Cast of Characters: Hugh is my Grandfather; Earnie (later spelled 'Ernie'), the 'Babe', is my Father; Helen (Grandpa's sister) is my Great Aunt; Arthur is Helen's husband and my Great Uncle; Jim and Norm are my Grandfather's brothers.
I shall attempt to maintain the integrity of the original document as closely as possible, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.
My Diary for 1920
Jan 1. New Years day broke very stormy on the Hills. snowing and blowing terribly but the sun up the New Years dinner for the bunch namely.
Mother & father Simpson
Mother & father Poole
Aunt Alice Leckie, Elsie and Birt, Helen, Arthur, Norman. Jim, Edith, Bruce, Uncle Ob & Aunt Annie and ourselves.
Grandpa Wren and Addie did not come because Addie broke her teeth. Kate, Earl, Ethel and Arthur did not come because they were all sick.
At night we had a dance had a fine crowd and a fine time. Also one of the grandest callers. black, ragged and sassy namely Windy Kenney.
Jan 2. The day after the night before Slept until half past ten and dragged around the rest of the day. Hugh helped Arthur cut wood in the afternoon.
Jan 3. Still sleepy never woke up until eight o.clock and mended horse blankets principally all day.
Jan 4. Sunday all day. Stayed home all day. Mother and Dad came up in the afternoon. and Hugh & Dad cut hair.
Jan 5. Well today was election. Harry Hodges, Hugh and I went to town in the bob sleigh. Every body crazy. Great race between Frank Whitton & Harry Philps for reeve. Harry Philps won by 63 majority. U. F. O's trimmed in the Township
Brother Mc.Call reeve. Harry Bedal. Tom Fritz and Clarence Cole councillors. Grace Loomis rode out to her mothers with us. Helen and Arthur came up here and stayed all night
Jan 6. Babe is nine months old today and hasn't a single tooth. Hugh helped Arthur cut wood and I nursed a head ache all day (must have been the results of the election but I don't think I got drunk.
Jan 7.th. Somebody lied for babe has a tooth. I guess it is up to me to buy him a new dress. Hugh and Arthur went to town with a grist this forenoon. Clew and Roy came out this afternoon and they all went to the woods. The boys stayed for supper and we had a game of pedro* afterward
*pedro is a bidding card game similar to Euchre
Jan 8 th. Hugh helped Arthur clean up buckwheat this forenoon and again to night. I had to stay home and set my bread.
Jan 9 th. Babe has another wee tooth this morning and just as good as he can be.
Jan 10 th. Hugh helped Arthur this forenoon. We all went to town this afternoon and Hugh and I went down home to the bay for supper and I stayed all night Jim went out home with Hugh. I read some of "Her Ransom". until eleven o'clock.
Jan 11 th Got five to eight (sic). Hugh Helen and Jim came down for dinner We finished reading the book all stayed for supper. I bought a print dress from Hugh's mother for $2.00 which I still owe her by the way. I guess she will have to wait till my ship comes in.
Jan 12. Failed to arise very early this morning so kept busy getting work done. Hugh and Arthur went to the woods.
Jan 13. Had the sawing machine today. sawed 3 hours. Helen sick with a cold.
Jan 14 th. Hugh helped Arthur with the sawing machine in the forenoon. Stayed with Babe in the afternoon and I went down and straightened things up for Helen.
Jan 15 th. Hugh and Arthur went to town with a grist never got home till nearly foul o'clock. Hugh stayed at Nurse Taylors for dinner and she gave him a bunch ofbooks to read.
Jan 16 th. Helen came up this morning and stayed all day. Hugh and Arthur went over to Minakers sale. Helen and Arthur came up and stayed all night.
Jan 17.th. Earnie cried nearly all night. Seems to have a dreadful cold. Arthur and Hugh gone to town this afternoon. Helen and Arthur stayed all night.
Jan 18. Snow blowing to beat the band. Just noon Mother came in as large as life. Dad brought her as far as Roy Russells but couldn't get any farther (sic) so she waded the rest of the way. and stayed all night.
Jan 19.th. I washed this forenoon and mother went home this afternoon. They think Helen is getting the Smallpox. nice Eh! Dr Wade coming out in the morning also coming up to vaccinate me "nice again"
Jan 20 th. Helen has small-pox O.K. carded her in for two whole weeks. Dr Wade came up here and vaccinated me and that poor little babe of mine. Cruel old thing
Jan 21. Hugh helped Harry saw wood this afternoon. Got Dads (sic) hay in the forenoon. Babe seems to have a cold
Jan 22. Hugh helping Harry again this forenoon over to Mr Hares this afternoon. Babe seems to be rather sick but guess his vaccination is working. Also has an awful cold in his head. Nose all stuffed up. My arm is rather sore
Jan 23. Babe seems no better can't breath (sic) through his poor little nose at all. My arm getting sorer all the time.
