Days on the
Family Farm

From the Golden Age through
the Great Depression

By Carrie A. Meyer
U of MN Press, 2007


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From cryptic entries such as these below, Days on the Family Farm was crafted. Check here for periodic updates or follow along at MayDavisDiary on Twitter.

As of January 2018, we took up May's Diary in 1918, a century ago when the United States was involved with World War I, and farm income was booming. [Previously we were posting diary entries from the Great Depression.]

September 1918

9-1-1918 (Sunday) Home all day as no one is supposed to go pleasure riding.  Starr, Maggie, Emily, Joe & Stanley here in buggy in PM.  A lovely day.

9-2-1918 Dark, cloudy, at times drizzly.  Elmo go to N end bridge for Rena in morn, then to Lutton’s for ½ bu tomatoes.  Rather green, can 5 qts.  Then Elmo & I go to Van Epps to see about baler, find him at Linebaugh’s, then to H & D Price’s & home 12:30.  Kleckner here in PM.  Then Elmo begin fall plowing N of house with gang. Mama finish 9th sweater. 

9-3-1918 Partly cloudy.  Rena wash. School start.  Children in.  Elmo go R with grist.  Thresher men meet here at eve.  Also Molanders.  Mama call at McLarty’s in PM.

9-4-1918 Rain much of AM, gently.  Elmo clean timothy seed.  Plow in PM.  Get quite cool in PM.  50o above at 7PM.  NE wind.

9-5-1918 Can 4 ½ qts tomatoes.  Now 27 ½ qts.  Some warmer.  Pleasant.  Men here for timothy seed in morn.  Then Elmo take mama to Aunt Alice’s.  Thresh at Bengston’s in PM.  We have 1st young rooster for dinner.  Mrs McLarty & children here in PM.

9-6-1918 Elmo thresh at Bengston’s in AM, and Molander’s in PM.  Pleasant & some warmer.

9-7-1918 Elmo thresh at Molander’s till nearly 9:30AM, then take wheat & few potatoes to R.  Book agent here.  71o above about 4PM.  Some cloudy & rain a little about 1:30.

9-8-1918 (Sunday) A lovely day, quite warm.  Rena at McLarty’s in PM.  The 2nd of the Sundays the Fuel Admin asks people not to use their autos.

9-9-1918 Nice day.  Rena wash.  Elmo plow.  At eve he & C Kleckner go to thresher shed & take parts from engine.

9-10-1918 Cloudy, sprinkled a little about 11 AM.  Rena pick part of beans in PM.  H. Fitch & Irma call in eve, & Elmo have to go to silo meeting at M. Ralston’s.  Elmo thresh all day at Richardson’s & Van Allstine’s.

9-11-1918 Rain a good deal last ngiht & cloudy all day.  Rained this morning, too.  Elmo clean out stove pipe.  Go R in democrat for barrel oil for silo filler.  Vote at "Primaries."  Mama get her teeth in.

9-12-1918 Cold, windy, cloudy.  Mama come from R with Mrs J.F. Ralston to Gertie’s to Gleaners & home with Maggie Jane.  Elmo plow.  Rena at Mrs McLarty’s twice on errands.  Mrs McLarty & kids here in morn when Elmo go with Mr McL to register at Town Hall. 

9-13-1918 44o at 7AM.  Cloudy till noon, get clear & warmer in PM.  Elmo plow in AM.  Go to Mat R’s after dinner to help fix filler, then to R with Rena & her baggage.  She finish another time over the beans picking.  Starr's thresher Co finish work.  CK & Mat here at eve to fix something for silo filler. 

9-14-1918 Mostly cloudy, quite warm.  Elmo help fill silo at Mat’s.  Have had grapes from our own vines for several days.  Still have sweet corn.  Also a few pippins in pig lot. Sprinkle a little once.

9-15-1918 (Sunday) Beautiful day.  Elmo get no rest as he wash auto & while fixing it broke something & in PM, drove horses in search of Mr Grow & then to R.  Mr Grow come about 6PM & they fix stock pump again.

9-16-1918 46o above at 7AM.  Cloudy AM.  Sunny PM.  Elmo silo filling at Mat’s.  Get machine moved to Barkley’s.  Geo Picken here in morn for timothy seed.  Mrs McLarty & children here in PM.  Clarence Marteson begin to do chores for me. 

9-17-1918 Partly Cloudy.  40o above at 6:30AM.  Frost last night.  Ice in Starr’s pig trough. Stanley here while his father & Joe work on their corn binder at McLarty's.  Elmo filling silo at Barkley’s.  Corn not frosted.  Annetta came home from school sick at noon & stay till Joe come for her about 6.  Beulah H here in PM.

9-18-1918 Mrs Frigast here all day, send washing home in morn, by Mr F when he bring her up.  Cold, cloudy.  Elmo fill silo at Barkley’s & men get machine set here before noon.  Elmo take out old silage (6 ft left in silo) help Mr McL vulcanize tire and he help Elmo get out corn binder.  Elmo & ma go R in late PM, then Elmo cut corn till after 7PM.

9-19-1918 We go to Elkhorn Fair.  Leave Mama at Roscoe & McLarty's leave their car there & go up with us.  Ma ride with then to & from Roscoe.  Cold, cloudy, sprinkle few times.  Mr & Mrs F King call while we gone.   

9-20-1918 Fill our silo & have Red Cross meeting in PM.  10 men for dinner.  Mrs Frigast here all day.  Cold, cloudy.  1st time fire in furnace.  NW wind.  Move machine to Brown’s.

9-21-1918 Light frost last night, but much warmer today & sunny.  Elmo filling at Brown’s.  Mrs McL & children here in PM & Joe, Walter, Fr, Em & Stan drive in in PM.  At eve CK take Elmo to see baler & Mary & 4 children stay here, also Joe & Walter come in. 

9-22-1918 (Sunday) Frost again last night, but no damage here.  Lovely day & S breeze.  4th Chugless Sunday.  One buggy all that has passed here so far. (6:30PM) Now have 7 doz & 5 eggs in jar.  Elmo & Mama call at McLartys

9-23-1918 Elmo fill silo at Brown’s till middle PM.  Then we all go R in auto.  Fine day.  Warm in sun.  7 little ducks hatched in straw stack. 

