September 1940

From October 1920- 1933, Elinor was in a 13 year marriage.  Frank Babcock died in 1933 and Elinor did not cover that period with diary.  However she does write about his death in the later diary.  Although as early as 1920, she and Frank at least visited the iconic Elinor Farm and make decisions about buying it, the diary pages don’t cover their early life there.  It is unclear when Elbert began to live there with Elinor.  Frank was working as an engineer on Lake Erie and only “home” periodically.  By 1940, Elinor is a widow and settled in with her brother at “the farm” on Hahn Road.  Elinor doesn’t resume diary untill late summer 1940.  She does leave camera film records including the 1920s and early marriage life with Frank.  It becomes clear in those photos and diary that she and Frank lived there on Hahn Road and started up several small business enterprises (chickens, eggs, sewing notions).  There is a picture of the car with an advirtisement banner which apparently announced their skills for hire.  I am still figuring out when exactly Frank “retired’ from the Lake Erie ships and began to live with Elinor at the farm.  We do have a small narrative reflection about his death. It sounts very dark.  There are also 2 delarations of bankrupcy in the interim between his death and the resumption of this diary.  When she resumes writing, she is not doing any driving, she is living with Elbert at the propery (and managing a business in egg sales), and receiving a small stipend from the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Fund.  Her battle on behalf of her family to survive the Spanish Flu precedes her marriage.  After her marriage and apparently a severe car accident, she finally resumes the diary.]

Elinor 1940 Diary

Beginning Aug. 11 untill Aug 27 th 1940 we have had a fire in heating stove to keep out the chil, it’s so cold after being thogh severely cooked with the hot Sun. the grass is as brown as can be everything has suffered from the heat. Elbert had a bad Sun stroke Dr. said 2 degrees more would have killed him.  July 19th. he had a light attack the week before, now it’s been Sept Weather since Aug 11.th he has not been able to work, he tried Thurs.22. & Fri. 23. but when he tried Mon, he had to give up, his head is still bad & he can’t stoop and bend 7 climb a-round as he did before. I bought a queen bee last week from A.J. Root, Medina, Ohio. she  came Fri.23. Aug. & I put her in the hive and for the first time in my 55 yrs. one stung me behind right ear (we also moved the hive up in to the back yard.) I didn’t blame him, I pinched him putting the supper on the hive. Sat.24. I bought Nellie’s girls some sweaters 7. Received letter from Dudley White Mon.26th. The twins “Jim & Jean” were here last week, from Aug. 20. to 24th.  We took them home today Today we “Elbert & I” were going for a trip up to  Nelson Syrs. went to Lorain with us. Tasmoses Park but I didn’t go, he drove to Sandusky to get the boat, as they go from there; Well I wished I’d gone with Elbert. I sit here and waited untill 2.a.m. it was terrible foggy, but he got here safe, hungry and tired, and I thank God he’s all right, and home safe & enjoyed his trip. Wed.28. We rested today. Thurs 29. We went to Lorain I bought Sweaters & [  ] Penny Store.  We went over home last Sat 24. & saw Uncle Will & family few minutes.  Henry & his girl & Ediths girl next to the oldest was there, she’s 15 yrs. old.  Fri.30. ironed. Sat. 31. I did a big washing Sun. Sept. 1 went to church. Audrey Martha Merlin & Jim & Jean & Joan were here afternoon & for supper.   

Mon.Sept2. Labour day.  Nellie & John & Ella Jane Bonney & Johny brought out a chicken dinner and ate it here  they had Jim Garnet Gannet with them a boy about [ blank  ] yrs. old from Cleveland where Bonney has been working, she has only this yr to go to school her last yr of high school she will be [ blank ] yrs. old  [ blank] 1940. Bonnita her boy friend George Eddy & another couple went out for a nice time [blank] today. John brought a freezer of cream  Nellie brought cake so they had cream & cake & tea for lunch then went home.  Since Frank’s death they have stayed away for long pirods at a time, that they have drifted to the great broadway and have missed the true aim of life although they go to church and to Sunday school, and John & Nellie are leader in Church work and the children go to both yet it’s more a fomrality. Nellie is and the children are, so changed.  

Tue.Sept.3.1940.  Elbert and I washed 5 heavy blankets this morn and had just finished a fish dinner, When in drove Annabell Mariner, Barns Hackman, with her Husband Robert Hackman and a lady friend, Mrs. Guys.  So we visited for an hour or so. Annabell has sold her home on Kenelworth Ave. to the Government, and bought two places just over the line in Virgina and Anna Mae lives in one beside her.  Annabell doesn’t look as well as when she was here four or five yrs. ago. she isn’t very well. hope she writes me. 

