Wed 1st June : I was good all day today and my head aches now to pay for it. We sung "Sweet Home" and "Almost Persuaded." The teacher sings quite pretty. Jennie was Mrs. Fletcher today, and I was her hired girl. Well honestly the teacher does like her! I know he does!
Sun. 5th [June 1887]: Winfield and Mamma and I went to Oakdale yesterday. Mr. Olsen rode down with us. He said Johnny had been complaining about the scholars picking on him. He tried to get me to say something about the teacher but he didn't get any satisfaction. He and Teacher had a fracas about Olsen's herding on his section. Olsen said he would herd his cattle there as long as Houtz had his cow on there. "Nous Verrous!" Eugene, Laura and I were to Effie's today. Effie said Teacher told Mrs. Houtz he just despised Martha. I wonder why!
Thu. 9th [June 1887]: I went over to Effie's Monday and Tuesday nights. Tuesday the scholars all quarreled all day. Ava quarreled with Mabel and Albert, Albert with Ethel, Ethel with Robert and Albert, and Mabel tried to quarrel with me but I just laughed at her.
Mr. Olsen came over to school Wednesday. We expected to see a fight right there but he was as clever as you please to Teacher.
We had lots of fun today. I had such a long sum to do that it was afternoon and yet it wasn't done and Teacher said "Well now divide that and that will take another half hour and he commenced to eat his bouquet on his desk. Jennie said she had a notion to hand her dinner to him. After dinner Jennie and I cleaned up the schoolhouse and looked through the dictionary for a picture of the teacher when he said "that will take another half hour," and then he went over to Houtz to see Effie's baby. We sung "Jesus, lover of my soul." Jennie started it all right but it didn't suit Teacher and he tried it. He managed to screech "Je-eesus~ and then he quit. 0, how we did laugh!
Sat. 11th [June 1887]: Friday is an unlucky day, Jennie says. It proved so to me at least. Roy and William went to Winfield's to buy his colts and I rode to school with them. My arithmetic lesson was extra hard so at recess Teacher came and sit [sic] down by me to help me do a sum when the boys came back right by the window and saw him. I knew I would catch it when I got home and so I did. William hasn't quit plaguing me yet. Mean, old, stinking teacher! I'll never forgive him. I wonder what Ed would have done if he had saw [sic] him? Ta, Ta! Or Al. Poor Al! away up in Wyoming or some other outlandish place. I would like to know what he is doing tonight.
Wed. 15th [June 1887]: Marion, Effie, Mr. and Mrs. Houtz, and Teacher were here Sunday afternoon and I went home with Effie and stayed all night. Effie said I was making a mash on the teacher[,] but nonsense! I don't believe it! 0, Yes! Joe Moore is married. I wonder what Miss Whitten thinks of that if she knows it? Poor Ed! he will have to dance in the hog trough.
Thu. 16th [June 1887]: Today is both Hattie's and Toten's birthday. They are both four years old. I stayed home and washed. Teacher said he was going to whip me if I didn't come every day, so I am really concerned about tomorrow.
Fri. 17th [June 1887]: I went to school, and didn't get a whipping either. I took my album for him to write in. I was sitting on my desk crocheting when I heard a wagon, and I looked towards Houtz and saw it was Wm. and Marion, and just then Mr. Houtz came out of the house swinging Mrs. Houtz around as hard as he could. They looked so comical I had to laugh. Effie is staying here all night.
Sun. 19th [June 1887]: Wm. went to Albion yesterday with Mr. and Mrs. Houtz and Teacher. Effie stayed here all day and served. Wm. said he told the teacher that he must quit "shining" around Jennie, or he would challenge him for a duel.
Mr. Olsen has stopped all the roads on his place so the boys can't go across, and they have stopped them on their land, Win's and Roy's corners, so this morning Mr. Olsen drove up along his hedge and went across the corners and Wm. went up and dug two ditches on his corners and Roy's so he can't come back that way. It is lots of fun to see them quarreling over two feet of land. Teacher is going to stop the road on his section too I guess, but he told Wm. our folks could cross whenever they wished. How very, very kind!!!
P.S. Roy, Wm. and I went to Winfield's. They were not at home. We stopped to Houtz' and Teacher rode over to Winfield's with us. He sent his album for us to write in; he has some nice writing in it. What a pity I never got a good education! I know the teacher thinks I'm a fool.
Mon. 20th [June 1887]: There were five scholars today. Teacher was cross this forenoon, but this afternoon he thawed out enough to say we should have a dog to dissect, and a skeleton to hang on the wall, so I could study physiology better. He wanted me to go over to Houtz' to see some of his books, so I went. He said he wanted me to stay this evening and hoe beans for him and he would sit and watch me, but I declined his gentlemanly invitation.