9-24-1918  Elmo help Mat finish silo all AM.  Take grist to R in PM.  Partly cloudy, quite warm.  Starr filling silo.

9-25-1918  Starr finish filling at noon.  Lovely day, warm, cloudy towards eve.  Florence spend day here.  Starr & 3 children stop at eve.  Elmo go R in auto in AM.  Fill silo 4 hrs at Mat’s in PM.  Get R Grow after supper & they put new cylinder in stock pump.  H. Fitch get our corn binder from McLarty’s in morning. 7 doz 9 eggs in jar.  Look in back of book. [May’s B’day] Clarence & Russell pick beans.

9-26-1918  Clear & cooler.  N breeze, 40o at 7AM.  8 more eggs in Jar.  Elmo fill silo at Mat’s till noon, then at CK’s.  Mama tired & have cold in head. 

9-27-1918 Elmo fill at C Kleckner’s.  Mama better.  She send up Jr Red Cross work to school teacher by children.  Elmo find 1 ripe pumpkin.

9-28-1918 Elmo fill silo at CK’s & set machine at EMB’s by noon.  Home to dinner.  Beautiful day.  PM get up load corn bundles for pigs & then pulverize on bogs by creek.  Mable F[itch] spend day here.

9-29-1918 (Sunday) Now 9 doz eggs in waterglass.  We home all day.  No autos out.  Yes, Elmo saw one go into Lakes, big white car. 

9-30-1918 We all go R in AM, Mama & Elmo to sign McLarty’s questionaire.  Fine day, quite warm.  In PM, Elmo fill at Mitchel’s.  Cloudy part of AM.  Leaves are beautiful. 


August 1918

8-1-1918 I abed all day.  Can 2 ½ qts berries.  Mama go Gleaner’s at Mrs J.W. Ralston’s.  Elmo go to help get out threshing machine in AM (also go R).  Henry draw manure in AM.  Both thresh at Mitchel B’s in PM.  Rather cool, cloudy till late PM.  Elmo go to G Brown’s at eve. 

8-2-1918 Henry leave before breakfast.  Elmo thresh at EMB’s.  Mrs McLarty & children & Annetta, Emily & Stanley & Russell here at PM.  Roy Grow & wife drive in in AM & he go on to Breck & work for Elmo.

8-3-1918 Elmo thresh at F Reid’s till dinner then cut & nearly shock wheat.  We all go to R at eve.  Rena stay down.  Machine move here at eve.  Starr, Maggie, Stan, & Emily stop in AM on way to R.  Can 2 qts blackberries, 2 ½ qts applesauce.

8-4-1918  (Sunday) Light shower lay dust about 11 AM.  Wind blow down wheat shocks.  Fitch’s here in PM.  We go to CV at eve for Rena.  Real warm & close in late PM & eve.

8-5-1918 Begin to thresh barley at 8:17 AM.  Elmo take me to see Mrs Brown about dinner in morning.  Rena wash.  Warm, some cloudy in morn.  Finish barley 10:21PM. Average 28 bu an A.  Had 10A.  Roy Grow help Elmo today.  He & Elmo thresh at G Brown’s after here.  Can 3 qts b. berries & 1 applesauce.  98o at 6PM.  South breeze.

8-6-1918 Very warm, warm SW wind.  99o about 5PM.  Clear.  Very dry.  Men thresh at Mat Ralston’s.  Roy Grow’s bride come for him at suppertime & they both here for supper.  Mrs McLarty & children take mama to CV in PM & they drive into Starr’s.  Elmo & I go to CV at eve.

8-7-1918 Lightened last night & look some showery in morn.  Clear off & very hot day.  Elmo & Grow thresh at Mat’s till noon, then go to John Gustafson’s.  Mama at Starr’s all day.  Jr Red Cross meet there.  Come home with Mrs Roy Grown’s & her folks when they come for Roy at eve.  Can 1 qt bl.berries.

8-8-1918 Elmo thresh at C. Kleckner’s.  Ladies here in PM & organize Red Cross circle.  Very warm & thunder & lighten & sprinkle little about 6 PM.  Dark clouds go round.  Blackberries for supper, they drying up fast. 

8-9-1918 63o above at 7AM.  Cloudy AM.  Sunny PM.  Cool NE breeze all AM.  We have to close doors & windows & mama put on sweater in AM.  Elmo thresh at CK’s about 2 hrs & move to Barkley’s & about middle of PM go to EMB’s.  Cloudy down low at eve as usual.  Clear PM & much warmer.

8-10-1918 Some cloudy early & at 7:30AM shower which made roads some muccy.  Clear off before noon & very warm.  Southerly breeze.  Elmo take grist to R.  Roads pretty well dried up by night.

8-11-1918 (Sunday) Quite heavy shower before light this morning.  Mr Grow here to fix stock-pump.  He & Agnes here to dinner.  Starr’s all here in PM.  Rena at McLarty’s in PM.

8-12-1918 Elmo put away machinery, cut weeds, set up wheat & some oats, etc.  Rena wash.  In PM we all go R.  Most machines around but our, threshing in PM.  Extremely warm in PM.  97o above at 6:15PM.

8-13-1918 78o above at 6:30AM.  96o at 2:30PM, southerly breeze.  Clear morning, sudden shower from NW about 12.  Picked about teacup of berries.  Elmo threshing at Mitchel’s till noon, then (having rained less at F Reid’s than there) thresh wheat there in PM.  Quite a shower of wind & rain before dark.  Starr's machine get thru at Carlson's

8-14-1918  Rain more thru night, cloudy much of AM.  64o above at 7AM.  2 telephone men here for 9 o’clock breakfast.  Elmo work all AM on big elm last night’s storm blew onto big telephone line and pasture fence.  In PM, fix timothy bin & he & I go CV for lumber.  Mama call at McLarty’s.

8-15-1918 Elmo set up wheat & some oats in AM.  In PM, thresh at F Reid’s & move machine here.  Mama go to CV in PM with Mrs McLarty & children.  Elmo & I go at eve, stop at Grow’s on way home.  Annetta & Emily here in PM.  Also Mrs McLarty & children when home from CV. 

