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LETTERS FROM MONA -Part 48- June 12 – June 29, 1915

Nagrom, Wash

June 12th, 1915

 Dear Mae,

 Well here I am once again to bother you for a little while. I wonder how you are this fine evening. Well And happy tho I trust. I am still as well as usual and am getting along pretty good.

Your letter arrived today and of course you know how glad I was to get it. Was awful sorry to hear that your aunt Lib is so bad. Poor old woman, it sure is to bad that she has to suffer so much. It doesn’t seem to me to be right that anyone should have to suffer so much and so long, but I suppose there are lots of things in this life that are beyond our understanding, about all we can do is try to  believe it is all for the best but it is sure hard to think that way sometimes. It certainly must be awful hard for Mrs. Plummer and of course the rest also. I feel sorry for them all. You must be careful not to over do yourself or you may be sick to.

Am glad you are having so many nice rains this season, maybe it is going to be a good crop year. I sure hope so anyway for it has been dry about long enough. No, I don’t think you are getting our Wash. rains in Wyo. for we are getting our full share. Since the first of May there had been lots of rain and I never did see so much cool cloudy weather. There has been very little sunshine since in April. Such weather is fine and dandy for working as it is so nice and cool but it is not the best for crops. It has almost spoiled the strawberrys and if we don’t have more sunshine pretty soon I think it will be bad for the raspberries also. It is quite a little while before they will be ripe tho, so maybe the weather will change in time. If it had stayed nice like it was in April I suppose the raspberries would have been ripe now. As it is I don’t think there will be many ripe before the first of July.

I wish I could help you work in your garden. My wouldn’t we have a good time tho. and I would like to help you eat some of it to. I haven’t had anything green to eat this spring, except the day I was down home. I get hungry for something fresh that I can hardly stand it. I will certainly make up for last time when I go home the Fourth of July. I expect to be home for a week or two then. Tell Daniel that I intended to send him a present for his birthday but forgot when his birth-came. Am sorry and will try to make it up at some other time if he will excuse me this time.

Well I guess I can’t think of anymore worth while so will stop. Some of the boys are playing cards in the room and making so much noise I can hardly think so you must excuse me if you find any mistakes.

 As ever,



Mona, Wyo.
June 13, 1915

Dear Roy-
I received your two letters today. My I was beginning to think I was never going to hear from you again. I didn’t know what to think as I never heard from you from the 24th of May until I got the two letters today. I never got any last Friday or any last Tuesday but got them both today. I was surely glad to.
Was glad to hear you was all right any way and hope you are the same now. We were over to grandpa’s today and got the mail. I got a letter from Uncle Sol too. Well it is so dark I will have to finish later; I also have a headache so good night and pleasant


Well here I am this morning. How you were this fine morning. I am feeling lots better than last week I was about all in with the La grip, and such a dreadful cold in my head and lungs. I still have a cold but feel better, only my lungs hurt so bad today but will be all O.K., soon.

We had a dreadful rain about three days and nights it just poured down but it is nice today and was yesterday. I guess we will have good crops of every kind this year.

Am sorry your mother was feeling not so good as usual hope she is better now. I am glad you father is so much better tho.

Aunt Sadie and Iretha are both well. Bert will be home soon I think. Aunt Sadie will be over this week. I will be glad but will surely be lonesome when they go down home.

We were glad to hear from all the folks. They are not very good to write and so when you tell us how they are it surely helps out. Wish I could see Justin’s baby. I always thot so much of him for he was so sweet when we were there. I haven’t written to Lillian and Justin yet, but will soon. I wish I was there to eat strawberrys and cherries but you will have to eat my share this year, that will help some.

There is going to be a lot of wild strawberrys here and lots of fruit in Spearfish. Papa is going to start for town today going to Uncle Tom’s. He started last week but that rain came so he had to come back home.

Aunt Lib is about the same. I saw her yesterday. Mrs. Plummers daughter is out visiting now. She is Mrs. Oliver, lives in South Dakota.

What are you going to do for the fourth of July. I don’t know for sure what we will do yet. Wish we could spend it together but I don’t supose we can. You must go and have a good time tho for you are where you can. You mustn’t stay at home this fourth. Was glad your folks liked my picture. Wish I could see them all. I got some more papers from Sade. She hasn’t written for some time.

I got the roses they are sure tiny little things but awful nice. We sure have lots here.

Well I can’t think of anything today. I started my letter last night in the dark. I don’t know if you can read it or not.
Now be sure and don’t disappoint me again with a letter, but I know how it was. And you write so regular, but I couldn’t help be worried.

 Well Best of wishes, as ever Mae.


June 14, 1915

Dear Diary,

Yahoo! Finally I heard from Roy and not just one but two letters came yesterday.  I am so relieved and happy to tell you both my mind and body feel better today than last week. After I last wrote to you it also commenced to snow. Can you believe that?  What a mixed-up season. First it’s too wet followed by too dry and then it’s too cold, followed by it’s too hot.  It’s a wonder anything grows.  


June 20, 1915

Dear Mae:

 Hello Girlie! How are you this morning? Just fine I trust tho. I am feeling fine and dandy as usual and hope you can say the same thing. I looked for a letter yesterday but did not get any. Perhaps I will get it today tho. I will sure be disappointed if I don’t.

Well I haven’t much in the way of news to tell you this week as I haven’t heard from any one in Puyallup since I was down there and everything here is pretty much the same at all times, about the only change we have is in the weather, so it is pretty hard to think of much to write. I have a new partner now. Mr. Cook thot the work was to hard so he left me. He is here tho, is working at another job. My new partner is a young fellow, twenty-two years of age and is a pretty nice boy and I think we’ll get along fine together. I worked with him a for a little while once before and we got along fine.

We are having some pretty disagreeable weather now. It is pretty rainy and cold. The coldest I have ever seen June. Seems to be getting colder all the time. Guess we are going to have some more winter by the looks of it. The warmest weather we have had so far was in April. It rained hard nearly all day yesterday and we got pretty wet. It is cloudy and cold this morning but isn’t raining, looks as if it might begin any minute tho. I would have went fishing today if it had been nice. I have been planning that trip fora long time now and always something turns up to prevent. Looks now as if I wouldn’t get to go before the fourth of July as there is only one more Sunday now.

Well how is everything in Wyo. by now. Hope you are having better weather than we are. I guess tho you are having some wintery weather also, as I was reading in the paper that there was six inches of snow in Sturgis S. DAk. and I suppose that there must have been some up in Wyoming to. If is pretty late in the summer for as much snow as that isn’t it? I suppose tho it will help with the crops some.

How I wish I could be with you on the Fourth of July. I know I would have a good time. How are you going to spend it? There will be a dance tho I suppose. Here is hoping that you have a fine time what ever you do. I haven’t made any plans as to how I shall spend it, as yet. If I go home I probably will put in the time picking berries or else take a trip to PT. Defiance Park. Wish you were here and could go along.

I suppose Burt will soon be back from shearing, guess Sadie and Tootie will not be sorry either. Expect you will be tho as you won’t get to see them so often then.

Well guess I can’t think of any more to write so guess I will stop and go do up my Sunday work and then put in the rest of the day reading. Tell Daniel to not forget to write to me.

Best wishes to all,
As ever, Roy


June 20, 1915

Dear Diary,

Hazel and I are over at the Plummer’s. We are keeping Miss Guy company; she’s boarding with them while she teaches at Mona, but I am also responsible for caring for my Aunt Lib.  She said she’d be okay if I’d stay with her but oh my does she ever demand my attention. Thank goodness she had drifted off to sleep for a bit so I can have a bit of a break. She is completely bed ridden. Is it ever work lifting and propping her up into a more comfortable position what seems like every other minute. Not to mention all the fetching fresh tea or water to sip. I do wish she’d let Hazel and Miss Guy help some. Still it makes me feel good to know she thinks so well of me.


June 21,1915

Dear Diary,

The Plummer’s came home today so I am back home. My did they bring back a wagon load of fine fruit, so many cherries and strawberries. They dropped quite a few off for us as our payment for looking after their place. I am going to mix up some shortcakes and cream to go with them in honor of the summer solstice. Strawberry shortcake, if ever there was the taste of summer, that is it..

