[Elinor certainly took care of Nellie after Ella Jane was born, apparently including an incubator for the infant. Nellie had mastitis (“took cold in her left breast”) and had to have it lanced. In the midst of that, including Elinor catching “cold”, the roof caught fire, causing Gertie to climb on the roof and slip on a loose shingle and roll off “& yelled like a lunatic” This apparently was treated by the Chiropractor after the General Practitioner saw her at home. Elinor’s father and “the boys” re-shingled the roof after the fire. Fred was at the homestead now but had a month long bout of rheumatism.
Nellie and John and Ella Jane return to their home around July 9, 1919 but but within days, Elinor has to go take care of the infant at their home. Ella Jane has a fever and “her heart is weak & she hasn’t any strength” Elinor says the Dr. claims Elinor saved her by “soak(ed) her feet in hot Duck” which sounds like a poultice. She talks of giving her “medicine” every hour and the fever going down in a couple days. By the end of the month Ella Jane is weighing 7 lb. 16 oz. However, Audrey continues to be ill, with diarrhea, vomiting, and finally a fever and Elinor has to take her to a hospital for an operation (total hysterectomy and possibly Pelvic Inflamatory Disease, with large amount of “puss”), requiring daily hospital visits from Elinor, to provide nursing care 8-10 hours a day for 8 weeks.
The medical care is expensive. Elinor uses 185 she has saved plus Elbert’s 55, cashing in her war stamps for 77, and 30 from her father she made payments on the bills for a Dr. Wheatly, Dr. Ward, & Dr. McGarvey, and the hospital.
We get some sense of the merchant steamers and the engineers. There is another friendship developing with someone named Dan who on multiple occasions gives money to family members, (400$ to John and Nellie with 4 cents interest though the calculation for interest is not specified). Dan and “Mr. Babcock” both visit and write cards and letters to Elinor. Apparently the ships go into port along the lake and then if there is time the men travel (hitchhiking, train, cab) to the homestead. Sometimes the boats are “laid up” somewhere. See the map of some of the routes for these steamers. She mentions Port Huron, Ohio; Superior and Alloway, Wisconsin; and Fort William Ontario Canada along the routes.
Her father travels more than he stays home. He went to Cuba in 1908 and again in 1913 and stayed almost a year with his wife and daughter and son. During this period he has gone to Michigan and only writes occassionally. Her mother is at home with Elinor, Audrey & Martha, Elbert, (Fred is married to Ethel Norderer).
Frank and Elbert travel to Rochester to hunt rabbit (6) which Elinor cooks into a pie.
She mentions God’s role in passing and does say she is attending both Church and prayer meetings and that the current minister is Rev. Lucus. There are about 40 who attend. But it also is the beginning of missed church meetings due to illness.
At times it seems like she is unsure what role to play. Nursing care for the extended family seems to be critical and she drops everything to go to another house, or hospital to do it. In between, she manages the household (homestead) including clothes washing for everyone, planning and shopping and cooking meals, baking regularly, canning according to the season, caring for chickens, paying bills, scrubbing, and writing letters. She revels in praise from family including one compliment from John Harnish Senior who “helped me do all the odds & ends & when we had finished he looked at me, as if in deep thought & I ask, What is it John and he smiled, and said it’s a lot of work to get dinner for 9, I wonder now how you have done it so often for so many and often more, alone.”
In just this month she sewed: Nellies waist, Nellie’s collar, sewed collar to her waist, edging on dress, a little jacket for Ella Jane, finished Martha’s coat (brown outside, blue inside), stitching for Audrey, cut out 2 gingham under skirts for herself, hems & button holes, crocheted lace for collar
In just this month she took care of brine pickels, canned 24 qt red rasberrys, 1/2 bushel beans, baked two big cakes (bread dough cakes), baked 4 apple, 2 pumpkin, 1 custard pie, and prepared an entire Thanksgiving dinner for 9 people.
