LETTERS FROM Mona – Part 21- April 8 – April 28th, 1914

Mae’s mother, Martha Smith Phillips

April 8, 1914

Dear Diary,

  My heart is bursting, I got a letter from Roy. Funny how a little piece of paper can make my day but then it  isn’t the paper, it’s the person who penned it, isn’t it? But oh, how homesick reading it made me because it was filled with news of our Puyallup family. I sure miss seeing them. Letters aren’t the same no matter how nice they are.

And oh, how lovely Roy’s description of the spring color was. In my mind’s eye I could just see all the trees abloom. When I look out the window here there is nary a speck of green grass yet.

I have decided to study for the teacher exams in earnest. It will be a lot of work, but Aunt Sarah says I can do it and she will help me if she can.


April 13, 1914

Dear Diary,

Just a few words now I haven’t written in a few days I will have to be short though as I have many chores still to do. Mama and I did the laundry earlier today though she ought not to as she is feeling rather poorly again. 

Fortunately, today the weather is fine and sun is out bright. I do love looking at it is blowing on the line mainly because it means it is done. Soon I will be out taking it down to save for ironing day.

I spent the night over at Edna’s Sunday night and Rob gave me a ride back this morning. Edna seems to be all over whatever her mad with me was about. Maybe it was just she felt different now that she’s and old married lady. But she isn’t old at all for we are both the same age. She has decided to study for the teacher’s exam, too. It will be nice to have someone to study with.

Frank Rishor was over and left Hazel and I some of his Rose Petals to try our hand at making beads. I hope we can sell some. It would sure be nice to make some money of my own.

That’s all I have time to write as it is time to put the rising bread into the oven to bake. Then I want to scrub the floor before Mama gets back from visiting Aunt Sarah.  Mama still looks peaked, but nearly as bad as Aunt Sarah.

P. S.

Here is how to make rose beads:

1. Gather the rose petals and place them on old tin sheets in the sun all day.

2. Put them through a mincer to grind them up with a 1/2 cup of water for every 2 cups of petals.

3. Heat them in a cast iron fry pan over a medium fire, stirring with a wood spoon. Do not let them boil, if you do they will lose their scent.

4. Roll them in balls about the size of a marble as they will shrink to half their size as they dry.

5. Use a hat pin or stiff wire to pierce a hole in the center. Let them dry on the wires to ensure the holes say stable and place in a warm dry place for 3 or 4 days.

6. Thread a needle and thread the beads onto thread and add a clasp. If they are stored in a wooden box they will retain the scent.

I am going to use the wooden box Roy made me last winter while he was here.


Donald, Wyo

April 16, 1914

Dear friend,

I will now write you a few lines and answer your two letters which I received the two last Wednesday.

You said you suposed I got tired of your writing so often, and I know you do not supose any such thing and just said it to suit the time for you know how glad I am to get a letter every Wednesday and I can always depend on it. So, you must not think anything like that. I was glad to hear you was getting along so nicely and did not have to work too hard.

I am pretty well today, but Mama has been pretty sick for three or four days, she is some better now. It seems as tho we have had our share of sickness this winter, hope we get throw the summer all right. The rest of the folks are pretty well tho now.

Was sorry to hear of your mother being so sick and certainly hope she is well by this time.

I am glad you are having good weather there. It has been pretty good for a long time here but have had no rain yet, just a little sprinkle is all. Everybody is wishing for rain.

Papa has not heard from his Bid on the mail route yet but aught to hear any time now. Mr. Holly Barber put in a bid too so he is not sure of it. I don’t care a great deal if he get it for it is not a very good job for winter time.

Yes Bert is going shearing soon. Aunt Sadie is going to stay with Grandma, while he is gone. I expect she is going to be very lonely tho.

I guess it will be about the last of the month before we will be up home for good.

Vera is counting the days and hours, ha ha.

Aunt Sarah is a little better now. They have got a new doctor now and think he is going to help her. I surely hope so for she has been sick for almost two months.

I would love to have more of the pictures of some of those large trees that you had cut down.

I am writing your letter today (Thursday) for I am going to be busy and did not think I would get a good chance to write. I want to wash, scrub and clean house tomorrow and so I will get a good start today.

I am glad Joe is there with you for I know it won’t be so lonesome and I am glad that your partner don’t drink like he did if he get drunk you must not work with him for you might get hurt.

