[Elinor makes a point of mentioning that she has to do the laundry for Martha Carlisle, Audrey’s 17 month old toddler.  Laundry can take 10 hours out of her day. She babysits for Martha as well, because Audrey is working at the ten cent store.  (Gertie was working there but got sick) Elinor also has to stay home from events if anyone needs care. “I wanted to go to Church but had to stay home. Oh. ho.”  Going to Mrs. Pomeroy’s funeral takes the family the whole day, leaving family arriving home at 8pm and needing supper.  George Carlisle does come to visit his daughter Martha briefly.  Ma & Pa apparently stop at relatives for meals in the same way others come to the homestead.  And Ma is usually described as not feeling well, and working. “She has worked all day to” 


Ma (Martha Wheeler
Bonney) inside the house

By the end of this month, most of the family have gone to Cuba.  There is a letter possibly from Carl Betz who is a family friend, speaking for the rest, signing W.I.  Elinor is emotional about their departure. They left  days before Ma’s birthday(11/29) and it makes Elbert and Elinor & Audrey  very sad  “seemed as though there had been a funeral.” 

Although she refers back to a conversion to Christ as a teen, it really doesn’t come up in the diary until she is in her late 20s.  Going to church is part of the family/community fabric, and family members do go to church.  But during this period she first mentions going to prayer meeting with Nellie.  

All through the diary starting here, oysters are purchased at the grocery store and eaten.  In the 40s it sounds like Elbert and Elinor get sick from eating them.

There is a severe winter storm this month taking out phone and telegraph wires, steam, electric cars (street cars?) and steel steam boats 500 feet long “turned over & some run on the rocks & some sank.”  The boys had to pull out launches. “Pa & Elbert, Fred & Frank and two other men have been helping pull out the Ruffit Seminole Bonnita, Edward. J. & Notsobad.   

The “Not-So-Bad” in front of the homestead on Georgia Ave

It is also rabbit hunting season and the boys and friends shot 27 rabbits, and Elinor made 3 for one meal in a rabbit pie.  When the weather holds the family use their own boats to get to town or to each other’s homes.  Other than that they walk or take cabs or get the bus. 


She does more sewing in this period, making dresses for multiple family members including one for her sister in law, Ruby, at the request of her brother Frank, offering to pay Elinor and later, after its almost done, denying he ever asked her to do it.  Her brother Frank plays a big part in the Diary but in this early entry she describes his anger and meanness but justifies it “Frank has the rhutism & is so tired from pulling out boats & hunting he feels cross but this has been a trying day for us all.”  She does get some money but not enough to get the things she wants “was going to get some coat goods, but it cost 2 1/2 dollars instead of 2 so I couldn’t get it” Her sewing machine handles different types of fabric including nemsake, mull/malmal(muslin/silk), and  calico (cotton). 

Elinor tries her hand at telling a story in this month’s entries about a foreigner from a foreign land who was drinking, had a big “mamath” dog, and playing acordeon and becoming angry.  Elinor hid holding a shotgun and Elbert tried to get help from family.  The “party line” phone was tied up so they couldn’t call.   All ended well but it was dramatic. There are pictures of a family of gypsies who the Bonney’s allow to be on their land and get water. Elinor’s perspective about people unlike her is rather sheltered and based in a culture of racism.

Gypsies camped at 760 Georgia Ave.

[Sat. Nov. 1. 1913] Sat.Nov.1.   Mrs. Pomeroy [This is referring to Charity Pomeroy, wife of Valoris Porter Wheeler.] died yesterday 3-15 at St. Joseph Hospital,[In 1842 there is a marriage notation (March 16) hand written as Taloris P and Charity Wheeler but also a second one  2/25/1842 for Valoris Pomeroy and Charity Wheeler.   In 1850 Charity(36) and Valoris42) are listed as living with Gad (66) and Joanna(67) Pomeroy along with children Porter (4), Charity(1), and Electo Wells (6 y.o. female).  They lived in Litchfield in Medina County Ohio near Lorain County. They lived next door to Wm F. Pomeroy(40) and Clarissa (32) along with Wm L(7), Miles D(5) and Gad(1) In the 1860 census Charity(46) and Valorous(53) lived in Lorain County (Post Office Penfield) with children Porter(14), Isobel(8), William(6), Martha(2) and two “farmers” named Ambrose(65) and Phoebe(60) Chapmen(later listed as “Thankful” Chapmen and Clifford).Also there were 2 large Penfield families living next door to the Wheelers. By 1880 they are listed in Rochester, Lorain County as Valoris (72), Charity(70), William(20) and Martha Bonney (20), suggesting Martha was already married to Harvey Deville Bonney but not living with him.  The story is that H.D. Bonney went to Michigan to build a homestead in the wilderness preparing for his wife to join him.  H.D. Bonney was very close to his wife’s brother, William Wheeler and in fact went with him to Cherry Grove Michigan to homestead properties.  That is where William married his wife Sarah S. Downing. But in the end both H.D. Bonney and William Wheeler return to Lorain and with another family member’s (Edith Wheeler) help of money, advice, and property , they set up households in Lorain, moving to Georgia Ave eventually]  

