Once Seen & Heard, Never Forgotten: A Soprano’s Aria Chapter 20

Mar 17 Cut Agnes’ black satin skirt. Started “Jane Eyre”. Cleaned up the house and finished a successful day tired but satisfied. [Transcriber’s note: this was the favorite novel of my youth so I found it delightful that my great grandmother was reading it.]

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Sun Mar 18 Agnes had to work at the telephone exchange so I did not get to go to service which made me rather bitter towards conditions that did not give me at least one day in 7. Allie was rather inclined to resent my attitude and hinted at me being the cause of all his troubles both marital and business. O! Adam Wilt thy seed the like Abraham’s live forever. Allie is a good boy and I love him but he is apt to be too optimistic and it leads him into trouble sometimes. He and I went to the Baptist Church in the evening and enjoyed a sermon on Rest by Dr. Haynes and a concert by Muriel Anderson’s class of a young girls and boys orchestra. The ‘sing smile slumber’ on the organ was very good but hardly appropriate, I thought. But the opera music seems to be invading the church and indeed how many of us would ever get to hear it all but for that. Miss Shain shook hands with me after church and seemed gland to renew old acquaintance. The day ended happily.

Mon Mar 19 I hemmed the skirt and got the machine ready for the man, who took it out later. It was rented. I finished Jane Eyre by Charlot Bronte. It is a quaint tale of Old English life told in a ready forcible style many of the words and phrases of which are now obsolete. Jane Eyre narrates the history of her life from a despised and abused orphan through charity school days to respected governess teaching. Through bitter sorrow—in finding her “Master Mr Rochester a married man at the alter on her wedding day, her flight, her rescue from death from starvation and exposure by kind people who later prove to be her cousins. Her access to a fortune by the death of her uncle and the return to the Hall to find it burned by Mr Rochester’s mad wife and him blinded by the fire in his vain efforts to save her life. Free at last to love legally and morally they marry and enjoy such happiness in mutual regard and peace through perfect understanding. That under its genial glow sight is restored to one eye and he is able to behold his little plain wife made beautiful through devotion and the lovely son he gave him as an added bond to their happiness. Adele the little French protege is not forgotten and the story comes to a satisfactory end.

Tuesday 20 I got a letter announcement from Royce of his marriage on the 13 to Miss Sara Alta Howard of North bend. I met her when I was in Neb and liked her very much.

The fire is out and it is rather cold. But think Spring is on the wing. O am baking bread and other work. Allie has commenced work nights and is now sleeping soundly is is 11 oclock in the forenoon.

Wed Mar 21 Sunny and warm. Snow Melting fast. Agnes gone to visit her mother. Allie asleep in bed. I have just been reading a book called Music and Culture by Karl Merz. It is composed of essays on different subjects and their relation to music. He valiantly defends music from every foe on every point. He urges a through musical education for the masses. Went to choir practice. Enjoyed it very much and learning much. Agnes came home with me.

Thu Washed clothes etc.

Friday 23 Spent the day reading psychological works by Atherton and Larson. They lay great stress on the power of the Will.

Sat Mar 24 Agness is in a huff because Allie and I discuss the war situation. She won’t be home this evening and maybe not the next week either she says. So it seems as if I’m to be the goat and stay home and be good and do the work. We’ll see. I’ve written to Jessie, Eilene and Jessie K and intend to start for Cal. Or rather Eilenes by the 7 or 8 of April if I can get the money by that time to go on .

Sun Mar 25. I went to church on the morning. Agnes came and got some things and went home to her mother intending to stay until Allie came after her.

Mon Mar 26 Allie got good kind brotherly letter from Leo. Also one came for an me under same cover.He is still in Fargo working nights and perhaps his being tired accounted for its being so quiet at 4 oclock in the morning.

27 Walked over to Lake St and mailed a birthday parcel to Jessie and a letter to Leo. AM baking bread.

Mar 31 The last few days of mo were spent at very quiet hum drum tasks. Nothing of importance happened.

Apr 1 Sund Went to church to hear Riley preach and sang in choir morn and eve.

Star Tribune Minneapolis, Minnesota April 9, 1917 mentions
“The Seven Last Words of Christ.”

Apr 2 Went downs town and bought goods for white dress.

Apr 3 Worked on dress and other work about house.

Wed Apr 4 Last rehearsal before Cantata

The Apr 5 Sewed on dress etc.

April 6 Good Friday Went over to Newmans and stitched white dress in aft– went down town and bought a pair of white shoes and silk stockings and a hat and gold Lavalier chain. Came home and dressed and went to church to sing in the Cantana. The seven last words of Christ by Dubois. It went off with a great swing and they took in nearly $100.00.

April 10 Went over to Mrs Newmans and sewed and crocheted in morning and in afternoon called on Hilda in her pretty bungalo at 20 Pilsbury. Mer her husband Mr Jesse Rowland. Afterwards we came back and got Frances and Vincent and we went out for a pleasant drive in North Minneapolis hills. Returned to Allies and washed up dishes while they went down where he works for his tools and came back about 11 oclock.