8-16-1918  Begin thresh oats here 8:30 & rain stop them at 10.  Men (all but Mat) stay for 11:30 dinner.  Mrs Frigast & Clarence here to help indoors.  Rain enough to make roads real muddy.  Clear off about 3:30.  Fix water glass.  Place within 12 eggs.  [Emily’s 1917 diary had a tip in it about preserving eggs for up to 2 years in water w/ lime & salt.] Elmo bale hay at Mat’s in PM. 

8-17-1918 Cloudy, sprinkle once or twice.  Rain some last night.  Lots of lightining & thunder thru out night.  Sunshine very little all day.  Elmo go R with grist roads dried a good deal by late PM.  4 more eggs in waterglass.

8-18-1918 (Sunday) Cloudy AM, nice PM.  East breeze.  Elmo & I leave mama & Rena in R & drive to Rockton, stop little while at Kate’s.  Then thru Beloit, NW to within 4 ½ mi Brodhead, then S to Durand & home by Rockford, getting mama from Whittle’s.  Rena come home with her brother at eve.  Mama go to church with Mrs Herrick, and to see Carrie at Hospital. Pickens here at eve.  Mr Frigast come for auto in morn.

8-19-1918 12 more eggs in pack, now 28.  Mrs Frigast here as we thresh today.  Fine day.  East breeze.  Llyod K get hurt playing on stack.  Mama call at Mrs McLarty’s in PM.  Oats average 57 bu; wheat 24 bu; timothy 40 bu on 8.5 acres.  Starr begin threshing middle of PM.

8-20-1918 5 more eggs in jar.  Much warmer this PM.  Cloudy AM.  Clear PM.  Elmo thresh at Geo Brown’s.  Roy Grow help him today.  Rena wash.  Starr finish threshing middle of PM & they begin at McLarty’s. 

8-21-1918 7 more eggs in jar, now 40.  Very warm.  Thunder in PM.  88o at 6PM, SW breeze.  Mama call at McLarty’s in AM.  They finish threshing soon after dinner.  Then move to Picken’s.  Elmo thresh at Mat’s till about 5, then to C Kleckner’s. Jr Red Cross meet here for last time.  [But still active at school, see Sept 27.]

8-22-1918  3 more eggs in jar.  Good breeze which made it cooler today, somewhat.  Mr & Mrs Frigast & Clarence take mama & me to their place to Red Cross.  Elmo & R Grow thresh at CK’s till 4 PM. Then finish EMB’s & get set at Barkley’s.  Rena at McLarty’s in PM.  Elmo go CV at eve.

8-23-1918 Elmo & Grow thresh at Barkley’s till noon & then at Gustafson’s.  Mama go to CV with Mrs McLarty & children in PM.  Cloudy most of PM.  8 more eggs in jar.  Now 51.  Elmo & I go to Bengston’s at eve. 

8-24-1918 Clouds disappear in morn & nice day.  Pretty warm in PM.  Elmo & Clarence Bengston thresh at Gustafson’s till noon & then at Heidenreich’s.  Mrs J.G. Ralston & Gladys, Maggie W & Mary J call in PM & all & man then go to McLarty’s.  Then Mrs McL here.  We all go R at eve & Rena stay down.  10 more eggs in jar.

8-25-1918 (Sunday) Fine day. Asa, Allie, Matie & a Mr & Mrs Spencer call in PM.  Whittle’s at eve, then we go to CV for Rena.

8-26-1918 7 more eggs, now 68 in jar.  Rena wash.  Elmo thresh at Heidenreich’s.  Annetta stop in on here way home from McFarlands.

8-27-1918  Finish threshing at 10 o’clock & put machine away.  Dinner at 1 o’clock, have drake.  Then Elmo & I go R.  Mama and Annetta spend day in R, driving pony to CV.  Look showery in PM.  Very warm in PM. 

8-28-1918 One shower (very light) about 11:30.  Heavier one about 6. Dust laid.  Elmo work on auto & dig about ½ early potatoes.  Go to CV right after dinner.  I sit in auto by potato patch after he back. Can 12 qts tomatoes.  Pick & shell 1st navy beans. Mrs McL & children over in AM for elder berries.

8-29-1918  Elmo & mama go R.  Elmo work at garage all AM on car.  Mama shop & call at Herrick’s & Fitch’s.  Nice day.  Cloudy at sunset.  Starr’s threshing co finish their regular work at night, but going to thresh for S neighborhood.  Mrs McLarty & children over in PM & help shell beans.

8-30-1918 Rain some last night & more in AM, not wet down much.  Elmo clean timothy seed until middle of PM & then dig some potatoes.

8-31-1918 Elmo finish digging early potatoes & do other little jobs in AM.  We all but mama go R in PM.  Rena stay down.  Mama go to C Kleckner’s.  Mama at McLarty’s in AM.  Nice day.


July 1918

7-1-1918 52o above at 7AM, NW wind.  Pleasant.  Rena wash.  Hamar cultivate in AM.  Elmo, mama & I go R (I to dentist’s) In PM, men get up 2 loads hay from hog-pasture.  Then Hamar cultivate & Elmo cut hay.  At eve, Elmo & I go to H. Fitch's [Howard would be about 24 yrs] & C. Pickens. Cool.

7-2-1918 60o above at 7AM.  Showery in early morn, little rain fell.  Elmo take oats to CV.  Hamar cultivate.  Elmo ted hay in PM & then help build temporary bridge across creek in our pasture.  Cement one done today.  Warmer.  Clear PM.

7-3-1918 Light showers in AM.  Men fix hay loader.  Clear up pretty well in PM & wind dry things.  Hamar finish cultivating 5th time.  Men fix new screen on porch right after dinner.  At eve, Elmo & I go to CV. 

7-4-1918 Nice day, some cloudy in morn.  We get Emily and Annetta & get to Aunt Alice's about 7:30AM.  See Parade & have picnic dinner there with relations.  Then, 2PM after leaving Mama with Carrie,  Elmo, Annetta, Emily & I go to Shirland picnic.  Meet Rena at R at 6PM, get mama & home.  Annetta go to Camp with her folks & Emily stay here all night.  Eve, Elmo & I go to H. Fitch's for man's suitcases.  Then we all watch Camp fireworks from here.

7-5-1918 Gentle little rain last night & some this AM.  Clear off before noon & Elmo ted hay & they get up 2 loads.  Elmo help Mr Brown fix fence around temporary bridge in our creek pasture in AM.  Hamar too.

