Monday, August 16, 2010

August 1910

This month's INTRO PHOTO is a dear one of all six daughters of diary author Mary {Olsen} Paulsen and husband Albert Paulsen.
It was taken in Egeland ND in 1895 when the girls' ages ranged from 19 to one -- i.e., the oldest and youngest of the 11 children who survived childhood. At that point none of the older trio were married. There is a nine year age difference between the two sets [rows] of daughters, during which time four sons were born. From back left, clock-wise, including eventual married name for reference sake, are Mary Henrietta [Fredlund] b.1876, Anna Christine [Rasmussen] b.1882, Lena Fredericke [Rasmussen] b.1878; Lillie Sarah [Nelson] b.1891, Hannah Clara [Jones] b.1893, and babe Emma Ida [Hanson] b.1894.

This photo was taken five or six years before most of the family would head west to Kalispell MT. We can immediately see that it predates the 1910 diary by many years because the two little girls sitting together there on the chair are 'currently' (100 years ago) planning their 1911 double wedding event. This image helps me see why MaryOP naturally refers to her younger/ front row trio as "The Girls" up through their teen years.

There's no additional 'photo feature' this month so we get right into her diary book.
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MaryOP's CASH OUT tally for the month of August, 1910:

'Made ready for Washing tomorrow" includes mixing up a batch of liquid soap. Here's MaryOP's own recipe (1908) for such. At least this is what they used for white clothes:

Almost always their Washing Day occurs on Tuesday but with the preparation, washing, ironing and mangling {the large mangle press used for flat items} the process usually spanned three days.

I believe that was Lousie Pollock (40). According to cemetery records, they'd recently buried a 17 year old son. In 1908, a male in the Pollock family was renting or managing a store-front which MaryOP owned.

MaryOP's eldest daughter MaryH and husband Carl Fredlund have brought four year old Nellie into Cando for doctoring. I asked the son of Nellie Fredlund (Woll), Kenneth Woll if he by chance had a photo of his mother at about this age. Well, he has two photo at this very age and e-sent them within hours! Kenn has been a champion in providing old photos and writings for our Paulsen history study -- including this 1910 diary. Thank you, cousin Kenn! I simply CAN NOT choose between the two photos (they both make me smile a lot) so here is sweet Nellie in 1910 -- relaxed, then 'starched':

That's about 30 dollars per crate in today's money so quite precious foods. Anybody know if Cando was-is temperate enough for such orchards? Maybe they were shipped in. Four days previous she had paid $7.10 to Canfields; that could be for the fruits. Canfield Company (general store and grocery) was formed by three Canfield brothers in Cando's early years and would be in business for 98 years: 1886 to 1984. Going by her Cash-Out records, MaryOP is a good and almost monthly customer. An early tinsmith and plumber in town, T.F. ('Tinner') Canfield was another brother (I believe) who she employed from time to time as needed.

{With her 'Dan-glish' phonetic spelling of hardly and breathe (above), can't you just about HEAR her telling this?}

Her garden couldn't thrive ("it won't grow") in this Summer of much drought. A sad and economically difficult situation.

Imagine work in the attic on this hot August day? Loss of hay and burning barns are further sad proofs of the region's tinder-like condition in 1910.

She was a terrific writer of letters and bolstered many with that skill. While I don't/can't normally illustrate recipients of a day's outgoing mail, here's an exception as we have images of all three:
1.) Fellow widower and sister-in-law Dorothea (Paulsen) Miller in Blooming Prairie MN, a younger sister of MaryOP's late husband, Albert. In this circa 1909 photo, Dorothea is surrounded by her five children -- including 'Mary Sanders' Fredlund at top right:

2.) The next letter listed went to the elder Fredlunds in Saskatchewan Canada, parents of Carl and Sander. Here's a studio photo of Johan and Johanna, followed by a 'home-made' one of Johanna when older, likely during her years as a widow:

3.) This letter went to Dagny, a former house-helper married to Christian Rasmussen (see last month's photo-feature) and in 1910 living with their family in Kalispell MT. This 1907 photo of them will be updated by the arrival of Pearl, born later in 1910:

Mr. Mohler is likely Paul Mohler, a minister of the nearby Church of the Brethren sometimes attended by 'The Girls.' Perhaps he was making neighborhood rounds to encourage attendance and membership.
Oscar Nelson of whom she has written before and 'vife' have come to contract the rental of one of her farms. This photo shows an Oscar Nelson and wife, year unknown, and on the back of photo it is noted {by an unrecognized hand} that one of them is somehow related to 'Annie Morris' (Johnson) wife of Maurice Rasmussen, photo-featured in last month's posting. I like how MaryOP asks and intends that they 'be good to each other' in this rental relationship.

The Stensons live about 25-30 miles northwest of Cando; 14 miles NNW of Bisbee.

Methinks she was making an appointment for Evan (Jones) to come talk to her, two days later ...

Daughter Lena and husband Ras Rasmussen have brought their 2nd-born, Mae, from Egeland into Cando for some doctoring. She'd had her 10th birthday three days earlier.
'Smoky' -- foggy? -- or things burning? . Evan Jones has now talked to MaryOP to ask for the hand of her daughter Hannah (17) in marriage. She grants it.

We know surgery was a very risky situation in 1910. A tonsillectomy today isn't without risk but is made immensely safer by use of antibiotics and modern methods. MaryOP reinstalls the window in the basement after its function as coal chute. 'They' begin work on a new sewer pipe.

Canfield (tinner and plumber) continues trenching.

Youngest of the Rasmussen brothers, Carl plowed some of her farmland for $1.50/ acre. Many area crops had failed by this point.

With all the trenching in the yard being followed by a heavy rain, I suspect there was a flow of clayey muck where it was not welcome. MaryOP teamed up with a shovel to send it elsewhere.

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Until next month,
Marsha Paulsen Peters