Grandma’s Diary

Aunt Naomi sent this to me a few days ago. I remember seeing it some time ago, but had forgotten about it. I think aunt Naomi transcribed it, but I’m not sure. Maybe someone who know will say. Is the original still around? It would be nice to post images of the original too.

Transcriber’s note: Where there are (?) the writing was not legible or there were omissions. See notes on last page.

Our Diary

written by Theresa Erhardt Sommerer

  1. We were married October 24, 1916 and left October 25 for our wedding trip to Lexington, Missouri. We stayed there a week, and then went to Benton (?). We returned to Jefferson City the first of November. Adolph voted at the polls at Wardsville on our way home on November 2nd. On November 3rd we went up home to get my things and in the evening a crowd gave us a chivarie.
  2. Christmas day we went to church and on the way home Louis Henry turned our buggy over and us out. January 1st we spent up home with mamma and papa.
  3. Theodore came to work for us the 24th of April, 1917.
  4. On Sunday morning, August 26th at 5:00 a.m., Elizabeth was born. Yetta Meier, Dr. Aldridge, Mrs. Cooper and Nora were here. This was mission feast day. Mrs. Cooper went home on Monday, Sept. 9th. Bill Fischer died at Lexington on the (?) Herbert Sommerer was home here for Christmas. He helped Santa trim the Christmas tree.
  5. August came down here on the first of April 1918.
  6. Dora and Theodore got married in (?)
  7. Andy’s sale was the 7th of Sept… Lillian was born the 10th of October. Mrs. Cooper and Dr. Hill were here and Nora. Mrs. Cooper went home one week later.
  8. Dec. – Farm wagon for Christmas.
  9. January 1st 1919. August had tonsillitis and we would not let him get out of bed. Theodore Beck came in the afternoon and stayed until 12:30 am. Herbert was here and Theodore had just returned from camp a few days before.
  10. In April, Andy took sick and died on April (?)
  11. In July, 1919, we got our car.
  12. Viola was born on (?) She was christened the following Sunday and we were there and also Bill Meiers, Nick Krueger, Chas. Propst, Nora, Bianka and Rev. Bultman.
  13. August 25th was mission feast day. We went up in the afternoon in the car. Dad went in the morning with Wm. Meiers. Earnest Fischers were here from Benton County. After church we went down home. Enos Garden, Tillie, Louis, Clara, Leona, Mildred Beck, August, Otto, Selma, Morris and Gladys were there.
  14. December 25th the kids got lots of Christmas presents and a tree. Wm. Meiers were down on the second Christmas day. January 1st we were up home. On the way home we took Uncle John along because Otto’s car broke down by Herman Korsmeyers. On the second New Year’s Day we were in at Tillie’s, Mom’s and Glady’s. Got lots of things for Christmas. March 12, 1920 Erhardt (Bud) was born. Bianka went back to town the 20th. Yetta, Dora, Nora, Julie were down that day. I was awful tired in the evening.
  15. Bailed the 19, 20th until 3:30 on the January 21st. Nora and Gus went home.
  16. On the 22nd I sewed all day. Made 3 aprons and some squares. On the 23rd I cleaned up the house in the a.m. and in the p.m. I went up and ironed and scrubbed for Yetta as Lydia was sick with pneumonia, a sore ear and whooping cough.
  17. On Monday I washed. It rained nearly every day this week and today is the 29th of January. We were going down to Herbert’s to bail hay but it rained this a.m. so we never went.
  18. Also had showers with thunder and lightning. This p.m. I patched 10 pair of overalls. I sent 1 ½ dozen eggs to town with Adolph. They were $.50 a dozen on January 27, 1921. Next morning I went to town to have my teeth fixed. I stayed in town one week, and came home on next Sunday.
  19. Good Friday. March 25th I was at home alone all day. Gus and Adolph went to town and down to Herbert’s. Went to get Gus’ car. Easter Sunday we were at home all day. It rained every few minutes. The babies got their Easter eggs this p.m. It’s very cold outside. Easter Monday we had snow. The 20th of April Helen Korsmeyer got married and the 12th of this month Selma Beck got married. Julia K. was down here for dinner the 11th. I’ve got about 60 little chicks. We haven’t eaten any lettuce or radishes yet. The 23rd of April Gus, Dad and Adolph caught about 160 lbs. of fish which we distributed among our friends and relatives. The Moreau River was high that day on the 24th. We went up to Dora and Theodore’s for dinner.