Sat. 25 [June 1887]: Wm. and Teacher are staking out lines, or something like that, on Teacher's section. He was here for dinner. Yesterday was examination day, and I wrote about all day. We had lots of fun. Wilber got up and took hold of teacher's coat tail, and John stood up by the stove and shivered as if he was cold. Teacher said I stood highest of all. I haven't got my papers yet though. Teacher proposed today that we should all go on a fishing excursion the Fourth. I say so too!
Sun. 26 [June 1887]: Marion's and Winfield's folks, and Houtz were here today. Teacher came along but after dinner he saw some of his friends coming so he went back again, and Houtz's went home too. I expect Teacher thought his sweetheart was along. I know who she is too. It is Laura Miller.
I can't go anywhere the Fourth and I am so mad about it! Just stay home all the time. Effie said I would be always happy if I tried to make others so, and not consider myself. All right enough, but she didn't have to stay home when she was a girl. I haven't went [sic] to a Fourth of July celebration for seven years I guess.
Wed. 29 [June 1887]: We had lots of fun today playing ball. Teacher was too lazy to be "pitcher" or "batter." He said he was afraid he might get sunstruck if he run [sic] too much. Big, lazy thing!
I am studying Book keeping [sic] now. I want this diary real bad for a ledger, but I like a diary better.
Almon Brittell and Clarence Whitcraft came down from Neligh yesterday evening. I guess they are at Marion's tonight.
Fourth [July 1887]: Bah! I am mad. Ed has gone back to Iowa to spend the Fourth and see Joe and his frau [sic] and "pa and ma." Lewis is up here. He has, [sic] or is sick and has been over to see Old Worden whom I don't like. All the doctor I like is my German doctor.
Roy saw Johnny Ullems in Oakdale Friday[;] he didn't invite him over at all. "Big Goose!" Johnny said he got a letter from Elvira, and she wrote that the grass was all drying out in Wis[consin]. Teacher got a letter too saying that Illinois was as bad.
Wed. 6th [July 1887]: We had a good time the Fourth after all. There were twenty-five grown persons and sixteen children. The boys fixed a shade in front of the house Sun. evening, and in the morning they fired off the anvil. They did nothing but talk until dinner. We had a splendid dinner; after that we played ball awhile and then went in and danced two sets. Teacher chose me both sets, bad luck to me! He don't [sic] know how to dance at all. Then we went and played ball again till dark and then we went in and read candy hearts, and Teacher took a lot of my cards. I coaxed him to waltz with Annie and I didn't have so much fun all day as when he was waltzing with her. She swung him almost clear of his feet. He did some real high stepping and all so sober! I expect he thought he was a splendid dancer. It was eleven o'clock before Lewie, Annie, Martha and Teacher went home. Teacher was sleepy enough yesterday, his eyes were red. Poor fellow! he isn't used to late hours apparently. We aint going to have a bie [sic] good time the last day; Teacher isn't going to invite anybody, and I know it will be the dryest [sic] last day I ever saw.
Mamma went to Oakdale yesterday and bought me a cheesecloth dress. It has five breadths [sic] in the skirt and will have three tucks and a wide hem on the bottom.
Sun. 10 [July 1887]: I went to Oakdale yesterday with Winfield and Huldy. Avie thought it was Friday and came to school. Winfield met her, and she came over here with them. I coaxed her to go to town, but she wouldn't. I didn't like to go and leave her but I 'most [sic] had to.
Mr. and Mrs. Houtz and Teacher went ahead of us and as soon as we got there Teacher marched Mrs. Houtz and I over to the Ice cream what-do-you-call-it. I wore my old brown dress and I felt real cheap too. I said I was glad there was nobody in town I knew. Teacher asked if I didn't know him, and I said "I wasn't thinking of you." "I guess you don't think very much of me anyhow," he said mournfully. I didn't say him nay.
Mr. Houtz bought a mower and rake so Teacher had to ride home with us. Huldy hopped in the front seat so he would ride beside me. Well, I didn't care much! I made him carry my parasol. We stopped at Huffinan's for a drink and Samantha and Mrs. Huffinan were winking and laughing to each other on the sly. I reckon folks think I am very fond of that old curmudgeon, but they don't know how mistaken they are. If he were as nice as Al!
Tues. 12 [July 1887]: Marion is cutting our winter wheat. Effie and Mrs. Houtz visited the school yesterday. I went home with Effie and stayed all night. Teacher and Mrs. Houtz took us over. They tried to get me to ride side of the teacher but I wouldn't, so Mrs. Houtz got in beside him. Mr. Houtz looked up at her and said "He-ow! where er [sic] you goin' to ride?" I guess he must be jealous.
