1855 - 1916

Wife of Joseph George Caldwell, Dr. of Dentistry

Belleville, Ontario, Canada


Mother of:


Wilfrid Caldwell (1879 - 1948) Wife - Lena Ford - (1879 - 1954) no children

May Caldwell (1882 - 1883)

Gordon Conant Caldwell (18?? - 1952) - wife Anita Stevenson (    -1943)(from Saskatchewan) no children

Joseph George Caldwell (189?-1966) Wife - Coralie Laurie Cook (1896-1972) 3 children

Imogene Caldwell (1894 - 19??) Husband - Hubert Jones - 2 children


Grandmother of:


Joseph George Caldwell, II (1921 - 1993)

Patricia Mitchell (Caldwell/Jones) (1924-

William Statton Caldwell (Deceased) (1926 - 1970?)

Murray Jones (Deceased - Lieut. 2nd WW overseas) (19?? - 1943?)

Owen Jones (19?? -     )


(Original diary held by Dr. Joseph George Caldwell, III (1942 - ), son of Evelyn Phyllis Caldwell (Barter, 1919 - ) & Joseph George Caldwell, II. Evelyn lives in Spartanburg, S.C. as does JGCIII, as of March 29, 2006.)



Copyright © 2006 Joseph George Caldwell.  Posted at Internet websites and on 29 March 2006.










J. GEO. Caldwell

Belleville, Ontario


July 10, 1903


Belleville, July 10, 1903

For years it has been my intention to write of the important things that should occur in my life & in the lives of my children and have just started in to do so after having passed my forty-seventh birthday. I have no time or desire to keep a daily diary for one has little to write of every day but this book is for my dear Gene & George. I know some day it will be full of interest to her for I know how much I prized every scrap my mother wrote after I lost her. So far I have had quite an eventful year. In April Ida & myself with a party of seven (Mrs. Bogart & Grace among them) went to Washington, Philadelphia & New York. We had a most delightful trip. The next week after our return Father & I went to Toronto to the horse show which was quite an event, for Father is such a stay-at-home, while I am filled with delight at the prospect of a little trip, but I come naturally by that being a Conant. In June, Edna (Stell) (my dead sister’s daughter, who came to me four years ago from sister Louisa at Clarenceville, Quebec where she had gone when she was eight years of age - just after my brother’s William’s daughter came to me at the same age) graduated at our hospital here, a trained nurse after a three year course, when she received every honor, being gold medalist & had many beautiful gifts. Her father came for her & she returned with him to San Francisco, California, where she will practice her profession.

Gene is ten & a half years old & has just begun to take music lessons from Miss O. Carol. Her teacher says she is very apt, has a good ear. Mary Burrell & Phyllis Bogart, her very dearest friends, are taking, too, & there is quite a little pleasant rivalry between them. Gene & Phyllis have just returned from a little visit at Mrs. Westfall’s in the country. Mrs. Bogart & I drove for them. I drive a good deal these days, often after Father is driven to the[1] office. The horse (old Hickory which is the best that ever was) is sent back & I drive the whole forenoon. I used to be so afraid of horses & everything else. Am just beginning now to know how to enjoy life. I am full of thankfullness to my Heavenly Father for all His goodness to me. He has indeed “caused the lines to fall to me in pleasant places”.

July 20th

Gordon Conant has come to visit us to-day. He is seventeen years old and a fine scholarly young fellow. My Gordon (who is fifteen) went with the Y.M.C.A. Boy’s Brigade to camp at Sandy Point to-day. Mr. & Mrs. Byers & George & I are going to visit the camp Friday.


July 27th

My Wilfrid’s 24th birthday & he has been for two years at Yorkton area - N.W. T. practicing dentistry & is very successful. He was home a year ago. I was proud of my fine looking son.

Sept. 1, 1903

Have returned home (Father & myself) from a trip to Yorkton & the Pacific coast. We found Wilfrid nicely situated doing well & happy. We had a most interesting visit to the Isho-bor village where we stayed all night & were royally treated. Never will we forget that drive across the prairie (forty miles) with Wilfrid & young Markham. On the way, the boys shot prairie chicken & ducks & at noon camped by the roadside by a stream near a bluff. Then the boys cooked the chickens for our noonday meal over a real Indian campfire. On the way we called at a Gleason’s House where an Indian maiden lived. The Tonks are a clean industrious people. We stayed with Wilfrid five days and went on to Vancouver & Victoria. The trip through the mountains is beyond description. Never shall we forget the grandeur & beauty of them. On our return we stayed at Winnipeg and there met several friends. On our return home we found everything all right. Helen & [2]Leal & their husbands stayed with Ida & the children.

Sept. 10                                                                                                                      

George’s 10th birthday. He is proud of the airgun he got. He is growing stronger altho when he gets the least cold he is troubled with asthma. He is a fine looking little fellow with piercing black eyes. I must say that my dear little girl is everything to delight a parent’s heart. Her Father & I were talking about her to-day when we said we thought she had all the graces that goes to make a perfect woman & withal a beautiful face. Everyone she meets loves her - I earnestly pray my dear children may be guided alright in all the affairs of life. We are taking our dinners out for a few days or rather weeks, for I am without a maid. It is a novel experience for me which I thoroughly enjoy.

Oct. 5

I seems that all the good things are coming to me this year - for my dear sister Lou (Mrs. Myron Curtis) of Clarenceville, Quebec, has come to visit me with her son, Gordon, who is an invalid a boy of 18 years. She has always been next to my dear mother to me. She went on to Oshawa to visit the friends there & to Toronto. We spent many happy days together in the three weeks she was here.

March 1, 1904

Gene & I went to Oshawa & Toronto. Uncle Thomas went with us. We had such a good time together. We will not enjoy many such times together for he is failing fast. Gordon Conant, who is going to the University, took me to the Princess to see the “Country Girl”. We stopped with Alice Brethorne. She has just moved into a home on Borden St. (a home of her own) in Toronto. I bought some things for the Oriental room we are trying to fix with lanterns, tapestries, spears etc..

April 3rd Easter Sunday

Electa & her son, Maitland, came to spend the holidays with us. Sara Leavis was here, too, with little Alberta Gooding.

April 11th, 1904

Gene started in to St. Agnes School today. She is delighted to go. The nature studies suit her so well with her school work, music & nature studies, I mean ‘physical’ studies. She is kept pretty busy.

April 19th

Mrs. Frost & I had tea with Mrs. Parker Thomas today. She has a lovely baby & Norma Hilda is a perfect woman. Mrs. Pott’s Jr of Stirling came today. Ida is entertaining a few tonight & I am waiting up which gives me an excellent chance to write in this long neglected diary. It is now getting in the ‘wee sma hrs’. Stell writes from San Francisco that she will sail for Honolulu today where she will remain a year & then on to Japan if it is advisable. War now raging between Russia & Japan.

Brother William has gone with his son Carl to Portland Oregon to live. Poor boy, may it be the best move he has ever made.

May 1

Stell did not go to [Honolulu] but came to Clarenceville where George & I visited her in June. Gordon Curtis has tuberculosis of the joints. Poor sister, how her cup is full. Never will I forget our drive to [3]Noyan J.C., she & Stell & George & I. We were there just ten days. George was poorly with asthma. Sarah Leavis kept house for me with Lizzie McNellis to help her. She is so fond of Gene. She made all her summer clothes, among them a white dress, a linen & a navy olive & Gene went to Stirling to her friends, Mrs. G. Bailey & stayed 2 weeks. 2 weeks after I came home from C-ville, Stell went to New York City to the Manhattan Eye & Ear Hospital to take a post graduate course. There she met her father. Ida visited in Oshawa & Gananogue while we were away. Was gone some weeks with Madeline visiting my friends.

July 1904

Leal & Helen & Ed & Owen & the children are home for the holidays. They all spent a few days with me. Gordon Conant was here, too, & his friend Frank Smith. They were on their way to Quebec & the Sauganey. He enjoys coming here. He & Ida have a good time together. He is fond of society. We have had such a delightful picnic to the Oak Hill Pond. N. Vermilea’s family, Maysel Stork, Helen Landers, Don Bleeker & our family were among those from here & from Stirling-  Mrs. Pott’s Sr & Mrs. Faulkner & the Birds. On the last day of July Lena Stinson was married. We took her a cut glass carafe or water bottle.

Sept. 7th.

May Brice Thompson of Winnipeg & Lutie Holton of New York had dinner with me. If Wilfrid could only have been with me. Gordon has gone to Oshawa & Toronto Exhibition & not one word has he written home. He is an odd one.

Oct. 4, 1904

Mr. & Mrs. Chisholm & I went together to New York. I had great pleasure in going for Stell has been married a month - had a very pleasant visit with her & her husband. She was still at Manhattan Hospital. Donald is a fine fellow. We went to Mulberry at the East end where we saw something of the shady side of life. I went with Mrs. McCarthy Hyman & Porter several evenings to entertainments. Did some shopping, got myself such a neat suit for which I paid $32.50. Shoes for Gene & myself & Ida a pretty muslin dress & a piece of cut glass.

Christmas Day

We all had dinner at the Quinte - Father, Ida, Gene, George, Gordon & myself. We much enjoyed. After, we called to see Mrs. Luke. She is not long for this world.

March 1905

We have had such a happy New Year so far. And I never was so well in all my life. Have been over the critical time for two years and am only 48 (forty eight) now. I have so much to be thankful to my Heavenly Father for a good kind husband & the best children in the world. Ida is such an excellent help to me. She has such a fine principle, is very find looking & is much admired. Gordon is busy with his High School studies. He is very thorough in his work & is the soul of honor.

April 21st, 1905

Since writing here my sister’s son, Gordon Curtis died & on the 14th March my brother, Thomas, was called away. He was buried on the 17th. Myron & Louisa came up. It was a sad house. All the children were home. I had a message from his son, Gordon, at two in the afternoon. I left at five but he had been dead an hour when I got there. [4]Joe came Thursday with Myron & Louisa. My brother was an exceptionally clever man, had written two books “Life in Canada” & “Upper Canada Sketches” & often contributed articles to the “Globe”.

Good Friday, April 21

Yesterday, Sarah Leavis Bailey & her sister-in-law came from Stirling & took Gene home with them. They are going to make her summer clothes. They love her dearly & I feel quite safe in trusting my little girl with them. We have had a regular snow storm, the ground is white. We were invited out to the Vermilyea’s [Chan] to dinner tonight, Father was afraid of the storm so we did not go. We have surely missed a good dinner. We may go to N.Y. to-morrow.

April 22

Father & I went to New York & to Brooklyn to visit Stell & Don. They are very comfortable in an apartment house on Pacific St., No. 1509. Spent Easter Sunday in Prospect Park & Greenwood Cemetery. It is all beautiful beyond words. We had the pleasure of hearing Hillis preach in Meecher’s old church in the evening which was a very great treat. I have so much to be thankful for that Stell is so pleasantly settled in life. Donald is a fine fellow. We did not go to the Holton’s for George was about to be married to Edna Jones. Mrs. Flint & Mr. Starling went down with me to the wedding. We were in company with [5]Mr. & Mrs. Burrows. Had a very pleasant time together. Father has seen a good deal of New York this time. We were at Coney Island (such a crazy place). At the Horse Fair - the Hippodrome - Aquarium - Wall Street - Stock Exchange - Old Trinity Church & St. Paul’s - Bishop Potter’s Saloon- the East Side which is the poor side & many other things. Did a little shopping. Got Ida tan pumps, myself - patent leather & Gene white canvas shoes & other things. In June I went with Mrs. Bogart to Toronto & Niagara Falls & stayed all night at the Welland House which is a very grand place. Next day hunted up the Ross’s who came & took us driving. The Ross’s are in the Foundry business in Toronto. I stayed with Mrs. Ross, who has rooms on Jarvis St. Had a pleasant visit with Mrs. Carrier & Landers. On our way home we saw Ida at Oshawa Station. She visited Gordon & Edna Conant for six weeks. Gordon graduated as B.A. from Toronto University this month & he is only twenty. He is a level headed boy. Feels keenly the position he is placed in, I should say the responsible position he is placed in through Mr. Falkier’s death. Saw in Toronto [Holnean] Hunt’s picture “The Light of the World”.

July 1905

We have had such a happy month. The Old Boy’s reunion which took place this month brought so many old boys home but our son did not come. He has opposition so felt he must stay & tend to business. Leal & Owen & Helen & Ed came. We had quite a house party with Mrs. Pott’s, Miss Ham & Gordon Conant among the number. We had a small afternoon tea & had our pictures taken on the lawn. George is poorly again. He has never been strong since he had pneumonia a month & a half ago. He will be ten years old next month. Twice we have snatched him from the grave. I promised if the dear Lord would spare him to us, I would do my best to bring him up in the right way. When he is so poorly I feel I have failed in my promise. He who does “all things well” knows what is best for me & mine. I am so thankful I can say in all things Thy will be done.

September the 6th 1905

George is real well again - my heart is full of thankfulness.

We have all had such a pleasant time in Toronto. George & Ida were the ones who stayed home. The little mare, Gracie C., took third prize at the Exhibition. There were 18 competing against her. Everyone thought she should have had first but the first and second was won by those who always take the prizes for some reason or other. While in the city Dr. Walton-Ball (Edna Conant the second’s young man) was so nice to me. He is a fine young fellow. Had the pleasure of having dinner with him at the [6]King Edward. We met Gordon Conant there too. Had luncheon at McKonkey’s milk-farm. Helen Jones stayed with Ida while we were away. Gene had her picture sketched and it was her first experience. At the Exhibition Gordon had the time of his life. Was up three days. Father has just left to bring home the little mare. He is afraid to trust it altogether to the groom. He is to stay with Dr. Ball while in the city. I am so glad to have something to take him away from home for a change. While he is away a woman is coming to clean his office. I shall be there to oversee it & tend office. We have had disturbing news from Wilfrid. His temperature is up to 101. As there is a good deal of typhoid fever in Yorkton we are very anxious. I am so glad I went to see the “Lady Minto” Cottage Hospital  there. If this poor boy is ill I will know just where he is & how well he will be cared for. If he were only home. Mrs. Alf Vermilyea is in Yorkton visiting her daughter, Mrs. J. Gibson, so I know he will have someone to mother him. She is such a dear woman.  Gene has just started to take music lessons or rather to study music with Miss Emberson. She is sure to succeed for she has a good deal of talent in that line. She has passed into the third book. She & Phyllis sit together & are in Miss Craig’s room, so are happy. George is still in the second book. Gordon is in the second form of the night school. He is much interested in sailing his boat. The “Runaway” has won several races. All my boys are like my father, fond of the water. The Holton’s, who have been in the city for several weeks, are returning home to-day. We have seen a good deal of Edna. She is a bright girl. Ida is to visit her this fall. Mrs. Frost Bogart & I have so many pleasant drives & visits together. Hickory, who is the best horse in the world, gives us all a good time. I have never been as well in my life as I am now. Have so much to be thankful for. Have been writing early in the morning. It is now seven o’clock. So must arouse the sleepers. Ida will tend office this morning. She is such a nice influence in our home, is a fine-looking (handsome I should say) & discreet young woman. When Gene is 16, I will write what she is like. She is a darling now.

