Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lennie Doesn't Say Much About Thanksgiving But the President Makes a Proclamation

Thanksgiving is upon us. Er, I mean, upon Lennie and his family. He's been boarding with Dr. Rowse, presumably to be closer to school during inclement winter weather. On Thanksgiving he mentions only "No school, went home for dinner."

But in the nation's capital, President McKinley makes a Thanksgiving proclamation as follows:

The approaching November brings to mind the custom of our ancestors, hallowed by time and rooted in our most sacred traditions, of giving thanks to Almighty God for all the blessings He has vouchsafed to us during the year.

Few years in our history have afforded such cause for thanksgiving as this. We have been blessed by abundant harvests; our trade and commerce have wonderfully increased; our public credit has been improved and strengthened; all sections of our common country have been brought together and knitted into closer bonds of national purpose and unity.

The skies have been for a time darkened by the cloud of war, but as we were compelled to take up the sword in the cause of humanity we are permitted to rejoice that the conflict has been of brief duration and the losses we have had to mourn, though grievous and important, have been so few, considering the great results accomplished, as to inspire us with gratitude and praise to the Lord of Hosts. We may laud and magnify His holy name that the cessation of hostilities came so soon as to spare both sides the countless sorrows and disasters that attend protracted war.

I do therefore invite all my fellow-citizens, as well as those who may be at sea or sojourning in foreign lands as those at home, to set apart and observe Thursday, the 24th day of November, as a day of national thanksgiving, to come together in their several places of worship for a service of praise and thanks to almighty God for all the blessings of the year, for the mildness of the seasons and the fruitfulness of the soil, for the continued prosperity of the people, for the devotion and valor of our countrymen, for the glory of our victory and the hope of a righteous peace, and to pray that the divine guidance which has brought us heretofore to safety and honor may be graciously continued in the years to come.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 28th day of October, A.D. 1898, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twenty-third.

Signed William McKinley (President)

Sunday, November 13,
Chas helped get ???s in forenoon. (can't read Lennie's writing)
Went walking with girls in afternoon & night.

Monday, November 14, 1898
Dr. brought in cot last night. Went out at night with girls.

Tuesday, November 15, 1898
Started to have experiments in Chem. Did not have band practice last night.

Wednesday, November 16, 1898
A dull day. Worked on ditch after school. Cecil & I went out again.

Thursday, November 17, 1898
Worked on composition at night. Got report of school ???

Friday, November 18, 1898
Read composition. Got 95. Had no band practice. Went to social at Neffs.

Saturday, November 19, 1898
Worked around house all day. May Rowse came.
Wrote to Hess, Lue, and F.T.
(F.T. is Flora Town, living in Shell Rock, Iowa)

Sunday, November 20, 1898
Truman Pff staid all night. Went walking down by the Davis dam in the afternoon.

Monday, November 21, 1898
Snowed last night. Regular blizard outside. ?? & I ate dinner at school made coffee. No band practice.

Tuesday, November 22, 1898
Cold outside but stoped blowing & snowing. Truman Poff staid last night and tonight.

Wednesday, November 23, 1898
A nice day but cold. Went out walking. So did Ellis Paulson.

Thursday, November 24, 1898
No school. Went home for dinner. Went out at night but Cecil & Fred out.

Friday, November 25, 1898
No school. Went skating yesterday. Put on storm windows today. No band practice.

Saturday, November 26, 1898
Worked around house. Went skating at lake. Dr. went to Emerson. Got back Sunday PM.

May we also, in 2011, give praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessings that He bestows upon us moment to moment and year to year.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Lennie Writes to His Friend Flora and Enjoys a Party At The Shumway Residence

Lennie (Charles Leonard Davis) of Wakefield, Nebraska, continues with his 1898 diary. He is currently 17 years old.

Lennie often mentions "walking with the girls". However, he is quite gentlemanly and does not mention their names. Or perhaps he was afraid family members might read his diary and give him a bad time.

He did not label his 1-inch photos and while I have been able to identify those who were family members, I simply cannot identify the others. You can click on today's photos to see enlargements of these two pages from his album. (P.S. Lennie has photos of many male friends as I am showing only some of the female.)

Tuesday, November 1, 1898
Dr. Rowse came home. Wrote a letter to F.T.
According to the 1900 census for Wakefield, Nebraska, the good doctor is Dr. Robert Q. Rowse. Dr. Rowse is 28 years old as of Lennie's writing. The doctor and his wife, Sarah, will have a baby girl in the year 1900 and will name her Francis E.

I suppose you are curious as to who Lennie is referring by the initials "F.T." In the front of his diary he had a short list of addresses/names. One of those is Flora Town, Shell Rock, Iowa.

Wednesday, November 2, 1898
John Watkins came home from Florada.
Art Shearing was mustered out.
(As you notice, Lennie was not the best speller in the world. But, Hey! They did not yet have two-letter abbreviations for the states in 1898! We'll cut him some slack on this one.)

Thursday, November 3, 1898
Went down to Cecil's after supper.

Friday, November 4, 1898
Got a picture of the ?? (can't read this) Went to band practice.

Saturday, November 5, 1898
Washed off buggy. Band played for Pep (?? political??) Rally. Went out with girls.

Sunday, November 6, 1898
A nice day. Wrote a letter to F.T. Went out with girls.

Monday, November 7, 1898
Girls in school had a big time laughing at C & me. Went uptown to band practice. Didn't have none.

Tuesday, November 8, 1898
Election day. Went uptown but did not stay.

Wednesday, November 9, 1898
Chas. & I started to dig on 75 ft of water works.
Thursday, November 10, 1898
Worked on ditch. Went to social at Shellingtons. Took girls home. IOGT.
(According to the 1900 census for Wakefield, the Shellingtons probably lived down the street from the Josiah Davis family. The Shellingtons in 1900 included J.W. and his wife, Mary, as well as children Ella, Floyd, Bessie and Elbert.)
The IOGT was (and is) an organization of men and women of all ages who promote the ideals of temperance, peace and brotherhood. You can find info here. Lennie mentions the IOGT meetings often in his diary.

Friday, November 11, 1898
A dull day in school. I went walking with girls. Went to band practice.

Saturday, November 12, 1898
Dug on ditch till it rained. Went to club at Shumways. Had a hot time with Ozoea Harman.
The Shumways are probably Herbert and Nellie. They have four children - Earl, Howard, Persey, Ruth. Herbert Paine Shumway was a prominent businessman in Wakefield and you can read more about him here.

As for Ozoea, she is the only child of Dr. B. T. Harman and his wife, Margaret. Ozoea turns 15 this month. Since Lennie is so circumspect so as to not name or even write the initials of the girls with whom he goes out walking, I'm assuming that his mention of a hot time with Ozoea is an indication of an evening of fun at the home of the Shumways.