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Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Day in the Life: January 22nd

(Aged 14)
Wea.        Clear                             WED. JAN. 22, 1896                      Ther. 16 
Went to school                

(Aged 16)
Wea.     Cloudy                             SAT. JAN. 22, 1898                         Ther.  36

Stayed home all day.  Got up at 9 oclock A.M.  Pa + Chay Wygrene went down to look at the Webster Place in the A.M.  In the P.M. Ma + Rollie went over to grandma’s.  Geo Walters went to the burg with a load of bolts + got me a letter from France Long.  Mrs. Maxwell was down.

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                              SUN. JAN. 22, 1899                        Ther. 

Got up at 7.45 and done my chores. 
In P.M. Pa, Ma + Rollie went up to the Ivory Church + I took a bath.  In eve. we all went down to the burg to church.  I went alone.  Elsie didn’t come as she had to tend Otis Moore’s baby but I went down there + seen her.  
The Ivory Baptist Church around 1972

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                               MON. JAN. 22, 1900                     Ther.

Stayed at home and worked.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                               TUE. JAN. 22, 1901                      Ther.

Did chores in A.M. and in P.M. we all went up to see Pa.  He was up and dressed and is a great deal better.

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                              WED.  JAN.  22, 1902                    Ther.

Ray went after a load of lumber but it snowed so he only brought home about 900ft.  I did chores + in P.M. went to town  + got $75 to buy cows of(f) Sutton.  Gave my note for it.

(Aged 21) 
Wea.                                             THUR.  JAN.  22, 1903                   Ther.

Took the pigs up to Falconer and brought Pa home with me.

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                               FRI. JAN. 22, 1904                        Ther.

Stayed at home cut (?) wood + renewed my note of $75 for 3 months.  Went up to Pa’s in the eve. 


Editor's Note: 
In 1899, Allen continues to use church as his means to access girls.  Elsie was Elsie Foster.  She never married that I could find but became a school teacher and cared for her widowed mother Mary.  Otis Moore's baby would have been Edward Moore born in November 1898.  For many years to come the Moore's owned the hardware store in Frewsburg, NY.  It's fun to see that as long as teenage girls are babysitting, teenage boys will want to drop by.

Frank is recovering well from his operation in 1901 and in 1903 his Grand Jury stint seems to be complete.

The $75 note that Allen took out seems worrying when one sees he extends it a year later.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Day in the Life: January 21st

(Aged 14)
Wea.       cloudy                            TUE. JAN. 21, 1896                        Ther.  32

Went to school.  LaVern Wheeler’s folks were here visiting.
(Aged 16)
Wea.    Cloudy                              FRI. JAN. 21, 1898                         Ther.  31

Went to school.  After school I.B. (Irma Bunce?) came home with me + ate supper here about 6.15 oclock we started for the social over at Nettie Hunt’s at Mud Creek had a fine time there was about 30 there.  Got home at 3:15 A.M.

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                              SAT. JAN. 21, 1899                         Ther.
Went to factory.  Then went up to Unkle Gib’s to see how they were.  They are all well.
Glen and I went hunting but didn’t kill anything but started one rabbit.
Pa, Geo + Chas cut brush on the Webster place.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                              SUN. JAN. 21, 1900                        Ther.

Stayed at home in the A.M.   In P.M. went up to Ivory to S.S.
In eve went to the burg with Leon Page.  Went home with Mattie Cowan.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                              MON. JAN. 21, 1901                      Ther.

Finished the harness and did chores in the A.M.  In P.M. hired Frank Warn to cut bolts.  I also fixed the bobsleds and pounded irons in the evening

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                             TUE.  JAN.  21, 1902                      Ther.

Ray drew the lumber on to town had on 1535 ft.  I did chores.  In eve Pa + Lawrence were over.

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              WED.  JAN.  21, 1903                    Ther.

Took our new pigs over to pa’s and killed them with four of his.  Frank Kinneston + Dave helped me.  I also did his chores.
I went up to John Smedley’s.  He gave me $10.