September 1905

We have had such a pleasant month. Our little mare, Gracie C, took third prize at Toronto Exhibition which is quite an honor. Gene & Gordon & I sat on the grandstand and watched Father drive her. Met Dr. Ball & Gordon Conant in the city. The Dr. took me to the King Edward for dinner & Gordon to luncheon at McKonkey’s. Both were exceedingly kind. Helen Jones stayed with George & Ida. In turning back I see I have written the above on a former page. Well we had such a good time it will bear telling twice.

Uncle Myron & Aunt Lou have gone to visit Stell.

October, 1905

Ida has gone to New York and Brooklyn to visit Stell & the Holton’s.

Strasbourg Pattern silver. Got my solid silver this month - spoons, desert tea & table & forks. My brother, William, has been to visit us. Was here five days. Poor fellow, I never before realized that he was so sinned against. Please God his just inheritance may be restored to him.

Mrs. Potts is coming to-morrow & I am having Miss Thompson & Mrs. Clarke to luncheon Sat. Mollie Jones is to be married this month - we are going to give her a linen shower & luncheon.

November 1905

Dr. Ball has been to visit us. He is Edna Conant’s young man. Is a great swell. Is practicing dentistry in Toronto. He brought me roses & Gene chocolates. He was an ideal guest. We hoped to have Gordon Conant come too but he could not. We are all more than surprised to hear of Thomas’ will. Margaret is left sole executor & the legatee. No one else mentioned. I had Mr. Than Vermilyea & Helen to dinner to meet Dr. Ball. Ida is still away having a good time. The Holton’s are so nice to her and she has been to visit her mother’s cousin Dr. Vail. Have been out a good deal to teas at the Wallbridge’s & Price’s - did not go the Bogart’s. Gene played at the recital at St. Agnes. She certainly did well. She will excel in music.

December 1905

Was at Mrs. Stork’s to a tea on the 1st. Ida is coming home to-morrow the 12th. A letter has just come from Wilfrid to-day. He will be home next week to spend the holidays - how delighted we all are.

Made my Christmas Cake to-day but have baked it too much. Will let the baker tend to that part of it next year. Joe has just bought the [7]house on Charles St. Paid $2,300 for it which is very cheap. Now he owns, besides that of our old house on Bridge St. worth $3000, the block on Front St near the Anglo worth $10,000 & the block farther up worth $14000 & our place here we live in [8](241 Bridge St. E.), worth $3000. Ida came home. She brought to me an elegant cut glass bowl, a present from Stell and herself. It is so kind of them.

January 1906

Wilfrid came home just before Christmas and it was such a happy homecoming for us all. He was looking so well & is doing so well. Just the kind of a boy to delight a mother’s heart. Boy, I say - he is twenty-six but very boyish. Because Gene & George wanted to have Wilfrid all to ourselves Christmas Day we did not invite anyone in. The only drawback was that Ida was so poorly, had a rheumatic affliction from doing without her flannels so long in New York. Wilfrid brought me a beautiful Japanese gong which I highly prize. His father gave him a handsome locket with his monogram &  a gunmetal match case inlaid. On Saturday before the New Year we went together to Montreal to sister Louisa’s where we met Stell & Don and had a most delightful time together. We spent the New Year with them & watched the old year out, singing

“Auld Lang Syne”. We stayed a day in Montreal,  went in the morning to the great St. James Church to a Sunday School rally. 10,000 were there. In the afternoon we saw Viola Allen in “The Toast of the Town”. After we went to Mrs. Lenny’s and had tea and took the train at 9 for home after a most delightful trip which Wilfrid says he will never forget. I had almost forgotten to say we had lunch at the “Windsor” which was burned soon after. Wilfrid left for home on the 3rd, stopped over at Oshawa to see the friends there, the Martin’s and Conant’s & at Toronto where he visited Alice Brethour & called upon Dr. Ball & at Detroit to visit my brother William & his family. On his arrival home, he writes he has mountains of work awaiting him. Dentistry was certainly the right thing for him to go into for he is a born mechanic. While here he renewed his engagement with a certain young [9]lady. She has been to see us and I saw for the first time the diamond ring he gave her four years ago.

Jan. 15

Ida & I went to Toronto to consult a physician about her rapid heart and throat. He said nothing would cure her but an operation. Poor girl, I am afraid she will have to submit to it. While in the city we went to the Lorrey & Alexander Evans meetings in Massey Hall (such a crowd of people I never saw together before) In God’s hands they have been the means of doing a great deal of good. We went to see Dr. Walton-Ball in his new home on Palmerston Ave. He was having a few in & as he insisted on it. Ida stayed over for it. His house is beautiful. I gave an order for a new gown at Still’s which costs $50.00. Just a little bit extravagant of me but I won’t do it very often. Leila Howard has come with her children to visit her father who is poorly. They have been with us ten days. We have driven old Hickory about & have made a good time. Ruth & George & Gene & George have such a good time. They are 10-11-12-13 years of age.

February 1st, 1906

Ida & Gene went to Stirling to visit at the Pott’s and Sarah. Gene stayed three days. Ida will stay a few weeks. Since she went Mr. Jim Pott’s has sickened and died of pneumonia. We are just beginning to have wintry weather. The whole winter has been springlike. Never had such a winter before. George is just as well as he can be now. If he only has strength to get over the trying autumn months. We all drove out home to see Leal & Uncle George Sunday. We were glad to find George much better. I am alone to-day, all have taken their lunch - Gordon is doing well at Albert College and he much likes going.

14th Feb

Gene got 12 Valentines. It was very funny to see Erle Graham - Artie McGee - Ned Downey, bring her some for fear she did not have enough. She plays at the recital at St. Agnes again next week.

March 1st

Have just returned from the city - had to go to see about my new gown. Stopped at the Y.W.C.A. on Elm Street. Such a delightful place to stop. Mr. Pringle got me tickets for the Laurier banquet. It was the grandest night I ever saw. I took Miss Stural of Port Arthur with me. I saw Richard Mansfield in the “Merchant of Venice”. Dr. Ball was kind as usual. We had a little supper together at the Savoy. Helen Vermilyea was to have gone with me but failed to, so did not see Gordon Conant as I did not stop at Oshawa. On the very next train after I returned home my brother William came from Detroit where he had spent the winter with Erle. He stayed with us ten days and went to Portland Ore. to Carl. Ida came from Stirling half sick with a cold. Have been to Mrs. Fenwick’s and Mrs. Jack McKeown’s to receptions. Did not go to Mrs. W.H. Gordon’s. We have just put in steam heating, which is a great success. Uncle George is failing fast, a general break up. He has been a good man.

April 1906

Louisa came and spent Easter with us. We had a very happy time together. She is getting over the great sorrow caused by the loss of her Gordon in a measure but will never be just the same again. Minnie Pott’s has been down twice this month. Once she came to go to Mollie Goldsmith’s wedding. We all went together. It was a very brilliant affair. Ida had a tea for Minnie. I poured tea in the “den”. Connie Weller & Lena Ford served. Ida is far from well these days, nothing but a slight operation will stop the rapid heart that is troubling her the doctor says. She has had to give up all violent exercise, but occasionally goes to the golf links. Gordon and young Scringer are sleeping in the tent they have a fine time of it with their sail boat, tennis, bicycling & driving but are doing well at College - which is the most important.


May 1906

Mrs. Potts Sr has left for Seattle. She was with us for a couple of days. She got a new [10]plate which is very satisfactory. Mrs. Bogart, Phyllis & Gene and I drove to Stirling where we met Mrs. Byers & Rhoda & all had dinner together at Moon’s. Minnie Potts went with us to the Woods and we afterwards had tea with her. She & Gene are such friends. Joe is having verandahs built on the Crother’s & [11]Bridge St. houses.

The engagement of Edna Conant (2nd) & Dr. Walton-Ball is announced in the Toronto papers. Wedding to take place 16th June. I am so glad I have a pretty new gown to wear. Grey voile with silk spots over grey silk. Miss Quinn has been six months making it so it should be nice. I will have it to wear to my own son’s wedding in September for if all is well Wilfrid will marry Lena Ford then Gene, George & Gordon all have new bicycles. George rode out home the day we went to Stirling . Joe thought him lost.

June 2nd 1906

Walter Mills & Annie Fenmark were married. I trust the poor girl won’t live to rue it.

June 4

Nell Goldsmith’s wedding day. Father lost the rent since against May. I kept office for him. George & Becca were down for dinner. There is such a change in poor Uncle George. We have written to Helen. She is coming on Thursday 8th.

Scringer has gone to Yorkton district to take charge of a mission there. Helen & Owen came.

16th Gene & Pa & I went to Edna Conant (the 2nd) wedding. It was a grand affair. I gave her Stirling teaspoon 1 doz in a handsome case. Had my photo taken with the bridal party. On the 14th Ida left for Montreal with Carrie Jones, to consult Dr. Shepherd about her throat. She has decided to have an operation but has gone to Aunt Lou at Clarenceville to get her nerves steady. I am very anxious about the dear girl but feel she is in good hands. Erle is coming from New Haven while she is there.

June 21st

Gene has again acquitted herself with honor at the recital  in St. Agnes. She is certainly doing well at her music. We are very proud of her.


Such a dreadful thing happened to-day. George was swimming when he struck against a rock or spike & tore a hole in his groin. We took him to the hospital where Dr. Yeoman’s put eight stitches in it. We brought him right home & put him to bed. We have every hope he will be all right after the stitches are out. He will be eleven years old the 10th September. Is quite a boy. Quite a little like Wilfrid.

Gordon is off in the morning to camp with the volunteers at Cobourg for four days. His chums Arthur Vermilyea & Harold Wilson are sleeping with him in the tent tonight. They will have a big time. Father has all his houses & blocks rented now which is a great satisfaction.

Inventory taken July 1st, 1906

The value of the blocks & houses, what they rent for & the taxes & insurance is as follows:

Front St. block with office - now rented to Quick & Robertson - rent $750.00 (seven hundred & fifty per year) without taxes or insurance, which is taxes on the whole block $250.

 insurance $42.00 worth $10,000.

Fairfield in the dwelling above Grays - $150.00 per year -

Lucus $100. - Scantlebury $96.00.

The office is worth $250. per year.

Upper block - Rothman $150. per year.

Barrett $144. -

Yard $84.00 -

upper flat $200. per year. Taxes about $125. on the whole. Insurance $30.00 - worth $5000.

Crother’s boarding house on Charles St. - rent $300. Taxes $65.- Insurance $20.00 for three years. Property worth $5000.

Bridge St[12]. - our first home - rent $264. per year - taxes $56. - office furniture & stock worth $1000. (one thousand). Insurance $18. for three years. House worth $3500.

This house we are living in on upper [13]Bridge St. East - worth - $4000. Taxes $72.00. the 2 acres across from us worth $2000.

The lot back of Thompson worth $200.

(l acre on Bleeker Ave. opposite the Burrell’s worth $1400. - sold).

An inventory of the stock & chattels. Grace $500. Hickory $150. Cow $50. Chickens $30. Double buggy $75. Phaeton $50. High covered $125. Open $50. (buggy speedway buggy $125. - double cutter $50. double harness single cutter $30. Speedway cutter $30. (thirty). Cart $20. Musk ox robes $200. Double harness $25. Heavy Single $20. Light harness $35. Blankets $10. Common harness $10. Blankets Vert. $6.00. Loose truck $25. Robes $10. Incubator $30. Brooder $10. Windmill $150. Barn alone $300. at the least worth $500. House alone $3000. Stock in Lock factory $200. George’s note about $200. Paid. Office furniture alone $300. Household goods including piano $300. About $28,500. worth of property - Life insurance $2000. in Confederation Life Insurance. Number of safe at 30 - 3 turns 50 to right turn back to 80.

July 1906

Bought the Stork house corner of Bridge & Foster Ave. and the vacant lot for $15.00. Repairs $500. Rent $20.00

June 1907

Bought the Frost house, corner Bridge & Albert St., Paid $1000. Repairs $1500.

In November bought back the Bleeker Ave. lots from Cousins for $150. Sold them to Gay 1909

July 1st

Went with the children to the Sunday School picnic to 12 O’clock Point and in company with Mrs. Bogart & Miss Walker we went to the woods. Philla got the prize in botany. Named 60 plants. Gene shall try another year, she too is fond of the woodsy things.

Ida writes she is going into Montreal to-day to the hospital, the dear girl, I am so troubled about her.

July 4th 1906

My 51st birthday. Such a happy day as my little girl & I have had together. She is 14 ˝ Sunday 8th. We drove the two horses, Hickory & Grace, and all drove out to Uncle Dave’s to dinner. Gene, George, Gordon, Father & myself. Uncle George is now confined to the bed, but it is much to be thankful for that he is so comfortable & happy. The Jones & Howard’s are there.

July 16.

Left for Quebec & Montreal with George & Electa Martin. Was four days in Montreal. She had her[14] operation on the 14th  before I got there. Thank the dear Lord it is entirely successful and she is coming home tomorrow.

Aug. 11th

Has been away just eight weeks (Ida?). Miss Berick has been so kind.

August 1st.

Attended Susie O’Flynn’s wedding in Bridge St. Church. It was a grand affair. Have had such a busy week helping Mrs. Frost with her sale. We got many pretty things from her.

Aug. 11th.

George poorly again with an attack of hay fever. Took him to Dolan[15]. Trust he will be in Yorkton next year at this time. Wilfrid leaves for home in two weeks. Met Wilfrid in Toronto Aug. 28. We had a most delightful time there together;  visited the Walton-Ball’s - had dinner at the King Edward. Bought the bride’s present - a pearl & diamond ring, and the brides & bridesmaids bouquets. We spent one evening at the Fair. Saw “Ivanhoe” & fireworks as well as the Kings (King Edward’s horses and his 2nd Life Guards Band). After two very pleasant days we came home together. Now I don’t see much of him for he spends all his spare time with Lena driving old Hickory and helping her to pack her magnificent painted china, her own work. Lena is a fine girl and our boy is fortunate to win such a prize. He is just past his 27th birthday. Has been five years in Yorkton Sask. where he has been very successful.

Sept. 9

Lena, Wilfrid & Father & myself drove in the double carriage to the country together. Poor Uncle George died the 21st August. Leal & Helen & their families were with him till the last. He was buried in Belleville cemetery on the 22nd. He was a good man. Not having made a will, the old home and all is to be sold. As there are three to share in the estate, Becca - his second wife and Helen Jones & Leal Howard of Peoria and Own Sound respectively.

Sept. 10

My George’s birthday. He is eleven years old today. He had & did just what he wished to - bought himself a baseball & decker - and rode on his wheel & spent the afternoon with Miss Ham. He told me when he came home they had “Chanel Cat” for their supper. He is a great boy - the right sort. While we were in the country Minnie & the doctor (Pott’s) came in their auto and took Gene & Ida home with them. They came home on the train next day.

To-day September 12, 1906

Wilfrid & Lena’s wedding day. It was just a family wedding but everything was just as nice as it could be. Gordon was groomsman & Dell bridesmaid. Mr. & Mrs. Sinclair were there from Scotland. Charming people & Dr. Sprague’s. All had their photos taken which will be a nice memento. They were married at high noon & left at two on the fast train for Toronto & Yorkton via Buffalo & the lakes. Ida wore Alice blue & I my pretty grey. Gene looked charming in her little white silk frock and George had a high old time riding around in the cobs & eating olives. Among the many beautiful presents they got was a cabinet of silver from the brothers and several cheques. We contributed in that way. Over fifty people gave presents.


