Thur. 17th [March 1887]: I have just come from Uel's. Mary came along. They came down here Sunday and I went up to stay with Mary while Uel went to Wheeler Co. We didn't do much but read and do chores. Mary was anticipating high on a bureau, sewing machine and center table, but Uel didn't [get] her anything but a kickey mooly-cow [sic] and Mary was mad then.
Joe Burkheat came last night before Uel got back and we made him finish the chores. Joe is quite a nice fellow; he used to go with Manie but since she goes to college she feels above him I guess.
The boys went to a dance last night to Joe Hanna's. I was glad I was not at home. We came by Andrew's this morning and he sent Pap some papers[;] we had lots of fun laughing at his "bachelor hall."
Fri. 18th [March 1887]: Marion and Effie came yesterday while Mary was here. When they drove up Mary ran to the door and told them her children had the whooping cough but they knew Mary and that she was joking.
They are going to have a dance at Frank Moore's, about five miles from here. I am going and that is the last one too. I am tired of them anyway. I don't suppose I will see Ed many times afterwards, but what is the use of looking at him. Al is working on the railroad, where he will have none of the best company and I will try to hear from him as often as I can to see if he takes to their ways.
Sat. 19th [March 1887]: I am all ready to go. My hair is banged from ear to ear! I went down to Olsen's for some kerosine [sic] today. Annie has got a Mother Hubbard dress and it is so funny! Just a year ago this evening Ed came to ask me to go to Houtz' birthday party -- Mrs. Houtz I mean. That was the first I ever went with him. Would that it had been the last! "All ready Emma?" Roy says, and I say "ye-es" reluctantly. Good Night dear diary.
Sun. 20th [March 1887]: Storming[,] storming! We had quite a time coming home[,] it blowed [sic] so. We had to stay all night. There was nobody there but the Olsen outfit and us. John Moore's folks couldn't go for Alva got kicked by a horse over his eye and like to killed him. The doctor said he would be all right in about three weeks.
We had a good time last night. They all picked on Nute ("Monkey"). I had a quarrel with him too. Annie and I got his fur cap and spit in it and he got so mad!
Ed has got another victim! Martha is mashed[,] poor girl! she got mad whenever I danced with Ed and he was very clever to me and I almost regretted my good resolutions of Friday but "words, though sweet[,] may deceive."
Ed said that William and Lewie called off so good that we wouldn't want Al anymore. I had no remarks to make. He stood watching me closely with his arms folded and one foot stuck out, his usual mode of standing. He is too tall and lazy to stand straight.
Mon. 21st [March 1887]: Roy went down to Eugene's today and he heard that Olsen's went to a dance again last night at Nelson's. How crazy they must be! They are going to have a dance Saturday. I must find some excuse. Nute was up here today and told William "Emma must be gitten [sic] high toned to give me the mitten." "Yes she is real high toned[,]" William said.
Tue. 22nd [March 1887]: Mamma, Roy and I went over to Moore's to see Alva; he is better. It was a bad kick though, as sharp as if a knife had cut it. Ed was there. He takes splendid care of Alva because he's his namesake I guess. Mr. Van Riper came while we were there but Marion and Effie came along past on their way over there so she went home with them. Mr. Moore, Ed and Roy were telling what they were going to do when our prospective town started. Mr. Moore is going to keep a bank, Ed is going to have an opera house, and Roy a skating rink. William and I put wishbones over the door today. Lewie came under mine. Mamma said for fun "Betsey Rinden came under yours William" and he jumped up and said "Glory! The long-necked ewe will be mine." Betsey is an old maid and owns a farm but she deserves a better name than that.
Wed. 23rd [March 1887]: I washed today. Mr. Houtz had a manure hauling bee, but nobody went at all. I wonder what he thinks this evening. He invited Roy over to Winfield's dance; he said "Come over early so you can do a good deal of work." Roy asked him if he would have a dance at night and he said "Well, that depends on how much they do." The boys went over to Mr. Van Doran's after some tree cuttings. Eugene came up this evening and said that Olsen's have invited a great crowd. I don't go then! All they have it for is because they think Martha will finish mashing Ed. We'll see!
Sun. 27th [March 1887]: I went over to Marion's Friday and have just got home. I was coming home Saturday but it stormed, so I couldn't. Olsen's dance was a failure. I pitied poor Martha but I couldn't reach her. There was a few there but no Ed[,] which was the worst.
Fri. April 1st : I went back to Marion's Sunday and just come [sic] home today. Marion went up to Uel's to work and Effie wanted company. Monday we went over to Moore's to sew on Effie's dress. Ed came while we were there. He asked me if there was many to Olsen's dance but of course I didn't know.
