Tag Archives: Crook county

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 39 – January 1915

January 2, 1915

Dear diary,

Happy New Year! And it looks like a fine year indeed, if only the war in Europe would end. Folks said it would be over by now but it rages on. More and more there is talk of our boys joining the fight.  I cannot bear the thought, so I am not going there. 

We went to the dance in Donald, New Year’s Eve. My, what a big crowd, it was the biggest group we’ve had in a long, long time. And was the second floor of that barn ever hopping. I was hopping too with Roy as my dance partner. How I love being in his arms, gazing into those blue eyes, sometimes just looking at him takes my breath away. And yes, we did find a few private moments underneath the mistletoe to wish in the new year.


January 5, 1915

Dear diary,

Roy and I rode home with Sadie and Bert after the dance to spend a few days here in Aladdin with them. I am so glad Bert and Roy have hit it off so well for I surely like spending time with Sadie.

It took a little while for little Iretha to warm up to Roy but now that she has she just lights up every time she sees him and he does the same. I’d be a bit jealous if she weren’t so tiny. Besides, I know he’s smitten on me. He’s going to make a wonderful father someday.

Lots of folks are down with the La Grippe around here. We had enough of it last year to last a lifetime so it had better stay away from us. 


January 10, 1915

Dear diary,

We are back in Mona. Last night Lizzie Sullivan invited Roy and I to a card party in honor of her husband James’ birthday. We had such fun playing a newer game called Touring. The idea is to run a race of 50 miles in an automobile.  We played the progressive version which means there were 4 tables of 4 all playing a game simultaneously. So much groaning and laughter filled the air as we played bad cards against our opponents. I kept running out of gas while Roy kept on having punctured tires and collisions. Of course, we threw the same cards back on our foes.

After the games we finished the evening off by singing Happy Birthday and enjoyed a chocolate layer cake over coffee.


January 20, 1914

Dear diary,

This morning Uncle Tom stopped by to pick up Roy. He and Aunt Helen Cady are going to Spearfish on some business and Roy is hitching a ride with them. He is hoping to be able to hire on with a logging outfit near there. My toes and fingers are all crossed hoping he returns with the welcome news he has found work. I will surely miss seeing him for the next couple of days.


January 27, 1914

Dear diary,

Goodness is it ever cold this morning. Hazel and I nearly froze to death last night despite all the hot stones and water bottles we went to bed with. I even put on my old drawers made from a blanket. Now I’m glad to be huddled next to the warmth of the stove and here is where we are all likely to remain the rest of the day. Roy and Papa just came in from the barn and said the thermometer showed minus 32.

Roy didn’t find any logging work while he was in Spearfish but they might have something in February. I sure hope so.


January 28th, 1914

Brrrr! It is still cold and snowy. The icy snow makes for good sleigh travel, though, so today Roy and I took it out for a ride. I stayed quite comfy and warm all snuggled up close to Roy. I tell you it felt like there was magic in the air.  Perhaps it was the music of the sleigh bells mixed with the sound of the runners gliding over the glistening snow, or maybe it was just love.  Either way it’s a ride I shall never forget.

Time to put this writing down. Roy and I are going to play a game of Progressive High 5’s with the folks before all pull in for the night.

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 9 -JUNE 5 -25th, 1913

June 5, 1913

Dear Diary,

Today is my second day at the Plummer’s and I’ve barely had a moment to even breathe. It isn’t that there is so much work to do but all the visitors. It seems the whole neighborhood has stopped by to say hello and see how I am doing or to bring me a lunch or dinner. I haven’t had to cook at all.

It is dark outside now. I shouldn’t be wasting the lamp oil, but I just wanted to add a few lines to you today.


June 10th, 1913

Dear Diary,

I am still at Plummer’s. I surely shouldn’t have worried about being lonely here, someone is always stopping by and Mama calls everyday. She was feeling poorly with one of her headaches but today she said it was gone. I hated being away when she is like that for I know she really could use my help. She did say Hazel had pitched in and taken good care of her.


June 19th, 1913

Dear Diary,

It’s not even daylight but I must write about last night before I forget all the details. When I went out to check on the animals last evening the air felt oppressively hot. I got all the animals bedded down and all seemed fine except the horse seemed a bit skittish. When I emerged from barn through the haze of humid air, I could see dark gray clouds rolling in and could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. If there is one thing I fear, it is lightning. I dashed for the house as large splats of rain started to fall. I was barely inside when I heard a loud hiss followed by a brilliant flash of light out in the barnyard. The force was so powerful it nearly knocked me off of my feet. Another intense flash came from across the road followed by a deafening crash of thunder. Within seconds I was clinging to Bismark, the Plummer’s dog. The storm didn’t seem to faze him though. The lightening was followed by heavy sheets of rain and gusty winds but thank goodness the lightening moved into  the distance.

The sun is up so I am going to interrupt my writing and check outside.

I am back. Everything seems fine except I found a clump of trees near the barn singed. Uncle Waddington came by to check on me and said a calf at the place across the road was hit and killed by a bolt of lightning.