Have had many charming letters from Wilfrid. He & Lena are supremely happy. I think I was right that all he needed was a wife of the right sort which he has certainly got. Lena will be a help-meet indeed.

Have been poorly for some days. Have had little Miss Doctor Connors[16] to see me several times. Just my old trouble but worse than ever before. Had fully intended to go to Cannington & Barrie. Would much like to see Aunt Electa’s mother, my dear mother’s only sister. Aunt Lou & Electa will go with me at Easter to see them which will be something to look forward to.

Did not go to Lena Lewis, or Mrs. Jeffer’s tea. Did not have a chance to go to Mrs. Than Vermilyea’s but Ida served there and Minnie Pott’s poured tea.


Poor Will Chisholm died. His poor mother & father are heartbroken. Erle Caldwell is sick at the Dannill’s. Such a sad thing.


Erle has returned home to Napanee. His marriage to Izzie Dannill’s postponed indefinitely. They were to have been married two weeks ago. Am afraid the poor fellow is consumptive. His father died at forty of tuberculosis. Father has had his mother and father and the bodies of all his brother & sisters brought to our cemetery. The Caldwell’s all lie together now in a beautiful spot which is a great satisfaction.[17] 


Erle has gone to Calgary with Ralph Ismay to camp out. May be of lasting benefit to him. The Stork house is rented for $15. per month.

Erle died in May. Was home just a week. Father and I went to Napanee to see him. He was so resigned to go. His last words to me were -“ we will meet in Heaven”.

December 1906

We have had the usual hurry and bustle this month always brings but all my Christmas fixings turned out well - mince meat plum pudding and white and dark fruit cake. Miss Ham and John her brother and Annie McLachlan (Don’s sister) had dinner with us. All received many gifts. Mrs. Pott’s sent a yarn holder, Stell a book, Bessie Spangenberg a bag [of cookies] from Helen Jones a [clluny] doylies, from Ida. a bead chain & underwaist, a white hood from Mrs. Frost, from Gene a Shadow Doylie, her own work, from Wilfrid & Lena such a box of fine things, tray cloths & doylies of Doukhobour work & spoons, to Gordon a tie & pin, to Father a watercolor of roses, to Ida doylies, also one to Gene & to George a knife. I sent Lena toilet covers & to Wilfrid crackers, the kind you pull.

The 27th

Gene’s birthday (her fourteenth). She had twenty of her little friends in, such a jolly time as they had. Her father brought home with him and placed on her neck & arm a handsome necklet & chain bracelet made out of the chain my father gave me when I was sixteen. Have had greetings from Judge & Mrs. Chapple of Kenora. The Walton-Balls & Edit Myers & Mrs. Trull. Ida is wearing my sealskin made into an Eaton coat she looks charming in it.

Phyllis Bogart & Gene are doing so well in their music under Miss Emberson. Phyllis is a clever child, like her mother a worker, and I trust will be like her mother - the salt of the earth.

January 1st, 1907

Father, George, Miss Ham and I spent the last days of the old year at the Watch Night service in the basement of Bridge St. Methodist Church[18]. A most helpful service. May this be the best year of our lives & may I be better fitted to guide the dear ones given to me, better than ever before. Miss Ham is spending this week with me. Dora & Mrs. Frost had New Years dinner with us. We went to Mrs. Bogart’s to afternoon tea Friday. Have made several calls & have done a good deal of shopping together, altho she had a bad head all the week.

Sunday morning 6th:

All were at church. This is the week of prayer. May I be permitted to enjoy a good many of the meetings.


Father went to Ottawa. Parliament was in session. Our member took him about. It was very interesting. Ed Maher was to have gone too but failed to. George, Gordon & Ida took turns tending office.

George has a new watch which he is very proud of altho it only cost $3.00. Aunt Lou has sent her watch to Gordon.


George went to the love feast with me. It was very slippery walking. Ida & Gene stayed to communion after morning service with me. Minnie Pott’s came down for a few days. We had afternoon tea for her & party in the evening. It stormed dreadfully. Out to Aunt Margaret’s. Joe & George drove on out home. The last visit they will be able to make for the old home farm[19] is sold. We are very glad for there has been so much trouble. Becca & Maggie will have to find another home. We have such happy letters from Lena & Wilfrid. They are as happy as the day long. Has any amount of work (dentistry) to do and they take part in many social gatherings. Every letter I receive makes me so happy & thankful. Gordon has improved so much of late. Is a fine looking lad with excellent principals.

February 25th

Father & I off to Toronto to the dental convention. Stayed with the Walton-Balls at 344 Palmerston Blvd. Were most royally entertained. Had the rare pleasure to hearing the Mendelssohn Choir. Attended one session of the legislature. Had a most enjoyable time. Of course did some shopping. Got New York shoes at Murray’s. $6.00 ones for $3.50. Hat at Hendry’s $5.50. Traveling bag for Ida, gloves for Gene. Album for Gordon. Books for George & a veil for Miss Ham who stayed with the children.


At Mrs. Price’s tea.

March 1st 1907

We were awakened at 4.30 by a loud ring at the door. It was a message from Owen Sound that Ed Howard had died of pneumonia at 3 am. Had been sick only five days. Poor Leal. Left with her two little children, George & Ruth, aged 11 & 13 years. Father left on the first train for Owen Sound & Fred Howard left at noon.

March 4

Funeral from here. Helen & Owen came. It is all so sad. We must be all the help & comfort we can be to Leal. Prof. Dyer Dosen & Wilson conducted the service. The flowers were beautiful beyond description. He was a good man. When the end comes that is all that counts. We little thought poor Ed would be the first one to be put in the new lot so soon after George too. Surely in the midst of life we are in death.

March 18

Leal & the children & Owen & Helen Jones of Peoria were here till to-day, just two weeks since they brought poor Ed. They have returned to Owen Sound. Leal has not yet decided what to do. Whatever she does will be for the best, for she is one of the kind that does the right thing. She is a fine woman has a beautiful nature. I have been poorly again with my old trouble. Donald McLachlan (Stell’s husband) has been to visit us from Brooklyn, New York. He is a fine fellow and so proud of his first baby boy (Donald Jr). Was invited to eat at Mrs. Holton’s and Nelson Lingham’s but did not go. Ida has been such a comfort & help to me these days. She does everything so well is-so well & handsome since her operation. Gene is busy practicing for an entertainment for the hospital. She is to be a blackbird. George has another attack of Asthma. Poor little boy. Went to Mrs. Roblin’s & Miss Sawyer’s tea with Miss Ham.


April 1st

George & I have just returned from a most delightful trip to my mother’s people at Cannington. Aunt Electa Amey is the dearest, cutest, sweetest little old lady of eight-two. My dear mother’s only living sister. It brought me very near to my dear mother to be with her. She told me so many things about her family. Her father’s sister, Betsy Shipman, married Edison[20] so the great electrician is a cousin of ours. The Curtis’, my grandmother’s people, are very clever people. Her father was Amasa Curtis and lived at Clarenceville. Will I ever forget dear Aunt Hannah Curtis Colton, my great Aunt who was so kind to me when I visited her when I was a shy child of twelve. I had gone home with Aunt Lou and was so homesick. It is funny that my married sister’s name should be the same as my grandmother’s, Louisa Curtis. The Curtis’ publish The Ladies’ Home Journal and Saturday Evening Post. There are four men cousins living at Cannington. Curtis Shipman, Herbert C. and Robert C. Shipman. Herb has three beautiful children, Ruth, George & Gerald, aged three, six and eight, (Ruth eight). Aunt Electa, son Charley Amey, has four daughters, Maudie & Florence are the elder. All are fine men well placed in life. I visited my grandmother’s and grandfather Shipman’s graves there. Caleb & [Lovicy] Shipman from C-ton. We went to Barrie to visit Edith Conant Myers, my niece. She has three beautiful children, Dorothy aged 8, Gordon C. six years and Margaret who is a little terror but the cutest thing I ever saw. Gordon Myers is an exceptionally fine boy & Dorothy is a little woman. Mr. Myers (Harry) is one of the best men I ever knew. George has had the time of his life, has seen real Indians and an Indian Wigwam and a hundred acre sugar bush with five hundred trees tapped. We saw the evaporator too. One of the compliments George paid me was “that I looked so nice & acted so nice that all my friends were sure to like me”. Cousin Harry gave him a bow & arrow. Aunt gave me a beautiful Indian sweet grass glove box. We saw so many beautiful things from her daughter Mrs. McDougal of Edmonton, Alberta (who’s husband is twice a millionaire) had given her. She, (Louisa Amey) was my best friend and cousin when we were girls. At Barrie we attended an Old Folk’s concert in the Opera House. George is the very best traveling companion I have had. Is so thoughtful & sees about things so well. I was much disappointed that Sister Electa & Louisa did not go with me to Cannington as I expected. Norman & Mali Martin were just going in business and Aunt Lou was renting their place so neither could leave. Now each sister will have more freedom. We have such happy letters from Wilfrid & Lena. They are coming home this summer. On the train George and I went on as far as Port Hope. Gene & Ida. went the former to Oshawa to visit Madeline & Adeline Baker. The latter to Toronto shopping. Gordon Conant met her there and they went together to the Walton-Ball’s to dinner and afterwards to the theater with Zeigler & Gordon where they occupied a box. Ida & Gordon are very good friends - he was on his way to Buffalo where he has a young lady I believe. He is a fine fellow.


May 23, Thursday

Left at midnight for Montreal where my dear sister met me and we spent the day together shopping. Lou got her a gunmetal silk dress. Had a most delightful day together. At 4 p.m. went out to Clarenceville (in company with Louise Derick) where I stayed till Tuesday 24th. Erle Curtis came from New Haven to see me. We had a pleasant drive to Alburg and went to the Episcopal Church that my dear mother used to attend when a child when Mr. Townsend was the rector. Clarenceville is full of interest to me it being my mother’s and grandmother’s birthplace. Father has bought another house, cor. Bridge & Albert. This is to be the last one, I believe, as there is a house for each of the children now.[21]

June 1907

This has been a delightful month. Mrs. Bogart and I have had our yearly drive to Stirling. Mr. & Mrs. Byers met us there and we had dinner together. Afterwards went to see Sarah Hailey, who has a dear little baby girl. After to see Mrs. Potts Jr. The drive home was delightful with the best company in the world for me, dear Mrs. Bogart. There is no one among my friends I enjoy being with as I do with her. Gene and Phyllis[22] were in school so could not go with us this time.

June 16

Poor Gene is quite ill with tonsilitis. Could not play at the recital at St. Agnes[23]. She knew her piece so well “Aragonaise”. It was a great disappointment for all. I went to the recital and took Mrs. Dodds and her sister. The Dodd’s live in our Foster Ave. house. We have had come to see us from Williamsville, New York, where the Mr. & Mrs. Fisk. Mr. Fisk is the head of the Lehigh Cement works. They have an auto and yacht and have kindly taken us out. One day we went to Deseronto and had dinner. We had them to spend an evening with me. This is a busy month in the Colleges and Schools. Gordon is trying his Matric[24] at Albert and Gene for Fourth book[25], and George for Junior Third at high school. This is the Albert Jubilee year[26]. Father is busy fixing up the little house on the corner of Bridge and Albert St. for Leal to live in. She will be so cosy and it will seem more like home than any place to her I am sure. Lena has come from Yorkton to visit us all. She seems like my own daughter to me. Has endeared herself to us all. Wilfrid has been fortunate to get such a good wife[27]. They are so happy together

July 1st

Margaret Conant, my brother’s widow, with Edna Walton-Ball, her two-month old baby (Horace), and the doctor came to visit me. It was a great pleasure to have them. We all went to 12 O’clock Point[28], and had dinner on the boat. Lena spent the Sabbath with us. All are so fond of her. These family reunions are very dear to me.

Lena was home a little less than three weeks when she received a telegram from Wilfrid to join him in Winnipeg to go on a trip to the far north with Dr. Cash (their friend) and his wife and others. We were all so sorry to have her go so soon. Wilfrid sent to me a set of French kitchen carvers, just what I needed. The dear boy always seems to know just what I want: I think of him every morning when I ring the beautiful Chinese gong he brought me.[29] I have to ring it good and long to get all the sleepy ones out. George and Gordon sleep in the tent by the dining room door. George has a pet coon that Tom McGuinness gave him[30]. We all laugh at Ida. He seems much interested in this quarter, it means a great deal to me to have Ida in our home. She and Gene are such good friends.


The Jones’s and the Howard’s were here a week, then they returned to Owen Sound to pack up to move down. Poor Leal, we will be so glad to have her with us. Becca and Maggie Caldwell are living in town near Albert College. Dave Caldwell is much offended at us because we had the family removed from the country to our beautiful cemetery where all will lay together in our last sleep. Gordon went to Toronto with Harold Wilson[31] to buy a boat and has been to Kingston with Fred Spangenberg looking at another one, but did not buy in either place and I am always glad not to have a boat. Gordon certainly takes after his grandfather Conant for he was quite a sailor. George goes with Gordon Murray in his canoe but they are not allowed to go out of the harbor. Ida goes sailing very often with Louie [Iler]. She too is very fond of the water. The McDougall’s of Edmonton are in Montreal where their youngest son Jim lies very low with typhoid fever. They have just returned from a trip abroad. They are very wealthy, are worth Two million. Mrs. McD was my little cousin, Louisa Amey, of Cannington. We were great friends when we were girls and now I am fifty-one this fourth of July 1907. I do want to grow old gracefully. The dear Lord has been so good to me and mine all the days of our lives. He has spared to me all but May who died when she was fifteen months. She would have been twenty-five if she had lived. Ida has fitted into her place and she is better off. I am so well and happy these days. Have so much comfort driving old Hickory and Father has his handsome driver Grace. Myron and Louisa are in New Haven looking up a new home. Stell is at her summer home on the coast near them.

I am writing at three o’clock in the morning on this 26th day of July, 1907. Got my sleep out early and have had so many here and so little time to write that I am glad of the quiet time.

August, 1907

Gene went for a week to the Sandbanks[32] with the J.W. Johnston’s family. She and Dorothy are great friends. Gordon and George and I drove over for her and I left George to spend a few days with Gordon Murray. He came home by Picton. I met him there. Luther Holton and his family are at 12 O’clock Point. Gordon and I drove up to see them. Our drive down on the Prince Edward[33] side was beautiful. Ida is at the “Banks” with the Iler’s. Is coming home tomorrow for Gordon Conant is coming to spend a few days. The MCGuiness’ are there and many other Belleville people. Tom McGee motors over and spends the Sabbaths. Tom has given George a baby coon which is the cutest thing and is pretty well trained. George hitches him to a little red cart and he draws it about. The cat’s, rabbits, pigeons and even old Laddie dog are in the shade now. The Jones’s and Leal and children were here two days when they moved in the little house cor. Bridge & Albert St.

Thursday, Aug. 8th.

