MISS IDA E. McPHETERS 1890 DIARY

Ida E. McPheters (July 6, 1865 – April 26, 1937) was a daughter of Joseph C. (1824) and Hannah (1822) (Bohanon) McPheters. They lived on part of the Ananiah Bohanon farm (lot 65) at the Four Corners in Alexander. The 1881 George Colby map printed elsewhere in this newsletter shows her home (J. A. McPheters) and homes of others mentioned in Ida’s diary. Ida’s siblings were Clara (1850), Amelia (1851- 1853), Willie (1853 – 1875 in California), Oscar (1855 - 1863), Nelly (1858 - 1863), Charles (1862), and Embert or Eddie (1868). Added information about Ida’s activities and about those mentioned is welcome. Editor comments are in Italics. Years of birth are from A-CHS files or from census records. An 1881 map of Alexander is in this newsletter relating to the article about schools.

Foster Carlow, Jr. loaned A-CHS this diary which was written by his great-grandmother. Spelling has not been corrected. Thanks, Foster, for sharing this unique look at life in nineteenth century Alexander.

JANUARY 1890

1 – Wednesday: Cloudy & cold. Another year has rolled around, a New Year begins. I must try and improve each precious moment and see what good I may do this year. My duties today have been much as usual.

2 – Thursday: Still cloudy. Ironed and mended today. Practiced an hour. Mother spent the afternoon at Uncle Jones’ and Eddie went down with the team and spent the evening. Hannah visited her brother, Ananiah Jones Bohanon (1826) who lived about a mile north on the South Princeton Road.

3 – Friday: Rained last night and cleared of this morning. Sewed on apron today. Practiced half-hour. Am using Ely’s Cream Balm for catarrh. Hope to be cured of that troublesome disease.

4 – Saturday: Pleasant: Helped about the Saturday work. Baked loaf raisin cake, worked on apron in evening. Eddie went down to the lake shooting in the P.M. Bernard Thornton came after him. Bernard Thornton is unknown to the editor.

5 – Sunday: Snowed in the night and all day: None of us went to church. Eddie was down to Uncle Jones and Manly came up and stopped all night. I tried to play "Rest for the messy" but failed. Manley was a son of Uncle Jones and his wife Lizzie Stoddard Bailey.

6 – Monday: Rained some today, but cleared off in the evening. Father went to Calais and brought Mrs. Tyler home with him. I visited the school and Hattie came over and stayed all night, and played in the evening. Abbie B. Tyler (1828), widow of Belcher (1816). He died in 1889. Hattie likely is Hattie Crafts of the same age as Ida.

7 – Tuesday: Pleasant. Father started for the road (wood). I sent a letter to H. W. Anderson to be mailed at Princeton. Finished an apron and started another. I shall begin to review my history this evening. Eddie is cutting wood on the common. Harris Anderson of Baileyville was in charge of hiring teachers in the school near his house on the Houlton Road near the Princeton line. Joseph, like many others was off to the woods for the winter. He took with him his team and was working north of Princeton. Watch for his unexpected arrival home in a couple of months.

8 – Wednesday: Pleasant in the forenoon, but snow in the afternoon. I went over to Mrs. Tyler’s and Eddie came after me. Helen bot me her discipline, also Zaris crochet needle. Had a pleasant visit. Helen (1861) and Zarie Tyler (1865), daughter of Belcher and Abbie. They lived on the Airline near the Crawford line.

9 – Thursday: Cold and snow blows Crocheted lace today. Sewed some also. Read in the discipline in the evening. Expect my paper is at the (post) office. Would like to get it, also some letters.

10 – Friday: Very cold, some of my plants chilled last night. Crocheted lace. Mother covered the old arm chair. I assisted about the housework about as usual.

11 – Saturday: Moderated and snowed in the evening. Helped about the house, trimmed the frozen parts off my plants. Manly was here in the morning. I baked gingersnaps. Crocheted in the evening.

12 – Sunday: Cloudy. I have spent most of my time today reading in the testament and discipline. Played a few hymns this afternoon. Truly the Sabbath is the best day of the seven.

13 – Monday: Rainy today, but cleared off in the evening, most of the snow is gone. I commenced my brown skirt, also did up the lace and insertion for Clara’s apron. Crocheted in the evening, also read in the Witness. Received the first two copies today. Ida’s sister Clara.

14 – Tuesday: Pleasant. Helped wash today. Finished Clara’s apron. Crocheted in the evening and read in the Witness, also some in the Transcript. Like the Witness very much. Am trying to lead a holy life.

15 - Wednesday: Cloudy and wind. I sewed on my brown skirt, Crocheted lace, and read in the Witness in the evening. Steve Strout was here in the afternoon. Mother brought in the clothes. Steven Strout (1871) was a neighbor, son of Solomon, Jr and Adelaide (Smyth) Strout).

16 - Thursday: Snowed and rained today. I have been crocheting lace. Practicing in the afternoon. Elma Tyler came from school and stopped all night. We played and sang in the evening. Elma Amanda Tyler (1869) was a daughter of Belcher and Abbie.

17 - Friday: Pleasant. I have crocheted today. Elma came over to dinner, also called for her kettle after school. Mother is making a braided rug. Eddie was down to Uncle Jones.

18 – Saturday: Pleasant today. Helped about the Saturday work. Crocheted in the evening. Don’t feel very well, my stomach is distressed. Guess I have eaten too heartily. Must not do so again.

19 – Sunday: Pleasant, but rained in the evening. Eddie drove down to the office. I went to church with him. Took supper at the minister’s and went to evening meeting with his daughter who is visiting them.

20 – Monday: Rainy today. Mended and crocheted. Mother got her rug most done and it is quite pretty. I told her I guessed I would claim it. Eddie said I shouldn’t have it.

21 – Tuesday: Snowed in the morning but cleared off. Rebecca came down and spent the afternoon. I crocheted lace today, had a pleasant time. Eddie was down to Mr. Huff’s. Rebecca (1850) (Godfrey) Scribner was G. S. S. Scribner’s second wife. Claudis (1818) and Lydia (1831) Huff lived on the Huff Road, between the Airline and the Arm Road.

22 – Wednesday: Pleasant. Crocheted today, and wrote to Clara and to Mabel. Will send her apron when I send the letter. Mother finished the rug, I guess she will give it to me. It is a large one. Who was Mabel?

23 – Thursday: Pleasant. Rebecca and I went down to Mrs. Godfrey’s. She was gone, but we had a pleasant time with Josie. She gave me a kitten and I brought it home in a basket. Rebecca Godfrey married George Stillman Smith Scribner as her second husband. They lived on the Airline about a mile west of Ida. Her mother Rachel (1823) and her sister Josie (1858) lived down under the hill, about ˝ mile south of Scribners’. Joseph Godfrey had died in 1889. Josie would die in 1891.

24 – Friday: Pleasant. Sewed today and crocheted in the evening. Heard Sarah Crafts was very sick. Would like to go and see her. Eddie went sliding with the Scribner boys in the evening. Who was Sarah Crafts? G. S. S. Scribner’s boys were Mort (1865) and twins Theodore "Thed" and Ben (1875). Mort and Thed are familiar to those who read the diaries of Lila and Bertha Scribner in earlier editions of this newsletter.

25 – Saturday: Still pleasant. Helped about the Saturday work. Finished Eddie’s shirt. Crocheted in the evening. Eddie was down to the lake. I must try to read more daily than I have been lately.

26 – Sunday: Pleasant. I went down in the field on a walk. Have read considerably in the Testament and Witness. Played some on the organ. Have been meditating on my own inferiority’s today and desire to be fully sanctified.

27 – Monday: Cloudy today. I went up to Robinson’s and carried her a mess of cabbage. Crocheted and practiced in the afternoon. Sent down to the shop for some thread by Eddie. Would the Robinsons be Reverand P. J. Robinson of the M-E Church? He had been at Alexander from 1877 to 1879. Were they back for a visit? S. W. Small was the minister in Alexander from 1888 to 1890, and J. D McGraw from 1890 to 1894.

28 - Tuesday: Calm and cold. Eddie went down to the office. I sent Clara a letter and an apron. Crocheted and read some today. Baked gingersnaps in the afternoon.

29 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I went down to Mr. Perkins, had a pleasant time. Crocheted lace. Eddie went down and spent the evening. It was very ice, but a lovely evening. Mr. Perkins likely was Albion Hanford Perkins, trustee of the Alexander Methodist – Episcopalian Church.

30 – Thursday: I am still crocheting. Practiced an hour this afternoon Eddie was up to Scribner's and spent the evening. Josie and Rebecca are going to Calais tomorrow.

31 – Friday: Still pleasant. I have finished my lace and done it up. Practiced a while. Trimmed hamberg in the evening and picked over beans. Rained some in the evening. Old Mrs. Brizley was buried today. Mary D. Brisley, widow of Benjamin of Cooper, died on January 29, 1890. She is buried in a marked grave at the Evergreen Cemetery.

FEBRUARY 1890

This month starts with Ida, her mother Hannah (Bohanon) and her brother Eddie at home. One more will be added before the month is over. Editorial notes are in Italics

1 – Saturday: Stormy today. I have been at work about the house the most of the time today. Finished my stockings in the evening. Mr. Keen came to tell us of William Doten’s death. Reuben Keene, former resident of Alexander carried the news of William’s death at age fifty William, a neighbor of the McPheters family on West Ridge of Cooper, had lost his first wife in 1875 and had in 1878 married Estella (1861). Stella was a daughter of Cyrus and Martha (Crosby) Sprague of Baileyville, later of Alexander. What happened to the young widow and the children? Reuben lived at Keene’s Corner, near the Cathance Grange Hall.

2 – Sunday: Pleasant. We had a social service in the morning and in the evening. Elma stopped here this afternoon. She arose for prayers this evening. There was quite a number present. Elma Tyler from near the Crawford line.

3 – Monday: Snowed all day but cleared off in the evening. I made Mother an apron, then began a tidy. A form came to the schoolhouse but there was no meeting as the roads were drifted. The schoolhouse for District #1 was across the Airline and a little east of Ida’s home.

4 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed today. I went up to Rebecca’s and borrowed her crochet book. Worked a while on my tidy. Went over to prayer meeting in the evening. Rebecca Scribner lived in the next house west of Ida, on the Airline Road.

5 – Wednesday: Snowed today. Mother brought in the clothes. I have been crocheting. Baked gingersnaps. Heard Father was well, and had considerable more bark to haul. Remember that in January Joseph McPheters had gone north to Jackson Brook (Brookton) to work in the bark woods.

6 – Thursday: Cleared up in the morning, but snowed most all day. I went down the road and collected the patchwork that was made. Left the pattern at Mrs. Spearin’s. Ellen (Davis) Spearin, wife or widow of John Gilman Spearin, lived on the north side of the Airline part way down Bailey Hill (Where Larry Hill now resides).

7 Friday: Pleasant and there is plenty of snow. I have crocheted what yarn I had. Practiced a while in the afternoon. Read in the Witness in the evening.

8 – Saturday: Cold, but pleasant. After doing up my work about the house, I did mending, then finished Miss Jones’ square of patchwork. Read in the Witness in the evening. Miss Jones likely is a teacher and may have been Mary Jones of Calais.

9 – Sunday: Pleasant. I have been reading today in the Bible and Witness. There were no services at the church on account of the minister’s ill health. Mr. Small likely still is the minister.

10 – Monday: Warm and pleasant. I went down on the north road to see how many would help us with the quilt. All were willing, and I enjoyed visiting on them.

11 – Tuesday: A lovely day, but cloudy towards evening. I mended some after doing the housework. Practiced a while in the afternoon. Mother was spinning.

12 - Wednesday: Warm and foggy. I have been crocheting today. Everett Fenlason was here in the forenoon. I went to prayer meeting in the evening. We had a good meeting. Did not find Everett Fenlason in Crawford or Princeton.

13 – Thursday: Rainy today. Father came home in the evening. He has Influenza. I have crocheted. Read in the Witness in the evening. I find it a great help to me. Am longing for heart purity and holiness.