7-6-1918 Nice day.  Men get up 3 loads hay and then Hamar cultivate outside rows corn.  Elmo cut hay by school.  Mr Hunter here on tornado insurance business in AM.  Elmo & I go R in eve.  Clear until late PM, then cloud up & rain gently.  Rain quite hard in PM before we leave there.

7-7-1918 (Sunday) Dust just nicely laid last night.  Cloudy much of day & cool.  We leave mama at church & Rena in R & ride W of R, thru Winnebago to Camp Ave.  Call at Fitch’s.  Find ma, not at Pratt’s, but at Aunt Alice’s, then to Belv for Rena.  

7-8-1918 Nice, cool morning. Ed Fitch bring "Henry" here in AM [an extra man to help, see below].  Rena wash.  Dr Woodard call with Mrs Shambaugh & baby & Dr Carlson.  Men get up 6 loads hay & cut more.  Make duck pen at eve.  Mama at McLarty’s in PM.  They finish haying there & Starr & boys take machinery home.

7-9-1918 Bright morn, soon cloud over & rain gently at times thru AM & once in PM.  Then partly clear most of PM.  Elmo cut hay in AM & get up 2/3 load (1st they fix another hay rack) & Henry & Hamar draw gravel from creek bridge.  In PM, all draw up chunks from "20" till 3.  Then Elmo cut hay, about 5 Henry & Hamar go for hay.  Get 1 load.

7-10-1918 56o above at 6:30AM.  Clear.  Elmo cut hay in AM till ready to draw up after working at wood a while.  Hamar do few jobs.  Henry split wood, then all get up 6 loads.  Oil man here.  Mama go CV with Mrs McLarty & children in PM.  Then they come in few min. 

7-11-1918 60o above at 6:30AM.  Clear most of day, look some showery in PM.  Men get up 8 loads hay, Elmo cut some on creek piece.  Henry get logs to put under stack.  Mama go to Gleaners at Mat Ralston’s with Browns.  78o at 12.  Grocery agent here.  Mr Carpenter out to offer help.  Elmo, Henry, Hamar & Kleckner boys go to CV at eve.

7-12-1918 52o above at 6:30AM.  Nice day, cool out of sun.  Men get up 8 ½ loads hay, cut & ted some, too.  Mama call at McLarty’s in PM.  Mr & Mrs E.M. Breck, Mr H. Breck, 3 children & Lester Agnew spend eve here.  Barn full at noon & start stack S end of barn. 

7-13-1918 Get up 6½ loads hay; cut more.  Nice day.  Warmer towards evening & cloudy.  Hamar go home at eve as usual.  Mama, Rena, Elmo & I go R at eve.

7-14-1918 (Sunday) Elmo & I take Rena to Wheeler’s crossing in morn.  Mama, Elmo & I get her at CV at eve.  Stop at Starr’s on way down.  Quite a bit warmer & some cloudy.  Hamar back at eve.

7-15-1918 68o above at 7AM.  Cloudy like dogdays.  Rain gently at times during AM & PM.  Men get up 2 ½ loads hay and in PM, Elmo go R with grist.  Henry cut rest of creek piece & then he & Hamar do odd jobs.  Rena wash & leave white clothes in tub.  Mrs McLarty here in PM. 

7-16-1918 Elmo go R for old lumber for h stack in AM.  Henry split wood & Hamar do odd jobs.  Men split in PM, cut burdocks, etc.  Roads some muddy in morn.  Cool.  Clear off by noon.  We get clothes out before noon.  Annie Molander here in AM.  Mama start sweater.

7-17-1918 Finish haying (get up 3 loads) & cover stack with boards.  Hamar cut lawn.  Warmer.  Mama go back with Walter & Stanley when they up in AM & home with Mr McL at night.  Call on Maggie Jane.  Men split wood in early AM.  We begin on new potatoes.  Very good.

7-18-1918 Nice, warm day.  Men draw manure & Hamar cultivate corn.  (Places where corn not too big).  Rena call on Mrs McLarty in PM.  Have 1st cabbage & 1st applesauce.  21 loads manure out on creek piece.  Elmo, Henry, & Hamar go CV at eve.

7-19-1918 Real warm.  Pleasant.  Starr finish haying.  19 loads manure drawn & hay from orchard taken up.  Hamar do odd jobs.  Mama call on Mrs McLarty.  Elmo go to C Pickens at eve.

7-20-1918 1st blackberries today in pudding.  We have had quite a lot of raspberries for table use.  Cut & shock barley.  Elmo & I take Hamar to R as his bicycle broken, at eve.  Real warm, but SW breeze. 

7-21-1918 (Sunday) Warm again but S. breeze.  We take Rena to car line.  Aunt Emma & Dudley here to dinner. In PM, Elmo & I take them to Starr's.  Mama go home with them.  Elmo & I get Rena from CV.  Cars not regular & she not get there till after 10.  We give Mrs Shambaugh, baby & mother a little ride while waiting.  Hamar back at eve.

7-22-1918 Warm, but S breeze.  Rena wash.  Men get 8 loads stone from Hyland’s quarry.  Henry half sick but keep at work.  Very warm & dry.  I go to quarry in PM.  Put stone in barnyard.

7-23-1918 Men get 6 loads stone and 5 loads dirt in barn-yard & at quarry all AM.  Not quite so hot as sun clouded under much of day.  In PM, I call on Mrs McLarty.  Elmo go R for mama at eve.  Can 3 qts blackberries.

7-24-1918  Cloudy much of AM.  Rain gently at times thruout PM.  Elmo cut oats until early PM.  Henry & Hamar set up.  Elmo go CV in auto about 5:30 PM.   Red Cross meet here, all here but Eda Tutz & Bernice B.  Also Mrs Frigast, 2 girls, Alta S & Emily. 

7-25-1918  Can 4 qts blackberries.  Men haul 2 loads stone & 5 loads dirt in barn-yard in AM.  Hamar put away cultivator shovels.  Cut & set up oats in PM.  Rain little in AM.  Thunder good lot in PM, but shower go round.  Very heavy about Marengo.  Men go CV at eve.  Frigasts leave cucumbers.