Tomorrow Mama and I will turn the rest of the berries into jam and can most of the cherries. I surely will miss the ones Roy has sent the last couple of years but this help make up for missing those. Except they do make me feel kindy extra lonely for him, at the same time. I mustn’t dwell too long on such thoughts. I’ll just distract myself with summer chores. Aunt Sadie is here, so we will have a good time cooking.     


Mona, Wyo
June 22, 1915
Dear Roy-

Well here I am again for a chat. I am feeling more like my self now but was pretty near in. I hope you are well and happy and still getting along fine. I hope the weather is good. too. I got a letter from you Saturday and of course was glad. Plummer’s went to Spearfish last Friday and Hazel and I stayed with Mis Guy while they were gone, we came home yesterday. Aunt Lib said that Cynthia could go if I would come and stay with her. We got along fine. She seems to feel so good when I am near. My I don’t know what to think, she wants me to wait on her and no one else will do when I am near. She is still pretty bad. I don’t believe she will ever get up again, but I hope she will never have to suffer so much again. Mrs. Plummer’s picked a lot of strawberrys and we sure had a feast. I supose you will soon be going down home, so I may write to Puyallup next time.

Well today is clean up day for me so will finish this later. Hazel and Daniel are visiting. Mama is sewing. Aunt Sadie and Iretha have been her since Sunday and you know what kind of time we are having. Wish you was here. Bert will soon be home I guess, and I will be so lonesome I will nearly die. I feel like that lots time any way but I know I mustn’t so don’t. ha ha.

Well I don’t know very much of any news and I don’t know when I will get to send it. But I do the best I can so you will excuse me. Well I will close for this time I am feeling kindy blue and I can’t write very cheerful letters when I feel that way. Hazel and Daniel are not going to school this week. We have had some bad storms lately. I am so afraid of them but we have been pretty lucky so far. Well I will close and maybe write more before I get to send this. best wishes, as ever Mae.

We got a letter from Aunt Ann the other day and she said uncle Sol was quite sick. My I hope he is better. Miss Guy was down today my she is a dandy girl, I like her so well and it seems so nice to see a decent girl again. There hasn’t been one near here for so long since Vera left. But she is a Washington girl so maybe that is the reason she is so nice. ha ha

Wednesday 23, 1915

Here I am and will write just a little more. We are all well today but Aunt Lib is so much worse so we are going up this afternoon. So, I will take this letter along.

Well I will have to get dinner. Iretha is sending you a flower she picked it herself. It is a honeysuckle. We have a lot of pretty flowers now and lots of roses. Well I am sorry to disappoint you, but I could not write before and so that is the way it goes. Well, good-by

As ever,



June 29, 1915

Dear diary,

The phone rang a bit ago. It was the MacDonald’s. Lela went to Belle Fourche over the weekend to visit with friends. She went out into the yard and got shocked by lightening when it struck their home. She’s okay, it was just a slight shock.  But I hate lightening, it frightens me so. We certainly have had more than our share of bad lightning storms this past week. I am so thankful she wasn’t hurt bad or worst killed.

Papa has been gone for a few days. He’s off with his Phillips brothers to search for horses the military might want to buy. It seems like even here in this quiet little neck of the world the war still touches us.   

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 47 – June 1 to June 12, 1915

June 1, 1915

Dear Diary,

I still haven’t heard from Roy and it worries me some. I know it’s just he’s very busy or the mail has been held up for some reason. All the same I can’t help fretting that he might be sick, injured, or worse. No, I must not let my thoughts go there. He’s just working hard, that’s all.

I do wish it would rain. I know we have had lots this spring but not in the past few days. We need some soon if our seedlings are to take off.  Some of our neighbors are now talking of moving to Sheridan the unpredictable weather here in the Bear Lodge mountains just makes it hard to farm.

Sadie and Bert surprised us with a short visit yesterday as they were on their way to spend the evening with their good friends, the Bates. I loved getting a few extra minutes to cuddle and play with Tootie. She’s getting to be quite the crawler; I am afraid there is no more sitting her on a blanket and expecting her to stay put.


Nagrom, WN
June 1st, 1915

Dear Mae:

Well here I am once again. Am a little late with my letter this week but better late than not at all so they say. I went home last Sat. evening so didn’t have time to write. I didn’t think I would go down before about the first of July, but I had a letter from Mother and she was feeling kind of blue so thought, I would go down and see if I could cheer her up a bit. She isn’t so well as she was a while back has been just about down with the grip for a week or more. I was home all-day Sunday and it seemed quite nice to be home again. It sure looks nice around Puyallup now, everything is so fresh and green and there are so many flowers in blossom. The strawberries and cherries are ripe to so you may know that I had a feast. Wish you could have been there and helped me eat some.

I saw all the folks except Justin and Lillian they were all well except Lode, she was feeling bum she said, but I guess it wasn’t anything serious. Saul and Hugh are not living where they did they have moved into the little house right south of Mr. Purkensen’s berry patch. (Author’s note: The Purkensens were another one of Mae’s aunts and uncles). I went over and had a nice visit with Henry’s folks. They seem to be getting along fine. I showed Mrs. Henry your picture and I thot she was going to have a fit over it. I showed it to all the rest of the folks to and they all said it was just dandy. Mother and Lida seemed awful glad to get it and said it was good.

Sunday evening I was over to Mr. Purkensens and had a nice visit. It was the first time I had seen since I came back from WYO so they had lots of questions to ask me. Justin and his wife are at home tho. Justin has a team and is working on the county-road. You ought to see Justin’s little boy. He is just awful cute. He and Iretha are just about the same size and I guess they’d have a great time playing together. Henry’s said they expected Justin and Lillian to show up in Puyallup at any time now. I expected to get to see them as I thought they were already in Puyallup but was disappointed. Will get to see them before so very long tho I suppose.

My Father is pretty well now, he looks ever so much better than he did when I last saw him. He is able to go out with the team now and do quite a little work.

I got yours and Sadie’s letter Saturday and of course was very glad. Sorry that you Mother wasn’t very well and hope she will be better soon. I expect you were some glad to see Tootie again. I would be glad myself If I could see her now. Many thanks for the picture. I don’t think it looks much like her tho, for I know she is much prettier than that. I sure would like to see her with her new shawl, bet she is some cute.

Sorry you have been having such disagreeable weather in Wyoming. Hope it will be nice pretty soon. It is still pretty well here. we have some rain almost everyday. Rained pretty hard this afternoon. I sure hope June isn’t going to be as wet as May was.

Good evening,

Well I think I have told you about all I know so will stop and pull in as I am getting awfully sleepy. Give my regards to all.


Here is the first little wild roses I have seen this season. I found them in the woods where we were at work the other day.


June 5,1915

Dear diary,

We had a meeting of the Book and Thimble club today at the Massies but it was so wet and foggy not very many folks came. Those of us who were there had a good chat. We agreed to postpone our book talk and try and meet again next week. Unfortunately, the meeting ended on a sad note when the phone rang to inform us that Grandma Rishor had died earlier in the day from a stroke.


Nagrom, WN

June 5, 1915

Dear Mae,

 Well how is my Little Girl this fine evening, just fine tho I trust. I am still feeling fine and dandy and hope these fiew lines will find you in the same fix. I received your last letter Wednesday and you know I was glad. I wasn’t looking for another letter so soon so was somewhat surprised. It was a very pleasant surprise and I wish you would surprise me again in the same fix. Was so glad to hear you were feeling better and your Mother is better to.

To bad the frost injured the wild fruit down there. I hope it didn’t kill all of it tho. It would sure be a shame if it did. This has been a bad season for frost here also. There is going to be very fiew cherries or apples and I think the raspberries are hurt some to. Just how much I can’t tell yet. It is to bad but I guess it cannot be helped, so it is no use to cry about it.

I hope I can get enough cherries from my trees so I can send you a fiew. I have only two trees that will keep long enough and they are the ones that got frosted the worse. I went over and looked at them when I was down and there was only a fiew left. They will be ripe about the first of July I think. No, I didn’t rent my berries to anyone this season. Am hiring them tended and am going to let Lida tend to the picking. It doesn’t pay for me to do it myself. Wish you could be here and help in the picking. I suppose the camp will be shut down for about a week the Fourth of July so I will get to pick some myself and of course eat quite a fiew also.