As long as I live I hope to never see a lightning storm that close again. I tremble to think what might have happened if I hadn’t run for the house when I did.


June 23, 1913

Dear Diary,

This morning I took advantage of some solitude and lowered myself into a tub of warm water with thick bar of soap. I scrubbed myself until my flesh was pink, and my nails cleaner than they’ve ever been all week. Never before have I had a tub all to myself without having to take turns with the rest of the family.

A moment ago I stood on the hilltop behind the Plummer’s place with may arms spread, my hair blowing in the gentle breeze. I felt so free. Now I am sitting up here letting the sun dry my hair. Down below I can see the roofs of the farm buildings glinting in the sun and beyond the sparkling water of Deep creek as it ambles along. And the horse and cattle dot the fields like miniature figures.

Soon though I must return to the house and pin up my dark brown hair. All ladies keep their hair pinned up. And a lady I must be.


June 25, 1913

Mona Wyoming

Dear Friend,

Well Roy I suppose you think I have forgotten you but not that.  I’ll tell you I answered your letter as soon as I got it and have been waiting so long for a letter and last night I thot sure I would get a letter but here come my letter back I guess you must be in Puyallup for it said you were not there. I’ll tell you I was sure disappointed. We have quite a time with our letters don’t we, my other letter is so long in reaching you.

Well how are you anyway. I am pretty well. I have been staying with a neighbor while they went to town, I have been gone nearly two weeks. Just got back home.

Is Justin in Puyallup? I suppose he is for you couldn’t keep him away for at present anyway (ha ha)

I’ll wait until I hear from him and then I’ll write to him so tell him to write to me. I think my Wash. friends are few for I don’t get near so many letters as I did.

Every thing looks fine here I hardly knew my garden it looked so nice, everything is so large.

Things are getting pretty dry tho.  We have some rain but not near enough. Last week while I was at Plummer’s, we had several bad storms and oh…I am afraid of them. I  worry every time from the time I see a cloud coming until it is gone. Last Wednesday we had a very bad one. The lightning killed a calf in a corral a little ways from the house. I’ll tell you that is as near as I care to have the lightening to come to me. I was almost crazy for a little while.

Where are Uncle Sol and the rest of the people we never hear from any of them. How are your berries, wish I was there to help you eat some and pick a few.  My it makes me homesick for Wash.

You had better come out in time for the fair at Spearfish. We will have a fine time. Tell Aunt Ann to write for I haven’t forgotten her if she has me. I feel pretty blue today and have a headache so must close. Hoping you will for give me and write as soon as received.

As ever,



LETTERS FROM MONA -Part 6- March 28 – April 12, 1913

March 28,1913

Dear Diary,

It is so nice and warm this morning that I am sitting outside facing our home. It isn’t much to look at especially by city standards. If Roy hadn’t told so many stories of growing up in a sod house, I would worry what he’d think of it. At least our house isn’t sod, it’s made of logs with mud plastered between. Papa and his brothers built it from trees they logged from the hills around here. They came here to homestead with my Grandma Jessie in 1888, eight years before I was born.

Inside we have a big room with a cook stove that also keeps us warm during cold weather.  Mama and Papa sleep downstairs but we kids all sleep up in the loft.  Let me tell you it gets mighty freezing up there when it is cold.

When we need supplies, we either get it from the general store in Aladdin, 8 miles away or go to Belle Fourche, 23 miles away and an overnight trip.  Sometimes we order stuff from the Sears catalog and pick it up from the train in Aladdin. You can buy almost anything that way, course you also must pay for it, so we don’t order much.

Papa is busy now getting the land ready to grow his oats, wheat, corn and rye along with the hay for our animals.  Soon Mama and I will be working in our gardens.


April 2, 1913

Dear diary,

I have just finished churning the butter and cleaning the separator. I don’t mind doing the churning but I cleaning that separator is a real chore. I have a few minutes to write before it’s time to start the baking.

I am a bit fretful today. Roy wrote to me and mentioned that his parents are planning to move to Missouri to be near his Mother’s family. I don’t have to tell you I don’t like the sound of this. What if Roy decides to go there, too?  I know he could still write to me but I’d lose my Puyallup connections to him. It’s just troublesome.

I guess I need to stop writing. Mama says it’s time to start the baking. Besides the usual bread and biscuits, she wants me, to make a cake.


April 15, 1913

Dear Diary,

I am at Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s. Sadie and I are having a fine visit.

Can you believe it? Bert asked her to marry him. Of course she said, yes. Grandma and Grandpa seem pleased. Grandpa said Bert was a fine man and he’d be proud to call him son-in-law.

I have been helping Sadie put the finishing touches on the new dress she will wear for the ceremony in Belle Fourche. It won’t be much of a wedding just Sadie and Bert and Grandpa and Grandma and Mrs. Marchant. Papa says there is too much farming to be done to spare the two days it would take for us to go. Maybe Mama, Hazel and I can hitch a ride along with Grandma and Grandpa. I hope so, anyway.