7-26-1918  Cooler for awhile in AM & N breeze, then turn to S & much warmer in PM.  Elmo finish big piece of oats by 5 PM.  Then help set up.  Mama go to Starr’s in PM with Mrs McL & children.  They come in here when bring mama back.  Rena’s brother here at eve.  Elmo & I go CV.  92o at 3PM.

7-27-1918 Men finish setting up 25A oats N of house & cut 4A S of barn & partly set up.  Elmo & I go R at eve.  Hamar go home to stay at eve. Can 1½ qts blackberries.  Very warm.  Oats all cut but not all set up. 

7-28-1918 (Sunday) Warm, showery in PM.  Mama at Kleckner’s while Elmo & I take Rena to N End bridge.  Mama, Elmo & I go to N End bridge for Rena at eve.  Also bring her brother back to Kleckner’s.  Starr & children here at eve before we go.  Elmo & I go to C Picken’s at eve.  Dust well laid.

7-29-1918 Cooler.  Pleasant.  Rena wash.  Men finish shocking oats & cut & shock hay & Elmo go R for barrel of oil for threshers in later PM.  At eve fix windmill and spreader and then we go to thresher meeting at Mat Ralston's.  Mama at McLarty's before supper. Mr & Mrs King call in PM.  Can 4 qts blackberries.   

7-30-1918  Real cool this morn, NE wind.  Men draw manure.  Elmo & I go to CV right after dinner for groceries at depot.  Stop at Starr’s on way home.  Mama & Elmo go with Chas Kleckner to Argyle to hear Dr Gordon.  Molanders, Mrs McLarty & Rena’s brother here at eve.  Can 1qt blackberries.  1st sweetcorn for dinner.

7-31-1918 Can 1qt bberries.  Very cool early, sun warm.  Men draw manure.  Rena call on Mrs McLarty’s.  Starr's all go to circus at eve.


June 1918

6-1-1918 Some cooler, clear.  Very windy.  Mama & Elmo go R in auto in AM.  Elmo take oats in PM.  Hamar plant in corn by hand.  Walter, Franklin, Russell & Stanley call in PM.  Hamar go home about 6PM to stay all night.

6-2-1918 (Sunday) A lovely day, cool AM, but warmer in PM.  We take mama to church & Rena to R (stop at McFarland’s on way) Then drive to Rochelle, back to R before 3.  Take Aunt Alice, Mama & Carrie to Black Hawk Park.  Then mama, Carrie & Belle W to cemetery, the call at McF’s on way home & see Verne.  Starr’s (all but Annetta) here after we home.

6-3-1918 Bright early, then get cloudy.  Rena wash.  Gentle rains Mon PM.  Elmo draw manure.  Hamar cultivate Elmo, Hamar & I take Mrs McLarty to CV at eve.  All stores closed.  Mama called at McLarty’s in PM.

6-4-1918 Elmo take grist.  Hamar cultivate.

6-5-1918 Elmo dig ditch to drain barnyard.  Red Cross circle organized here.  Also Maggie, Emily & Stanley and Mrs McLarty, her mother & children here.  McLarty’s get big telephone.  Elmo bring in stalk of sweet corn that is fully knee high.  Cooler, E wind, partly cloudy.

6-6-1918  Now caught 21 mice in cellar & 1 in sink cupboard.  Take off cattle to CV.  Mr McLarty, C Kleckner & boys help.  66o above at 6AM.  Foggy & cloudy early.  Sun soon break thru.  In PM, Hamar cultivate & Elmo draw manure & then go to CV with cattle feed & to help load them.  Mama go to all day Gleaners at R. Watson’s.  Maggie Jane in on way home.  Sudden short shower from NW about supper time.

6-7-1918 Elmo spend day in Chicago. Hamar finish cultivating 2nd time and cultivate potatoes.  Rena call at McLarty’s.  Nice day, cooler.  Rag man here.

6-8-1918  Nice cool day. S wind.  Elmo go R with oats in AM.  Hamar hoe garden.  In PM, they go to raise cattleshed for Mat Ralston on old Dan Davis farm. Hamar go home at eve & Elmo & I go CV.  Starr & children in early eve in Ford.  Eclipse between 6 & 7 PM, sun about ¾ obscured.

6-9-1918 (Sunday) Elmo go to camp for Mr. Betts but he gone to France.   Rena in R for day.  We all go for her at 6.  At eve, Elmo & I go to J. Lake’s on errand at eve.  Threaten showers in PM, but rain little.  Muriel Johnson, mother, 2 sisters, baby & 2 young ladies here in PM.  Hamar back at eve.

6-10-1918 Showers last night.  Men hoe potatoes & garden.  Rain some & cloudy & thunder much of AM.  Caught 3 more mice. Mrs McLarty & children here in PM.  Hamar mow part of lawn in PM & he & Elmo hoe corn.  One shower in early PM.  First lettuce.

6-11-1918 Same wet, foggy, cloudy morn, but sun out before 9AM & strong S wind blow up which quickly dry up mud.  Elmo mama & Rena go R in AM.  Hamar cultivate, both cultivate in PM.  Mrs Molander, Edith & Hazel here in eve.  89o above about 3 PM.

6-12-1918  58o at 6:30AM.  Rena wash.  Clear, but very strong NW wind.  Men cultivate.  Elmo go to CV about 5:30 PM.  66o after supper. 

6-13-1918  52o above at 7AM.  Men cultivate. 3 times over. 6 little ducks hatch.  Col breeze.  Oil man here.  Red Cross meet here.  Also Maggie, Emily & Stanley here.  At eve, Elmo, Hamar & I go see work down on school bridge & to C Pickens.

6-14-1918  Fine day.  64o at 7AM.  Elmo, ma & I go R in AM (I to dentist) after Elmo plow for beans.  E wind.  Cloudy part of AM.  In PM, Elmo & Hamar plant beans & more sweet corn & at eve, Elmo, Hamar & I go to CV’s for late cabbage plants.  Set out that eve. 

6-15-1918  Elmo go 14 Ave for new mower taking old one down.  Cut grass in dooryard.  Hamar split wood & do odd jobs for me.  E wind.  I sit out in auto while Elmo gone.  Mama get tomato plants from Mrs McLarty’s at eve & set out.  2 of our early ones in bloom. 