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                                THUR. JAN. 21, 1904                  Ther.

Stayed at home all day.


Editor's Note: 
There are plenty of Wheelers about Carroll at this point but I can't find one Laverne.  Irma Bunce and Allen are clearly stepping out at this age but I just found out something really sweet.  Frank Warn, who always gets a mention from Allen actually goes on to marry Irma Bunce.  (Remember the double date to the theatre?).  Also, Frank is Alice's cousin.

Again, Unkle Gib is Gilbert Eccles and Glen is Allen's cousin.  I must hurry with the name index and also figure out what "cutting bolts" refers to because it is a common task.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chain of Fools

Apparently, there is a rich and long history of chain letters and should you be interested, I recommend Daniel W. VanArsdale’s "Chain Letter Evolution".

It was there I turned to investigate yet another curiosity in the family archives.  In 1895 Mrs. Mary Page, a neighbor of the Cass Family, sent a chain letter to Nora.  In it, Mrs. Page asks Nora to make copies of the letter and send canceled stamps to help a young lady crippled from the age of six, etc.  If, no one breaks the chain and the stamps arrive at a specific address in Kanesville, ILL, then a Kanesville medical institution would help the young lady.  To me there are red flags everywhere including the fact that it’s Kaneville and not Kanesville.  But more serious is the question of why an unnamed medical institution that had the power to heal this unfortunate person would need canceled stamps to proceed?

Amusing as it is to think of this letter making the rounds of farmers’ wives in the late 19th Century piquing their charitable instincts, why would Nora hold onto it? At some point in the 20th Century it became an artifact but who saw that and still kept it so that it is here today 116 years later in my hands? 

Originally, Nora may have held on to it to remind her of the good deed she had done.  But had she even followed the laborious protocol and done it?  I have feeling that she tucked the letter away and hoped Mrs. Page never mentioned it again.  I’d like to think Nora didn’t worry about whether her participation really mattered, or her decision not to really would result in “a serious loss to the enterprise”.  Was that young lady really a cripple or just a clever philatelist?

A Day in the Life: January 20th

(Aged 14)
Wea.   Cloudy                               MON. JAN. 20, 1896                   Ther. 30

Went to school.  I got breakfast + supper.  I got this fountain pen of(f) Fred Lee.  I gave him 15 cents for it.  Grandma was over here to help ma.  I carried her home when I got home from school.                 

(Aged 16)
Wea.     Rainy                               THUR. JAN. 20, 1898                  Ther.  38

Leon Page stayed with me last night.  Went to school.  Examined a pig’s lung through a microscope.  In evening Chas Waygreen (Wigren)  was here + I wrote a letter to Frank Warn.  Ma got a letter from Effie.

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                              SAT. JAN. 20, 1899                        Ther. 

Went to school drove and took a grist. Raymond Harringotn rode up with me. 
In eve Pa and Ed Harring went down to church while Ma + Rollie went up to his house.
Played football at morning and noon at night they were going to play but the football bladder was torn all to pieces don’t know what done it.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                               SUN. JAN. 20, 1900                      Ther.

Went over to grandma’s.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                               SUN. JAN. 20, 1901                      Ther.

The girls went home after breakfast.  I did chores and worked until about 1 o’clock.  Ma + Rollie went to town to see pa.  He is much better.  I took a bath and Alice washed my head.  I must not forget to say I shaved.

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                              MON.  JAN.  20, 1902                    Ther.

Ray went over to Pat Laughlin’s after a load of lumber.  Got home about 4 o’clock.  I done the chores + went to the factory. 

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              TUE.  JAN.  20, 1903                     Ther.

Worked in Joel’s Mill all day and did chores at home.  Dave did Pa’s. 

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                                WED. JAN. 20, 1904                     Ther.

Went up + worked tearing out the old boiler.


Editor's Note: 
He made the meals again for his sick mother which is lovely.   Allen mostly writes his journals in pencil until he gets a pen which he uses for one entry and then decides better of it.  This one is red ink.