Father is taking Grace to the Cobourg Horse Show next week the 20th. Mr. [Willmolt] says she is sure to win a prize. Mr. & Mrs. Robinson & Bess (Mrs. Reynolds of Denver) are coming to have tea with me tonight. Grace took 3rd prize at the C. Horse Show. We had a delightful five days visit with Gordon Conant. He is a man now at twenty-three, is growing much like his father. We had a little party for him. Lute Holton came from 12 O’clock Point (where he is summering with his family) to it, and he and Ida were at a party at the Phillips next door. The day before he left for home Adeline Baker came from Oshawa for a two week visit & we have had Father’s cousin, Mrs. Oscar Woods & her husband and daughter to visit us from Oswego, Kansas. They are fine people. Miss Ola Woods is a very superior young lady. Wilfrid and Lena have returned from their trip to the far north, have had a delightful experience. Now they are busy fixing up their cosy rooms. Wilfrid is so ingenious. He can do anything with tools like his father. A pressing invitation has come to us to visit them. Lutie Holton and his wife and little Mary & Wilbur had dinner with us today, the 5th. His children are the best ever. George and I took in the Toronto Exhibition together. We stopped with the Walton-Balls on Palmerston Blvd. No. 344. They have a beautiful home and the best baby in the world. Little Horace is a darling, is four month’s old. While in the City we had dinner with Alice Brethour and while there Edith Myers came from Barrie with her children, Dorothy Gordon[34]. Today Gordon was at [a ....ring] party at Col. Hilliard’s funeral at Stirling. He has come home tired out and has had a hot bath & gone to bed. Lou writes the McDougall’s of Edmonton have been to visit her. Erle & Stell & Don were to visit her at the same time.

August 27

[these next words are indecipherable] Mr & Mrs. Oscar Woods and their daughter of Oswego, Kansas, father’s cousins, have been to visit us. Owen & Helen have returned home. They gave me the day they left solid silver teaspoons like my set. They were just too generous.

Sept. 5

 Phyllis birthday (thirteenth). Gene has come from having tea with her. Ruthie Howard & Alice McGee were there as well. The children have been invited to a number of parties, at Ida., Hambly’s and a delightful one at the Yeoman’s. She (Gene) had a few girls in for Adeline. The children are heart broken over the loss of the coon, which got out of the cellar window & was killed. We have been quite gay, were at the Bird-Nisbet wedding on the 24th & Ida drove Dell, Gord, Lucey, Barrie & Hallie Pringle to the Vermilyea-Faulkner wedding on the 25 and have been to a tea at Mrs. Alf Gillen’s. Miss Ham came & we drove to Aunt Margaret’s.

The 25 of this month September is the 28th Anniversary of our marriage. Father gave me Stirling silver [......].& desert knives to me[....].had taken a university course. Want one College bred man in the family.

Sept. 17

Scantlebury’s store burned. The office in great danger but was spared. Leal & I went down town. Sept. 20-laying of the corner stone of the armories. Ida went with the Islay’s. Sir Borden officiated. Gordon was one of the guard of honor. Leal & I drove around. To tea at Mrs. Robinson’s & to see May Mackie go through on the train. Electa went to Bridge St. East with Leila and the children & I. She said she never spent a better day. We stayed to the Communion after Leal & the children joined the church.

Sent a basket of grapes & a mixed barrel of fruit to the children at Yorkton which was much appreciated. Father & Leal l & I drove to Miss Ham’s to tea and I was at an afternoon tea at Mrs. Walter Lingham’s. Stell writes she has taken a position in a doctor’s office. We strongly disapprove of it. Her place is at home with her baby.

November 1st, 1907

The first week George very bad with an attack of asthma. Gene & I went to Toronto to the Horticultural Show in Massy Hall. Stopped with the Walton-Ball’s and went with them to call on Sir Mortimer and Lady Clarke at Government House. Everything was grand, grand. We went in fine style in a carriage. Gene went with the Roy’s in their carriage to the H-show. Got Gene a new coat, boots & Alice blue hat and a grey ostrich feather boa for myself for which I paid $24.00. The price was $35.00.

The Ball’s house is beautiful & baby Horace one of the handsomeness and best babies I ever saw. The ‘lines have fallen to the second Edna Conant in pleasant places.

December 1st, 1907 (Sunday)

George Howard & George Caldwell sing in the boy’s choir and the little girl’s Ruth & Gene sit by their mothers. Such a privilege as it is to attend the services in our beautiful church. Mr. J.P. Millson our minister is dearly loved by all.


Children out of school on account of smallpox scare. Am having spare bedroom decorated with Clematis paper. Got long black coal at Sinclair’s - cost $15.00. Aunt Lou & Erle came to spend Christmas with us. We had a very happy time together. Leal & her children had Xmas dinner with us, altogether there were eleven of us. Mrs. Murray came on the 31st to visit Leal. On the last day of the old year I took Phyllis, Ruth, the two George’s & Gene to Watch night service. Father came along with us. I always feel like watching the old year out and the New Year in. Ida had a few friends in, among them Tom McGuiness, who is rather attentive. She wore her new yellow dress at an Assembly in the “Hall” for the first time.

We were hoping to see Wilfrid & Lena walk in but they did not come. We had such a nice parcel from them and such a good letter. They are so happy in their far western home together. I am so thankful that my dear son has such a good wife.

Dec. 27

Gene’s fifteenth birthday. Father gave her a fine stone turquoise ring. Gordon gave me lovely roses.

New Year’s Day - 1908

Mrs. Murray & Leal & Rev. Fred Howard & Mrs. Howard here to tea. Minnie Pott’s down on the


Gene and I had such a quiet delightful day home together. Could not get dinner as the men were fixing the new boiler in place in the kitchen.

Went to see Mrs. Phippen and from there to the bay to watch the children skate and ice boat & put on Gene’s skates and had a little skate. George is a fine skater. He pulled me around at a great rate. He is all right. Teddy Byers has been down for the holidays, he is one of my boys.


All but Gene & I have gone to the hockey match. Tom Mc took Ida. Have got such a pretty blue [....] and blue grey hat to wear with it & there are so many places to wear it this month. Have been to teas at Mrs. Nelson Lingham’s and the Kenny’s [...] & O’Flynn’s[35]. Leila did my hair beautifully for me. All the family quite admired me. Ida has spent a few days in Stirling at Dr. Pott’s. Have had a good long letter from my old school friend, Lucy French Chapple. Her husband is now Judge of the Rainy River district. They live at Kenora. We all were shocked at Doctor Sprague’s sudden death. The thought has come to us all - be ye also ready. Our heart’s have all been torn at the terrible death of our poor old Laddie dog. Other dogs set upon him and almost tore him to pieces. Gene is heart broken.

Such grand news has come from the dear ones in the west. They are now, both Lena & Wilfrid, communicant’s of the English church. How good the dear Lord has been to us all. He has showered blessings upon us. I praise and bless His holy name for all His goodness, and I am so unworthy.

February 1st

Father’s 55th birthday. He has celebrated it by putting the electric light in the barn. He would rather tinker than do anything else.

Feb. 4th

Ida had a girls and young matron’s tea, about 60 were here. Madeline Dumble, who was married in New York two weeks ago, received with us.

The 6th

I invited twenty-five ladies for afternoon tea. We had the worst storm of the season so only half came. Those who came were Mesdames Stork, Wallbridge, Iler, J.W. Johnston, McGee, C.M. Reid, Geo. Thompson, Spangenberg, RJ Graham, Bogart. Miss Ham & Leal helped me. Those who did not come were Mesdames Jeffers, Nelson & Fred Lingham, Kenney, Bird, O’Flynn, Hudson, Burrows[36] & Niblock & Robinson. Must have another before the Hunter & Crossley services commence next month. Miss Ham was with us 10 days. We went to the tea meeting in the church and she went to Mary Hamill’s funeral. We are all shocked at her sudden death.

Friday, 7th

Ida went to Toronto with Madeline and Mr. Wall as their guest at the King Edward. Was their a week and then went to the Walton-Ball’s for a few days on the doctor’s invitation. Much to my surprise Gene has been very ill with jaundice. Was in bed a week. We have had such a good time together during her convalescence. She and George were at Rhoda Byers snowshoeing party and after all went to Dickens’ (Note: this was the café/bakery from which I called Bob Jones to come back to Belleville in April of 1946, and then became engaged to him) for refreshments.

19th February

Telephone in the same day

Friday, Feb. 28

She (Gene?) assisted at Mrs. J.W. Johnston’s tea. I attended it was well as Mrs. Evens with Ida after I visited Mrs. Frost and went to a concert at St. Agnes.

Wednesday, 26th

I had my second tea. Twelve were here. It was a stormy day again but we had a good time. Ruth Howard has a light type of typhoid fever. Her mother is caring for her without help.

March 1st, 1908

Crossly & Hunter opened an evangelistic campaign here to-day in our church. May many precious souls be saved. Father & Gordon & I went to the evening service. It stormed all day so we had to wade through the snow consequently I have been laid up all week with my old trouble. So many have come to see me. Father sent me a beautiful purple hyacinth. It has filled the room with it’s fragrance. It is well to have flowers when one can enjoy them.

March 21st.

Father and I went to Toronto. We spent Sunday at the Walton-Ball’s. Gertie Maher & Gordon were there so we had a visit with them all. We went to the Metropolitan Church in the morning. In the afternoon we called on Mrs. Mason and Edna Rose. Monday we spent the day shopping looking for [electrolieres]. Father put in electric lighting last month. Did all the work himself. He can do anything.

April 4th

Got electric iron in Toronto. Gene came home from her domestic science lesson feeling very miserable. Has been in house till to-day 10th, when we had Doctor Connors up. The poor child is in for typhoid fever. 14th - her temperature is 103. Ida & I are taking care of her. Ida the first part & I the latter part of the night. She sleeps very little. Is a pretty sick little girl.

April 14th.

Earnest Sparkes came to work

29th Sunday

George & Gene with 125 (hundred twenty five) others gave in their names as members of our church, the result of the C & H meetings. May it be of lasting good to all. I have felt that my children have been Christians for years. Have tried to bring them up so they would never know when the great change came that it might be gradual.

April 19th Easter Sunday

Gene is progressing finely. She is having just a short run of typhoid but has been pretty sick. Such lovely flowers as she has had sent to her. Today the Japanese “Yogo Ohye” brought her white roses and he took Ida’s picture in her new yellow gown.

I was called to Miss Thompson’s at seven this morning (the 20th). She had a bad hemorrhage from the nose. Yesterday I went to the hospital to see Miss Ham who is I am afraid in a critical condition.

Madeline Wall came today. Ida to a party at the Storks.


At the Kenney’s to a W.C.A. social.

24th Friday

At Mrs. Geo. Wallbridge’s tea and afterwards Mrs. Spangenberg & I went to Mrs. Robinson’s social. The next day Mr. R. was taken ill with liver trouble & shingles.


Father & I drove to the cemetery to see the new stone Leal has had put to Ed’s grave. It is very fine. Cost $2.50.


Went with Mrs. Downey to see [Parsafal]. Such things have not much charm for me.


Ida & I went to hear (Father as well went) to hear Elbert Hubbard lecture on Health, Wealth & Happiness. He is a genius. I hope to go to his place the Roy Crofter’s run at East Aurora, N.Y. some time. There are many things about him that I do not like for he is of the new theology. The religion of our dear Lord & Savior has been my satisfying portion.


Leal & I went to prayer meeting.


Ida & Mrs. Bogart & I went to hear Sir Frederick Bridge, organist of Westminster Abby lecture & play the organ. It was grand.

The Eppleshimer’s who have been our neighbors for two years have moved to Chicago. Their address is 646 W. 62nd St. Have had a letter from Mrs. Oscar Woods, Joe’s cousin who lives in Oswego, Kansas.

May 3 Sunday

Ida & Gene & George stayed to communion with me. On my way home I went in to see Mrs. Ford who had just returned from the hospital where she had had an operation. I stayed & had dinner with her.

Tuesday 6 May

I drove with George & Mrs. Fairfield to “The Pines” the Indian Oronhyalekha (doctor) old home. He & the young doctor died a short time ago & the doctor’s young wife, a fair Norwegian, & her sister are living there alone. The sister’s name is Doris Hansen & Mrs. O. Teresa. We had a most interesting visit. They told me many things about Norway “The land of the midnight Sun” and gave us some little mementoes. The Pines is four miles below Shannonville. We saw more Mohawks than ever before. Foreigners are full of interest to me. If I cannot go to their country I cultivate the acquaintance of all I come in contact with.

May 24,1908

Gene & George & Father & I spent the Victoria Day at Oshawa. I never before had such a good visit there. Took George to my old home and went in every room of the old house I was born & married in. We went to the cemetery. It is a beautiful spot where my Father & Mother & brother lie. Sister Electa is well & happy with her grown up sons & Gordon Conant & his mother are enjoying life very much together. It is three years since my brother died & it is my first visit there since, with the exception of a short stay when Edna was married. Father & I went on one day to Toronto. I stayed with Jessie Neilson at 143 College St. which is the Lance’s rooming house. Minnie Potts was in the City & we spent the evening together. I got myself a black grenadine gown at Murray’s. As soon as we got home Gene had tonsilitis.. I trust she is through with all her sickness now for a time. She is not able to go on with her studies so will miss her entrance exam, but is trying her primary in music.

June 6th Sat.

George & I drove to Aunt Margaret’s to dinner & on out to Uncle Dave’s, our first visit there since Uncle George’s death. The next day, Sunday, Gene & her father drove out to Aunt Sophia - and came to us at Uncle’s. Poor Hetty has a tumor - is about to be operated on. They have had their share of sorrow.

June 16

Mrs. Bogart & I drove to Stirling. Minnie went with us to Otonobwe Woods, two & a half miles from Stirling. There we found quantities of the pink lady slipper orchids, a beautiful rare flower. We had a most delightful day arriving home at ten o’clock. Gene has passed her primary musical exam with honors. She is so busy these days trying the entrance exam[37] and then she is one of the blackbirds or firefly in “Zephra” an entertainment in aid of the hospital. Father & Ida & I are going to St. Agnes tonight, the (18th) to Miss Emberson’s recital. Gene & Phyllis Bogart who has passed her exams as well are going to play. Gene’s selection is “An Old Fashioned Garden”.

July 1st 1908

We all went on the early boat to the Sunday School picnic. The Byers came and we had a very happy day together. It was Mrs. Byers’ first picnic. We had our lunch at Lutie Holton’s cottage. Gordon & Lain sailed the new boat up. All went in bathing. Teddy Byers is just home from Trinity College, Port Hope. He is such a fine manly boy.

July 3

Gene, George & I drove to Chatterton where we met Mrs. Byers, Teddy & Rhoda and spent the day together. We hunted through the swamp for the pitcher plant but was too late for it. The woods across from the swamp is beautiful. We found wintergreen, blue berries and various colored fungus. Teddy came home with us & stayed a few days sleeping with the boys in the tent.

Tuesday July l7th 1908

A telegram came from Wilfrid that we were to put George on the train for Winnipeg the next day where he would meet him on his return from Banff & Edmonton.

Wednesday morning - I went with him to Toronto. We spent the afternoon at Scarboro Beach and went to the Walton-Ball’s to tea. At 8 p.m. we went to the station where we met Mr. & Mrs. McGrath who took him in their care, he sharing their little boy’s berth. The train was delayed 17 hours on account of freight off the track and broken bridge so he was three night’s on the train, but Wilfrid wired him not to be afraid that he was waiting for him. They arrived safely at Yorkton Saturday night. Wilfrid & Lena had a most delightful trip. The McDougall’s at Edmonton were very kind, took them about in their auto and gave them many beautiful presents among them a handful of gems from India. At Banff they took the baths which quite restored Wilfrid to health. From Banff they sent Gene a dear little silver watch & chatelaine which she wanted above all things. It was for passing her musical exam.

