THE COOPER FAMILY DIARY - 1941

This diary was kept by Corice (Creamer) Cooper. Sam and Corice Cooper and their son Carleton lived off the Green Hill Road in Cooper, a somewhat isolated place; see map in issue 136. Carleton’s four sisters were older; Mildred was living in Milltown and married to Foster Higgins; Effie was married to Theodore Scott, Scotty, and lived near Honeydale, NB; Eva married Roland Perkins and lived on Bailey Hill in Alexander; and Leota lived in Bolton, Mass, married to her first husband, Bill Laws. Identification of others, if known, will be given within or after each entry, but only the first time the name appears. This issue has three months of the diary. The editor made only a few grammatical or spelling changes.


Sam hilling potatoes. Note pile of four-foot wood piled along garden

APRIL 1941

  1. Joyce Crosby was buried, a large funeral. Sam, Carleton and myself went. Eddie went home. The weather is lovely. Joyce was killed after Grange on March 29; her father Coburn was badly injured. Eddie Batron was the hired man who lived with the Coopers.

  2. Carleton went up to get Roland to kill a pig, it weighed 144 pounds. Sam, Carleton, Roland and myself went to Calais. Saw Mildred and Eva. Got 200 weight of sugar. The pig likely was sold in Calais.

  3. Carleton went over to Dyer’s. Eddie came home. We churned 29 pounds. I began to clean the upstairs bedrooms. Dyer was a son of Coburn and Yola Crosby, neighbors. The Coopers kept Jersey cows, churned butter and sold the butter in Woodland.

  4. Carleton went out to Mildred’s and they went to Effie’s on the train.

  5. Eddie hauled out wood. I cleaned the cellar way. Another money-making operation for the Cooper family was turning trees into cordwood, which was sold in Eastport.

  6. Eva came down and stayed all night. Carleton came home; he had stayed all night with Mildred.

  7. Carleton went to school. Sam, Eddie and myself went to town meeting, had a good time.

  8. Carleton went to school. I washed. Eddie split wood. Carleton and Eddie went up to the store.

  9. I churned 27 pounds. Carleton went to school. The circle was here. The store was Arthur Floods, now run by his son Nelson at the upper end of Green Hill Road. The women’s circle was often associated with a church. This was a social time when the women might knit or work on a quilt, sometimes for someone less fortunate.

  10. We went to Woodland and Calais. Effie came home. Irving Dodge went fishing and did not come home; a crew of men is trying to find him. Irving Dodge was a younger son of Everett and Ella (Henderson) Dodge of East Ridge. He was a veteran, likely of WWI, and likely a bachelor. He was known as ‘Beaver’ because of the way he cut trees. When he picked rocks from a field, he carried them off in 10 or 12 quart pales. The remnants of these pails, with no bottoms, are scattered along rock walls as testament to his labors. He, like many other single men (including Eddie) worked out as a hired man. Beaver worked for and lived with Maria Leland. He had gone ice fishing on Cathance Lake, near where Howe Meadow Brook comes in, a good place for trout.

  11. The men found Irving Dodge in the lake. Carleton went to school. Effie and I cleaned the kitchen. Sam is working on the road. Cooper, like most rural towns, expected men to work on town roads as part of their tax burden.

  12. Sam, Carleton, Eddie and myself took Effie to Calais. She went home. We got a calf from Foster. We walked to the store. That is Foster Higgins, Sam’s son-in-law.

  13. Sam, Eddie and myself went to Irving Dodge’s funeral. Sherman and Carleton kept house.

  14. Carleton walked to school. I cleaned the pantry. Eddie and Sam cleaned up the yard.

  15. I washed and cleaned the bedroom. Carleton and Eddie walked up to the store.

  16. We churned 27 pounds of butter. Carleton went to school and we all went to the store.

  17. George Perkins was buried today. I cleaned the dining room. We had a thunderstorm. George W. (1860 – 1941) and Mertie Perkins lived on Bailey Hill in Alexander. Their son Roland had married Sam and Corice’s daughter Eva. Mertie lived until 1963.