14 – Friday: Warm and quite pleasant, bit rained in the evening. Father is quite sick. Eddie went to Baring with Tyler’s horse. I finished the lace and sewed it on my shirt. Practiced a while. That would be Belcher Tyler’s horse.

15 – Saturday: Snowed all day, but is very warm. After doing up my work I sewed the hamberg on my undershirt. Heard there was a registered letter at the P. O. for me. Want to know what is in it.

16 – Sunday: Pleasant today. Eddie and I went to the forenoon meeting. Elder Haley preached a good sermon then had communion service. He and Mr. Small then went to Cooper. I enjoyed the meeting much. Elder Haley is unknown.

17- Monday: Cool and pleasant. Eddie went to Calais and got Father’s money. I received a letter from Charlie, Mother one from Aunt Whitney. I have been fixing my nightdress. Read in the Witness in the evening. Charlie was Ida’s older brother and Aunt Whitney was Hannah’s sister Margaret (Bohanon) Whitney, wife of Henry Payson Whitney.

18 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed today. Father seems a little better. I wrote to Aunt Whitney and to Charlie. Eddie went down to Mr. Bohanon’s and got a bottle cough syrup. This must be George Washington Bohanon on the Arm Road.

19 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I went down to Mrs. Spearin’s and got her square of patchwork. Attended prayer meeting in the evening. Quite a number was present and there was a good interest.

20 – Thursday: Still pleasant. I went down on the north road and collected the patchwork that was made. Aunt Lizzie was here in the afternoon. We had a social service in the evening at the schoolhouse. The north road would be the road to South Princeton. Aunt Lizzie was Elizabeth Stoddard (Bailey), the wife of Jones Bohanon.

21 – Friday: Rained today. We ironed. I practiced a while in the afternoon. Am about out of work. Would like to go to Calais and get some things to work with.

22 – Saturday: Warm, rained in the evening. After doing up my work, I knit some. Read in the Witness in the evening. This is Mother’s birthday, she is 68.

23 – Sunday: Snowed considerable during the night and through the day. I have been reading in Revelations and in the Witness. Am seeking heart purity.

24 – Monday: Pleasant, but quite cold. Eddie went to Calais today with a load of potatoes. Mother has twisted yarn. I have sewed and knit some.

25 – Tuesday: Warm and pleasant. I went down on the north road and collected patchwork. Helen and Florence were here in the afternoon and we planned about the quilting. Father seems a little better. Florence (1867) was likely the daughter of Thomas Bean and Emeline (Davis) frost who lived in the valley between Lanes Hill and Bailey Hill. The house still stands, abandoned. Helen May (1860) Tyler was another daughter of Belcher and Abbie (Crane) Tyler.

26 – Wednesday: Rained today. Couldn’t have a prayer meeting in the evening. I have been knitting. Read in the evening in the Witness. Mother finished the yarn, now we will have some knotting to do.

27 – Thursday: Pleasant. Florence and I went out to Mrs. Tyler’s and set the quilt together. Eddie came after us. Met Mr. Strout and talked with him a while. Father had a chill and is quite sick. Mrs. Tyler would be Belcher’s wife, near the Crawford line. Mr. Strout would be Ida’s neighbor to the east, Solomon, JR.

28 – Friday: Pleasant. I made the quilt lining. It was hard to sew. Mother swept the chimney. I don’t feel well, my headaches. I have taken cold and the catarrh troubles me.

29 – Saturday: Pleasant. After doing up the work, I baked up a loaf of jellie cake. Father is no better, but rather grows weaker. I think he should have a Dr.

30 – Sunday: Cool and pleasant. Eddie and I went to meeting in the afternoon. I stayed to Florence’s to tea and she went to evening meeting with me. Mr. & Mrs. Brown were there, too.

Robert Clark Brown and Amelia Addie (Berry) Brown of the Airline Road are most likely the couple, although it could have been Robert’s brother William and Susan Rebecca (Hunnewell) Brown of the Spearin Road.

31 – Monday: Still pleasant. I went down to invite those to the quilting who had made a block. Florence and Helen came here in the afternoon and we put the quilt in.

MARCH 1890

This month starts with Ida, her mother Hannah (Bohanon) and her brother Eddie at home. One more will be added before the month is over. Editorial notes are in Italics

1 – Saturday: Stormy today. I have been at work about the house the most of the time today. Finished my stockings in the evening. Mr. Keen came to tell us of William Doten’s death. Reuben Keene, former resident of Alexander carried the news of William’s death at age fifty. William, a neighbor of the McPheters family on West Ridge of Cooper, had lost his first wife in 1875 and had in 1878 married Estella (1861). Stella was a daughter of Cyrus and Martha (Crosby) Sprague of Baileyville, later of Alexander. What happened to the young widow and the children? Reuben lived at Keene’s Corner, near the Cathance Grange Hall.

2 – Sunday: Pleasant. We had a social service in the morning and in the evening. Elma stopped here this afternoon. She arose for prayers this evening. There was quite a number present. Elma Tyler from near the Crawford line.

3 – Monday: Snowed all day but cleared off in the evening. I made Mother an apron, then began a tidy. A form came to the schoolhouse but there was no meeting as the roads were drifted. The District #1 schoolhouse was across the Airline and a little east of Ida’s home.

4 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed today. I went up to Rebecca’s and borrowed her crochet book. Worked a while on my tidy. Went over to prayer meeting in the evening. Rebecca Scribner lived in the next house west of Ida, on the Airline Road.

5 – Wednesday: Snowed today. Mother brought in the clothes. I have been crocheting. Baked gingersnaps. Heard Father was well, and had considerable more bark to haul. Remember that in January, Joseph McPheters had gone north to Jackson Brook (Brookton) to work in the bark woods. The tanning industry provided work for those men who had been loggers. Most of the big pine had been cut by 1875. This quote is from the Machias Union of February 25, 1879. "A considerable number of men in this town (Alexander) are employed in hauling bark from various localities to the tanneries of W. Plaisted & Sons at Princeton."

6 – Thursday: Cleared up in the morning, but snowed most all day. I went down the road and collected the patchwork that was made. Left the pattern at Mrs. Spearin’s. Ellen (Davis) Spearin, wife or widow of John Gilman Spearin, lived on the north side of the Airline part way down Bailey Hill (Where Larry Hill now resides).

7 Friday: Pleasant and there is plenty of snow. I have crocheted what yarn I had. Practiced a while in the afternoon. Read in the Witness in the evening.

8 – Saturday: Cold, but pleasant. After doing up my work about the house, I did mending, then finished Miss Jones’ square of patchwork. Read in the Witness in the evening. Miss Jones likely is a teacher and may have been Mary Jones of Calais.

9 – Sunday: Pleasant. I have been reading today in the Bible and Witness. There were no services at the church on account of the minister’s ill health. Mr. Small likely still is the minister.

10 – Monday: Warm and pleasant. I went down on the north road to see how many would help us with the quilt. All were willing, and I enjoyed visiting on them.

11 – Tuesday: A lovely day, but cloudy towards evening. I mended some after doing the housework. Practiced a while in the afternoon. Mother was spinning.

12 - Wednesday: Warm and foggy. I have been crocheting today. Everett Fenlason was here in the forenoon. I went to prayer meeting in the evening. We had a good meeting. Did not find Everett Fenlason in Crawford or Princeton.

13 – Thursday: Rainy today. Father came home in the evening. He has Influenza. I have crocheted. Read in the Witness in the evening. I find it a great help to me. Am longing for heart purity and holiness.

14 – Friday: Warm and quite pleasant, bit rained in the evening. Father is quite sick. Eddie went to Baring with Tyler’s horse. I finished the lace and sewed it on my shirt. Practiced a while. That would be Belcher Tyler’s horse.

15 – Saturday: Snowed all day, but is very warm. After doing up my work I sewed the hamberg on my undershirt. Heard there was a registered letter at the P. O. for me. Want to know what is in it.

16 – Sunday: Pleasant today. Eddie and I went to the forenoon meeting. Elder Haley preached a good sermon then had communion service. He and Mr. Small then went to Cooper. I enjoyed the meeting much. Elder Haley is unknown.

17- Monday: Cool and pleasant. Eddie went to Calais and got Father’s money. I received a letter from Charlie, Mother one from Aunt Whitney. I have been fixing my nightdress. Read in the Witness in the evening. Charlie was Ida’s older brother and Aunt Whitney was Hannah’s sister Margaret (Bohanon) Whitney, wife of Henry Payson Whitney.

18 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed today. Father seems a little better. I wrote to Aunt Whitney and to Charlie. Eddie went down to Mr. Bohanon’s and got a bottle cough syrup. This must be George Washington Bohanon on the Arm Road.

19 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I went down to Mrs. Spearin’s and got her square of patchwork. Attended prayer meeting in the evening. Quite a number was present and there was a good interest.

20 – Thursday: Still pleasant. I went down on the north road and collected the patchwork that was made. Aunt Lizzie was here in the afternoon. We had a social service in the evening at the schoolhouse. The north road would be the road to South Princeton. Aunt Lizzie was Elizabeth Stoddard (Bailey), the wife of Jones Bohanon.

21 – Friday: Rained today. We ironed. I practiced a while in the afternoon. Am about out of work. Would like to go to Calais and get some things to work with.

22 – Saturday: Warm, rained in the evening. After doing up my work, I knit some. Read in the Witness in the evening. This is Mother’s birthday, she is 68.

23 – Sunday: Snowed considerable during the night and through the day. I have been reading in Revelations and in the Witness. Am seeking heart purity.

24 – Monday: Pleasant, but quite cold. Eddie went to Calais today with a load of potatoes. Mother has twisted yarn. I have sewed and knit some.

25 – Tuesday: Warm and pleasant. I went down on the north road and collected patchwork. Helen and Florence were here in the afternoon and we planned about the quilting. Father seems a little better. Florence (1867) was likely the daughter of Thomas Bean and Emeline (Davis) Frost who lived in the valley between Lanes Hill and Bailey Hill. The house still stands, abandoned. Helen May (1860) Tyler was another daughter of Belcher and Abbie (Crane) Tyler.

26 – Wednesday: Rained today. Couldn’t have a prayer meeting in the evening. I have been knitting. Read in the evening in the Witness. Mother finished the yarn, now we will have some knotting to do. Knotting is related to sewing, making fringes on clothes.

27 – Thursday: Pleasant. Florence and I went out to Mrs. Tyler’s and set the quilt together. Eddie came after us. Met Mr. Strout and talked with him a while. Father had a chill and is quite sick. Mrs. Tyler would be Belcher’s wife, near the Crawford line. Mr. Strout would be Ida’s neighbor to the east, Solomon, JR.

28 – Friday: Pleasant. I made the quilt lining. It was hard to sew. Mother swept the chimney. I don’t feel well, my headaches. I have taken cold and the catarrh troubles me. Catarrh is an inflammation of the air passages in the head or throat.

29 – Saturday: Pleasant. After doing up the work, I baked up a loaf of jellie cake. Father is no better, but rather grows weaker. I think he should have a Dr.

30 – Sunday: Cool and pleasant. Eddie and I went to meeting in the afternoon. I stayed to Florence’s to tea and she went to evening meeting with me. Mr. & Mrs. Brown were there, too. Robert Clark Brown and Amelia Addie (Berry) Brown of the Airline Road are most likely the couple, although it could have been Robert’s brother William and Susan Rebecca (Hunnewell) Brown of the Spearin Road.

31 – Monday: Still pleasant. I went down to invite those to the quilting who had made a block. Florence and Helen came here in the afternoon and we put the quilt in.

APRIL 1890

The reality of life before Social Security, retirement plans, and modern medicine is evident in this month’s diary. We start the month with Joseph McPheters home from the bark woods, but sick abed. His wife Hannah (Bohanon) and two youngest children, Ida 25 and Eddie 22, are also at home. Editorial comments are in Italics.

1 – Tuesday: Snowed a little in the morning, bur cleared off pleasant. Florence and Helen came over in the morning. We had a number to this quilting, 35 took supper and the music was good in the evening. Florence was a daughter of Thomas and Emeline Frost. Helen, daughter of Belcher Tyler, lived with her family near the Crawford line. Florence and Helen were single friends of Ida’s. We could note here that many of the young men of Alexander were either working in the woods for the winter or had gone west. This lack of young men created numerous social problems for the young women.

