Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Which New Diary Would You Like Serialized? Readers Vote!

Kind readers, we have sadly reached the end of the year-long serialization of Allie McCullough and Carrie Hardy's diaries. Through them we learned about the Lyceum, wartime rationing, "giving him the mitten" and taking mercury for medicine. They never dreamed that their private thoughts would be read by, and would touch, so many strangers of a different time.

It's time now to begin a new serialization. Reader's Choice. You have 3 candidates to choose from. Enter your vote in Comments and I will start off on the most popular vote posthaste.

CANDIDATE #1: J. R. MOWRY. An elderly farmer just northwest of Ypsilanti, J. R. Mowry farmed dairy cattle and raised a variety of crops with the help of his sons. Like to know about the day to day life of a farmer?

EXCERPT: "July 20, 1901: I took milk [into Ypsilanti]. Tom and Charley helped Johnny thresh in A.M.; in P.M. they helped Will Elliott thresh. I went to John Wise's funeral, took leave and surry. We all went home in P.M. Four rode to Ypsi, Mich."

CANDIDATE #2: JEROME ALLEN. A city surveyor writes about his job, daily life, and the prices of things he buys around town. Like to ride along and oversee ditch, road, and sewer projects?

EXCERPT: "July 20, 1910: With William Campbell and Steve Hutchinson I was engaged as special assessor in measuring curbs built by Gass. Rec. draft for dividend on Stock in Denver and Rio Grand RR, $25.00."

CANDIDATE #3: ABBA OWEN. This 16-year-old was the daughter of Ypsilanti magical mineral water baron Tubal Cain Owen. Her diary, begun in the summer of 1888, begins with a fabulous family trip to Niagara Falls and offers insights into the life of a teen in a well-off, well-known Ypsilanti family.

EXCERPT: "July 20, 1888: This morning mama and I got up early so as to be ready if the boys came on the 7 o'clock train but they did not come so we sat down to breakfast and when we were almost threw I espied a young man walking across the street and I thought it was [brother] Eber but I waited a minute so as to be certain and then called out "It is Eber," and ran to the door. We were all very glad to see him.

"Fred has been in Buffalo all day yesterday and came home this morning on the ten o'clock train.

"This afternoon Aunt Libbie rented a carriage (we called it the Ark) and we all went up to Fort Niagara and it was very interesting; we went all through the different departments also the dungeon where Morgan was kept until he was thrown into the river.

"This evening Eber and Fred went for a row on the river and also to make a call on the Crageys. When they returned there was quite a party of visitors here: Mrs. & Miss Hauss, Mrs. Hotchkiss, Mrs. Marrell, and Mrs. Candler Cooke and we had a very pleasant evening."

There you go. Vote for your favorite; voting closes on Sunday, July 25th, after which we'll blast off on a new journey with another Ypsilanti diarist. Thank you!

22 comments :

Dusty D said...

From Facebook: J.A. votes for the teen.

cmadler said...

I also vote for the teen.

Joe said...

I also will vote for teen Abba Owen.

Dusty D said...

Two more votes for Abba, noted. She certainly had a colorful family, to be sure. Her father was the aforesaid mineral water baron and one of her brothers raised fancy chicken. Thanks for your votes, gentlemen.

Russ said...

Probably any of these would be interesting but for today, I too vote for Abba Owen's story. Thanks! Russ

DD said...

Abba does seem like a charming and inquisitive young lady from what I've read. Vote noted; thanks, Russ!

Archeloce said...

Abba all the way!

Dusty D said...

Noted, Archeloce; thank you! :)

Dusty D said...

Over on FB, my Tante Asar--who lives in Egypt--votes for Abba. :D

Fritz said...

My geeky side wants to learn all about 1910 city infrastructure and what things were sold in 1910 and how much they cost.

But the Owens were a colorful family, and the teen would be fun too.

Dusty D said...

Fritz: That is indeed an interesting aspect of Jerome Allen's diary, and those aspects appeal to me too. It would be interesting, I think, to read about early 19th-century roadbuilding techniques &c. and the cost of things. And Jerome displays an engineer's concern with accuracy with his little grocery lists meticulously detailing the costs of food items. At any rate, your vote is noted.

Lisele said...

I too am all for Abba. Take a chance on Abba!!!

DD said...

Lisele Heh. :D Oddly enough I was doing a little research on the family and in her case it is the opposite of Allie's situation, who died young and never had a chance to leave home and enter the world.

In the Owens kids' case, ALL THREE survived childhood but never moved from home. In the 1930 census, it shows Tubal Cain's 82-year-old wife and Abba and Eber and Abba's other brother living with Mrs. Owen...the kids all in their 50s and 60s.

I'd certainly like to know the reason for that peculiar circumstance...

Thanks for the vote Lisele!

