Tag Archives: Donald Wyoming

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 23- May 10 – May 19,1914

May 10, 1914

Dear diary,

Tonight, just after supper Papa told Daniel and Hazel to go tend to things in the barn without him. Hazel knew something was up so she said, “but what about my dish chores, don’t you think I’d better stay here and help Mama?”

 “No,” said Papa, “Mae and Mama can handle it,” and he shooed them out the door.

 My heart plummeted I knew they must have heard the rumors about me running to Washington and I was about to face a wrath of questioning.

Mama watched them go to the barn from the window as soon as she was sure they’d gone she turned to Papa and said, “I think we’d all best sit down at the table to talk.”

My bottom lip quivered as I sat with my arms hugging my chest. Why I was so afraid I can’t say for I knew I’d done nothing wrong. There was no way I’d let them stop me from writing to Roy.

Papa sat with his arms firmly planted on the table. “Mae there is no easy way for me to say this, we’ve heard Roy has sent you money to go to Washington. You know we have forbade you to do any such thing before you are 21.”  

“I know,” I said. “I’ve heard the rumors too. But they aren’t true, I would love to go back there to live but I never would go without your blessings. Besides, Roy has never suggested I should go, let alone send me money. It’s all a bunch of nonsense, you know how folks like to gossip.”

Papa folded his arms and looked me in the eyes. “You do know Mama and I have nothing but your best interests at heart. Running off to Washington to chase a man at your young age is nothing but plum foolishness.”

“But I just told you I am doing no such thing,” I said, almost knocking over my chair as I got up to flee. Mama put her arm on me and said, “Mae, sit back down we aren’t done.”

Papa folded his arms across his chest, “I sincerely hope you are telling the truth; Roy seems like a good man but you have no idea how hard life can be.”

I braced myself for the usual lecture on how hard life can be, how Grandma Jessie was widowed with 13 children left to raise, when Mama interrupted. “Alex, I can tell by her eyes she is telling the truth, if she says she is not leaving for Washington then enough has been said. She rose from the table and handed me the hot kettle of water from the stove.  She turned toward Papa and said, “It’s time Mae and I get the dishes done. Shouldn’t you be checking on what Daniel and Hazel are up to in the barn?”

And with that Papa strode to the door his jaw clenched and headed to the barn.

Fighting back tears, my fingers shook as I poured the hot water into the dish pan and started washing while Mama dried, neither of us saying a word. As soon as I was done I grabbed you and escaped here to where the babbling creek could hide the sounds of my sobbing. How dare they treat me as if I was still a child for a child I am not. If only Vera or Sadie were here to talk, I think I would feel better. They’d understand what the folks can’t seem to. And thank goodness for you dear diary without you to pour my thoughts into I think I would go plum crazy.

I guess I’d better dry my tears as dusk is starting to fall. I sure don’t want Hazel to notice I’ve been crying. She’d want to know why and if I told her she would tell her friends who would tell others and make me feel all the worse.  


May 16, 1914

Dear Diary,

Tis washing day or at least it should be if it weren’t snowing. Yes, snow, I think there must be a good 4 inches out there now and it is still falling. It started yesterday and has been falling off and on ever since. I hope the cold doesn’t hurt my garden. I think it will be fine though, as it hasn’t sprouted anything yet. Guess it’s going to be an inside sort of day; I do believe I will spend some time writing Roy and maybe some of the other Puyallup folks. In his last letter he said he’d heard of the rumors about us and wondered if he should stop writing for a spell, a thought too hard for me to bear. I must reassure him I am okay and he must keep writing.


May17, 1914

Tis ironing day except Mama and I did the washing instead. As cold and snowy as yesterday was, today the sun is out bright, the breeze warm and all the snow has vanished.

Not long ago the sound of a motor attracted my attention as I was hanging the clothes out to dry. I walked to the end of the clothesline and looked in the direction of the noise and what should appear but a blue automobile. Mr. Plummer waved at me as he turned and entered our yard. He jumped out and waved me over to take a good look at his shiny new blue car. After I had oohed and awed over it he joined Mama on the porch and gave us the news that Clara Cady and Mr. Barber had married.  Course I already knew they were doing that but Mama was sure surprised. He said he intends to spend the summer at his ranch. And with that he left  to show off his car to someone else. Mama laughed and said those contraptions will never make it out here. I don’t know, while our roads are plenty rough alright, I think the automobile is here to stay.

Guess I’ll devote the rest of the time I have left today to stringing rose beads and get a letter off to Roy. So, I best end this and get to work.  


Donald Wyo

May 17, 1914

Dear friend,

I received your letter last night and of course I was glad. I am pretty well and hope you are the same only better.