Sunday 19th

Gordon is one of the Composite Regiment which left for Quebec today to take part in the Tercentenary celebration.

Monday morning - Helen & Owen Jones & Leila Howard & Gene left on the Alexandria (boat) for the same old city & today noon Father left on the Flyer for the same place. He much wanted me to go but I thought it best not to leave Ida alone with everything to see to.

Prince George was there (now King - 1914)

Madeline Dumble (Mrs. MacWatt) and her husband have come from Cornwall to stay with me. We all have dinner at the Crother’s. Mr. Watt is such a fine man. Ida enjoys having them here so much. She & Madeline have always been so fond of each other.


Father ret’d home, had a most enjoyable time & Gene came with her party on the Alexandria

Saturday noon. She had the time of her life. Gordon came Sunday. He stayed over to see Montreal one day. Aunt Lou writes she expected to see us drive up every moment. Sat on the verandah waiting for us. George writes from Yorkton he is having a fine time barring the pain he suffers having his teeth crowned which Wilfrid is doing. Lena is so good to him.

August 1st, 1908

Gordon Conant came from Oshawa at noon. At 2.30 we left for Glenora with Leal & her children & Helen & Owen relatives from Chicago to have a picnic.[38] We had a most delightful day. The Wiley’s are fine people. Mrs. W. Katrina & Jim. Sunday we had them all up to dinner & in the afternoon the Pott’s of Stirling drove down in their auto with Miss Bolger of Kingston and had tea with me. Our new minister, Dr. Bishop’s first Sunday. I did not get to hear him.

Today - Monday - the two Gordon’s & Ida & Gene have gone down the bay in the boat that Gordon & Lain S. built last winter in the cricket house. They have taken their lunch, will spend the day. Father & I had lunch alone. The Wiley’s here to dinner Sunday.

August 7th

Father went with Dr. Pott’s in his auto to Kingston & from there by boat to the Thousand Island’s. Gordon went at the same time with Capt. Barragar & his party in Harold Saunder’s boat to the same place. We who were left at home had a peaceful happy time together.

I am much worried at the family not meeting together for eight o’clock breakfast. I am quite willing to get up & get it. It seems to me that it is not an unreasonable thing to ask. I am often up two hours before anyone else with the exception of Father who goes driving.

We have many visitors coming & going. Now we are expecting Carl, Ida’s brother. I have come across something so beautiful about the guest in the home that I must write it here. It is by Ian MacLaren. “The coming of guests revives & enriches the common life for each one has his own tale to tell. His presence in the house is an inspiration and he does not utterly depart with the Godspeed at the outer gate. Something has been left behind the effect of another individuality which leaves its trace on the household. As when sandalwood has lain among paper or rosemary among clothes”.

This month about the middle, Ida went to visit Sidney Brown Beatty at Parry Sound & I went with Mrs. Spangenberg to Kingston where she stayed and I went on to the Thousand Islands alone which I much enjoyed. Karl S. is purser on the North King. He made it very nice for me.

Wilfrid writes that George has gained eight lbs. since he went out there eight weeks ago.


Owen & Helen came to dinner & in the afternoon the Pott’s with Mr. Bett’s motored down.

28th - at Mrs. C. Reid to a large tea.

29th - Helen & I drove for Miss Ham who is going to spend the Sabbath with us.

Sept. 1

Helen & Owen left for home & Gene & I with Mrs. Byers & Rhoda left for Toronto. We stayed at 80 College St. with Mrs. Roblin. We visited the Exhibition, Scarboro Beach & Robin Hood. I expected Ida to come from Parry Sound to go with me to Detroit but she failed to do so, so I went on alone on Saturday. William met me at the train, just after we crossed the river, and we went at once to his home 15 miles out of Detroit. Earl is with him and the poor fellow has got a little home about him again. May he be prospered.

Sarah Levis’ sister, a Mrs. Fogerty, wrote for me to visit her at Plymouth beyond Inkster. I got the letter too late to go.

Ida is remaining in Toronto - is giving the tearoom business a trial. Gene & Gordon has started into the High School and George has started into the Yorkton school.[39] He is so well - has had none of his old trouble. He passed his 13th birthday on the 10th this month. I feel pretty badly when I consider I will never have a little boy again but if he only grows up to be a good useful man, I shall be satisfied.

Sept. 25, 1908

The 30th anniversary of our wedding. Have just returned from Stirling, where I went as judge of fine arts at their Fair. I stayed two days with the Pott’s in their beautiful home. Mrs. Frank & Reggie Pierce & Mrs. Bolderic were among the judges and had dinner at the Pott’s.  Minnie is a beautiful woman & has a perfect home.

Wed. 23 1908

Leila & the children left for Owen Sound & Peoria to spend the winter. Dear Leal - how I shall miss her. She is the salt of the earth.

Oct. 1st

Ida writes she is giving herself “a trial” in the English Tea room in Toronto. It will be a nice change to be able to stay in the city & she will be able to see how she likes living away from home and she knows she has a home to come to when she wants to. All girls want to earn money these days. Wilfrid & Lena & George are putting the finishing touches to their bungalow and are about moving in. They are so happy over it and George is so well. Someone wrote his cheeks were like roses and his eyes like diamonds. The dear Lord has done more for me & mine than I could ask or think. Aunt Lou has gone to visit Stell in Brooklyn. She wrote me to go with her but my “travel fund” is exhausted. Maybe if I am good & saving in a couple of years I will have means to go with when I want to. We are hard up paying for property. Father has promised me not to buy any more. He has one apiece [40] & a block for each on Front St.[41] There are few that have lived as well as we have and saved as much. It has been a most delightful month. Flowers were blooming in the garden on the 31st . Many have entertained to afternoon tea this month. I went to Hilda Thomas - Mrs. Walter Lingham, Birds’, Mable Allen’s & Price’s.


Nov. 1st 1908

Such a surprise as I had this afternoon. Lena, Wilfrid’s wife, came driving up with Father who was returning from Uncle Dave’s. He & Gordon drove out in the morning to see about Maggie, Father’s sister. Becca is not going to care for her any longer. We are hoping she will always have a home with Uncle Dave. Lena was sent for to come to her mother who is about to undergo an operation for cancer. They will to got Montreal to Dr. Shepherd. It was a great trial for Lena to come for they had just moved in their new house the Saturday before. The barrel of apples & nuts we sent to them arrived just before she left. Fruit is very scarce in Yorkton so they will have a feast. Lena has so many good things to say of George, says he is the best boy she ever knew. I knew he was good & now he is so well & happy. He gets along so well at school, is fond of his teacher. Gene & I have had a happy day together alone. Phyllis came with us from church & had dinner. We had our quarterly service. Our pastor, Dr. Bishop, conducts the solemn service so well.

Ida came from Toronto Saturday & spent Thanksgiving with me which was on Monday this year for the first time. She stayed till Tuesday. She is so well and is much in love with her work. Only young ladies are employed in the English Tea Inn which is a very swell affair. Minnie Potts had Thanksgiving dinner with us.

Nov. 20 - Mrs. Lingham’s tea & to Y.M.C.A. banquet at which I had a table. Dorothy Johnston & Gene served for me.

December 23 - Mrs. Frost was buried the Thursday before Christmas. She was a good woman and she was so glad to be reconciled to Mrs. Robinson before her death. I have lost a true good friend. Father was bearer.

December, 1908

Lena went with her mother to Montreal where she (Lena’s mother) was operated on.

25th - Father, Gordon, Gene & myself had Christmas dinner together and gloomy enough it was.

27th - Gene’s sixteenth birthday. She says she is so happy the girls were invited over to the “Ontario” to a carnival, skating.

Jan 1st, 1909

Edith Myers came and spent the New Year with us with little Margaret who is the dearest & best little girl in the world. While she was here we had the Harold’s & Mr & Mrs. Whitaker up. Lena returned to Yorkton the 2nd - has been here two months. Wilfrid brought George to Winnipeg & put him on the train and met Lena. I met George in Toronto. His train was over twenty hours late. Teddy Byers came to the station and all had dinner with me & Mrs. Byers at Eaton’s Grill room after the boys went to see the celebrated Scotchman Harry Lauder. I was in the city four days with Ida. Stopped with her at her rooms 423 Jarvis St. The tea room is very swell indeed.

I am so thankful to have my boy with me again. I trust he will be better but he has had a cold & is a little wheezy. He thinks Yorkton & Wilfrid are all right. Wilfrid has certainly been good to him. Ida came from Toronto the 10th and her father[42] came from Detroit 13th. He is on his way to the North West. He is looking so well & am so glad to have him here to enjoy a little home life. He has been a rover so long - is now 60 years of age. Has had a checkered life.


Minnie came to dinner. Mrs. Bogart went with me to our tea room (Ida too). We had such a cosy time.

22nd - Ned Downey is here playing checkers with George. They are great chums. Am writing with the fountain pen Wilfrid gave George. He gave him as well a watch & chain.

My brother Win. left us after a three week’s visit and went to Oshawa to visit sister Electa.

Feb. 3rd

He should have an operation on his neck. We thought of going to Doctor Shepherd, Montreal, and to visit Louisa but he thought he would rather go to Toronto.

Becca is poorly. The doctor says “paresis”. Her sisters have come. She will probably be taken away, poor creature. She has found that the way of the transgressor is hard. Am so glad Leal is still in Peoria with Helen away from all the annoyance. Hetty Caldwell Holgate is slowly dying with cancer.

Feb. 8

Ida has gone to Stirling in answer to Minnie’s phone to go to Mrs. Parker’s party. Miss Ham was with me over Sunday. She has just received $1000. from the Mendell estate.

Mrs. J.W. Johnson our member’s wife invited me to belong to a club which met at her house the first time. Mrs. RJ Graham, Mrs. Bogart, Miss Ron’s & Miss Bogart were there. Am afraid it is too much of a study club for me. Dorothy Johnson & Gene are [dorg] & friends. Gene has Leal in for afternoon tea. She did everything. She has such good taste.

I am so glad to have Leal home - so nice to have her home to go to & someone always ready herself. Everyone spoke of her beautiful playing. She wore her new white silk for the first time. The boys & girls have a rink & clubhouse just across the way where they have heaps of fun. I love to watch them. “The Ontario’s”. They went to Trenton to play a hockey game and the return match was played here.

Ida has been to a party at Ethel Lingham’s & to the Phillip’s next door. She wore [maze] silk with crimson roses. She looked very fair. Mrs. Phillip’s has been in to visit us. George is promoted to the Senior Fourth. I am in great hopes he will go on.

March 5th, 1908

Becca was taken to the hospital in Toronto for the insane. Her house is in care of her sister,  Mrs. Swail of Detroit.

Gordon drove Maggie Caldwell out to her sister, Sophia Sills to-day, the 24th March where she is to make it her home.

Leal & the children have returned from Peoria. They have had a very pleasant six months sojourn with Helen & Owen. Helen sent such lovely gifts. She is so thoughtful and has such good taste.

I have had Mrs. Sam Phippen Spangenberg & Geo. Thompson’s & Leal in for afternoon tea. Ida did everything. She has such good taste.

I am so glad to have Leal home - so nice to have her home to go to & some one always ready to go with me. She is such a fine woman. The day of the spring openings, Father took Leal, Gordon & myself out to the “Balmoral” to dinner. After we went to the tea at St. Andrew’s Church.[43] then to the reading room & prayer meeting. Dr. Bishop is such a good man and his wife an excellent woman.

March 25th

Ida is off to Toronto today with Eva Phippen, Bessie Spangenberg & Margaret Webster. Word has just come from Wilfrid that Gordon is to go to him as soon as possible. He has a position for him on the new GTP[44] - another break in the family which I trust is for the best. Will spend some time with Wilfrid in his new home. He (Gordon) will be twenty-one the 22nd May.

Father is building a conservatory at the back of the dining room.[45]  When he cut the heads off the ducks I was in hopes that was the last hobby. Well, there is one thing sure, he is happy doing those things. Miss Foley has just made me an amethyst colored gown, charged $7.50 for making. Ida bought it for me in Toronto. George has caught up to Gene at school. He is now in the Sr. Fourth. It is easy for him to learn. He is growing to be a big strong boy but has a touch of his old trouble now and then but trust he will outgrow it. His sojourn in the northwest certainly helped him.

March 29th (Monday) 1909

Gordon left for Edmonton & Yorkton. He went in company with Arthur Mallory as far as Kenora. He will join a survey party at Edmonton to go on the new GTP Railway. Will be on till the autumn & will probably go to the Rocky Mountains. He writes from Yorkton he is enjoying his stay with Wilfrid & Lena in their fine new home. It is a great chance for Gordon for he is going with Wilfrid’s friends.

April 1st Easter Sunday

My two dear sisters Electa & Louisa have come to spend the holidays with us. They came the Thursday before Good Friday & was with us till the following Tuesday. We have had a delightful time together. The only drawback was Electa’s delicate state of health. She has been poorly since she had pneumonia, is much like brother Thomas was. The Robinson’s have returned from a three month’s sojourn in California. Poor Mrs. R. has her nervous trouble again. She is a great sufferer. George is quite a man these days. He milks the cow & helps with the barn work. Is growing stronger every day. He has a new collie pup which is a beauty. Today George built a shack down in the field & cooked his dinner there. The Howard children & our children are great friends & Leal & I go out together a good deal. This week we were at the Sander’s concert & to the Easter Thank-offering service.

April 15

Ida has gone to a party to the Kenny’s & Gene to McGee’s to tea. I have baked nine loaves of bread today, part for the Y.M.C.A. sale. Have been lonely since my dear sisters left me God grant that we may have many such meetings. Dora Frost who left for California in Jan. is married to a man by the name of Kelly. Everyone much surprised. Mr. & Mrs. Robinson have returned from California. Poor Mrs. R. is bad with her old nervous trouble. Lena returned with them to stay a few weeks.


The Collie puppies came. The children are delighted.

25th. Poor Aunt Hattie had a paralytic stroke. Poor Mother Nature could stand no more. It is only a few weeks since her daughter Hettie died of cancer. Leal has been helping us to sew this month. Helped make a house dress, dressing jacket, linen skirt & grey silk waist for me.

May 2nd

Father & I drove out to see Aunt Hattie. She is still unconscious. On our way home, we stopped & had tea with Aunt Margaret Gibbs at Foxboro. (She is getting to be an old woman). There we met Mr. Galoway, the young Presbyterian minister, he having spent a year in Alberta. We had a good visit or “crack” as he would call it for he is an Edinborough man. I think I like the Scotch next to our own native born. Leal & I went to League the 3rd. They had an evening with Tennyson, which I much enjoyed, he being, I think, my favorite poet. “Our little systems have their day. They have their day and pass away. They are but broken lights of Thee. But Thou O Lord art more than they”. The first knowledge I had of the poet was through our neighbor boy, John Shaw, when I was sixteen & he 25. Gordon Conant sent me for Easter a booklet of Oliver Wendell Holme’s poems.

May 5

All were surprised to have Dora & her husband come. They are on their way to England. Her sister Hilda Thomas had a reception for them. Dora has invited me to visit her in Los Angles. Gene is busy at her music. She will try her intermediate this June.

May 3rd. Work has begun on the house on Bridge St. next to Leal’s.[46]

May 24

The Walton-Ball’s spent the holiday with us. Horace is two years old - is a dear little boy. He & Gene are great friends. Jess Neilson was with us as well.