GEORGE W. PERKINS

The death of George W. Perkins occurred on April 15th at Alexander, Me. Mr. Perkins was in his 81st year of age and had been in declining health for some time. Since December he has been confined to his bed and was lovingly cared for by his son and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Perkins, with whom he resided.He was the son of the late Elisha and Rhoda Perkins, and a life long resident of Alexander.

He leaves to mourn his passing his wife Mertie Perkins, two daughters, Mrs. May Sprague of Grand lake stream, Mrs. Lester Craft of Alexander; two sons, Roland Perkins of Alexander and Leonard Perkins of Woodland; two sisters, Mrs. Lizzie Flood and Mrs. Eda Frost of Alexander; 13 grandchildren and three great grandchildren besides a host of relatives and friends,

The Funeral services were held from the Methodist Church in Alexander and were conducted by Rev. H. L. Roberston, pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Calais. His text was Matthew 23:34, “Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

He always enjoyed having Rev. Roberston and any of God’s people come and pray and talk about the things of God. He left his testimony that he was ready to meet his Maker. Interment was made in the Alexander cemetery.

There’ll be no heartache and sorrow, On that bright and beautiful shore.Jesus will be there to greet you, For you’ve asked Him o’er and o’er, To take you up there with Him, From your sickness and your pain,And will try to meet you up There, Where we’ll never part again.

This obituary was in the April 23, 1941 issue of the Calais Advertiser provided by Al Churchill of Calais

  1. Eddie is cutting bushes.

  2. Sherman and Bernard Flood had dinner with Carleton at his camp. Sherman stayed all night and they had a great time. Sherman was Nelson and Leota Flood’s son and Bernard was Raymond and Doris Flood’s son, neighbors.

  3. Sam, Carleton, Sherman, Mrs. Lehan and myself went over to John H. and over to Henry Keen’s and to grange. John Howe lived on Middle Ridge and Henry Keen at Grange Hall Corner.

  4. Carleton went to school. They sawed Coburn’s wood, 21 men were there. I washed and cleaned the hall. Readers remember that Coburn had been injured in March and this is an example of how people in rural communities looked after one another.

  5. It is real cold. Sam and Eddie worked on the road over near Coburn’s.

  6. Sam burnt his blueberry land on the west side of the house and on the low side of the road. Dyer, Nelson, Eddie and myself helped. When Sam bought the farm, there was not much open land. He cleared land, selling the wood, and blasted the rocks with dynamite, a skill he had learned while working at the granite quarry on Staples Mountain in Baileyville.

  7. Sam, Carleton, Eddie and myself went to Woodland. Carleton and Eddie went up to Raymond’s and got the wood machine. The wood machine was a sawing machine powered by a belt from a tractor or car rear wheel. See picture in issue 136.

  8. Raymond, Lorin Sadler, Eddie, Donald and Alden Batron helped on the wood. It was a good day.

  9. They got the wood all sawed by 3 o’clock. Eddie went to Calais with Raymond. Carleton took the Batron Boys home.

  10. It is raining real hard. Carleton walked to Sherman’s. Eddie went home today.

  11. Sam, Carleton, Eddie and myself went over to Coburn’s and to the store with the horse. The horse came home and left us up to the store.

  12. Carleton went to school. Sam and Eddie walked to the store.

  13. Effie called up. I am all done cleaning the setting room. Raymond Flood was down here.

MAY 1941

  1. Sam and Eddie worked on the road near Coburn’s. Carleton went hanging May baskets. We brought the car home. See map to locate garage where car was kept in winter and mud season.

  2. It snowed this morning. Eddie worked on the road.

  3. Carleton went to Calais with Raymond. I washed the car. Eddie went to Calais with Nelson. Sam picked rocks. Sherman stayed all night with Carleton.