In 1899 there was the mystery of the torn-apart bladder to solve.  But I wonder the bladder lasted as long as it did since they played with it all the time.  But maybe the girls were hoping to drive a little attention their way by sabotaging the boy's game.  I doubt we'll ever know.

It seems Pa (Frank) is still recovering from his unknown operation.  How sweet Alice washed Allen's hair for him.  The girls who spent the night were Ruth and Pearl--Alice's younger sisters.

In 1903, Pa is still sitting on the Grand Jury over in Mayville so Dave the hired hand is doing his chores for him.  I'll bet with some sleuthing we could find what cases he heard.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Day in the Life: January 19th

(Aged 14)
Wea.  Snowy                                 SUN. JAN. 19, 1896                         Ther. 34 above

Ma was sick.  Went over to grandma’s on horseback.  I got breakfast + supper.  Ma had Dr. Rich.                     

(Aged 16)
Wea.   Cloudy                                WED. JAN. 19, 1898                       Ther.   11-32

Went to school.  Leon Page came over + rode down with me.  he is going to stay all night with me.  Lincoln Club met in the evening + we stayed down and went to it.  He tried to take Alice Smedley but got left.  I took Irma Bunce.

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                              THUR. JAN. 19, 1899                     Ther. 

Drove to school.  Played football.  In eve I drove old Tom and went to church.  Went home with Elsie Foster and am going home with her Sunday eve.  Pa finished the roof on the Webster place today. 
Had examination in drawing.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                              FRI. JAN. 19, 1900                         Ther.

Stayed at home until about 3.30 P.M.  Then Alice and I went up to Jamestown to the theatre so did Frank (Warn)  and Irma (Bunce).  Got home at 3 A.M. had a fine time.  Spent $1.28. (One possible theatre)  Allen's Opera House

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                              SAT. JAN. 19, 1901                         Ther.

Pearl + Ruth came down in the P.M.  I drawed (sic) wood until about 5 oclock.  We played checkers in (the) evening.  The girls stayed all night.  I also fixed the harness in the morning and did the chores.

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                              SUN.  JAN.  19, 1902                     Ther.

Stayed at home all day.  Pa + Ma + Rollie were over.

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              WED.  JAN.  19, 1903                     Ther.

We took Pa to Falconer where he took the train to Mayville.  He is one of the Grand Jurors. 
Alice went with Ma to wash.  I went after her about 4.00 and did Pa’s chores.  Chautauqua County Seat

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                                THUR. JAN. 19, 1904                   Ther.

Stayed at home.


Editor's Note:
  A young Allen helps with the meals as his mom recovers from illness.  I found Dr. Rich on the 1900 Census.  His name was Elton Rich.  He was 45 years old, married to Ida with 2 children at home.  He lived in the town of Poland,  NY which is just up the road from the Cass Farm  Nora recovered just fine from whatever was ailing her.

I feel a little badly for Leon Page because he is the second friend of Allen's who "got left" by a girl.  Allen may have got his girl for the moment but the very next year, we see Allen is walking out with Elsie Foster and the year after that his old date Irma Bunce is going out with his friend Frank Warn.  Perhaps Allen just doesn't record when he "gets left".  I suppose if you can't be the hero of your own journals what's the point?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Checkered Chicken: Diaries of a Farm Boy

The Checkered Chicken: Diaries of a Farm Boy: "In 1881, my great-grandfather Allen Frank Cass was born on his family’s farm in Western New York state. Fifteen years later he began t..."

Nora's Cake Recipe

Nora's cake as made by me with Nora's actual teapot.
Cream 1 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon butter
1 heaping tablespoon of hot water
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
last: 2 egg whites beaten

I baked it at 350F until it seemed done.  It was rather dense but actually pretty tasty.  

I frosted it with Mabel's chocolate icing which was okay.  I don't think I did it right.  It is very sugary and I kept melting more chocolate to make it less drizzly but it made no difference.
Here is her recipe.  Maybe you can understand better than I did.