I got a letter from Justin the other day, the same day that I got yours. He was still at Oysterville, digging clams. He said he would have to quit that pretty soon tho, as it is against the law to dig any after the first of June. He is talking some of renting some land down there. Said if he didn’t do it he would be up to Puyallup soon, and would come up here after the Fourth of July.

There is a dance here tonight, Richard is going to play. Don’t know if I will go over or not. I worked pretty hard to-day and it was pretty warm, so I am somewhat tired. Am going to have to work tomorrow to, so I guess I hadn’t better go to any dance.
I bet Hazel was some disappointed that she didn’t get to go to the dance at MC Donald’s. If she was here she could get enough dancing I think. I am going to bring my clothes with me after the Fourth and see if I can’t learn to dance. They sure have them often enough and have some good dancers here so I will never have a better opportunity to learn. Richard is practicing on some new music.

I am sorry I forgot the date of Daniel’s birthday for I intended to send him some little remembrance. I suppose he will feel a little jealous now because I sent Hazel a present after forgetting him.

Tell Hazel that I made a mistake when I put the ribbon in her shawl and got it on the wrong side and didn’t find it until it was to late to change it. She can change it herself if she wants to.

I found the flowers in your letter and think they are nice, many thanks for them. There are lots of wildflowers here but not so very many tame ones. Am glad to hear that there is prospects for good crops in Wyoming this year and hope the weather continues favorable.

I suppose you and Sadie and Tootie had a great time together last week. You will surely miss them when they go home again. Will they go before the Fourth of July?

Well it is getting so late so guess I had better pull in, as Daniel says and get some sleep so I can stand another long weary day.
Tell everyone hello for me.

 Good-night, Roy

Dear Diary

June 6, 1915

I feel so bad, this morning we woke to a blanket of frost on the ground. Unlike the one at the end of May this one I fear is a killing frost.  I am afraid we will need to do lots of replanting. Farming in these parts is just too hard. Seems like we either have too much rain, or not enough or it’s too cold or hot.

Just heard a car go by. Since the roads have finally dried out there has been a lot of joy riding going on around here. 

——————————————————————————————————————————-June 9, 1915

Dear diary,

Today’s going to be a scorcher, freezing one day, pouring the next followed by a hot, that’s a Wyoming summer for you.

Yesterday we all met over at the Bates for a combined birthday party for my Uncle Bill Smith and Daniel. Of course we acknowledged Daniel’s real birthday, too. Hard to believe he is already 12.

 Mama wasn’t feeling well so she stayed home but the rest of us went. Jim and Phoebe Bates cooked us a delicious meal out in the yard using their camp stove and we ate under the of the trees. Sadie and I brought cakes, a chocolate on for Daniel, and a lemon one for Uncle Willie.

There was quite a crowd of us with the Smiths, Marchants, and Bates combined. Tootie and Zeta are close in age and were so fun to watch playing on the blanket while the rest of us visited, played cards, and sang around a campfire. Uncle Willie said it was the best birthday he’d had in a long time.


June 12, 1915

Dear Diary,

Maybe it’s the unpredictable weather we are having but I have not felt will since Uncle Willie’s party on Tuesday. I have spent most of the of the week in bed with the La Grippe, I guess.

If I had to pick a week to be sick I suppose this is better than most since it has done nothing but pour since the party. The Belle Fourche river is running so high none of us from Mona will be able to make today’s book and thimble club meeting.

Papa says the roads are pitted mud baths again. We are so in need of road repair. I bet that tax collector riding around here is getting an earful.

I still haven’t heard from Roy; I am nearly losing my mind with worry.

LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 46 – May 15 – May 31, 1915

Nagrom, WA

May 15,1915

Dear Mae:

Well how goes it with the girl by now, hope you are just fine tho. I am well as ever and still getting along first class. Your last letter arrived last Tuesday, and I guess it is unnecessary to tell you that I was glad. It got here a day ahead of time, so I was sure surprised. It was a very pleasant surprise tho, so I am not kicking. Am awful sorry that your tooth is bothering you yet. I so hoped it would be alright after it was fixed and I guess you hope so too and it is too bad that it isn’t.

Tell Sadie that I was sorry to hear that she wasn’t well, and hope she is alright again now. I hope she didn’t have to miss your party for I know that would be quite a disappointment for you and for her to I suppose.

Am glad to hear you have been having such nice rains in Wyoming perhaps it is going to be a better season for crops than usual, let us hope so any way for it is about time.

We have had considerable rain during the past week, rained some everyday, just spring showers tho, one minute it would be raining like sixty and the next the sun would be shining as bright as if it had never rained. I got pretty wet several times but it was so warm and nice that I didn’t mind it much.
They had a late frost down at Puyallup, I think that it killed most of the cherries and hurt the berries some to. There is going to be only about half a crop they say. I guess the strawberries have started to ripen as they are on the market now. It is nearly a month earlier than I ever knew them to ripen before, so you may know what an early season we have, I think there will be ripe raspberries in a month from now. I don’t know whether I can send you any cherries this year or not as the frost may have killed all of that kind, and there is no others that will keep long enough.

I had letters from Mother and Father both this week and they are both getting along just fine. Father has gained thirty pounds in weight since he got back to Wash. My uncle isn’t any better than he was tho, poor old man, I guess he never will be either. I don’t look for him to last much longer.

Mother gave me scolding for not sending her your picture. I didn’t know at what time I might be going down so thought I would keep it until I went down. I don’t know now when I will be going down suppose tho I will have to go down when berry picking starts.

I don’t know anything about your Uncle John’s place so couldn’t say whether he still has a chance to redeem it or not. I hardly think so tho.

Tell Hazel she ought to be here tonight for there is a big dance on. They are going to have some fancy music from Seattle so suppose it will be a swell affair. I am going over and watch them for awhile but I won’t try to dance as I have no clothes with me but my working uniform.
Well this is all I know so guess I will stop. Give my best wishes to everybody.


May 17, 1915

 Dear Diary,

I am sitting outside surrounded by the sweet fragrance of the white blossoms springing forth from all the orchards.

Earlier this morning the folks hitched up the wagon and left for their spring trip to Belle Fourche. Sadie and Tootie left with them to be dropped off in Aladdin. Sadie wanted to be home before Bert returns from sheep shearing. The two of them had been here ever since my birthday and with Hazel and Daniel off at school it seems awful lonely here now. But I will busy myself as I have plenty of chores to do.

 Seems like more and more folks in these parts are talking of moving but I guess we are going to stay put. Really I can’t say for sure, one day Papa wants to move the next stay put.  At least with the plentiful rain we have has so far this spring there is hope for good crops.

There is going to be another dance in Donald on the 29th. It’s the first one since St. Patrick’s Day. I guess we are going and I don’t mind for it will be nice to see everyone again. We have been so busy planting and doing spring chores there’s been hardly any time for visiting.


Nagrom, WN

May 22, 1915

Dear Mae,

 Well here goes a few words to let you know that I am still among the living. Am fine and dandy as usual and trust you can say the same. Your last letter arrived last Tuesday and of course you know I was glad to get it. Sorry tho that you were having trouble with your eye. Wonder what could be wrong with it. Hope it is nothing serious tho.

Glad to hear that you are having such nice weather in Wyoming. I would very much like to see that country now. I don’t suppose it looks much like it did three months ago. It was pretty white then and now I suppose everything is pretty and green. We are still having showering weather, but not rain enough to make it uncomfortable. So far May hasn’t been so warm as April was, suppose we will have some warm weather pretty soon tho.

I haven’t had any letters from Puyallup this week so don’t know anything in the way of new to tell you.

I have got my old job now. My friend Mr. Cook and I have been falling together since last Saturday. I like falling much better than bucking as it is not so lonesome for there is always two together. We happened to get into a bunch of big trees this week so had to work pretty hard. I think we will have it easier in a few days. I wanted to go fishing tomorrow but I have to work so can’t go, so far we have worked every Sunday this month aren’t we wicked tho.

Was glad to hear that you had such a nice time at your birthday party and glad you received so many nice presents, you must have lots of good friends.
I hope Sadie likes her shawl as well as you seem to like it. Guess I will have to make one for you sometime. What says you? I wish I had taught you how to make them last winter so you could make them yourself if you wanted to.

I haven’t heard from Joe since he left here, but I heard that he was working in a camp near Selick, that is about twenty-five miles from here, towards Seattle. I don’t know what he is doing.