Wed.Sept.4.1940.  couldn’t do much today to tired

Thurs.Sept.5.1940. Elbert went to Lorain  I washed all the clothes and one more old blanket. Elbert got here at 2.p.m.  We ate dinner and rested rest of the day. Fri. To tired to do only the most necessary things. Billy & Bobby left home on their bycikles today last Sat. running away from home they were picked up in Virginie  Bill & Georgia went for them in the car & brought

=3= them back tonight late. Why did they run away? [This is probably Snyders]

Sat.Sept.7.1940. Elbert washed his dress pants and the last blanket today  they dried good. Pa was here a few minutes tonight (they) Frank Bonney his son Armond & Pa were hunting wood chucks. Elbert & I went to Huron this after noon to see and buy a little from the new 5 cents to 1.00 store Mrs Davis her Son & daughter have started  I bought a glass berry set an oil map a colar, 4 rubber baby pants & 1. rubby crib blanket, rubber things are for Evelyn Mc.Gintus  Frank’s eldest daughter, I sent her 4. crib blankets last week. [moved to Texas, John harnish visited them in McAllem Texas]

Sun.Sept.8.1940.  We did not go to church & I’m so sorry  I’d like to go to church where I could be one in there midst, we have listened to the sermons on the radio, and God Knows how much I’d like to go to some church of His & do what ever I can for Him. I Pray He will guide me to that Church.  We have been alone all day. I’d like to go where I can testify for Jesus. 

Mon.Sept.9.1940.  Sun only shone through once in awhile today, mostly cloudy & cool but not cold quite cool evenings nights & mornings warming up toward noon wind South & south west just did my house work today & took care of my four male carnarys, I feel so tired today.  John fixed or had my radio fixed and we listened to the news after supper tonight. 

Tue.Sept.10.1940.  I cleaned Elberts bed room this morn. thoruelly got to put up new curtians

=4= We went to Huron after dinner and paid $10.00 on the coal bill got $11.71 yet to pay  We went to Berlin Hights talked to the preacher & his wife & Son. Dick Dudley. “Congergational Church.” We drove on down through Jofsay bought 2 hens 4. m. melons. I paid 2.00 in Huron for blankets. Elbert & I both got our checks today. 

Wed.Sept.11.1940. done my house work and mended my big braided rag rug. 

Thurs.Sept.12.1940. Elbert & I went to Lorain  We took a Mulberry tree to pa then crossed the New 21.st. bridge. where E. had to go to get to 20th St. then we had to go way out passed Nellies to see about a job only to find it had been done came back had Lunch with Nellie Bonnita & Ella Jane  stopped at Fairview  –  school gave Bonney her sweater Jacket which was bright red and white top & puff sleeves she looked so pretty in it and gave me such a nice smile and a big kiss. we then went to Amherst Hospital where Evelyn and her new baby boy that was born Wed. Sept 11.1940. where I gave her 4.prs. rubber pants a new rag and bunch of glads to brighten the room  she & 3 others were in then we 

=5= came home.  Elbert bought a few grocerys & some fish in Vermilion for our supper  We got home 5-30-p-m.

Fri.Sept.13.  I did the washing today, it was a fine bright day, S.W. wind mostly S. wind. clothes dried fast 7 I thank God for that. and the strength He has given me. Pa hasn’t felt so well this summer. Uncle Will is not so well, but able to get about. Aunt Edith Breckenridge will be 91. yrs. old this month, and is able to get around yet, she was down to Wyn’s for a couple of weeks this summer. 

Sat.Sept.14.1940.  Just did my house work and the ironing today. We had some rain of late. Mr. May Who has been using my land for garden this sum-mer was here today with the Mr. O’Neil & his daughter Catherine, thus far they have used most of the garden truck. We have had string beans twice beets twice & 1/2 doz cucumbers and 1 bu. squash. he has 15 rows of irish potatoes & several of sweet potatoes. 

Sun.Sept.15.1940. I went to Medith [assume this is for Methodist] Sun. school & Church at Berlin Hights this morn & Elbert came in to church. It’s been a beautiful day. I fixed seeds, bird & flower seeds & box for Jackie, am sending them to Mrs. Kendall. Morning Sun. Iowa. hope she likes them. cold enough for fire at night. 