Jan 24. Babe seems about the same. Dr. Dure came out and said he had Brochitis (sic) very bad, a little congestion bordering on pnoumonia (sic) I must bath him three times a day, mustard back and front twice a day wash out bowels twice a day and give a mess of dope.
Jan 25. Poor little fellow seems dull. Dr Dure out again today congestion a little better temperature 100 but believe me he is an awful sick baby.
Jan 26. Dr. Dure ill as per usual. Nurse Taylor raising hogs and chickens. So Mother and I battle alone in the dark. Babe seems awfully Dull.
Jan 27. Dr Dure worse. nurse Taylor has to ask her hubby before she can come. Mother and I still working in the dark. We think he is better. He breaths (sic) easy and has played a little. Kidneys not acting good.
Jan 28. Dr Wade the old stand by came out this morning. Said his lungs were alright. Left medicine for Kidneys and said to put mustard across Kidneys at back and onion drafts on feet. It certainly is some relief to know he is better if his Kidneys only right up now.
Jan 29. Hugh went to town this morning with a load a (sic) buckwheat. Dad drove up and helped clean up a little buckwheat and the barn floor to get ready for the clovermill. The men all gone this afternoon to Bring the clovermill over to Harry's Baby better but cross. my arm still awful sore
Jan 30. Thrashing (sic) Roy's clover seed. moved over here this afternoon to stay all night. Baby a lot better.
Jan 31. Clear as a bell. Cold as H--l. and wind right out of the north. Some chisselly (sic). Engine refused to go. Too cold to thrash men all went home. Hugh went to town and of course it was too cold for Mamma's pet to go.
Feb 1. No body showed up today I went over this afternoon and called on Mrs Hare. Helen and Art came up for supper.
Feb.2. Calmus Day. Old Bear seen his shadow alright. Finished Thrashing our clover, moved over to Gartshores and thrashed them half out.
Feb.3. Finished Gartshores this forenoon and moved the clover mill to the corner. Hugh and I went to town this afternoon. Everybody sick just about down town
Feb. 4 th. Dad came up helped Hugh put in straw. This afternoon Hugh took a load down for him. Mother went home.
Feb 5. Hugh went down home this afternoon and never got home until nine o'clock as per usual.
Feb 6. Babe ten months old today. He feels pretty good now but is thin. Hugh run (sic) one trip for Bird this afternoon.
Feb 7. Hugh went to work this morning run two trips. run on a snag on the Third and smashed up things generally. We Sent (sic) to town by Helen and Arthur
Feb.8. Dad and Mother came up and spent the day.
Feb 9. Hugh run three trips today Earls folks a little better. Helen stays with Babe while I water the cows.
Feb 10. The scab stuck to the bandage and came off my arm today and it is as sore as the dickens. I say darn the vaccination. Gordon Thorne left today for the west to see Florence who is sick in the hospital with flu and pneumonia.
Feb.11 th. The boys are in the woods again today Helen and I have to do the noon chores.
Feb. 12. The boys in the woods again today. Florence Thorne died tonight way out in the West. A life of good work cut short.
Feb. 13. The boys working again today The same old story.
Feb. 14. Boys just run two trips. came home early. Mother came up with Hugh so we could go to town. Snowing nicely and we got old Charlie down twice before we got home.
Feb 15. Snowing and blowing something dreadful. Mother couldn't get home.
Feb 16. Still snowing and blowing. Arthur and Hugh went to town with a grist and Mother went with them. I made Helen a new skirt. Gordon brought Florence home today on The noon train.
Feb. 17. Today worse Than yesterday. The funeral today in Brighton Methodist church interment in Mount Hope cemetery. Helen and Art rode old gamie up last night.
Feb. 18. Stormed so yesterday That the funeral was postponed until today. Nice and bright today. Old Mare took sick while Hugh was breaking roads.
Feb. 19. Hugh run one trip today as the roads were awfully heavy. Arthur watered the cows for me.
Feb 20. Men away. Helen watered the cows. I decided to bake and scrub today.
Feb 21. Nice and warm. Helen and I took babe out today.
Feb 22. Another nice day. Hugh and I went down to mothers. Met her and Aunt Jess & Uncle Jim coming up at McLaughlins and they made us go right on. The first time babe hase been away from home for several weeks.