I am glad you are working not very hard as you say, but I don’t know whether to believe you or not in that case.

Well I just got started last night and had to stop to make a fire and supper, after supper we had one of the worst storms I ever saw. And of course, almost scared me to death so did not write any more.

Mama is going to the office today and I may go down to Davidsons as Vera wants me too. She was here yesterday all day. We had a real nice time. I wish you could have been here too.

My we sure had some rain have had lots this spring and last Sunday and Monday we had a great big snow storm the snow was about six inches deep in some places.

Papa is not quite through farming down to Donald and then he has to do our place up here it sure keeps him busy.

Oh yes, I must not forget to tell you about the wedding that took place the 11th of May. Can you guess who? Well I will tell you Holly Barber and Clara Cady were married on that day. I was not surprised as they told me. I was the only one who knew tho. Wasn’t they good? I knew a long time ago but did not tell any body.

Harvey Plummer was here today he is going to stay out here on the ranch. He as a new car now. You know he is the owner of the blue sedan.

Hazel and Daniel go to school. Miss Kendal is teaching again.

I guess Mama will go down and stay a few days with papa this week and I supose I will be alone in the daytime.

Well Roy we are sending some beads. I hope to bother you so we are sending more than we intended but maybe you could sell them sometime. They have been selling for a $1.00 per string and .75 for the bandeau but you can sell them for whatever you can get. We made them all last week so was real busy.

I am sorry Joe went away as I supose it is lonesome there for you. I went up to the barn with a rope and picked a couple of flowers, here they are Thank you for yours. I think them fine.

As ever


P.S. We thank you very much for your trouble with the beads and hope you will not have much trouble selling them. Frank said he got your letter. Vera said to tell you hello.

Friendship is a golden knot,

Tied by a loving angel’s hand.

(Author’s note:  the following long China letter was hard to translate so it made sense. Part of it seemed to say there are so many stories so I would not pay any attention to them. Vera told me one but don’t say a word in the letters. Just what stories she is referring to are impossible to say as most of this does not translate into real words but it sounds like Roy must have heard of them and perhaps suggested he shouldn’t write as often.)

May 19, 1914

Dear Diary,

I feel so blue. Just a bit ago our phone sounded that special ring that tells us we have a call for all to hear. A neighbor was calling to play us a song on his new Victrola. If only it hadn’t been the song Roy and I had claimed as ours. I can feel his arms around me now as we danced and swayed to the lyrics.

       “Let me call you sweetheart, I’m in love with you.

         Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.

         Keep the love-light in your eyes so true.

        Let me call you sweetheart. I’m in love with you.

Oh, if only he was here right now…

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 22 – May 1, 1914 -MAY 9,1914

Donald, Wyo

May 1, 1914

Dear friend-

I received your letter Wednesday and of course I was glad. But sorry to hear you had not been feeling well and do hope you are well by now.
I am feeling a little better today than I have for the last week. But not very good yet. Well I think I can do better with a pencil as I am laying down at present. I have a dreadful headache. Well the folks got home Wednesday. I was glad to see them come for I was getting pretty lonely but was so glad to see them feeling so much better. I think that doctor is a wonderful fellow, my they both look so much better and he is going to cure Aunt Ellen and that is sure doing something good, he has helped her wonderful now. She went back to town I guess she will stay for a long time. I think we will move to Belle Fourche this summer or fall if papa don’t get the mail route. We are going to move up home tomorrow night after papa comes home with the mail He is so very busy he can’t spare the time any other day, so if we are able to go we will be up there soon I will be pretty well pleased to get home but I hate to leave Papa here all alone. When he has so much to do. but I supose Mama or I either one will be here part of the time. I haven’t got to study any to amount to anything yet am getting pretty discouraged for every thing goes against me, sickness and everything. I don’t know when I will be able to study now. I was down to Mc Donalds a little while today. They have a new man working for them now he is a cousin of theirs. Clara, Mr. Barber and Lela and Mr. Cady were there to see me the other night I was pretty glad for I was alone. Well I believe this is all I can write this time I feel pretty bum. Hope your are well now. I wish you would write so I can get it on Saturday instead of Wed as it won’t have to be written so long before I get it. but do as you please and you will please me. As ever M.E.P.


May 4th, 1914

Dear Diary,

Be it ever so humble there is no place like home. We moved back home to Mona last night and am I ever glad for it is here I like the best. Mama and I have been busy getting everything settled and now this evening I am happy to report it feels like we never left. Daniel is fussing at me; he wants me to play a game of checkers with him so I guess I will end this for today.


