[Politics doesn’t come up very often in the diary possibly due to limited national and world news sources. However, Bonney family members do travel to Cuba for some of the winters to the “Isle of Pines.” to work in the orchards. Elbert gets involved in collecting names for a petition to annex it to the USA. “Isla de la Juventud” (re-branded by Castro) was also called the Isle of Pines well into the 21st Century and was Cuba’s largest island. It was inhabited by Americans who bought & sold properties there & later had them expropriated. It was a bad gamble and Elbert owned property there. It may have been part of the story (myth) of family money that Elinor references over and over. The Bonney family went there to work and live during winters. But they had to secure housing after arriving each year which was a sketchy proposition by all descriptions. The history of the island seems a perfect source of fairy tale pipe dream of easy money, living on a resort and being rich. But as John Harnish was to often repeat 70 years later, “There is no such thing as free lunch.” Elbert apparently did collect signatures of Ohio residents for the attempted annexation of Cuba to the USA. The diary does not answer the many questions that are raised by this chapter in US History, let alone its impact on the Bonney family. There is a ship manifest showing that Frank and his father travel from Cuba to America in 1908 (before the diary).
Elinor survives a significant crisis in March 1913 when the Black River floods. Elinor describes the men working constantly, through the night, trying to protect their business, the launches and the family land. Houses were flooded and per her description many drowned. As she says, “Daton, O. has been almost washed away.” “I was up untill three oclock keeping fires & drying mens cloths & cooked 12 oclock supper for then the had to take launch houses roofs off to let the launches float then took the rest down in sections & pulled it upon the hill. they took the roof partly of boat house & brought the row boats a shore & pulled them up the hill part way & then look after launches (7 or 9) & timbers & blocking” Available reports of The Flood of 1913 support her personal history with this Ohio disaster.]
[Sat. Mar. 1. 1913] Sat.March.1. Did house work & some sewing
[Sun. Mar. 2. 1913] Sun.2. Frank is sick with a hard cold.
[Mon. Mar. 3. 1913] Mon.3. I baked 12 loaves of bread today & done house work
[Tue. Mar. 4. 1913] Tue.4. Done the washing to day. Pa came home tonight
[Wed. Mar. 5. 1913] Wed.5. Elbert has been out all day getting signers to have the Isle of Pines anexed to the U.States.
[Thurs. Mar. 6. 1913] Thurs.6. Have most of my ironing done today
[Fri. Mar. 7. 1913] Fri.7. Frank hasn’t worked this week, has been home two day, Ruby and baby had bad colds.
[Sat. Mar. 8. 1913] Sat.8. Scrubed & done house work today. Martha isn’t feeling very well for a few days.
[Sun. Mar. 9. 1912] Sun.9. Audrey Geo. & baby came home this morning but Geo. felt Ugly & wouldn’t stay for dinner. All come home for supper & Geo went to church with Elbert to hear Mr. T.S.Ward Preach. Wish I could have went
[Mon. Mar. 10, 1913] Mon.10. Washed today didn’t have very much. Pa went back to Wellington this morn He hasn’t been very well, he has a cold & dreads to go away from home
[Tue. Mar. 11. 1913] Tue.11. Done all the ironing but a four pieces
[Wed. Mar. 12. 1913] Wed. 12. Baked 9 loaves of bredd & ma made the bread cake & 2 doz. rusk buisits & we done house work together
[Thurs. Mar. 13. 1913] Thurs.13. Did some sewing today with all the rest
[Fri. Mar. 14. 1913] Fri.14. Oh I have such a cold in my head I don’t feel able to work but have to any way
[Sat. Mar. 15. 1913] Sat.15. I’m all in but had to scrub & do house work
[Sun. Mar. 16. 1913] Sun.16. So cold Frank & Ruby didn’t come home Ruby has bad cold again.
[Mon. Mar. 17. 1913] Page 60 Mon.17. Didn’t wash so I finish all stitching on ma waist I made Nellie a hat to day E. went to work in shipyard today
[Tue. Mar. 18. 1913] Tue.18. Audrey brought her washing up & she sudsed & wrinsed & hung them out & I turned them out & I had to hump to get done at 6 oclock. had big wash of ours & to double blankets am, so tired I don’t know where I ach the worst. I set bread last night & ma took care of it to day she had 9 loaves & a loaf of bread cake ma looks tired out to night
[Wed. Mar. 19. 1913] Wed.19. I finished some pictures two nights last week. Fred gave me a dollar last week & Nellie bought developer 10 cents two tray 20 cents printing paper 25 cents Film 20 cents Acid Hipo 15 cents then Fred gave me 10 cents & I had 5 cents & gave it to Nellie & she had 10 cents left from the dollar, making a 25 cents in all & she bought a printing frame.
Well I have been sewing & done housework
[Thurs. Mar. 20. 1913] Thurs.20. We all ironed some today I’m tired
[Fri. Mar. 21. 1913] Fri.21. Fred. didnot work today Pa came home this after noon We. finished ironing today
[Sat. Mar. 22. 1913] Sat.22. Fred & Frank didn’t
couldn’t work & F. came home Audrey, Geo & baby went to Ashtabula tonight Pa, Ma, Nellie & Fred & Elbert went to town Elbert brought 10 1/2 lbs of fresh fish 1 1/2 lbs smoked ham 2 lbs lettus three big grape fruit & 1 flim. Ma Pa & Nellie brought Blonna Fred brought oranges & bananas. We had a lunch & hot coffee & tea & cocoa & I scrubed & cleaned all day Oh, dee
[Sun. Mar. 23. 1913] Sun.23. I got up eat a little. swept. helped with dishes. set the table & cooked dinner & done up the work. got supper & done up work. Frank, Ruby & baby were here to dinner & supper
[Sun. Mar 23. 1913] Sun.23. It has rain very since they came & they are going to stay all night. Oh..Dee.
[Mon. Mar. 24. 1913] Mon.24. Well Frank & Ruby are still here & the river is raising the men expect a flood. Ruby has fretted every since last night.
[Tue. Mar. 25. 1913] Tue.25 Well our flood is here men been working all day & will have to work all night Bob has been helping them today & night
[Wed. Mar. 26. 1913] Wed.26. I was up untill three oclock keeping fires & drying mens cloths & cooked 12 oclock supper for then the had to take launch houses roofs off to let the launches float then took the rest down in sections & pulled it upon the hill. they took the roof partly of boat house & brought the row boats a shore & pulled them up the hill part way & then look after launches (7 or 9) & timbers & blocking Bob came & took Ruby & the baby home Tue.25. & what a reiefe
[Thurs. Mar. 27. 1913] Thurs.27. I washed to day am tired tonight Well there has been big storms all over the state Daton, O. has been almost washed away Thousands have been killed & drownded & as many hundred left homeless & starving
[Fri. Mar. 28. 1913] Fri.28. Water is going down fast everybody tired, snow & ice storm add to horrors
[Sat. Mar. 29. 1913]Page 62 all out to farm stormed in. Went & aired Audreys house. done lot of work here, Oh.ho.
[Sat. Mar. 29. 1913] Sat.29. Well I’ve been all round girl today Uncle Will ask me to clean up for him, Girls
[Sun. Mar. 30. 1913] Sun 30 Audrey & Geo & baby came home last night & were here to dinner & supper. had six wild duck for dinner today
[Mon. Mar. 31. 1913] Mon.31. Ma & Pa went to Wellington I baked 11 loaves of bread & Audrey & I cooked & packed 3 hot dinners for the boys. Pa & Ma came home to night in time for supper