6-16-1918  (Sunday) Very hot.  95o above at 11AM at F Whittle’s.  Starr & 6 children up in AM.  Then we take mama to church & Rena to R & go out W. State where we pick up a soldier. Drive through Pecatonica, Myrtle, Seward, Byron, Stillman Valley, Camp, & back to R.  Over the river, and around to Sinissippi Park.  Leave soldier near Vierck’s & go for mama & Rena.  82 miles.

6-17-1918 Dr Sambaugh commit suicide.  Much cooler, E wind, some cloudy in morn.  Rena wash.  I get up at noon.  Elmo go for coke.  Starr come for mama in PM.  Pig eat our little ducks.  Hamar cultivate.

6-18-1918  Elmo get 2 loads coke.  Hamar cultivate.  CK & 2 boys here at eve.  Cool, east wind.  Some cloudy. 

6-19-1918  Elmo green potatoes.  Go R in auto in PM.  Get ising [stet] glass put in back curtain & work over magnets.  Hamar cultivate.  Mrs McLarty, children, mama, Annetta & Emily call in PM.  Cool, E wind.  Partly cloudy.  First peas.

6-20-1918  Cool, cloudy, E wind.  Elmo get coke in AM.  He & I go to Dr Shambaugh’s funeral in PM.  Stop at Starr’s on way home.  C Marteson bring his knitting up.  Hamar cultivate.  Cool.  Rain early morn to lay dust & sun out by noon.

6-21-1918  Elmo take auto to R & after helping Hamar load up coke for which he drove down, went to garage & worked on car till late.  Mr Schultz & Dan & Mr Lansing called in PM.  Cool, windy, cloudy towards eve.

6-22-1918  Men mow lawn.  Cool, pleasant.  Elmo take oats to W. Shaw in AM.  Cut weeds & road hay & cultivate end rows of corn in PM, which with what Hamar cultivated in AM finishes 4th times.  Annetta, Emily & Stanley bring Ma home in PM.  Have 1st currants & 2nd sowing of radishes. 

6-23-1918 (Sunday) 49o at 7AM.  Cool & clear.  Elmo & I take Rena to Love’s Park in AM & after dinner, Mama, E & I call at F. Davis’ to see how Mr Dubois is then to Bel (get water lilies) back to call at Thad's & to CV to meet Rena.  [Frank Davis married Mamie Dubois]

6-24-1918  Cool, cloudy, sprinkle few times, but sun drive off clouds about middle of PM.  Rena wash.  I get up at noon.  Men cut weeds, etc about yard.  Mama call at McLarty’s in AM.  Mama call at McLarty's in AM.  Find 4 little owls in dooryard tree.  Fix rake & get up road hay.  (1/2 load) R Watson & Melvin in in PM.

6-25-1918  Cloudy, sunshine in PM.  Cool NE breeze in AM.  PM warmer.  All but Hamar go R in AM.  I go to Dr Ells’.  Hamar cultivate.  Fix box for mail on bridge.  Elmo cut hog pasture hay in PM. 

6-26-1918 Cloudy, partly warmer in PM.  Florence Fitch spend day here.  Mama & Mrs McLarty make several calls in PM.  Elmo & Hamar fix hay-track, (Elmo go CV in PM for 2 by 4).  Hamar cultivate some. At eve, Elmo go to Mat's new barn to help fix it for party. 

6-27-1918  64o above at 7AM.   All Red Cross girls come despite rain in PM.  Elmo tedding hay in AM & about 11 AM go to CV & Bel in wagon for fencing to keep pigs out of potatoes.  Hamar cultivate, then split wood & pick over old potatoes.  Just nice gentle rain. 

6-28-1918 Warm, partly cloudy.  no mud from yesterday’s rain.  Hamar cultivate & ted hay & rake road hay.  Elmo help bale straw at F. Reid’s.  In eve, Elmo & I go to CV and then to M. Ralston's barn dance.

6-29-1918  Elmo & Hamar get up 3 loads hay (1 from road & 2 from hog pasture) They have to get loader from McLarty's  & it break 5 times & rope bother! Elmo go R at eve.   Mama at McLarty's in PM & Emily & Walter come back with her. 

6-30-1918  (Sunday) Cold, cloudy, drizzle a good share of AM.  SE wind turn to NE about 11AM & rain hard for awhile.  Sun shine some in PM, but no warmer.  Mama take iron to bed. [to keep warm]  Starr’s all here in eve.


May 1918

5-1-1918 Heavy frost last night.  Get warmer.  Elmo plow in orchard for garden & potatoes & pulverize it.  In late PM, he & I go to Belv to see Watson’s & Mr J Fisher.  Nice, sunny day.  Roads rough & muddy until past Fitch’s, then good.  Mama go to McLarty’s in PM. 

5-2-1918 We all go R early in PM.  I go to dentist’s.  Mama stay to Gleaner’s at Mrs J Reid’s.  Elmo drag late potato & garden ground in PM.  Nice day, SW wind.  Rough roads.

5-3-1918 Made garden & plant late poatoes.  Clarence Martenson help drop [potatoes] after school.  Warm & sunny. 

5-4-1918  Elmo take baled hay to R.  Agent here to sell jack in AM. Clarence Marteson put wood in cellar & do all sorts of odd jobs.

5-5-1918 (Sunday) Elmo went to C. Picken & CV.  Nice warm day, altho some cloudy & few drops rain.

5-6-1918 Showery.  Rena wash.  Elmo set out a few cabbage plants, finished planting late potatoes & shell some seed corn.  (Our seed corn tests about 80 percent) Draw manure in PM.

5-7-1918 We all go R.  Roads real muddy & bumpy.  I go to dentist’s.  In PM, Elmo draw manure.  Caught a mouse down cellar.  Walter, Franklin, & Russell have measles. 62o above at 7AM.  Elmo go to CV at eve with CK & boys who are coming down with measles.

5-8-1918 Another mouse caught.  50o above at 7AM.  Elmo draw manure. Children come from school at noon as teacher has measles.  Joe came down with them at night.  Rena mow lawn.

5-9-1918 60o above at 7AM.  First heavy thunder shower of season.  Elmo get brooder & coops from over home. then go R with grist.  Showers thru day & at night very heavy rain. Hail which crack 3 windowpanes upstairs & break in back half.  Wind blow over 2 apple trees. Much lightning. Rena "over home" for old laths and wire in PM. 