26th May

Leal & Father & I drove out to Aunt Hattie’s funeral. Such a large funeral. She was a good woman. George is sailing Gordon’s boat. Minnie Potts & Ida & Gene went sailing with him tonight.

June 3

George accomplishes what he undertakes. Have just finished housecleaning & am so tired. Am wondering if I shall always have to clean house. Methodist Conference here now. Expected Minister’s out they did not come.

This month of June 1909 has been full of pleasure to me. I went to visit the Walton-Ball’s in the city, and had the pleasure of attending several sessions of the Quinquennial Council of Women of whom Lady Aberdeen is President. It was a great treat to hear some of the cleverest women of the world discuss things of benefit to women & children & for the uplift of humanity. Our cousin, Carrie Derick, was one of the delegates. Dr. Walton-Ball was most kind as usual. His mother was stopping with them, He took us driving in the High Park & Rosedale and took us in a taxi-cab to the Royal Alexandria to see the Press Club entertainment. We were guest of the Toronto Yacht Club. There I met Mrs. Byson & the Misses Dickson’s who were most kind. Sunday I went to hear Dr. Jackson in Sherbourne Methodist Church. I went on the boat to Oshawa for three days. Took Margaret by surprise. Gordon Conant drove me about to so many interesting places, over my father’s old estate, which is now his. I was rejoiced to find my dear sister, Electa, much better. Such a good time as we had together. Such a bountiful house as she has.

Bertie Baker’s twin girls, Adeline & Madeline, are two clever girls. They are only seventeen and have passed their Matriculation[47] On my return to Toronto Margaret went with me on the boat. There I met Kel Scott, Edna’s friend. She is such a bright girl. Teddy Byers who is home from Trinity College, Port Hope, is sleeping with George in the tent. They have a big time when the collie pups crawl in the morning.

A splendid picture of Wilfrid’s “Bungalow” has come. we are so proud that Wilfrid has done so well. Gordon is much taken up with the North West life on a survey. Suits him fine.

We have such a good Scotchman working for us now, his name is John Houston. His greatest fault is that he will get drunk occasionally. He keeps the horses and carriages looking fine & tends to the lawns and helps about the flowers which is father’s latest hobby, and a very pleasant one.

Word has come that Dora’s husband is not what he claimed to be. Poor Hilda (Mrs. Thomas) is in the hospital. She is so worried.

The dining room verandah is being enlarged now. We will have an outside dining room.

Leal, Helen, Gene, George & Ida & myself had a very pleasant trip to Presqu’isle on the 27th. Owen Jones is touring Canada or rather Ontario in the interest of his firm. He & Helen go to New York next week.

July 28

Gordon Conant & Hugh McLean, Earl Lawrence of Toronto & Rupert Hamllin of Oshawa motored down in the latter’s auto & staid with us till Friday (three days). They are a jolly crowd. We much enjoyed having them.


Gene at a tea at Greta Stork’s[48] to meet miss Watson of Toronto whom she had met at the Sand Banks.

Aug. 2, 1909

Ida left for St. Ola to spend a month with the Iler’s in their camp. On the 3rd Aunt Lou & Uncle Myron Curtis came from Clarenceville. The next day Gene left for the Sand Banks to spend a couple of weeks with Dorothy Johnson in their cottage.

Aug. 10th

Father left for Edmonton & Yorkton to visit Gordon and Wilfrid in his new home. I am almost overcome with all the responsibility now Father is away, but I could not have any one better than Aunt Lou to stop with me. We have a very good Scotchman to look after things, John Houston, & Lizzie McNellis is my old stand by to help in the house. The side verandah is finished & furnished. It will be fine to have our meals out there. Owen & Helen Jones are down in New York. Will come to Leal’s this week. The new house next to Leal’s finished & the Vipond’s will move this month, August, 1909. We have found out that Dora T’s marriage is a great mistake. This month George sailed his boat to Trenton with Artie McGee and young Alvie Moore to the Trenton Regatta and won the silver cup for 14 foot dinghy’s. He came home a pretty proud boy. It is pretty good for a fourteen year old boy. Father returned from his trip west the 24th. Was delighted with his visit. Wilfrid & Lena are so cosy in their new home. They came as far as Winnipeg with him. Gordon is well & happy. He & Father called at the McDougall’s. The latter had just returned from a trip abroad. Lou & Myron left for Oshawa on the 28th, where they stayed till the 8th September. Came back here, Erle, their son, with them and left for home the 10th Sept (George’s 14th birthday). Ida came from St. Ola. the 1st Sept. She spent a delightful month with  the Ilers.

Sept (Tuesday 1909)

Mrs. Iler & Cook, Hudson, Bird & Nisbitt were here, expected Corrie Derick but she did not come. Father went to Toronto Exhibition & returned home with a new automobile.[49] Grace, his fine driver, went as part payment. $1500.00 was allowed for her. All are delighted with it, but I prefer old Hickory. George is quite a machinist - is a great help to his father about the motor. His mother thinks he is a pretty good all around boy. This month Corrie Derick wrote she was coming to visit us. We invited Mrs. Bird & Edna & Louie Iler & her mother & Mrs. Hudson to luncheon to meet her by these failed to come.

George & I went to Toronto Exhibition together where we had no end of a good time. We stopped over at Oshawa to visit Gordon Conant. I stopped over a train & drove to the Martin’s.

Gene has been pretty homesick and I miss my dear girl more than I can tell. Am longing for her tonight as I sit here alone at midnight writing. God grant that my dear girl may become a good useful woman.

October 1909

This has been another busy month. Had two lady delegates to the WCTU, a Miss Taggart & Mrs. Edwards Cole of Ottawa. The day they left for home I had to go to bed and the next day had an operation which I trust will be the means of me having better health for all time.

Gene is very happy in her school now. She has such a nice room & roommate, Florence Elliot of Kingston.

This is the first time we have had Thanksgiving Monday. If I had been able I would have gone to Clarenceville. Stell is there with her little boy. I have been confined to my room for ten days. Don’t see how I could have got along without Ida. I try to arrange to have her go out a good deal. She cannot stand it to be confined to the house. She went to the golf tea. Thanksgiving Day & Minnie & Dr. Potts came down & went with her to the Military Ball, which was a grand affair. Ermine skins have just come from McGrath, Yorkton for Ida. She will look swell with her seal skin coat. It does not take much for to make her look nice. We have sent Wilfrid a barrel of apples & nuts & a basket of grapes. Gordon is still at Edmonton, is asked to be an usher at the McDougal wedding (Alice McDougal’s). Have had the parlor painted white & papered green. The [ fixture] fixed up & electric light put in. The greenhouse is flourishing. Father has much pleasure in it. He has brought me several carnations.

November 1909

Four weeks have passed since I had my operation and I am just getting about. Please God may I never again have this trouble that began when I was first a woman.

Ida had a tea for Mrs. Hudson. I have had the Price’s, Camprion’s & Mallory’s in to tea.

December 9th

I went to Toronto, stayed with Mrs. Iler & Springer at Miss Foster, Shuter St. near Massey Hall. We went to the Royal Alexandra together. Saw Bertha Gillard in “The Return of Eve”, a moral high-toned play. Am not all fond of the opera or theater. The most of them are immoral and dreadful. I bought in the city a brass fender & electrolier for the parlor[50] as well as a lounge spread, a pale blue evening dress for Gene & fine shoes, several things for Ida for her brass work - she is doing very beautiful things in brass, blotters, candle shades & a large shade for the dining room. Stell is nursing in Montreal. Her little boy is with Don’s people - the latter is going to British Columbia. Parker Thomas died very suddenly, poor Hilda was in the hospital. Dora came from Castile (where she is employed as nurse) to see her but was not allowed. Dora has a divorce from the dreadful man she married in April, that she met on the train on her way to California.

January 9th 1910

We have spent a very pleasant holiday season but miss the absent ones. Gordon is now near Calgary on the G. T. P. Ry[51] survey. He writes they are in tents on the bald prairie and eat their lunch in the open with the mercury way below zero. He is pretty game, has been gone from home now nine months. Leal & her children had Christmas dinner with us, and all went to Mrs. Dalmage’s boarding house for dinner which I much enjoyed. All had tea at Leal’s. George Howard & my George are members of Miss Clara Yeoman’s Bible class. She had the two boys (who are secretary & treasurer respectively of the class), go to the market & buy chickens & butter & groceries for the poor baskets, which they drove to the poor families the day before Christmas. Gene has been home two weeks but returns to St. Agnes tomorrow. The dear girl would rather say home and I would love to keep her but we both know it is for her good. On her 17th birthday night she had her club of girls in. I am just beginning to realize we have no longer a little boy & girl. George is a big & if I do say it, a fine looking boy in his fifteenth year. He is a good boy and very fond of reading.

Ida has gone to spend a month with her school friend, Carrie Jones, who is now Mrs. Goodfellow and is living in Montreal. Stell is there in Montreal, nursing in a contagious hospital. Aunt Lou who has been visiting in New Haven, is going in to spend a day with the two girls.

George & I are alone today, Gene & her father having driven to Foxboro to have dinner with Aunt Margaret. We are sitting writing in our living room. The greenhouse opens off it and is full of bloom, the fragrance fills the room. Our living room is all one could desire for such. This month I have had Mrs. Thompson & the Spangenbergs & the Robinson’s & Bessie Reynold’s in to tea and three of the Reynold’s, Margaret, Billy & baby Francis. They are charming children.

February, 1910

Father went to Toronto to the motor show. He stayed at the Walton-Ball’s & Gordon Conant (who is living there & attending lectures at Osgoode - he is going to be a lawyer) took him to “Shea’s” & after to the Canadian Club of which he is a member. He stopped over to see Aunt Electa. She is very poorly. George M. was in Cannington attending poor Charlie Amey’s funeral.

Gordon & Wilfrid write they will be home for the Old Boy’s reunion. What a good time we will have. Gene comes and has dinner with us every Sunday. She is doing well at St. Agnes & has the name of being very cheerful. She went home with her roommate Florence Elliot & spent the weekend (at Kingston). Violet Barnes of Hamilton, Guinevere Morrison & Betty Barber, Toronto, of Englewood, New Jersey, has been up and had tea with us, as well as Norma & Margaret McFarland of Montreal. Ida returned from Montreal the 19th Feb. Was away seven weeks. She saw a good deal of Carrie Derick, our cousin, who is  prominent in society and educational affairs. Arthur Spangenberg died this month of meningitis. The poor boy was a great sufferer, was a general favorite.

March 1910

The first week, Monday, we had two afternoon teas. At the first Ida had the young matron’s - 23 were here, 14 that did not. Friday I had the ladies from our church - 24 came, 18 that did not. Both were quite a success. Minnie Potts was with us. She & Ida went to the theater after. Aunt Lou has returned from New Haven & is waiting for me to go and spend Easter with her. Her sons, Erle & Herman, are there.

We had Rev. Graham & Bowles of Victoria University to preach Educational services on the 13th. It was a great treat. Afterwards, George & Father & I drove to Miss Ham’s to dinner - was back in time for the evening service. We were white with snow. Mr. John Taylor was at the Ham’s.

On March 24th I left for Clarenceville to visit sister Lou, over the Easter Holidays. The very next day (Good Friday) I received a message from Ida that her father was dead in Detroit. I left the next morning for Detroit. Ida had gone on. Madeline & Mac Watt kindly entertained me while we were in the city. They were friends indeed. On Easter Sunday (the 24th) we left with my poor brother’s corpse for Oshawa. He was laid beside my father in the East Whitby cemetery. He was a kind man and generous to a fault. He died of pneumonia, the disease all our family have died of. The Martin’s made all preparations and were so kind, refusing to take a cent for all they had done.

Ida sent Aunt Electa a fine black ostrich boa on our return home. While in Toronto we stayed with Jessie Neilson and Gordon Conant was very kind.

June, 1910

This month we (Father & I) met Wilfrid in Toronto, he having come from Yorkton to buy an automobile which he did. (Lena came a couple of weeks before him to her sister Della’s marriage to Herb Willson). He stayed with us a couple of weeks. When we accompanied him (Father & Ida & I) as far as Hamilton, where we stopped with the Kenney’s on the way up we visited at Oshawa & Toronto. On our return Gordon Conant came home with us for the ride. May Mackie went with us to Toronto. Wilfrid and Lena were less than 16 days going on their long journey of 2217 miles.[52] They certainly made a record trip. He writes home he had the pleasantest visit of his life with us. We missed having Gordon with us but he is doing well on the survey near Calgary.

Gene passed with honors in her music at St. Agnes - was 3rd out of 25. She also received the prize for physical culture. Her father brought her from Toronto a handsome necklet of old gold set with two [oliveenes] & one of pearl. She wore at the closing a blue dress of pretty thin material which was very becoming.


George has failed in his exam which is a great disappointment but it is not to be wondered at for he has not applied himself. He has too many things to take up his attention. The boat motor and now tennis. He can run the auto as well as his father. Mr. & Mrs. Alf Vermilyea & Father & I motored to Wellington, had dinner at the hotel, went to the summer school & called upon the Garrett’s. We had a delightful day. The last days of the month has been the “old boy’s reunion.” We have had a merry houseful of youngsters. Among them, Florence Elliot & Teddy & Rhoda Byers. The latter motored down with their father & mother & the new baby sister from Chatham. Ted slept with George in the tent, the three girls in the room together. Gordon Conant and Madeline Wall of Detroit were with us as well. With driving, motoring, sailing & tennis, I have had a pretty strenuous time keeping everything going, but I enjoy having a houseful and seeing the youngsters enjoy themselves. We have such good neighbors now in the corner house. The Pierce’s George & Charlie are two splendid boys. The former sleeps with George in the tent. All have great comfort out of the lawn swing which I got for my 53rd birthday, having always wanted one.

17th July - Wilfrid’s 31st birthday.

Aug. 1, 1910

All our visitors are gone and Ida has left for the Iler’s camp at St. Ola to be gone a month. Louie Cook is there as well. They are such good friends. Such a fine picture has come from Yorkton of Lena & Wilfrid in their car in front of their dear little home. They look pretty trim after their journey of 2,200 miles. Sir Wilfrid Laurier & members of his cabinet (Wilfrid was named for Sir Wilfrid) have been in Yorkton. Wilfrid took some of them about in his motor. Our place has never been so homelike & pretty as this summer. Father’s flowers are a great success.

September, 1910

Father, George, Gene and myself went together to Toronto Exhibition. There Aunt Lou and Uncle Myron (who had been stopping at Oshawa) met us there, and afterwards came to visit us. Ida returned from the Iler camp where she spent a most delightful month. I had the courage to give Gene a large party while she was away. Helen Jones and Jessie Neilson helped me. Had the orchestra and everything to make it a success. Stell came to visit us from New York. The Spangenberg’s left for Toronto to live. We gave them a surprise party and $40.00 in gold.

October, 1910

Ida went to New York with Grace Bogart. In Montreal on her way she called to see Dr. Shepherd and stopped with the Dericks. She has entered a New York Surgical hospital as nurse in training. If she cannot stand the work, she will be more contented at home. Stell still has her position there, her little boy is with his grandparents and her husband in Vancouver. Grace Bogart is coming home to be married much to our surprise. Hilda Thomas was with us a week, she was leaving to spend the winter at “Hillcrest”, a convalescent home in Toronto. She has been poorly since her husband’s sudden death a year ago.