2 – Wednesday: Pleasant. Helen stopped all night and Florence came in the morning and we got the quilt out. The Dr. was here to see Father and he was a very sick man. Rebecca called in the evening. Rebecca Godfrey Scribner, Still’s second wife. The doctor may have been from Princeton, Baring or Milltown. I find no clue as to his name.

3 – Thursday: Warm and pleasant. Helen went home this morning. Father rested a little better last night than he has before. Eddie went out by Oscar Durling for the medicine. Oscar, born ca. 1868, lived in Crawford.

4 – Friday: Rained today. Father seems a little better. Mother fell and hurt her back. I finished Father’s socks. Practiced a while. Have a severe cold and am about sick.

5 – Saturday: Pleasant. Father isn’t so well. He takes but little notice. Mother is quite lame. I ironed and did most of the work. My cold is very disagreeable.

6 – Sunday: Pleasant. Father is no better. Breathes very irregularly. I didn’t go to meeting for I wasn’t able. Eddie went in the evening. I read considerable in the Witness.

7 – Monday: Still pleasant. Father is very sick. I wrote a note to the Dr. and sent it out by Manly. Aunt Lizzie sent up a few cranberries to Father. He was weaker [in] the end than we expected. His sufferings ceased before midnight. His sufferings ceased before midnight! Notice how the D word is avoided for loved ones. Manly Bohanon was a son of Jones Bohanon, thus he was Hannah’s nephew. Lizzie was Manly’s mother.

8 – Tuesday: This has been a sad day to us. The neighbors are very kind. Florence and Helen are here. It is a pleasant day. We would not call dear Father back for we feel he is better off.

9 – Wednesday: It has been a cloudy, cold day. Rained in the evening. This has been the saddest day of all. But I thank God that the parting may not be final, for I feel that He will take care of me.

10 – Thursday: Cleared off and is warm. Florence and Helen stayed with me last night. We miss dear father so much. Eddie mailed a letter to Clara and one to Charlie. Received one from each.

Clara (1850) and Charles (1862) were adult children of Joseph.

11 – Friday: Pleasant. We are very lonely. I don’t know what I would do if my trust wasn’t in Jesus. The hymns sang to the funeral were Dead, Safe in the Arms of Jesus and Shall We Meet Beyond the River?

12 – Saturday: Pleasant. I am suffering with a severe cold. Don’t feel like work. Am knitting me another pair of hoes. Eddie is sprouting potatoes. I carried Mrs. Strout’s cloak home this morning. Adelaide, wife of Solomon Strout, Jr., lived across the road.

13 – Sunday: A lovely day. None of us went to meeting for we had severe colds and the roads are very bad. Rebecca was here this afternoon. Willie and Oscar Bailey called. I have read in the testaments and witness. Oscar (1867) was a son of Nathaniel Bailey and lived on the south side of the Airline near the Crawford line. Who was Willie?

14 – Monday: Cloudy and rainy in the P. M. We washed but couldn’t put the clothes out. I knitted some. Eddie sprouted potatoes. Manly Doten has gone to Brookton with Walter Bert.

Was that manning Doten of Cooper? Walter Bert is unknown.

15 – Tuesday: Quite pleasant. Uncle Jones and Aunt Lizzie here this afternoon. I am quite miserable but hoof around Mother made me. She has a bad cold and is quite lame.

16 - Wednesday: Cloudy and a heavy wind. Helen called on her way to the circle, but I wasn’t able to go. I suppose they will present the quilt to Mrs. Small today. Eddie was down to the shop.

17 – Thursday: Cloudy and cold. My cold is much better. I have been knitting today. Wrote to Charlie. My head aches badly tonight. I read some in the Witness in the evening.

18 – Friday: Mother ironed today. I did the housework then knitted some. Wrote to Aunt Dine. Read in the witness. Everything looks strange. No Father to look up to now. Diantha McPheters (1840), sister of Ida’s father Joseph McPheters was Aunt Dine. nfi

19 – Saturday: Eddie and I went out to see Ella Reding. She is quite comfortable. The rest of the family were well. We called to the office and mailed the letters, received two papers and a memorial card. Ella (1857) lived with her parents in Baileyville between the Airline and the top of Bailey Hill. We spell Reding with two ‘d’s today.

20 – Sunday: Pleasant. We are very lonely. I have been reading in the testament and witness. Eddie went down to the evening meeting. George took charge. Frank took part in the meeting. Were these two George Berry (1851) and Frank Flood (1864)?

21 – Monday: Pleasant, but cold. We filled the beds this morning. I helped Eddie take away the boughs this afternoon, then knitted. Eddie is going to Calais with a load of potatoes tomorrow.

22 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed today. I went on an errand up to Rebecca’s. Eddie got 70 cts. per bushel for potatoes. Charlie Reding told him Ella was better this week. Charles (1863) was a younger brother of Ella.

23 – Wednesday: Pleasant. The mare got down last night and Eddie had to get help to get her up. I practiced a while today, and have been knitting. Eddie went down to evening meeting. The ice went out of Meddybemps Lake.

24 – Thursday: We ironed. Hoed the dirt away from the trees. Wish Eddie was more interested in his work. He is lonely and can’t bear to work alone. Is away considerable.

25 – Friday: Pleasant. I have been cleaning up the dooryard. Turned the grindstone for Eddie. Knit a while. Ice went out of Harwood Lake today. I tried to play Dentist this afternoon. Eddie is cutting wood.

26 – Saturday: A bit cloudy in the evening. I mended some after doing up my work. Practiced a while and knit in the evening. Eddie and Walter S. went over to Crawford. Walter (1864) was the only child of Solomon, Sr. and his second wife, Mary Ann (Lane) (Howe) Strout.

27 – Sunday: Snowed last night and today. Mr. Small preached for the last time today. Would like to go but can’t on account of the storm and ill health. Have read in the Testament and Witness.

28 – Monday: Cleared off in forenoon. Mr. S. M. Small and George B start for conference today. The mare got down again; Eddie had to get help. I have been knitting and cleaning up the dooryard. George B. may be George Berry and he may be the same George as on April 20th.

29 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed today. Eddie took the east banking away in the afternoon. The frost is coming out fast. I am tired and my back and head aches.

30 – Wednesday: Cloudy. I finished my stockings. Worked in the dooryard clearing away rubbish. Felt better while I was out of doors. Hope I shall begin to gain soon. Am very thin in flesh. Think I must have had La Grip. La Grip was a term for the flu, or influenza.

 

 

MAY 1890

Ida, her mother Hannah (Bohanon) McPheters and her younger brother Eddie are mourning the death of Ida’s father, Joseph, who died April 7th. Ida had wonderful penmanship. However an occasional word cannot be understood. Soogis and glassgrooming are two that defy our knowledge. Can anyone help? Editorial additions are in Italics.

1 – Thursday: Cold. Eddie went to work for C. Hunnewell this morning. Mother and I have the chores to do. I enjoy being out of doors so much of the time. It is better for me, too. Charles Sidney Hunnewell would eventually become Ida’s husband. He lived about a mile north of the McPheters on the South Princeton Road. He was a farmer, a lumberman and a blacksmith.

2 – Friday: Pleasant. I went up to Rebecca’s this morning after yeast, and found Helen and Elma here when I got back. We harnessed Frank and went down to the P. O. in the afternoon. Found the roads quite bad. Rebecca (Godfrey) Scribner lived about ˝ mile west of Ida on the Airline. Helen and Elma Tyler also lived on the Airline, near the Crawford line.

3 – Saturday: Pleasant. We have been quite busy today with the housework and chores. Eddie got home tonight. Says he shall work one more day. It looks like rain.

4 – Sunday: Rainy today. I have read much in the Testaments and Witness. Played a little. Felt tired and lonely. Miss Father so much, but still I feel he is better off.

5 – Monday: Still raining. I have written two long letters and practiced a while. Will be glad when it clears off. Eddie is at work on some fence sills. I read some in the witness this evening.

6 – Tuesday: Foggy and rained in the P. M. Practiced a while and worked a while in the dooryard. Read in the Witness. Phil Lyon spent the evening here. Will S. was here also. Millard Filmore Lyon (1852 – 1907) was a bachelor. He owned lot 54, just north of the McPheters place and may have lived there. Was this visit to express his sympathy to the family, or a chance to visit with a 24 year-old single lady?

7 – Wednesday: Cleared off. We washed. Eddie is preparing to go to Calais with a load of potatoes. Hillman Belmore is at work on Jones’s farm. People surmise that he may conclude to stay. Hillman Aurin Belmore was born at St. David’s Parish, NB in 1844 and died in 1913. He and his wife Mary Janett (McLagen of Michigan, 1849 – 1875) are buried at the Alexander Cemetery. The name Belmore doesn’t appear on the Alexander census, however they lived on the Arm Road, and the youngest of their three children, John Dunton, was born in Alexander on July 7, 1873. As we see here, Hillman was in town in 1890. Jones would be Jones Bohanon, brother of Ida’s mother, and a resident of the South Princeton Road.

8 – Thursday: Rained today. Eddie isn’t well lately. I fear he will be sick. He took cold while at work for Chas. Hunnewell. He ought not to expose himself so.

9 – Friday: Pleasant. I worked in the dooryard in the forenoon. Went down to the P. O. in the afternoon. Received a letter from Aunt Whitney containing the sad news of Angus’ death. Hannah’s sister Margaret married Henry Payson Whitney and the family had moved to Minnesota. Angus is not in our records.

10 – Saturday: Cloudy and cold. After doing up my work, I went to work cleaning up the dooryard. Eddie isn’t able to work today. It makes it hard to have him sick when he is needed so much.

11 – Sunday: A lovely day. Helen and Zaire came in and stayed to dinner. Then we walked to meeting. Mr. McGraw preached a good sermon from St. John 12:4. Mr. Small made some brief remarks. I came home. Eddie kept his bed today. Helen and Zaire were Tyler sisters. S. M. Small had been the M-E minister from 1888 to 1890. John D. McGraw would be the minister until 1894. John and Amanda (Neal) McGraw’s daughter Dora Belle (1876 – 1962) married Thomas Edward Frost and many of their descendants live in the area.

12 – Monday: Windy and clear. We made soogis. Mrs. Crafts and Mrs. Bohanon spent the afternoon with us. I lent my arithmetic to Lizzie Blaney. Mr. Tyler from Baring called in the morning. Esther (Spearin, 1834 - 1912), widow of Hiram Crafts, and Sarah (Rand, 1841 - 1917) second wife of George Washington Bohanon were both residents of the Arm Road. . Lizzie Blaney likely was Mary Elizabeth (1872), daughter of Thomas and his second wife Sarah Ann (Robb) Blaney of the Pokey Road. She was a teacher, as was Ida. Was it James F. Tyler, carriage maker and blacksmith, or Joseph S. Tyler, wheelwright, who called? Both lived in Baring.

13 – Tuesday: Pleasant. Manly B. went to Calais for Mother with the potatoes, didn’t come here as it rained in the evening, but drove down home. Mother sat up until midnight waiting for him. Eighteen year old Manly was Hannah’s nephew, son of her brother Jones Bohanon.

14 – Wednesday: Rained in the forenoon, but cleared off in the afternoon. Rebecca called. Eddie is no better. Mother and I have the chores to do. There is to be a supper at the minister’s tonight.

15 – Thursday: Had heavy showers last night and it has rained today. I went up to Scribner’s to get him to come down and fix a pigpen. Have been picking up chips off the glassgrooming. There is a little bossy. It was George Stillman Smith Scribner who was to repair the pigpen.

16 – Friday: Quite pleasant. The mare was down this morning and I went for help to get her up. Have been at work again today clearing up the dooryard. Hope Eddie will be able to work soon.

17 – Saturday: Pleasant. We have all we can do with the barn work and all. Turned the cows into the pasture for the first time. Eddie seems a little better. I have been out of doors much today.

18 – Sunday: Pleasant. Manly was here a while today. I have been reading in the Testament and Witness. Played a few tunes in the evening. Eddie sat up a while in the morning.