May 5, 1914

Dear Diary,

Only 2 more days until my 18th birthday. Oh how I wish I could go away to Washington but the folks will have none of that and I haven’t the money to go on my own and as I have said before I wouldn’t want to hurt them by doing that anyway. I am taking a bit of a rest from my morning chores. But soon I will get up and start chopping in a new garden. I think Papa is too busy to help me this year but I can manage on my own.  Last year’s garden did well indeed but this years shall be better yet as I have learned from the mistakes I have made.

I have been thinking of starting up a young people’s meeting to give some of us something social to do during the summer months. I am tired of the dances and it would be nice to be with just some of our age group besides.


Nagram, Wash.

May 7,1914

Dear Hazel,

How are you feeling this fine evening? I am feeling just fine and hope your are in the same predicament.

Got your letter quite a while ago and hope you will excuse me for not answering it sooner. I have so many letters to write and so much reading to do that it keeps me pretty busy all my spare time.

Well I suppose you are having a good time this evening as tis is Mae’s birthday and she told me there was going to have a party.

You ought to be here Hazel. I think you could get all the dancing you want, they have two dances here every week. Wednesdays and Saturdays. They don’t dance the grape-vine here but they have another dance instead of the two-step. It is somewhat like the grapevine only it is more raggey. I don’t know what they call it. They also dance the hesitation waltz some. Richard has been playing for them a number of times wish you could hear him, he does just fine. He is sitting beside me now playing for me as I write. Just now he is playing “It a long way to Tipperary.”  (Author’s note, Richard is Roy’s older brother and was a fine violin player who could play by ear I am told)

Wish I could hear you sing some of your new songs. Wish there is a phone line from here to there, so you could sing some for me over the wire.  (Author’s note: The folks on Mona Road were connected to Aladdin via phone lines in 1910)

We are having lovely weather now. I never saw it nicer. Hope it is nice in Wyoming to.

Well   this is enough for now so will stop.

Think of me at the party tonight and maybe that will help me some.

So long

As ever

W. R.C.

Mae’s sister Hazel Phillips


Donald Wyo,

May 7, 1914

Dear friend,

Well I thot I would write a few lines to you while I was resting and tell you we are down this far as tonight is the dance and we are very busy we did not get here until 5 0’clock  so we are very busy getting ready. I don’t know hardly what I am writing so I guess I will not write much and will write tomorrow and maybe I’ll say better things.

I know one thing tho I got one of the nicest presents I ever saw tonight. My I was so surprised when I walked in the house this evening and saw that.

Friday morning.

I just got that far when they called me for supper and never got to write any more. Well I feel pretty good this morning only tired and sleepy of course. We just had a lovely dance, I sure wish you had been there to see we some times have a nice crowd too, they all behaved so well and there were lots there. We did not get home until four this morning and now we have to go on up above and never left here until seven and so it was so late when we got home about 9:30. I think we were glad to get there but awful tired.

My I can’t hardly thank you enough for the present. I just think them fine. I never saw such a pretty box of stationary as this is and the candy is fine.

Well I can’t think of no news hardly. Aunt Sadie will soon be up in our country and I will surely be glad. Bert is going away Tuesday I think. We are having fine weather now. I hope it is nice there and there is no more snow. We have not had any snow yet this spring and I hope we don’t any either.

Are you going down to Puyallup when you said you had better for that would be nice.

Maybe Hazel and I will send you a half dozen strings of Beads before long.

My I saw so many of my cousins I had not saw for so long until last night.

I have not heard from Lida and don’t know if she got her beads or not am getting anxious to hear if she got them alright. Well I will stop for I am so dizzy I can’t hardly write. Write soon. And don’t work to hard.

as ever,


When in my grave I lonely sleep.

And the weeping willows over me leap,

It is then dear friend and not before

That I shall think of thee you no more.

 Your true Friend 25.19.7    (code translates to Mae)


May 9, 1914

Dear Diary,

Goodness did I ever have a lovely birthday. So many people to help me celebrate and such fine food.

Mama made me my favorite chocolate cake. She and Papa gave me some fine yardage of corduroy fabric and a nice piece of white embroidered lawn I should be able to make a nice skirt and blouse from them.

Hazel gave me a hankie she had embroidered with pretty pink flowers and Daniel made me a card from colored paper.

Grandma had my quilt finished. I can see it now spread out on my finest bed. But for now, it waits in my hope chest.

But oh, the surprise from Roy was the best of all. The card, stationery and box of chocolates would have been plenty but the box also had a beautiful bouquet of dried flowers, Roy had collected. I put the bouquet next to my bed to see as I blow out the lantern before I sleep.

I couldn’t help but feel a little spoiled. Now it’s time to go back to reality for the cow still needs milking and the chores need doing. I guess that means I need to end this nonsense for today.

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.