Apr 11 Wed Day cool and cloudy in contrast to pleasant day yesterday. My head aches and I am depressed I must go to Mrs Newmans and finish up my work there.

Apr 15 1917 On board the Chicago Milwauke to St Paul train “Chieftain” Enroute from Minneapolis to Ipswich S Dak. To visit my daughter Eilene Hoffman and family. On April 12 visited Mrs Spain in Col. Heights [Columbia Heights in Minneapolis] had a pleasant times. On Fri Apr 13 visited Larkin Fashion Show with Mrs Newman. On 14 I stayed home and got ready to go west and on Sunday morning Allie and Agnes saw me off. Here I am.

5 clock Just discovered that we are in S Dak. The place is Milbank eastern S. Dak and Western Minnesota are beautiful farming regions. It is early evening. I am anxious to get to Ipswich which we are due to reach at 9.

[No posts in interim]

May 19, 1917 Ipswich So Dak at the station waiting for the train to take me to Fargo to see Leo. Eilene will accompany me as far as Aberdeen. I had been at her home in Ipswich So Dak for a mo and 4 days and too busy to write a word in my diary. This interval was filled by boarding train and changing at Aberdeen . I had a very busy and happy visit at Eilenes. The baby is a lovely child. I went to church once and met some nice people. I went to a class play which was well acted by the high school scholars. I visited Mrs Smilovich and Mrs Stevens in their homes and enjoyed it very much. The people are very hospitable and kindly. My son-in-law Frank Hoffman is a grand good boy sober industrious honest and faithful to a degree not often attained. In all the time I was there I never saw him lose his temper. I was sorry to say good bye to Eilene and Aberdeen but couldn’t help it. I was also glad to be on my way to see my dear son Leo. We are too scattered. It breaks me all up to have the family so widely separated. The time is gliding smoothly along in the cool spring evening. The sun just setting a ball of red behind untold miles of cultivated farming lands just showing their first blades of spring.

Ladonia? Park is a peculiar little town situated in a ? of low thickly growing trees. They are a wash of the most fresh and a vivid green, and grow in a long narrow park on either bank of a small river. A most ideal spot in this rather monotonous region of level fields.

Fargo N.D. May 20 Arrived at 4 oclock and remained snug in my berth sound asleep until morning when I peeped out of the window and I spy a Fargo sign on a building when I knew I had safely arrived. Leo is somewhere in this town unawares of my close proximity. How surprised and delighted he will be when I come in and how sad all this war news will both he and Albert—will have to register [for the draft].

1 oclock I got up and made my toilet in the sleeper inquired my way of the attentive porter and came out on the street and took a street car for Leos. I found the place with the aid of a little girl and found them both so sound asleep in bed that it took me nearly an hour to get them up. I stood in the hall outside about 30 min. or so no less and read the Fargo Daily Courier News. Finally the janitor came up for the garbage and I explained matters to him and he knocked on the door with the earnestness of purpose that Carrie came to the door when a request to know who’s there. I said Mrs Mosier, Leo’s mother which doubteth she repeated and mingled ? of incredulity and astonishment at the same time opening the door apologizing for her appearance in a hastily donned boudoir cap and bath robe. I was joyously welcomed by her and Leo who got up presently Awakened out of his sound sleep (for he works nights). We spent a most pleasant Sunday. Several people called. Mervin who I met in Minneapolis several years ago when Jessie was cashier in the Minneapolis Dry Goods Store and Leo brought him in to introduce him to her as I was there. Leo and him have remained fast friends ever since and also Paul Wiggan who is the son of the man worked for in Wadena. He is a fine looking young man with a very sad expressions who is ambitious to be come a singer and is disappointed at not being able to continue the cultivation of his voice.

Later in the day Leo went to work and Carrie and I went to the Methodist church which has a very large congregation. Rev. Frank Hullet gave us an interesting sermon.

May 26 I have spent a very pleasant week at Leo’s. Carrie and I have walked out daily going in different directions exploring the city. One evening we crossed the river the red river of the north in Moorehead, Minn. Last evening we walked down town and dropped in to a fee lecture by a reformed socialist David Goldstein who was introduced by Judge Pollock, a pillar of the Methodist Church. The lecture was supposed to be on peace and war. His harangue soon veered around to the family, to the strife therein with resulting divorce and offered is the solution of all evils the Catholic Church, and its teachings. What nonsense.

This morning is cold and windy and the steam heat is very welcome. Leo is sleeping in bed and Carrie is getting breakfast, We has three messes [meals] Of dandelion greens this week. We parboiled them in plain water which extracted the bitterness. They were the best dandelions I ever ate. The town is infested with them. Every lawn is blazing yellow.