  4. Carleton went to Meddybemps with Raymond Flood. Dale (Crosby) and Ira (Leighton) were here.

  5. Sam helped Coburn burn blueberry land. Eddie took the horse up to the shop (Likely to Walter Henderson’s blacksmith shop) Horace is here for dinner and supper and stayed all night. Horace was Corice’s brother He works at the neighboring Sullivan place; they moved to Massachusetts.

  6. Eddie and Sam planted potatoes. Horace gets his meals here likely working at the Sullivan place. We all went to the store. I churned 20 pounds butter. Sam, Carleton and Eddie are doing some farming. Carleton went to the store; he did not go to school.

  7. Sam and Eddie are farming. Sam and myself went to Woodland. Winnie Wallace and children were here.

  8. Percy Hanson was here. I planted corn. Carleton went to school. Eddie farmed. Horace is still here. Percy Hanson was a wood scaler from Woodland. Sam hired him to scale (measure volume) some tree length wood that was to be cut into cordwood (four-foot pieces). Percy worked for Eastern Pulpwood Company.

  9. Sam, Carleton and myself went to Calais to get Effie. Eddie farmed. Horace is still here and Sherman stayed all night.

  10. Talked with Leota Bailey and Mildred. Effie, Eva, Roland, Melva, Carl, Fletcher, Ivan, Donald, Arlene and baby called. Talked on the phone to two people and ten people visited.

  11. I washed. Sam, Carleton and myself took Effie to Calais.

  12. Sam, Eddie and Carleton went to Mrs. Leland’s for hay. Herb Lowe was down and got the lime spreader. Maria Leland lived on the North Union Road next to Dead Stream. Herb and Maude Lowe lived up the road.

  13. Carleton went to school. Sam and Eddie farmed. I churned 34 pounds butter.

  14. Carleton Sam and myself went to Woodland and Calais. Eddie kept house. It rained real hard. Horace is here.

  15. Percy Hanson was here. Alt Howard is here, he went to school with Carleton. Eddie and Sam are farming. Alton Howard was from Milltown; he was Carleton’s age.

  16. Alt and Carleton went fishing and got lost. Found their way out at noon, but did not get any fish.

  17. We took Alt home. Eddie brought home 4 fish. Horace is here.

  18. Carleton’s birthday. Horace is here. Carleton, Sam and myself went to the store and Raymond’s.

  19. Sam, Carleton and myself went over to May Howe’s and to Mr. Morton’s and paid the dog tax. Horace went home. Will Morton lived at Grange Hall Corner.

  20. We churned 40 pounds butter. We filled the lights. Harvard Dwelley, Bernard Flood and Darrell Frost were here. Harvard and Darrell lived in Alexander, top of Townsend Hill

  21. Sam and myself went to Woodland. Eddie farmed. Carleton went to school.

  22. Sam and Eddie are farming. Carleton went to school. We went up to Eva’s.

  23. Carleton went to the store. Eddie farmed. George Flood was here. Widow George was father of a big family including the twins, Ralph and Rolfe. See map.

  24. Sam and myself went to Lubec. Carleton, Sherman and Eddie went fishing. Carleton caught one. Corice had an Aunt Maude who lived in Lubec. She was old.

  25. Coburn planted the potatoes and Eddie helped. I washed. Sam and neighbors Arthur Flood and Coburn Crosby had jointly purchased a single row potato planter that also put down the fertilizer.

  26. Carleton has got the asthma. Sam, Eddie and myself went out the graveyard. Carleton went fishing. Likely the little Creamer Cemetery at the top of West Ridge. Corice’s father Tom died in 1900 and is buried here.

  27. We churned 39 pounds butter. Eddie is cutting bushes. We are all done farming. George Flood killed a calf.

  28. Sam and myself went to Woodland. Carleton stayed at Arlene’s. He has the asthma. Eddie cut bushes.

  29. Eddie is cutting bushes.

  30. Genevieve Flood, Miss Leighton, Sherman, Dyer and a man from New Jersey were here.

JUNE 1941

  1. Sam, Carleton and myself went out to Effie’s. Had a wonderful time. Eddie went fishing. Harold was down. Harold Perkins had grown up down the road, a brother of Ben and Bessie.