LETTERS FROM MONA -Part 19- March 30, 1914- April 2, 1914

March 30, 1914

Dear Diary,

I haven’t written much in you lately. I have been swamped with chores, being sick sure puts one behind.

At the moment I am taking a break as I bask in the warm sunlight streaming through the window.  The weather is finally warming up again. Here I thought spring had sprung and then it turned back to winter.

How I long for some fresh spring greens to eat. It would be like a tonic after this long winter and I think it would make us all feel better. Still we are lucky, we have enough canned goods lining the pantry wall to last us to summer.


Donald, Wyo

March 31,1914

Dear friend,

I was glad to get your letter.

I am pretty well, have almost got over my cold. The rest are all pretty well too.

We are having fine weather now. It is foggy every morning but get so nice in a little while. Papa is farming now he is real busy with the mail and his other work too. He got a word from the mail, and they said his bid was too high, so he sent back again. He don’t care much I guess whether he gets it or not. And I don’t either.

How are you getting along with your work, fine, I supose tho. You must not work to hard. We are trying to wash today. We have not been able to wash for a long time, only Hazel did a little bit for us.

I think we will move up home in two or three weeks. I will sure be glad for then it will be much nicer.

Vera is fine and dandy, she said to tell you hello or I guess she meant you. She said S.O.M.E.B.O.D.Y so I know who she meant, and Grandma spoke up and said she said hello too.

Aunt Sadie and Bert were here Thursday, just a few minutes tho. They are both pretty well.

Aunt Sarah is some better but has been awful sick. Mama and I thot maby if we was able we would go over there tomorrow. We have not been any where for so long. Have not been able to go down to McDonalds until yesterday. I had not been over there for over three weeks.

I haven’t had the tooth ach to amount to any thing for quite some while and just haven’t been able to go get them fixed.

We want to go home Saturday and up to Vera’s. I am awful anxious to go as I have not been there for over three months.

Hazel and Daniel are going to school again there was three week vacation while aunt Sarah was so sick.

We have a very backward spring as there is no grass to speak of yet. I supose the grass is nice and green there for it is always that way.

 As ever Mae

P. S. My little watch is just fine, I could not do with out it. Aunt Sadie said I had them running a race, but of course hers beat for her’s was larger than mine and could run faster.


William Roy Caple about 1912

April 2, 1914

Nagram, Washington

Dear friend,

Hello Mazie: How are you today? I am feeling fine as usual and hope this finds you in the same fix. I had a letter from you last Mon. and you know I was awful glad to get it I was feeling oh so lonely about that time and it helped a whole lot.

We are having nice weather here again, has been fine all week, today was just like summer, almost to warm for it made me sweat when we tackled a big tree.

I was down to Puyallup last Sunday went down Saturday evening and back Sunday evening. They had a big birthday party and supper at our place but I didn’t get there in time for it, got there just as the people were leaving. All the old neighbors were there and I guess they had a first class time, awful sorry I didn’t get there a little sooner so to have seen all the fun.

Blanche Stockton was there she was having a vacation so came up to spend the week with Lida. She is just the same Blanche as of old. She said she would like awfully well to see you and Hazel.

The folks were all well so far as I know. I went over to my Aunts Sunday morning and Justin and Lillian were out in the yard planting a garden so I went over and talked to them awhile. They seemed to be getting along pretty well.  Justin was working down town helping to build sidewalks. John came in while I was there so had a talk with him, he is looking pretty well now and is still driving team for Saul and Hugh on the gravel hauling. I saw Saul but didn’t have time to talk to him very long. I saw Mrs. Perkerson and the twins on the street and talked to them a little. They all seemed pretty well. I saw Big Tom out in the berry patch making the blackberry brush just fly.  He was so busy I didn’t bother him. didn’t see Ann or Lodie but guess they were both as well as usual.

Justin Perkerson is back in Puyallup again. I didn’t see him nor hear what he was doing.

Was over and had a talk with Mrs. Henry and Jim, between the two they almost talked me to death.  Wish you could have been there and joined in the conversation and I’ll bet you wish it to. Faith came through the smallpox all o.k. wasn’t much sick at all. Mrs. Henry said she nearly died of loneliness though, while they were quarantined.

I wish you might take a peak and see how things look around Puyallup. It is spring there in earnest. The grass is nice and green and the flowers are in blossom and the orchards look like snowdrifts. There hasn’t been any cold weather lately as it was here, only a little rain. The day I was there it was just lovely.

How is the weather in Old Wyo now? Hope it is nice as was here.

Well Mazie I guess I will have to stop as my paper is getting short and it is time to go to roost anyway.

Best wishes to all,

As ever,

Roy C.

