November 1888

Thursday, November 1, 1888

Very warm and pleasant. The almanac day for this month was warm and pleasant. I have sewed on one pair of Henry’s pants this P.M. then went out and helped Grandpa settle with the Haydenville boys.
Rec’d card from Mrs. O. Munson – they lay no claim to Aunt Fannie’s quinces.
I found some Hubbardston apples that were sound and hard as nuts.
F. was called down to N.Y. came home on the last train.


From the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association website, regarding quince:

“Quince fruit is pear-shaped and hard with a slightly fuzzy yellow skin. It is highly aromatic when ripe and is quite sour.”

“Quince enjoyed popularity among early colonial settlers, who brought seed to North America. An old New England specialty was quince cheese, fruit preserved boiling all day until it was thick like cheese. Quince was often added to apple butter, pie and sauce. In New England, especially, quince was once popular in the commercial orchard and the home garden. Now it is the least popular of all tree fruits in the United States.”

The Hubbardston Nonesuch apple variety originated from Massachusetts, and is described as such:

“Fruit usually large with clear red skin in our climate, but color is variable. Flesh is white, moderately firm, sweet and rich.”

Friday, November 2, 1888
Pleasant. Frank worked down to the depot until noon then came home and went to Florence with mother.
Mr. Tilden and son came down and gathered Aunt Fannie’s quinces.
They stopped here to supper. Rec’d word that Mr. Hinckley Williams died last night funeral is tomorrow at 1 o’c at his late residence.

Saturday, November 3, 1888Commenced to rain hard this morn but cleared off again at about noon. Mother has made pies, cake and ginger bread. I have finished one pair of Henry’s pants, etc.
Frommel check – $3400.00

Sunday, November 4, 1888Very mild and pleasant. We have been to ch. I did not stay through P.M. meeting. The sermon was on Repentence. Mrs. Darwin James speaks this eve on Home Missions.
The wedding trimmings were left in the ch. evergreens and laurels around the gallerys, windows and festoons back of the pulpit.
Grace James was married to Mr. John W. Gillette – services in the ch. last Wed. P.M.
F. went down to meeting this eve.
Grandpa and Grandma walked on to Walnut Hill this P.M.


Mary (Fairchild) James was the president of the Presbyterian church’s Woman’s Executive Committee from 1885 to 1908, and home missions work seems to have been a main focus. She and her husband, Darwin Rush James, originally of Williamsburg, MA, lived in Brooklyn, NY. Darwin R. James served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1883-1887. He also was the Chairman of the Board of Indian Commissioners for many years.

In the book A Contest of Faiths: Missionary Women and Pluralism in the American Southwest by Susan Mitchell Yohn, Mary James is described as an “ardent fundraiser”. She also served as president of Brooklyn City Missions, and managed an orphan asylum and an industrial school. From Presbyterian Women in America: Two Centuries of a Quest for Status by Lois A. Boyd and R. Douglas Brackenridge:

James particularly combined an interest in missions with a keen political sense. Since her husband was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, she made use of a number of prominent contacts in her direction of the WEC . . . She also marshalled women to petition the government on behalf of the starving and poverty-stricken Native Americans . . . Assertive, proud and very loyal to her colleagues, James declined an office near the male board members at the 1900 General Assembly, preferring to stay with her office force. In turning down the offer, her secretary reported that James did not care to be where the men were and added, “She does not need any prestige higher than the place she has made for herself, and I fancy the ‘big guns’ will seek her even if she is not quartered in their midst.”

Mary James also helped lead a Protestant women’s campaign to prevent Utah from becoming a state. Yohn’s book mentions James’ efforts to convince Congressmen of “the ‘evils’ of the Mormon practice of polygamy.”

Yohn describes Mary James’ vision of the Women’s Board as having the main goal of saving souls, with other goals of social activism etc being secondary.

In 1887, Mary James called for a day of prayer for home missions that became the Women’s World Day of Prayer.

It is probably not a coincidence that the Mary James school, a Presbyterian boys’ boarding school in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was established in 1908, which was the last year of her WEC presidency.