Marion went over to Uel's Tuesday. I went over to Moore's to water the cow. Mrs. Moore was complaining of not feeling well. Wednesday Mr. Moore came over to get a loaf of bread and said Mrs. Moore was real sick. Effie done [sic] out her washing and went over there in the afternoon. She was no better. We went back and done [sic] the chores and Effie went back and got Mr. Moore to fetch Clyde over. I took care of Clyde all night; in the morning Mr. Moore got Effie to go over and stay while he went for the doctor. I got up, dressed Clyde and got breakfast. Alva came over and took care of Clyde while I done [sic] the chores. Winfield brought Nellie and Hattie over to stay all day[,] so I had quite a family. Effie came back before dinner. I made Lizzie a birthday cake; she was five years old.
I laid in bed late this morning studying mischief. Alva came over and April fooled Marion. He said his mother was a little better. Winfield came after the children so I rode home with him and he came over to Houtz' and brought me quite a piece further on my way home. Eugene and Laura was [sic] he[re] for dinner. They are talking of having a dance at Nelson's Saturday night.
Sun. 3rd [April 1887]: William and Mamma went over to Moore's this forenoon. Mrs. Moore is better. They want me to stay over there awhile so I suppose I will go tomorrow. Ed is sick, poor fellow! I suppose he will have time now to reflect on his heartless career. Ta Ta. If teacher could read this she would think I was mashed more than ever.
Tue. 12th [April 1887]: Home once more dear diary! It seems almost like I was another person. I have been real sick. I went to Moore's Sunday[;] my face hurt all day Monday. Mr. Moore went to school meeting and when he got back I could hardly sit up so Mr. Larsen took me over to Effie's. They were worse scared than me. The[y] sent after Pap and Mamma. They poulticed my face all next day and done [sic] no good so Marion went after the doctor next day. He said if he had been a day later he would have been too late. He left me some medicine and said if I got worse before eight o'clock to send for him[,] but I got better. He came next day to see me; I guess he was surprised. Pap and Mr. Houtz was [sic] there and they like to have drove him wild trying to tell the history of their lives and he was in a hurry. But I am on foot again prying around in mischief the same as ever.
I have got a "catch." The fellow that owns the section South of here has got the school to teach this summer. I saw him Sunday go past the window[;] quite a nice fellow! My old enemy, Minnie Dolph[,] was around to get the school but she was too late[,] thank fortune. Mamma tells me to come up by the stove now so I must quit.
Wed. 13th [April 1887]: I was very much surprised today. I was making a rug when who should come but Teacher. Miss Whitten I must call her now I suppose. She didn't stay very long though. She says she is going to Omaha to finish her education.
It is tiring to have to stay in the house all the time. It has been raining all day but the sun shines now bright. The grass is getting green and the meadow larks sing. I wonder if I will have a good time this summer as I had last winter. 0, no I'm sure I won't!
Sun. 17th [April 1887]: Winfield and Huldy was [sic] here today. Effie is sick and can't come. Mamma is sick too and Roy has been. There is a man and woman dead East of here. Mr. Olsen borrowed our light wagon to go after the woman's coffin. It seems like everybody is sick or dying.
Wed. 20th [April 1887]: This week has seemed a month long. I daresn't [sic] be out doors; I can't read very long at a time, nor do much work. I wonder how Ed is getting along; he came about as near dying as I did I guess. I should have been sorry for all the bad things I have wrote about him if he had died[,] I expect. I don't expect to see him again till next fall; it is all work here in summer.
Sat. 23rd [April 1887]: Roy and William went to Neligh to mill. I do hope they will get some lime so to whitewash. Uel and Mary came down Thursday and Mary couldn't go home on account of the storm. My sakes! the children like to have run as wild. She went home this morning.
Manie didn't get any certificate so she had to give up her school. I should think she could get one after going two terms to college and nearly all her life to district school.
Sun. 24th [April 1887]: Roy and Mamma have gone over to Marion's. William and Roy only went to Oakdale yesterday. William heard that Al had a fight with a fellow over in Antelope Co. They said Al told some lies on him. I don't believe it! It isn't like Al to do that[,] I know! He won't lie and I know it!
Thur. 29th [April 1887]: I have got to the page my age is on [i.e., page 18 in the diary]. I wanted to write lots of good things on it but I guess I will be dissapointed [sic]. I am so tired this evening[;] this is house cleaning week. Effie is coming over Sunday. School commences Monday. I dread it too. I know the teacher will be a cross fellow.
Sun. 1st [May 1887]: Hezz Huffman and Johnny Ulloms were here today visiting. Hezz is the meanest fellow living; he caught a squirrel, tied a string around its neck and drug it around the yard. I chased him with a butcher knife but he just laughed at me. Stylish Mr. Ulloms walked out to look on. I was mad at the cruel fellow; he killed the squirrel at last.
Effie didn't come over at all and I couldn't go over there. Hezz kept his dead squirrel around a long time to tantalize me but he picked a bunch of violets and put in my hair. I don't like him though. I like Johnny the best.