There is going to be another dance here tonight. Richard is going to play for them. He went over to the hall just a fiew minutes ago, so suppose they will soon be shaking their feet. Well Mazie I can’t think of anymore worth saying so had better stop I guess. I haven’t read the newspaper yet so will read that awhile and then pull-in as Daniel says. Oh yes I forgot to thank you for the pansies. I think they are nice, thank ever so much.

Give my regards to all the folks.

As ever, Roy

May 30, 1915

Dear diary,

I am plum tuckered out today. We went to the dance last evening. We were still traveling home as the sun started to rise. By the time we got here the morning chores needed doing so not much resting occurred. Wouldn’t it be nice if Roy’s brother Richard came to play at our dances and of course he’d have to bring his brother? Ahh, such dreams.

The Book and Thimble club meets this afternoon but I don’t think either Mama or I have the energy to go, besides, I am only halfway finished with the book. We have another meeting the second week of June, hopefully I will make that one.  Anyway, we have church tomorrow at the Mona, schoolhouse, it all makes for too much traveling.

 I didn’t get my usual letter from Roy yesterday; I hope I get one this coming week. I fret so when I don’t get one. I tell you sometimes I think I just live for his letters and nothing else matters.  

LETTERS FROM Mona -Part 45- May 1-May 9, 1915

May 1, 1915

Dear Diary,

Once again it is raining like sixty turning our turning our rutted roads into massive mud holes.  It makes it so difficult to get around whether by wagon or foot. It’s about time the county and state give us some help repairing them. Folks around here have enough to do without having to maintain the roads too.

Daniel rode his pony off to the Mona school this morning, it just started up again last Monday. I bet he was drenched by the time he got there. It surely will be going late this year; I don’t envy him having to go during the hot days of July but we had trouble finding a teacher to come any sooner. The new teacher’s name is Miss Guy and she is boarding next door so I must try and get to know her better.   

Bert and Jesse Phillips stopped by here yesterday. I guess their fishing/camping trip on the Belle Fourche river was a bust. They barely got enough fish to make a decent fish fry for themselves.

I believe I am all over whatever ailed me. My throat feels so much better than it did a few days ago. Mama says I should take it easy another day or two so I am going to take her up on the offer while she is feeling generous. I think I will go call Sadie and see if she is feeling better, too.  


Nagrom Wn.
May 5th, 1915

Dear Pardner Daniel:

Well here it goes a few lines in answer to your letter which I got some time ago. Ought to have answered sooner but was to lazy I guess that is the only excuse I can think of to offer so it will have to go. Well how is the World using you by now? And what are you doing with yourself?

Going to school tho I suppose. It will be pretty late before you get out this time won’t it? You had a good long vacation and I expect you were glad to get to go to school again. Who have you for a teacher.

Well were having nice weather now, just like summer time and I suppose it is pretty much that way in Wyoming by now isn’t it?

I may go trout fishing next Sunday if the weather is good, better you come along and I will show you some fun. There is a dance here to-night, Richard is playing for them. He has played for them twice before. He is getting to be quite the musician, you ought to hear him play some. If you will come over after a little, you can help us eat strawberries and cream. Mr. Cook and I got some berries from the store today and are going to have a feast. I guess they are California berries as Washington berries are not ripe yet.

Next time you write to me I want you to do a better job of it for I know that you can beat that all to smash if you try. Wish I could be at your place Friday evening for Mae’s party but as my air-ship is broke guess I can’t. Tell the dog and cat and the rest of the folks hello for me.



May 7, 1915

Dear diary,

I am relaxing on my garden bench. I can’t tell you enough what a source of delight this space provides for me. As soon as I am done with my morning chores I come out here to pull weeds and coax my seeds to commence growing. From where I sit I can see the tiny wisps of onion seed and radishes sprouting. My cabbage plants are growing in size now I just hope the darn rabbits don’t decide to feast upon it all. 

The trees and bushes along our road are painted in fresh coats of emerald while the wildflowers are busily popping up in artistic displays. It took its sweet time but spring has definitely sprung.

Today I am another year closer to the longed for 21, I am now 19. Hazel is off collecting wildflowers to decorate for my party tonight. Mama is inside bustling around getting ready for this evening. My grandparents, Sadie, Bert and of course little Tootie are joining us for supper.

When I left the house, the sweet smell of a vanilla cake already filled the air. Later it will be topped with my favorite rich chocolate frosting. My mouth is watering already.  After supper, our neighbors are going to join us for coffee and cake. It will be so nice to see all of them again especially little Tootie. I can’t get enough of that little angel.

John said he’d drop any mail we had by later this afternoon. I sure hope I have a letter from Roy for if I don’t this is going to be a blue, blue birthday.


 Nagrom, WN

 May 8th, 1915

Dear Mae:

Well here I am again. How are you feeling this lovely evening, fine tho I trust. I am feeling first class and am getting along just fine. Am feeling better everyday. We are having such perfect weather now that one couldn’t help feeling fine. It is sure great. I don’t think I ever saw so much sunshine in the springtime as we have had this season.

I don’t know much in the way of news to tell you this week, as I haven’t had any letters. I had a letter from Justin over a week ago and he said he was going back to Puyallup and would be there he thought by the first of the month, so guess he must be down there now. I wish I was down there so I could see him and Lillian. It seems a long time since I saw them, in fact it has been almost a year now. I am going to try to get Justin to come up here after the Fourth of July. He and I could sure have some good times fishing together. I haven’t got to go on any fishing trips yet. Was planning one for tomorrow but can’t go as we’re going to have to work, will have to put it off for a week. I guess I hate to miss getting to go fishing just about as bad as Hazel hates to miss a dance. You know how bad that is.

I got your last letter Wednesday; awful sorry you had such a time with your throat and hope it is all right by now.

Joe isn’t with us now. He went away last Wednesday. He said he wasn’t feeling very well so suppose he went home. I don’t know if he will come back here or not. I hardly think he will tho.

Richard is still with me tho and I am going to try all I can to keep him here. He has been sitting here playing the violin ever since I started this letter.

Well I have now told you all I know and some I don’t know so guess I had better let you go. Give my best wishes to all the folks and keep some for yourself.

As ever, Roy


May 9, 1913

Dear Diary,

I didn’t write in you yesterday as I was feeling pretty bushed out from my birthday party the night before. My did we ever have a nice time; it would have been absolutely perfect if only Roy had been here to share it. Nevertheless, it was far nicer than I expected.

As it was a warm day, Hazel and Daniel set up tables for us to eat outside. Hazel made three gorgeous bouquets out of the wildflowers she collected. I didn’t know the pale blue of Iris combined with blue eyed grass, white crazy weed and yellow sweet clover could be so artfully displayed. 

Late in the afternoon John came with the mail. I had cards from Roy’s mother and Lida as well as from Vera. But best of all was the box, from yours truly. Inside was a beautiful card and a leather-bound book of poetry. Oh, I just love it so much. Wildflowers were pressed between four of the pages. He said they marked the poems that best spoke from his heart. Such beautiful words I never read and to think he thinks of me this way.

Mama and Papa gave me a new book to read, it’s the one for our mid-July book club meeting, “The Price of Love,” by Arnold Bennett,  I think I am becoming a book worm.  Must be the book club or perhaps it is Roy rubbing off on me. Never a day goes by without his spending time with his nose in a book or newspaper.

Grandma and Grandpa gave me the loveliest tablecloth to go in my hope chest. It’s made of damask with pretty pink rose embroidery. I can envision it now on my table, set with a matching bouquet of roses and fine china. Hmm, maybe I will have myself a rose garden so I can have endless bouquet of roses, now wouldn’t that be something.

Sadie gave me a blue polka-a-dot scarf. Hazel and Daniel picked out pretty cards with flowers adorning them. Hazel said she used the cards for inspiration for the bouquets she’d arranged. That made them even more special. She also embroidered yellow flowers on a hanky for me. She’s getting rather good with her embroidery.  Floyd and the rest of the Waddington’s gave me a box of stationary, with their fetching our mail so often they know how many letters I write.

