December 1890

Monday, December 1, 1890

One week ago today our little Ruby darling was taken from us.

She had been ailing most of the time through the month of Nov. Her first teeth were trying to come through. I think it was about the twelvth that I called the Dr. to see her. She had a slight cough and could not keep medicine or food on her stomach. The Dr. gave something for that; and after that time we could not get her to raise either phlegm, or anything only once or twice: some days she would not take any notice other days she would know and feel all that was going on in the room. She had slept but little since she first came to be really sick, but the day before she died the Dr. thought she was better and only needed to get sleep to make her feel much better – so he left some quieting medicine. I gave it three times according to directions before it had any effect. She was so restless and troubled to breathe easy – but soon after mid-night she took her dinner and laid quietly sleeping in her cradle. I ventured to lay down beside her on the lounge. She slept and her flesh became quite moist and her mouth was not so dry and hot. Every time I gave her medicine or drink she took it, but every time she had a coughing spell she seemed weaker & weaker. But the Dr. said if her bowels kept moving frequently it might pass off all right that way, so I kept thinking she would be better if we could only keep her strength up – so Mon. morn the 24” I wrote to mother that Prescott and Ruby seemed better. But Ruby breathed her last at about 10 o’c that A.M. after having taken her dinner once in two hours since about two o’c at night. One tooth came through about a week before she died and her gums were badly swollen and her mouth and lips had considerable canker on them. She has gone up higher. The medicine  did not work at all as the Dr. hoped it would, and I do not know as any human power could have saved her.

I know “it is well with the child,” but seems as though the lonesomeness and heartache would kill me.  She had grown to be so lively and pretty. She would put both little hands on my face and kiss and love me and say mam- mam, mam –

We all felt fairly stunned by the blow, but we went about making ready for the funeral. Grandpa took Mr. Sanderson’s horse and drove to Conway & Frank went to Florence to get a casket and to make other arrangements. Mrs. Sanderson came up with things needful to do some baking.

Grandma washed Ruby and laid her out. I stood by and held her head and gave her the clothes. Then I made up the cradle clean and mother put her in and we carried her into my entry where it was cool.

The next day Tues. the Dr. came and found her gone and Prescott feeling much worse – which made him quite sober and anxious – but he thought Ruby’s death and caused him to feel worse and hoped nothing serious would come of it.

The funeral was at two o’c. Mr. Snyder conducted it. He stood in the front entry so mother and Prescott could hear from the front room upstairs. Mother and Arthur came over and a few of the neighbors came in.

Ruby’s casket was pure white outside and in. Mrs. S. put tiny rose geranium leaves all around her and put a cluster of delicate heliotrope blossoms with a few leaves in her hands.

The weather was very mild. The sun shone out most of the day. Mrs. S. stayed with mother and Prescott while we were gone to the grave. After our return she helped get supper & after eating with us she, mother and Arthur went home. Susie has left her crib and comes to sleep with me so I shall not be so lonesome. Henry has come down stairs to stay. He had two very sick nights the week before Ruby was worse. I had to watch first her and then him; he felt so worried over her and kept saying “Is Ruby dead?” “I’m afraid she isn’t going to get well mam-ma.”

Prescott is getting better but does not come down stairs yet. Today has been quite cold have not had any storm for 8 or ten days.

Grandpa drove to town this P.M. Frank has been working up the old timbers that came out of the house. Samson did not come to do the plastering today.

Mattie is not well as usual and whoops when she coughs so I think her turn is coming next. I have been showing her how to make a needle book.

The children and all are so kind and considerate towards me that I must not feel too cast down – for I am very thankful that the rest of us are in a comfortable condition.


Ruby died of whooping cough.

Emma’s quote “It is well with the child” may be from Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on the topic of “Infant Salvation”: “Now, let every mother and father here present know assuredly that it is well with the child, if God hath taken it away from you in its infant days. You never heard its declaration of faith–it was not capable of such a thing–it was not baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ, not buried with him in baptism; it was not capable of giving that “answer of a good conscience towards God;” nevertheless, you may rest assured that it is well with the child, well in a higher and a better sense than it is well …”

Sunday, December 14, 1890  

Quite mild and pleasant, but the merc. has been down to 4 above 0 during the past week. Frank, Emma, Henry and I have been to ch.

