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Berneice REED MacDougall Diary 1909
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Berneice Reed,

Horseheads, N.Y.

Diary Cover Page:

Berneice R. McDougall

Merry Christmas

From Lon.

Friday, January 1, 1909

A real cold and rather windy day. We did not get up as early as we intended so got rather behind with our preparation. The people began arriving before we got our clothes changed. Satie brought over our new rugs – they very nice indeed. Many of the New Years people unable to come. I 6 here. Had a fine time. I get excused from work so took my ease. Satie McDougall helped mother quite a lot. The people went home rather early as usual. The people in our room at night.

Saturday, January 2, 1909

Some warmer than yesterday. Cleaned up from the gathering. Disappointed not to hear anything from Myra. Clara Bell full of fun – back and forth all day. She began to have a cold. Will went hunting – with no results (and of course Satie was mad about it). Took my mending in the other part in the afternoon. The boys sawed some wood but the engine did not work well so they quit. Father took engine apart and found the source of trouble. Will & Satie in in evening.

Sunday, January 3, 1909

A dark rainy (by spells) day. Will wanted to go over to Joe’s – but Satie wouldn’t go. Lon got back with the milk wagon quite early. Rained just enough to keep everyone home from church. Lon went down to Pine Valley to get some trace of Myra. He brought her up. She did not get my last letter so was waiting for us to come after her. So glad the mistake got straightened out in time. Had quite a visit with Myra. Rain soon stopped but grew warmer.

Monday, January 4, 1909

Real warmer. Clara Bell’s cold quite a lot worse. Got breakfast – didn’t break Myra in the first morning. She did some baking, sweeping etc. Seemed good not to be obliged to do everything myself. Charlie very busy finishing his corn husking. The snow and ice disappearing very rapidly. The water started running to the barn so they did not have to pump – which seemed like a present. Lon in and spent the evening – seemed to be more anxious to than formerly.

Tuesday, January 5, 1909

Very warm – uncomfortably so. Had the doors open all day about. Did the work – Myra swept upstairs for me. Charlie still husking corn. Grace and Satie both afflicted with some eye trouble. The baby real sick and worse at night. Will wanted to send for a Dr., but Satie wouldn’t have it. We sat upstairs with mother a while at night. Lon sat with Myra and we had a show at his expense. A hot night – hard work to sleep.

Wednesday, January 6, 1909

A warm morning but grew colder very fast. We washed. Seemed good not to have to do it myself. Finished at noon. They had the Dr. for baby – she had either bronchitis or pneumonia. Quite a sick little girl. The boys ground feed – some for Mr. Bennett. Very cold in afternoon and evening. Kids all in here in evening. Got a great joke on Lon. Much better night to rest. Clara Bell better at night. Grace’s eye awfully bad.

Thursday, January 7, 1909

A real cold day again. Myra ironed all the forenoon. I baked cake and got the dinner. I mended all the afternoon. Boys had to pump water again, the thaw being over. Clara Bell still improving. Joked Lon all day – until he became a little "riled." Grace, Jay, harry and Lon spent the evening with us. I helped Jay with his lessons. A very cold night – one of our coldest yet – zero in the evening. Did not rest well all night.

Friday, January 8, 1909

Still cold. Myra got breakfast and did all of the other work. I pieced some on my sofa pillow. The boys did chores, drew out manure etc. Not feeling well at all. Clara Bell a whole lot better – beginning to play some again. Will hunted sparrows. Harry, Jay, Lon and I played Flinch in the evening. Quite a cold night.

Saturday, January 9, 1909

Quite cold. Will went to Elmira in the morning and came back in the evening. Myra did the Saturday’s cooking, baking etc. I spent the evening with Will’s folks. Clara Bell still gaining. Satie talking the merits of different rings for Will. Lon went to Odessa with calves and Harry with the milk.

Sunday, January 10, 1909

A dark dreary day. Not feeling at all well. Sat around and read all day. Lon took Myra down home toward night – got home about 10:00. We went to bed quite early.