A picture of Mary James can be seen on her Find A Grave page.

I’m assuming that Grace James, whose marriage is recorded in this journal entry, is related to Mary and Darwin James in some way as it’s probably not a coincidence that Mary James’ visit coincided with Grace James’ marriage. Grace James’ parents were Lyman Dwight James and Helen Eliza Field.

Monday, November 5, 1888
Cloudy and windy but not cold. Mother has had a large wash today.
She has hemmed a neck h’d’kf for Mr. Wheeler – he brought two up for me to do but my thumb prevented me from doing any very nice work.
Jack Wright sprained his foot.

Tuesday, November 6, 1888
Town meeting day. Merc. stood at 60⁰ today at 10 o’c (in the shade). We have done our ironing etc. I have cut out two shirts for Prescott and made the sleeves this eve.
Frank has been loading a car here today – he filled one yesterday also.

Wednesday, November 7, 1888
A little windy this morn but very pleasant this P.M. F. has been loading car down to the depot. Mr. Utley took the team down but they missed each other on the way.
We have sorted our pears – mother has canned 9 qts. and we had enough for supper besides.

Sent postal to mother to come over and get some. I made gingerbread “etc” – sewed on Prescott’s shirts. Mother hemmed the other silk h’d’kfs.

Thursday, November 8, 1888
A very rainy day. It commenced to hail just before day-light. Mother has made quince jelly and canned 5 cans. I have finished one of Prescott’s shirts – the other one nearly so. Emma did not feel able to go to school this morn but she is better tonight. She and Henry went down to Mr. Wheeler’s this P.M.
Frank went to No. Hadley this morn.
Mr. & Mrs. Asa P. Rand of Westfield celebrated their Golden Wedding a few days ago.


Asa P. Rand appears to have been an attorney. I found his name attached to a court action where a woman named Martha Sparks successfully applied to receive the Widow’s Pension, as her deceased husband had fought in the Civil War. His name also appears on a one James A. Lakins’ patent for “Loop-fastening for whip-stocks.”

Friday, November 9, 1888
Cloudy and wet. Made 8 qts. sweet pickle pears. Mother made butter. I made two loaves of cake finished Prescott’s shirts, commenced Henry’s other pair pants.

Saturday, November 10, 1888
A very rainy day and it rained very hard in the night last night. Mother has made bread, biscuit and pies.
Frank has not come today and Mr. Utley’s boy did not come after him.
This has been a hard day for mother and Grandpa. Prescott and the Brasell boy went to the village after load of meal etc. and to get the mail.

Sunday, November 11, 1888
Cleared off about midnight. F. and Mr. U. lodged at the hotel it was so dark and rainy when the last train came in. F. thought he would rather pay .25 then to walk home. He came home soon after 8 o’c this morn.
We have not been to ch. he has stayed at home to ‘comfort the folks’.
Very windy today. Mr. U. returned this P.M. he went in to Northampton last night.

Monday, November 12, 1888
Not very cold but very windy. I have been to N. with Frank left here at 8-12 arr’d home at 12-30. Made several calls while out. Frank went to the bank I to the milliners.
Called on Mrs. W. this P.M. Abbie Hillman came up to get some pears.
Sewed on Henry’s pants, fixed Susie’s hood and cloak cut out red flannel lining for it this eve.
Rec’d postal from mother. A Smith College girl jumped from Cen. R.R. bridge last eve. about 3 o’c. She had grieved over her father’s death until she was overcome by it. Only 19 yrs. old.


This news item appeared in the Cornell Daily Sun on Nov 14, 1888 and Nov 15, 1888. In addition to the information mentioned in Emma’s journal, the second article identifies the young woman as Miss Susan B. Farrer. The first article states that the cause of death was by drowning and that: “she was a good student and was very popular with her mates”.

Tuesday, November 13, 1888
Very pleasant. Mother has been washing – we have chased swine for side show.
Sprinkled clothes this P.M. & made Grandpa a bed-ticking apron.
Henry had time of vomiting then laid down and had a good nap. Susie slept four hours to make up for not having nap yesterday.
Mother and Arthur came just at tea-time. We have had a charming visit tonight. She brought Harrys & family pictures. They are very good.
Frank went to Whately to examine apples – came for a few moments then went on to Chesterfield, Worthington and Middlefield.

