January 1891

Thursday, January 1, 1891   

Stormy and quite cold. Grandpa W. went to Northampton.

Mrs. Wheeler here to dinner. She rode up to Mr. Oliver’s tonight.

Saturday, January 3, 1891    

Pleasant. The children have been out sliding some.

Mr. & Mrs. Henry Hill, Myra H. and Miss Harrington called on the teacher this P.M.

Mrs. Wheeler has been here for milk. Leon Sanderson is quite sick. Mother went down this P.M. F. and I went down tonight. Found him feeling a little better.

Sunday, January 4, 1891   

10 above 0 this morn. Pleasant until evening then snow falling.

We all went to ch. except Moses and Prescott. Mr. Snyder preached on giving. Missionary Meeting this evening. Frank and I went down. Heard of a terrible accident. A company of six went from Florence to Amherst and were returning when the horses came near the “Spruce Hill” crossing they were frightened. The driver stopped once – but feared he could not hold them facing the train so drove on – the train struck them killing Learned & lady at once the others were more or less injured.

The names of the company are as follows:

Henry B – son of Dr. John B. Learned

Mabel E. daughter of Rev. T. A. Hinckley

Fannie L. Plympton daughter of Ald. Louis F. Plympton

Chas. W. Bond son of Judge Bond.

Lulu Adams daughter of John O. Adams

Edwin Bond nephew of Judge Bond


Emma’s account of the accident is close to the account given in the Fitchburg Sentinel newspaper:

“The party was made up for a visit to the Amherst college buildings and to take advantage of the fine sleighing. The young people left Northampton about 2pm . . . and after a trip about Amherst, were returning in the best of spirits. All saw the train which was coming obliquely behind them. They shouted at Learned, who was driving, to stop, but he replied that one of his horses was afraid and it would be better to go across. He thought he had plenty of time. They did not have time and the engineer reversed his locomotive but it was too late. The engine struck the sleigh near the front seat and the occupants were thrown in every direction.”

Henry Bond Learned was 17 at the time of his death and was a student at the Agricultural College. Mabel Hinckley was also 17 at the time of her death and was a member of the Capen school for girls. Lulu Adams, 15, was the most hurt out of the survivors, which cuts on her face and an eye injury. She was married in 1898 and worked as a milliner. She died at age 31 from peritonitis and congestion of the lungs. Fannie Plympton, 17, later became a principal of a kindergarten and married a fellow teacher. She died at age 35 from tuberculosis. Charles Bond was the son of a judge. Edwin Bond was a student at Swarthmore College, where his mother, Elizabeth Powell Bond, was the Dean of Women from 1890 to 1906. Elizabeth Powell Bond was a Quaker and a anti-slavery activist as a teenager, and also a suffragist and advocate for peace. She ran a boarding school in the 1860s that included African-American and Catholic students.

Monday, January 5, 1891  

Northeast storm this morn, but it did not prove to be very bad through the day.

Frank has been sawing wood down to the cider-mill.

We did not wash. Walter Warner came tonight to see about getting work here. I fixed the children’s packages ready to send to the different friends. Wrote a card to Florence and Miss Prouty.

Frank has been down to the village this eve.

Tuesday, January 6, 1891  

Merc at 20 above 0 this morning. Quite pleasant through the day.

We churned, made bread, fixed squashes etc. Frank and Walter have been drawing hay from “Aunt Fannie’s” barn.

I’ve made over the girls blue dresses into aprons for them.

Saturday, January 10, 1891  

Grandpa, grandma and Miss Fogg went to Florence store.

Monday, January 12 , 1891

Stormy until nearly noon. Walter Warner commenced chopping for us over in the east lot.

I cut out a wrapper for myself. Mother did not wash.

Spent the evening with Mrs. Sanderson.

Tuesday, January 13 , 1891  

Mother did the washing. Men are chopping.

Friday, January 16, 1891  

Men commenced to chop on Walnut Hill. Frank carried Mrs. Morehouse’s things to the depot last night. The children walked home from school last night for the first time since the teacher came here – they walked again tonight.

I finished my wrapper tonight.

Saturday, January 17, 1891    

Very stormy, rain, hail and snow. Men had to come home from the hill. They worked up wood in the shed.

Our clothes did not get dry this week.

Rec’d book from Uncle Justin – title – “The Crown Without the Conflict.”

Note: The full title of the book is “The Crown Without the Conflict; or, Musings on the Death of Children.” by Rev R. H. Lundie, originally published in 1870.

Sunday, January 18, 1891     

Rain, hail and snow. None of us went to church – until evening then Frank went down.

Mattie has written a long letter to Bertie.

Monday, January 19, 1891      

Cloudy in the morn but cleared away before noon.

Frank took the last of our apples to the depot – then ate his breakfast and went on to Walnut Hill to chop with Walter. They finished up there tonight and W. left here to go to F. Sanderson’s to work a week. Mrs. Sanderson has been up here this P.M. It is her 25” birthday.

Tuesday, January 20, 1891    

Mild and pleasant. I took Susie to ride on a hand sled – went down to the neighbors.

Mr. Henry Bisbee came and butchered two hogs – one is to sell and one to keep.

Wednesday, January 21, 1891         

Cloudy, rains tonight. Auction up on the J. C. Williams place. Mr. Chester Williams came down. Messrs. Johnson, Graves & Belcher were the only ones present. Mr. Eln. Graves bid it in for the bank $195.00 for prop. so. west of the road.

Grandpa and Frank took one hog, 8 sheep & one cow to Hill’s market in Northampton. F. led the cow – she was wild as could be before he reached there.

Mrs. Sanderson and Mrs. Johnson called this P.M.

Thursday, January 22, 1891         

Very rainy night and day. Rain fell in “torrents” and the moisture blew from the south like clouds of smoke.



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