1 cup sugar
2 squares shaved chocolate
1/2 of a 1/4 lb of butter
1/2 cup boiling water
boil 5 minutes, beat over cold water
add 1/2 tsp vanilla

After much double-checking on the final taste, I pretty much ate the whole damn thing by myself in the end. So two thumbs up for historical value and overall result.

NB.  Clearly I'm not the photographer to call if your menu needs new, appetizing illustrations.

NB2.  I have just added a jpeg of the original hand-written recipe.  Also included is Nora's Strawberry preserve recipe.  I'd try it but what's the point?  I know I wouldn't want to eat it after I let it stand for 3 days.

A Day in the Life: January 18th

(Aged 14)    
Wea.  Cloudy                                SAT. JAN. 18, 1896                         Ther.   26

Pa + Ma went to Jamestown.  Pa got his false tooth + Ma got hers fixed.  Rollie + I stayed at home.                     

Somehow this was a nicer image to use  than antique false teeth.  Trust me.

(Aged 16)
Wea.  Clear                                   TUE. JAN. 18, 1898                     Ther. 10-34

Went to school had a review in grammer (sic).  Ask S.B. to go to Lincoln Club tomorrow night.   Rode to school and back with Leon Page.

Got a letter from Frank Warn.  He is doing well at the Fredonia Normal School.


(Aged 17)
Wea.                                              WED. JAN. 18, 1899                      Ther. 

Drove to school.  Played football.    In eve Ma + I went down to the burg to church.  It is very cold. 
Clara Longquist was at church but I told her ma was at church + I couldn’t go home with her + I didn’t believe I had better anyway as she was so old.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                              THUR. JAN. 18, 1900                     Ther.

Drew off 30 bu(shels) of potatoes. 

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                               FRI. JAN. 18, 1901                        Ther.

Alice’s father and mother were down and ate dinner with us.  Greased the other harness in the P.M.  In evening raised cain in general with everything.

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                                SAT.  JAN.  18, 1902                     Ther.

Took Alice home.  Ray drew 1 1/4 ton of hay.   Glen was down.

(Aged 21)

Wea.                                             SUN.  JAN.  18, 1903                        Ther.

Stayed at home all day and read.  It was very stormy.  Grandma came over to dinner.

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                                MON. JAN. 18, 1904                      Ther.

Stayed at home all day. 


Editor's Note:  Alas poor Clara Longquist.  One would think she was some middle-aged man eater.  Maybe even a widow looking to snare herself a nice shiny new husband.  However, census records suggest she is just 3 years older than Allen.  What a difference a century makes.  (sound of cougar growl here).

The Lincoln Club is presumably a political organization as it is today.  But I don't know who S.B. is.  It seems likely to be a girl because he is being so coy about naming a name.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day in the Life: January 17th

(Aged 14)
Wea.      Clear                                FRI. JAN. 17, 1896         Ther.    6 above

Went over to grandma’s after the sausage-grinder before I went over to school.  After school I went over to grandma’s + took the sausage-grinder home + took her brand over.  I bought it today.  Took the libery (sic) book Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates back in the P.M.  I was the only boy in our classes.   
(Aged 16)
Wea.   Clear                                MON. JAN. 17, 1898                           Ther.   16-40

In eve we played Tiddedly Winks and practiced on the organ.  16-40 means it was 16 above zero in the A.M. and 40 above zero in the P.M.  at about 2:30 oclock or when it was warmest. 

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                   TUE. JAN. 17, 1899                        Ther. 

Got up at 5:30.  Went to school drove Topsie + the carriage.  Raymond Harrington rode down with me.  Rollie sent for a printing press.

Played football it was somewhat muddy but we play just the same.  They are shingling the roof down at the Webster place. 

In eve rollie kicked my lame leg + I kicked him then pa was going to cuff my ears but he didn’t hurt much as he only hit me once.  Think he better take a few lessons in boxing.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                             WED. JAN. 17, 1900                      Ther.

Drew Manure in the A.M. In the P.M. went to the burg.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                               THUR. JAN. 17, 1901                          Ther.