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 18 – March 5 to March 19

March 5th, 1914

Dear Diary,

It feels good to be back home. Sadie and Bert decided to come to the play and dance so I went with them. I really enjoyed the show. It was put on by a fellow who was pretty good. He sang, danced, played a mouth organ and had us all in stitches with the jokes and funny skits. The dance afterwards I didn’t care for so much, they just make me long for Roy all the more. Though by the looks of the way Sadie was dancing I’d say she is better now, she sure had a time of it with that wisdom tooth.

 Afterwards I went back home with the folks as Sadie no longer needs my help.


March 12th, 1914

Dear Diary,

I have spent the past several days mostly in bed. I no sooner got home, and we all came down with a nasty chest cold, except for some reason not Hazel. She’s been doing the best she can helping with the chores, but we are falling way behind.

We are all moving around a bit but not up to our usual tasks yet. It will take Mama and I at least a month to catch up with all the washing not to mention so the many other chores we need to get done.


March 17, 1914

There’s another dance tonight at MacDonald’s barn. I don’t care to go but Hazel does and since we are still in Donald and don’t need Papa to take us in the wagon I will go with her. After working so hard taking care of all of us this month she deserves to have some fun.

Today she’s been driving us a bit wild with her singing, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” over and over. She says she can’t help it for today is Saint Patrick Day and we are a wee bit Irish. I guess that is true enough as Papa says his grandfather, Patrick O’hara, was from Ireland. He and his brother’s are always talking about how rich we will all be when our Irish ship comes in, on account of some inheritance in Ireland there they think they should get. Mama say it’s all foolishness and I agree. They’ve been saying that ever since I can remember, though wouldn’t it be nice if it did come true.

Mae’s sister, Hazel

Mama is still feeling poorly. I am starting to worry about her. She has such an awful cough and tires so quickly.

Thank goodness, Papa is feeling fine again. With the nice mild weather we are having it is time for him to start farming again.


March 19, 1914

Dear Diary,

I should never have written that part about it being so nice and mild for today it is freezing. I am sitting near the stove trying to stay warm as big white snowflakes falling outside the window, are sending chills up and down my spine. It’s a good thing, Papa hasn’t planted anything yet. Hopefully this cold spell won’t last long.

While Papa and I may be back to normal Mama and Daniel aren’t. I am still worried about them. Daniel looks so pale and wane. He hasn’t gone to school in three weeks. Aunt Sarah Waddington is bad, too. Once Mama is back on her feet, I intend to go help her out.

The dance was okay, except when they played “Peg O’ My Heart ” I almost teared up. I can still feel Roy’s arms around me as we danced to that song and he whispered in my ear, “We’ll never part, I love you.”

Vera was there with Clarence Waddington. It was so nice to see her again. When she wasn’t busy dancing with Clarence the two of us were chatting up a storm. I can hardly wait to get back to Mona where I can see her more often. Except I think she and Clarence are sweet on each other, I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t up and get married on me and yet another chum will be lost.

I do have to admit that Clarence is a nice fellow, she could do far worse. Somehow I know our family history is all twined up with the Waddingtons. Papa says it goes way back to when everyone lived in Canada before the Civil War. He tried to explain it to me once, but it made my head spin.  All I know is we aren’t related by blood to Clarence’s family.


Nagram, WA

March 19th, 1914

Dear Friend,

Hello Mazie: Here I am again. I got a letter from you yesterday and of course I was glad, but sorry you were all having such a time being sick and sure hope you will all be better soon.

I am still feeling fine as usual. I wish you could feel as well all the time as I do. Haven’t been the least bit sick for nearly a whole year now.  I wish you could say the same thing. I think you will feel a lot better when you get your teeth fixed. To bad you didn’t have that done a long time ago it perhaps would have saved you a lots of suffering. Was sorry to hear Daniel was so sick. Poor little chap he seems to have quite a hard time of it. Tell hm that I said for him not to get sick any more as it is a foolish thing to do.

We are having the lovelist spring weather I have ever saw so early in the season. March so far has been just like May. So far we have had only three wet days. The rest of the time has bright and warm. Everyone say they never saw it this way so early. The trees are all putting out their leaves and the snow is nearly all gone off the mountains. If it stays this way all spring we will be picking strawberries in May, won’t that be lovely.

I had a letter from home the other day and Mother said they had been planting garden. She didn’t say anything about any of the folks, except that Faith Henry was all over the small-pox and that they were still quarantined. Mr. Henry and Frank were batching in the little room adjoining Bryans store. I’ll bet Mrs. Henry is awful tired being there alone so long. Won’t she be tickled to get out again.

Father has recovered from his hurt enough so he is able to be about again. I hope he don’t get hurt again for a little while anyhow.