Wednesday, November 14, 1888
A very mild pleasant day. My mother and I ironed this morn. Mother W. made bread, pudding and cake. Arthur spent the A.M. in school with the children. Mother, Arthur Henry and I went down to the old house and went over to the village. The house is in a forlorn condition. Mr. H. Williams’ son-in-law Mr. Boltwood here.

Thursday, November 15, 1888
Pleasant in the morn rained very hard after ten o’clock until late in the evening. Pickled pears finished Henry’s pants and Susie’s cloak lining.

Friday, November 16, 1888
Cloudy and threatening. Mother has baked pies and ginger bread. Mr. & Mrs. Geckler came up to Mr. Wheeler’s yesterday. She came up here for little while tonight.
John Williams of Chesterfield called: Mr. Utley went home with him.

Saturday, November 17, 1888
Pleasant this A.M. Snow squalls this P.M.
Mr. Geckler has made us a call today.
Mother has baked bread and two kinds of cake. I have done thorough sweeping all round the house. Rec’d card from mother.

Sunday, November 18, 1888
Pleasant quite cold 22⁰ above 0. Mr. U. returned tonight his boy brought him down.
Mr. & Mrs. Geckler here to dinner and spent the P.M. Mother is not very well today.

Monday, November 19, 1888
Snow fell during the night. Rained hard all day today. The men drove stock down from the hill. Frank started for Worthington about 10 o’c. I have commenced to fix the girls flannel dresses.

Tuesday, November 20, 1888
A clear pleasant day quite cold.
We have washed – mother made bread.
Mr. & Mrs. G. here this P.M. and stayed to ten.
Rec’d letters from mother, Aunt Susan, Aunt Louisa and Mrs. Clapp.
She is here with her bro. Mr. Sesostrin Warner. Aunt S. talks of going to Minn. Mrs. G. brought up some lovely work baskets for the girls. They are to be put on the Christmas tree.


Mrs. Clapp is Marietta Warner Clapp whose husband was George Christopher Clapp. They were the parents of Henry “Harrie” Clapp who married Emma’s sister Florence.

Though both were originally natives of Massachusetts, Marietta and her husband spent most of their married lives on a homestead in LeSueur County, Minnesota. While married, George C. Clapp was in Company “K” of the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which participated in the Dakota War of 1862. In a book published in 1905, titled Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Lake Region, it says “as captain of the guard [Clapp] was in charge of the military execution of thirty-eight Indians at Mankato, Minn.” This execution is now known as the largest mass hanging that ever happened in the United States. Due to its overall hagiographic tone, I suspect the 1905 book beefed up Clapp’s role in the execution. More authoritative accounts of the execution list other men as being in charge of it. That said, Clapp was likely present for the hanging, because the 7th Minnesota regiment was one of several regiments “detailed for special duty at the execution”.

Accounts of the Mankato mass execution:

Brief description from a website about the Dakota War of 1862

A full news account of the execution by the New York Times

Episode 479 “Little War on the Prairie”, This American Life

Wednesday, November 21, 1888
A cold night 5⁰ above zero. We have done our ironing. Mr. Geckler and I went to the village. I called at the shoe shop, James’ store ,meat-market, grist-mill, and father’s old house. Also called at Mr. Sesostrin Warner’s to see his sister Mrs. Clapp.
We brought some chairs, pictures, and things from the house. Men moved apples from the cider mill to the apple-house. Sewed on Emma’s dress.

Thursday, November 22, 1888
10⁰ above 0 this morn. Very pleasant a little windy tonight.
Mother has been washing windows in the kitchen and sitting-room.
I have fixed pears and apples, etc. finished Emma’s dress and commenced Mattie’s. Did mending this eve.
Frank returned from the hills he came sooner because apples were frozen during this cold snap.
Prescott is very busy these days helping Grandpa. He only comes in to take his meals when the men do.

