Diary excerpts of:

Elizabeth Gertrude Hull Henderson

Theresa Rae Hilker Donlick

I freely share the diaries of my great-grandmother, Elizabeth G. Hull, however I do not wish that any commericial use be made of them without my permission. - Theresa Rae Hilker Donlick.

I have deciphered to the best of my ability the names, places and dates contain herein. Where there are blank spaces, I could not ascertain the name or word that was written.

The Diary of Elizabeth Gertrude Hull Henderson

January 1, 1874

Another year has passed away and a new one begins, another book of events has been closed and a new diary commenced. Oh diary my new and faithful friend! Must thy white pages be covered with the daily events, many hts, (heights?) hopes and fears of my life for one year? It may be so and perhaps few of them may be filled when I close the covers forever. God, only knows. Here is my resolve for the year of 1874, to be a more humble, prayerful Christian and to endeavor to make those happy around me. Mary Lewis passed the day and night with us, and we enjoyed it very much. In the evening after singing with the choir for the morrow, attended a social gathering at Mr. Williams and spent a very pleasant evening.

January 2 I went home with Edna Smith from the party and we had a real good visit before we went to sleep. In the morning I called on Mrs. Hattie Judd until it was time to attend a funeral at our church when I went there H. and his cousin going with me. It was a very solemn service. The funeral of Mr. (Rotters or Potters) He who has been such an exemplary Christian man. I have always looked up to him with love and reverence. But he is gone! No more to work in the church and prayer meeting. Mr. Barnum preached an excellent sermon, beautifully teaching; the text was in Ecel 12:4 there was a large congregation to mourn his departure. After service I came home until evening when I went down to the prayer meeting with seemed to be filled with some interest.

January 3 I spent at home and was busy doing housework and various other duties. Mary can be at home on Saturday and I enjoyed that very much, until evening when I went with George and Flavia to choir meeting. We practiced pieces for the funeral of Mrs. Deacon Selah Hart who was to be buried the next day. Late in the evening I returned home and sought my room for rest. O. I do get so very tired of going so much; it seems as if I was just made to go here and there, any where, laugh and be agreeable & come home rest a little and then something else, in the wind, of course, I enjoy it generally have a pleasant time, but I would prefer to remain at home with my book, to read in quite or study and write.

January 4 I feel about sick this morning, but went to church. Rev. Mr. Fessenden preached he is a stranger but took Dr. Barnun's place in the morning. We did not have but a very short session at noon for S.S. (Sabboth School) At a little after 1 o'clock the bell began to toll the approach of the funeral procession. We practiced singing until the house began to be filled. There was a very large congregation and Mr. Barnum preached another excellent sermon from the last clause of the 5th verse of the 30th Psalm. It was about 3 o'clock when we arrived home. Daniel did not go to church and when we came home we found our dinner nicely started. O. It is nice to have such a handy brother! I did not go to church in the evening.

January 5 We did not wash on account of the butchering. Pa killed one Hog in the forenoon. I looked over our papers which we have taken the past year, and arranged the rural? Home and advance in a book form to keep them together. In the afternoon, was busy cleaning up and c. (etc.) I forgot to mention yesterday about the weather it was so warm the snow went off and left it very muddy and last evening we were very comfortable without any fire, rather peculiar for this country in the month of January. And another thing of great interest to me was that I received a grand letter from Mr. Pelton, a part of it was written to my Sunday school class. It came to the office Sat. but I did not receive it until Sunday. It is very dear to me.

January 6 We did the washing and finished taking care of the meal. It rained so Mary could not go to school. In the afternoon I was busy making paper flowers. Toward night Libens Hull and Minerva McPhalan, who is a cousin of Pa's came here and spent the night. Although, very dark and bad going, Pa, Marry and myself went to meeting; it being the week of prayer. We had a very interesting meeting indeed. There is a great need of some interest in religion and church matters here in this place for there has been a great lack of it in the past. This page is filled but partly full it must be I suppose so I will write in poetry that I can not in prose. So ended January 6th.

January 7 It rained some in the morning and the air seemed very oppressive making one feel dull and indisposed; but as Mrs. McPhalan was here Ma thought it would be pleasant to have a aged aunt of Pa's here to visit with her. I was glad to have Aunt Electra come, as she is a pleasant old lady although very nervous. She came in the morning and staid all day and all night. Flavia and the baby were here a little while in the forenoon and remained until after dinner. She has a very pretty baby, Just at night a Jew peddler came here and staid all night. His name is Isaac Rubin he has been here a number of times and it is surprising to see how strongly he adheres to his religion. He denies himself every kind of food (this entry continues on Jan. 9th) which he thinks has any grease about it, except butter. I have learned many interesting things from him about the customs of the Jews.  It makes me said to think that they do not believe in our risen Savior. To day Ma has been with Mrs. McPhalan on a visit to the home of Aunt Electra or Mrs. Snovers the place where she lives. I had a very happy time along in the afternoon; after they went away I swept the house, did some ironing, got dinner and washed the dishes. Then sat down with knitting work and book and had a delightful time reading with nobody to disturb me until the children came home from school. In the evening I went to meeting, I went to meeting the night before and rose up and said a few words for Jesus, it was a real cross on me, but I did it.

January 9 After the morning work was done Mrs. McPhalan, wanted me to go over to Mr. Harts with her and spend a little time. After we had been there a little while, I looked out the window and saw her daughter and some distant relations of ours, Daniel and Libbie Hull, they were afflicted in having the same names of ours, though perhaps, they do not think so, getting out at our house. I came home and did my very best to entertain them, they staid here all night. Mr. and Mrs. McP went to meeting with Pa, after they came home we had tea, oysters for a treat, it took all my ingenuity to contrive something to talk about, and plays to entertain them, but did not succeed in getting them real engaged in anything until after supper. I think it is terrible hard work to please and entertain some people.

January 10 They stayed until afternoon and we had a pleasant time with them. After they had gone Pa, Ma, Mary and Charlie went to meeting as it was preparatory lecture and before they came home Mr. and Mrs. McPhalan went away and I was left alone for a short time. In the evening I attended the prayer meeting. I felt pretty tired after I came home and after looking over my S.S. (Sabboth School) lesson retired to rest thankful that it was Saturday night.

Oh Saturday, Saturday nigh
Thy hours are welcome to me;
For with the coming morning light
Bright Sabbath light - I see;
The hopes & thoughts of a little rest
With naught my quiet to molest
So that thy hours O night
Pass quickly away to morning light.

January 11 O. dear how lonely I feel tonight. I wish, I long for someone to know and truly love and help me. This morning when I arrived at church, I found that I must play the organ, as George was not there. It was communion and as Mr. Barnum has not yet been ordained, Mr. Reynolds occupied his place. I did not know what hymns we were to sing, and the thoughts - these of prevented me from enjoying the services as, I wished to. I had 19 dear children in my class today. At the commencement of the school, two smaller children that used to be in my room and I read dear Mr. Pelton's letter to them. I have been to S.S. (Sabboth School) concert this eve and helped sing. After the services, Mr. Barnum asked Minnie McCapes or McApes who is a little large for an 8 year old whose class she was in S.S. (Sabboth School) her mother she said that when she had been that she was in Miss Hull's class; he remarked that as she was rather large if she would be there next sabboth he would she if she would not better go with a higher class. O. Mr. Barnum you (touched or wretched) a tender cord in my heart then, Have I not asked her mother to let her come to Sunday School and have I not watching for and trying to bring new scholars into that dear? Class. What right has he to take her out. Oh if I could only see Mr. Pelton! He worked to fill up and make better this infant class and teacher. I feel like no one but Christ helps me now. I am discouraged tonight. So another Sabboth evening.

Ma has been reading aloud to us this evening from a very interesting book - Looking Heavenward. It does me no good to read such books my soul longs for good spiritual food. My life is so imperfect, I do and say so many wrong things and am so self-righteous that I need much to make me better. I have enjoyed this day and evening very much. We washed and cleaned this forenoon and this afternoon I have written a letter to my pastor, Mr. Pelton.

January 13 Another day has past and again the shades of night have drawn their sable shadows ore our pathway, giving us time and quiet for rest and sleep. This morning Ma wanted to have a spread commenced, a bed spread, I mean or counterpane and I wanted to do something else, but we did not differ much about it, so we have been very busy tying knots and making tassels in a big piece of cotton cloth which will probably be a spread when it is completed. I have had the blues a good part of the day. I have thought of all sorts of things that happened in days gone by, but they all vanished tonight; it was full of interest - some new ones rose for prayers. It is snowing hard tonight - looks as if we were going to have sleighing - hope we will yet - I like pleasant weather.

January 14 O. what busy, busy days these are, how time does fly. It seems that I do not accomplish half as much as I ought to, but perhaps it is because I am ambitious to do so much more. In the morning I think, Well if nothing happens to prevent me, I will do so much work, then practice some music, and read some, but when night comes where are the hours open in reading and practicing? Gone! And where are the books, which have been read? Where they were in the morning, untouched and neglected. This morning I did some ironing then went to work on my spread until meeting time, when I went to meeting. It seems queer to be making bedspreads, quilts and c. to lay away and keep. Ma seems to have an idea that I shall need them sometime. Perhaps!

January 15 - 18 This morning went to work on my spread, of course Libbie Vandemark and Lottie MCPhalens came in the afternoon and made a visit and like good Samaritans they both lent a helping hand on that spread of mine, for future use, and we worked and had a good visit. In the evening attended meeting. While there I commenced praying for Lottie, who is not a Christian and I prayed in faith believing that God would hear and answer my prayer. I asked her to rise for prayers and when the opportunity was given - she arose. After the meeting she came home with me and after we had sought our pillows, in the quiet and stillness of night, I talked with her about her soul. It seemed as if Christ was very near and would help me to say just what was right. She wanted to be a Christian but was not quite ready - she had put it off before - when she knew she ought to make up her mind; and it seemed as she could say - Lord take me as I am, I trust in thy strength, but was fearful if she started could not hold out. How much wisdom one needs to lead anyone to thou Savior. She put it off until morning and then had not come. She has been with me today and tonight we have again been in the prayer meeting. I heard the sigh, which now and then escaped from her lips and knew that the struggle was still going on within her heart. I silently prayed for Christ to give her peace. An opportunity was given at the close of the meeting for all those who had a hope they were Christians to arise and Lottie arose with the rest. I just said to her afterwards " you have made up your mind now haven't you" and she replied "I'll try". I had not time for much more, But oh how happy I am! Take courage oh fainting heart to work for Jesus! Here I come to the close of another week, how fast it has passed away - gone forever into the past and how have I improved its precious moments. Today I have finished reading a very instructive book Stepping Heavenward, and after I had closed it, I fell into a revive. My soul longs for a higher life, more lofty and aspiring thoughts and desires. Many acts and words of my past life arose before me in dark array. Many many of them, which ought to have been affectionate and kind as becomes a true daughter and sister, have been hasty, selfish, unchristian and unkind. Do not - I love my dear parents, brothers and sister? Ah, God knows how much my heart loves them and pray for strength to show it to them in lovely acts of kindness. I believe that I have made just a little progress in my religious life this past week. The meetings have done me good. Sabboth evening and I am at home alone, all the rest of the family have gone to meeting. This is the first evening that I have spent so quietly in a long time and I enjoy it very much. There was another assembly of mourners gathered at our church today. It was in place of our usual morning service, and the S.S. (Sabboth School) was omitted on that account. Old Mr. McCarty was placed in the cold grave today, not him, but his body, he is singing in heaven, in hope and truth.

January 19 O. diary how tired I am! That spread of mine is finished and I have had the gratification of wearing it around the room and exhibiting it on my shoulders and of hearing the admiration of my most worthy family. Old diary, I am going to have it on my bed tonight and what do you suppose I'll dream. Perhaps, I will tell you if I can remember. Now I have some bed quilts, pillows, tidies and sheets, just a few, lying useless upstairs doing nobody any good, but I suppose it is wisdom for one to be in readiness, so when some beloved gentleman proposes. I shall not have to live in suspense making bed quilts, spreads % c. O. posh! What nonsense. It has rained very hard all day and given people a chance to ride in their carriages or trucks as the are may be.

January 20 Daniel is sitting at one end of the table reading and I am at the opposite one writing. He has just laid aside his violin on which he is learning to play. Mary is at my right hand and has just unconsciously given my elbow a hit, studying a piece of poetry to recite in school. She has put away her work which was changing the apparel of sheep, with the aid of needles into a stocking, and by the way that has also been my work a part of the evening. Charlie has gone to bed, Pa and Ma have gone to a meeting in the old M.E. Church. We that is we women folk, did the washing this forenoon and this afternoon, Pa, Mary and myself attended the funeral of Mrs. Vandemark, she was a aged lady of 81 years. This is the fourth funeral that has taken place at our church this New Year.

January 21 Have been to meeting tonight. It is raining some tonight, but it is quite good sleighing, snow fell last night. We have been very busy today as usual. Ma has done the baking excepting one cake, which I made. When Ma is at home I do not get much practice in that line, but sometimes when she is away, I make quite a variety of goodies just for the sake of doing it. I imagine that I shall make a good cook some future day when I have it to do, but thou I did make a large supply of pork? Cake the other day, and I thought that by putting in citron raisins that it would not answer any ideas of very good, so put in one lemon which or something else did make it very nice and heavy. It has set ___ fall & great was the fall of ___ended my good pork cake, but never the less do not feel utterly discouraged over one pork cake. (This last section of Jan. 21st was difficult to read)

January 22 How very wise I am! I should think that people would wonder over my great wisdom. Tonight at meeting, Mr. Barnum asked me about Lottie, if she held fast to her hope & and I told him "she said that she was trying". He then asked me the name of the town in which she lived. I had forgotten therefore could not tell him. Then he asked the ministers name who preached there I could not tell that. After time I inguired the place and found it to Granville and gave him the information. He asked me to spell her name and I very honestly answered that I did not know how it was spelled & do he ask me to hand him her address tomorrow night, he wanted to write the preacher about her. Now didn't I show forth-great wisdom and understanding? I think that it is spelled McPhallen, but am not positive & why is the use of making that you know something when you don't? Mrs. Lewis has been here this afternoon.

January 23 Well I handed Mr. Barnum Lotties address tonight and her name was spelled McPheslon,? is it to be wondered at so much that I could not spell such a crooked word as that. Heard today that Orson Barber & Emily Gould are married another strange happenstance, yesterday Abram Krom called here to see if he could have our shop made into a school room & a school started there for the children who live so far away from the village school, that they can not attend. Also he wants me to teach it until time for summer terms to commence. "I said I would teach until then, but if I could get more wages in summer would not teach here. It is not decided yet what is to be about it; I went to see Mr. Roose? A trustee, about W. Candor School this morning, for next summer. There was no engagement made. It was very warm this morning the water is getting high & grass looks green.

January 26 It was a bitter cold morning, but not with standing the weather, Daniel and Libbie, that is myself, started in a buggy with faithful Dandy jigging on before it; to the far off land of Honeypot or Fairfield I should say. I enjoyed the privilege of driving up the long hill, while Daniel walked to lighten the load and to warm up his understanding. We arrived at Asa Hull's in time for a good dinner and a pleasant visit. After which we, that is Daniel, Lottie McPheslon who was there & I went to Orange Hull's and spent the afternoon. In the evening Daniel and Libbie Hull, not my Daniel and me, came with us and visited at Mr. Dennis's. Lottie, Libbie and I rode and the two gentlemen walked on account of __ snowdrifts, which made the buggy, tip we wound a part of our way through the lot. Frank Galpin was at Mr. D (Dennis') Daniel went home about 10 and left me there __________

January 27 I had a good visit with Alzoia after they went away and in the morning arose and ate my breakfast of course and visited there until about 3 o'clock when Zora and I went to visit the school. When we arrived at the door the sound of a teachers voice fell on our ear in tones of something like scolding. I remarked " that we mussient enter at such a time neither ought we to stand and listen" when the crack of the switch made me jump as if I was struck and there O, dear how provoking! He the teacher opened the door and found us ladies standing at the door. It was the first pupil that he had punished this term as he is a good pedagogue? Well he asked us in & soon I was again in the place with my last summer's scholars. After school I went home with Lois Vorce and spent the night there. Had a good visit in the evening.

January 28 And in the morning Lois and I went with Mr. Vorce to see an old man who is a member of our church Mr. Downs? Who has been sick a long time. But it was to late - the Angel of Death had borne away his spirit- about - 10 minutes before we got there and we beheld nothing of him, but his lifeless form. We stopped on our way back to Asa Hull's and by the way Lois knew about F. Galpin writing one, which as she spoke of it first I could not - diary & so told her the truth about it, a part at least, but when I get a chance to see him about it I shall have it stopped for I am tired of it! Well after we had been there awhile Frank and Hiram Henderson and asked Lois and I to sit up with Downs? At first I said I could go & Hiram took his departure. Lois said t me that she did not want to go, and my next impression of the matter was that if I wanted to let Lois have Frank, & myself not to go with him any more, that I had better not go with them and as I had two other reasons, I backed out and did not go. Lois and Cassie Fowler went. I called at Mrs. Galpin's and played with Myron a little while, when I went on to Mr. Dennis'. Fred & Alzora went with me & spent the evening at Mr. James Galpins & we had a very pleasant time. ___, Zora and I went up to Mr. Gleades? And made a visit. Hiram was there a part of the time. I enjoyed the afternoon very much. We came home about dark; Hiram came down with us and stayed to Mrs. Dennis' until time to go home. We had music, plays, games & c. and a very nice time. Things seem all mixed up in my mind. What do I want? What - am I striving for? Am I worth anything or am I not? Can I trust my future in the hands of the Lord? O. For more faith!

January 30 & 31 Stayed with Zora last night. Have not been feeling my self since I came over here. Stomach all out of order. Can not eat, but very little, attended the funeral of Mr. Down's? Mr. Barnum preached his sermon. Mr. Downs has a daughter married off at the age of 11 years. And she as a mother urged the marriage, so I am told; just think of that friend diary, while I am 21 and not even engaged, nor like to be, well I don't care, do you? I saw many of my friends and acquaintances at the funeral. I staid all night with Lois. I always have a good time when I go there. Mrs. Vorce, when she like anyone, takes great pain to please them, but pity the one whom she dislikes, and she makes a great deal of me. I don't think I ever went anywhere where I was babied over than I have been there during the past summer, but still I do not count her as a true friend. I like Mr. Vorce and Lois very much. I walked through a little depth of snow that fell last night to Mr. Dennis'and after I got there played with little Annie, knit & c. until Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Johnnie and Baby were ready for start. The came home with me and made a visit and I did enjoy it so much! I have looked for them all winter. I am at home this evening. Charlie Niver is here and we have been playing checkers? And authors cards. I am not feeling much better tonight, but altogether I have spent a very pleasant week over in Fairfield, but am glad to be at home again. It has been a very cold day today. A few sleights have improved the little snow which fell last night, but it is better watching them sleighing. Ma is sitting near me making her knitting needles fly like fun and I might better be doing that then scribbling this hash whoever want to ____it.

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Ernie Miles

This page was updated Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 06:40:31 PDT.