Audrey worked in the ten cent store & I have taken care of Gertie & Martha & washed Martha’s daily wash & Fred & Nellie & Elbert went to town, went part way in the launch & Pa & Aunt Jen & Audrey came home with Elbert Fred & Nellie.  & ma cooked oysters & set out cold lunch & they had supper at midnight & we went to bed Sun. morn. 

[Sun. Nov. 2. 1913] Sun.2.  Well Nellie & Fred went to Sun.school. & church & after I cooked dinner & Ma & Pa had gone, (to Mrs. Pomeroy’s funeral which was held at the chapel)  I made my neglected toilet then then gave the folks a warm over supper & washed up the dishes & Pa & Ma came at 8.oclock.  they went to the cemetery then Stoped to Wyn’s a few minutes, then went over to Frank’s for supper. [This refers to her Brother Frank(21) who within another 6 years will be married, having moved from 760 Georgia Ave in Lorain County to be Head of household, Black River Township, at 728 Georgia Ave. By 1920 he was living with his 24 year old wife Ruby and their 3 children Evelyn(7), Harvey(5), and Frances C(1)]  Then I had a lunch when they came home.  I wanted to go to Church but had to stay home. Oh.ho. 

[Mon. Nov. 3. 1913] Mon.3.  Martha is 17 months old today, sew some today done house work & cared for Gertie & 

Martha Carlisle

Rabbit Hunting season on Hahn Road woods[Mon. Nov. 3. 1913] Page 103.  & Martha & done house work & Ma & Audrey & Aunt Jen [Jennie (1853-1933)would have been 60 years old by then.  She was adopted by Elinor’s paternal grandfather Cordin Bonney and his wife Amelia Masten Bonney. Cordin and Amelia died in the 1890s. Jennie would have been living in Wellington Ohio on Barker Street with her husband Chauncy Gillett and her sister’s 16 year old daughter Easel Bilky. Her name is believed to have been Laura/Lottie and she was also adopted but died in 1904 when Easel was 9 years old] We went to town after dinner.  Pa went back to Wellington this Morn & Aunt Jen this after noon  Ma & Audrey did a lot more shopping came home just before supper, Nellie met them & came with them.  Fred took them part way & went part way & got them, supper over everything done & I’m going to bed.  my nerves are a fright tonight. 

[Tue. Nov. 4. 1913] Tue.4.  Gertie is ever-so-much better, I did all the wash today & we had a big one began at 7 a.m. & finished at 5 p.m. am tired but have to help with supper & do up the work, for ma don’t feel very well and she is tired  she has worked all day to. 

[Wed. Nov. 5. 1913] Wed.5.  Oh I have swept & cleaned & done house work & helped Gertie & Audrey with their dresses, Audrey is making a black dress for the store & Gertie a white linen for the Pines.  [note: this is referencing their planned trip to Isle of Pines Cuba for the winter where they could get work]

[Thrs. Nov. 6. 1913] Thurs.6.  Well I’ve been busy all morn & then had to cook dinner for Aunt Edith ma’s sister & after dinner Audrey & I went to town, was going to get some coat ?? goods, but it cost 2 1/2 dollars instead of 2 so I couldn’t get it.  Met Miss Tristram she would like to go with the folks south 

[Thrs. Nov. 6. 1913]Page 104. but is so weak she feels all most a fraid to try & she don’t know what to do

[Fri. Nov. 7. 1913] Fri.7.  I helped Audrey & Gertie & done house work all day  am tired, Nellie & I went to prayer meeting last night

