The 1939 Diary of
Berneice REED MacDougall
Town of Veteran, Chemung County, New York State
Hello, I am Walter Samson. I was born in July of 1934. This is November 2010. Come with me back nearly three quarters of a century, to 1939. Our transport through time is the diary that my grandmother, Berneice, kept during that year. I would have been turned five years old, about the age a child begins to create memories, so her recordings for this year are of particular interest to me.
What was her background? One of the Finger Lakes in New York State is named "Keuka", the crooked lake that is shaped like the letter "Y". A road wends from the east shore at Grove Springs up the hill, passing through fields of grapes, to North Urbana. The Reeds and the Websters were neighbors on that road and, in 1880, Lawrence Reed (1849-1918) married Emmiline Webster (1859-1937). Two years later, in December 1882, Berneice (Yes, not Bernice) Reed was born. Time passes and in 1905 we find Lawrence and Emmiline living down in Chemung County, NY, in the Town of Veteran, off the Middle Road in the house that belonged to Francis Courtright in my formative years, and became history when the Soaring Eagles Golf Course was constructed on the site. Berneice is teaching in local schools and in December of 1905 she marries my Grandfather, Charles A. MacDougall.
Where did she live in 1939? Picture a map of New York State and Pennsylvania. The long straight border is 42° north latitude. About midway, and up a little, you see the City of Elmira, NY. Go north from Elmira about 6 miles and you will see the Village of Horseheads. You are in the New York State County of Chemung. Go further north from Horseheads another 6 miles and you are traveling up the Ridge Road in the Town(ship) of Veteran. The first farm north of the intersection of the Ridge Road and the Church Hill Road was the MacDougall Farm.
Charles MacDougall (1877 - 1966) owns the farm with his wife, my Grandmother, Berneice REED MacDougall (1882 - 1958). Daughter Helen (1909 - 1995) and her family consisting of Charles "Ted" Samson (1905-1976) and their children, Walter Samson (1934 - ) and Gordon Samson, October (1938 - ) live in the same farmhouse. Charles has an unmarried brother, Harry (1887 - 1974), who also lives in the house and works on the farm. Charles has a number of brothers including Jay, who lives in Dundee, New York. Brother Will resides in Elmira, and Lon is in Erin. His one sister, Grace, is married to Virgil Fishel, and they live in Binghamton, NY. From time to time they appear in the "cast" in the diary.
1939 was a depression year, and storm clouds were gathering in Europe. Things were tight, but the bounty of the farm provided a comfortable lifestyle. My father, Ted, had a period of unemployment, then found a position managing a Shell service station on Water St. in Elmira. The Ridge Road was paved, we had electricity and indoor plumbing. Our cars were generally reliable and Charlie's milk truck, usually driven by Harry, collected milk from Ridge Road farms and hauled it to the Dairymen's League Creamery in Horseheads, seven days a week, year round.
Times were tough, but the upbeat tone of the diary reflects an optimistic mood throughout the Veteran community. Members of the community were bonded, usually under the guise of a service organization such as the Grange, Home Bureau or Dairymen's League. The resultant social life on the Ridge Road was quite active and the frequent gatherings were a healthy environment. The hub of the activities is the Ridge Road Veteran Grange. The hall not only supported the Grange, it was the gathering place the ladies used for numerous activities. Over the years there were Study Clubs, Garden Clubs and, of course, all the farmers belong to the Dairy Men's League. The community bonding and their local activity goals left little time for the depressing headlines of the day.
We are going to read the 1939 diary of Berneice, which gives a good insight into life on a rural farm during this depression year.
I, Walt Samson, will take the liberty of inserting observations from my memory as we go along reading and dictating her diary to text. I am using text to speech software and expect to supplement this file with scans of clippings she pasted in her log.
BRM 1939 01 01
1 January 1939 Sunday
Not very cold. Ground slightly covered with snow. Harry went to Dundee and got Jay. Corene and the children came up from Horseheads. She had been staying with her mother, who is very bad with angina pectoris. Had a nice time. The children such nice youngsters. They had Christmas presents from Grace and us. Harry gave them a dollhouse together they very much thrilled with it. Dinner menu -- Roast pork, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, succotash, celery, pickles, molded salad, ice cream and date cake (Corene's). Jay planning to work for the same man next year.
3 January 1939 Tuesday
Helen, Walter, Gordon and I went to Elmira in the afternoon. Got our annual renewal of kitchen tools, namely juicer, opener(wall type), egg beater, strainer and meat grinder. Baby fretful and no parking space so came home early.
4 January 1939 Wednesday
Left the boys with Ted and went back to the city (Elmira) to finish our shopping. After much chasing around, got three new maple chairs for the living room at Sears and Roebuck. $40 for the three.
Clipping -- Millport man entertained on birthday. Joseph Sterling celebrated his 86th birthday.
6 January 1939 Friday
Mr. and Mrs. Charles O. Wheeler announced the marriage of daughter, Mavis Ellen to Mr. Frank W. Rhodes on Saturday evening, January 7 1939 in Horseheads, New York
7 January 1939 Saturday
Clipping -- Obituary for Mrs. Elletta A. Dounce
After many weeks of severe illness, many weeks at hospital caused by a tumor growing in close proximity to her heart. 83 years of age.
10 January 1939 Tuesday
A very warm day, like summer with a regular summer shower at 11 AM. Helen and the baby took me to Elmira to get supplies for a Home Bureau dinner. Got the following at the following prices.
Five dozen oranges at $.10 per dozen.
Canned peaches 2 for $.29, 1 quart cans.
California grapes 2 pounds for $.26.
Tuna fish large cans $.25
Mushrooms Campobello 2 for $.29
Noodles bought from an Italian grocery $.10 per pound.