Friday, November 23, 1888
Two degrees above zero this morn, but very clear and pleasant today. After the sun came out warmer – men moved apples from the barn to the apple-house cellar.
Mother has baked bread and made mince-meat. Sewed on Mattie’s dress.

Saturday, November 24, 1888
A little warmer today. Merc. went up to 25⁰ above this P.M. I made three loaves of cake did mopping etc. Finished Mattie’s dress this eve. Frank went to Huntington this morn an as he did not return think he must have gone to N.Y. Nearly every one has apples on hand that are chilled or frozen and he hardly knows what to do about it.
Finished Mattie’s dress this eve. We didn’t go to bed very early.


From a Penn State Extension webpage on Tree Fruit Production – Handling of Frozen Apples:

A general rule is that apple fruit will withstand up to 4 hours at 28°F before serious injury occurs, but it is difficult to give a hard and fast rule to predict injury based upon minimum temperatures and duration, as the recovery depends not only on the extent of freezing, but also the rate of thawing.

During the time that the fruits are frozen, they should not be touched or moved. Handling frozen fruits invariably leads to fatal damage in the form of deep and lasting bruising. One must wait until the fruits have completely thawed before handing them. This likely means waiting several hours after the air temperature has risen above freezing. Slow thawing is actually beneficial for preserving fruit tissue integrity for apples that just had a near-death experience. A fast warming or exposure to direct sunlight will make the damage worse . . .

Fruit that were in the orchard during a cold spell with temperatures that dropped below 29°F for more than a brief time should be managed with caution. Don’t be in a hurry to harvest or transport this fruit. Leave the fruit undisturbed until it completely thaws. After the fruit thaws, be honest with yourself about the actual condition and potential value of this fruit. Cut lots of fruit, and if you do decide to keep it, monitor its firmness in storage.

Sunday, November 25, 1888
Cloudy this morn it began to snow a little before 10 o’c this morn and we are having a fearful storm of wind, rain, hail and snow.
Mr. Crosby came and brought Aunt Louisa. Snow up here after meeting – the wind blew fearfully. Mr. Utley and Grandpa have had all they could do today to protect the apples in the apple-house.
It seems dark and dreary to have Frank gone when it is so cold and stormy.
Monday, November 26, 1888
Very rainy all day. Frank returned while we were eating dinner. We had stewed chicken for dinner. We have been having a good visit with Aunt Louisa.
Fixed mother’s black dress so I could wear it. “We did it.”
F. did not go to H. Sat. he received a call from O.F. & Bro. and went down to N.Y. Came up to Springfield last night and home this morn.
Men have been marking the seconds ready to go off. Three cows and calf went to the butchers D. Hill & Bros. $1,000.00 check to F. from O.F. & Bro = $4400.00 total.

Tuesday, November 27, 1888
Very cloudy and rain has been falling most of the time. Father and Arthur came after Aunt L.
Rec’d letter from Clara G. saying that they would try and visit us Christmas.
Messers Henry Graves and son Mr. Collins Graves and Jack Wright have been drawing apples to the depot. Frank and Mr. Utley loaded a car put in 197 bls. of Baldwin’s No.2.
Mr. Utley finished work here yesterday – no he goes for O.F. & Bro. loading cars. Finished underdrawers for Mattie & S.

Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Clouds, rain and sunshine. Mother has washed: the clothes dried between the showers.
Mr. Chas. Geckler was 61 years old today. He is very busy helping men load on the apples. The mud is very deep think we shall not try to go to Conway tomorrow. Finished undervest for Emma.
Susie has great frolics evenings after all the other children have gone to bed. Commenced shirt for Henry.

Thursday, November 29, 1888

Very stormy all day. F. went to the depot this A.M. at home this P.M. We celebrated by having a chicken dinner. Papa brought home some candy for the children.
Finished shirt for Henry.

Friday, November 30, 1888
Clouds nearly all day – mild and pleasant this eve. Men drew apples to make out the 3rd car-load today. Prescott and I went to the depot with Mr. & Mrs. Geckler. They are intending to spend Christmas with us.
I have a new pair of slippers.