[Sat. Nov. 8. 1913] Sat.8.  Audrey finished her dress & wore it to the store to day  I rambed half a white headed pin in the ball of my thumb as far as it would go & it’s pained me so I didn’t get any sleep all night & Nellie & I have done a bu. & starched ironing a bu dampened & packed down. Pa came home with Audrey  Elbert & Fred tonight

[Sun. Nov. 9. 1913]  Sun.9.  The ground is covered with wet snow & snowing & blowing a gale, we had chicken dinner.  Oh, how I pity the poor people tonight

[Mon. Nov. 10. 1913] Mon.10.  We we were nearly snowed in this morn. and it’s still storming telephone & telegraph wires out or most of them & both steam & Electric cars only runing part way, while others were snow bound.  big steel steam boats 500 hundred feet long turned over & some run on the rocks & some sank & Calvin Smith & his son Dan were both drown & hundred more.  Well I have sewed today for I couldn’t wash no wood only to cook with.  To cold to work. 

[Tue. Nov. 11. 1913] Tue.11. Well I did a, dreadful big wash am tired

[Tue. Nov. 11. 1913] Page 105.Tue.11.  but had to help with supper & work

[Wed. Nov. 12. 1913] Wed.12.  Sewed all day & part of evening & finished ma’s silk mull dress.  cut out two calico dresses

[Thrs. Nov. 13. 1913] Thurs.13.  Sewed all day  it rains & Frank was here today & said he would pay me to cut & make Ruby a dress like one I cut for Gertie  I told Frank I’d cut & fit it but did-nt think I would have time to make it but he said he want-ed me to make it  [Insert here a sketch of a shirtwaist with short sleeves and a ruffle all down the front middle, and a waist belt.]  I haven’t much time. 

[Fri. Nov. 14. 1913] Fri.14. Well Ruby came & walk through snow & wather & was all tired out when she got here. Pa & Elbert, Fred, & Frank and two other men have been helping pull out the Ruffit Seminole Bonnita, Ed-ward. J. & Notsobad. & some Fisher men have pull there fish boat out here & I cut & fited & almost finished Ruby’s dress with Gertie’s help at basting & I have been helping Gertie all week with her dresses waists & skirts.  Oh, ho, dee,dee. 

[Sat. Nov. 15. 1913] Sat.15.  I scrubed & sewed the rest of the day & helped care for little Martha, little doll. Mr. Clyde Green was here for dinner  he went hunting with our men they shot 27 rabbits  I dress three for dinner, ma fried them

Rabbit Hunting season on Hahn Road woods years later 1925

Hunting at the Babcock’s property on Hahn Road years later 1925 (Frank Bonney, Pa, and Red McGinnis. Evelyn, daughter of Frank Earl and Ruby, will marry Nelson McGinnis)

[Sun. Nov. 16. 1913] Sun.16. Sweet day of rest.  We had a rabbit pie for dinner  Carl Betz came & spent the after noon, ma &

[Sun. Nov. 16. 1913]Page 106. pa went to call on Miss Tristram  Audrey & Nellie went to church. Oh. 

[Mon. Nov. 17. 1913] Mon.17  Well I washed & Ruby & her ma came over & Frank & Ruby were angry because I washed she wanted me to finish her dress & Frank said he didn’t ask me to make her dress & a lot of dirty mean thing I can’t write & ma felt bad, but Frank has the rheutism & is so tired from pulling out boats & hunting he feels cross.  but this has been a trying day for us all

[Tue. Nov. 18. 1913] Tue.18.  Sewed all day, I’m so sorry for ma, she dreads to go south & leave us four children & the baby  so bad. poor dear ma. 

[Wed. Nov. 19. 1913] Wed. 19.  Sewed all day  Cousin Lucy Scott came just after dinner & Ma & Pa & Audrey went to town but, she, Gertie & I had a good visit.  George Carlisle came here to see the baby a few minutes this after noon.  Well when Elbert went & got the folks, Lucy went to the river  bid the folk a pleasent journey & success & Elbert took her to the bridge & I cooked supper & cared for Martha & am tired tonight. 

[Thrs. Nov. 20. 1913] Thurs.20.  Sewed all day.  Elbert. & I

Page 107. went to town to Dr. office, for medicine for my stomach.  Oh, dee.dee.