Tuesday, December 18, 1890

School commenced.

Sunday, December 21, 1890  

Cloudy with rain this P.M. Papa, Henry, Emma, Mattie, Susie, and I have been to ch. We drew names out of the Christmas box. Had Mrs. W. E. Thayer, Mrs. Dewey Williams, Mrs. T. M. Carter, Mrs. Albert Morton, Harry Drake, Mr. E. D. Kingsley, Hattie Graves.

Our school teacher this term is Miss Lillie Fogg from the eastern part of the state. She has her nephew with her. His name is Moses B. Fogg.

Mrs. Wm. Nash could not board her so she was taken up to Mr. Knights on the old Sam’l Nash place. We heard she was not comfortable there so I sent her a note inviting her down here to stay over Sun. school kept Sat. so she came home with the children last night and wants to remain here to board. Grandpa told her he would not ask over $4.50 per week for their board: so Frank took her up tonight to get her trunk. Mr. Knight felt quite stirred up about it.

Monday, December 22, 1890

Pleasant. Washing and putting down carpet in the kitchen. Cooked a meat supper to please the teacher.

Frank and I went to Farmer’s League meeting down to Mr. Sanderson’s beautiful moonlight evening – but quite cool.

Tuesday, December 23, 1890  

Pleasant. Finished piecing the rag carpeting and nearly covered the kitchen floor.

Went down to the store with Frank to get some things for the Christmas trees. (Dressed chickens).

Wednesday, December 24, 1890    

Pleasant. We have been making ready for the Christmas dinner & supper. Prescott popped corn for the tree.

The teacher and her boy went with us down to the church Christmas tree. The children all received presents except Emma and Susie.

They gave them a bag of candy – also sent an extra bag to Prescott.

Miss Prouty and Marion sent packages to the children.

Thursday, December 25, 1890     

A lovely day – sleighing perfect – not but little snow but there is is very solid.

Father, mother, and Arthur arrived about 11 o’c. We had roast beef and vegetables for dinner with chicken pie, pickles, mince, apple and custard pies. Then my mother and I trimmed the tree. The teacher made candy bags etc. I finished dressing Susie’s doll so I could put it on the tree; it looks fine. Father & mother left for home about five o’c.

The boys have had a fine time sliding in an old fashioned sleigh.

Prescott has been out too. Last Sat. was his first venture. Frank has fixed his old sled for him to use.

Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Sanderson, Annie Weston and Harry J. came up to spend the evening. All seemed to have a good time. We had several kinds of cake, coffee, cheese, pickles, pears and apples for refreshments.

Friday, December 26, 1890

We did not do much but fix up after yesterday’s works. Received cards and a handkerchief from Ed. & Nettie.

Heavy snowstorm. Mrs. Wheeler went up to W. W. Nash’s.

Saturday, December 27, 1890   

We finished our ironing. Frank and Grandpa plowed out the road up to school-house & down to the village.

Merc. down to 10.

Sunday, December 28, 1890

Quite cold. We did not any of us go to ch. Grandpa and Frank went to Haydenville to attend the funeral of Mr. Breckenridge. He died Fri. while helping fill his ice-house. He had worked in the brass-shop a part of the A.M. of that day. His age was 56 yrs. Services were conducted by Mr. Snyder and the Order of F.M.

Monday, December 29, 1890  

Merc. 4 above 0. Frank made ready to go to New Haven on the 6-15 train to see about pay for some cider that had been sold to Mclean.

We did not try to wash. I stirred the cream. Cloudy and snowy. Frank did not come tonight. Grandpa and Moses went down to meet him. The train was nearly an hour late.

Tuesday, December 30, 1890

Pleasant this morn but snowing tonight.

Frank came on the 7 o’c. rode up with Sanderson. Mrs. S. here this P.M.

I fixed fastenings on mother’s wrap and pressed braid and seams.

I finished some of the things the children have made for Xmas presents. Mother washed red flannels & woolen stockings.

Wednesday, December 31, 1890

Mother did a large washing. Cold day, but not very windy.

I received news that Aunt Emma Adams died about 10 o’c Christmas eve.

Mother sent me letters that came from Anna A. Edw A. and from Florence. Prescott is well enough to help some out of doors