November 1910

I had a little trip to Toronto this month. Was tired out after the housecleaning. Stayed at the Walton-Ball’s and had luncheon with Hilda at Hillcrest. Went to see Mrs. Spangenberg and went to the matinee together.

December, 1910

Gene is on her first quarter of singing. She is taking from Mrs. Wilmot at St. Agnes, is still a day pupil there. Her first song is Douglas Gordon. Her Teacher says she is making good progress. She has a music lesson of some kind every day. A letter has just come this Monday morning from Aunt Lou that she and Uncle Myron are on the way to spend the winter with us. We have always looked forward to spending a winter together and it has come at last. Gordon is coming home this month. My heart is full of thankfulness to my Heavenly Father. Aunt Lou & Uncle Myron came the 5th December, and Gordon came from the west Dec. 22nd, 1910, after an absence of 22 months. He has had a varied experience having lived in a tent at different places all these months. Was in the Calgary District the greater part of the time with the Survey party laying out the line between [Inofield] & Calgary. All are rejoiced to have him home again looking so well & he has surely done well having saved over $500 (five hundred) which he brought with him. We had a jolly Christmas. The Ham’s were with us as well as Leal & her children, Erle Curtis from New Haven with Aunt & Uncle. We had quite a houseful. Ida is still in New York. We missed her. Miss Thomson (our neighbor) brought me a beautiful silk scarf & Miss Ham slippers. Helen sent beautiful things as she always does. She is so kind & thoughtful & is so good to Gene & Ruth. She has sent them such cute skating caps. George Howard is not very strong, but he has the brains. Is the cleverest boy in his form.[53] Grace Bogart came from New York & was married two days after Christmas to Dickinson (Clarence) and has gone to Regina to live.

January 1st, 1911

Gordon, Gene & George & I watched the old year out. Gordon is enjoying iceboating. We are having an old fashioned winter, good sleighing & skating.

On the 15th, Lou & Myron went to Oshawa for a two week visit.

The 17th I went to the city to get myself a suit, got a grey at Ohlghrin’s - a Swede tailor. Stayed with Mrs. Marshall at the Foster’s on Shuter St. In the evening went to the Chapman-Alexander meetings (revival) in Massey Hall.  It was a grand service. Have had Mrs. Pearce & Jessie Phillip’s driving. Was bidden to receptions at Mrs. [Sneyders] & MCGuiness, but did not go. Went to Mrs. Mathers & to Mrs. Stork’s, did not go to Mrs. N. Phillip’s or Mrs. Stork’s.

Margaret Caldwell died this month at C. Ravie’s. She was Father’s youngest sister. Has been an invalid all her life. Father was her guardian. Aunt & Uncle stayed in Oshawa two weeks. They were with us three weeks and left for home (Clarenceville) the 15th Feb. 1911. We have had a very happy winter together. We have had what we have always desired - a winter together. All were shocked at Mrs. Lingham’s death, which was very sudden. St. Agnes School will miss her. She has not lived in vain. I am so well these days. I can say with “Julia Ward Howe” who died last year, that the world & my life grow brighter as the day goes by. Surely “the most of the sugar is in the bottom of the cup”

All are enjoying Gordon’s visit. He has such high principals. Will return to the west in March, but will return in the autumn and enter a dental college. He is convinced now that it is the best thing for him. His life in the new west with a survey party on the new G.T.P. Ry. near Calgary has been of great benefit to him in many ways. Has given him a chance to see a good deal of one great west. While he was in Edmonton he attended the marriage of Alice McDougal, my cousin’s daughter. Soon after her sister was married clandestinely.

The living room and green house adjoining are certainly things of beauty in the morning when we open the door. The fragrance is delightful. It is like stepping into a tropical country.

Helen & Owen has come to spend a few weeks with Helen, their first winter visit. Owen has gone on to New York. He has seen Ida and taken her out to dinner with Dr. R. Moor. Ida finds her duties at the hospital quite strenuous. I write in every letter for her to come home. She is not cut out for that sort of work.

Helen is such a fine woman, is so fond of & good to Gene & Ruth. George Howard is a marvel at school, stands high in his class always, but he should for he has such good minds back of him. His father was such a fine teacher & his mother a very intellectual woman, and one of the best women I every knew. She is so brave, bringing up her little family alone.

George is a little slow at his studies but will come on all right, I am sure. He is now 15 & the tallest of all. He is such a good boy. All think I am partial to him but then he is my baby. Just now he is much interested in hockey. George Howard & my George had a fine trip to Ottawa this month as delegates to the Y.M.C.A. They were addressed by Sir Wilfrid Laurier & Hon. McKenzie King. They were billeted with.................

Father has at last allowed himself to be elected alderman of the city for Samson Ward. Up to this time has never accepted any public office. The city is much in need of level headed men. He was badly burned about the face by steam escaping from the vulcanizer. We have much to be thankful for that it was no worse.

Have had two five o’clock teas. Mrs. Goldsmith, Thomson, (Geo) Mallory, Bogart & Helen were at one. Mr. & Mrs. & Ketcheson Pearce & others of the neighbors were here to one I gave in honor of Aunt Lou.

February 1911

All went to the Golden Age - Joe Doyle’s opera. He certainly is a gifted man and we have excellent talent here in our city. Gene is too busy with her school & music to take part in any such thing.

Have been to Mrs. Howell’s to dinner, Mrs. Deacon to night tea, Mrs. Ketcheson’s to afternoon tea, Mrs. Chisholm to tea (with Aunt Lou) and to Mrs. Bird’s tea.

Aunt & Uncle returned home to Clarenceville the 15th. We have had a happy winter together.

March 1911

Gordon returned to Edmonton the 25th. I didn’t know how to let him go. He is a dear boy, just the right sort. We had many good visits.

Had tea with Mrs. Goldsmith - she is so big & bright & jolly.

Gene sang for the girls at St. Agnes. I tell her she has made her debut. How much Father & I enjoy her singing. She & her father are such chums.

George has had the measles - came home broken out with them on the 31st. It is a mild type. Father has had the shingles. He said there were nails in them too. Leal has been poorly with abdominal grippe.

April 1st, 1911

Am through cleaning house upstairs - it is such a relief.

Mrs. Byers is here with her baby which is the dearest thing. We may go together to New York & Washington at Easter.

10th - Gene had the measles & the ice was not out of the lake at Kingston so we did not go to New York.[54] Rhoda came to go & Phyllis and Gene were going too. All were much disappointed. Aunt Electa Amey of Cannington died on Good Friday. I went to Oshawa and went out via Whitby with Electa & George to the funeral. Louisa McDougall and her eldest daughter who left for England shortly after funeral. John McDougal has been in Paris since January, perfecting himself in French. They would join him and they will see the coronation of George 5th & Queen Mary (June 22nd, 1911) for which they paid $65.00 each. It is well to be a multimillionaire. Was in Toronto for a few days before returning home. Stayed one night with Margaret and there met Edith Myers & her children from Barrie. All May I stayed home and cleaned house and worked a good deal out of doors which has been too much for me. Rob Shipman & his wife have come from Cannington to visit me as well as poor Charley Amey’s widow.

Leal left for Owen Sound, the 28th, to have a rest & change, which she needs badly. Her Ruth and George are stopping with me while she is away.

Aunt Electa Amey was the last of my mother’s people.  (I must not work as hard again as I have this month. Another turning point.)

June 6th, 1911

I have just returned from a four day visit with my dear sister at Clarenceville. Sister Electa Martin & her husband came while I was there. The day before they came Lou & I went to Burlington, Vermont with her son Erle when he was returning to New Haven. In Burlington we visited Ida’s great Aunt, Hannah Howard’s old home from whom she inherited $3000. through her mother. The Howard home is now an old lady’s home and a beautiful old place it is at Paul St. Burlington.

14th - Electa came from C-ville. She attended Gene’s recital with me. On our return home there as a phone message from her home that Norman was ill with typhoid fever. She just waited long enough to have her teeth fixed when she left for home.

June 20th, 1911

St. Agnes closing. Gene received a special prize for drawing. We were amazed at the work she had done. We think there are great possibilities in this daughter of ours. She came home with a couple of dozen pencil & charcoal sketches which were excellent. Miss Gardner came home with me from Mrs. Mathieson’s tea and went with me to the concert. Mrs. Pearce went with me to the play.

June 22nd, 1911

King George V was crowned today. We had a union service in our church and afterwards to the Armories to see the soldiers of whom George is one. None are bigger or better looking. The cornerstone of the new Y.M.C.A. was laid in the afternoon. George too was with the Boy Scouts. Florence Elliot who had spent the week with Gene returned home today. Dorothy Johnston & Phyllis Bogart were up & had tea with us.


Father & George & Gene & myself went in the car to Toronto. Stopped overnight on our way at Aunt Electa’s. A terrible storm came up. We went on to the city in the morning where we met Ida who came on from New York where she has been for eight months as nurse in training in the A.R. Stern hospital. We left Gene to visit at the Walton-Ball’s. Maitland Martin came home with us. He is such a home boy that he would only stay with us a couple of days. The Walton-Ball’s spent the 1st July with us. Alice Brethour and her Eileen was here as well. We had very hot weather. The hottest in 60 years, it is said. 100 deg. of heat. Ida went to Salmon Lake to the Iler’s camp for two weeks. Maggie Pettigrew was here while she was away & Adeline Baker as well. George entered the bank (Merchant’s) as clerk. Mr. Sneyd is manager. Leal  is away for a month. George & Ruth are stopping here.

August 1911

The Byer’s came from Chatham in their car for a month. We have had such a gay time motoring together. Have been to Oak Hill Pond for picnic, to Consecon, Wellington, Picton and the Sand Banks. They got a new car while here, a $3000. McLaughlin Buick. Father & I went with them to test it to Stirling and Frankfort. It was a delightful ride in the big beautiful car. Mr. Byers came for them on their return home. We went with them to Peterboro, went up the celebrated Lift Lock. We stayed all night at the National. In the morning we went on to Port Hope. Five miles out we had to tow the new seven passenger in with our Model T. All had dinner at the St. Lawrence where we parted company. Rhoda & Ted & Gene & George are such chums. Madeline Baker spent a few days with us. I went with her & Gene to the Thousand Islands. Had a delightful trip. We motored to the Cobourg Horse Show which was a brilliant society event. Ida & Gene enjoyed it much. George could not go on account of his duties in the bank. Leal stayed away two months. Sent for Ruth & George went to his Uncle Frank’s. She found while she was away that she had appendicitis, but may be able to ward off an operation. Fred Howard had an operation for the same at the Toronto General. Dr. Bruce operated. Ida returned to New York the last of September soon after I left for the west. She is a nurse in training in the A.R. Stern hospital at 365 West 2nd Ave., New York City. It is not the work for her but she feels she should be doing something.

September, 1911

George went to Toronto with Fred McCalum, one of the boys in the bank. He went to the Exhibition with the twins and stopped with the Walton-Ball’s. He paid his own expenses with the first money he earned. Has started a bank account. Mr. Sneyd, the manager, is a very fine man. Father & Gene & Phyllis Bogart went the Ex. together.

Sep. 19

Am leaving for Yorkton at 1.40 p.m. to meet Gordon. We will come together to Chicago where he will enter Dental College. He has been 3 years with the GTP Survey. I am much in need of a change.

23rd - spent the day at Melville, - just a new western town. Was snowing when I got there, traveled on the new GTP Ry. through that great country.

October 20th

Returned home after a month’s visit with Wilfrid & Lean at Yorkton and Helen & Owen Jones’ at Peoria, Illinois. Spent 10 days with each. Gordon came from Calgary, (Alberta) and met me at Yorkton. We journeyed together to Winnipeg and Chicago. He went with me out to Peoria and spent Sunday. Then returned to Chicago where he entered dental college at Harrison & Wood St. I spent 10 delightful days in Peoria. Helen’s home is perfect and they did everything for me. On my return Gordon met me at the station. We had a few hours together. My dear sister, Electa, died while I was away. I visited her grave on my way home. Her six sons carried her to her grave. Her death was very sudden. Only Louisa & I are left now.

November 1911

Such a busy month as I have had. Had two women helping me with the housecleaning. Did no staining or varnishing of floors this year. Am trying to take life a little easier. My trip to the West has done me a world of good. So many things I have learned. Am so thankful I learned them before it was too late. I was surely in a very nervous state when I left home. With the dear Lord’s help will never get in such a state again. So many are overcome at such a time because they don’t understand.

All got along well while I was away. Gene spent a good deal of the time with Leila. She learned to sew quite a good deal. George is doing well at the bank. The Manager is well pleased and I am so thankful that my big careless boy should do so well.

December 1911

Gene has had a tea for the St. Agnes girls and several of the girls from town. The decorations were the college colors, violet & white. It was very pretty. She wore the taupe gown that was made at Ritchie’s. Gene is taking water color painting from Miss Mann at St. Agnes, is making all her Xmas presents. She, like her father, can do anything she undertakes and likes to do. Never was daughter & father more alike in every way. The upper block was gutted by fire while father and I were in Toronto the Horticultural Show. We stopped at the Prince George. Had dinner with Alice Brethour in her new home at 60 Woodlawn Ave. and was at the Walton-Ball’s grand dinner party. It was a dinner dance. We left right after the dinner on the fast train for home.

January 1st, 1912

Such a happy holiday season we have had. Gordon came from Chicago, was with us two weeks. We had with us for Christmas dinner Leal & her family and Mrs. Hilda Thomas and her Lindsay. All said the dinner was quite up to the mark. Made mincemeat Christmas Cake and plum pudding as usual.

New Year’s Day - we had Mr. Youngfellow from the bank to dinner. George brought them home with him. Young Shepherd & Willson. In the afternoon they took snapshots with the fine camera Gordon brought home and went skating on the bay. Phyllis Bogart came to dinner too. In the evening Dorothy Johnson and Miss Cole of Montreal came and Charley Pearce and the bank boys. All sat around the grate fire in the parlor & told ghost stories. Mrs. Thompson & Mrs. & Miss Pearce came to see me. We expected to spend the day by ourselves but fifteen were here before night. It was an ideal New Year’s Day. To-day the 2nd, I am having a holiday in bed.

Gordon left at four am for Chicago. We did not retire till midnight, so I feel the need of a rest and know enough now to take it. Father & George had dinner downtown, which makes things so much easier. Last week, the children were at parties at the Springer’s and Anderson’s. Are asked to the Jenkin’s at Hotel Quinte, but are not going. Katie Dalmage is having a party in the boarding house this week. Leal invited us to dinner New Year’s, but she had the Howard’s which was enough in her little house. The first snow is falling today. No skating on the rink yet to the children’s sorrow.

Gene sang at Miss Emberson’s concert in December. The very first time in public. All were much surprised & pleased at her sweet voice. She sang “The Gift” & “Roses” for an encore.

Well I have “emancipated” myself again. A few years ago I insisted on having an income of my own so I would not have to ask for every cent as I had done all my life. Now I insist that all shall do their share of the work and assume a little of the responsibility of the work both inside and out as I have done here-to-fore, or we would move out of this place on Bridge St. East.[55] All thought I was crazy but was never saner in my life. Am beginning to know what is coming to me. All this sounds very selfish but it was either to take this stand or go under altogether. Much poor weak women suffer with the best men in the world (as I have) because they have not the courage to insist on their right.[56]

February, 1912

Gene & Father & I attended the Auto Show in Toronto. Gene & I stayed up five days, went Saturday & stayed at the YWCA till Father came. Stayed two nights at the Walton-Ball’s, then Mrs. Byers came from Chatham. We spent two days at the Elliot House on Church St. The best $2.50 house I was ever at. We attended Grand Opera “Romeo & Juliet”. Called at the Spandenberg’s & attended several churches. At the Metropolitan we saw cousin Herb Shipman & his wife. Eric Walton-Ball is a terrible mischief. Horace is entirely different. Edna has her hands full.