Cabbage One cent per pound.
1 quart salad dressing $.29.
12 January 1939 Thursday
Helen Samson born 1909.
Veteran Home Bureau at Grange Hall.
Hostesses is Mrs. Joe Everett and Lily Ramstein. Dinner chairman Berneice MacDougall. Helper Phoebe Dann.
Menu-- Noodles and tuna fish with mushroom sauce in casserole. Cabbage, apple and grape salad, brown bread-and-butter, orange peach shortcake, coffee. Cost $.15. Every one satisfied with the meal. 29 women and five children present.
Lesson -- Summary on "Care of Feet". Had time for visiting after the lesson. Mrs. Runey met with us.
Clipping -- Grangers End Meeting, Save Burning Home. The article describes a fire in the kitchen chimney at the home of Stanley and Phoebe Dann, about a quarter-mile south of the Grange Hall.
14 January 1939 Saturday
Lawrence Reed born 1849. wrs-- He was the father of Berneice
Pomona Grange at log cabin on West Hill
Not present as had no way go. About 6 inches of snow.
Road scraped but quite slippery. Helen took Gordon to doctor's in afternoon.
Went along to carry him. Got new curtains for living room and kitchen.
15 January 1939 Sunday
2° above zero in morning. Lovely bright cold, white day.
17 January 1939 Tuesday
Study Club at MacDougall's
Road slippery etc. -- only half members came. Annabelle Van Duzer, Edna Turner, Ollie Benjamin, Phoebe Dann, May Cross, Julia Dann and Ester Tabor.
18 January 1939 Wednesday
School for leader In Project Family Life under Dr. Wiley.
Helen took me down. Road quite slippery. Snowed all day. Had a very instructive session on "Knowing Your Body" dealing a lot with the ductless glands. I went out to dinner with Mrs. Theodore Clark. Came up on the streetcar and rode home with Wayne Mack. wrs -- I believe the streetcars were replaced with busses about 1939,
Clipping -- 5 Inches of Snow Falls Wednesday in Area
19 January 1939 Thursday
Home Bureau card party at the Hall. Not feeling well enough to attend. Road had to be plowed out early for the early commuters.
20 January 1939 Friday
6° below zero at 7 AM. The coldest so far.
26 January 1939 Thursday
Second lesson on Family Relations at Hall.
Quite cold -- only 12 women out. Held the meeting in the upstairs hall. Used the big blackboard. Everyone seemed to be interested and all said they enjoyed the meeting. Went to Horseheads with Ollie and got my hair fixed up. Rode home with Wayne Mack. wrs-North of the MacDougall's, on what we know as the Osborn place, lived Roy and Olla Chappell. They were farmers, but a cousin, Wayne Mack, lived with them. He managed a grocery in Horseheads.
27 January 1939 Friday
A cold night. Quite a good attendance. Not much of a program. Played Bingo after the meeting.
Clipping -- Bus and truck collision. Joseph Nichols was killed.
January 30, 1939 Monday
Snowplow did not get here until afternoon, so everybody had a hard trip going with the milk, to work etc.
Clippings -- Snow blocks rural roads and many schools are closed.
Many farmers snowbound In Worst Storm in the area since 1925;
Main Roads Open but Dangerous; Secondary Roads Clogged
31 January 1939 Tuesday
A nice day some warmer. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Ems and Rosemarie up to supper. Menu -- Fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, tomato juice, lettice with thousand island dressing, peas, jam, (Radishes, pickles and olives). Ice cream and sponge cake. Samson's and Ems played Chinese checkers and I took care of Gordon. Rosemarie and Walter played and had a nice time.
BRM 1939 02 01
1 February 1939 Wednesday
Bright and warmer. Thawed some. Ted and Walter and Charlie went to Millport to pay taxes. Went via Thomas corner and the Valley Road back up Cemetery Hill over the Middle Road to Bartlett's. All cross roads blocked with some snow. Taxes were $78.15.
Clipping -- Obituary for Lincoln Gardner, 72.
2 February 1939 Thursday
Clipping -- An article about Lincoln Gardner, a widely known local farmer.
4 February 1939 Saturday
This page has a drawing by Walter Samson, aged four years. He shows Harry and Granddad on a load of hay that is pulled by a horse named Louise.
6 February 1939 Monday
Clipping -- An article about a missing man named Philip Smith. He left his home in Erin, and never returned. He is a brother of Lon MacDougall's wife, Myra.
7 February 1939 Tuesday
Clipping -- F.O. Dann sells bull. Berneice commented that this was the first of the new artificial breeding to reach our community.
8 February 1939 Wednesday
Home Bureau at Hall
Meeting in charge of Lily Ramstein and Annabelle Van Duzer, nutrition leaders. Eating for weight control luncheon served at noon. Menu -- Meat patties (pork and beef baked in muffin tins and seasoned with horse radish and catsup). Sweet potatoes, carrots with onion and parsley, rolls, apple, celery and nutmeat salad, apple tapioca. The lesson given after lunch, all ladies weighed again, Some gained -- some lost. I lost 4 1/2 pounds. I rode down with Ola Chappell. Had a very enjoyable meeting.
9 February 1939 Thursday
Clipping -- County officers of the Grange met at Horseheads Grange Hall.
12 February 1939 Sunday
Clipping -- Obituary for Charles H. Near, 62, of the Sing Sing road in Big Flats died unexpectedly while shoveling snow.
14 February 1939 Tuesday
Clipping -- Obituary for Henry D. Spencer died at his home. He was 69 years old.
