February 1890

Saturday, February 1, 1890   

Sky is a little clearer – growing colder tonight.

Grandpa Tilton and Uncle John called. They went from here to Leeds came back and took a lunch while they waited for the horse to rest.

Mother W. sent mother a pail of lard.

I have been retrimming and repairing my night-dresses.

The children went down to Mr. Coopers.

Frank came on the last train this evening. He had to stay in New Haven to overhaul the apples.

Sunday, February 2, 1890

Ground is frozen again today. Clouds look like snow – a little has fallen since morn.

Prescott, Mattie and Emma walked down to church.

Alice spent the P.M. & eve. down to the next house.

It seems such a rest to have Frank at home if it is only for a day.

Monday, February 3, 1890    

Foggy and cloudy. A little bit of sunshine this P.M. with high wind this evening.

Frank gone to town to fix bank account. I have been at work on small clothes. Henry went to the village with Grandpa when he went after mail – came home all tired out and wanted to go to bed.

School commenced again today. The children have all been.

Tuesday, February 4, 1890   

Sun shone part of the A.M. Commenced to rain soon after 1 o’c rains very hard tonight.

Received a letter from Frank. He is in trouble over his money affairs.

Frank Sanderson here to look at the Warner place.

Mr. Tilton called this P.M. Mother and Alice did the washing. A. went to New Haven this afternoon on the 1.10 train. Mr Henry Taylor called – he used to live in this neighborhood.

Received letter from Clara Geckler and a card from mother. Grandpa sent a message to Frank.

Wednesday, February 5, 1890    

Very warm mud and water ankle deep even on grass ground – pouring rain all night. More sunshine than rain through the day.

Grandpa sent another dispatch to the N.Y. Herald this morn.

Children rode up to school. Emma cut a slice off one of her forefingers today.

Mother and I did most of the ironing this morn – she baked bread and biscuit. Mrs. Cooper spent the P.M. here and helped to sew carpet rags.

Henry is not feeling at all well – but think I can dose him out of it.

We have been looking over Frank’s papers.

Susie and Henry fairly lie awake nights over having papa away so much.

Thursday, February 6, 1890

Not very cold but the mud is frozen.

A most beautiful day. Susie and I took a walk all around the premises and went down to Mrs. Coopers.

I sent a letter to Miss Prouty with Mattie’s bookmark and one to Mr. Cheney (of the Estey Organ Co.) for Grandpa.

Put new cuffs on mother’s calico dress; have not done much today but feel anxious about Frank.

Rec’d letter from Alice saying she would not be back until Mon. on the 11 o’c train.


Based in Brattleboro, Vermont, the Estey Organ Company manufactured reed and pipe organs. The Estey factory buildings were sold in 1961. There is now a hands-on museum in Brattleboro that houses Estey organs: http://www.esteyorganmuseum.org/about-eom/visit-us/

Friday, February 7, 1890

Pleasant. Grandpa went to bank in Northampton and to Haydenville.

Rec’d letter from Frank. I went for Cooper to come up to do the barn chores with Prescott as Grandpa must go to New York tomorrow: he has been to the village this P.M. to get boots etc. I have written to mother, Mr. Billings, Mr. Kingsley. Mended Frank’s coats and vest – packed travelling bag ready to start in the morn.

I made two kinds cake.

Saturday, February 8, 1890  

Commenced to hail and snow last eve and today has been a very rainy day. Grandpa left here on the 6.15 train. Mr. Cooper took him down then came up to help Prescott get wood etc.

Dosed Emma and put her to bed tonight in Alice’s room – Mattie with her. Prescott with Grandma.

Mother baked bread biscuit and ginger bread. I made apple sauce and helped about the house. Did not try to work this P.M. or evening.

Sunday, February 9, 1890

A beautiful sunny day. It seems so still and lonesome to have both Papa and Grandpa away. The children grieve so much because papa does not come. Prescott and Mattie walked down to S.S. He could not get his work done in season for meeting time.

My troublesome head did not let me sleep much. I feel like copying the daily reading for yesterday and today.

“God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

“As a little child relies on a care beyond his own; knows he’s neither strong nor wise,

Fears to stir a step alone: Let me thus with thee abide,

As my Father, Guard and Guide.”

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”

“I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth, and believeth in me shall never die.”

“My flesh shall slumber in the ground, till the last trumpet’s joyful sound; Then burst the chains with sweet surprise, and in my Saviour’s image rise.”

“Surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God.”

“His mercy never shall remove From men of heart sincere;

He saves the souls whose humble love Is joined with holy fear.

“God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Monday, February 10, 1890    

Clouds and snow squalls. Mr. Cooper helped Prescott get a load of wood.

Rec’d a telegram from Oscar Frommel & Bro. saying that Grandpa and Frank would not be home until tomorrow morning.

Mr. Cooper went to the depot twice after Alice but she did not come. I have not done much but sew a carpet rugs and help around the house. Mattie came home with a hard cold.

Tuesday, February 11, 1890  

Cloudy this morn but very pleasant this P.M. and evening. Grandpa, Frank and one of Mr. Frommel’s men came on the morning train, stayed to dinner and returned at 1.10.