Tell Frank Risher that I wrote him some time ago when I first came up her to Nagram. I suppose he must have it by now. If he hasn’t let me know and I will write to him again.

How is Mr. Will Waddington by now? Sorry that Mrs. Waddington has been sick. I suppose they are kinda mad at me for I promised to come over and say good-bye to them before I went away and then didn’t go. If you hear them say anything about it just tell them I intended to come and see them again but forgot it until it was too late.

Do you know yet when you are going to move back home again? Suppose you will be glad when you get home again, as then you can see Vera most everyday. You wouldn’t get so lonesome then would you? Tell Vera I said hello! If you see anyone else that I know tell them the same.

I think I shall go down to Puyallup the last of the month. The 29th is Father’s birthday and the 31st is Mother’s so they are going to have a big blow out on the 30th in celebration of both and they want all we boys to be there if possible so guess I will have to go down. Wish you were going to be there to, but as you can’t I will have to tell you about it instead.

Guess I can’t think of anymore that I dare write so will say good-night and go to roost.

Good night and pleasant dreams.

As ever, W.R.C

LETTERS FROM MONA Part15 – Dec. 1 to Dec. 26, 1913

Authors note: The name Frank Rishor is often mentioned in the letters between Roy and Mae. I am not sure who he is but it’s probable he was the brother of Cynthia Rishor who married Mae’s uncle Herbert Philips.   

Because Roy mentions him in 1913, before he was ever visited Wyoming, it suggests that they had probably met earlier in Washington.  Perhaps when Frank’s family were out visiting other Phillip’s family. IF this is the correct Frank Rishor, he as born in 1877 and thus older than both Roy and Mae.


December 1, 1913

Dear Diary,
I can hardly wait for Roy to get here. I just have to keep busy as I can’t hardly sit still with the anticipation. We still aren’t sure what day we’ll make our final move to Donald.  Papa has been moving our winter provisions each time he makes a mail trip. I know it is best for him to be in Donald but if I can’t be in Puyallup then Mona is the place I want to be. Mama and I will do the best we can to make our Donald place seem homey but the things I really love will stay here.

Vera just arrived so I shall end. She and I are going to meet with the other young people to work on our parts for the winter program.


(This saved letter from Roy it seems incomplete, date unknown but it is from Dec, 1913)

Little friend will make a good one though, I will bet. You will have to give another production of it xmas, so I can see it.
Lida came in just now said she had been over to see Lillian and that she and Justin were coming over here to spend the evening so I guess I won’t need to go over there.
I spoke to Lida bout answering your letter and she said had answered it but I guess she was pretty slow about it.  I suppose you have it before now though. I was down to Tacoma last evening. They have the stores all trimed up for xmas already and they were look nice. Wish you could see them.

I didn’t have much of a time Thanksgiving. Couldn’t tell it from any other day except that we had just a bit better dinner than usual. I Couldn’t help but think of last year and it made me feel pretty lonesome.
Well I think this is enough for now so will say good night and stop.
Give my best wishes to all the folks. Tell Mr. Phillips I wish he was here to help me with the berries again he is better at it than I am. pleasant dreams
As ever W.R.C.


December 5, 1913

Dear Diary,

I am making progress on the scarf for Roy. The mittens and hat are done thanks to Sadie and Grandma ‘s help. I need to get it done before he arrives. My stomach is rumbling. Earlier mama put on a pot of fragrant stew to simmer on the stove. Papa has been doing the butchering so we will have meat for the winter.

I sure hope Roy makes it before for the Christmas program for it will be on the 19th. I guess he is still logging. I thought they would have snow by now in those tall mountains. Papa says we’ll move to Donald the day after the program.

Roy mentioned in his last letter how he went to Tacoma and the stores were all decked out for the holidays. I so remember seeing them before we moved here and the good time we had together that day.  There are no sign of decorations here, I can tell you, what with the getting things ready to move to Donald.


December 11, 1913

Dear Diary,
I am getting anxious. I so wanted Roy to be here by now but I still haven’t heard from him about when he’ll be leaving. Unless he is leaving in the next day or two there is no way he’ll be here in time for the program. I will sure be some disappointed if he doesn’t make it in time for Christmas.

I am happy to report though that I have finished his scarf now.  I have to say after laying them in the tissue Mama gave me to wrap them in they look rather nice. I was going to tuck them into my hope chest for safe keeping but then Hazel reminded me we were going to Donald soon.  So instead I have entrusted them to Papa to leave at our place at Donald.