Uel came after me today to come home 'cause Mamma was going up there. I cried when I got home[;] I hated to leave school so bad. I will go tomorrow or I'll know why!
Mabel came over last evening and talked awhile. It was quite amusing to hear her tell about "our set," and what the latest styles are. She gave me an apron for crocheting her a yard of lace, and told me the style of the aprons, but I have other things to think of besides style[,] so she might have saved her breath. Her mother is coming from Iowa today.
I know something choice but I'm not to let Mamma know. A week from tomorrow is her and Teacher's birthday, and they are going to have a surprise party at Houtz's. I helped Mrs. Houtz pick all the candies for the cake downtown.
Mr. Olsen started to go across Win's place yesterday with his harvester. Wm. met him on the corner and made [him] go back. Wm. was going to strike him I guess and he threw up his hands and said "don't hit! don't hit!" He told Eugene he was going to get "repaired"; he meant "prepared." I wonder if this quarreling will ever cease!
Sat. 16th [July 1887]: School kept today to make up for the Fourth. I think this was unjust. Yesterday Almon Brittell and his family came down to Houtz's visiting. Jennie came to school yesterday and day before. Teacher was cross though, but he loves Jennie so much. I know he does. Of course I don't care. Do I? No, No, A Thousand times no. All the same, I shall be sorry when school lets out.
Thu. 21 [July 1887]: I came home tonight from school. My! they were gloomy enough when I came but things look brighter now. Mamma is up to Uel's. She went yesterday morning. Teacher told me Tuesday, that that [sic] Mrs. Houtz wanted to see me, so I went over and she had the birthday cake baked and wanted me to help frost it. I was going home when I heard that, but Teacher kept talking and a storm came too, so I had to stay. Before the storm came up we had the cake in the yard, and Teacher sat on one side and I on the other, and he poured on the frosting, and 1 spread it down. Finally, we had to go in and then we put on the "finery." Teacher put on Mamma's initials and I put his on the other side. Then we put a row of candy to mark half way and then we tried to see which could beat the other. He made a whisky bottle, a horseshoe and a cross on his side. But I beat him. It stormed so hard Lizzie and I had to stay all night. 0! we had fun.
Teacher showed me his folks pictures and his big geography [sic]. He tried to coax me to play cards but I wouldn't do it. It was after eleven when we went to bed. Mrs. Houtz told Teacher next day when she heard Mamma was gone, that a young fellow, up in Antelope, had a birthday party and I got ahead of Teacher; he believed it all.
We had a good supper last night. Effie and I tried to whip the teacher but couldn't. He was 25 years old. Today was examination day; there was only four scholars, all Slocum's. Teacher showed me, on the sly, how to work two sums in my arithmetic examination. He said country girls had twice as much common sense as town girls. I wonder if he means Jennie!
Sun. 24 (July 1887]: Friday was the last day of school. We had no visitors, but Martha, Mabel, and Avie. That horrid Mabel! I couldn't like her. She and Avie just sat and made fun of the teacher. Avie had on a new dress and bracelets and showed her vanity too. That funny teacher gave the scholars nothing but advertising cards. I could fairly see Mabel and Avie's noses curl. 1 guess Mahood's were mad too because none of them got a prize. John got the prize for coming every day. Mahoods plagued me so much about the Teacher that I won't get "Mr. Flycatcher" out of my head for a week. Mean thing! Jennie asked Teacher over to see them and he trembled and said "0-o- 0-0 I-I will." ("The course of love never did run smooth.") Marion came home last night, and this morning they started to bring me home and we saw our team over to Winfield's so we went there. I am awful glad Mamma has got home. She came as far as home with Marion. Houtzli'] folks came over to Winfield's while we were eating dinner but Mr. Houtz and Teacher -- no Mr. Fletcher, went to Closter and Mrs. Houtz stayed. I do want them to quit plaguing me about teacher though. He belongs to Jennie.
Tues. 26 [July 18871: We washed yesterday. Winfield and Eugene helped stack the winter wheat. Today I didn't feel well enough for anything. Winfield and Huldy came over afternoon and Uel came down for his wagon to see why Wm. didn't bring me up Sunday. He wanted me to go home with him tonight but I couldn't and he went down and got Laura to go. He was awful mad too at Wm. -- but Wm. wasn't obliged to take me over there; neither was I obliged to go, for that matter but I would have went this evening if I felt well enough.
Thu. 28 [July 1887]: Roy mowed grass and Wm. broke today. Wm. saw Amos Hanna today and he told him that Ed almost got his eye put out. He was feeding the threshing machine and a weed flew out of the cylinder and went in the corner of his eye and almost knocked him off the platform. He pulled the weed out and went on feeding, just as if nothing had happened, but finally someone saw him and took his place. Poor fellow! I wonder if he saw stars or Hannah Whitten. But now! I didn't mean to make fun. Wm. has been calling him "one eyed Ed," and I fought valiently [sic] for his sake. Wm. will make fun of his best friend to plague me.