LETTERS FROM MONA -part 44 – April 16 -April 30, 1915

Mona, Wyo
April 17, 1915

Dear Roy, –

Well how are you this fine day, fine tho I hope. I got your letter today, John went to the office last night and Floyd brought the mail up this afternoon. I was very glad to hear you was well and getting along good. And I hope this letter will find you the same. I am pretty well with the exception of a headache. I have had that a lot this week and has almost got me down yesterday and today but I have wore it off pretty good so far. I think it will soon be all ok. I hope so.

Yes the weather is just grand now has been for a week or more. It gets almost to hot some times, but warm weather is what we need to make our crops. It looks awful nice now. It is so green and there is getting to be quite a lot of grass. I have some of my garden made but not all. We have quite a lot of potatoes and lots of corn in. Most every one is busy putting in their crops.
My I wish you could see our yard it looks so nice the grass is so green and we have it all cleared and straightened up. I think we have the nicest yard in the country. (not bragging at all)

Grandpa and Grandma went down to Aunt Sadie’s today and Mama and Daniel and Hazel went over there to stay, so Papa and I are here alone. Floyd just went home. My I wish you could have been to the party at Plummer’s there wasn’t many there but we had a nice time only stayed until about five O’clock. (I guess that accounts for my headache) although I had it while I was there.
We surprised Floyd pretty good altho I think he was expecting it some. My I wish you could be to mine. Oh, if you only could but you can’t so will have to do the best I can with out you, and look forward to later.

It seems kindy lonesome here since the folks went and papa is up working on the fence and I am alone. I have been pretty busy tho. I scrubbed and cleaned things up this forenoon and am baking bread too.
I wish I could hear Richard playing some of those pieces and I supose they do make you feel pretty lonely, but you must not get lonesome, for that is a bad thing, I know. There isn’t much news to write now days.

Iretha is as sweet as ever and I am nearly wild to see her. I can hardly wait until she comes up. I guess they will come to my party and then Aunt Sadie and Tootie will stay until Bert comes back from Shearing and then she will go home and I will be lonesome again.

But don’t say any thing about it but we may not be here, we are thinking of going to North Dakota this summer so I don’t know when we will, don’t say a word tho. I hope we do go.

 My I wish I could see you. tomorrow is Sunday don’t know what I will do but the same old thing I supose. School starts Monday, my it is sure late. It will be pretty hot to go to school in July, but they could not get a teacher before.

Well I’ll stop and call Aunt Sadie up ——–
Well here I am again I got to talking to Aunt Sadie and I could hear Iretha laughing so much it made me so lonesome I had to hang up and shed a lot of tears. Oh, I get so lonesome sometimes. But with Gods help I can stand it, with the thots of better times.

Good-bye as ever,


Sunday morning,-
Here I am again, I thot I would say a few words and tell you I am alright this morning, but had a dreadful headache last night but I am feeling lots better today. My it sure is warm, like July. Mama and Hazel and Daniel will be home some time today I think. My I wish you was going to be here today, but you won’t so there. Well I will stop now and seal my letter. Hope I get to send it tomorrow. I don’t like to disappoint you but I just have to some times. You are faithful tho. Well by bye.

With best wishes M.


April 18, 1915
Dear Mae, Hello girlie!

How are you this beautiful Sunday morning? Fine and dandy though I hope and trust. I am feeling just dandy at present and getting along fine. We have had the loveliest weather here lately you can imagine. There hasn’t been a cloud in the sky for ten days and the air is so soft and warm and everything is so green and pretty that anyone couldn’t help feeling well. I got your last letter yesterday also the pictures. And course you know I was awful glad to get them. I think the pictures are just splendid so natural that it seems you ought to speak. I am not going to try to tell you how glad I was to get them for I haven’t the words to do it. I will keep the other one until I go home I guess. Am awful sorry to hear that your mother is so poorly and hope she will be better soon. Isn’t anything that can be done to stop those terrible head-aches?

Was glad to get Hazel’s and Daniels letters and will answer them soon, haven’t time to do it today as I am going to help Joe fix up a tent as soon as I can finish this letter. He is going to bring the wife up here and live in a tent for a while unless he changes his mind before he gets the tent up. He changes his mind so often you can’t tell for sure what he is going to do until he does it.

I would sure like to be there for your birthday party but of course I can’t. That is I can’t be there in person but my thoughts and best wishes will be with you.

I haven’t heard from home this week so don’t know how things are down there guess the folks are getting better slowly thou, and that is about the best than can be expected.

Am glad that Sadie and Tootie are feeling well. Tell them both hello for me. I will make Tooties shawl as soon as I can. Will have to send away for the yarn tho, so it will be sometime before I can finish it. I suppose Bert will soon be going shearing will he not? I have forgotten what time he goes but guess it is about the first of May.

Yes, I sent Miss Blake a card telling her about losing their picture but don’t know whether or not she got it. Suppose she did tho.
Well I guess this is about enough for now so will stop.

As ever Roy

P.S anytime you want another half doz. of those pictures just let me know and I will get them for you. Oh I forgot to mention the flowers you sent thanks for them. Glad to know your going to have spring W. R. C.


April 22, 1915

Dear diary,

Our spring weather has continued to be fine; everyone is going full blast with their farming. The folks were thinking of maybe going up to North Dakota and renting a farm Uncle Tom told them about. They have decided to stay here as it looks like a good growing season. I am not sure whether to be happy or sad about it.  

The roads have improved a great deal, so later this week Papa and Mama are going to make their semiannual trip with the wagon into Belle Fouche to fetch supplies.

 My Phillips uncles are busy bronco busting. The European Armies are clamoring for fine horses. Oh, how I wish that dreadful war would hurry and come to an end.


April 24,1915

Dear diary,

I am feeling so blue today. Actually, I feel more than blue for my throat aches so and I feel bum all over. Mama has made me some warm tea with lemon in it and insists I spend the day resting. I sure hope I get over this fast. I would hate to be sick for my Birthday.

We had our first spring meeting of the Book and Thimble club today over at the Knowles.  We read Penrod by Booth Tarkington. I thought it was quite funny. I could imagine Daniel getting into the same mischievous trouble as the boy in this book did.

Mrs. Knowles decorated with sprays of wildflowers all over the house and served us lemonade and the Honey Cake Dorothy Gish has made popular. It was very tasty. I would sure like to see a movie again. How I long to live in a town. The last one I went to was over 2 years ago when we were still living in Puyallup and guess who I went with? Will I ever get to go to another one with him?

Sadie just called she is feeling as miserable as I am. Sounds like we might have the same affliction.  She was hoping I could come for a couple of days and help her take care of Tootie.  I so hated having to turn her down because the only person I enjoy spending time with more than Tootie is Roy.  Speaking of which I should write him a letter so it’s ready to go when John comes by on his way to fetch the mail in Mona later today.  I hope the next time I take pen to you I am in better spirits both in mind and in body. 










LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 43 – April 3 -April 16, 1915

Nagrom, WN

April 3, 1915

Dear Mazie:

 Well here I am once again. How are you feeling this evening? Just fine tho I hope and I hope the rest of the folks are feeling better than they were when you wrote. Was awful sorry that Hazel and Daniel were having so much trouble.

I have entirely recovered from my sick spell and am feeling as well as ever again. I am also getting used to the work so that it doesn’t make me so tired anymore. It did make me awful tired and sore at first. Guess it doesn’t pay to lay off so long. It always goes pretty hard for a while after being idle for awhile.

We have had quite a relapse in weather since the first of this month. It started raining the last day in March and has kept it up pretty steady ever since. Thursday was so bad we had to stay in all day, we went out yesterday and today and got pretty wet to, am afraid we will have quite a lot of rain this spring, it has been so dry all winter that it will take a lot of rain now to equalize it.

Well I am not quite so lonely now as I was for I have both my brothers here with me now. They came up last Monday morning. I was sure glad to have them come to. It has been quite a long time since I have been much with either of them, especially Richard. We have things fixed pretty comfortable now. We three and Mr. Cook have a cabin all to ourselves. Richard has his violin with him so we have a concert every evening. He is playing Casey Jones now. He was playing Chesapeake Bay when I started to write and I could hardly stand to listen to it.