Teu. [sic] 3rd [May 1887]: I went to school today. The wind blowed so yesterday I couldn't go. The teacher is the ornreast [sic] fellow I ever saw -- no I take that back[;] he is quite good looking but he lets the scholars do as they please. Martha sits right behind me and she pinches me when the teacher turns his head, and whispers to me. The teacher is just waiting his chance I'll bet! he'll thrash a few of the scholars before long or I'm mistaken.
Wed. 11th [May 1887]: Marion, Effie, Mrs. Houtz, Pap, Mamma and I went to Uel's Sunday. Mr. Houtz is up there to work and Mrs. Houtz coaxed me to go over and stay all night with her. I hated to go but I knew she would be lonesome so I went. The teacher flaxed [sic] around and done [sic] the chores for Mrs. Houtz and chatted gaily all the while.
I stayed over to Effie's yesterday and last night. Avie stayed with Mrs. Houtz. Mrs. Houtz went over to see Lizzie for she was sick when I went away in the morning so Avie had to "bach it" [sic] with the teacher till Mrs. Houtz came. I had a joke on Avie then.
Sat. 14th [May 1887]: Mamma is over to Winfield's and I had all the Saturday's work to do. I have got it done though. Annie Olsen was here last evening trying to coax Roy to take her to Albion to work. Roy told her he would take her if she would agree to marry him and go out West. She said she would when two Sundays came togetherli,] so Roy won't go. It seems to be the fashion here for the boys to give the girls the mitten. Pap said today that Lewie was "down in the mouth" about something and he knew what he said it was because he knew I didn't care anything for him. Poor "Little" Fellow!
Teu. [sic] 17th [May 1887]: I stayed home and washed today. Sunday~ Roy and I went to Huffman's to get Samantha to work for Winfield's. We had lots of fun. Roy hugged Samantha all the way home and she drove the horses. Alva and his cousin from Iowa were at school yesterday. She is a town girl and she made all sorts of fun of the teacher and the school house. "Why!" she said "your school house isn't as big as our coal house." I wish she would stay at home.
I went to Winfield's with Roy and Samantha Sunday to see their new girl baby. We stopped to Houtz' on our way over. Marion and Effie were there and Samantha went in to see Effie's baby so she got introduced to the teacher. I supposed she would "mash" him, but I guess he is too hard shelled.
Sun. 22nd [May 1887]: Pap and Mamma went over to Houtz' and Roy and I went to Winfield's today. The teacher wanted me to stay to Houtz'. Roy asked the teacher to go with us, but he was afraid to leave the stove [or perhaps "store"] so long I guess. We had lots of fun. Samantha came home with us and William is tormenting her. Mamma told William that Manie was married and he threw up his hands and trembled and said "0, give me some pie quick!" Then he moved his chair around by Samantha and said "Samantha[,] I always did like you awful well." Finally he thought he would take rat poison and die so he got the oil can and took a drink and then he laid back in his chair and said "I can see Heaven now! Oh how delightful!" Roy asked him if he saw any tobacco there and he said "yes and lots of pretty girls[,"] so Roy told him to give him some poison too.
Sun. 29th [May 1887]: Samantha came over to visit the school Thursday and I went with her over to Houtz's for dinner. It commenced to rain while I was there so Teacher said "I will excuse you this afternoon Emma" and I stayed to Houtz. After school he came back and said "Well you played truant[;I I didn't know you would take my word for it so."
Samantha came home with me so I couldn't go to school Friday and I felt like crying. The boys had made up their minds to have a dance while she was here so Roy went over to see Ed, and Samantha and I went along. Ed asked me if I was going to school and said he heard we had a gentleman teacher and he asked me if he was pretty. "0 not very" I said but Samantha said "Emma thinks he is though." I was mad at them. It rained last night so our dance was almost a failure but I didn't care much. I don't care for dances anymore.
Effie and Marion went to Oakdale yesterday and stayed at Uel's all night and they all come down and went over to Winfield's. I went along and left Samantha. I don't care! I think she is too vain and foolish for anything. We met Houtz coming over here and the teacher jumped out and got in the wagon with Uel, Mary and I.
We had a good time today. Effie made a mistake and thickened the coffie [sic] with flour instead of the currants[;] they were both in little pails so she didn't notice till she had done the mischief and then she skipped in the other room and told me to pour the coffee.
Effie said she saw Al in town[;] he is on his way to the Black Hills by this time I suppose. Effie said he looked so sober, as if he could cry, almost. He said he wished he could come down but he didn't have time. He promised to write though. Oh! I wish I could have saw [sic] him! I hope he will come back next fall! He will if he don't get high wages.
Teu. [sic] 31st [May 1887]: Martha went to school today, the first she has has [sic] went for a long time. We had lots of fun. Jennie threatens to change her seat unless we behave. Teacher sat down on the seat in front of Martha and I sit back of her, so I got up and tried to knock her head against his and she was ready to catch around his neck and he, all unconscious[,] was watching Albert and Robert do sums on the board.