15 February 1939 Wednesday
Got up early expecting to attend Farmers Week with the F. O. Dann's. Began pouring rain at 4 AM and kept up all forenoon. Began freezing at six o'clock. Trees and roads soon coated with ice, and storm changed to snow. At 7:30 AM they phoned that they dared not venture to make the trip, so got into work clothes and sewed etc. all day. The trees very beautiful the ice took an icicle form. The rain caused the river to be bank full and filled with ice in the evening causing the awful casualty at the new bridge site.
16 February 1939 Thursday
2° below zero and continued cold all day with a high wind. The ice still on everything and the sun shone bright all day making a picture long to be remembered.
Clipping -- Thomas J. Halloran and William F. Holleran were swept to death in the Chemung River Wednesday. They were on a ramp working to prevent an ice jam.
17 February 1939 Friday
Ice still on trees at dark.
A beautiful warm sunny day. Ice soon fell off trees and roads lost much of their ice and snow. Charlie and I went to Erin after dinner to see Myra. She was very much broken up over Phil Smith's disappearance. Went to Horseheads for our groceries and Charlie went to barbers. A lovely ride, seemed very spring like in spite of the still deep snow over all the fields.
Thomas Halloran's body located in about May 12 in a whirlpool at the front of Estey St. -- near Narsh greenhouses. The dry weather caused the river to get shallow and a fisherman discovered the body
Clipping -- Obituary for Mrs. Hattie Miller, 81, of Bath.
19 February 1939 Sunday
A warm rainy day. Went over Lindnerberys for dinner. We went with the Benjamin's. The Antes were there also. Had a wonderful visit. Heard all the Grange news. Had a wonderful dinner- Menu -- Pineapple and banana cocktail, mashed potatoes, roasted pork loin and dressing and gravy, string beans, rolls and cheese bread, cabbage, cottage cheese and lettuce salad, pickles, jelly, pumpkin pie, cheese and donuts and coffee -- mints. The Lindnerberys lane a big glare of ice with water running over it. We had to walk through the snow to the road in order to get into the car.
Clipping -- Obituary for Mrs. Roy H. Jackson, 65, of Big Flats.
20 February 1939 Monday
Clipping -- A photograph from the Elmira telegram of the Hitchcock children in Odessa. Shirley Jean, Sally and Ann Larry Francis, children of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hitchcock, Odessa.
21 February 1939 Tuesday
Nice morning -- grew much colder in the afternoon and began snowing some Helen and I went to a card party at Harold Gilbert's on the Middle Road in the old Stoddard house. I went with Amel and Lily Ramstein. Played progressive 500. Had a very nice time. Price $.15. Refreshments -- Sandwiches, cake and coffee. 53 present. Proceeds to be given to the Grange for the Hall necessities. Stormed all the evening.
22 February 1939 Wednesday
Clippings -- Newspaper pictures of Lauren Earl, son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl MacDougall of Millport and Virginia Jane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl MacDougal of Millport.
23 February 1939 Thursday
Clippings -- Obituary for Charles L. Bush, 78, a resident of Ithaca Street in the Horseheads.
24 February 1939 Friday
Regular meeting of the Grange. Went with Chappells -- a very nice meeting. Third and fourth degrees confirmed on Blanche Mosher and Ruth Banks. Meeting conducted in strict adherence to Grange rules, flag presented, roll call, responded to by Lady Assistant Steward etc. Third and fourth degrees conferred on Blanche Mosher and Ruth Banks. Supper in charge of Julia Dann and Eva Earl. Menu -- Spanish rice and rolls, fruited Jell-O and cake -- coffee.
26 February 1939 Sunday
Snowed quite hard all the early morning and changed to rain about 10 o'clock. Everything is slushy. Charlie and I went to Roy Bush's funeral. A large attendance. Mr. Malick preached. Went to call on Mildred. She has quite a bad tumor in the uterus and taking x-ray treatments. Ray and Irene there. Had a nice visit. Heard all the family news. wrs - May be Mildred Carpenter MacDougall Upson (1895-1975) who had a brother Ray that married Irene Howard.
27 February 1939 Monday
Walter and I attended the dog show in the afternoon. Rode down with and Helen. Charlie and baby came for us at five. Had a swell afternoon. The grand champion, a French Poodle, was on his grooming table right near our seat, so we had a real good view. Got a lot of sample dog food for Chan. Walter able to recognize and name many different breeds.
WRS note -- I remember that dog show held at the grotto across from the Artistic card factory. What I remember most was the smell created by all of the dog food. It was like being in a feed mill. Chan was our Chow dog. Later, he snapped at Gordon, and that was his demise.
Clipping -- A clipping about the dog show.
1939 March 01 Wednesday
First Robins seen in the community. Helen saw up in the old gulf. The men, assisted by Amel, butchered our spring hog, perfectly gigantic in size. Lily down and spent the day too. Had a chicken and biscuit dinner finished off with ice cream and cake. Had a nice visit.
1939 March 03 Friday
Clipping -- Veteran News. An interesting recap of community activities.
1939 March 04 Saturday
Clipping -- A 1931 clipping, the obituary of Norman Reed Samson.
1939 March 05 Sunday
This page deals with the death of Richard Joel Brimmer. This three-year-old got into a cupboard and eight some poison pills. He was the son of Theodora and Elmer Brimmer. Theodora was the daughter of Lulu and Joel Pitcher of Wayne. Lulu's mother and Berneice's mother were Webster sisters. I believe the child was adopted.
1939 March 06 Monday
An awful day! Theodora called quite early about little Dickie Joe's death, and later broken hearted Lulu called me. How can they ever stand up under such a terrible thing? Went to Elmira in the PM. Got flowers for the funeral etc. and had my hair done in Horseheads.