Joe is going to move the wife up here after awhile if all goes well. She is staying with Mother and Lida now. Mother is feeling some better than she did, tho she isn’t well at all yet. I am afraid she never will be either. Father doesn’t seem to get any better. He sure is having a hard time of it. I don’t know if he will ever get his health back or not. I had another letter from Justin again yesterday. He answered this time the same day he got my letter. So I got an answer long before I expected it, wasn’t looking for it for a month at least. He said the weather was so bad down there that he couldn’t do very much. Said he was going to take to the woods pretty soon if clam digging didn’t get better. I asked him about the rest of the folks but he didn’t say a word about anything not even the baby. Wonder what ails him?

Well tomorrow is Easter, wonder how you are going to spend it, wish I might spend it with you but of course I can’t, so it is no use to wish. Well enough for this time.




April 5, 1915

Dear Diary,

 I am so awful tired for today was washing day. After that was done I swept and scrubbed the floor and then the laundry had to be brought back in for ironing day tomorrow. I really don’t like doing laundry but Mama just hums right through it, says it reminds her of her youth working in the laundry in Riverdale. Well this is my youth and I am not about to remember doing laundry with fondness.

Yesterday was Easter, the weather was so fine, a better spring day one could never see. It was so nice to see all the ladies at church having shunned all the sober and somber habiliments of winter for the glory of spring suits and summer hats. How’s that for some fancy writing?  Ha! Ha!

I got many compliments on my new outfit. If only Roy could have been there to see me in it, I miss him so.

After the church service in the Mona schoolhouse there was an Easter Egg hunt for the little ones. There were all kinds of pretty colored eggs both real and candy for them to find. The children had such fun finding them.  Perhaps someday my children will get to participate in such goings on.


April 8, 1915

Dear diary,

A lot of farming has commenced in these parts. Even I have started on my garden again. This year besides the vegetables I am dedicating an extra space to flowers. I am going to encircle it with sunflowers and I can just see myself sitting amongst them relaxing at the end of a long hot day. Wish me luck that it all grows. 

The winter term for school has finally ended in Donald after going a steady 7 months.  Papa’s cousin Helen Adair was teaching it. She’s another one wound up with the Waddington family but now she is married to an Adair. I wish I could have kept up on my teacher studies but everything kept getting in my way.

The tax assessor was around last week, Papa is never happy to see him come around. He says they always value this place too high. I think he is right, as they say there is nothing so sure in life as taxes and death.


Nagrom, WN

Apr. 10, 1915

Dear Mazie: Well here goes a few lines. Just to let you know I am still alive and am feeling fine and hope and trust that you can say the same. Everything here is just about as usual. So there isn’t much news to tell you. The weather is fine here again and it sure does look like spring, everything looks almost as green and nice as it does in summer time.

 Am sorry you are having such bad weather in wyo but maybe it is better now. I hope it is anyway but I guess that won’t do much good.

I received your last letter last Wednesday and of course you know I was glad. Wish I could have been there and been to those parties with you but what’s the use to wish in a case of that kind. There had been two dances here since I came here and there is another one to-night. I haven’t been to any of them yet as I haven’t anything but my working clothes with me. Tell Hazel they don’t dance the grape-vine here. They dance the two-step and waltz most of the time. I may go over to the hall after awhile and look for a while. The last dance they had here there was eighty numbers sold. I wish that picture man would hurry with those pictures. I want to see them so bad I can hardly wait. I looked for one this week but was disappointed. Perhaps I will get it next week, will look for it anyway but may be disappointed again, hope not.

Richard is making so much noise on his violin that I can hardly think. He sure makes things lively around the bunks and keeps us from getting so lonesome too.

Joe went down to Puyallup to see the wife this evening he couldn’t stand to be away from her any longer of course he had another excuse but I know it was her that he wanted to see. She is going to move up here pretty soon I guess at least he says so.

I had a new job. Part of this week was firing a donkey engine. Didn’t like it very well either as it was sure hard work was glad to get away from it. I think I shall start in falling again soon. I like bucking just about as well but there is not so much money in it.

Tell Sadie and Iretha I would like to see them, tell them hello for me anyway.

Well can’t think of anything more to say so guess I will stop and go over and watch them dance awhile. Best wishes to all the folks.

as ever



April 11, 1915

Dear diary,

After not having one of those horrid headaches since last summer I have had one for the past several days. Why are Mama and I so afflicted? I’d thought I’d gotten rid of them for good and now they are back. I hate them for they sure slow me down. A person can hardly get anything done when it hurts to even hold your eyes open.

The Raleigh’s man was here yesterday for the first time this year. Mama stocked up on our needed cooking spices and such for it will be fall before we see him again. She also bought a new tonic he touted as guaranteed to cure headaches. I took some last night but I can’t say it helped any, my head still hurts.

 Papa has been mending fence as it has rained so much last week the fields are too wet to work in. I tried digging in my garden but gave up as it was a mud bath out there. The roads are still pretty bad too, I will be glad when the mud is done with us for the season. Our telephone is out of order today as they are working on the lines making some repairs and improvements. I sure hope they get done fast; I need to call Sadie.


April 16, 1915

Dear diary,

The weather has been nice the past few days. Everyone is getting back out in their fields and the grass is really growing now. We have done a lot of work to our yard this past week, cleared out all the winter debris and mowed the grass so it looks really nice. Mrs. Barrett gave me so many lovely flower seeds, the yard will look even better when they commence to bloom.

I have to admit I am a bit worried though. Roy wrote that he might bring up his suit of clothes so he could go to one of the camp dances. Okay, I know I go to dances here but most of the time I don’t have a choice. And besides, I don’t dance much and when I do it’s either with family or someone I have known forever. It’s not like I am going to fall for them. But I’ve heard those logging camps bring girls in by the train load. It’s just one more thing for me to fret about, like I don’t have enough already. Am I wrong not wanting Roy to go to a dance?

Tonight, we are going over to the Plummer’s for a surprise birthday party. I hope Floyd hasn’t heard us talking about it behind his back. If only Roy were here to go along but as he says no use wishing for what I can’t have.

LETTERS FROM Mona – Part 41 – March 11- 13, 1915

March 11, 1914

Dear diary,

Here I sit by the warmth of the stove feeling so lonely I could cry. Actually, I have been crying a lot just not at the moment.

This stove was part of the historical museum collection in Hulett, Wyoming

Roy left yesterday. Mama and I took the train with him as far as Belle Fourche. I can still feel the warmth of his embrace as we kissed good- by. I wished we could have stood there forever, that he never had to let go and board the train.  I tell you; it was all I could do to stop myself from running after him and yelling, “Wait! Take me with you.” Instead I stood like a brave little trooper with tears rolling down my cheeks and waved good-bye.

Why did he have to give his word to Papa?  Yes, I do admire a man who stands by his word but I tell you in this case it’s enough to drive me nearly wild. Why, oh why, does 21 have to still be 2 years away?

In the meantime, I know I must be sensible, I just don’t want to be. I know he has to make a living; I know having a nest egg is a good thing so we can build our own house. But why can’t there be work around here? So many folks are leaving. We might as well go back to Washington if only Papa wasn’t so stubborn.

And another thing that bothers me, we aren’t actually betrothed. We have talked plenty of a future together but…  Sadie says he has to be crazy besotted in love with me to come here every winter and we are as good as engaged anyway, that he is just waiting for my 21st birthday to officially pop the question. She’s probably right it’s just I am so tired of waiting.

In the meantime, what if we go join that awful war in Europe and he has to serve?  Will he come back? Will some other girl catch his eye? Honestly, I must stop thinking like this, for as Mama says it’s no use worrying about what hasn’t happened. It’s just sometimes I can’t help it.

I know it’s too soon to hear that he has arrived home safe and sound but I won’t rest easy until I do. I know his folks are expecting him but I would feel better if he wasn’t traveling all alone.

There is one piece of good news though, my tooth has finally been fixed, hopefully once and for all. I had an appointment with the dentist the same day Roy left. He will be happy to hear It has finally been fixed. He hates to see me suffering. Another thing I love about him, his compassion for others.


March 13, 1915

Dear diary,

I was just over visiting with my Great Aunt Lib. She says my visits help her to feel better. I wish there were something more I could do, it’s not fair she has to suffer so. She lives with our closest neighbors, Papa’s Waddington cousins.  Somehow those Waddingtons are all wound up with Clarence Waddington’s family. I tell you nearly everyone out here on Mona road are connected in some way. Speaking of Vera, she wrote they have started building a house like the one she and I dreamed of last summer. I wonder if I will ever get my dream house. I guess it doesn’t much matter as long as Roy is in it, still a girl can dream.