Sun. 31 [July 1887]: We had lots of company today. We wanted to go over to Marion's, but the boys wouldn't do it. We were afraid Moore's folks would come and bring Mabel and Mrs. Dean, but she has gone home, her and Mabel. Winfield's, Marion's and Houtz, and Eugene's were all here. George Brittell was here too. Winfield, Roy, Wm. and Mr. Fletcher went hunting prairie chickens. I wanted to go too, but they wouldn't wait for me. Teacher called themselves "The Young Men's Christian Association." They looked like it I'm sure! I lent him a temperance book to read, but he is temperate enough[;] he don't chew or smoke tobacco, nor drink whiskey. Effie said Marion told him he supposed he would bring a wife from Illinois, when he went back and he said "I guess I'll get one that is cliinated." That's Jennie, I know, but Effie said it was me. Not much!
Tues. 2 August : The threshers are here[;] they came last night. The boys got Jim and Jet Holcomb to thresh for them. I think Jet is the best fiddle player I ever heard. He played on Wm.'s fiddle last night and just charmed me. It sounded like "old times" to hear Al's jig tune, that is both Al and my own favorite tune. George Brittell helped them thresh the oats and went home. Effie and Marion are going up there Saturday and I guess Teacher will go along. They want me to go but I guess I had enough of Neligh last Spring. I wanted [to] go sand-cherrying [sic] and I'm afraid Wm. won't go if Teacher don't. Ha, ha! Effie still declares he is dead in love yet. I aint afraid though.
Sat. 6 [August 1887]: I went over to Effie's Tues. night. Teacher rode with us and coaxed me to go to Neligh. Teacher helped Marion stack wheat and he was there for supper Wed. night and yesterday for dinner Wed. night. Effie bet 25 cts. and me five cts. that it wouldn't rain and Teacher bet it would and true enough it did rain hard. Teacher went to Oakdale next day and yesterday we twitted [sic] him of going down and running in debt 30 cts. on our credit. Marion, Effie and Teacher brought me home last night. They were all in bed when I got home. I told Teacher I was going to get my picture taken and he tried hard to make me promise him one but I wouldn't. We are going to start to Neligh this afternoon.
Monday 8 [August 18871: We just got home from Neligh this afternoon. We got to Brittell's about seven o'clock Sat. evening. Addie was not at homef;] she was visiting about three miles from town.
Yesterday morning John Brittell's, and George, Teacher and I went to the M.E. Church. It was a pretty church. The aisles are carpeted and so is the pulpit and they have a new organ. They passed the little red basket around for money but nary a cent did they get from us.
We went back to Brittell's for dinner. After dinner John Brittell's folks went home and Marion and Teacher went downtown to see the editor of the "Advocate." Teacher was acquainted with him in Ill.
Mr. Lainbert and Clarence Whitcraft came over and we all sung, and finally Effie and I went over to Lambert's. Grandmother Polly was sick. Marion and Teacher came back and we read and talked till supper time. I helped Mrs. Lambert get supper.
Frank Brittell came down awhile but he was too bashful to come in. I wanted him though and thought in the language of Mrs. Gordon "Really, he is quite distinguishue" [sic].
We ate supper at Lambert's. George and Frank went down to church, and as soon as we got done supper Teacher and I started but it was so dark we got lost and went a block out of the way. When we did get to church we was so late we didn't go in, so we went up to see the college and had a fine talk.
Teacher wants me to teach our school next winter. He is going back to Ill. next winter and he wants me to keep his school books for him till he comes back and he also wants me to go to Petersburgh [sic] with him next Sunday.
When we got back to the church it was out so we went on back. Teacher stayed to Lambert's all night and I stayed at Brittell's. Addie came home just before we started home, so I didn't get to visit with her.
We had a dreadful time coming home. We stopped at Neligh and Effie bought a lot of dishes and things. Teacher bought some candy and he wouldn't let me eat the red candy, he said it was poison, but he made George eat it and gave me the white candy. We stopped again in Oakdale and Effie traded some more. I got awful sleepy coming home; we all did in fact, so we had to joke awfully to keep awake.
We met Mary and Uel on the road. Uel had been to our house and Mary to Keslings. 0, yes, we stopped to Mary's when we were going to Neligh[;] they want me to cook for threshers tomorrow.
I heard there, too[,] all that spoiled my visit from being perfect. Mary brought the camphor bottle and the newspaper and there was Albert Edward married! I didn't finish the piece. I didn't want to. I don't think it is Al though for he is in Rapid City and this fellow was married in Albion. It can't be Al! I don't see how it could be!