  20. In the evening we stopped up home and got 54 baby chicks. Tillie and Louis were there. This was my birthday all day. The 25th we went to town because Buddie was sick with hives.
  21. We came home in the rain all the way. Left our car back in the lane. Tuesday it rained all day and on Wednesday I started to wash. But Buddie was cross and in the p.m. Mary and Aunt Minnie from Nebraska came down and so I put my washing out Thursday. I ironed in the p.m. and Friday I washed and hung my dark clothes out on Saturday as it was raining all week between times. In the a.m. Gus took Adolph to town as he went to Tipton. Gus went to town again this evening. Sunday we were at home alone all day and in evening it cleared up but at night an awful wind storm came. The first of May, Monday it’s cloudy and cold. You can see the Moreau River all around, but it’s out only in the very low places.
  22. Adolph came home this evening. Today the 3rd of May, Mama and Papa were down also John Aftesheidt (?) and Herbert. The 4th of May Adolph went to town. He is going to Callaway with the Millers. Today is Acension Day. We were up home and to the…(?).can’t read.
  23. May 7 – Was a long day. Adolph went to town to get Prince Lavender (?). I did my Saturday’s work at noon. I was done. I put out some beans, radishes and lettuce before it rained too hard. Gus sprouted late potatoes in the cellar. Sunday May 8th was a rainy day. And the Moreau River was the highest it has been all year.
  24. May 10 – it rained lots of the time. We had just lots of fish due to the Moreau raise. Bill Meyer, Emil Hurchwiaw, Dad, Gus, Adolph, Bud and Otto and Fred chased them. I made several pair of bloomers for Elizabeth and Lillian.
  25. May 11 – Otto was down for dinner and Gus and Otto went to town and took 30 lbs. of dressed fish in. Also got 6 setting hens from Mary today.
  26. May 12 – I washed clothes and then Yetta and Leona came in the p.m. I did not finish, as we went to the slue to fish. Gus came home. And we also had a rain, lightning & thundering at 12p.m.
  27. May 13 – I ironed all day.
  28. May 14 – Adolph and Gus got 4 loads of corn at Herbert’s.
  29. May 15 – We were at home alone all day. Gus went to town. We fixed on the car.
  30. May 17 – Got calves. Took one truck load of hogs away.
  31. May 19 – Gus listed (?) the piece of corn by the alfalfa.
  32. On May (?) – Saturday, I cleaned up all morning.
  33. Sunday, May 22 – Adolph worked on his tractor in the a.m. We went up to Wm. Meiers and Adolph to August Henrys. Herbert came up in the evening and went to the dance at Andy Zehenders.
  34. May 23 – Rose (?) Poese (?) was out for dinner and fixed the tractor. I had a large strawberry shortcake and they ate it all. I picked my first large picking of strawberries.
  35. May 24 – This a.m. at 9:00, Mrs. John Krueger was buried and I preserved 16 ½ quarts of strawberries. It’s 4:30 now and I want to wash my dinner dishes, as we all took a nap after dinner as it’s awful hot.
  36. May 28 – on Saturday Lydia and Alma Meyer came down brought a bucket of cookies and took some strawberries along home. I did all my cleaning up in the a.m. at 11. We went to town. I got me some house aprons.
  37. May 29 – we went up home for dinner and then over to Miller’s.
  38. May 30- I washed in the a.m., picked strawberries in the p.m.
  39. May 31- I preserved strawberries in the a.m. and in the p.m. I went to work in the garden. Towards 7 o’clock then Elizabeth hit Lillian with a rock and we had to have that sewed up by the doctor.
  40. June 3 – I did all my cleaning today as we want to go to town tomorrow evening and have the stitches taken from Lillian’s sore.
  41. June 5 – We were to church and then up to Martin Engelbrecht’s. The two babies were so cross that I know Mrs. Engelbrecht was nearly worried to death.
  42. June 11 – Was the picnic in town.
  43. June 23 – On Thursday, Mama came and Selma and stayed until Monday p.m. Mama got sick so Gus took her and stayed himself.
  44. Tuesday the Moreau was out all over the bottom’s. It took all the bottom wheat and ruined all the corn. Wednesday I washed in the p.m. Buddie has a boil. We took him to have it lanced and on Friday I took sick in bed all day Sat. and Sun. Adolph done the work this is the first time I wasn’t able to be up and do my housework since we were married.