Clipping -- Obituary for James Bradley Coon, 72.
1939 March 07 Tuesday
A cold blustery day with many snow squalls. Ted, Helen and I started for little Dickie Joe's funeral at 1:15 -- got there at 1:45. A large funeral and many beautiful floral pieces. The family crushed by the catastrophe. Went to the burial at Pleasant Valley, and back by the way of Branchport and PennYan. Old Keuka very beautiful, bright green with trimming of whitecaps. Huge flocks of ducks on the Coves and seagulls circling over all. Charlie cared for the children. The West Branch all ice free but the east one frozen solid up past Keuka College. wrs -- Pleasant Valley Cemetery is located on the road from Bath to Hammondsport, south of the new Glenn Curtiss Museum.
1939March 08 Wednesday
Still quite cold and bright. Helen took me to Dr. Jackson in afternoon. Had a sinus treatment, urine analysis (no sugar), heart examination and blood pressure taken. Went over to Dr. Burrells and had a tooth drawn. No reaction. wrs -- I remember those sinus treatments. They sat tilted back in the likes of a barber's chair. The Doctor soaked wicking in a brownish/yellow solution and used big tweezers to shove it up their noses into the sinus cavities. Then he pulled it out. I was a four year old and it was an indelible memory that spooked me.
1939 March 09 Thursday
Home Bureau Hall
Went down with Lily. Went early to get dinner started. Not a very large attendance. Lily Ramstein and Annabelle VanDuzer in charge of meal. Last a lesson on "Weight Control".
Menu -- Nut and Prune Muffins. Potatoes (buttered and parsleyed) cheese soufflé, fruit cocktail, and cookies. Salad (cabbage, carrot and cauliflower) with mineral oil dressing. I pieced on Phoebe's quilt.
1939 March 10 Friday
Regular Grange Meeting
Went with the Ramsteins. Quite a good turnout. Short program -- recreation in charge of Stanley Benjamin ended by an old-fashioned spell down.
1939 March 11 Saturday
Pomona Grange at Big Flats
1939 March 15 Wednesday
Trip to Binghamton
Got started at 8:30. Had a very good trip. Some ice and snow in the towns. Got to Grace's at 10:30. Ate dinner there then Helen took us shopping on our way for Carrie. Ralph quite bad but very glad to see Charlie. They visited all the afternoon. Started for home at five o'clock. Carrie enjoyed the ride, quite tired when we reached home. She has some kind of throat affliction that prevents her from eating any solid food -- not much of anything in fact. She so delighted to be out in this country again -- knowing it will be her last visit. wrs -- Cousin Carrie Egbert (1866 - 1952) was the daughter of Isaac, son of Gordon Egbert. She married George W. Clark and moved to California. She lived in Santa Cruz. Ralph was her brother.
1939 March 17 Friday
A nice bright day but still cold. Helen took Carrie and I and children to Horseheads. Got groceries, went to bank, ordered cards for 7th degree banquet. Then we went for a ride to Watkins Glen and home via Odessa. All the little falls encrusted with ice and draped with icicles which gave Carrie a great thrill. First ice she had seen in 35 years.
Clipping -- Veteran News. Several Grangers attended the opening of the new Horseheads Grange Hall. Mrs. Carrie Clark of Santa Cruz California is spending some time at the home of her cousin Charles MacDougall.
1939 March 18 Saturday
Neighbors Night at Chemung Valley Grange. Veteran visiting Grange. Helen, Walter and I attended. 31 went from Veteran. I did two readings and Helen & Walter were in a tableau. Chemung Valley served supper -- Sandwiches, coffee, pickles, cake and Jell-O.
1939 March 19 Sunday
Attended services in the Christian Science Church in Elmira to take Carrie Clark. Enjoyed this service very much. My first experience.
1939 March 20 Monday
Went to Horseheads in afternoon for groceries etc. Took Carrie for ride out Valley Road to Watkins and home via Odessa. Kerry very much thrilled at sight of the ice covered falls a beautiful display of icicles.
1939 March 21 Tuesday
2° below zero in the morning.
Clipping -- A map of the Bay Area showing where Carrie and her family reside.
1939 March 22 Wednesday
A beautiful bright day. Helen, children, Carrie and I went out to Jay's in afternoon. Stopped and took pictures of ice covered falls in Montour and Aunt Sarah's -- also had a nice little visit at Jay's. The girls real well.
1939 March 23 Thursday
Helen and I attended a lecture at Presbyterian Clubhouse by Capt. Macgregor -- the new meteorologist at the new weather station at Big Flats Airport. Lecture illustrated by movies of the Far North. Very interesting. Also attended Home Bureau at Hall. Subject -- "Prevention of Accidents" -- leader Mrs. Stevens (Glenn). 38 women and seven children present. Had a planned luncheon in charge of Valley Road members. Menu -- Soup, rolls, mixed vegetable salad with French dressing and sponge cake with whipped cream.
1939 March 24 Friday
Regular meeting of the Grange
Very Warm Day. Went to Grange with Lily and Amel -- Only 17 Present. Program on Fire Prevention. Good Talks by Phoebe Dann and Ruth Mosher.
Clipping -- Bluebird What Do You Feed On -- Carl Sandburg. Helen and Ted Attended a Lecture in Southside High School by Sandburg. Helen very thrilled -- Clipping- from Their Programs.
It's 60° -- Some Change in A Few Days!!
1939 March 26 Sunday
Still very warm. Reached 80° at noon. Helen took Carrie and I over to call on Sadie Couch -- She had failed a lot both physically and mentally. Told some of her usual exaggerations (or fabrications). She wanting to find another place to live. So warm in the afternoon that the house was very uncomfortable.