Monday, January 11, 1909

Taken sick about 8:00. Charlie phoned for the Dr. and Lon went after Satie Pelham. They got here about 8:00 and the Dr. not till 11:00. Mother and father just happened to come up. Mamma about crazy – they went about 3:00 p.m. Dr. Had a good long visit. Labor pains began at 8:00 and lasted all night – only about two minutes between them. Dr. began to fear for baby’s life bout midnight.

Tuesday, January 12, 1909

Baby born at 3:00 a.m. – a lovely little girl named her Helen Allyne. The Dr. gave my bath etc. Drank some hot coffee and got started for home about 5:00. Had a good rest. Satie washed and dressed the baby about 9:00 and I got the first sight of my baby. She not very beautiful but so dear. Felt real strong but so sore and lame all over. Wrote several announcement cards.

Wednesday, January 13, 1909

Very cold. Feeling still better. Satie washed etc. Such a bad day that papa and mamma didn’t get up. Rested well all night. Charlie slept out in the other room. Snowed terribly hard all day and night. Satie and Clara Bell started for Elmira.

Thursday, January 14, 1909

Still cold. Mamma and papa came up. Thought the baby just about right. Satie got a "phone" that Joe was sick so she had to go home in the afternoon – felt so blue and discouraged to have her go. Lon took her over. They found it was Julia instead of Joe when they got there. Quite fair sleighing. Mamma promised to come up and stay some. Charlie played nurse during the night.

Friday, January 15, 1909

Cold but still. Mother McD—stayed with me most of the forenoon. She and Charlie. Harry went down after mamma. So glad to see her. Charlie cared for me nights by calling her when baby needed attention.

Saturday, January 16, 1909

Quite cold and snowed quite a good deal. Mamma with me all day. Mother McD—gave the baby her bath. Feeling better all the time. Boys sawed wood for a change.

Sunday, January 17, 1909

Cold and some blustery. Mamma worried about snow banks all day. Papa came up about 11:00. They went home again quite early. So blue again at having her go. Charlie stayed right with me, a fine nurse and so good to me. Snow blew and drifted badly in the night.

Monday, January 18, 1909

Still blowing. The roads drifted very badly. Lon had some trouble getting the milk through. Awfully cold too. Charlie played nurse and Grace stayed home from school to be with me when he couldn’t. Baby having trouble with her bowels.

Tuesday, January 19, 1909

Cold and windy. Grace still my nurse. Mrs. Dann drove over in the afternoon. She used soap for baby’s bowels. So relieved. Lon drove down to the corner ahead of her to make a road through the drifts. So tired of lying in bed! My first day of sitting up in ed.

Wednesday, January 20, 1909

Snow deep – large banks in some places. Harry took Grace to school – her first day of this week. The mail brought me a registered letter from Aunt Lottie which contained a beautiful gold locket and chain from their Helen to our little Helen. Didn’t sit up quite so much – rather tired from tending the baby all night and wanted to get all rested up for my first venture out of bed tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 1909

A fair day but some cold. Was surprised to see Bess Coe come walking in. she stayed to dinner and most of the afternoon and Frank came down after her. He came up to see our baby.

Wednesday, January 27, 1909

Quite a nice day, Ben Turner up after his grist and came up to see baby and me. Had a real good visit. Charlie and Harry fixed places under the barn for some of the horses. Mr. and Mrs. Van Duzer came up in the afternoon. They brought Helen a beautiful silver spoon as a gift from the Grange to its first baby. Enjoyed their call so much – heard all the Grange news etc. Very much surprised at the present.

Thursday, January 28, 1909

A real cold day with a strong south wind. My day for going downstairs but the room was so cold Charlie would not let me go. Harry and Charlie drew out manure. I read and sewed some. Mother McD—about down sick with her Grip. Matie Dalrymple came up to call in the afternoon. She stayed quite a while and told us all the news etc. The children in to visit us a while in the evening. A cold night. Lon and Ben T. went to see Bern Maher who has pneumonia.

Friday, January 29, 1909

Quite a decent morning but began to be squally at by night it stormed and blowed terribly. Mamma and papa came up. I went down stairs for dinner – the first time. They went home early on account of the weather. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Banks came soon after our folks went. Had a fine visit with Mrs. Banks – she brought the baby a pair of knot socks. Charlie went to Millport in the morning to pay the taxes – the first time he had been away in about a month.