  45. Monday 4th was the big picnic and wedding. Bianka came down in the a.m. and in the evening Nora and Gus came from the picnic after her. It rained a good shower like it always does on the 4th.
  46. On the 5th Adolph and Bill went up home after a cow. And brought Selma along down she helped me a lot with my house work. Today is Sunday. The 10th of July. Dora’s boy is being christened. Louis and Herbert are namesakes. We did not have an invitation. Adolph took the wash up to Nora this p.m. Selma, Elizabeth and Lillian went along. Buddie and I are at home alone. Bill is down fishing.
  47. Dec. 8 – Adolph Neymeyer shredded today…
  48. Dec. 9 – We sawed wood today. I had no one to help me.
  49. Dec. 10 – Was up home today. Adolph was at Theodore & Dora.
  50. Dec. 11 – They are gathering corn. Louis Schepkers, Frank Korber and Adolph they want to finish up today. Up home they are butchering.
  51. Dec. – 13 & 14 I am sick with tonsillitis. Adolph washed the 14th.
  52. Dec. – 15 Rosa and Margaret were down for dinner. They took supper with Uncle Johns.
  53. Dec. – 16 Adolph went to town with corn. They boys are chopping wood down by the Moreau.
  54. Dec. – 17 Gladys has diphtheria. The boys got four rabbits this a. m.
  55. Dec. – 24 Adolph and kids were up at Mary’s in the p.m.
  56. Dec. – 25 Herbert was here for dinner and Mary came down.
  57. Dec. 26 – Tuesday we were to town at Tillie’s for dinner and then up home, then stopped at Yetta’s a minute, then with Mary, then came home.
  58. Dec 31 – Yetta and all were down here (dad’s horse sick to bed 10:30
  59. We had roast goose for dinner and forgot to put the apple sauce and stuffing on the table. Also had lettuce and celery. In the p.m. we went to Meiers. They had goose for supper and burnt the gravy. Bertha went to Lawrence Sommers to a party and August took her home.
  60. 1922, Jan 2 – John’s Sommerer butchered.
  61. Jan. 5 – We butchered on Friday and canned 108 quarts of meat.
  62. Elizabeth went to town on the 31st of Dec. We had our hogs vaccinated Christmas week .About 30 died in all.
  63. Jan. 13 – Bertha cleaned upstairs and I baked cookies, killed an old hen and iced the cookies.
  64. Jan. 14 – In the a.m. about 2:30 Felix was born. Adolph got Mrs. Korsmeyer to come down, and in the p.m. Adolph and Luecke took Lillian to town.
  65. Jan. 16 Adolph took Mrs. Korsmeyer home and brought Anna Krueger down.
  66. Jan. 23 – On Monday I got up. Adolph took Anna home.
  67. Jan. 24 – I had to go back to bed this evening. Called the doctor. He came here from Dave Sommerer’s.
  68. Feb. 5 – I got up today. Julia, Herbert and Ruth were here. August came in the evening.
  69. Jan. 6 – Herbert Sommerer was here and returned the butchering things. Adolph went to town this a.m.
  70. Feb. – Adolph is going to town after Margaret Goller, and Bertha is going home.
  71. Feb. 12 – At home all day and was expecting company.
  72. Feb. 15 – Tillie sent Elizabeth to the kindergarten for the first time.
  73. Feb. 19 – Stilers (?), Gladys and Elizabeth were here this afternoon. Baby weighs 9 ½ lbs.
  74. Feb. 20 – We washed this a.m. in the p.m. we dressed two greenheads Luecke got off the pond.
  75. Feb. 21 – We had a rabbit for supper. Adolph was to town to get ship and flour.
  76. Feb. 23 – Mr. Luecke took a cold, was sick until today, on Feb. 26. Now he is better. It’s raining and gets slick when it falls on the ground. Was sleeting a little, too. Eggs are selling for 25-cents per dozen.
  77. Feb. 24 – Viola Sachs and A. Moore got married.
  78. March 9 – Adolph took Margaret in town and Elizabeth came along home.
  79. March 14 – Had real high water. Was all over our wheat.
  80. March 6 – Mary and Leona were down.
  81. March 19 – Yesterday was the Schneider and Zuber sale (?) went down and never came home.
  82. March 20 – We are home all day as we had a big hail storm this a. m. and thunder and lightning. The Moreau was out in the low bottom this….?
  83. March 22 – We went up home to Mama because….?
  84. Feb. 6 – Canned meat
  85. Feb. 7 – Canned meat and rendered lard.
  86. Feb. 8 – Sawed wood and baled hay. Leona was down and we washed.