I was over to Rob Waddington Sunday and stayed all night and I had a fine time. Edna and I are quite chummy again. We are both going to study for the teachers examination this fall and she is going to Huelett with me she is going to take all the subjects and I am only going to take half or six or seven subjects. I will start studying on Monday. I will sure have to study some to get throw. Have had the head ach for so long that I could not study until now. Of course I have it yet, but must study any way. I don’t think it will be very hard.

Well I will stop for today and write some more tomorrow.

As ever,



I supose you think I will never get my “say out” but always think of something to write to you. I was talking to Frank and he said he needed a good scolding but he has not wrote to any one for he is so busy, says he will write Sunday. And I was talking to Aunt Sadie and we both said we were about ready (to go to the Spring) we thot no body who would hear us, would know what we meant, for you were gone, and grandma spoke up and said don’t you do it, so we changed the subject. Aunt Sadie is going to stay with me next week. I am awful glad to.

Well I will stop again



April 17th, 1914.

Dear Diary,

I am sitting here by the window watching some much-needed rain fall. We surely need it but it looks like it won’t amount to much. I was going to try and do some laundry but it will save for another day. There are plenty of other indoor chores to do like ironing, churning, sweeping, cooking and so much more.

Mama has still been feeling poorly so last night Hazel and I said she could stay in bed today and we would take care of the chores. Hazel isn’t that good either with all the sore throats she’s been having. Papa said he thought a trip to Belle Fourche might be in order. I told him I could hold down the fort here. It might be kind of lonely here all alone but it would give me a chance to do a big spring cleaning here in Donald before we head back up to Mona.

I want to get a letter off to Roy this morning. And oh, dear I must go, we have a visitor, Mr. Price.


April 17,1914

Well Roy, – here I am this morning. It is raining so can’t wash, so will write you some more. It seems as tho I write long enough letters doesn’t it?

Well I am feeling pretty good this morning, but so worried about Mama she was worse last night and this morning.  I just worry so; she is so weak. I think she will go down to Belle Fourche about Wednesday and maybe Hazel will go too. Hazel has been having so much trouble with her throat. So, I am going to try to get them to go for I know that new doctor will help them for he is just wonderful. I supose I will be kindy lonly then, but will be glad to have them to go.

Frank got your letter and I think he has answered it before now.

We sent Lida’s beads to her, Sat.

We are getting a little rain today but not very much. When we move up home you must write so it will get to Donald on Saturday and then Papa can bring it up then and it won’t be down here so long.

Well I don’t know if I told you or not but Mr. Price is going to give a dance the 7th of May for him and I, wish you was going to be here. I guess we will go.  Will close now.

As ever,


April 18, 1914

Dear diary,

I never got a chance to get back to you for after Mr. Price left it was time for me to get moving on the chores. The reason for Mr. Price’s visit was to tell us he was organizing a dance to be held on May 7th in honor of both of our birthdays. It’s nice that he thought to include me but without Roy being here I am none too keen on dances. I suppose I will go, wouldn’t be nice to do otherwise.

I am happy to report I did find time to read the first chapter in one of my teacher training textbooks last evening. So many subjects to take – methods and organizing a curriculum, measurement, geography, music, English, history, mathematics, reading and so many more. I decided to start with organization and management of a classroom. Seems like there might be more to teaching than I thought. Aunt Sarah makes it all look so easy.


April 26, 1914

Dear Diary,

I am feeling pretty lonesome here by myself today and that cursed headache has been back in full force, so much so I haven’t gotten any new studying done.  All I want to do is close my eyes and wish it gone.  I swear some of the time it feels like a vice squeezing my left eyeball and temple. It’s all I can manage to take care of chores and get some beads made. My though, those beads do look nice and smell heavenly.

Yesterday afternoon the McDonalds came over and kept me company for a time. We sure did some laughing. My head aches so now, I much go, but before I do I must tell you the secret Clara Cady told me. She and Holly Barber are getting married. I’m the only one she has told so I must keep it hush, hush for now.

She also whispered to me she had heard a rumor about me. Seems someone is saying that I have plans to disobey my parents’ wishes and run away to Washington just as soon as I turn 18. I can tell you nothing is further from the truth. I would never hurt them that way. If I ever do leave for Washington it will be with their blessings. I love my family too much to just up and leave them. I can’t understand how some folks are so mean spirited to talk behind someone’s back like that. I sure hope the folks don’t get wind of it.

They should be back from Belle Fourche tomorrow.


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