5-10-1918  45o above at 7AM.  Rain from N early in morn, but not long & clear before night.  Elmo fix fence at creek pasture & take Sam & colts down.  Cyclone at CV last evening.  One of mama’s window panes broken.  Starr up in AM.  Annetta came down with measles last night. 

5-11-1918  43o above at 7AM.  Get warmer thru day.  60o at 7PM.  CK here in morn.  Elmo & I go to CV & see ruins.  Elmo draw 8 loads manure.  3 mice caught. E put cows in creek pasture.  Mama at McLarty, get dandelion greens.  All measles better.  Walter go out.

5-12-1918 (Sunday) We take mama to Starr’s in morn, Rena to Beloit car and then get Ed & Florence & go to Durand.  Roads get very slippery before we get ½ way back to R as it rain some before we start & more on way home.  Cool riding.  Break part of steering gear.

5-13-1918 Cleared off last night.  Elmo go R in morning & work on auto at garage.  Home by 4:35 PM & get corn planter out ready to work.  Light frost last night.  Rena wash.  I abed most of day. 

5-14-1918  Elmo pulverize.  Annetta, Stanley & Emily bring mama home in PM.  Elmo cultivate garden with hand cultivator at noon.

5-15-1918  Partly cloudy, SE wind.  Elmo drag late potatoes & then drag for corn.  Plant in PM.  Mrs McLarty over for lawn mower at noon.  8A corn planted.

5-16-1918 Another mouse caught last night.  Warm & nice.  Elmo plant 1A, then draw manure & pulverize.  No mail.  Mr Nichols has been sick a long time & the substitute stopped.  Mrs McLarty & children stop on way from CV. Sowed poppy seed.

5-17-1918  C Marteson bring up pieplant in AM. 15th mouse caught in cellar last night.  Clarence drag for Elmo in PM.  Look showery & rain little.  Elmo pulverize & plant corn.  Emily & Stanley have measles.

5-18-1918  Elmo get more corn planted.  Go CV at evening.  Had 5 little pigs.  Mailman came in PM.

5-19-1918  (Sunday) Look showery all day & evening & sprinkle at times in PM.  Shower at evening.  Elmo, Rena & I go R & CV in PM.  Mrs McLarty stay with mama. Accident on Camp Grant Street car line 5PM. Willie Pratt killed.  Linna & her mother hurt, also Mattie.  [Pratts previously worked for May and Emily]

5-20-1918  Mama at McLarty’s in AM to see Starr who is loading hay.  Elmo pulverize.  7 little pigs.  Rena wash.  Annie McFarland & aunts call.

5-21-1918  Very cloudy.  Sprinkle at non & then almost clear off, get very cloudy at eve & heavy showers at night.  Elmo finish planting corn at noon and go R in auto in PM. 7 little pigs.  Rena mow lawn.

5-22-1918  We all go R in PM.  Elmo & mama to William Pratt’s funeral & I to house.  Elmo take the family out to cemetery.  Elmo put on some window screens in AM.  Mr McLarty over for seed-corn.  Cloudy until into PM.  Roads muddy in AM.

5-23-1918   8 little pigs, one has died, now 26.  Clarence M brings up pieplant.  Elmo go R with grist.  Cold & cloudy.  Rena iron. 

5-24-1918   54o above at 7AM.  Rainy till about 2 PM.  Some lightning.  Then Elmo go to CV & I go to Mr Molander’s.  Fields very wet.  Elmo put screen on front door.  Put up curtain pole, etc.  No mail.

5-25-1918  Muggy, cloudy, 71o at 7AM.  Elmo set out tomatoes & more cabbage plants.  A large brood of little chicks came out from under barns. Very warm.  Mama & Rena both call “over home.” Picken boys here for evening.  Elmo take oats to R.

5-26-1918  (Sunday) Old pig kills 3 little ones, 23 now.  Some cloudy but nice warm day.  Elmo & I leave mama at church & Rena downtown & we go to Byron & beyond to spring.  Back to R at 3 & call on Carrie.  Elmo go to CV at eve and take Hamar O, who came to work, on wheel, from R.  Starr & family here at late PM.

5-27-1918   Hamar mow part of lawn.  We have new postman these days.  Shower last night about 12.  Rena wash.  Cloudy, but sun out much of PM.  Elmo take oats to W Shaw in PM.  Hamar drag part of corn & they take up corn planter & wire.  Shower before noon.  Annetta & Emily here in PM.  Mama & Annetta go to Kleckner’s.  Men start cultivating corn.  Had 1st radishes.

5-28-1918   Cloudy.  Elmo & I go R in auto, roads quite muddy.  Home by 11:45 AM.  Hamar cultivate in PM.  They fix new shovels on another 1 row & both cultivate.  Mamie & Frank Davis call at eve. 

5-29-1918   56o above at 7AM.  Cool, cloudy, foggy, turn to rain about 10AM.  Men cultivate till rain, then do odd jobs.  Mr McLarty bring his family over to spend PM.  Rain gently till about middle of PM, but cloudy till dark. 

5-30-1918   Very foggy & dark morning, sun began to break thru about 10AM.  After 2 PM, nice & clear.  80o about 11 AM.  Elmo take Rena to CV in buggy in morn & she go to Belv.  Hamar work in garden.  Men cultivate in PM & Elmo go for Rena before 6 in auto.  Now 18 mice caught in cellar. 

5-31-1918 73o above at 7AM.  Men cultivate, finish 1st time over.  mr Picken & boys here at eve.  Now have 31 pigs.  Very warm & windy.  Mrs McDonald walk over in PM.  sunny, but a heavy cloud in NW after dark & lightning.  No rain.


April 1918

4-1-1918 A beautiful still day.  Rena wash.  Elmo and Mr. McLarty clean up their seed wheat.  Then Elmo pulverize & sow it.

4-2-1918 A fine morning so Rena start to clean dining room.  Elmo finish wheat piece & start to pulverise N of house for oats.  Also take Mama & McLartys down to vote.  Mr Holmnes won road commissioner by 49 votes.  Grow very windy before noon & light shower about 4 PM. 

