Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wistful Wednesday : The Farm Diaries

Our project (Transcribing his Grandparents Farm Diaries) is coming along.  Sadly we have not been able to keep up with the two month a day plan.  Life gets in the way some days.

We are both frustrated with Grandpas handwriting although Far Guy is getting better at deciphering.  I am also frustrated that Grandpa doesn’t say more about the boys…but it is a Farm Diary.

March 1918

1  Friday  Born to us Ronald, changed and covered spuds, Mrs. Stuve here

Mrs. Stuve was Grandma’s mother.

September 1919

1  Monday  Cut corn by hand Orrin helped

2  Tuesday  Got Robinsons binder it did not work Orrin cut by hand took binder to Osage

3  Wednesday  Cut corn by hand  got binder cut in PM Broke down again took to Osage

4  Thursday  Cut and shocked corn finished a field stacked clover

5  Friday  Finished clover took cream  Orrin quit  Pulled beans

Not sure who Orrin was but he quit. 

Henderson Family Farm Pic (3)

This old photo must have been taken in 1919 or 1920.

Ronald, Grandma, Grandpa and Marvin (Far Guys Dad)

We finished off 1919 the other day.

December 1919

27  Saturday  Hauled straw manure and fauder Thresa sick

28  Sunday  Home thought Thresa had small pox kids and myself went to PR with Leo and got vacinated Esta came home with us

29  Monday  Chored helped take care of Thresa hauled a load of manure

When Far Guy was reading the part about Grandma and small pox he said “OH no”  I said “Well we know it turned out okay.”  We TRY not to read ahead.

The other big thing in 1919 was telephone poles, wires and a meeting. No mention of any calls.

March 15 1919 Saturday   Hauled cut and piled wood cut some telephone poles

June 28 1919 Saturday  Set telephone poles all day

July 30 1919 Wednesday To Osage strung telephone wire

July 31 1919 Thursday Finished telephone wire hoed strawberries

August 4  1919 Monday  Took cream got telephone and put it in hoed strawberries P.D. in Ponsford   (P.D.= Played Dance)

August 16 1919  Saturday  Scaped dirt off cellar G. Dow here  telephone meeting

I try to transcribe the diary just as it is written.  The diaries span 1916 to 1929 and Grandpa writes something everyday.  Only ten more years to go.

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  1. How nice that you have this diary, what an awesome keepsake from your ancestors!! I love learning about my family history!

  2. Sounds like my mother's cousin's life on a farm in Watertown, WI. Good luck "cyphering" the rest.

  3. Boy, it must be hard to figure out those words, since there's no punctuation and a line like "took cream got telephone and put it in hoed strawberries" had me thinking hard what it meant. I finally figured it out! :-)

  4. Great to have something from the past. A woman would have written different entries.

  5. How fun to read these short notes. At least he put something down to stimulate your imagination. My husband has his great grandfather's diary from Denmark, but we haven't had it translated. That would be a fun gift for hubby!

  6. I laughed out loud when Orrin quit. He was fed up with that danged corn binder!

  7. Love that photo! What a treasure.

  8. Awesome info from back then of what they did and Interesting in deed . Love the photo as well ! This will be wonderful once you have transcribed it all ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  9. It does have to be disturbing to read some of the diary and wonder how they ever survived it. Hearing of everyday life is so interesting and I guess his personality needed to write it down each day to feel progress was happening in his difficult role as a farmer.

  10. I love reading even those little bits and pieces of the past as that was my Mother's era...she was born in 1915. I do have a question though. If he wrote every day why is there such a gap in December to March? Or are you just cherry picking the best to post? Love the picture of the fields.

  11. Wow. so much there and yet so many unanswered questions!

  12. How neat to have a diary from your ancestors! That would be interesting reading.

  13. Love reading these little entries! Such a great history there.

  14. Afternoon Connie, this is great, love reading the history.Blessings Francine.

  15. Neat little entries- don't you wish he was just a bit more wordy? I would have a hard time not reading ahead! :)

  16. Journals like this one are very valuable as they give a good description of what life was like. It's not only your Grandpa's life but all other people who were living at that ti.

  17. It is amazing that his grandpa wrote every day. I love the old pictures and hearing about how people lived and worked back then.

  18. Yeah, that would make me jump, too, to run across a mention of small pox. Of course, you probably know what happened, but when you are reading a journal, you get caught up in the time period as if you were re-living it along with the writer. You know you're going to have to tell us the rest of the story on that one ;)

  19. I love this and love that you "don't read ahead" :-D

  20. My dad used to keep those five year diaries with the small sections. All us kids peeked at it at one time or another because he never locked it. We could see why. They were basically the same--just had what he had run at work (was a lithographer), the weather, maybe what he ate. But with the children born he did write down the full name, time, weight, and length. A regular chatty Cathy compared to FarGuy's grandpa--LOL! ;)

  21. It's fun to read the diary of someone else who lived on a farm in the same general time period as my grandmother. People sure worked hard back then--cutting corn by hand, hauling manure, etc. . . And whew, I stopped and read it twice when I saw the word smallpox. Thank goodness it all turned out okay. Medicine and healthcare sure have come a long ways in the last hundred years.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie