March 4, 1898
The sun shone beautifully all day but blew furiously all day. I've spent the day sewing and my heart is very heavy for the simple reason that I cannot do more to satisfy the needs and want of this family. Oh, that I may have a good opportunity to make money sufficient and may I yet see the day when ..hear even one of these dear children..Mama express a desire for any ….. I have a longing, desire…wants. Oh, that God may open doors for me. I went to see a widow and her….who are living alone and enjoyed the day quite well. It is such a pleasure to visit….. and make them happy by your manners. Last Saturday February 27 to my great surprise Mrs. Wilcoxin called as I passed and handed me a letter from Abner. Well, I was so surprised I actually turned and went home until I read it. To my great surprise he asked me to forgive all the past and consider him as before that he thought more of me than ever but "la" for a moment the same feeling ran through my system as did of old, but I can not trust him. He acknowledges he had not acted alright - had only told me a few stories. That will never do. He requested kindly an answer so I wrote a long letter in best of spirits - not really expecting an answer and don't know that I ever will. I have "out-lived" the past easily enough and now have many other admirers that I don't think of Abner now only as a friend. Mr. Will George has been paying his respects to me for quite awhile. I like him as a friend.
April 13, 1898 The wind is blowing furiously and now and then a cloud floats over the "God of Light" which for a moment obscures his warm and pleasant rays. I am sitting near a large cedar tree on the gallery and the little birds are piping their sweetest songs. The girls have gone calling. Ora Griswold spent the day with us. I called to see Beulah in the forenoon. Mrs. Wiley Jackson died yesterday and while I expected to attend the burying I was only disappointed. She is a sister to my dear Mr. Will George who pays his respects. He sent me a box of lovely roses Saturday. Well, first I am in fairly good spirits today but just a little reflection makes me shudder to think… I have no school for the summer and how to do without many things that I could supply if I could only be successful. Many a time have I entered the closet and on bended knee prayed to God to open the way for me. How unworthy I feel in the sight of God! But, oh how good He is to those who love and trust Him. Christians have many crosses and burdens to bear but oh, how easy when we love Him. One great responsibility or cross over which I am pondering is how to conduct the Women Foreign Missionary Society next Monday eve. I was unanimously elected president at our last meeting and to think there are older persons - smarter persons - that could conduct a meeting so much better, but just to think, that is not the question. I can only do best I can. It is work for God and must I fail because someone else might do better? No. No. My S.S. is very interesting and how sweet to meet those happy faces each Sunday afternoon. Had a long letter from cousin Addie Hundley 3 weeks ago stating that if I went to college he would send me a ladies gold watch or $50.00 just as I would like. Well, I will take the money for it will do me more good than the watch. It will help pay my expenses at college and thereby fit me for a higher position in life and perhaps it will enable me to do more for the loved ones at home. I hate to leave Home, Dear Home, but "duty" calls me to go and surely God will guide me along the way. Well, now to my social affairs. Mr. John Duncan one of my old sweethearts was my escort to S.S. Sunday to my surprise. Had a nice long letter from Abner last Wednesday one week ago and answered yesterday. He still wants me to "make up" but I am not the kind of girl he thinks. I hope God will forgive me if I misjudge the boy that once I thought I loved. I can never forget the eve we parted at the normal. It seemed my heart would break. I thought without him I couldn't live - that to miss his letters would be so sad, but I went to Jesus in prayer and to help me give him up as I thought it best and from that time I resolved to never expect another letter but it came. Oh, had he never written again perhaps I never would have known him only as a stranger but now he pleads for me to claim him and calls me "dear" but I can only listen with a deaf ear. He said he told me stories and he might be telling another. Oh, that such was not the case. Some delight in trying to break a young girl's heart but by the help of dear Jesus mine will never be broken. Someday all will be well, I guess. Mr. Waldrop expressed much love for me in his letters but when I am confronted with such propositions I think of the little song "Trust him not, oh gentle lady though his voice be low and sweet" This is prayer meeting night and the girls will soon return so I'll desist for the present.
April 14, 1898
Very lovely day. Went calling in the forenoon and afternoon. Miss Lillian Clyde came but best of all my dear old Beulah came. She is the dearest, sweetest old girl in the world. The good advice she has given me has done my "worlds of good". If this world was blessed with all such girls as she, how good it would be. She is the truest girl I ever met. She and I went to our famous place - in the sawdust by the old mill pond under a tall oak and there she told me about her "dear sweetheart". Oh, I don't see that I can ever give her up. She will soon be a M.D.'s bride and oh, how lonely I"ll be - my best chum will leave me. The sunbeams felt so tenderly on the waves that they sparkled like so many diamonds. We sat there near the water's edge - only the fence between - until the great sun sank below the western horizon. Oh, how sweet are out "youthful days". We can never recall them again, gone, gone, gone!!!!
April 17, 1898
This my first thought at the close of this beautiful Sabbath day. Oh, life! How strange! How sweet! Not a cloud obscured the broad archway of the sky in the forenoon and the sun shone radiantly. The birds in the tall oaks are piping their sweetest songs. The message of new life of springtime joys and hopes is poured into the ears of the weary world each year when the dark, cold days pass away and the birds and flowers come again. The whole topography of our quiet little city has changed since spring has sprung. The birds' songs have a flavor of novelty and ring so assuring through the leafy woods. There is something distinctly human about the notes of the birds. Ah, I did not intend…….springtime but oh, that old persons were as free as a bird. Our ears forever lend graciously to promises even though we know they will be broken. Birds are not gifted to…..Somehow a wave of despondency thrills my heart but despite all this I went to church. To my surprise just as we were ready to take our departure for church, behold, who should I see in the green in front of our little home but some young gallant hitching his horse. Well, not consulting my sensibilities, I invited him in and after a few pleasant remarks were passed, we proceeded to church. Well, it seems to me as though I could not talk although he was quite pleasant but there are times when persons seem to be entirely absorbed in little trifles or the great missions they have to fill. So it was with me. No cry would not be a brave or manly act.. It would not show any courage or zeal but by and by all of this burden was gracefully shifted aside and I really became the same little girl as "of old" Misses Alma and Laura George accompanied by their brother, Mr. Will, came with us for dinner. The girls are of a very pleasant nature, gifted it seems to entertain while Mr. Will is equally as entertaining. Being in contact with such pleasant visitors made me forget for awhile the great "trouble" The secret of all this "so called trouble" was little brother's illness and Mama seemed so worried and sick but she insisted on my going to church anyway. Things were not just to the ususal place - she was not able to assume her duty but she is so kind. She is strict in discipline but does not wish to deprive us of any pleasure. After dinner we went to S.S. Mr. Will was my escort. The other girls had company of course. We went to singing at Miss Beulah's, had quite a lively time. We stayed quite awhile - music would soon charm me to sleep but owning to the attention respects paid by two as entertaining gentlemen as my escort and Mr. John Duncan would suffice for a night of sleep.
This is in many respects a memorable day. Have I acted with all prudence and discretion is the first question which confronts me. Ah, the response is for others to give. I have truly tried. In regard to our (Mr. Will and I) personal affairs I can but pause and think! How, how or why it is I can not tell but the vow recorded in one of the preceding pages of this book causes me to pause. I can only think of the past and trust that the future will prove as well. The eve was spent at home. Sisters Em and Kate were entertaining Laura and Alma while I , in a feeble way, tried to entertain Mr. Will. Oh, that I was gifted with the power to entertain but ah, there is a hope and room for cultivation. We can only ascend the "Ladder of Fame" step by step. They are gone, leaving us alone to think and dream of our pleasant time today and look with eager anticipation to see the dawn of another day to see the first rays of morning light tip the eastern horizon. The moon in somber stillness had not risen above the eastern pines but was treading her majestic circle over the stately hills far in the east. The clouds obscured the sky while the whip-o-will piped their monotonous refrain of the pleasant concert of the day. After prayers we retired hoping to have a pleasant dream.
April 18, 1898
The day is pleasant but the clouds are dark and occasionally we hear the clatter of rain drops. The wind is very high often shifting into a desolate moan. The girls and Mama seem quite jolly today. A burden on my heart today but how easily it is when construed right. This is my first time to conduct our Missionary Society since I was elected president. To do this in the presence of a crowd of intelligent, experienced ladies who could do so much better than I is very embarrassing but that is not the question. Where is work for all Christians to do, shall we try to shift this burden on someone else just because someone else can do better? No, we should assume that attitude of a brave Christian and do the best we can regardless of public criticism. Later while I was greatly embarrassed I conducted services as best I could for the first time. Chum Beulah did not come and nothing would more satisfy me than go and have a "sermo" with her. We came slowly together until we came to a large oak log by the roadside - near the house - and we resolved to spend awhile there talking. She is the dearest old girl. How can I give her up. Her advice is worth so much to me. She is to be prized far above rubies. Oh, that I was a better girl. The sun no longer sheds his beautiful rays over the pleasant hills and valleys but has reposed behind the western clouds. The clouds were bordered with gold and all was still save the whip-o-will sweet refrain. The stars shine so radiantly overhead while the vivid flashes of lightening pass from the great masses of clouds to the earth and visa-versa. The muttering thunder sounds so mournfully! My mind wanders still of someone far, far, from home. There were no letters tonight. All have retired and left me alone with not a sound but that of the thunder. I have been meditating all day. One of my greatest mysteries of my life is the deceit practiced by so many people. Sometimes I am almost persuaded that to be successful in some things is to practice deceit to a limited degree but then that might be an unpardonable sin. Oh, that I may ever be the same. When referring to "coquetry" many desire to the "side-tracked" but I remember well this famous plea "Frank never be guilty of the crime of crushing any young man's heart" While I do not think their affections so sincere, I do not care to tamper with their affections in a way, intentionally, if such should be true that I would ever have such a sin to account for.
April 19, 1898
Ah, the rush of work is over. All is joy. The sky is clear and blue but just a shy glance southward reminds me of the little song "There is never a day so sunny, but a little cloud appears" The southern zephyrs are blowing softly causing the branches of the cedars to sway and sigh in scarcely inaudible whispers. On the wings of the winds comes the sad refrain " It might have been". While talking with Mama she told me that dear Papa had said that in his estimation no girl was ever my equal but that is natural. The parental love hides many faults of the child. I would be happy to know that I could live to his expectations. He said I must never leave him as long as he lived - but oh, he left me too soon - left me with a sad and broken heart. But, oh, how sweetly he sleeps with his weary arms folded and his clear blue eyes turned Heavenward! I , with a willing heart and hand, will his mission to fill as best I can and how glad that I can in a way, fill his place - follow in his noble footsteps. Decided to go to Hamburg in the afternoon. Was accompanied by Rev. Doak. Had quite a pleasant time and enjoyed the drive quite well. Was invited out to Mrs. Simpson's and was escorted by Rev. Doak, Bro. Powell and Dr. Simpson. The time was spent very pleasantly. Reports of business were favorable. Called at Mrs. Haley's and while conversing with her she passed flattering compliments. She is a dear, good old lady. Mama had a nice supper waiting my arrival. After supper received and read 4 nice letters. After prayers retired tired and sleepy.
April 20, 1898
The dawn of another pleasant day is upon us. Mrs. Smith was a pleasant caller in the afternoon. Sewed all day long until just awhile before sunset when to Mrs. Wheat's. The sun was reposing behind the clouds ere I returned. Now at home and again upon America's land of roses softly light of eve reposes. The bell rings clearly for prayer meeting. Received and read a letter from sweet Mattie R. before leaving. The prayers prayed tonight seemed to thrill my soul. Every word had its weight upon my aching heart. Mr. John Duncan's prayer was excellent. Also, Rev. Doak and Mr. George Duncan, Jr, Mr. Wiley Campbell visited services. Oh, that all young people were as happy as I was while at prayer meeting. Every song seemed to make my heart thrill like an….harp. Oh, that all young and old persons were religious. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believers ear. Since the U.S. has declared war against Spain, I have been too sad. Oh, that such was not true! The whole world seems to be aroused. Oh, that our officers may go slowly but surely! How sad it would be to see our dear home boys leave. Bro. is so dear and true to give his life for the sake of a nation would be more than heart could bear. God forbid! My heart is almost broken at the thought.
April 21, 1898
A few clouds span the broad arching of the skies while the wind blows softly from the south. The words of the poet fall in tender accents in my ear - "Thus tis better to have loved and lost that never to have loved at all" While it seems that such is the case with me at times I could never regret that I ever once loved. There seems to be an anxious longing in my heart - something mysterious - I am not exactly content in one respect. It may be that I've never yet met my ideal or that I'm too hard to please. Not that I am going to take the marriage vow at all soon, but sometime all will be well. The boy I think I love - no, I didn't say I love him - but somehow I prefer his company. A glance at his noble eye and smiling lips seem to console me as no other can, yet I do not love him. How could I ever think of such when he acts so independently and passes without a smile - it chills my heart. Why is all this? I shun his very presence to resist tender feelings toward him. Ah, I thought its only infatuation. Just youthful imagination. The thought of youth are strange, strange thoughts. Often we are overtaken by such romantic ideas and for awhile it seems real when suddenly the tide turns and all is changed and all imaginary dreams. Mrs. Smith and Wheat were pleasant callers in the afternoon. Chum Beulah came over about 4 p.m. so we stood in the shade of the cotton woods leafy boughs and had a sweet chat as of old. She left me but soon to return so we met in our dear old place to talk - on the sawdust crossing by the millpond. We leaned against the fence at the water's edge until twilight was deepening into darkness watching the children on the opposite shore fish and play. The last rays of sunlight falling on the bosom of the dear old mill pond produced a striking display of nature. The little waves made it sparkle like dew on a bright spring morning. She told me that we were bound to be disappointed about visiting Miss Florence George on Saturday and Sunday. We were more than disappointed but such is fates inevitable law. We parted both feeling assured of the others truth and sincerity. After supper wrote a letter to Miss George telling of our disappointment and most of all in regretting to have disappointed her. The stars are shining brightly and nothing to be heard but the crickets merry chirps.
April 22, 1898
The morning was bright for awhile but soon dark clouds obscured the sun and now the thunders loud peals sound so mournfully. Finished my letter to Florence after gathering a sweet bunch of daisies from the dell for her. Soon it began raining - first a sprinkle and then a downpour. It continued so all day. I wrote to sweet Mattie R. and spent the afternoon reading Napoleon and hid Marshalls. What a jolly time we had after supper around a warm and pleasant fire!
April 23, 1898
Very cloudy and damp. The sun almost shines occasionally. The boys are all very lively up town this morning. Oh, if I could only go and see dear Florence this afternoon. Ola Kingham and Cella Franklin were callers in the forenoon. Afternoon went over to see Beulah. Those martial strains of sweet music made my soul in almost perfect harmony. She has such a sweet voice. The little song "In the Gloaming" reminded me of just 2 years ago. The closing lines ran thus "It was best for you dear and best for me" When I think of that famous day when I make that positive vow to one whom I thought I loved and then not quite one year ago our "mutual agreement" broke the vow. Ah, how dear to me are those youthful days when I thought I had a real sweetheart. Life was sweet. I knew not to have blues but as the great "wheel of time" rolled on it make changes in our young minds. We came to know each other better. We were more or less negligent in writing. Distance threw us apart until once we met and now we are only friends. The vow was broken and I am today a free girl. No other promise has been made since that famous day and time. Letters come from him now and then but oh, I'm not any too easily persuaded. Since talking with a little girl who has been with him so much and she told me what he says, it makes me feel as of old until I think again and know tis not true. I am still happy and while those days are passed and while he was my first and only real sweetheart, it will linger ever as a sweet and precious memory. The sun shone brightly for awhile this afternoon. After returning home from Beulah's was called to visit the sick. Horace Doak, Lena Brymer, Annie Ogden and Mrs. Wilcoxin were callers this afternoon. Nannie Jo is quite sick. "Johnny" came in the room while I was at Beulah's and he looked quite pleased as usual -not because I was there, but his natural look. Brother Eb came home. Oh. how glad I was to see him! We fixed and went to the Literary Society but my mind was not so much on the work but the great condition in which the U.S. is now in. Brother's prayer, after we returned, was rendered very pathetically in behalf of the American cause. How soon we may regret that we have not spent our lives more profitably. We sat up and talked nearly 12 o'clock. I am wonderfully agitated over my profession. While Father insisted on my being an M.D., Mama strongly objects. My present profession will be of no avail if present hostilities continue in less than 10 years. To take just a "birds eye view" of the present condition and wonder what may yet take place, makes me feel that I never knew no sorrow, no trouble. We should no longer grumble because things do not go to suit us for how much worse it could be! There is no use to center ones love and affection for how lonely we would feel to have our beloved sweetheart buried in a cold and watery grave in the broad Atlantic. To give up my dear old Brother for the Cuban cause would be unendurable to give up my dear, dear, cousin Addie, I could not it seems - yet how soon - only a few years and I may have to submit. Our dreams may be unpleasant tonight as we have discussed the war subject until we are very sleepy. After prayers all retired.
April 24, 1898
Oh, how bad I feel. The sun shines very brightly - in fact a lovely spring morning. We are so disappointed that we can't go to Bearhouse today but tra-la-la, it will all be well in the "sweet by and by". The sky soon became cloudy and how it rained and thundered! In the forenoon after all had gone to S.S. I took a walk down town, called to see Mrs. Courson and sister Doak. Everyone is so distressed at the idea of having war. Brother came to meet me and we soon came in contact with Willie Duncan and passed a few pleasant remarks. I did not attend S.S. in the afternoon but all of my pupils came over for singing. I never had the blues so bad. My feelings were injured to such an extent that I could not force tears back and first thing I knew I was standing by the well in the cool shade actually in the act of crying but soon taking heart again I came and met Ora Griswold and what a jolly time we had! I forgot the trouble and have gotten over the blues al- mo- st. Ah, when a girl would like to see her "bestest" so to speak, a day seems like a week, a month, etc. but here I think of another little song "By, by I'll see him….etc." but long seems the day. Nannie Jo is still sick. Tis very cool and cloudy. I'm not feeling very well and am quite sleepy.
April 25, 1898
We arose very early. The timid approach of twilight became more perceptible , the intense blue of the sky began to soften, the smaller stars like little children went first to rest, the sister beams of the ….soon melted together but the brightest constellations of the west and north remained unchanged. Steadily the wondrous transfiguration went on. Hands of angels hidden from mortal eyes shifted the scenery of the heavens. The glories of night dissolved into the glories of the dawn. The blue sky now turned more softly gray. The great watch-stars shut up their holy eyes, the east began to "kindle". Faint streaks of purple soon blushed along the sky. The whole celestial concave was filled with the influencing tides of the morning light which came pouring down from above in one great ocean of radiance till at length a flash of purple fire blazed out from above the horizon and turned the dewy tear drops of flower and leaf into rubies and diamonds. In a few seconds the everlasting gates of morning were thrown wide open and the Lord of the day arrayed in glories too severe for the gaze of man began his state. Soon the day's work began, but in the afternoon Katie and I went to Mrs. Haley's Miss Della welcomed us very cordially. The most remarkable feature of the tour was we got lost but however, we reached our own home safe and sound just after sunset. We came by Mrs. Greene's and spent short time with her. On our way I met an old friend unexpectedly, Mr. Naley. The prairie was lovely just at sunset. The trees were robed in their mantle of green and the woods were carpeted with grasses and flowers. It seemed that we were traveling between two green stately walls.
April 26, 1898
This day opened bright and glorious but rather blustery all day and eve. Today closed with this thought "Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives…." In departing, leave behind us footprints in the sands of time." After reading of many noted men, I can but pause at this. Why can't we leave "footprints in the sands of time' that will show to the world our fame if we only try - footprints that are worthy to be followed by others. I do heartily agree with dear, old Longfellow when he said "We can make our lives sublime". We surely can if we only have the will power to go forward. The eve was most glorious. The great red sun lingered in the west as a lover departing from the home of his intended bride. The wind shifted into stillness no long disturbing the homes of the mingled songsters or the bosom of the old mill pond! We can only think of the poor Cubans! While we are so happily around this warm and pleasant fire. How thankful we should be. An angel has claimed one link of our dear family (Papa) but while we miss him, we know he knows no Cuban wars - no trouble. At times all is joy for awhile forgetting our troubles, then we stop and think! War has really been declared between the U.S. and Spain and no telling how many of our dear soldier boys will be buried in the Atlantic. Two letters were handed to me - one from Florence, my dear, old chum and the other from dear cousin Addie. He is the grandest boy in this old world. He has done more for me than anyone since Papa died. His advice is better than gold. Oh. that I could reward him today! His letter was the grandest I ever perused sublime in its eloquence. Florence's letter was particularly interesting. Called to see he sick in the afternoon. Several pleasant callers today.
Thursday, August 10, 1898 Memorable Day
A new era has dawned in the history of my life - a new light has illuminated my pathway. A burden and a longing desire has been banished to a certain extent. To my surprise all this has happened. Having met a young man (Mr. Munsey Dickson) at S.S. conference at Portland - I was more than favorably impressed. He was with me several times while there and he told me he would be down here by the 18th of August, well, many an hour have I laid awake at night longing for a glance of his meek, brown eyes and catch the sound of his melodious voice as he rendered the song "Never Alone" the last eve of the conference. He escorted me one eve from singing. I met him at the grove one Saturday night. It was a relief even to see him and clasp his hand. Why is it I can not tell, but I can't help it. He called again one eve and then sent a card another eve. He said a few words of encouragement which relieved me wonderfully but the last eve, August 10, 1898, he came home with the boys from singing. We sat and talked awhile when he proposed we should take a walk. The sun was about ½ hour high. We walked slowly on up a beautiful road through the prairies, passed the little brook in hearing of the train. We plodded on slowly up that beautiful road. My heart was almost bursting for fear he loved someone else better when he openly confessed that I was his ideal and that he would always live a lonely life should I marry another. He said it was a great relief to tell me that it was a burden from his heart to tell me. I assured him it was all returned and if he only felt as happy as I, how glad I'd be, only there is a doubt, I fear, he is false. Oh, my God forbid, I love him as I've never love another. He assured me that no true Christian would tell stories and he was not telling me any. Asked me to correspond and I agreed. Thursday morning he escorted me over to the schoolhouse and I'll never forget the grasp of his hand and the expression of his noble eyes as he said "Remember me". He said there was not a day nor an hour that he did not think of me. I found on conversing with him, that he had awakened in the night and studied of me as I did him. Oh, should this case be false how could I ever trust another. If any persons on earth should be truthful it is a Christian. He seems to be one, truly. I came home Thursday eve and prepared for the musical concert given by Prof. Little at Promise Land. I fixed by best but was anxiously want to see Mr. Dickson. When, lo, he came in with Nellie Terry and seemed so indifferent towards me it proved, I fear, that he was false, but after singing he came to me first and bid me goodby - said he would never forget me and would write soon. That ended the romance. I came home with a burdened heart that I had to leave him but God will surely direct us.
November 5, 1898
Another beautiful day has passed. It has been pleasant today although it has been cloudy. Went to Mrs. Wilcoxin's and Mrs. Linder's. Mrs.Linder is very sick and not expected to ever recover. This morning my heart was made glad by receiving a letter from my dear little Munsey. It seems that his letters are so comforting to me since out sweet little brother, Tony, died. If I could see him and clasp his little hand I would be relieved but ah, this may be folly. Last eve I attended an entertainment at Mrs. Wilcoxin's which I enjoyed very much. Mr. Will George was my escort. He can never win my affections for the truth is he has ways I do not and cannot admire. Mr. Ernest Naley has called me several times and I do enjoy myself with him but we are only good, true friends. He may care for me but such confessions are often made by boys in addressing young ladies. Abner, the boy whose name so often appears in this diary, still writes and pleads for re-consideration but ah, alas, never, never can that occur. He may love me truly and if he does may God pardon me if I should not agree or cause him to live a sad and lonely life. He has caused it by his conduct concerning our "case" or rather his way of trying girls to see if they are jealous. When persons make a selection of a life's companion they should be very considerate. My mind is not thoroughly settled, but truly it really seems, that I love Munsey but ah, he may care for another and never think of me often. I have been greatly bothered this fall but surely God will not forsake me.