[April 24-July 09 1919 Gap that seems to be summarized here]
Nellie took cold in her left breast & I brought her home on the 10th day I worked hard day & night for a week with her, but she had to have her left breast lanced & I had the incubator to take care of, & oh such a time, after three weeks I was so tiered out I took cold, it settled on my lungs, I stayed in bed one day & thought I’d stay in bed the next, but the roof caught fire & I got up & helped put out the fire. Gertie tried to climb up the roof on the dry shingle & roll off & hurt her back & yelled like a lunatic & then She had to have the Dr. & later I took her to Dr Easton & she got able to work, the took cold & had guinsey & couldn’t do any thing for three weeks, Audrey’s heart is feeling bad again but she has been working steady, I have been working hard to picking peas & beans & canning washing up double blankets & comfor lovers. I caned 1 qut of pea’s & picked 3 pks. & picked 1 1/2 by string beans & canned 10 quts. & 1 pt. Nellie & John & Ella Jane or in ther own home doing well. Fred has been sick for a mo with rehumatism. I haven’t heard from Dan since May 25, 1919. Mr Babcock came in for a visit one evening while Nellie was home & later he sent me a card. Cousin Aubrey Breckenridge sent me a Card. [Aubrey Breckenridge is the son of Ethel Breckenridge, Ma’s sister] Cousin Francis Wheeler came home from France June 27. 1919. Pa & the boys shingled the south side of roof July 5. 1919
Thurs. July 10  Dan lent John & Nellie $400. Four hundred dollars 4cents interest. Dan came shortly after dinner & I gave him a lunch, he took a nap until supper time, for he came from Port Huron and was tired and the weather has been some worm. We spent the evening with Nellie & John, & then Dan & I visited a little while after we came home.
Fri. 11. Audrey hasn’t been feeling very well for the passed few days she & she felt so bad all night everything goin bothways & still feeling the same this morn. but she has gone to work, came home at noon & went to bed & she sure is sick. I called the Dr. her fever 103 3/5. Dan went home this morn.
Sat.July.12. El feeling worse had to call Frederick at midnight couldnt get McGarver he was out on a C, case worked hard to fast soaked her feet in strong mustard water gave hot Duck & Dr said that’s all that saved her but her (??) was softened & she is in bad shape, her heart is weak & she hasn’t any strength. poor child.
[general instructions for poltices include “just add a handful of crushed mustard seeds to a small tub of warm water and soak your feet for about 10 minutesjust add a handful of crushed mustard seeds to a small tub of warm water and soak your feet for about 10 minutes” We didn’t find any cures that fit the duck and hot mustard that saved a life. ]
Sun.13. El resting a little more easy but hd to give her medicine every hr.
Mon.14. I can’t see as she’s any better only that her eyes look brighter & her fever is gone.
Tue.15. she seems about the same. I got a letter from Dan & one from B.
Wed.16. A has some fever again today
Thurs.17. Dr. came & said we must take A. to hospital so I took her after dinner. I came back at 5-30 ate my supper & canned a 24 qt crate of red rasberrys & 1/2 bu. beans. took a bath & got to bed at 12 pm.
July Fri.18. Got up early did a few odds & ends & went to hospital at 9 a.a. Dr Wheatly operated on Audrey 11-30 & Dr McGarvey gave either. I stood by her & at 2.pm. I went out & ate a bite & had a cup of tea went back & stayed untill 5-30. got home at 6pm. Did some washing & a lot of little things, I cought by heel in the fairie stepts at top of hill and threw me & wrenched me all over, cracked my head two.