4-3-1918 29o above at 7AM.  Elmo pulverize for oats & help put down carpet at night.  Rena finish cleaning dining room.  Mrs Bengston called in PM.  Also Russell & Stanley with pony.  Very windy, NW.  Partly cloudy.

4-4-1918 33o above at 7:30 AM.  Mrs McL take mama to Gleaners at Mrs Brown’s & we keep children.  Elmo sow oats & pulverize.  Put section of drag on behind pulverizer & use 5 horses. Frozen about 2 in in ground last night.

4-5-1918  Nice day, get cloudy some toward’s night.  cool SW wind.  Elmo & ma go R in AM.  Beulah here in AM & her pony untie itself & draw buggy into barn.  Uncle Chas Green died at 7:30 this evening.  Elmo sow & pulverize in PM.   

4-6-1918 40o above at 7:30 AM.  Cloudy, chilly, SE wind.  Begin to rain about 1 and rain gently all PM.  Elmo have to stop pulverizing about middle of PM.  McLarty’s new car brought out from town in PM.

4-7-1918  (Sunday) Cleared off last night, windy & colder, especially in PM.  Rena call at McLarty’s and Elmo & I go to Starr’s in PM & then across to McL for jar.

4-8-1918 30o above at 7AM.  Clod, windy, NW turn to NE in PM.  Partly cloudy.  Elmo & I go to Uncle Chas Green’s funeral (2PM). Leave mama & Rena in R.  Elmo & mama wear fur coats.  Real cold & windy. 

4-9-1918 30o above at 7AM.  Windy, cold.  Ground frozen so can’t pulverize till about noon.  Elmo sow & do odd jobs in AM.  Pulverize in PM.  Rena wash.  I not up till noon. 

4-10-1918  26o above at 7AM.  Windy, NE.  Elmo draw out 5 loads manure in AM.  Mend spreader, etc. In PM, pulverize.  Mrs McL & children here in PM.  Mat Ralston here for War Chest cards in eve.

4-11-1918 33o above at 7AM.  Bernice bring spring beauties and blood root.  Rena & Elmo drag oat field. Rena & Mrs McLarty & children go to woods and find flowers.  Harper’s grocer agent her yesterday PM.

4-12-1918 40o above at 8AM.  Fine day, cool enough for winter coat to ride in.  Elmo draw manure in AM & in PM we all go to Liberty Loan Parade.  Mama stay down at Florence’s.  We take Aunt Agnes in & all but Elmo go to Aunt Alice’s to see parade.  Annetta & Emily here to supper. 

4-13-1918 Lovely day, tho cool.  Mrs McLarty stop on way from R in PM.  Elmo draw 2 loads manure & then plow where seeding not good.  We go to CV at eve.

4-14-1918 (Sunday) Some warmer, pleasant.  Elmo go to C. Pickens in AM & to Bert Popham’s funeral in PM.  Rena & I wait in auto during funeral & then we all go to Belv, call at Asa’s. McLartys go to her mother’s & bring home a pup.

4-15-1918 Pleasant, but windy.  Rena wash.  Elmo finish sowing oats.  Mrs McLarty bring pup over in PM. Mama have her teeth out. 

4-16-1918 Elmo sow barley at 10A.  Rain enough to lay dust last night.  Jennie Breckenridge call to sell Liberty Bonds in PM.  Mostly sunny.

4-17-1918  Cloudy, wind NE.  Begin to rain about 8:30AM.  Elmo finish sowing barley & then go R in buggy.  Dig horseradish.  Rain gently much of day.  Clean in kitchen.

4-18-1918 Mrs McLarty & children here in PM.  Elmo pulverize barley in AM & take small load hay & oats to R in PM.  Finish cleaning kitchen & clean hall. 

4-19-1918  Elmo go Rockford & work on auto at garage fixing brakes.  Bring mama & Carrie home with him. Very windy & cold.

4-20-1918 34o about noon.  cloudy, NE wind.  Snow flakes, sleet & rain.  Elmo seed some grass seed in AM & go CV in PM.

4-21-1918 (Sunday) Cold, rainy AM.  Cloudy all day.  Rena go to McLarty’s in PM.  Mrs Watson died at 6AM. 

4-22-1918 Rena wash.  Cleared last night.  Mama & Carrie tie Belgian quilt.  Elmo get up old scattering wood.

4-23-1918 Rain & snow both fall in AM.  Clear PM.  Elmo drag barley till sotrm stop him.  He & mama go to funeral in PM & then he finish dragging.  Go to show at night.  Take Picken boys.  Mrs McLarty & children here in PM & help tie Belgian quilt.

4-24-1918 Ground froze little last night.  We all go R in AM.  Mama  stay to go to Aunt Emma’s surprise tomorrow with “lady aunts.”  Carrie stay down too.  Roads rough.  Elmo start to plant early potatoes in PM. 

4-25-1918 Cold, cloudy.  Elmo plant more early potatoes in AM.  He & I go to school with notice of Liberty Loan Rally & to McLarty’s.  Rena wash outside of windows.  McLarty, Edwin Molander, Barkley’s man & CK help saw wood in PM.  Rain a little at eve.

4-26-1918 Some warmer, sun shine most of PM.  Elmo finish planting early potatoes & then go R with oats.  J Watson here asking for “job.”  We all go to Town Hall to rally in eve.  Mr Carpenter, Bruce Garrett & Mr Reynolds speak & 3 soldier boys & Florence Carpenter sing.

4-27-1918 Cloudy all morning.  PM sunny part of time & warmer.  I go with Elmo about neighborhood on Liberty Loan business.  McLarty’s take Rena to CV in PM.  J Watson here again.  Cloud over at night.

4-28-1918 (Sunday) Rained last night & also this AM.  Cold, windy PM.  Sun break thru clouds in PM.  Mama come down from Roscoe on 2 PM car & Elmo  meet her at Fitch's.  Mr McLarty go down with him.  Rena & I stay at McLarty’s in PM.

4-29-1918 Rained again last night & some in AM.  Mr Taylor here to buy bond in morn & then we go to J Lake’s.  Then Elmo go to R with pigs.  Cold, NE wind. 

4-30-1918 Rain mixed with some snow fell most of AM.  Elmo & I out in buggy on Liberty Loan business until 1:30PM.  Cold.