A lot of the folks around here are busy putting in gasoline lamps but my dream house has electric lights. I guess that means I am a modern girl.  So many new things to wish for, electric lights, automobiles who knows maybe someday I’ll even fly in one of those aero planes we keep hearing about. Now wouldn’t that be something.

There is going to be a St. Patricks’ day dance at Donald on the 17th.  I don’t care much if we go, without Roy at my side I wouldn’t enjoy it anyway. Besides all the mud filled ruts make for bad traveling right now.

Roy should have arrived back in Puyallup this morning. I hope nothing delayed him, it is so hard to wait to hear if your loved one is safe and sound.


Puyallup Wash.
March 13, 2015

Dear Mazie,

 Well here I am safe back in Puyallup again. Got here on scheduled time this morning. I had a fine trip and am feeling fine. The folks were expecting me alright and had been for several days. I found the folks back in the old home. And they sure seem glad they are back.

 Mother is feeling quite a lot better than she did but my Father is just awful bad. He is just awful sick and looks terrible. He has lost forty seven pounds in weight since I last saw him. I am so afraid he is not going to pull through. He came awful near losing his hand and it isn’t near well yet. Tho it is somewhat better and he is also suffering from Bright’s disease and you know that is a bad thing. He looks so different from what he did that I hardly knew him and don’t think I would have known him if I had seen him anywhere else beside here. Mother looks pretty bad to but not anywhere near so bad as Father. I think she will get through alright, but I am sure afraid for my old Dad. The rest of the folks are as well as ever.

I believe Lida looks even better than she did. She has started to school again. She got quite a lot behind her class so I expect she will have to work pretty hard to catch up with her studies.
Joe and the wife are still here at home. I don’t know what they are going to do. Joe is
talking of getting a job in the woods somewhere and taking the wife with him.

I sure found lots of different weather along the road than I expected, but it was better than I thought it would be, it was an agreeable surprise. I never saw a bit of snow after I passed Billings except of course on the mountains at a distance.

It is sure fine weather here. It is cloudy today but is certainly nice and warm and I tell you it does seem nice. The rose bushes and raspberries are leafing out and some flowers are in blossom. The folks have made some early garden and I see some others in the neighborhood have been gardening some also. Every one says this has been the nicest winter they have ever saw here but I hear that quite often.

Now I am going to tell you something that you may scold me for but I can’t help it if you do. I lost all of your letters and Mrs. Blakes card. I don’t know for sure how it happened but I think they were stolen from me. I had them all together in my overcoat jacket. And they disappeared while I was sleeping so I am almost sure someone took them, they could hardly got away in any other way as my coat was never moved from the seat. I am so sorry it happened but please don’t scold me to much and I will be more careful another time. I should have put them in my suitcase but I never thought a word of anyone taking them.

I told Sade about her letter and she said she would be answering it anyway. I haven’t had time to talk with any other of the neighbors as yet. I took Mrs. Henry’s jar of fruit over to her and she sure seemed glad to get it. She was just ready to go to church so I didn’t get to talk to her very long. I was over to Hugh’s a little while ago but there was no one there but Lodie and Iretha Ann is working at the box factory and Saul and Hugh were away somewhere. I may go over there a while this evening. Lode has been sick with a cold for a few days and isn’t well yet but is better, so she says.

Well the camp at Nagrom hasn’t started up yet so I got here in time after all. I think it is going to start next Monday. I am going to call them up this evening and find out. Richard is still here yet. He has been working in my berry patch and has it in pretty good shape, so there is nothing for me to do there now, so suppose I will go to the woods as soon as the camp starts and if that is Mon. I won’t have much time at home.

My old uncle is not any better than he was I don’t suppose he ever will be either. He can hardly speak a word yet.

Well Richard is getting ready to go down town so will hurry up and send this down to the office by him. I hope you get this on the Friday’s mail and I suppose you will to if it is not delayed. I sure hope you got home all right and that your tooth is all right. Tell all the folks hello for me and don’t forget to write as I will be anxious to hear how you are.

 Well this will be all for now as ever,


LETTERS FROM MONA – Part 40 – February, 1915

February 5, 1914

Dear diary,

This has been a dry, cold week. This morning, while eating bowls of steaming, hot porridge, Papa announced it was time to start harvesting ice for the summer. Roy immediately offered to help. Papa said that would be great and there would be no need for the rest of us go go along to help like we usually do.

Now I sit next to the window all warm and toasty writing in you while I watch them hitch up the work sled to our horses. I know I should feel grateful for being inside instead of out in the bitter cold. And yes, Roy will be far more help than the rest of us put together would ever be except , I want to be where Roy is at. And if that means standing in the frigid cold next to an ice-covered river so be it. Besides he warms my heart so I probably would never notice the cold.

 I wonder if sawing ice into 100-pound chunks feels anything like sawing down big trees. I’ll have to ask Roy when he gets back. He’s been complaining he’s growing soft without his hard logging work. Well those muscles will surely get a workout today lifting those heavy blocks onto the work sled.

In the meantime, I think I will mix up a batch of Roy’s favorite oatmeal cookies. You can be sure come late this afternoon when I catch sight of them turning into our yard, I will be the first one at the icehouse ready to help them cover the ice with sawdust. We do that to keep it from melting too fast when it warms up.  Somehow chores are more fun when I do them with Roy.  Maybe I can even accidently fall into his arms. Ohhh, wouldn’t that be fun.


February 10, 1915

Dear diary,

Here I sit beside the stove trying to keep warm. The weather is still so cold. It is keeping everyone at home trying to take care of their stock. Feed is getting scarce around here too. Fortunately, we don’t have much stock to worry about.

Papa and Roy are out cutting more trees for firewood as we are going through it plenty fast. I am sure right now Papa is appreciating the assistance a real logger offers compared to my help. Still I wish I were at the other end of Roy’s crosscut saw. I’m not sure I’d be much help though, for I’d always be stopping to gaze into his dreamy blue eyes. Am I ever lovesick or what?

Saturday night we hitched up the sleigh and went to the dance in Donald. Hazel went along, that girl surely does love to sing and dance. Okay, I did plenty of dancing too or maybe it would be better to call it swaying. It feels so nice to be in a special someone’s arms, wish that feeling could last forever.

Another dance is scheduled this coming Saturday for Valentine’s day. We might go if the weather permits.


February 14, 1915

Dear diary,

It’s a good thing we have a rope strung from the barn to the house. Roy and I just came in from doing chores out there a bit ago. Even though Roy was right ahead of me, all I could see was whiteness. When I reached the porch I all but fell over him, not that I minded his warm arms setting me straight again. We surely looked like Eskimos all covered in snow. Took some stomping and shaking to get it all off of us.

Now we are huddled next to the stove with the rest of the family trying to stay warm. The blizzard came roaring in yesterday afternoon just as it was beginning to fall dark. I am sure glad we decided against going to the dance in Donald. I hope everyone going made it there safe. Maybe they aren’t getting as much snow as we are here. I sure didn’t get much sleep last night. Every time the house shuddered from the wind I thought it was going to take the roof and me along with it.

Despite the weather Roy presented me with the loveliest Valentine card and box of chocolates this morning. And at the rate we are eating them this afternoon they will soon all be gone.

Mama just popped us some popcorn which I am now washing down with hot chocolate. Outside of taking turns doing barn chores we have done nothing but eat all day.

Roy still hasn’t heard anything back on that possible logging job. He says if it falls through he will have to return to Washington. No decent jobs of any sort have turned up here.


February 15, 1915

Dear diary,

I awoke this morning to blessed silence. I guess the storm blew itself out around 5 this morning when I was fast asleep. It is still cold but the sun is out so hopefully, this afternoon we will get a chance to go for a sleigh ride, we’ve been cooped up inside together for too long.


February 25, 1915

Dear diary,

 I feel so blue. Roy got word today that the logging company will not be hiring any new men soon. His only choice now is to go back to his old job in Washington. He looks to leave the first part of March which is much too soon, only about a week. How will I endure him leaving yet again? I must make the best of the time we have left and think of the future when we can be together forever. If only my family would give up this place and move back to Washington. I already miss him and he hasn’t even left yet. My heart is breaking, how can I go another year before I see him again.

