remember. She surely went on a shopping spree today!"

Yes, the buffet I remember was a large piece of furniture, as was the table that went with it.

I had to laugh at Grandma's last comment about being "ashamed of the whole Smith family". I guess the older boys weren't on their best behavior!)