Sat.19. Had to get up & face the bottom of my silk skirt and ironed & sweed some before going to El. I took Martha with me, had to give her a bath & comb & dress her, then I took my sewing & worked all the time I was their. M. got so tired, I went to Miss Baumgartens to supper & then to the Dr’s & we came home in a car. I found a new pocket knife. little
Sun.20. Oh, but I feel ited & old this morn. got to bed at 12 pm. but did not sleep untill day was breaking. got up at noon, did’nt go to El. today. but, Pa & Nellie & John went, and they said she was all right. Mr Polk & Hylma were here after dinner & stayed until. 7.pm. then Frank & the kids & Ruby came, then Helen & Mable Bosswick. Now it was about 10 pm. when Pa & Elbert came & I have to write some letters yet.
Mon.21. Wel I have lost a few weeks but I went to A each day only missed three or four days while she was there I brought her home after she had been week & we took her back & Oh it was terrible the operation she had to go through with. Dr Wheatly took out on overy & both tuves & the apendicts, he said he did not have the least hopes for her, but he for my sake he would do all he could & there was a bit puss bag in her & that was terrible & for 8 weeks I only misssed the few day’s I have spoke of and I didn’t miss those until I knew she was much better, but the Dr. said it was my coming & looking after her regular that ever saved her , the nurses are good but oh so neglectful & I help care for her all day & the last thing at night before I* came home at 8-30 or 9 pm. then I cam home so tired & ate a cold supper & canned fruit & sewed & washed & ironed & done the thing I had to do to make the rest as comfortable as possible, in the way of planning out the meals & so forth and at length when I brought Audrey home, I momeadatly took ill myself & could only do just what had to be done for several days, but soon took heart and got back to my job, I had to go each night for severl nights and take care of Nellie just when Audrey was the worst, she had a bag case of grimzy but now things are looking better again, I have turned in my war stamp book & received 77.64 & Pa gave 30.00 & Elbert 25.00 & with the 185.00 I had in the bank I have paid all the hospital bill & part of the Dr’s. bills Elbert paid $50.00 on Dr. Wheatly bill & there is still 75.00 to pay & Dr. Ward we owe $6.15 & McGarvey___ & I only have a very little in the bank Well God has helped me so far He will see me through I have heard from Dan & all so from Babcock quite regular, the boats were laid up for a few weeks then made a few more trips. [Pa left the last of Sept for Mich. he wrote for a while but it is more than three weeks since we heard from him now.]
[Note: This is a map of the Steamer Merchant ships that Frank and Dan worked on, sometimes passing the Bonney/Black River site on Georgia Ave]
[Gap in entries from July 21, 1919-Nov 19, 1919]
Nov. 19.1919. On. Nov 15 Frank & Elbert & F’s contractor & foreman went to Carriers at Rochester Ohio hunting rabbit Frank shot eight & Elbert one & the other two men shot 3 each Elbert shot one after he got home & they went from hear at 5 am & got home before 1.p.m. Frank gave us 3 of his rabbit & I made a pie of 3 for (Sun, Nov 16.) dinner Nellie & John & the baby were here to dinner I have been attending Church & prayer meetings quite regular of late. Rev. Lucas is our Pastor & he is just fine.
Nov.17. I went to town with Nellie & baby. fine day most to warm for winter coat & we met Aunt Edie & stoped to Miss Bammgar a min. Warm & Sunshiny.
Nov.The.18. I washed 4 big dowuble blankets today turned cold last night & the wind blew hard from N.W. after dinner it snowed little balls. Nellie came home to diner & Martha & Audrey were to Nellie’s for super & came home 10-30 p.m. cold all night and wind blowing hard I received letter from Babcock today from Ellowey.Superior Wis. & ans. it tonight.
Nov.Wed.19. Warmer today I did the washing. Warmer tonight. I baked two big cakes one in big milk pan & 1 in small milk pan bread dough cakes. Received letter from Dan today from Fort William Ont Canada ans tonight I started giving the hens more eggs pills Tue.
Thurs.20. Been about sick only did what I had to do felt to ill to go to prayer meeting Audrey went with John & Nellie. 40 persons there.
Fri.21 Don’t feel any better, tried to finish Nellies waist took care of brine pickels.