19 – Monday: Pleasant, but had heavy showers in evening and at night. We washed. I went down to Mrs. Frost’s and Spearin’s and got some slips of out-of-doors plants and flower seeds. Emeline (Davis) Frost who lived in the valley between Lanes Hill and Bailey Hill was Thomas Bean Frost’s wife. Ellen (Davis) Spearin, wife or widow of John Gilman Spearin, lived on the north side of the Airline part way down Bailey Hill (where Larry Hill now resides).

20 – Tuesday: This has been a rainy day. We took up the bedroom carpets and cleaned the bedroom. It was very hard for Mother and I to be exposed to the wet so much.

21 – Wednesday: Pleasant. We cleaned the bedroom, kitchen, and front entry. I set out my plants. Mother called up to Scribner’s. Manly was here a while. Eddie is gaining slowly.

22 – Thursday: Pleasant. I have been at work fixing my plants. Have a bad cold and am quite miserable. I am very lonely. Only Mother and I to see to everything.

23 – Friday: Pleasant. I went up to the Scribner’s a while in the afternoon and found Mrs. Bohanon there. I gave Rebecca some slips from my plants and she gave me a piece of her dahlias.

24 – Saturday: Pleasant. After doing my work I went down to the P. O. Received a letter from Charlie containing the news of his baby’s death. I called up to Scribner’s in the evening.

25 – Sunday: Lovely day. I attended meeting in the forenoon at the schoolhouse and at the church in the afternoon. Both were good sermons. The text in the A. M. was 1. Peter 2:7, and in the P. M. St. John 14:27.

26 – Monday: Pleasant. Mother and I went to Calais. It seemed very odd to buy groceries. I drove and was very tired. We called to see Della Rogers.

27 – Tuesday: Rainy. Mort Scribner is shearing the sheep. Eddie is out with him, and I am afraid he will get cold. I have been writing letters.

28 – Wednesday: Still raining. We cleaned the sitting room. I read a while in the Witness. Felt tired and miserable. Would like to be strong and able to work. Eddie is gaining fast.

29 – Thursday: Pleasant. Cleaned the chamber today. Eddie has been at work some cleaning up the barn. The grass and trees look beautiful now.

30 – Friday: Pleasant. Uncle Emery came up to see us today. He got me to play a few tunes for him. We finished the chamber. I am glad house cleaning is done.

31 – Saturday: Pleasant. After doing the housework, I worked around my plants a while. Eddie has plowed the ground across the road. Had Ernest Wilson to drive for him in the afternoon. Ernest Wilson

(1876 – 1944) was living with Mary Ann (Lane) Strout in 1880 and with John Dwelley in 1900. He drove the horse while Eddie wrestled with the plow, a terrible job in the stony soil of Washington County.

JUNE 1890

Ida, her brother Eddie and their mother Hannah struggle to continue adjusting to life without their husband and father, Joseph. Here Ida gives the reader evidence of how the men of Alexander helped their neighbor in need. We have read before of neighbors trading labor, but the work bee mentioned here required lots of organization. Will someone tell us the significance of pulling the ear to acknowledge a birthday? Again, editorial comments are in Italics.

1 – Sunday: A lovely day. I walked down to the church this afternoon, but there was not a sufficient number present to organize a S. S. I stayed at T. Frost’s to supper. Uncle S. & B. were here. Thomas Bean (1841) and Emeline (1845 Davis) Frost lived at the foot of Lanes Hill, by Meadow Brook. The Uncles are not known.

2 – Monday: Pleasant. We washed. Eddie sowed oats to Uncle Jones grass-sod. I feel tired. Mother is very tired. She washed six blankets. Our work is hard this spring. Uncle Jones Bohanon (1826) was Hannah’s brother who lived down on the South Princeton Road.

3 Tuesday: Pleasant. I drove the horse for Eddie a while plowing this morning. Mrs. Tyler and Zarie were here this afternoon. We played and sang some. Abbie (1828) and her daughter Zarie (1865) Tyler lived north of the Airline, next to the Crawford line.

4 – Wednesday: Pleasant. We washed the wool. Eddie went to Calais with 17 bushels of potatoes. Received $20.00 for them. Scribner and Josie Godfrey have both lost five sheep, killed by dogs. George Stillman Smith Scribner (1829) aka ‘Still’ lived south of the Airline, about ˝ mile west of Ida. Josie Godfrey (1856) was a teacher at times. She was a daughter of Joseph and Rachel Godfrey and lived on the Arm Road about1/2 mile south of Scribner’s.

5 – Thursday: Rainy today. I have mended some, practiced a while. Eddie has been fixing fence this afternoon. I feel lonesome. Guess I am tired of staying at home.

6 – Friday: Cloudy, but warm. I went over to Rebecca’s and spent the afternoon. Josie was there too. Saw Willis Lawler’s death in the Machias Union. Rebecca (Godfrey, Wright) Scribner was Still Scribner’s second wife. She was a sister of Josie who lost the sheep. Who was Willis Lawler?

7 – Saturday: Rainy again. I have baked cake and ginger snaps and helped about the housework. Am preparing for a ‘bee’ Monday to help Eddie.

8 – Sunday: Cool, but pleasant. I attended meeting at the S. H. in the A. M. and at the church in the P. M. and evening. We organized a S. S. I got a ride home with George and Georgie. Stayed to S. Bailey’s to supper. George (1859) and Georgie (1862, Strout) Seamans lived on Bailey Hill, about ˝ mile east of Ida’s. Simeon Bailey (1830) was a widower who lived on Spring Hill (Cooper Road). By 1890 his nephew Delmont Dwelley was running the farm.

9 – Monday: Quite pleasant. We have been quite busy cooking and working for the "bee". There were 23 men and 15 horses so they helped Eddie lots.

10 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed and are both tired. Eddie is farming. I help him all I can for he is lonesome and discouraged. Mother’s back is very lame.

11 – Wednesday: Pleasant. After doing up my morning work, I worked around one of the apple trees. Practiced a while in the P. M. Read a while in the Witness. The mosquitoes are thick.

12 – Thursday: Still pleasant. I helped Eddie drop potatoes and drive the horse to plow them in this A. M. Practiced a while in the P. M. Scribner & Mort came down after supper and covered potatoes with his horse hoe. Still Scribner and his son Mort (1864). Readers will remember Mort from the diaries of his wife Lila and his daughter in-law, Bertha Scribner.

13 – Friday: Rained today. The cows got out of the pasture and Mr. Huff put them in his yard. Eddie was up to S. (Scribner’s) Mother got her feet wet. We are both tired of doing out of door work. Claudius Huff (1818) lived at the corner of Arm Road and Huff Road.

14 – Saturday: Cloudy. We have been busy today. Baked shurfies as well as other cooking. Mr. and Mrs. Brown called to see if we would cook for the 4th. I gave her some slips off plants. It is likely that these were Robert Clark (1829) and Amelia (1844, Berry) Brown who lived at Lanesbrook.

15 – Sunday: Pleasant. I walked down to S. S. Only had two in my class, Miss Young and Ella Leahan. Had a good school. Manly B. called here at night. I read aloud to Mother from my S. S. book. A Catherine Young (1859) lived in Baileyville, but we can’t make the connection. Ella Leahan (1874) was a daughter of Robert Leahan and his second wife Huldah (Lyons). They all lived on the McArthur Road. Manly Bohanon (1871) was Ida’s cousin, son of Uncle Jones.

16 – Monday: Pleasant. We washed. I drove the horse a while to furrow. Eddie gets along slowly with his farming. He never worked alone enough to know what there is for one to do.

17 – Tuesday: Very warm. Eddie went to Calais. Mother and I sprouted potatoes and cleaned the cellar. We have lots of such work to do now.

18 – Wednesday: Pleasant, but showery in the evening. Eddie has been farming. I drove the horse for him to furrow. I am feeling poorly. Practiced a while in the P. M.

19 – Thursday: Cloudy and cool. I have been quite sick today, had to soak my feet, and have a mustard plaster on. I hate to see Mother at work and I not able to help her.

20 – Friday: Pleasant. Eddie is making his garden. I have been able to help Mother some. Mr. Leighton was here to dinner. He bought the wool. Eddie went down to a dance at Fremont’s. We can’t place Mr. Leighton, however many farmers raised sheep in Washington County at this time. L. Peabody & Sons in Princeton and George Campbell of Machias each had wool carding mills. On Carding Machine Brook in Calais were two carding shops, J. H. Stackpole and G. L. Woods each had a shop between North Street and the river (across from the Police Station. John Charles Fremont Stephenson lived at the Townsend place and hosted the dance.

21 – Saturday: Pleasant. I am some better today. Helped Mother what I could. Eddie worked at his garden. I read some in the Witness. The mosquitoes are very troublesome.

22 – Sunday: Showery in the morning. I wasn’t able to go to meeting. Eddie went to S. S. Mr. & Mrs. Quimby, Sirus Rawlings, and sister and Albert called in the morning. These visitors appear to be from Wesley. Sewell (1840) and Lizzie Quimby or his brother Hiram (1836) and Deborah Quimby probably were with Cyrus (1844) and Abbie (Fox) Rollings, his sister Josie (1859) and her son Albert (1876).

23 - Monday: Pleasant, but cloudy at night. We washed. I starched my white skirts. Uncle Jones helped Eddie plow this P. M. I practiced a while this evening.

24 – Tuesday: Cloudy and cold. Eddie’s 22nd birthday. I pulled his ear. I knit some on Mother’s stocking. Read a while in the Witness and practiced a while.

25 – Wednesday: Rainy today. I wrote three letters. Practiced a while and read a story to Mother. Eddie was over to Scribner’s. I feel stupid and lonely. Think about Ida’s reading to her Mother. One might assume that Hannah couldn’t read or her eyes are weak. But in many families they would read to one another as a form of entertainment. Are there other entries that indicate that Hannah can not read or has poor eyesight?

26 – Thursday: Rainy still. I ironed my starched clothes, trimmed my sun hat and practiced some. Read in the Witness. Will be glad when the sun shines again.

27 – Friday: Warm and showery. I called on Georgie Seamans with Mrs. Strout. Had to come home in the rain. Mother ironed while I was gone. Mrs. Strout likely was Mary Ann (Lane, Howe) Strout (1829), widow of Solomon Strout, Sr. She would have been living with her son Walter and his family at the southeast corner of the Four Corners. Walter’s wife was Maud (1876, Henderson) Strout.

28 – Saturday: Cloudy and showery. I have been busy doing housework. Mended some also. Played a few tunes in the evening. I am lonely and so is mother. Ida and her mother have each other. Why are they lonely? Hannah has been a widow for less than three months. Ida felt ‘stupid and lonely’ on June 25. Has she made the same observation elsewhere in her diary? Have you noticed that few young single men are part of her life although many single women are? Many single men have left Alexander to work elsewhere. Is this the reason for the loneliness? Are young people still emigrating from Alexander?

29 – Sunday: Warm and quite pleasant. I attended the morning service at the schoolhouse, but didn’t go down to the church. Eddie went to all three services. I read in the Witness.

30 – Monday: Warm and pleasant. We washed. Eddie is at work on the road. I called over to Mrs. Strout’s after supper. Played a while after I got home. Expect a storm, quite dark in the west, windy.

At this time in our history, the tax bill was in several parts. A poll tax was assessed to males of voting age, and a property tax on real and personal property. These taxes were collected in cash or work on the highway. The road tax was worked off, men being credited for their own labor and for the labor of their horse(s).

1890 ALEXANDER ASSESSORS BOOK

Embert McPhebeters (Eddie) - Cash Poll Tax $1.50 and Poll Tax on Highway $2.00

Mrs. Joseph McPhebeters – Lot 65, 160 acres plus two buildings – Cash Tax $6.75, Road Tax $9.23

Personal estate – 2 horses, 2 cows, 1 two-year-old, 1 yearling, 7 sheep, wagon, pung, organ – Cash Tax $3.01, Road Tax $2.85

 

JULY 1890

We continue learning about activities in the McPheters home on the Airline Road. Ida, who turns 25 this month, her younger brother Eddie, and their widowed mother Hannah (Bohanon) are still adapting to life without their father and husband Joseph McPheters who died on April 7, 1890.