1939 March 27 Monday
Clipping -- Obituary Louis J. Jackson 75, a resident of Horseheads died on 27 March.
1939 March 28 Tuesday
Rained in night and froze on trees. Everything very beautiful with its coating of ice in brilliant sunshine. Carrie down to the cemetery in afternoon. She afraid of ice and did not get out. Helen located her mother's and brother's graves, and found stones in the same positions she and George had placed them about 30 years ago. I showed her the location of her grandfather and grandmother and Aunt Frances. Graves in the Vary Cemetery. Grandfather died in 1881 and her grandmother in 1891.
1939 March 29 Wednesday
Charlie, Helen, the children, Carrie and I left at 9:15 to take her back to Binghamton. A beautiful trip. The trees all covered with ice and a bright sun shining over all. Both the Chemung and Susquehanna running bank full of muddy water. Charlie and Helen took Carrie room hunting after dinner at Graces. After getting one located they came back for me and baby and we took Carrie over to Ralph's. He awfully bad radium pain had gotten him at last. Was in an unconscious condition. Lizzie in a pitiful condition near collapse. Took Carrie back to her room and had an uneventful trip home reaching here well before dark.
1939 March 30 Thursday
School entertainment (Vary District) at Grange Hall. Helen, Ted, Walter and I attended. Program very interesting consisting of music by the pupils on their harmonicas, xylophones, guitars. Mrs. Little musical instructor for 22 country schools of the County sang a few selections. Played bingo after program. Ted won first man's prize. I the ladies' booby prize, Robert Turner door prize. A very enjoyable evening. Scholars -- Robert Saunders -- Donald Horton -- Julia Gregory -- Lois May Mosher -- Frank Gregory -- James Dann -- Shirley Turner -- Joyce Dann -- James Saunders --
1939 March 31 Friday
Clipping -- Veteran News
BRM 1939 04 01
1939 April 01 Saturday
A nice forenoon, but rained all afternoon. Quite warm. The first day of the fishing season. Catharine Creek lined full all the way. Claire Burrell borrowed Charlie's hip boots to wear and was fortunate enough to catch a beautiful 6 pound rainbow trout which he gave to us.
1939 April 05 Wednesday
A bright warm day. Helen the boys and I went to Elmira. Such a crowd that one could not get a chance to shop. Got the children some Easter trinkets and Charlie some overalls and jacket. Ted having trouble about his lease. Teachers, ministers and other customers sending petitions and letters asking he be kept in the station. Got a card from Carrie saying she was leaving this afternoon for California.
1939 April 06 Thursday
Home Bureau at the Hall
I was hostess so had to go early and get the fire started. Such a blustery day. Had a hard time getting the place warm, but finally succeeded.
1939 April 07 Friday
Clipping -- Veteran News. Mrs. Edward Osborn of Center Mills visited her parents, the Chapmans. The Vary District children sang at the Grange Hall and their teacher was Mrs. Della Gorgia. Carrie Clark was called to Binghamton by the illness of her brother Ralph Egbert.
1939 April 08 Saturday
Pomona Grange Seeley Creek.
Helen, the children and I went after dinner -- In time for the meeting. Quite a large attendance. Mrs. Rhode's gave a fine paper on flower growing and she talked on potato growing. Took the names of sisters wishing aster seeds for the contest.
1939 April 11 Tuesday
Clipping -- Obituary John P. Cartwright, 84, died In Veteran.
1939 April 12 Wednesday
Panel discussion in Dunn Memorial Auditorium
Went to the discussion with Lily. Films shown, one a health film showing the prevalence of tuberculosis in the South among the Negroes. The other film was the Hardy Family with Mickey Rooney. Panel discussion on the last film.
Clipping -- Jury picked to discuss family film. The film was A Family Affair.
1939 April 13 Thursday
Study Club met at Mary Dann's at Horseheads. Helen took Annabelle, Phoebe, Minnie and I, and she went up to Emily's. Only six present. My first visit at Dann's new home. I gave the lesson on the "Headquarters of the Self". Mrs. Dann served fruit cup and fancy cakes. Mrs. Stevens and Mrs. Stermer present also.
Clipping -- Obituary for Jesse C. Struble, 61, of the Ridge Road, town of veteran.
1939 April 14 Friday
Celebrated the 32nd anniversary. The following charter members present: Anna VanDuzer, Gilbert VanDuzer, Edward VanDuzer, Mott and Mabel Miller. They each told of the forming of the Grange etc. They sat at a special table which was filled with 25 year members -- a rose for each. Phoebe Dann in charge of refreshments which were made under Master Wayne Mack's direction and consisted of tuna fish salad, macaroni and boiled eggs in lettuce cups and sponge cake with whipped cream.
1939 April 15 Saturday
Grange served banquet to Junior Farm and Home Bureau members.
Ollie Benjamin and Olla Chappell in charge -- Olla in dining room. We not asked to work. Menu -- Tomato juice cocktail, roast fresh him, dressing, potatoes, diced beets, pineapple and cheese salad. Apple or pumpkin pie.
I went over to Maynard Smith's to a Home Bureau meeting. Room arrangement and the plans for next year. Helen took me and she and children went to Elmira and spent the afternoon with the Bradts. Bright but a cold wind.
1939 April 16 Sunday
Clipping -- A picture of the new Horseheads Grange number 1118.
1939 April 17 Monday
Home Bureau function for Dr. Wiley.
About 40 present. A wonderful talk at 10 o'clock. Luncheon in charge of Hazel Dalrymple and Julia Dann. Menu -- Basted ham, scalloped potatoes, spring salad, jelly, pickles, rolls, coffee, chocolate cake with whipped cream. I rode to Horseheads with Mrs. Kinney to beauty parlor. Had a nice visit with Dr. Wiley. First banquet of N. G. A. At Horseheads Grange Hall.