  2. I washed. Mrs. Leahan and a man from Boston were here. Sam and Eddie planted beans.

  3. Carleton went to school. Eddie cut bushes. The fish peddler was here. We went up to Eva’s and Arlene’s. Arlene McArthur is Eva’s married daughter, Sam’s granddaughter.

  4. Maude & Herb (Lowe), Doris, Minden, Bernard, Paul, Horace were here. We went over to May Howe’s, Horace went with us. Minden Perkins

  5. Sam and myself went to Woodland. Carleton went to school. Eddie cut bushes. Russell was down. Bernard’s brother Russell.

  6. Percy Hanson was here. Carleton, Eddie, Sam and myself went to the school play.

  7. Bernard was down all day; Carleton went to Calais with Bernard. Sam and myself went up to Annie Flood’s and had ice cream. Arthur and Annie were Nelson’s parents.

  8. Effie and Theodore, Fred and Bessie, Gladys were over for dinner and supper. Gladys was yet another of Corice’s sisters. Fred and Bessie are unknown.

  9. I washed. Carleton went to school. Eddie is cutting bushes.

  10. It is cold. Carleton is in school.

  11. George and Norman were here. Carleton went to school. We churned 41 pounds butter. Eddie went to the store. Still cold. George and Norman were sons of Frank and Bertha Dwelley of Alexander.

  12. Sam and myself went to Woodland. Carleton went to school.

  13. Carleton went to the school picnic; he is all done school. We went up to see Eva.

  14. Carleton stayed up to Sherman’s all night. We all went up to the store.

  15. Sam, Eddie, Carleton and myself went out to Effie’s. Carleton stayed out.

  16. I washed. Sam worked in the garden. Eddie cut bushes. Carleton is at Effie’s.

  17. Sam, Eddie and myself went down to Mrs. (Will) Morton’s. We saw Cora (Keen) and Mrs. Leland.

  18. Dale Crosby has a boy. Richard Sennett was here. A-CHS member Richard Crosby is that boy, first of three boys for Dale and Margie. Richard Sennett was from Meddybemps.

  19. Sam and myself went to Woodland. Eddie worked in the garden. Maude and Herb were here.

  20. Lawrence, Arlene and baby were here. Bernard and Raymond were here. We went up to the store.

  21. I washed the car. Eddie is cutting bushes. It is hot.

  22. Sam and myself went to Effie’s and got Carleton; he had a good time. He and Effie and Theodore all had gone to Pennfield.

  23. I washed. Effie went up to Eva’s. Les Worrell was here. Les lived at the top of Gooch Hill in Alexander.

  24. Sam Carleton Effie and myself went to Calais. Mildred came back with us.

  25. I churned 38 pounds butter. Effie, Mildred and myself called on friends in town. Went to Eva’s in evening.

  26. Sam, Mildred, Effie and myself went to Woodland. Then we took Effie and Mildred home. Sam, Eddie, Carleton and myself went to the school in Alexander. Sherman stayed all night with Carleton. Probably it was Cedar School.

  27. Eva, Sam and myself went to Lubec to Aunt Maude’s funeral. Carleton stayed up with Sherman.

  28. Carleton went to Calais with Sherman. We had a thundershower.

  29. Sam and myself went to Princeton. Carleton stayed with Darrell Frost. Horace was here.

  30. George Flood, the two boys and Betty were over, killed Bemar, the calf. Paul Flood and Horace were here. Paul was Bernard’s brother.


Coburn and Yola Crosby were my grandparents. I learn about their lives through the words in a neighbor’s diary. These same words also allow others to learn about life in rural Washington County just before World War Two. How does this diary relate to your life or the lives of your family?