Saturday, January 30, 1909

A real blustery day. Snowed and blowed all day. Charlie went to Millport after an express package – printed matter from the Harvester Co. Went down stairs for dinner. Played some and soon went back upstairs to my Helen baby. Pieced some on my quilt in the afternoon and tended baby. Grace spent the afternoon with me. The boys (Harry and Jay) up to our room in the evening. Jay put a tic-tac on the window to scare Myra and Lon.

Sunday, January 31, 1909

Another blustery day. 2 degrees above zero. We all took a good long Sunday morning nap. Both feeling real well – Jesse came up to see her – stayed till night. I helped he and Jay with their examples. Everyone home all day. Weather so bad Myra didn’t get down home even. Read some. A very short day. Had dinner about 2:30. Jay and Jesse tended Helen while we ate.

Monday, February 1, 1909

A cold still day. Baby had her first experience with colic. Didn’t do much of anything. Down stairs for all three meals. Helen received her first post card from my N. H. post card friends. The boys sawed wood in the afternoon. Mrs. Mosher, Frank and Chas. down and spent the evening. Had a good visit. Baby slept fine all night. Heard that the Aid Society was making a cradle quilt for our baby.

Tuesday, February 2, 1909

A nice day but quite cold. Heard that Mrs. Moore was dead – so surprised. They had known she could not live only a few days. Charlie decided to go to Elmira tomorrow. Baby got along very nicely until toward night and then had the colic. Charlie did chores etc all day.

Wednesday, February 3, 1909

A nice morning and not quite so cold. Snowed a little in the afternoon. Charlie went to Elmira and his mother went to Horseheads to Lewis Egbert’s funeral. Mrs. Moore buried. Was eating some breakfast when Mrs. Miller came up. She stayed all day. So glad to have her as I had dreaded Charlie’s being away. Myra did the washing. Mrs. Miller helped me give Helen her bath. She went about 4:30. Charlie got home at 6:30. He got me a dandy new woolen shawl.

Thursday, February 4, 1909

Quite a lot warmer. Visited and fooled with Charlie for a long time so was just cleaning up when Mamma and papa came. They thought Helen had grown a lot in the past week. They went home early as usual. Frances Harrington came in to see the baby at night. She had colic terribly in the night. Received a letter from Eva Rowley Carpenter.

Friday, February 5, 1909

A lot warmer. Snow melting very rapidly. Gave Helen her bath and wrapped her up in the shawl and brought her down stairs for the first. The boys did chores in the forenoon and sawed wood in the afternoon. I wrote several letters and read. Baby got along real well. The stove pipe and chimney burned out about 11:00 p.m. – a fierce fire. Harry went to show and Jay to a party in Millport. Rained quite hard in night.

Saturday, February 6, 1909

Still very warm with a high south east wind. Left Helen upstairs a few minutes and the stove pipe fell down. Myra hoed out our room, baked etc. I did some fussing in the forenoon. The boys ground feed. Wood, Dalrymple, Dann, Duzer and Bennett brought grists. Mrs. Bennett and the children came down to see the baby – she had colic about all the time they were here and cried of course. Harry in with us in the evening. A warm night.

Sunday, February 7, 1909

A very warm day for the time of year. Got the baby washed etc about 11:00. Burr up – he came in to see the baby. Grace went to church in the afternoon. Myra and Lon went down to our folks’ in the evening. A lonesome dreary day. Went out of doors for the first and it seemed so good!

Monday, February 8, 1909

Still quite warm. Helen worried about all day. Charlie went to Millport to meet an agent to canvass his machinery territory – got home a little after dark. The boys ground feed in the afternoon. Frank Mosher helped them.

Tuesday, February 9, 1909

A stormy day and awfully windy. Myra washed so I stayed upstairs with Helen. An awful day to wash. The boys ground feed some. Mr. and Mrs. Miller and Persis up in the evening. They hired Myra to work for them next summer. A cold, windy (south) night. Father went to Mecklenburg to Aunt Mary’s funeral.