Helen, Ted, Charlie and I attended. A nice turnout about 50. Speaker failed to appear. Mrs. Williams in charge of program. Menu -- Boiled ham, creamed potatoes, boiled onions, cabbage slaw, jelly, pickles and relish plate, rolls, coffee. Gingerbread and whip cream. $.75. A very nice time.
1939 April 20 Thursday
Clipping -- LE HAVRE, France. Mrs. Charles A. Lindbergh and her two sons, sailed for the United States on the Liner Champlain
1939 April 22 Saturday
Helen, the boys and I went to town early to visit the City Market. Quite a novel place. Helen called on the manager and talked over the prospect of renting space and trying to sell food, etc. She decided to try it.
1939 April 23 Sunday
Warm but windy. Charlie and I drove over to Nathan Vary's in the morning -- he to advise on a horse's "bunch", and I make a call. Had a very pleasant visit. We went on over to Alpine to see Satie -- She living upstairs in Mrs. Everett's house. Had dinner and I went again with him down to Fisher's to see a horse's lame leg. I made a call there.
Clipping -- Obituary Charles E. Beach, 73, of Odessa.
1939 April 24 Monday
Clipping -- Spring Sun Will Send Sun Here To 82°
1939 April 26 Wednesday
Pancake Supper at Hall.
Supper in charge of the service and hospitality committee (Julia Dann, Edna Turner, and Bernice MacDougall), Had quite a good turnout. Ted sold tickets. Profit about $10.50. Menu -- Pancakes, sausage, maple syrup and coffee. I baked a ton of pancakes.
1939 April 27 Thursday
Helen's first day at the City Market selling baked goods and foods.
1939 April 30 Sunday
A cold, windy day. Harry and I went to Erin via Sullivanville. Got some wildflowers, made a call at Lon's. Photograph -- Myra's giant dahlias of 1938.
BRM 1939 05 01
1939 May 02 Tuesday
Clipping -- Obituary for Frank S. Johnson of Montour Falls. Burial in Maple Grove Cemetery.
1939 May 03 Wednesday
Clipping -- Obituary for Mrs. Mary Croft, 73, widow of William, lived in Penn Yan.
1939 May 06 Saturday
Dairymen's League Meeting at Hall.
Charlie and I went. Delegate for state meeting, for election of new director, district delegate and associate elected. Charlie and I elected delegate and associate. Meeting voted to send me to Utica for state meeting.
1939 May 07 Sunday
Hot -- very hot and very, very dry. Charlie and I went over our new purchase of land -- found some very beautiful Arbutus. Went down through the woods etc.
Decided where build fence for pasture. Bradts up in evening.
wrs note -- This was the land purchase from Banks. It was located at the top of a hill on the Acker Road. It was later swapped with Gerald Dann for adjoining land to the south.
1939 May 09 Tuesday
Very warm. Had a shower -- very short one -- in afternoon. The first rain in weeks -- Lily and I went to the sale of plants in the Garden Club at Elmira. Got a nice lot of new varieties. Very cheap. Went to HB at Hall on return. Came up the Valley Road And picked up Mrs. Van Dorn. Not a large crowd. Elected officers and planned next year's program. Mrs. Runey present. Dinner planned by Gilberts and Mrs. Hilton. Menu -- Roast beef, gravy, rice and potatoes, carrots, and peas, gelatin salad, cottage cheese, pickles, jam, rolls, coffee, and lemon pie.
New Officers: Chairman -- Lily Ramstein
Vice Chairman -- Lena Carman
Sec. -- Minnie Tesch
Treas. -- Elizabeth Conklin
1939 May 12 Friday
Veteran Grange entertained Seeley Creek Grange.
Many other Granger's present -- 60 in all counting Juveniles. Edna Turner and I the Committee. She late for the supper and Phoebe Dann helped. Had to skirmish for enough eats. The program quite nice including a fine little pageant on "HOME". Menu -- Salad and butter rolls on plate, Jell-O cake served after, and coffee.
1939 May 13 Saturday
Went to Sullivanville Grange at Frank Campbell's home to judge bread in the contest. The meeting a joke. Had supper at ? Menu -- Bean soup, baked beans in two different styles, potato salad, sliced boiled ham, new biscuit sandwiches, bread and butter, sliced Bermuda onions, three kinds of lovely cake, cookies and coffee. Expected to die of indigestion, but felt no after effects. Only two loaves of bread.
1939 May 14 Sunday
The first picnic of the year -- also Gordon's very first one. Got the food ready at home then built fire in the fireplace on hill to keep things hot. Menu -- Potatoes and ham in casserole, rolls, coffee, pie and cookies and bananas. Lilly came up and went to the woods with Walter and I. Wildflowers nice but no orchids yet. Got some nodding red trillium roots, also some clintonia. Quite tired at night, but stood the tramp well.
1939 May 15 Monday
Just as the men came to dinner, got the word Dann's house was on fire and everybody rushed! Charlie and Harry in the Chevy with extinguisher. Ted, Chappells and I and Walter in the Ford and later Helen and Gordon in Pontiac. House could not be saved but the furniture was mostly Gerald's lost their new bedroom suite. The Horseheads Fire Department saved at the barns by keeping them wet. Odessa department also came but too late. We all went down again after dinner. The men helped the boys move the furniture to shelter. The 110-year-old chimney (1829 Harvey Turner) with its oven and their fireplaces remained standing. The Dann women girls against mate had a scrap.
WRS note -- There are two clippings on this page about the fire. I remember sitting in the backseat of the car, a four-year-old, watching the fire.