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 38 – December, 1914

December 1, 1914

Dear Diary,

I haven’t written in you for over a week. We went to Donald for the Thanksgiving dance and then on to Aladdin to visit Sadie and Bert.

Iretha has gotten even cuter than the last time I saw her. I didn’t think that was possible. I could just snuggle and hold her forever. I can’t wait for the day I have my own child to wrap my arms around.

Papa used the time to go to Belle Fourche to see if he could find a situation for us this winter. He found one possible prospect but nothing is for sure. It makes me feel so nervous not knowing where we are going to be, it nearly drives me wild.    

Meanwhile it is hog butchering time around here. We have 3 pigs that we have been fattening up. Papa’s brothers are coming tomorrow to help him out as it is quite a job. Soon our smokehouse will be a smoking. The meat will surely be welcomed if we end up staying here this winter.


December 3, 1914

Dear diary,

Mama and I walked over to Grandma and Grandpa’s Smiths today as we heard the Derrickson’s were coming over. I took my knitting along to work on while we visited. I have 2 pairs of socks finished for Roy, and one for Daniel but I am still working on the pair for Papa.

I plan to make a pair of mittens for Roy also. It would be terrible if he got frostbite while visiting me. We are getting some cold weather now but thankfully no real snow yet.

It was fun visiting with the Derrickson’s. They are some of the old timers who came in the 1880’s when our family came. They have a fine place now. Mrs. Derrickson said they added a picket fence around the yard this fall to showcase her flower garden next spring. My, won’t that be a pretty sight. She promised she’d give me some of her seeds to make a flower garden of my own. I doubt mine will be as pretty as hers but I’d love to try.

Mr. Derrickson said the Pannells are building a new ranch house. It’s going to be a good deal larger and modern compared to the one they have now. Won’t that be dandy. I’d like a modern house, too.

Grandma fed us a delicious hardy black bean soup, yeast rolls and apple pie for dessert. I hope someday I’m as good a cook as she is.


Dec. 7, 1914

Dear Diary,

We got word today that the situation Papa was hoping for fell through. We will stay here in Mona all winter after all. Papa is out chopping wood. It will take a lot to keep us warm this winter.


December 12, 1914

Dear Diary,

Goodness is it ever cold, outside the wind is howling, snow is falling. Except for the necessary trips out to the barn to care for the animals we are staying cozy next to the wood stove reading and playing cards. I bet we get several inches of snow.


December 13, 1914

Dear Diary,

We awoke this morning to a bright sunny day. The snow outside the window glistened as though a bottle of sparkling glitter had been spilled upon it. Beautiful yes, but oh so cold, it made me shiver just looking at it.

We decided it was too frigid to venture off to church. Instead we took turns reading bible passages aloud while Papa made us his special flap jack recipe. He uses a combination of freshly ground wheat, oats and corn and we topped them with buffalo berry jam. Yum! It was so good.

This afternoon Daniel and Hazel persuaded me to go sledding with them. It took us some time to find our old sleds and goodness did they ever have cobwebs growing on them.  

The snow was the perfect depth and the sun gave it the perfect icy crust for sledding.  Such fun zooming down the hills and into the yard. I felt like a kid again without a care in the world. Now though, I am surely glad to be sitting by the comfort of the woodstove like an old lady. Ha, Ha.


December 14, 1914

Dear diary,

The weather has warmed, the snow is beginning to melt. It’s also washing day. Mama and I will be busy with all the boiling and wringing soon. I have not heard from Roy in a week. I worry something has happened to him or he has decided not to come. Oh, how I miss him, he simply must come, I can’t bear the thought of going through a winter without him.


December 15, 1914

Dear diary,

It is evening and I am writing to you by lamplight. This morning the snow was mostly melted. Mama said she could handle the ironing on her own and sent me out with Papa to gather more logs. Usually one of my uncles help but they were busy and we must have enough fuel to keep us warm this winter.

Papa hitched up the team of horses to the farm wagon and we drove about a mile to Firewood Canyon. We call it that because it has plenty of birch, quaking pine, and aspen trees, our favorites for firewood.

Goodness, if only Roy could have seen me operating one end of a two-man crosscut saw. I know these trees are puny compared to what he falls but just the same I felt like a logger. Papa limbed the trees and then we loaded them into the wagon to haul home.  Papa and Daniel will be busy the rest of the week chopping them into pieces small enough to fit our stove. For some reason it is satisfying to know I am contributing to keeping us warm this winter.


December 18, 1914

Dear Diary,

 We have been too busy to get up to the Mona post office this week. I was anxious to see if I had a letter from Roy so this afternoon I walked up there to fetch the mail myself.  Now I am dancing a jig, I had not one but two letters from Roy. I took the time to read them in private before I came home. I am so relieved. He should be on his way here any day now and in time for Christmas.


December 19, 1914

Dear Diary,

Today was another meeting of the Book and Thimble club. This time it was at the Barrett’s.  And my, did she ever entertain us in Christmas style such a feeling of warmth and cheer filled the house.

She had decorated with holly and berries. Over the dining table hung a large Christmas bell and the centerpiece was a bouquet of ferns and pink carnations. Napkins, adorned with wreaths of holly, marked each of our place settings.

All the ladies brought goodies to share, we surely had a feast of sweets. Afterward Mrs. Massie played the piano and led us in singing Christmas carols.


December 23, 1914

Dear diary,

I am getting nervous Roy should be here any time now.  Every time I hear a sound I run to the window hoping to see Roy arriving but it is always Papa or Daniel making some noise out in the yard.

He never did say exactly what day he was leaving so I am not sure when to expect him, I just hope it is by Christmas but that is only 2 days away. I will not be able to bear it if he hasn’t arrived by then.

It has been snowing ever since the twentieth so papa hitched up the sleigh for us to go the Christmas party up at Mona last night. Daniel played a shepherd in the Christmas pageant and Hazel sang Silent Night as a solo. She did a fine job and while I do love that song I am glad she’s finished practicing it. That girl does love to sing. And of course, it ended with Santa coming and the sharing of goodies.


December 24, 1914

Still no Roy and it is Christmas Eve. I feel so blue as soon it will be dark. We have been industrious all day making the house look festive and baking. Boughs of pine adorn the windows and the tree is ready to decorate this evening. Scents of vanilla, cinnamon and spice fill the house and an oyster stew simmers on the stove. It would be perfect if only Roy was here.

We are going to go to the Christmas dance at Donald tomorrow night and I will be so miserable, thinking of the wonderful time I had there with Roy the past two years. I would feel better if I knew just where he was. He never did say exactly what day he was leaving and I worry something might have happened to him along the way. I am going to be so nervous until he gets here or at least I hear he is on his way and all is well.


December 26, 1914

Dear Diary,

Today I could walk on air I feel so gladsome. Yes, you guessed it, Roy arrived. Yesterday I awoke feeling so blue, I could barely muster up a smile and a thank you for the gifts my family gave me. I only picked at the breakfast Mama had worked so hard to make.

I knew I had no choice but to go to the evening Christmas supper and dance but all I wanted to do was to crawl under the covers of my bed and cry. And plenty of silent tears I did shed once I was buried deep in the straw of our wagon box with the buffalo robe pulled up over my head. Meanwhile the rest of the family merrily sang Jingle Bells and other songs as we glided over the snow making me feel even more glum.

When Papa shouted whoa to bring our sleigh to a stop at the dance barn I shuddered. How was I going to face all the merriment and well-wishing? How would I ever be able to sing and dance when I felt so cheerless?

But as I peeped out from under the buffalo robe what to my wondering eyes did appear but Roy, all bundled in tweed, dashing to my side. I fairly leaped into his waiting arms when he got there.

Everyone told me he had been pacing out in front for quite some time afraid we’d decided not to come. His train got held up in the mountains for two days on account of snow and did not arrive in Belle Fourche until late yesterday.

Fortunately, he found someone going to Aladdin this morning to hitch a ride with and from there it was easy to find folks coming to the dance. He sure was a sight for sore eyes and the best Christmas present ever. He hopes to find some work here so he won’t need to go back to Washington in February. That makes me feel so happy but nervous at the same time. I’ll be so disappointed if he can’t find work but I know jobs are so scarce here.