Wednesday, February 10, 1909

A bad day. Rained, snowed and sleeted. Charlie went down to Ed’s and Uncle Thed’s. Papa came back this way from attending Aunt Mary’s (Patterson) funeral.

Saturday, March 11, 1909

A cold day. Charlie and I went to Andrew Wood’s baby’s funeral. Went through cuts in the snow banks up by Palmer’s almost as high as the buggy top. The funeral a very sad affair. Babe died of pneumonia. Mr. Woods and two children drove and took the casket over to Erin. Helen stayed with Aunt Grace.


Frank came up in morning. Quite a nice day. Went and took the Hobler’s to the car at night. Grace cared for Helen.

Wednesday, April 7, 1909

Charlie went to Elmira and mother went with him as far as Horseheads. Wind kept raising until it was terrific. Did lots of damage – went down toward night and began about midnight – worse than ever. Blew Woods’ barn down – part of it and many others. The house just shook.

Saturday, April 10, 1909

Quite a cold windy day. Frank Hobler phone that Bess and Buster would be up so Charlie went to meet them. Got here about 11:00. Charlie worked on road – scraping. Lawrence awfully cute and so big. Had a great time visiting with Bess. She and I and the two babies slept together.

Wednesday, April 14, 1909

Charlie and harry up to Wood’s again sawing wood. Was just washing when Martha Allen Stevens came to spend the came so spent the day visiting. Began embroidering Helen’s bonnet. Ate dinner and super in the other part. Charlie took Mrs. Stevens home when he came.

Sunday, April 18, 1909

Rained a little but soon stopped and we started for Reed’s. Ed. came just as we were starting. Baby slept all of the way. Mother and father glad enough to see us. Seemed good to be home once more. Charlie went early – down to see Mr. Bush and then home. Alice Elizabeth Stone born.

Monday, April 19, 1909

Quite a nice day. Cut out one of my gingham waists – and spoilt it. Mamma made the nicest little hammock for Helen so she would miss her cradle so much. She just happy in it. Saw Elmer a few minutes. Wrote to Charlie at night.

Tuesday, April 20, 1909

Got up early and started for Elmira – left babe in bed. Did my shopping etc and got back at noon. Got material for my short clothes outfit. Helen been very good in my absence. Cut out a little dress in p.m. Charlie took the smoke stack over to Odessa for the Couch’s.

Saturday, April 24, 1909

Finished my skirt and washed and picked greens. A cold raw wind. Mrs. J. Smith over to see the baby. Intended to take Helen to photographer but it was too cold. McDougalls sowed their First Oats.

Sunday, April 25, 1909

A nice forenoon – rained a little in the afternoon. Charlie didn’t come until about 12:00. Elmer came down and took four different views of the babe. Started home about 4:00. Warm and lovely. Stopped to see Mary a few minutes and Mrs. Geo. Parsons came out to see Helen. Glad to get back home again.

Monday, April 26, 1909

Real cold and windy. Picked up, put away and straightened up all day. Baby missed her hammock. The boys dragged and sowed oats. I did some baking etc. Cooked my greens. Bought a fish of the old peddler.

Tuesday, April 27, 1909

Still cold and windy. Boys sowed some oats and plowed some. I did some of my ironing. Developed a blooming cold. Had a cramp in my hand at night – bad one – mother mixed my bread for me etc. Baby worried some all day.

Wednesday, April 28, 1909

Such a raw cold day! Charlie went with one load of milk – got grass seed and their new disc harrow. Harry plowed. I had such a cold could hardly breathe. My hand so lame I could not iron nor sew much.

Thursday, April 29, 1909

Found the ground covered with snow in the morning and it continued to snow all the forenoon which changed to sleet in afternoon and later to rain. Snow real deep before rain. Charlie clipped Persis’ pony in forenoon and Turma’s horse in afternoon. Grace stayed at home. Real cold, too – a fierce day. I finished my odds and ends of ironing and mended some. Baby not feeling very well – cried till 11:15 steady. My cold about the same. Awful headache.

Diary Ends Here