1939 May 16 Tuesday
Photograph -- A picture of the chimney, the only remaining part of the Dann house,
All was left of the old big house, formerly owned by William Vary and occupied yesterday by Donald and Gerald Dann and wives and three babies
Clipping -- Obituary for Edwin S. Miller, 84, of Horseheads. His niece was Mrs. George MacDougal of Penn Yan.
1939 May 17 Wednesday
Ted was called to Elmira by the Shell office about a job. He found a very good position open for him as Manager of the Melvin Shell station on Water Street. Starts to work Monday. Farewell baking and trips city market! Thank heaven!!
Study Club at Mrs. Tesch's. Only A few out -- We took Phoebe and Edna. The lesson given by Mrs. Tesch. Subject "Our Cultural Water Sheds", a pretty deep subject. A new member in attendance, Mrs. Andrews of the Valley Road.
Refreshments -- Lemon sponge brownies and coconut macaroons. Had a lovely visit after the lesson.
1939 May 20 Saturday
A shower at night, the first sprinkles since April 28, and that was a very little.
Ralph Egbert died this evening.
1939 May 21 Sunday
Grace, Virgil and Marian came at 1030. At 1130 Mrs. Samson, Mildred and George came so we had quite a houseful. Had to hurry around to get dinner. Menu -- Broilers (egg battered and fried in deep fat), potatoes, scalloped corn, boiled eggs, tuna and cabbage on lattice, jam, pickles and cake. Fishels left quite early. Ted took his mother, George and I up to see his farm. Mrs. Samson quite bad off -- goiter causing a lot of trouble. Had several nice showers. Everything so revived.
1939 May 23 Tuesday
First day of family life Conference at Cornell
Road to Horseheads with Leo and Katie (Stevens) and waited until the office car came through on way to Ithaca. Mrs. Derham, Mrs. Issacs and Mrs. Dickens came up and went too. Ms. Gardner drove the car. The day's highlight was two lectures by Dr. Samuel Hartwell of Buffalo University. A very fine lecture followed by a panel discussion in afternoon. Had tea in the faculty lounge and came back early. Stevens did not stop in Horseheads -- so waited and rode up with Elwood, who came up to his folks to celebrate his birthday.
1939 May 24 Wednesday
Second day of Conference. Went down with Stevens, rode up with bunch. A very warm day. Panel discussion led by Mr. Entorf. Went to Mrs. Walls group -- not very interesting. Went to cafeteria for lunch. Menu -- Roast beef, gravy, potatoes, turnips and cabbage, strawberry fluff for dessert, iced tea. Panel discussions in p.m.
1939 May 25 Thursday
Third day of conference. Symposium in charge of Mrs. Hendrick in the morning. Went group work with Miss Wall had the story of the ______ dramatized. Bill Smith read the part of the "Bad Boys". Had lunch with the bunch in the cafeteria. Menu -- Vegetable Pie, cottage cheese, potatoes, ice cream and iced tea. Bill Smith led singing. Dr. Sharp lectured on primitive child. Stayed up for the banquet. Mrs. Dickens being our driver. Nice trip home, they drove me home arrived at 930.
1939 May 26 Friday
Last Day of the Conference
Miss Gardner drove us up in the morning. Everybody tired after the banquet. Dr. Wiley had charge of morning session. The highlight of the day was lecture by Dr. Fischer of Vassar college. I changed my group study and went to Miss Qulayles? class -- so glad to get at least one session with her -- she a perfect wonder. Came home immediately after tea. Miss Runey came back with us. Got in Horseheads earlier than usual. Came home with Stevens. Tired but thrilled and stimulated by attending such a wonderful conference.
1939 May 27 Saturday
Quite an eventful day! First -- read in the morning paper that Charlie and I are both drawn on jury duty for June court -- I on the grand, he on the trial. Hurried through an early dinner and Charlie and I went to the Dairymen's League meeting -- Sub District -- in library in the Elmira -- our first meeting as new delegates from Veteran. I elected Secretary-Treasurer of County Association of associate delegates -- compensation two dollars and mileage --. Got our garden plants at the Heights and seeds in Horseheads. Came home in a terrific shower -- had stay in the garage one half hour before we could get in the house. Most awful lightning. Blew barn switch boxes all over. Went to Dairymen's League meeting in the hall in the evening. Had ice cream -- dainties -- and cookies. Used candles and lamps. No electricity or telephone on account of storm.
1939 June 07 Wednesday
Trip to Maced to visit Kathamier's Iris Gardens.
Lily, Helen, children and I got started eight o'clock. Nice day, but quite hot. Stopped in Geneva and got things for lunch. Went via the Newark and Palmyra. Stopped and ate lunch just before reaching Iris Gardens. Gordon stuck his finger in his eye -- bothered him all day, and worried us. He very good baby went all over the Gardens. Very dry so Iris not quite so pretty as usual. Came back via Manchester. Paid a visit the Mormon statue near there -- very interesting. Reached home at five o'clock. New
Had our first strawberries -- shortcake.
Home Bureau meeting at Mrs. VanDorn's home.
1939 June 08 Thursday
Did my washing before going. Went with Lily. A large attendance. Luncheon in charge of Mona VanWhy. Menu -- Meatloaf, creamed potatoes, cottage cheese, deviled eggs, whole wheat rolls, jams and strawberry shortcake. Went to Horseheads after Amel. Into Elwood's store a few minutes.
1939 June 9 Friday
Countywide meeting in Elmira to give report of the Family Life Conference. I went with Edna Turner. She took Ruth, Ollie and Helen Turner also. Went off very smoothly -- quite a few in attendance. The other delegates on hand and did their reporting very well. Had many compliments on my conducting.
