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.


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