Mr. Billings and Mr. Elliott called to see about the place. He had not received the letters we sent him last week.

Grandpa took man to the depot and waited to bring Alice up. She stayed down there to take care of Mrs. Morehouse who has been sick.

Children all at home today. Miss Bridgeman, their teacher, came down to see them tonight thinking they might all be sick.

Grandpa gone this eve to see Belcher.

Wednesday, February 12, 1890   

Quite a pleasant day. Emma is eight years old today. Mother W.  gave her a gingham dress I fixed a collar for her.

Mr. Belcher, John and Mr. Stanton here. Grandpa went to Northampton on the 1-10 tr. Returned in the evening.

Mother and Alice did a large washing.

Mr. Billings here to dinner; he is going tomorrow to see if father will not take that place.

Children had out their tea-set to celebrate with.

Thursday, February 13, 1890  

Mild and sunny. I have taken two walks out of doors today – went to the neighbors with Susie and Henry.

Grandpa went to Mr. O’Niels – Mr. L. Graves’s and to the village after meal.

Rec’d note from M. E. Porter today.

Cut and basted two chemises for Alice, fixed collar for Mattie and wrote to mother this eve.

Friday, February 14, 1890   

Cloudy. Raining very hard this evening.

Mr. Belcher came up to get papers signed and Grandpa went to Northampton with him to finish the business. F. went to the depot in the rain to meet him. Received a letter from mother. Mr. John Packard is quite sick with the pneumonia.

School did not keep this P.M. teacher went to the teachers meeting.

Blanche spent the P.M. and eve here.

Put part of sheep up to “Aunt Fannie’s” barn.

Saturday, February 15, 1890

Mild and pleasant. Blanche here until nearly noon. I ironed collars and shirts worked on carpet rags, did mending etc.

Chesterfield cow had a black & white calf.

Rec’d telegram from Frommel at 3-40 but it was too late for Grandpa and Frank to start. They would have to reach N.Y. at 10 o’c Mon.

Sunday, February 16, 1890     

A very beautiful day, colder merc. at 10 above 0 this morn. Prescott Mattie & Emma walked down to church. They take great interest in their S.S. lessons, the more they have to study the better they like it. The lesson today was on Repentence – “Repent ye, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Mrs. Wheeler is sick – she has sent a letter to Mr. Geckler. Alice spent the P.M. down to Mr. Cooper’s. Frank is feeling rather better today.

Monday, February 17, 1890

Sunshine, rain & snow. Mother and Alice did a large washing.

Belcher came after the shoates took six and left two – weighted 715 & 5 – $35.75

Rec’d another telegram from Frommel. to answer letter that would reach here tomorrow at once “by wire.”

F. took up meat and worked around the barn. Grandpa went to the depot to get F’s bag and to send telegram to Frommel this morn.

I have worked cutting rags what time I could get. Alice made three white aprons for herself on the machine.

Tuesday, February 18, 1890

Rec’d letter from Frommel saying that the trial has been put over until Wed. Grandpa and Frank made ready to go on the 4-40 train this P.M. Mr. Cooper came up to do the milking.

Henry found twin lambs out to the barn this morning.

Wednesday, February 19, 1890

I have not been very well today. Grandpa and F. came on the 9-12 train this eve.

Man came up with a telegram for Mrs. Cooper from Mr. Morehouse.

F. carried it down to them just before 12 o’c at night.

I took Susie out to see the baby lambs.

F. Sanderson here after vinegar.

From Thur.20 until Mar. 1

Cloudy – snowstorm this P.M. and eve with the wind blowing fearfully. I did not go about the house to do anything all day. Mrs. Cooper went to New Haven on the 10 o’c train. Her daughter is quite sick. Mr. C. borrowed 2.25 & telegram was .50 – I have been quite busy doing the last things.

Ruby Elma was born at half past ten at night. Frank went for the Dr. and carried him home again. The wind blew fearfully and the snow flew but he had to go in a wagon. Dr. Perry is not very agreeable at such a time but I came out of it all right – and felt stronger than usual. Ruby weighed 4 ½ lbs.

Very cold, nearly down to 0.

Fri. morn Frank took a sleigh and went after Mrs. Hiram Graves. She was quite surprised to receive a call so soon.

Sun Prescott, Mattie and Emma rode down to church in a sleigh. P. looked quite manly with a sister on each side.

Mrs. Graves stayed with us ten days. Charged $7.50 for her services.

Ruby was called by Aunt Ruby’s name because she arrived on her birthday. She would have been 88 yrs. old.

Elma is after my mother.


Ruby appears to have been born prematurely – based on the weight and Mrs. Graves’ surprise at being called so soon. I am going to assume that Mrs. Graves was a midwife, though I’m not sure what services she would have provided since she was not present at the delivery itself. The late 19th century was apparently a transition time, as doctors began to more widely practice obstetrics and midwives’ role in the general population began to decrease. Emma doesn’t appear to be a fan of Dr. Perry’s bedside manner though.