Sat.22. Gertie did the scrubbing Thurs. Fred& Ethel were here to diner & down to John & Nellies for Supper & they went to prayer meeting with N.J. & A today I washed everything that was direty & did some ironing & sewing & cooking Nellie came for diner & she (we had/crossed out) brought beef steak & lettuce We roasted steak over fire.
Sun.23. The weather is & has been, ever so warm, ground is not froze a bit. I didn’t feel able to walk to church, so Elbert & I stayed at home & we had a visit.
Mon.24. Sewed today and did what had to be done.
Tue.25. Pa came home today from Mich. I have Nellie collar most done. rained this morn.
Wed.26. Rained & sleet most all day sewed Nellie’s collar to her waist, now when I get the edging sewed on it will be done. Gertie baked 5 loaves of bread & I baked 4 apple and 2 pumpkin and 1 custard, pies, dress a chicken & cooked it and did several odds & ends . read my bible.
(added in – I made Ella Jane a little jacket today she is 7 mo. old and weigh 16 lbs. )
Thurs.27. Today is Thanksgiving or the day to give Thanks and I do thank God the Father, Jesus my Savour & the Holy Gost for the many many blessings he has bestowed upon me, in as many ways as there has been blessing. I pray I will always be true to God, then he will keep me true to myself & to those all about me, and I trust he will call those I pray for, if it be His will & make them soul workers for Him. I went to Nellies this morn & cooked Thanksgiving John helped me do all the odds & ends & when we had finished he looked at me, as if in deep thought & I ask, What is it John and he smilled, and said it’s a lot of work to get dinner for 9 I wonder now how you have done it so often for so many and often more, alalone.
I have cooked for 20 many time before I were 20 yrs old. Well for dinner We had 3 baked chickens (not hens) with dressing creamed potatoes biscuits in gravey, hot biscuits & butter & jelly & lettuce & celery & pickles & pies apple, custard & pumpkin tea & coffee & and frozen nut salad with whipped cream & english walnuts on top prettily decorated. Mr Pa & Elbert, Miss Gertie Bonney, Mrs. Audrey & Miss Martha hn nCarlisle, Mrs Nellie & John Harnish & Mr Jimi Harnish & Little Miss Ella Jane Harnish were present for dinner. & supper & Mr Aubrey Breckenridge our cousin came un-expected to supper. we had diner warmed over for supper then we had cake & sauce & cherry pie (for/crossed out) tea & coffee. I finished Nellies collar & waist tonight.
Fri.28. Worked to hard, can’t do much to day (added in- got letter from Babcock) sewed a little & thats about al.
Sat.29. I finished Martha’s coat it looks nice brown out side & light blue inside (added in – We had the worst wind storm tonight we have had in yrs. & I (crossed out -cut out two) did some stitching for Audrey swept & dusted colder tonight (added in- I went to N before super & came home 11.p.m.)
Sun.30. To punk to do any thing or go any where
Mon.Dec.1. Sewed to day got letter from B (added in -=still cold) Fred came to dinner & went before supper. (added in – I cut out two gingham under skirts for my self.)
Tue.2. Pa & Gertie went early to Fred’s & Ethels. I did two weeks wash to day & got it all dried & put away before they got home & feel tired out, all though I have had a day of rest on my nerves Audrey help cook & do dishes. Pa & Gertie came home 11-p.m. & ate a lunch & went to bed at 12. F. shot 2 rabbit & they ate them for supper. I took a bath & got in 11-30
Wed.3. I sewed & crocheted today, got my skirts all done but hems & buttons & button holes am making lace for my collar, Audrey went to Nellies today N went to town Martha was with A except when she was in school this after noon they came home before 9.p.m. Cloudy indoors today but sunshiny out door cold with snow flurrys. cramps in my shoulders.
[Gap in entries from Dec 3, 1919-Dec 31 1919]