  87. Feb. 11 – At home alone all day.
  88. Mar 11 – Rained all day. I did all my scrubbing because on Sat., Mar. 10, I washed and never got my cleaning done.
  89. Mar. 12 – Bud’s birthday. The Moreau was back full and could be seen all around just like on the morning three years ago.
  90. Mar. 13 – Ironed this p.m. Kids all well. Have never been sick all winter. Never had a cold yet. Felix is cutting three teeth. He isn’t a bit cross.
  91. Jan 1- 1923 Got up at 4:30 a.m. Brought Dad home this p.m.
  92. Jan 7 – Was at home all day working got surprised this evening – danced and sure had a good time. Five women folks and seven men here.
  93. Jan 8 – Ironed, and the doctor was here and took the cast off (off of who?) and examined his (whose?) leg and put it on again.
  94. Jan 9 – Adolph going to take a load of corn tomorrow.
  95. Jan 14 – Felix’s Birthday. Nora and Selma were down and Ben Dulle was here in the p.m.
  96. Feb 4 – At home baking for butchering on the Feb. 5. Mary, & Agnes helped me.
  97. July 11 – Adolph thrashed at Ben Dulle’s and July 12 at Loesch’s. I’m feeling awful weak and tough today. Louis came home from his wreck he had his face all patched up.
  98. August 26 – We had a birthday party for Elizabeth. Clara, Edna and Agnes Zehendner, Gladys and Selma were here.
  99. Nov. 20 – Tillie, Louis and Gladys came out in the afternoon
  100. Nov. 21 – I ironed in the a.m. and patched and darned in the p.m. Adolph dug late potatoes.
  101. Nov. 23 – Dad went to Yetta’s as Bill’s on the jury and Adolph is washing late potatoes.
  102. Nov. 24 – Adolph and kids and I were at home all day. Had roast chicken for our Thanksgiving dinner and we sure all ate a lot. Dad came home for supper.
  103. Nov. 25 – Adolph is over at Adolph Niemeyer’s helping get out corn.
  104. Nov. 27 – We were all up home. Bianka and kids, Julie, Dora and family were there.
  105. Nov. 25 – Frank L. came home last night. He is over at Andy Zehendner’s chopping wood.
  106. Dec. 1 – Buddie fell and cut his head. Adolph and Mary took him to the doctor and had two stitches taken.
  107. Dec. 2 – Bertha came down today.
  108. Dec. 3 – We had a five-inch snow and we cleaned up the house.
  109. Dec. 24 – This evening Bertha went to church with Uncle John’s. The kids saw the tree in the evening. Adolph had to wake them all up. Mr. Hurschle (?) and Adolph played dominoes. Our Christmas day we were here. I felt awful bad but had a good chicken dinner anyway. Adolph dried the supper dishes and dinner dishes.
  110. Dec. 26 – We were here alone all day. Bertha came back in the p.m.
  111. Dec. 18, 1921 – Bertha and Lillian were up at Mary’s on Tuesday. Lillian wouldn’t say a word all the time she was up there.
  112. Nov. 14, 1923 – I went up to celebrate Mama and Papa’s 51st wedding anniversary.
  113. Sept. 1923 – Elizabeth and Lillian started school at Union.
  114. Thanksgiving day 1923, we were all at home. Herbert was here and Margaret Goller as we were shredding the day before and were expecting to shred again but it rained all day so we didn’t get to shred this week anymore.
  115. Dec. 15, 1923 – Frank DeBroeck and Dad went to Bill Meier’s butchering. Adolph took two girls (Elizabeth and Lillian) to town for new shoes.
  116. Dec. 16, 1923 – At home all day. Washed woolens in gasoline.
  117. Dec. 17 – Adolph, Bud, Felix, Frank Debouck and I went butchering to Zehenders. Grandpa was at home.
  118. Dec. 20 – On Christmas day we were all to Louis Stuber’s for goose dinner, also Ed Meier’s and Theodore Erhardt’s family. Kids had a wonderful time.
  119. Mar. 31 – Went to town to get repairs for Adolph’s engine. It snowed enough to make the ground white. Tuesday, April the 1st we went to the school election and put Mrs. Anna Zehendner back on the place as directed.
  120. Wed., Apr. 3 – We are shredding our fodder this afternoon. Margaret Goller is helping me cook.
  121. March 17, 1924 – We called Dr. Hill as Felix had an attack of asthma. Was pretty sick but recovered rapidly.
  122. April 3 – Never had my garden plowed yet and never put out a seed yet. Am very anxious though.
  123. April 11 – Have my garden all out, but it needs rain or it won’t come up. Today Elizabeth and Sis never went to school as Elizabeth has the hives.
  124. Oct. 8, 1926 – Vernon was born.