[Fri. Nov. 21. 1913] Fri.21. I swept the dining room & kitchen and then sewed all the long day.  Mrs. Well came this after noon.  Ma & Pa came from town before she left. 

[Sat. Nov. 22. 1913] Sat.22.  Well I have helped ma bake bread cake 4 layers & doughnuts. today & Pa & Fred have been packing all day & Audrey has worked in ten cent store & I picked 4 chicken & cook 4 lbs veal & packed two half bu. baskets of lunch bread & butter, biscuits & butter, chicken, veal. dried beef, cheese, baked beans, pickles, pies, apple, elder berry, & black berry, cake, 4 layers, lemon filling, Powdered sugar frosting & doughnuts & cookie & spread lunch & went to bed tired heart sore & weary. 

[Sun. Nov. 23. 1913] Sun.23.  Well this has been a long day  the folks left this morn. Pa, Ma, Fred, Gertie, Frank & Ruby & baby & Carl Betz & Elbert & Audrey & Martha took them to the bridge in the Wynak & went to the car to see them off & I have cried my self sick today.  I couldn’t bear to see them go & when Mr. Hurd came a while after they

[Sun. Nov. 23. 1913] Page 108.  had gone I could hardly talk to him. & when Elbert & Audrey & baby came back it seemed as though there had been a funeral.  Pa gave me eight dollars for ma’s & Nellie’s sewing [So that leaves Elbert & Audrey & Martha, her daughter living in the homestead at 760 Georgia Ave.  It also leaves Elinor to mostly keep the house]

[Mon. Nov. 24. 1913] Mon.24.  Worked hard  washed until 4 four oclock, lone some day.  oh, dee, dee,

[Tue. Nov. 25. 1913] Tue.25.  Sweep the whole house & then scrubbed the dinning room & kitchen.  

[Wed. Nov. 26. 1913] Wed. 26.  Did another good wash to day & scrubbed the clothes press floor & Mas & Gertie’s bedroom floors & cooked supper  I had Audrey get me 5 calico pieces for waists & one piece white nemsake for under  Audrey went to town & she put 10$ in the bank for me. I earned it yes me. 

[Thrs. Nov. 27. 1913.] Thurs.27.  Today is Thanks giving & We are thankful that all is well as far as we know & for the many blessing God hath given us.  We had rabbit & dressing & gravey & peaches, bread & butter & tea at 4 oclock for dinner & a light lunch for supper.  (I had 5 dollars earned sewing & Pa’s 8 eight makes 13 dollars.  I haven’t done any more than I had to today. 

[Fri. Nov. 28. 1913] Fri.28.  Well I have ironed most all day with exception to getting the meals.  

[Sat. Nov. 29. 1913] Sat.29.  Swept & dusted & took care of Martha all day & put her to sleep at seven after supper but she woke up before her ma came at 10-30 oclock.  Ma’s birthday  she was 56 yrs.We had a lunch  Elbert nearly fainted he hasn’t been as well as useral for a few days. he went

[Sat. Nov. 29. 1913] Page 109. to see Audrey home from the store to night, well we are all in bed at eleven. 

[Sun. Nov. 30. 1913] Sun.30.  Well we are all tired this morn. a foreigner from a foreign land had been dranking & he felt quite happy playing & playing his accordeon which was new & he receited his music & gave directions to others, he tried to sing like a horn & said it was to hard for him, he wasn’t acustomed to the horn so he couldn’t play it, he became angry & said if we didn’t let him in & he could find his gun or a club he’d kill some one  then he changed his mind & said he was a good man & had a wife & children & he had drank to much & was afraid to go back across the track the engines go so fast, there was a big dog, mamath big dog that stayed close to him & when Elbert opened the window and ask what he wanted he told him where he lived & so forth & the dog went & sit down close to the man & growled so savage that I told Elbert he couldn’t go take him home as he had suggested so Elbert went to Uncle Wills & tried to wake them & but they were so afraid they didn’t ans so he went down to the end of the st. to Taxlers & phoned for an officer, or some one had a receiver up on our line & we couldn’t get Central, well Elbert wasn’t gone long & we girls stayed in our room  I had Elbert’s shot gun close at hand & although I should hate to hurt anyone  I can & will shoot in self defence & to protect the girls,  That man & dog stayed untill three oclock, leaving his hat & music box when he & the dog left.  so we have felt rather tired today

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