Mon.Sept.16.  We went to Vermilion and I mailed the seeds and sent Jackie by express. We went to Lorain

=6=  and over to uncle Will’s  Elbert got Uncle Will to go back to town and give him an affidavit to the fact that he was born in Mich. on Dec. 6. 1882., so was I born in Cherry Grove township, Wexford County Michigan in the thick woods in a log cabin. Lillie & Gertie were washing  I went over and visited a little with Gertie & pa and when Elbert came back, we ate dinner with with them then we went to the social C. office. and they sent Elbert clear out to a place the other side of Nellie’s & they had hired 2 men & got the work done, so we stopped & had lunch with Nellie, John Jr. Bonnita & Ella Jane then we stopped at Fairveiw high school so I could see if the brushed wool sweater I had bought would fit Bonney Bell, it did and the smile she gave me was worth the price of the sweater $2.04 that’s including the tax of 6 cents. it is a bright red from bust to waist top pure white. Then we came home, beautiful day but I’m tired. I spent some time in Penneys Store, looking for things We need. { Note:  She repeated this story about the red sweater on Sept 12 entry as well. }

Tue.17. of Sept. We worked about the yard today

Wed.Sept.18. 1940.  We went to Huron I bought enough tennis [not sure what this is, some cloth] to make Elbert some pajames & me a night gown $2.31 tax and all. I feel so tired yet. Sept 19th is Fred’s birthday. he is 54 yrs. old. 

Thurs. Sept. 19.1940. Elbert went to Lorain & I washed today, then he I cut out his pajamas & sewed up the pants, so Elbert could have them to sleep in tonight.

Fri.Sept.20.1940.  had to rest most all day am so tired received a card from Mrs. Kendall saying Jackie got there yesterday and was o.k.  I’m glad he’ll have a good home & someone to Love him. 

Sat.Sept. 21.1940.  I ironed & scrubbed the floor & did a doz. other things so to get to Sun. school on time then got cheated out of it, but got in for Church

Sun.22/

=7=  Mon.23.  Beautiful day, We worked out in the yd. in morn. Nellie, Ella Jane & Miss Mc.Govern, came about 2-p-m. and visited about one hour. Miss. Mc.Govern is trying to get Ella Jane a good paying job. Elbert took up some trees and set out one apricot tree gave Nellie one apricot & one mulberry tree, she came just in time to take them home. 

Tue.24.  We work in the flower garden cleaning out weeds and grass, it has got into a bad fix these passed few yrs. but hope we get it in order again. it rained hard this after noon and turned so cold. 

Wed.Sept.25.1940.  rained in showers all night & the wind blew hard & it Looks showery this morn. I got up at 7-a-m. picked half bu. basket of dahlias, white center pink outer pink & white and maron & yellow centers and I took a can of elderberries & the flowers to Miss Mc.Govern & she talked over something she had been wanting to talk about for several months, she gave me a radio & glass of grape jelly Mon. when she was here. We went on to Elyria to the Hospital & gave them some Adams needle 6 or 8 plants & we stoped to Miss Baumgarts. Mrs. Cranage gave me a [  blank  ] plant all in bloom. two weeks ago she gave me some St. John lillies. Lorain is having a big cerabration tonight for there two new bridges, the new high level at 21st street & jack knife bridge at west end of East Erie Ave. and W. Erie Ave. it rained a hard shower while we ate our lunch of spiced ham & doughnuts at the end of Spruce Street We call on Ethel but she had gone Tue. & wouldn’t be home till thurs. to some misionary meeting at [blank   ] and Laura Ann was in school so we visited with Ethels mother & her friend Mrs. Schmitgins that was after we left the hospital. it got so cold that after Elbert got in Lorain & left me to visit with Miss Baumgart & he had gone over on 

=8=the bridge and looked about he came back & said we’d catch cold standing around watching a boat parade & listening to out door speaches tonight so let us go home, so we came, the fire was still going in the heatarola so I shook it and put in another lump of coal  the house was warm & felt good to get in the house  We had supper listened to the war news, its terrible, horrible and getting worse  We will soon be in the terrible termoils here, and it seems queer people don’t believe it. 

Thurs.Sept.26. Elbert went to Lorain today  he has to go to the social security office every Thurs. to report if he isn’t working, he saw pa & talked for some time with him, he talked to Ben Tomas, Lon Bumgart, & several others, sold 2 doz. eggs. 60 cents he left at 7-a-m & got home a 5-p-m, it’s been a fine day but to cool to stand still. I picked a 1/2 bu. pears, peck of cucumbers & qt. of onions. picked onion seed & made several qts of cucumber pickles today. 

Fri. Sept.27.  I did the washing today & the bedding. & am tired as usual, nice day but cool breeze all day

Sat.Sept.27. I ironed mended, wiped up the floor and did the house work, went to Huron with Elbert & got our food for over Sun. 

Sun.Sept.29.  Went to Berlin Hights to Methodist Sun. school & church has been a beautiful day. 

Mon.Sept.30.1940.  Elbert went to Lorain, rode down with Mrs. Ellis. got a ride back to Vermilion & then got a ride from there home, got here at noon. nice day.