1 - Tuesday: Pleasant. I went over to Mrs. Tyler’s and spent the P. M., had a pleasant time. Mary and Elma played and sang some very pretty hymns. Belcher Tyler died in 1889. His widow, Abbie Bathshebe (Crane) and two of their children were living in the house north of the Airline, just east of the Crawford line. Elma Amanda (1869) and Mary (1873) were Ida’s friends.

2 – Wednesday: Very warm. Eddie finished working on the road this forenoon. I have been busy doing housework. Practiced some, and Mother ironed, and helped Eddie wash the wagon.

3 – Thursday: Pleasant in the morning, but foggy and rainy since. Mother and Eddie went to Calais. They got home before two o’clock. I have been working among my plants.

4 – Friday: Cleared off. I went down to the celebration in the P. M. Was very tired when I got back. There were quite a number there. Blistered my head coming home.

5 – Saturday: Rainy today. I have been busy with the housework. Practiced a while. Read some in the Witness. Eddie lay abed most all the day. He stayed to the dance.

6 - Sunday: Peasant, but very warm. My 25th birthday. I have been reading considerable. Played a few tunes. Eddie was down to Uncle Jones. Willie was there. Hannah (Bohanon) McPheters had a brother, Ananiah Jones Bohanon who lived on the South Princeton Road, about a mile south of the McPheters place. Willie (1858) was one of his sons.

7 – Monday: Warm and pleasant. We washed and I picked a small mess of strawberries. Eddie built a yard for the pig. I drove the horse to furrow some potatoes, after supper.

8 – Tuesday: Very warm with heavy showers in the afternoon. Mother went down to Uncle Jones’ this afternoon. Eddie to the shop after supper, returned with a letter from Amy Bartlett. The shop apparently was Charlie Brown’s Store where the post office was located. Amy Bartlett is unknown.

9 – Wednesday: Cool and pleasant. Charlie Hunnewell and Orin are helping Eddie hew a barn sill. Mother ironed. I did the housework, practiced some, also read in the Witness. Charles Sidney Hunnewell (1852) and his oldest child Orin (1873) lived on the South Princeton Road, beyond Uncle Jones’ place.

10 Thursday: {now written in ink} Pleasant. Aunt Lizzie came up here in the forenoon and she and Mother spent the afternoon with Rebecca. I have been reading considerable. Eddie has been hauling fencing. Aunt Lizzie was Uncle Jones’ wife. Rebecca was Still Scribner’s wife; they lived in the next place west of Ida on the Airline.

11 – Friday: Pleasant. I have been mending, practicing, and reading. Called up to Rebecca’s after supper. Carried up a plant. Mrs. Strout was there. Manly stayed all night. Mrs. Strout was either Mary Ann, widow of Solomon, Sr. or Adelaide, wife of Solomon, Jr. Manly (1871) was Ida’s cousin, son of Uncle Jones and Aunt Lizzie.

12 Saturday: Warm. I have been working around the house. Wrote to Aunt Sophia. Practiced a while in the evening. Eddie was down to the baseball ground. Who was Aunt Sophia?

13 – Sunday: Pleasant. Eddie and I went down to Sabbath School. Mr. Strout led a social service in the evening. I could not stay for Eddie would not. Mr. Strout was Solomon, Jr. He and Adelaide lived on the northeast corner of the Airline and South Princeton Roads intersection.

14 – Monday: Pleasant. We had to wash with hard water. I finished reading my S. s. book. Played a little. Eddie took down the hog house. Uncle Jones was here to dinner.

15 – Tuesday: Warm and pleasant. We had to have a fire all day. Walter Strout was here in the P. M. helping Eddie make a thill. I have been reading and practicing. It is too warm to work. Walter (1864) was the only child of Solomon, Sr. and his second wife, Mary Ann (Lane) (Howe) Strout. He, his mother, and two half sisters lived on the southeast corner of the Airline and Old County Road, across from Solomon, Jr. A thill is one of the shafts between which one horse is harnessed.

16 Wednesday: Very warm. I practiced a while after doing up my morning’s work, then wrote two letters. Spent the afternoon with Florence. Eddie is haying for Walter. Florence (1866) Frost was a daughter of Thomas Bean and Emeline (Davis) Frost and they lived in the valley between Bailey and Lanes Hills by Meadow Brook.

17 – Thursday: Warm. Mother was taken with cramp in her stomach last night. I ironed besides doing the other work. Practiced a while. Eddie is at work for Walter.

18 – Friday: Cool and pleasant. Rained last night. Eddie went to Calais. I have been sewing on my nightdress. Played a while in the evening. Mother picked a few strawberries.

19 – Saturday: Pleasant. I have been working about the house. Played a while. Thinking of going to Cooper tomorrow, if Eddie will go.

20 – Sunday: Pleasant. Eddie and I went down to Cooper. Attended the afternoon and evening service. Eddie went home after supper. I stopped at Uncle Emery’s. The church services would have been at the Congregational Church at the top of West Ridge. Uncle Emery was Joseph Emery Averill who lived about half way down the south side of West Ridge. Joseph Emery was a brother of Rebecca Averill who married William McPheters; i.e. Uncle Emery was Ida’s grandmother’s brother.

21 – Monday: Pleasant. I sewed for Aunt Susan in the forenoon. Went down to Stella’s in the afternoon and over to Dewey’s with her in the evening. Aunt Susan was Uncle Emery’s wife. She was a Niles. Stella was the young second wife of William Doten. William Doten lived on the Vining Road. William’s first wife was Elizabeth McPheters who had died in 1875. James Dewey and family lived on Grove Pond Road about ˝ mile west of Uncle Emery’s.

22 – Tuesday: Warm and pleasant. Aunt Susan and I went over to Mrs. Munson’s in the afternoon. Mr. Frost and Miss Noddin called to Uncle Emery’s in the eve. Lydia and Moses Munson lived across the road from Uncle Emery. Mr. Frost likely was James who recently had moved into the neighborhood. Miss Noddin is not known.

23 – Wednesday: Foggy in the morning, but cleared off in the forenoon. I went down to Jason’s in the afternoon. Played a few tunes on their organ. Liked it much. Jason Doten and his wife Sarah lived at the foot of West Ridge near Doten Brook. Jason’s parents were Ammi and Mary A (Bohanon) Doten of Vining Road. Mary Bohanon was a daughter of Ananiah and Lucy (Beverly) Bohanon. Ananiah and Lucy briefly settled in Alexander down the hill from Ananiah and Amelia (Campbell) Bohanon. Therefore Ida was Jason Doten’s shirttail cousin.

24 – Thursday: Pleasant. Helen and I went down to the ridge this morning. I hired with Mr. Phipps to teach their school. Went out with Helen while Jason was getting in a load of hay after drying. Then went back to Uncle Emery’s. Helen may have been Helen Vining, daughter of Nathan on the Vining Road. They went to Ash Ridge in Plantation #14 and William W. Phipps hired Ida to teach a term of school at Ash Ridge.

25 – Friday: Rainy today. I finished Bertha’s dress. It didn’t suit Uncle Emery at all. I want to go home, though I have had a pleasant visit. I feel that Mother needs me. Who was Bertha?

26 – Saturday: Cloudy. Uncle Emery brought me home. Mother got along nicely. Eddie is well and has done considerable hoeing this week. Went to Calais and got a wheel for his mower.

27 – Sunday: Warm and pleasant. I attended morning services, but didn’t go down to the church. I read in the Witness and played some.

28 – Monday: Pleasant. Eddie began haying. Manly is helping him. We washed and I sewed some, also practiced a while. I went up to Rebecca’s for some yeast.

29 – Tuesday: Very warm. I have been sewing today. Built the loads of hay, practiced a while. Eddie doesn’t like Manly’s work at all; he is so lazy.

30 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I have been sewing, practicing, and doing housework as usual. Built 4 loads of hay. Eddie mowed for Uncle Jones a while.

31 – Thursday: Cool, had showers last night. Eddie is haying for Uncle Jones today. Mother ironed. I practiced some and sewed. Mother and I wed the turnips this afternoon.

Foster Carlow, Jr made this dairy available to A-CHS. It is important historically because Ida wrote about rural schools, women and religion. It is registered with the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections at the Library of Congress.

AUGUST 1890

Again we visit with Ida, her mother Hannah (Bohanon) and her younger brother Eddie. Editorial comments are in Italics.

1 – Friday: Pleasant. I have been sewing. Florence spent the afternoon with me. I played some and we sang. Had a pleasant time. Florence Frost was a daughter of Thomas and Emilene (Davis) Frost who lived on the Airline nearly a mile east of Ida.

2 – Saturday: Warm. I have been busy about the house. Practiced some. The sheep have bothered us a great deal. I read in the Witness.

3 – Sunday: Pleasant. I was down to Sabbath School. Had a good school. Stopped at Tom Frost’s to supper. Huldah Leahan was there. Eddie brought me home. Tom Frost, Florence’s father lived at the foot of Lane’s Hill, near Meadow Brook. Huldah was a daughter of Greenwood and Hannah Lyons and the second wife of Robert Leahan. Her sister Charlotte who died in 1870 had been Robbie’s first wife.

4 – Monday: Pleasant. We washed. Uncle Emery and Aunt Smith were here. Eddie is working at Uncle Jones’. I practiced a while after they went away. We met Uncle Emery (Joseph Emery Averill) on July 20th. Aunt Smith likely was great Uncle Emery’s sister. This habit of calling aunts by their family was common amongst the Bohanons. What we don’t know here is which Aunt Smith visited with Ida. Uncle Emery’s sister Eleanor married Warren Smith and his sister Eliza married John R. Smith.

5 - Tuesday: Very warm. I have been sewing and practicing. Uncle Jones is helping Eddie today. I have to build the loads and stow some of them away. Uncle Jones was Ida’s mother’s brother Ananiah Jones Bohanon who lived a half mile north of Ida on the South Princeton Road. Uncle Jones, Eddie and Ida are haying. The men are pitching the hay up into the hayrack, and Ida moves the hay about on the rack to build a load that fills the rack and will not fall off. The horse drawn hayrack was then driven into the barn where the hay had to be forked from the rack into the hayloft. See the image of Paul Dwelley and his son Tom on the hayrack on the following page.

6 – Wednesday: Warm, but cloudy. We had chicken for dinner. A book agent was here. I sew in the afternoon, also practiced a while.

7 – Thursday: Pleasant. Uncle Jones is working here. Eva and Millie spent the day with me. I sewed some. Ora and I each played some. Manly came after them. Eva and Manly were adult children of Uncle Jones and his wife Lizzie (Bailey). Manly was the youngest. Who were Millie and Ora?

8 – Friday: Cloudy and cool. I was down to Uncle Jones’ this afternoon. He was sick. Millie intends to go home next Sunday. Willie looks miserable. William Edgar or Little Willie (aged 32) was another child of Jones and Lizzie.

9 – Saturday: Pleasant. I have been busy with the housework. Built two loads of hay and helped stow them away. Read some in the S. S. book.

10 – Sunday: Cloudy and cool. I attended the morning service and Eddie, Emma, and I went to the church in the afternoon and evening. We had quite a large S. S school. Emma likely was Emma Bohanon, still another child of Jones and Lizzie. She was single in 1890. She married Frank Averill in 1893.

11 – Monday: Rainy today, had heavy showers in the night. I have sewed some, practiced a while, and read in my S. S. book. Mother and I worked among the turnips a while.

12 – Tuesday: Cloudy and showery. We washed. I have turned the grindstone until my arms ache. Practiced some and sewed a little.

13 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I have been raspberrying, only got two and one half quarts, and worked hard enough to pick six had they been thick. Built two loads of hay.

14 – Thursday: Foggy and dull. I have been sewing, practicing, reading, and turned the grindstone. There was a lecture in the hall tonight. "There was a lecture in the hall tonight." This sentence leaves lots of questions. Did Ida attend? What was the subject? Who sponsored the lecture? Where was the Hall? Alexander grange No. 304 P of H was established in 1889, just a year before this diary entry, but the Grange Hall was not built until 1908.