###End of diary ###

Notes: In this diary I believe that “Dad” or “Grandpa” is Adolph’s father. And where reference is made to Papa and Mama, I believe that is Theresa’s mom and dad. When Mom mentions “up home” I’m sure she means the house on Dunklin St. where she was raised. All of the siblings (or their children) have one copy of this diary. I have the original copy in a cedar chest at my house.

  • What is shredding?
  • In 1921 eggs were 50-cents a dozen. They haven’t gone up much in comparison to other food products.
  • In farming, what is ship?
  • Did Elizabeth go to kindergarten?
  • What is a slue?
  • What is a greenhead?

Website note: Numbers have been added to each entry to make referring to them in comments easier.

21 thoughts on “Grandma’s Diary

  1. Shredding is destroying the stalks of corn after the corn has been harvested.

    I found it amazing that they were harvesting hay in January…I can’t imagine trying to bring in hay when it is below zero!

  2. 39. …Elizabeth hit Lillian with a rock and we had to have that sewed up by the doctor.

    I grew up hearing stories about my dad hitting his older brother and sisters with a hammer. I guess this is where he got that? That should be a category on the website, “hit by a rock.”

    • Speaking of “hit by a rock” do you remember the time we were throwing wood from the little wagon behind the blue house and you hit me in the head with a log and knocked me off the wagon?

  3. Washing woolins in gasoline. Did they smell after they dried?? I remember putting coleoil on my legs to keep the chiggars off picking blackberries. At least the chiggars didn’t eat me up. Washed the stuff off when got home though. The berries back then were bigger and tastier for some reason.

  4. When Mother says (up home) I think she is talking about Cedar Row, where Aunt Nora, and Uncle Henry lived, when we were growing up. That is where or Grandparents lived until they died. Correct me someone!

    I think Mother and Dady were married in that house.

  5. Shredding is done by a machine like a threshing machine. Corn is cut in the fall and put in shocks which are big teepee looking bundles of corn stalks with the corn ear still on the stalk. These shocks were left in the field till we had time and enough help to haul it in and run it through the shredder. The procedure pulled the ears off and they were moved to a separate pile to go into the corn bin and the stalks were ground up and blowed up into the hayloft and then that was used for cattle feed.
    Ship is ground whole wheat kernals – like bread flower. We used it for feed by adding milk or whey. Hogs and chickens liked it.
    Slue is a low area or ditch that isn’t normally filled with water that is the first to flood when the river comes up.
    Greenhead is a male mallard duck

    We don’t know if Elizabeth went to kindergarten.
    Now you know all Mahlon knows. –Marylynn

  6. Mahlon didn’t You and I, Cleo, Naomi, and Lloyd have to do this shredding with our own two little hands? That is what I remember! Setting beside a corn shock, and pulling the ears off the stalks. It was always so cold when we did this. After you left home and we got the tractor, and wagon, we would just drive through the corn rows, and throw the corn on the wagon. That was a lot nicer. Dady would cut the corn with a corn knife after we were through, and feed it to the cattle.

    • But that’s not shredding; that’s just shucking it. The shredder pulled the ears and chopped the stalks. Made it look just like silage.

    • I am guessing, but wasn’t there a machine that had about 20 disks in a row and the horse pulled it over the crops. Isn’t that what the disk did , shred the crops into the ground . The dictionary says shred is tear off, fragment, cut or tear to shreds… Then there was this other thing that was called a harrow, the dictionary says it had spikes used for breaking up and leveling the plowed ground ( harrowing) I think these things are still on Lloyds farm. When we have the fall Wiener roast we sure want to get Lloyd to show these things to the kids and me.

      • Dad used the machine with the disks to till up the bottom when I was a kid….it is not a shredder. the only other piece of old equipment that I know is there is the hay rake.

  7. I stumbled across this quote and thought it belongs on this site!

    Let us make future generations remember us as proud ancestors just as, today, we remember our forefathers.

    – Moo-hyum Roh

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