BF said...

[in a huffy tone] It would appear, from the length of the posted samples, that the "contest" winner has been predetermined! [/huffy]

Me? I would like to see more of Mr. Allen's diary, which is likely to be of a more clinical/technical sort. After all, we already had one young woman's diary...

D to the D said...

Oh, no, BF, :) her entry about her trip was just longer on that given day than the others. How much can you write about bean cultivation, after all...not that I don't enjoy Mowry's writing too.

Allen's diary is indeed cool; your vote is noted, thanks! :) Nice to see ya hanging around again.

Richard said...

I also vote for Mr. Allen, you have featured two females so far, give a guy a chance!

Dusty D said...

Good point; suddenly it looks as though we have a dark horse here; Mr. Allen is catching up to Abby! Voting continues up through Sunday night!

Christy said...

Abba, please...

Also, can I humbly request the last week of the Allie diary? If I understood one of your earlier comments, the diary ends in December and she died a year after what you've transcribed, so there are six months more. I'm interested in hearing her voice after those months of additional time to mature and want to know how her health was that winter before her death.

I hope she was happy and relatively healthy (or at least not too uncomfortable) during that last year.

Dusty D said...

Thanks for your vote, Christy. And of course, I'd be glad to post the last week of Allie's diary. Here it is:

Dec. 18 Fri. Have passed examinations after all the fuss. 9.9 in History and 10 in Philosophy. After school we went into the laboratory and took electric shocks. Had a good time in general. Pinned Lane's overcoat pockets and sleeves up. There were many happy New Years and we gave three cheers and parted. A happy set of girls. Went up to the Normal Public. Had an elegant time.

Dec. 19 Sat. Felt miserable all day. Carrie N. came down in the afternoon and stayed to tea. Went to dancing school and had quite a nice time although there were no Ann Arbor boys. It was not as nice as last week. The girls went up to see them dance for a little while. The German was introduced tonight.

Dec. 20 Sun. Did not go to church this morning, but went to Sunday School. Walked down with Carrie N. Read and wrote in the afternoon. There was a fire in the evening, but it did not amount to anything, but was just at church time so I didn't go. The girls went to Uncle John's and stayed to dinner in the afternoon.

Dec. 21 Mon. Went over to Mrs. Worden's in the afternoon. Had a grand time and worked on Ma's present, a beautiful night dress, all embroidering and tucks. I cut the scallops in the hem. Made autumn leaves out of wax in the evening. Gay time in the evening.

Dec. 22 Tues. Colored my autumn leaves this afternoon and made them into a beautiful bouquet for Aunt Lizzie. Went to Carrie's. Had a good time. Mary and I went up and got Marion a present of a plain gold ring. Got a letter from Anna, just splendid.

Dec. 23 Wed. Marion and I went out to M. W.'s this afternoon to call and got there just before Vie was to be married. They insisted upon our staying. Had a very nice time. Marion stayed all night and V. went on her wedding tour and I rode home all alone. Mary spent the day at Aunt Lizzie's.

Dec. 24 Thurs. Went up town this morning with Ma and got every so many Christmas presents. Ma got me a new black Alpaca dress. I went up to the Temperance Hall where they are fixing a tree and left things for the boys.

Dec. 25 Fri. Christmas. Besides my dress I got for Christmas a pair of nice black kids, a beautiful tie and a pair of mittens, a bottle of very nice perfumery and a [jetton] belt and buckle and a half dollar in silver. Ma got her castor, my picture, her night dress and gold rimmed spectacles. Mary got gold cuff buttons and others.

Dec. 26 Sat. Hattie and Lou came to spend the afternoon. Uncle M. was here for dinner. Joe H. was here and made a call, the same old girl. Was just going to dancing school when Carrie N. came. Had a grand time. The girls went up with us.

Dec. 27 Sun. Went to Church in the morning and stayed to S. S. Joe was there. It rained coming home. Read Pilgrim's Progress all the afternoon.

[four missing days]

Christy said...

Thank you, DD!! It does seem like she enjoyed her last Christmas. I'm glad.

Dusty D said...

You are very welcome Christy. Don't you wish you could go back and bring her anti-TB drugs and whisk her into a modern hospital? I sure do. So sad, how many children and young people died from things we can easily treat today.

If my memory holds, the 1900 and 1910 censuses had spaces to record 1. how many children a woman had had and 2. how many survived. So sad.

Joe said...

I found this link interesting.
http://books.google.com/books?id=9arhAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=ypsilanti&hl=en&ei=EcRNTPjKOcfTngfJ6KnYCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

You may seen this before. It is a Ypsi High School "year book" from 1897-1898. It has Allie's graduating in 1875 with all of her classmates. She only had 3 others. I can't find our current diarist, Abba in this.