15 – Friday: Foggy in the morning, but cleared off and is very warm. Eddie is haying at Uncle Jones’. Mother and I finished weeding the beans. Eddie and Uncle Jones are trading their labor, a practice still common in Alexander.

16 – Saturday: Pleasant. I worked about the house in the forenoon. Picked two quarts of raspberries in the afternoon. Practiced a while in the evening. Eddie is at Uncle Jones haying.

17 – Sunday: Pleasant. I walked down to S. S. Only had four in my class. Eddie didn’t come home. I read aloud to Mother from my S. S. book.

18 – Monday: Rained this morning, but cleared off. Mother and I have been thinning out the turnips. Both are tired. I practiced in the forenoon.

19 - Tuesday: Pleasant. We washed. Eddie mowed with the mower in the P. M. I feel about sick. Guess I got a cold weeding for the going was wet. Horse drawn cycle bar mowers were becoming common. This entry indicates that the haying done before this day had been done with a hand scythe.

20 – Wednesday: Cloudy and cool. Uncle Jones worked here. I sewed some, practiced, and read. We had green applesauce for supper and it was quite a treat.

21 - Thursday: Pleasant. Uncle Jones is to work here. I have been sewing, practicing, and reading. Worked about the house as usual. Mother is about sick.

22 – Friday: Pleasant. Uncle is here. I sewed, practiced, and read today, also built three loads of hay. Mother is better today. Eddie went down to the shop and P. O. The shop and P. O would be at 70 Cooper Road, next to the church that Ida attends, i. e. Charlie Brown’s Store.

23 - Saturday: Rainy. I have been busy about the house. Turned the grindstone for Eddie to grind both machine scythes and hand scythe, and it is hard work. Some grindstones were equipped with a foot treadle, thus requiring just one operator. Eddie’s was a hand-cranked stone that required Ida’s help.

24 – Sunday: Rained some, but cleared off in the afternoon. Mary Tyler came over to meeting, but we didn’t know there was one. I read in the Witness and played some.

25 – Monday: Pleasant. We washed and cooked chicken for dinner. Walter S. helped Eddie this P. M. I tramped and stowed away a load of hay. Practiced a while. Walter Strout was the next door neighbor to the east. He was the only child of Solomon and Mary Ann (Lane) Howe Strout. Theirs was a second marriage for each and Walter had many half siblings. Mary Ann was a widow again by this time.

26 – Tuesday: Pleasant. Uncle Jones worked here. I built a load of hay and stowed one away. Baked cake and gingerbread. Went up to Rebecca’s for some yeast. Practiced some. Rebecca Scribner, Still’s second wife, lived about one half mile west of Ida on the Airline.

27 – Wednesday: Rainy. Uncle Jones went home in the P. M. I have been fixing my skirts. Practiced some. The S. S. picnic will have to be postponed.

28 - Thursday: Cloudy and cool. Eddie is at work down to Uncle Jones’. Mary Tyler spent the afternoon with me. I mended some. We ate lots of green apples. Had showers in the evening. Mary Tyler lived a couple miles west of Ida on the Airline.

29 – Friday: Pleasant. Eddie is still at Uncle Jones’. I wrote a letter, picked up apples, sewed and blacked the stove. Mother called down to Mrs. Spearin’s in the P. M. Ellen Spearin was 61 years old. She lived with her bachelor son John east of Ida on the Airline, part way down Bailey Hill.

30 - Saturday: Rained in the afternoon. I have been busy about the house. Eddie came home tonight. There was someone here after apples in the evening. Eddie heard them run around the house.

31 - Sunday: Cloudy. I have been reading in the Witness today. Played some. Didn’t go to Sabbath School for it is very windy. Rained some in the afternoon.

SEPTEMBER 1890

Ida McPheters lives with her widowed mother Hannah (Bohanon) and her younger brother Eddie on the south side of the Airline, west of the Four Corners School.

1 – Monday: Cool and pleasant. We washed. I built a load of hay and raked some. I starched my clothes preparatory to going down to Ash Ridge. Because Eddie is the only man of the house, he needs help getting up the hay, therefore we find Ida doing what usually was a man’s job. Ash Ridge was and is a small community in Plantation #14. It is on Route 191 and today we find large blueberry fields, Wayne Spear living in John Tuell house and a small old cape on the Elisha Gray lot.

2 – Tuesday: Pleasant. Manly is at work here. I built three loads of hay and stowed one away. Florence Strout, Georgie Seamans and Nettie Smith called this evening. Manly Bohanon was Ida’s cousin, son of Hannah’s brother Jones and Lizzie (Bailey) Bohanon. Jennie Florence Strout was 29, single, and a daughter of neighbor Solomon, Jr. and Adelaide Cowell (Smyth) Strout. On August 10, 1892 she would marry Richard Glew, a widower from Milltown. Georgia-Anna was Florence’s sister just a year younger, She was married to George Seamans and they lived at the Isaiah Bailey Place about ˝ mile east of Ida. Who was Nettie Smith?

3 – Wednesday: Pleasant. Uncle Jones is here. Mother and Rebecca went to Mrs. Tyler’s. Mr. S. brought them home. S had the rest of his sheep killed by dogs. Jones Bohanon lived on the road to south Princeton, about ˝ mile north of Ida. Rebecca (Godfrey) Scribner lived on the Airline about ˝ mile west of Ida. She was the second wife of George Stillman Smith Scribner. ‘Still’ likely was the one who lost his sheep to dogs. Abby Tyler, recent widow of Belcher, lived on the Airline near the Crawford line, about 1˝ miles west of Ida.

4 – Thursday: Pleasant. Uncle Jones helped Eddie haying. I went over to Rebecca’s in the forenoon. Sewed in the afternoon. Baked cake. Expecting company tomorrow.

5 – Friday: Cloudy and rained some. I am preparing to go away. My company didn’t come. I practiced a while this afternoon. Sewed some also. There were no cell phones or e-mail in 1890, but mail service was reasonably good. Did the company just not show up, or did they have a good excuse? We all get these disappointments even today.

6 – Saturday: Pleasant. I helped about the house in the forenoon. Got ready to go down to Ash Ridge, but Mr. Phipps didn’t come after me so went down to the P. O. Just received a postal.

7 – Sunday: I attended morning service. George Bailey talked a while, then Mr. McGraw. I read in the Witness and played some. George Bailey (1871) was likely the adopted son of Civil War veteran Isaiah Bailey who by this time was living at the end of the Tommy Long Road with his natural son Jasper. George might have been a Bowles as we find Fred (1870) and Herbert (1874) Bowles adopted by and living with James Bailey in 1880. The Baileys, Isaiah, Jasper, and Simeon were among the leaders in this church. Reverend John D. McGraw was assigned to the Alexander Methodist – Episcopal Church from 1890 – 1894. His daughter Dora married Thomas Edward Frost and his descendants still reside in the area.

8 – Monday: Pleasant. Mr. Phipps came after me early in the morning. I had sick headache in the afternoon. Think this is a pleasant place. William W. Phipps and his wife Mary were residents of Ash Ridge. See Who’s Who on Ash Ridge.

9 - Tuesday: Rainy today. Began school with only six scholars. Called to see Ollie tonight. Went to Mr. Phipps to dinner with Joseph. Ollie was Olive R. McPheters (1868) daughter of George and Harriet McPheters of West Ridge in Cooper. She and John Tuell were married on December 24, 1887. John (1862) was a son of Eben Tuell. Ida and Ollie were cousins. Joseph was William Phipp’s son and an older scholar in Ida’s school.

10 - Wednesday: Cloudy and cool. I was in to Ollie’s after school. Am learning to make rickrack trimming of Mrs. Phipps. I played a few tunes tonight.

11 - Thursday: Cool. I like my school and the people much. My eyes trouble me considerably. Mrs. Phipps had a number of callers today.

12 – Friday: Rainy. Only had four scholars today. I worked some on rickrack trimming. Mr. Phipps brother spent the evening here.

13 – Saturday: Still rainy. I kept school today. Stopped at the schoolhouse and Mrs. Phipps sent me my dinner. There was a social meeting at the schoolhouse.

14 – Sunday: Cool and pleasant. We attended morning services at the schoolhouse and at the Cooper church in the P. M. I enjoyed both much. Read some in the Witness. The Cooper Church would have been the Congregational Church at the top of West Ridge.

15 – Monday: Rainy today. Had ten scholars today. The supervisor visited the school today. I read some in the Witness this evening. Get pretty tired when it comes night.

16 – Tuesday: Rainy and the road is very muddy. I had eleven scholars today, seems quite like a school. I like my scholars Very much. Mr. Phipps spent the evening here.

17 – Wednesday: Still rainy. My scholars were all there today. My eyes bother me considerably. I can not use them in the evening at all. Ollie hasn’t been to see me yet.

18 - Thursday: Another rainy day, but the sun came out a while in the afternoon. My school is quite interesting, though it is small. The scholars are smart.

19 – Friday: A lovely day, and we know how to appreciate it. We washed and brought in the clothes and folded them. I like the people here much.

20 – Saturday: Pleasant. Mrs. Phipps and I made the calls this P. M. Ironed after we came back. Had callers in the evening.

21 - Sunday: We intended to go to church, but Mr. Palmeter and Mr. Hutchins came over so we could not go. Mrs. Phipps and I went to the burying ground in the P. M. It is very likely that these two young men were Dennison Palmeter (1861) and Milton Hitchings (1870) both of Cooper. Were they checking out the new girl in the neighborhood?

22 – Monday: Pleasant. I had all my scholars today. Mr. & Mrs. Phipps and I spent the evening at Ollie’s. Mr. Tuell and two of my scholars were there. Was Mr. Tuell James or Eben?

23 – Tuesday: Pleasant. We spent the evening at Mrs. Phipps. Rhoda Jones was there. We played and sang some.

24 - Wednesday: Cool and pleasant. We had fire in the schoolroom today. Mr. Phipps’ brothers spent the evening here. My eyes are bothering me considerably.

25 Thursday: Cold, there was a heavy frost last night. We went to the Machias fair. I enjoyed it very well, but was very tired. Was tired of seeing strange faces.

26 – Friday: Pleasant. John & Ollie, Rhoda Jones, Mr. Tuell, Mr. Phipps and some of my scholars were here this evening. They sang some and the evening passed off pleasantly. Rhoda Jones (1866) was a daughter of Ira Jones and his first wife. Rhoda married Will Morton (Vining) in 1893. Was Mr. Tuell James or Eben?

27 – Saturday: I had school today. Feel homesick tonight. Mr. Phipps was here and others for their mail.

28 – Sunday: Cloudy and cold. I went up to Ollie’s a while in the P. M. Read considerable in the Witness. Played a few tunes. Feel lonesome.

29 – Monday: Pleasant. I washed my clothes before school. Had all my scholars. Played some in the evening. My eyes ache so I have to remain idle after school.

30 - Tuesday: Lovely day. Willie Cary and wife came here this forenoon. She is a very pretty woman, but very formal. She is a good player and they both are good singers. Mr. Palmeter was here.

WHO’S WHO ON ASH RIDGE – PLANTATION #14

Ash Ridge as shown in the 1881 Atlas of Washington County has eight homes identified. Let’s fill in details about those who lived in those homes based on the 1880 and 1900 census. Sadly for historians, the 1890 census records were burned. The year of birth based on in the census records is recorded in (parenthesis).

Charles O. Ellis (1853) in 1880 was a boarder with W. W. Phipps. By 1881 he had his own residence at Ash Ridge and was also listed near Cathance Lake. Charles Ellis does not appear on the 1900 census of Plantation #14.

Eben D. Tuell (1833), wife Lois (1859), children John (1862), Orson (1866), Mary (1869), Stillman (1871), and Fred (1875). By 1900 John Tuell had married Olive R. McPheters [Ollie] (1867) and their children were Roy (1891), Verna (1892), Holland (1895), and Doris (1898).

William W. Phipps (1833), his wife Mary (1835), and their children Ernest (1858), Manley (1865), and Joseph (1873). The 1900 census shows Ernest living next door with his wife Olivia (1852) and a daughter Sadie (1891).