Nagram Wn.
Dec 12,1913

Dear Mazie,
Well how goes it in Wyo. Today? Fine tho I hope.  I got your letter yesterday and was glad of course.  It came to Puyallup but my aunt got it up here to me.  Am glad you are feeling well and hope you will always feel that way.  I am feeling fine as usual with the exception of a bad cold. The first I have had for a long time.  We are having nice weather here now. Clear and bright but pretty cold. Hope it stays that way while we have to work for I have worked through enough bad weather for one year.  The camp is going to close down the 16th so we haven’t very much longer to work. I Am going to leave for Wyoming next Friday evening. So will get to Belle fourche Monday evening I suppose. I would like very much to get there in time to go with you to the xmas exercises you spoke of but don’t know whether I can.

 I don’t know if your Aunt Ann is still of the notion of going with me or not. I sent her a card yesterday telling her when I was going to start. Hope she don’t decide not to go for it would be so much nicer to have company on the trip than to be alone.

I Am glad Frank Risher is going to be home for Christmas for I want to settle with him for not writing to me.  Tell him that if he values his life he had better hide out before I get there.
Am sorry your folks didn’t move to Bell Fouche as they had planned. It would have made it so much handier for me. It takes almost as long to go from there out to Mona as it does from here to B.F.  Well think this is about all for now. Will tell you the rest and then some when I see you.


Don’t suppose I can get to Aladdin in time to get the Mona stage when the train comes in Tuesday. Is there anyone you could get to meet me in Aladdin when the train comes in on Tuesday. That would save me staying all night there. I don’t want anyone to put themselves very much out to do it tho as I can come out on the Donald stage Wed.



December 19, 1913                                                                                                                             

Dear Diary,

Papa just came in with a letter from Roy. I was nervous I could barely make my shaking hands open it so sure I was that would say he wouldn’t be coming after all.  Instead it was welcome news. He should have left for here this morning. At least I hope nothing stopped him. Just think another 4 or 5 days and he should be here. And just in time for Xmas. To see his handsome face again shall be the best present ever. The Christmas program is tonight. I am disappointed Roy won’t be here to see my performance but my heart is filled with joy just the same. I just hope I don’t forget my lines with all my excited anticipation.


December 22, 1913

Dear Diary,

I am so nervous today. I know Roy should be arriving in Belle Fouche today and tomorrow he will be in Aladdin. I am still hoping someone will be able to pick him up and bring him here to Donald. I don’t think I can stand waiting another day.

The Christmas program was lovely. Our young people’s group set up trees and spent the day stringing popcorn and cranberries to decorate them along with red and green paper chains and candles. The evening festivities started with the singing of carols and then came our program.  I am happy to say I didn’t forget a word. All the ladies brought refreshments for afterwards and of course Santa arrived with goodies for all the little ones.

We moved here to Donald the next day and Mama and I have been busy ever since. Hazel, Daniel and I have our feather beds all settled with blankets, quilts and pillows. Now I am just going crazy with waiting.


December 26, 1913

Dear Diary,

I am just going to take a few minutes to write quick in here for Roy has arrived. Just when I had given up seeing him on the 23rd Sadie and Bert’s wagon rounded the corner and along with them was Roy and boxes of Xmas goodies. They acted like they just decided at the spur of the moment to come spend the night in Donald but I know it was planned. No wonder everyone said they were too busy to pick him up. The men unloaded the wagon and then we all sat down round the crowded table to eat supper and catch on the news from Puyallup.  Before I knew it Bert and Roy were headed out to the barn to bed down for the night. Sadie stayed indoors with us.

The morning of the 24th Mama and I made flapjacks and ham for everyone for breakfast. I didn’t even get a chance to see Roy until then. He had insisted on helping Papa and Daniel with the morning chores.  After breakfast Bert and Sadie set off to spend Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa Smith. The rest of the day was a blur of making pies, bread and cakes for tomorrow evenings supper dance. Midafternoon Mama put on a kettle of oyster stew and Papa and Roy came in with a small pine tree for us to decorate. We spent the rest of the day stringing popcorn and cranberries to wrap around it and singing carols. Hazel and Daniel were so busy talking I barely got a chance to talk to Roy. The Donald’s came by after supper to meet and welcome Roy to Wyoming and by the time they left it was time to hang the stockings and go to bed and I still hadn’t had the slightest moment to be alone with Roy.

Christmas morning arrived with wet white flakes falling. Our first snowfall in some time.
Mama and I made flapjacks again along with ham, eggs and cinnamon rolls. And then we all got into our stockings. There was candy, nuts and oranges for all. Daniel got a toy automobile; Hazel hair ribbons and I got a pin cushion. Then we tore into the gifts under the tree. Roy’s blue eyes shone with joy when he opened his gift from me. He immediately wound the scarf around his neck and said he’d keep it on all day. He gave Hazel and Daniel each a book and a box of writing paper but oh how can I begin to describe the stole, hat and muff I opened. Even though we weren’t alone our eyes met and said what I know we were both thinking. How much in love we are. Then we had to hurry and get the rest of the day’s chores done and dress, for in the afternoon we bundled ourselves up and left for the Donald’s barn. One good thing about living here is we don’t have far to go. And just like Thanksgiving the makeshift tables groaned with all sorts of good things to ear.