Went to Grange in the evening. Master Mack got a job in Mansfield so Overseer Charles Vary acted as Master. A nice little program. Not many.
Clipping -- An article about the Home Bureau meeting at the library.
1939 June 10 Saturday
Pomona picnic at Harris Hill. Did not go. Too much to do.
1939 June 11 Sunday
Home all day. Had a nice shower in the afternoon, which it was a life saver to the dying vegetation. The garden just up nicely and strawberries ripening some. Rebecca and Virginia called, also Mavis Rhodes in the afternoon. The iris about gone. The peonies lovely, only small. Also oriental poppies and syringa. Roses are beginning to come out.
1939 12 Monday
First day as a Grand Juror.
Helen took me down and met me at night. A novel experience -- four were excused including Luther Holtz on account of a serious illness of Mable. -- Three other women, Mrs. Hofmann of Elmira, Mrs. McMaster will of North Chemung and Mrs. Frasier of Pines City, all an enjoyable companions. After being sworn in, were conducted to grand jury room and began proceedings. Automobile theft cases, a forgery, and a robbery presented. All indicted. Went to dinner with Mrs. Hofmann and spent an hour in the library. Like the experience very much.
1939 June 13 Tuesday
Second Day As Grand Juror
Charlie started on trial jury so we could go together. Finishing cases and had an unexpected one. Started for the reformatory at 11 o'clock. Had a grand tour conducted by Maj. Hanlon and dinner at one o'clock. Then a fine entertainment in the auditorium. Back in the court room at three o'clock and went through the jail -- a measly old place. Waited until called by the judge -- reported 4:30. Held over for appearance July 24. Found Charlie had been waiting all afternoon for me. Rain all afternoon and night -- So this ends my short but thrilling and educational experience as grand juror.
1939 June 14 Wednesday
Cases Heard at Reformatory
First -- Jewish fellow small, plain and nervous -- driven to seek bad company by stepmother -- drove car for pals who robbed a store.
Second -- Lad who snatched a pocket book. Run away from school because he had no decent cloths. Refuge from cold in the saloon.
Third -- Negro who insists he was victim of mistaken identity and malicious lies of a white man. Has wife and six-year-old boy.
Fourth -- The last, 17 years old who ran away from home in New Jersey. Went to New York City, Got into bad company and helped rob a store -- No aims, no ideals, did it because he had nothing else to do.
1939 June 15 Thursday
Study Club picnic at Mrs. Glenn Stevens
Helen drove Lily's car and took, besides us, Mrs. Conklin, Mrs. VanDuzer and Mrs. Tesch. Had supper on the Stephen's porch. Menu -- Pressed chicken and veal loaf (Lily and I), three kinds of salad, pickles, rolls, Jell-O, two kinds of cake, coffee and iced tea. Had the "Russell Family" read and discussed for a lesson. A large attendance. Had a thunderstorm during the evening.
1939 June 16 Friday
Aunt Lou came up with Ted for her annual visit.
Clipping -- The King and Queen of England left Canada for home.
1939 June 19 Monday
Clipping -- Corning Glassworks perfects glass that will not crack in heat or cold.
Picture -- A picture of Mrs. Ayre Stevens.
1939 June 23 Friday
Invitation -- High school graduation announcement for Ruth Ainah Depew.
1939 June 24 Saturday
Meeting of District Dairymen's League in the library Elmira. Charlie and I went in our official capacity. A very interesting meeting. Reports of the yearly meeting etc. The new director present and talked some. Archie Turner explained some of the rumors concerning his son-in-law's new milk business etc. Mrs. Winton, Mrs. Kahler, Mrs. Mickle and I are the only associates present.
1939 June 25 Sunday
Clipping -- a daughter born to George and Florence Keller Turner, neighbors down the Ridge Road. Named Elsie and. A girlfriend for Gordon?
Helen, the boys, and Lou and I went out to Wayne. Lulu not home so took a drive down the old "Big Gully Road" along by the old homestead's (Reed and Webster) -- out by the Lord place and back to Dundee. Called at Uncle Will's. He Not Very Well. (William Enoch Webster 1868 - 1946, Brother of Berneice's mother?) Had a Lovely Ride.
1939 June 26 Monday
Helen Took Aunt Lou home and then she and I Went to the Horseheads Alumni Banquet at the Horseheads Grange Hall. 125 at the Dinner. The Menu -- Fruit cup, roast turkey, potatoes and gravy, new peas in cups, thickened beet, gelatin salad, relish plate, and jelly and ice cream and dark and light cake. Helen went to the OES after supper. Business meeting in charge of president, Mrs. Pelletier, and a wonderful address by Rev. Dutton Peterson of Odessa. Evening finished with dancing. Orchestra - Jack Moore, Bob Sheppard, Ken Mosher and Dick Miles. We watched for a while. A very enjoyable time evening. Found the men had been endeavoring to get baby to sleep all evening.
1939 June 27 Tuesday
Went down to Archie Turner's with Myrna Winton help fix a float for Dairymen's League for Elmira's Diamond Jubilee Parade. Took Ruth Fisher and Burrell girls for dairy maids on float. Sarah and Blanch also on. Made a pretty float -- Florence Roy drove float. Helen and I went to the parade at night. Drove all over town to find a parking place and finally drove car down to Ted's place, left to sit in a corner of Madison Ave. two hours. The parade a wonderful sight and the bands and drum corps very fine. The Elmira College float took first prize.
1939 June 28 Wednesday
Picture -- California redwood trees Santa Cruz California.
1939 June 29 Thursday
Horseheads High School Commencement Invitation for Rachel Conklin.