David Young (1830), his wife Mary (1841), and children Amos (1862), and Mary (1864). Thomas Berry (1876) was a boarder at this home in 1880. This family was not on the 1900 census.

James L. Tuell (1829), wife Elizabeth (1829), children James E. (1854), Orrin (1859). William Berry (1861) is listed as a servant in this household. This family was not on the 1900 census.

Joel Gray (1816), wife Persis (1817), son Seth (1854), daughter-in-law Fannie (1856) and their children Herbert (1875), Horace (1877), and Sidney (1879). The 1900 census has Seth as head of household and Fannie as his wife. They have six more children, Andrew (1880), Pliney (1882), Minnie (1886), Silvesta [daughter](1889), Lizzie (1893), and Seth (1894).

Elisha Gray (1844), his wife Persis (1854), and children Delia (1870), Joel (1874), Jonas (1876), and Bertha (1878). This family is not on the 1900 census. Elisha (1844) was a son of Joel Gray (1816)

John Stoddard (1841), wife Lizzie (1846), children Ina (1868), and Everett (1874). This family has gone before the 1900 census.

Ash Ridge was an isolated community, about two miles north of Bridghams’ (Lunds’) Corner and about two miles south of the Cathance Lake settlement in South Cooper and #14. The 1880 census of Ash Ridge shows a total population of forty-one of which fourteen were school aged. There was a schoolhouse at Lunds’ Corner from 1862 until after 1881, however at times children from here attended the Ash Ridge School. When Lindsay Clarke taught at Ash Ridge, he started and ended his day hauling scholars by wagon to and from Lunds’ Corner.

The 1900 census numbering indicates another family at Ash Ridge. They were Ira Jones (1843) wife Julia (1853), son Harland (1884), daughter Eva Keith (1874) and daughter Hazel (1899). The September 26 entry indicates that the Jones family was living at Ash Ridge in 1890. There were 29 people in Ash Ridge in 1900.

OCTOBER 1890

Ida enters into her second month teaching at Ash Ridge, Plantation #14. Even though it is fall, romance visits Ida. Read on! Editor’s comments in Italics.

1 – Wednesday: Warm and pleasant. I enjoy the company much, the music especially. Ollie and Rhoda Jones were here in the evening. Mr. Palmeter stayed all night. Olive R. McPheters (1868) was a cousin of Ida. Daughter of George and Harriet McPheters of West Ridge Cooper, she married John Tuell on December 24, 1887. Rhoda Jones (1866) was daughter of Ira Jones and his first wife. Rhoda married Will Morton in 1893.Mr. Palmeter likely was Dennison of Cooper.

2 – Thursday: Pleasant. Mr. & Mrs. Phipps went to Machias this morning with Mr. & Mrs. Cary. I went up to Ollie’s to dinner and supper. Came home in the evening. William and Mary Phipps are noted in the list of residents of Ash Ridge listed on page 9 of issue 127. We still cannot place Will Cary and his wife.

3 - Friday: The review business was long and I am tired. Eddie came after me and I was glad to get home. Eddie isn’t very well, but I am thankful they are as well as they are. Eddie was Ida’s younger brother who has had to be the man of the house since their father’s death in the spring.

4 – Saturday: Pleasant. I helped Mother some. Went up to Rebecca’s in the afternoon and over to meeting in the evening. I played some on my organ. Ida’s mother is Hannah (1822), daughter of early Alexander settler Ananiah and Amelia (Campbell) Bohanon. Rebecca (Godfrey) (Wright) Scribner (1850), second wife of George Stillman Smith Scribner, lived about ˝ mile west of Ida’s home on the Airline.

5 – Sunday: Showery today. I went over to meeting this forenoon. The sermon was good. I had to go back to #14 in the P. M. Found two of my scholars here when I came back. Rec. a postal from Clara that she will be home next Tues. Clara (1850) was Ida’s sister who was married to Shepherd Cottel.

6 – Monday: Pleasant. I have neglected writing and now can’t think of anything to write. I expect to go home next Friday. I am very anxious to see Clara and the children.

7 – Tuesday: We are having lovely weather. I think my scholars are improving fast. I like them all very much, and the people are very kind. Mr. & Mrs. Phipps are good company and are kind.

8 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I am very anxious for Friday night to come. I suppose Clara is at home. I don’t feel well lately. Have a cold on my lungs and it is very hard work for me to talk so much.

9 – Thursday: Pleasant. My scholars attend regularly and are attentive to their lessons. So the school is interesting, even if small. Some of them are smart to learn and might become good scholars.

10 - Friday: Cloudy and rained some. The review lessons are quite boring. I get very tired. They didn’t come after me and I am disappointed and homesick. Don’t believe Clara has come.

11 – Saturday: Pleasant. I did up my morning work. Hoping Eddie would be after me. Then went up and swept the schoolhouse. We attended evening service; Mr. Young exchanged with our minister.

12 Sunday: Pleasant. Mrs. Phipps mother and brother are here. We attended morning service. The discourse was good. They went home in the afternoon. Heard Orson Tuell is going away soon. Orson Tuell (1866) was John Tuell’s brother and son of Eben and his first wife.

13 - Monday: Pleasant. May Tuell is a nice girl. I think she is pretty. Her brother has gone away to Minneapolis. Her mother feels very badly. They are a nice family and seem to think lots of Ollie. May or Mary (1869) was Orson’s sister. Many people from this area when to Minneapolis, including Ananiah Bohanon and several of his children.

14 – Tuesday: through 22 - Wednesday: are blank

23 – Thursday: Pleasant. Mother came after me. Mabel Cottel was with her. I was very glad to see them. We didn’t get home until late. Clara was up waiting for us. She has a lovely baby. Ida’s sister and her new baby are visiting in Alexander.

24 – Friday: Pleasant. I played a few tunes for Mabel. We went up to Scribner's in the P. M. on an errand. I feel about sick today. Had a mustard plaster on my lungs tonight.

25 – Saturday: Pleasant. Mr. Strout came here before we had the morning work done and stayed until after dinner. Baby will come to me today. I played some and we sang and enjoyed ourselves much. Mr. Strout might have been Ben Strout (1812); all the other Strout men were nearer Ida’s age and wouldn’t have half a day to spent visiting a recent widow. Ben lived at Lanesbrook and had run the stage stop until 1887. His second wife, Caroline (Scribner) (Huff) had died in 1888.

26 – Sunday: Pleasant. I am sorry to go back to my school. I have enjoyed my visit much, but "we meet to part in this life." Clara expects to go home Thursday. Mabel is a nice girl. Mother carried me as far as Stella’s and Edgar the rest of the way. Stella (1861) was the young second wife of William Doten (1840). William Doten lived on the Vining Road. William’s first wife was Elizabeth McPheters who had died in 1875. Edgar was William’s 26-year-old son.

27 – Monday: Pleasant. I guess some of the scholars think I have a fellow. Fred Tuell said he saw a white horse and a covered carriage. I guess there is one that don’t want to think so, I couldn’t break his heart. A black horse drawing an empty wagon signified death; a covered carriage drawn by a white horse likely is symbolic of a wedding.

28 – Tuesday: Pleasant. I guess I have found the one I am to make happy. He is worthy of my love, too. So good, and smart, and handsome, too. But he is considerable younger than I am. Mr. Gray was buried today. I attended the funeral. Who was "the one I am to make happy?" Mr. Gray likely was Joel (1816). Where was the cemetery?

29 – Wednesday and 30 Thursday blank.

31 – Friday: Fred Tuell says he cannot come to the school any longer as his father needs him. I am sorry and I think he is sorry too. His mother and I were down to Mrs. Phipps. Fred Tuell’s (1875) parents were Eben and Lois. We see that Fred was 15 or 16 and going off to work in the woods. Was he really needed in the woods, or was his father concerned about his interest in his 25-year-old teacher?

Can you help identify these? Mr. (Willie) and Mrs. Cary, Mr. Young, and Mabel Cottel.

NOVEMBER 1890

Readers may look at ‘Who’s Who on Ash Ridge’ to learn more about Ida’s neighbors while she taught there. During November, the fall term of school ends at Ash Ridge and Ida returns to home in Alexander. One can follow the emotions of this twenty-five year old woman as she writes about each day. Upon her return home, she never mentions her brother Eddie or farming activity about the neighborhood. Did not her friends visit her? One has to guess why she missed writing entries on so many days. Were they really great days; or were they really bad days; or was she sick? Editor’s comments are in Italics.

1 – Saturday: I had school today, swept the schoolroom and am very tired. I am not very well this fall. I need more out of door exercise. Teaching doesn’t agree with me.

2 – Sunday through 5 – Wednesday are all blank

6 – Thursday: A lovely day. Mr. Smith visited the school. Some of my scholars were away. He made a few remarks. Seemed pleasant with the school. His wife was with him. Likely Mr. Smith was the superintendent. Where did he live? What was his territory?

7 – Friday: Pleasant. I had more of my scholars today. Hate to have them stay away a day. I guess school will be ten weeks. I will be glad to get home and have a change for I am not able to teach.

8 – Saturday: Wind blows quite hard. Mrs. Phipps and I went up to Ollie’s a while. Then I went down to Mrs. Stoddard’s on an errand for her. My teeth ache quite badly tonight, guess I have a cold.

9 – Sunday: Pleasant. My tooth ached all night and today. I wish I was where I could have it out. Mrs. Phipps made a mustard poultice for me, but I didn’t rest much.

10 – Monday: Pleasant. My face is swollen badly and I am very nervous. Didn’t feel much like teaching school. We are reviewing the lessons and I couldn’t do justice by them today.

11 – Tuesday: Cold. I had only four scholars today. I miss them when they are away. I shall be sorry when school is done. I never was so attached to scholars before. Everyone is very kind to me.

12 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I went to Mrs. Tuell’s to dinner as the Cooper circle met there. Met quite a number of my friends and had a pleasant time. Mrs. Tuell was down to Mrs. Phipps’ after school.

13 – Thursday: Pleasant. We are getting along pretty well with the review lessons. I went to Mrs. Tuell’s to tea. Everett and Jo spent the evening there. Mr. & Mrs. Phipps were at Ernest’s when I got home.

14 – Friday: A lovely day. I feel badly to leave my scholars and I guess they are sorry that it is the last day. Mrs. P., Mrs. T. and Ollie visited the school, also Fred. They seemed to be pleasant with their cards. Fred Tuell and Ida had been attracted to each other, see October 27 entry (issue 128 pg. 11).

15 – Saturday: Pleasant. I made out my registers in the forenoon. Called up to Ollie’s and to Mrs. Tuell’s. Mother came for me and we didn’t get home until in the evening. I feel glad to get home.

16 – Sunday: Snowed and rained today. I feel about sick today. Mother is tired also. I had to have a mustard draft on my lungs. I read some in the Witness and in the testament.

17 – Monday: Cloudy and warm. We washed. I have been arranging my bureau drawers. My clothes need considerable fixing up. My cold is no better and I am going to have another mustard plaster.

18 – Tuesday: I feel better today, have been killing flies and cleaning the sitting room. Played a little. Stormed all day. I feel pretty tired. Wrote a letter to Charlie this evening. Brother Charles

19 – Wednesday: Rained and snowed. We cleaned the cupboard and entry. I broke the cold-water pitcher. Am sorry, but will buy another. I played a few tunes. Ripped my velvet cap to pieces.

20 – Thursday: I have again neglected writing. Blank pages for the rest of November

DECEMBER 1890

1 – Monday: Pleasant. School commenced today. Mr. Gray hasn’t changed much since I saw him four years ago. It will be pleasant to have a boarder; we have been so lonely. Mr. Gray would be Leander Austin Gray (1859) of Wesley, grandfather of A-CHS member of the same name. He had taught in Alexander off and on from 1879.

2 – Tuesday: Cold. I carried some of my plants down cellar. My largest geranium froze. I had to cut it off and carry it down cellar. I am trying to fix up my clothes a little. These plants were kept inside the house. Today most of us can’t remember plants or the water pail freezing over night in the house that we live in.

3 – Wednesday: Very cold. I have been busy helping Mother. There is plenty to do all the time, Mother isn’t very well. She has too many cares. I wish there was some way to ease her of them.