In A.M. went over to the other farm.  Ma rode over to grandma’s with me.  Alice and I greased the harness in the P.M. 

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                              FRI.  JAN.  17, 1902                Ther.

Drew 2 ton of hay from pa’s.  Went to factory.  Pearle came down. 

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                            SAT.  JAN.  17, 1903                        Ther.

Worked in Joel’s Mill all day.  Ma came over and brought my dinner up to me. 

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                                SUN. JAN. 17, 1904                      Ther.

Stayed at home all day.


Editor's Note:  I hope Allen finished reading Hans Brinker though we get no review of it.  Also, interesting that he is the only boy who made it to school that day.  Presumably farm responsibilities kept the others away.  It makes you wonder about truancy and notes from home.  How was absence tolerated and what were the educational expectations of community?

I will try to research the "Webster Place" to see why his dad was working on it. Frank Cass was Justice of the Peace for the Town of Carroll for many years and also a bit of a "gentleman farmer".  Over the years he acquired a number of properties in the area to lease out.  I wonder if the Webster Place was one such property.

At some point in Allen's youth, he was injured in a farming accident the details of which I do not know.  What is known to me is that it left his left leg quite a few inches shorter than his right and as a result, Allen  wore a special platform shoe.  My sister and I were hoping to have it referenced for us and here it is in 1899 when his little brother kicked Allen's "lame leg".   So it had happened by the age of 17 though his leg appears normal in the photograph I posted of him at 14.  My hope is that we learn about it still but, as you may have noticed, I do not have a diary for the age of 15.

And for a brief moment I have to admit I thought "greased the harness" might just have been a euphemism.

Pearle is Pearle Warn, Alice's younger sister.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Day in the Life: January 16th

(Aged 14)
Wea.   Clear                                   THUR. JAN. 16, 1896                   Ther. zero

Went to school + went to dinner at the church cost 10 cents.   James Anderson rented our place for one year.  He is to take possession on March 4th.               

(Aged 16)
Wea. Snowy                                  SUN. JAN. 16, 1898                        Ther.   27

Stayed at home all day.  In the evening Chas Slater + I went down to the burg to church.  I went home with __x___ P.  Chas asked Bertha Woods and got left. 

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                              MON. JAN. 16, 1899                     Ther.

Drove to school  Played football at morning + won both.  At noon it was awful muddy and we were all plastered.

Pa + George have been getting the roof on the barn on the Webster place ready to shingle.
It is very warm and the frost is nearly all out of the road tonight.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                              TUE. JAN. 16, 1900                        Ther.

Drew Manure.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                              WED. JAN. 16, 1901                      Ther.

In A.M. did chores.  We all went up to the hospital in the afternoon to see Pa.  He had had the operation performed all night but was very nervous.  Image:
This operating room was in Brooklyn, NY in 1900. Frank may not have had it so good

(Aged 20)
Wea.                                              THUR.  JAN.  16, 1902                  Ther.

Pa got his cutter.  Drew 2 ton of hay over from pa at $8.50.  Pa had a man come to work (Lawrence Linky).  Ray wants to quit and help Joel on the saw mill.  I went up to Mile’s Annis’ to see if  I could hire John Annis.


(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              FRI.  JAN.  16, 1903                       Ther.

Alice and I went to the burg in the P.M.  I had my hair cut and a shave.
It as the first nice day we have had in some time.
The burg

(Aged 22)
Wea.                                               SAT. JAN. 16, 1904                         Ther.

Stayed at home all day.  Mrs. Putnam died.  Clint brought me a load of hay + dividend.  It was $1.62.


Editor's Note:  

Obviously, "plastered" with mud and not alcohol--which thus far has had no mention at any age. 

Poor G-G Grandpa Frank.  I can't imagine what operation he had "all night"  but I would have been nervous too!

I have tried to see who the unfortunate Mrs. Putnam was and the only likely person I have seen on the 1900 US Census is one Alice Putnam who would have been around 27 years-old.  I cannot find her or her family again in the 1910 US Census.