May 27 Memorial day. Accompanied by Leo’s wife Carrie I attended the large mass meeting at the armory in Fargo. The speech by Rev Frost of the Methodist Church was of a high order of patriotism. In the afternoon Leo accompanied us and we snapped some pictures in the park. In the evening Mrs. Wigham, stopped in and Carrie played while we sang some lovely sacred solos.

May 28 Morning like all others since my arrival in Fargo. Leo and Carrie are not up yet. He worked last night and it is now 9 oclock.

29 Later in the day I went down town and bought some embroidery for a collar and to meet Leo which I failed to do through a misunderstanding came home tired and found him there. I might as well say in writing this en route to Fargo to Ipswich Nice to Oaks to Aberdeen. It is now nearly noon at Lisbon which seems to be quite a little town . All morning we have flew along smoothly thru fields of spring wheat beautifully green in the light showers while fell this forenoon. Leo and Carrie & I got up and after a light breakfast, we walked to the N.P. Station where Leo left us to chase after some apples. He got back just before the train started to say good Bye, O! Yes we had to say it—my Leo I wish I could have you nearer. He thinks may be he’ll come out West to see me very soon may be in a year but I do not dare hope such joy. Carrie is a good daughter and will make him happy even as he does her.

Fargo North Dakota Train Depot

The last I saw of them as the train pulled out they were standing on the platform talking soberly together. I had a very pleasant trip to Aberdeen. Changed cars at Lamour and at Oakes also at Aberdeen bane of traveling North and south. The through lines seem to run in an easterly and westerly direction with the exception of the shore line. At Aberdeen I carried to [two] heavy cases nearly a run from one station to another and waited from 4 oclock in the afternoon til 8:18 in the evening to take the train for Ipswich. Arriving there saw Fanny Ingrtice? And Joyce who helped me up at Eilene’s with my girls. She was not looking for me but I was glad to be back.

June 1 This is the day Leo starts to travel selling his adding machine.

June 3 Got a letter from him saying he had been having real good success but would have to wait Awhile for returns.

June 4 Audry Kendrick’s wedding day. She is to be married tie Roland Hamilton. I sent mother some wild Minnesota ferns to plant.

June 5 Registration day So many of my dear boys have to register today. Allie, Leo, Frank, and Sylvester and O but all the others. I hope the was will end before they are called out.

Registration Day

June 6 Eliene bought herself a new mustard color poplin dress or suit in addition to some muslin for longerie [lingerie] and some gingham for the baby and two silk for her waist. I’m very busy all the time sewing ——–no end and never done. But there is a respite for I have written home for money to go back on and Eilene is going with me I guess.

June 7, 8, 9 Busy sewing and caring for Leo Arnold [grandson] who is anything his false eye teeth (what a stupid blunder) and has begun threatened with convulsions again. We had a splendid rain all which filled up all our utensils. Everything is fresh and green at this late date in Spring. Lilacs are in bloom.

June 10 Was awakened by the sound of heavy teaming looked out the window in time to see the elephants and the dromedaries go by. Hooray for the circus has come to town and I have a grandson to take to see the animals what more could mortals want. The day is very hot and windy and dust flying, clouds promising rain.

Frank [Hoffman] drove up in a spanking new machine and took Eilene up to Mrs Smilovich I didn’t like to take the baby out so stayed at home with him.

June 17 Spent the past week at Eilene’s place very much at home and hard at work. Frank took us auto riding out into the country. Met Mrs Fish who went along. Also Mr Smilovich at who’s place we stopped upon on our return and the supper. Spent a pleasant evening during which time a heavy wind came up followed by rain. Frank [Hoffman] came up about 10 oclock and carried his little son Leo home.

June 18 First day of the Chautauqua. Frank [Hoffman] had bought season tickets for Eilene and me and we attended every day during the week. The programs were filled by new talent each day and it was all of a high order, very entertaining and uplifting, amusing and edifying . I have a detailed list of programs in another book. The week ended on Sat night with a performance by the Kiltie band in full regimentals whose star performer was Wee Jamie Clark bag pipe major once seen and heard never forgotten.

Sisseton Weekly Standard, South Dakota 1 June 1917 [Note: “At the Panama Pacific Exposition the Kilties were the only musical organization to be called back for a return engagement”]

Sun 24 Stayed at home and rested up.

Mon 25 At it again harder than ever.

Tues 26 Got a nice letter from Lolita who is glad we are coming home soon. Fannie Smilovich brought me material for a new coat.

Wed 27 Working and sewing hard.

Thu 28 Got a letter from Leo with $20.00 enclosed. Wrote to him and Mrs Newman , Fannie is very pleased with her new coat. Eilene is buying new things right and left for her trip. [Lulu and daughter Eilene are going to San Francisco] Frank [Hoffman] is very generous. She made me a present of silk for a new waist.

[Editor’s NOTE: I will be on holiday and Lulu’s Diary will return mid October. Coming up her trip back to California and the close of 1917]

Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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