Everyone admired my new stole and muff, while I introduced Roy around. He was particularly glad to see his old friend Frank Rishor there. But once the music started playing he was all mine. Well mostly mine, I did have to share him a time or two. I must go now. Daniel and Hazel want to go for a walk in the new fallen snow and want Roy and I to tag along.


LETTERS FROM MONA -October 1 – November 3, 1913

(Author notes: Donald was another postal community on Mona Road in Wyoming. Its name came from the McDonald family who had a ranch there. Mae was related to this family. Many of the dances she mentions were held in their barn. Church services, weddings, baptisms and other community activities were also held there. From Mae’s letters it is apparent her family must have had a place there. Besides wintering there she often mentions her father off farming the property in Donald.)

October 1, 1913

Dear Diary,

October has come, every day I see more wild geese flying south. Papa had hoped to find a job and a place for us to live in Belle Fourche, but he had no luck, so we are staying put for the winter. I’d prefer to be in Belle Fourche or even Aladdin.  We wouldn’t have to work so hard to stay warm or enjoy the company of others.

So far though we have been blessed with pleasant weather. After that freak snow two weeks ago I thought we were going straight to winter and skipping fall. I intend to enjoy this nice Indian summer while it lasts.


October 20th, 1913

Dear Diary,

I am afraid I’ve been very lax in writing in you.  Mama and I have been busy with the last of the canning, shelling of beans and turning a bumper crop of cabbage into kraut. We are going to move to Donald at the end of November or maybe even wait until December. My it will be a chore to haul all our food stuffs there.  But Papa got the mail delivery route and must go into Aladdin each morning to pick it up. It’s just too cold for him to travel from here.  Being in Donald cuts off at least 5 miles for him.


November 1, 1913

Dear Diary,

I haven’t been writing very regularly with all the chores to be done. Besides helping Mama with all the preserving to do for winter I have been helping Grandma Lavina too. So much to do to get ready for winter.  But helping Grandma is kind of fun because while we are working she tells me stories from her youth in Iowa and let me tell you she is quite the storyteller.

All her stories start the same though. I was born in Boone county, Indiana in 1856.  My mama was Mariah Hull and my Daddy Jonathan Harden. My Mama’s family came to Indiana from Tennessee, but they were really Pennsylvania Dutch which means they came from Germany long ago. Only after she tells that part does she launch into the real story. Yesterday’s was about a white mountain lion that roamed around Tama county, Iowa one year when they lived there. I guess Grandpa’s grandmother, Phebe Fowler came face to face with him one day. Thank goodness she lived to tell the tale. She also told another one about a couple who had just gotten married and got caught in a blizzard and froze to death so close to their cabin. She never forgot how the searchers brought their frozen bodies to her family’s cabin when they found them. How awful, made me about cry. No wonder she worries so, about us getting caught in a winter storm.

Her telling me about Grandpa’s Mother, last time I was here, got me to wondering about hers.
Many a time I had heard about how her father Jonathan had come here to the Black Hills in search of gold in the late 1870’s. Like Grandpa’s family in California he didn’t have much luck, so he took up a homestead here instead and that’s why we eventually came here too.

She had never mentioned her mother, so I asked about her. I was sort of sorry I had because she told me she was only 9 when she died and didn’t remember her to well. I guess it was great aunt Sarah who took care of her and her brother a lot after that. And she was real glad when she came homestead here a few years ago. I like her a lot so I’m glad she came, too.

She said her father married again and so she had 4 half siblings. I gather she wasn’t too fond of her stepmother though. I think maybe her and Great Grandpa weren’t too fond of each either because she never did follow him to Wyoming.

Papa and Grandpa have been very busy mending fences and winterizing the outbuildings. Papa has set Daniel and Hazel to chinking in all the holes they might find in all our buildings.


November 3, 1913

Dear Diary,

I have spent the past two days in between my normal chores of milking the cow, washing up the breakfast dishes and that infernal cream separator and helping Mama get all our seeds for next year’s garden categorized and safely stored. I never realized as a child just how much work went into assuring we had what was needed to survive the winter and assuring crops for the next year.

My writing was just interrupted by the best of news, a letter from Roy. And better yet he says he expects to arrive for his visit here sometime in December after logging closes.  I don’t know how I am going to last waiting so long.