Feb. 23. Hugh gone to work for Bird. Dad came up. We had a chore boy. Snowed quite hard. I washed today.
Feb. 24. Had to be my own chore boy today. Dandy day nice and warm.
Feb. 25 Dad walked up today, Had received a bill from E.O. Butler for $19.50 for coal which Hugh settled with Alsike. Dad of course very much excited.
Feb. 26. My own chore boy again today.
Feb.27. Dad and Mother came up. Dad took me to town in the afternoon: I went in and seen Mr. Butler and easily explained the difficulty and got a receipt.
Feb. 28. Stormy some. Hugh stuck it out and got in his three trips.
Feb. 29. Leap Year. Hurrah! for the Old Maids went down to the bay today.
Mar 1. Harry and Hugh refused to use the big sleighs so got the G.B. Mr Bird owes Hugh $40. Norm came out to do chores.
Mar 2. Hugh and Norm cut a little wood. nice and warm
Mar. 3. Cut wood some more when they were not reading.
Mar 4. I washed this morning. Helen and Art came up. About midnight it started to pour and rain.
Mar 5. Colder Than Greenland. Hugh cleaned the woodshed and I scrubbed up the soot. He and Norm sewed old Harness (sic) all the afternoon
Mar 6 Babe eleven months old today. Nice day but awfully cold. Mr Hubbles got half a bushel of timothy seed.
Mar 7. Mr and Mrs Simpson came out we were all to Helens for dinner and here for supper. They stayed Here all night.
Mar 8. Snowed and blowed a hurricane Mr & Mrs Simpson stayed all day & night again. I made her a waist.
Mar 9. I was 24 years old today. Hugh and his dad went to the woods. Came up about four o.clock and his father and Mother went home
Mar 10. Hugh took a load of wood to Mrs Ben
Mar 11. Bought the old Ratie Saxon farm $2550 I expect to soon look like Mrs Reddick and then Sheff McQuoid will take me off to the poor house.
Mar 12 Hugh and Arthur went to town
Mar 13. Hugh went to Uncle Wid's sale bought a calf for $26.
Mar 14. Cold as greenland. Stayed home all day feel crosser than a bear.
Mar 15 Dad and Mother came up for a little while. Hugh went after his calf in the afternoon.
Mar 16. I guess I have lost track nearly but I think we went to town.
Mar 17. Hugh helped Uncle Ob draw logs
Mar 18. --------
Mar 19 --------
Mar 20. went to town and stayed to cora's (sic) for supper I got new hat & think it lacks a handle.
Mar 21. Stayed home all day. Hugh contrary wouldn't go down home
Mar 22. Arthur helped Hugh get up wood
Mar 23. Hugh and Arthur went over to Jay Ways sale.
Mar 23. Dad and Mother came up
Mar 4. We all went down to Mother's I ripped up my suit and making it over
Mar 25. Hugh went down to help dad cut wood. I went to water cows and went in the mud some.
(At this point in the diary, Jenny changes from writing with a pen to writing in pencil)
Mar.27 Downtown Down to Uncle Frank's for supper.
Mar.28. Down to the Bay for dinner. Mother and Dad there too
Mar 29. Hughs father came out to help take in stack stormed so he stayed all night
Mar 30 Hugh & his father took down straw
Mar 31 """"
April 1 Down to mothers all day
April 2 Hugh went down & helped Dad saw wood
April 3. went to Mother (sic) for supper Then went to town
April 4. Easter Sunday home all day
April 5. -----
April 6. Earnie a year old.
April 7. Irene over to learn to tat Hugh took down Mrs Langdon a load of wood
April.8. We went down to Mother (sic) for dinner & over to the farm I like it awfully well.
April 9. Irene over. I washed. Hugh took feed over to Mr Parron
April 10. Went to town.
April. 11. Were going down to Aunt Susie's to see grandma & grandpa but it rained so stayed home & went over to Mr Hobb's for supper.
April 12 Went over to the farm and papered a room.
April 13. I washed in the afternoon & churned
April 14. I did a big wash
April 15. Dad came up and he and Hugh ploughed
" 16. Ploughed some more. I have got to iron.
My diary fell short.
Although the diary is only three and one half months long, I treasure it dearly. It is practically the only piece of memorabilia that keeps me closely linked with Grandma. Unlike a favorite trinket or bauble, this diary is in my Grandmother's own handwriting, and this makes it priceless to me.
I can only hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.
Review The Diary Introduction