4 - Thursday: Pleasant. The duties of today have been much as usual. I read my history in the evening. I miss Father very much these long evenings, but wouldn’t call him back if I could, trusting he is better off. Readers will remember that Joseph McPheters died on April 8th after coming home earlier from the bark woods of Jackson Brook. He apparently had died of pneumonia.

5 – Friday: Pleasant. We employed a Mr. Saton to repair the clock. He was here to dinner. Mr. Gray went home. Helen Tyler called here this afternoon. Helen Tyler, daughter of Abbie B. Tyler (1828), and the late Belcher (1816 –1889) Tyler lived north of the Airline, near the Crawford line.

6 – Saturday: Cool and pleasant. Mother and I have been very busy today, we put down the bedroom carpet and cleaned and baked and I guess we both about tired enough.

7 – Sunday: Snowed some today. I have been reading in the Bible and witness. Called up to Rebecca’s in the P. M. Eddie isn’t feeling well lately. It makes it very hard for Mother not to have anyone. Rebecca (1850) (Godfrey) Scribner was G. S. S. Scribner’s second wife. They lived about ˝ mile west of Ida on the south side of the Airline Road. Rebecca, born in 1850, and Charles Huff filed intentions of marriage in July 1868 and were married on the 14th. She married James Wright of Crawford in November 1869 in Wisconsin. She returned home after the deaths of James and their children excepting son Frank (1876). Frank was raised by his grandparents Joseph and Rachel Godfrey.

8 – Monday: Pleasant. We washed. I went down to see Josie G. who is very sick. She is very hurtful and hopes to be better soon. I read in the evening from the book Mr. McGraw lent me. Josie Godfrey (born 1858) was a sister of Rebecca listed above. She lived at home on the Arm Road. She, like Ida, was unmarried, and sometimes a teacher. She continued to be very hurtful and her hopes to be better soon were for not. She died April 6, 1891. J. D. McGraw was the M-E (Methodist – Episcopal) minister in Alexander from 1890 to 1894. His daughter Dora married Thomas Edward Frost, thus John D. was the grandfather of Lyston, Floyd, Justin, Hattie, Beulah, Annie Edna, Donald and Bertha.

9 – Tuesday: Lovely day. I have been busy with the housework. Emma Bohanon called this A. M. Eddie is about sick, he feels badly. Mort is going to Calais tomorrow with a load of hay for Mother. Emma Bohanon likely was the 30 year old daughter of Jones and Elizabeth Bohanon, Jones being Hannah McPheters brother. This cousin of Ida’s married Frank Averill in 1893. It is possible that Emma was the 27 year old daughter of George Bohanon who lived on the Arm Road. Mort Scribner, born 1865, and his twin sister Alice, and twins Theodore and Ben were the four surviving children of the marriage between George Stillman Smith Scribner and Charlotte Strout. Readers will remember that Charlotte ran away with a fellow from PEI and that "Still" married Rebecca Godfrey.

10 – Wednesday: Warm and snowed a little in the evening. I baked a loaf of cake and went down to the circle at the Minister’s. Had a pleasant time. I knit for Mrs. McGraw. J. D. McGraw’s wife Amanda Neal of Danforth.

11 – Thursday: Pleasant. I have been busy about the house. Ripped my white scyne to pieces. Mort S. was here in the A. M. I am reading ancient history. Don’t like it very well.

12 – Friday: Pleasant. I have been ripping my red dress and am going to make it over. The days are so short that it takes about all the time to do the housework. Mr. Gray went home.

13 – Saturday: Cold. We have been very busy today, baking and cleaning. I wrote to Clara in the evening. Didn’t go to meeting for I wasn’t well. Ida’s sister Clara married Shep Cottel in 1877.

14 – Sunday: Pleasant. I have been reading today. Mort S. was here and loaded straw to take to Calais tomorrow. I missed the meeting again.

15 – Monday: Pleasant. It is good sleighing now. We washed and put up the bed in the backroom. Eddie seems better again. I hope he gets smart soon.

16 – Tuesday: Pleasant. I went down to Mrs. Huff’s after yeast. Finished ripping my red dress in the evening. I want to get more time to sew soon, but first lots to do about the house. Mrs. Claudius Huff, born Lydia Perkins, lived on the Arm Road, near the Godfrey family.

17 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I went down to Albion’s and the P. O. Sade Dwelley rode up to the Minister’s with me. I read history in the evening. Albion Hanford Perkins and his wife Rhoda (Crafts) lived on the south side of the Airline, east of the Cooper Road intersection. He was active in town and church affairs, later in the Grange. The Post Office was at Charlie Brown’s Store (70 Cooper Road). Sadie Dwelley, oldest child of John and Alice (Berry) Dwelley moved to Meddybemps and ran a hotel, eventually she married Bert Conant.

18 – Thursday: Cold and stormed sleet. Frank Averill was here to dinner. He bought a load of hay. I mended some today. Got tired and lonely sometimes. As we learned earlier, Frank Averill would marry Ida’s cousin Emma Bohanon in 1893.

19 Friday: Wind blows and it is very cold. I did up my gingham dress. Mended my gossamers and worked about the house as usual. Mr. Gray went home.

20 Saturday: Cold. We have been busy today about the house. I read some Transcript stories in the evening to Mother. I don’t know what she would do with out me.

21 Sunday: Pleasant, but rained in the evening, Uncle and aunt Bohanon were here, also Rebecca Scribner. I read some in the Witness and Bible. I haven’t been writing since I came home. Most likely Uncle Jones and Aunt Elizabeth Bohanon.

22 – Monday: Pleasant. Mother and I have been mending today. Rebecca was down after some yeast. I read history in the evening.

23 – Tuesday: Pleasant. I called up to Rebecca’s and paid Ben. Rebecca says Josie is not better. Helen & Elma came over to see me and I met them going home, both came back. Elma was Helen Tyler’s sister.

24 – Wednesday: Pleasant. I am busy all the time and can’t see that I accomplish much. My clothes needed considerable repairing. I get tired of monotony. Eddie went down to the church.

25 – Thursday: Cold, but pleasant. This is a lonely Christmas to us. Eddie went down to the lake skating in the P. M. Home is vacant now and can’t help being lonely.

26 – Friday: Cold. I have been busy as usual without accomplishing much. Mother went over to Mrs. Strout’s in the P. M. I baked biscuits for supper, I am getting so I like housework. Mrs. Strout was Adelaide, widow of Solomon Strout, Jr.

27 – Saturday: Stormy today. I have been helping Mother about the house. Get lonely pretty often, but suppose I ought not. I miss Father very much, but would not call him back.

28 – Sunday: Cold. I went over to the schoolhouse in the morning, but there was no meeting, as the fire was not built soon enough. I haven’t been to meeting since I came home.

29 – Monday: Still cold. Mr. Gray didn’t come back until this morning. He is a pleasant boarder and we miss him when he is gone. We washed today.

30 - Tuesday: Cold. I ripped up my gingham skirt and made me an apron out of the best of it. I want to go to Calais and to Mrs. Crafts’. Mr. Bridges died of pneumonia. Mrs. Crafts would be Esther (Spearin), widow of Hiram Crafts. This family lived on the Arm Road near the Cooper Road. Azor B. Bridges of Crawford died on Monday. Civil War veteran and blacksmith, he lies buried in the Old Crawford Cemetery. Readers most recently met Azor in issue 129 in the article about Daniel Seavey.

31 – Wednesday: Very cold. I have been busy about the house and sewed some. I guess I shall have to get a new diary soon.’90 is most gone and another new year begins.

JANUARY 1891

1 – Thursday: Pleasant. I went over to Rebecca’s in the P. M. intending to go down to see Josie, but found it too bad walking. I sewed after getting my work done about the house.

2 – Friday: Rained today. Mr. G. didn’t go home. I have been sewing some today. Find lots of housework to do. Want to go to Calais soon.

3 – Saturday: Pleasant. Charlie’s 29 birthday. Mr. G went home this morning. Mother and I have been very busy; we cleaned and bake until we were both tired. Charlie was Ida’s brother.

4 – Sunday: Pleasant. I have been reading in the Witness and the Bible. Manly, Hubie, and Ernest Wilson were here. I am lonely, but feel it is my duty to stay with Mother this winter. Manly was Ida’s 19-year-old cousin, son of Jones Bohanon. Hubie might have been Herbert Perkins, 15, son of Elisha and Rhoda. Ernest Wilson was 14 and may have been born at East Machias. He had Alexander connections and spent his youth being passed from home to home.

5 – Monday: Cloudy and cold. I have been busy with housework and mending. Read a story that Mr. G. brought out for us to read in the Boston Globe.

6 – Tuesday: Snowing and blowing. Manly was here to dinner. I have been mending and working about the house. Read in the evening in Mr. Gray’s book.

7 – Wednesday: Cold and snowed some. I have been busy as usual. Get tired and lonesome sometimes but should be thankful that it is as well with me as it is. Practiced a while today.

8 – Thursday: Cold wind and the snow drifting. I sewed some after doing the housework. Mother churned. I played awhile. Thus ends Ida’s diary. Inside the back cover we find this record of interest.

Hoops sold in 1890 - 1000 @ $2.25 = $2.25 ~ 1300 @ $2.25 = $2.92 ~ 1000 @ $2.00 = $2.00 ~

600 @ $2.50 = $1.50 ~ 1600 @ $5.00 = $8.00 ~ 150 @ $8.00 = $1.20 (ash) ~ 600 @ $2.25 = $1.35

That was $19.22 for 6250 hoops. Someone cut all those hoop poles, shaved them and bundled them all for $19.22.

Who Wrote this Diary? Ida Ella McPheters was born July 6, 1865 daughter of Joseph and Hannah (Bohanon) McPheters. At the time of this diary, she was living with her widowed mother and 20 year old brother Embert, known as Eddie. We thank Foster Carlow, Jr. who found the diary in the attic and passed it on to A-CHS. Editor’s comments are in Italics. Additions or corrections to those are welcome. jd

Ida’s life after 1891: Life apparently continued much the same. She taught school some terms and lived at home. Her mother Hannah died in 1897. Sometime between 1891 and 1899 a man entered her life. He was a neighbor who lived down the South Princeton Road, about a mile north of Ida’s.

Charles Sidney Hunnewell was born February 27, 1852 son of Jonathan and Susannah (Hall) Hunnewell. He married Eliza Jane "Lydia" Keene daughter of Reuben and Mary Harrington (Bailey) Keene. The marriage date was June 14, 1871. Over the next 25 years, this couple has 13 children listed here in order of birth. Orren married Amanda Carlow, Mina dy, Eda married Harry Brown, Lilly dy. Howard married Cora Scribner, Wesley dy, Clara nfi, Eva died young, Charles nfi, Harris married Rena Crafts, Melvin married Ella McArthur, then her sister Nettie McArthur, Morey (June 21, 1894) married Marjorie James, and Roy married Lima Carlow. Roy was born in 1896.

Charles divorced Lydia on May 6, 1899 citing cruel and abusive treatment. It is said that Charles was up the road visiting Ida, and upon returning home one evening was met by Lydia with the butcher knife. Heated words were spoken, but the knife remained unused. Even though Charles was a strong man with a temper, he left.

Charles and Ida were married on July 4, 1899. They created a home on the northeast corner of the same lot where Ida and her family had lived, but quite a distance away from the house where Eddie would continue to live. The ell of Charles and Ida’s house was an old store building; they built on the front part. This still stands and today Foster Carlow, Jr. uses it as a garage.

Only one child was born to this couple; Floyd Llewellyn Hunnewell was born on January 2, 1907. What should have been a happy time for Charles and Ida became a nightmare. Ida went crazy. She had to be committed to the state insane asylum in Bangor. Today this would have been diagnosed as post partum depression and the mother would be treated with drugs to overcome the problem.

She got better and returned to Alexander to raise her son and tend to her blacksmith husband. Charles died on January 6, 1920. Ida died on April 26, 1937. Both are buried in unmarked graves at the Alexander Cemetery. Floyd married Ethel Knowles. They raised a family of three girls; and they raised their grandson, Foster Carlow Jr. who found the diary. Again, thank you, Foster.