Gene & George had two snowshoe tramps this month. Had all their friends afterwards. All came to the house & had a hot supper and music. Would like the children to have much more company. George is rather fonder of it than Gene. George is doing well in the bank. Likes it much better than going to school. The Howard children especially George are very clever at school. Am afraid our children have not been very good students. Father has completed (rebuilt) the upper block. It has cost $1000.00 which he has paid for out of his income, consequently all are hard up again. Ida is still in New York, has a fine position in the Stern’s hospital. She has done well all miss her from home. Gene especially. Was at Mr. Geo. Wallbridge’s tea. Mr. J.P.C. Philips, our next door neighbor died this month.

March 1912

Word has come that the South Pole was discovered by a Norwegian, Amundsen, in Dec. 1911. The British had an expedition made by Capt. Scott not since the discovery of the North Pole, by Perry (& Cook, perhaps) three or four years ago has there been such excitement. 

This has been a remarkable winter, very cold weather, has frequently been as low as 24 below zero. Today the 17th March there is heaps of snow. A big snow storm raged on Friday. Father came home early to drive me to Mrs. Charley Reid’s tea. They have a beautiful home. Father has curled a good deal this winter. Has won a silk umbrella in a bonspeil. Gene & George often go to the rink. George is on a hockey team (the bankers). His team beat the OHA and in a one-handed game the girls of the high school. Hockey is too strenuous for Gene. She is pretty easy going.

Went to Mrs. Roblin’s & Mrs. Yeoman’s tea, the latter with Mrs. Bogart. Aunt Lou writes she is far from well, has gone to New Haven. Stell is stopping with Uncle Myron. Stell spent the winter with her little boy, Don Jr., at Lochabee Bay, Que. Poor girl, it is hard for her to be separated from her little son. Her husband is in British Columbia. Gordon Conant is a full-fledged lawyer, has hung out his shingle in Oshawa. How proud his father would have been if he had lived.

Later - Gordon is an LLB Bachelor of Law.[57]

April 1912

This month Gene & Phyllis Bogart and I went to Washington, Baltimore, & Philadelphia & New York. Ida met us at the ferry in N.Y. and took us to Mrs. Anderson’s on the 115th St. to room. We were there ten days, did a good deal of sight seeing. Saw Grand Opera at which Caruso sang. Got Gene such a pretty evening cloak and myself a black silk suit. On our way home I left the girls at Ogdensberg and went to Clarenceville for a week. Found Aunt Lou not very well but left her better than I found her. Gene brought to her father from N.Y. a purple rhododendron which is very beautiful. While in N.Y. the news of the wreck of the “Titanic” came. The most shocking thing.

May 1912

Gordon has come from Chicago for the summer. Gordon has returned from his first year at Dental College, he has made good too. How glad we all are to have him home again. He is such a help. The outdoor work does not trouble me now. He has made the most wonderful tent which he and George sleep in. He is so thoughtful & helpful to me. I feel a great load is lifted off me now he is here. We have a new grey McLaughlan[58] car, five passenger, which Gordon runs so well so we have many pleasant outings.  George has invested with his own earning (which is only $19.50 per month) in a canoe & bicycle which leaves him hard up. He can’t even buy his boots which he was to do out of his earnings. Father & Gene went to Oshawa for the new car, but it rained and they had to come home without it. My dear friend Miss Ham stayed with me.

June 1912

This has been a busy month. The W.M.S. branch meeting of the Methodist Church met here and I am entertaining the lecturer (Miss Millar) of Guelph of the Woman’s Institute. A busy housecleaning month, such a delightful time of year. Will I always have to clean home. Am afraid I don’t want to.

July 1912

Father, Gene & George and I left on our trip to Chatham. George’s bank holidays having commenced, we left on the first day. On our way we got word Ida was on her way home from New York, was at Montreal. She had a quiet two weeks without us. We spent a delightful four days at the Byer’s. They have a charming home. They (the Byer’s family) returned home with us. On our way we visited Elbert Hubbard at East Aurora, a most interesting place, and the Trull’s at Williamsville (Buffalo). The day at Niagara Falls was perfect. Motoring is surely the most delightful way of traveling. Three year old Betty Byers is the finest little girl. Is as near perfection as I ever knew.


Ida & Gene & Gordon have gone camping at Camp meeting Cove, Massasauga. Such a time as they have had with their visitors. Rhoda Byers stopped sometime with them. George Pearce was a good help. They sailed the old boat to Chisholm’s Wharf and took down their supplies. We took Mrs. Carrol & Mr. Robbins and motored down to visit them. Phyllis B. & Ruth Howard stayed over night with them.

We have our new minister, Mr. Osborne, and I am so thankful all like him so well. May he be an inspiration to us all.

I went to C-ville to see Lou who has been poorly with palpitations of the heart.

September, 1912

Lena and Wilfrid came from Yorkton. Chiefly to see Della’s baby, I believe. It was the most unsatisfactory visit we ever had with them. Wilfrid is such a big man, is making good. All motored to Toronto. I went with Father & Wilfrid to Toronto Fair - had one good visit with him. Mrs. Edna Ross, my cousin, came home with me. Am so glad to have one of my own with me. I just must have company once in a while. We drive old Hickory about and have a good time.

December, 1912

We had with us for Christmas dinner Miss Ham & John and the Howard’s. Mrs. Rose helped me with everything. She made the cake and pudding which were excellent. She is a fine cook. Christmas afternoon Gene left for Chatham to visit the Byers. She had the time of her life. Ted & Rhoda are such fine young people. Gordon came from Chicago for the holidays. Was with me two weeks. He is making good. His homecoming has meant a good deal to me. He has taught me how to take care of myself. He found out from his lectures that too high blood pressure was what was wrong with me. I must go slower.

January 1913

We had New Year’s dinner alone but next day had our turkey & had the Gibson’s of Yorkton & Mr. & Mrs. A.G. Vermilyea to dinner. Sunday (5th) George had his teeth extracted in the sun room. Dr. Yeoman’s gave him chloroform. Gordon assisted.  It was quite a trial. (10th) He has his new teeth & they look fine.[59]

February 1913

Mrs. Ross returned to Toronto. Have joined the Travel Club, first meeting at Mrs. Bird’s. Father is having the house he built on Bridge St. over 30 years ago put in order and we are to move back to it after living in this frame house, Bridge St. East, for 18 years, the happiest years of my life.  George was born here.[60] Gene is reconciled to go because she is to have the whole of the Mansard[61] for her quarters.  She and the girls are making great plans. We are to take no animals with us - poor old Hickory will have to go out. No one shall abuse him. Mrs. Byers has written for me to meet her in Toronto. Father will go up to the Auto show - Was at Mrs. (Capt.) Farley’s tea.


Mrs. Byers and I were three days at the Elliot House. They were strenuous shopping days. I got two little French dresses, a violet charmeuse & Blue linen. The last of the ten days, I was in the city, I spent at the Walton-Ball’s. They were so good to me. Saw Grand Opera, “Il Travatore”. Went to a tea with Edna and went to hear the celebrated Scotch preacher at Cook’s Presbyterian Church - john McNeal. Father came up & we bought an old rose & fawn Turkish rug for “our new “ old house, as well as electric light fixtures. I wish I could get reconciled to going back to the old house. Father is putting such a lot of expense on it. After my return home, I had a chance to wear the violet gown at Mrs. C.M. Reid’s musical, & Judge D’Roch`e’s tea.

February 25th, 1914

More than a year has passed since I have written in this book and such a year. We moved back to this house in April (1913) that I came a bride to thirty-five years ago. As I look back, it has been a rather non-eventful life with the usual family raising and only one settled in life - Wilfrid - who has been in Yorkton ten years.

In June, Gene left for a trip abroad with Margery Iler and her aunt, Mrs. Lockhead of St. Anne’s. They visited England, Scotland, France, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, were away three months. It was a great privilege and they had a delightful time, even if they did start away on Friday the thirteenth. On their return on the “Teutonic”, Mrs. Sneyd and her children were among the passengers.

Ida came from New York in July, and Hilda Thomas was here for a week. The divorced man whom she married was here to see her. Gordon motored them to Deseronto. Mr. Plyer chartered a steam launch and took them to the [] camp down the bay. In May George took his holidays. He and I went together in the car to Toronto. We had an ideal time. The 1st September, Lelia moved to Toronto. The Jones’ were here all summer. George Howard is in the university. He is clever at his books. Ruth returned with Helen to Peoria and Gordon returned to Chicago at the same time. I went with him as far as Toronto. He was a great comfort and help tome this year and I needed it all, for it has been the first year of my married life, one of the hardest years of my life, but God in his goodness and mercy brought me safely through and now we are more comfortable and have less work to do than ever before. Gene and I came here very reluctantly but Father knew best and it has proved to be the best for me.

In October, George was moved to Prescott, Ont., his first move in the bank. He was glad of the chance, but has learned to think that home is the best place in the world.

December 1913

Gene’s coming out tea, Mary Iler with her. Everyone said it was a great success. Mrs. J.W. Johnston, Mrs. R.J. Graham, Laurie Cook,[62] Susie Williamson, Miss Kellard of St. Agnes, Dorothy Grant[63], Doro. Johnson & Marion K. assisted and Minnie Potts came and stayed a few days. The next afternoon, we had a tea, young men were here - all danced.

Gordon came with a friend and spent Christmas with us. George was here as well. We had a small party Xmas Eve for the home comers.

Myron & Louisa and Erle and his bride came and spent the New Year’s holidays with us. Erle married Pearle Dickenson of Oshawa and a graduate nurse of New Haven. She seems a fine woman.


I had a pleasant nine days visit to the city and Oshawa. Saw Lelia off to Peoria. Own Jones is very low with Bright’s Disease. I slept in Leal’s room. Went to visit all the nieces. Alice Brethour is poorly, is just as Ida was, but is afraid of an operation. Poor girl, am afraid she is doomed. Bertie Baker has must moved in a fine new house of her own on Garden Ave. She has two fine girls earning their own living. I had tea with Mrs. Pierce & Mrs. Carrier and afternoon tea t the Prince George and King Edward. Heard LeBrezenia sing. Saw Grand Opera - “La Tosca” and heard the great Mendelssohn Choir.

At Oshawa, Verna (Gordon Conant’s bride) met me at the train and took me home with her for dinner, and I stayed all night in their beautiful house. They are a model couple. Gordon is a successful young lawyer. I went to their wedding in June at Winona, and afterwards went to Chataqua for a week where I met Mrs. Carrier and her daughter. Stayed at Munsey Cottage. C. is a most delightful place.

Gene is enjoying her first season out. Has gone to Kingston three times to Assemblies, to Queen’s twice, to the Science and Art’s balls, and many dances here in the city. She is curling and serving at tea’s and is standard bearer for the Daughters of the Empire.[64] I, too, am a member, and we have joined the Canadian Club. She, too, is one of the singers in the Philharmonic. Mr. Dan Cameron is leader. They have given two very successful concerts, at which the Trenton and Napanee Glee Clubs assisted. George comes home about every month & is always broke.[65] He brought Craig Hammond with him once - a fine young fellow.

After we left the other place (April, 1913), Father went right to work and turned our old house into a double and made the barn into a double house [66], and all are rented to four childless couples (the pity of it), at $20.00 & $18.00 for our old house and $19.00 each for the barn houses. This “new” old house of ours cost $2500.00 to fix over. Father is so happy to be in the house again that he had built so many years ago. Altogether the summer’s work has meant an outlay of $7000.00. Now we will have to be saving once more, for the last time, I trust.

February, 1914

We were just crushed with the horror of Margery Iler’s death. The dear child died at the hospital three days after an operation for appendicitis. Gene had tea with her the Sunday before and she walked home with her. Her poor father is heart broken. Little did the girls think when they bought their little white silk gowns in London, England, that Margery’s would be her shroud. She looked such a flower in it when she received with Gene. Surely “in life we are in death” and the “old must and the young may” but must to be ready is the only important thing.

I went with Gene to Guelph where she entered MacDonald College for a three month’s course in domestic science. I want her to be useful woman. She has the right stuff in her, and is so clever with her fingers.

March 1914

Own Jones died in Peoria. He was brought to Belleville Cemetery for burial. Helen and all the Howard’s came. Ruth stayed a month with us. Edith McQuaig comes in every day. All have had a jolly winter.

George has resigned from the bank. We feel it will be just the thing for him to have a summer in the open. He has his first dress suit - got it especially to wear to Roger Porter”s party. He is a big fine looking fellow and looks well in it, and he just 18 and a half years. He is much taken up with things military. Have been going out a good deal to teas - have been to Mrs. Goldsmith’s, Mrs. J.W. Johnson’s, the Lingham’s, Mrs. Alf Gillen and Mrs. Sinclair’s. Have heard Lawrence Irving at the Canadian Club.

Mrs. Bird and Mrs. R.J. Graham want me to play golf with them and Mrs. Steve Lazier has asked me to join a dancing class at St. Agnes. I can’t imagine myself doing such things at fifty-seven. I want to be an old lady and grow old gracefully, but no one wants to let me. Father even seems to think I can do just as well as I ever did. Word has come that a son has come to brighten the home at Buena Vista. May he be a worthy son of his father (Gordon Conant). Susie O’Flynn could not stand the strenuous life of nursing so has returned from New York. She spent several days with Ida, says she (Ida) is a perfect woman. I got in April, 1914, my bifocal spectacles at Eaton’s Optical department, paid $13.50. Shall wear them all the time now.

Father is just as busy making flower garden here as I was in the other place. My enthusiasm has all left me that line.

November, 1914

Nine months have passed since I have written in this journal, and so many things have happened. Cousin Owen Jones died in March and was brought here for burial. Helen has made her home with Lelia in Toronto. The Howard’s and all were here in March for a few days. Ruth stayed with us for a month.

Gene was much benefitted with her stay at MacDonald College. Managed to have a good time as usual. It seemed to me the most of her cooking was done in her room after hours. On her way home in June, George and I met she and Ida in Toronto (where Ida had come from New York) with the car. Had a fine time motoring around the city. Party of us stopped with Leal & Helen in their beautiful apartment at 3 Vermont Ave. off Bathurst St. Helen came home us. We called at Buena Vista on our way down and left Ida to visit Gordon and Verna, who would not take no for an answer. While Helen was here we spent a day at the Cemetery having the plot fixed and the urns placed. (The latter cost $7.00 each).

In June, 1914, Gordon graduated as D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) at Chicago University. Father went to his graduation and saw him off to Yorkton. On his way home he stopped over at Guelph to see Gene.

In July, Lena and Wilfrid came from Yorkton to spend the summer and Gordon tended to his profession in Yorkton. Such a happy summer as we had. All got acquainted over again. It was like having our boy home again. This time, Lena stayed with their people and Wilfrid stayed with us.  This been one of the happiest summers I have ever known. We had a birthday party for Wilfrid - his 35th birthday. Such a jolly good time as we had. The Holton’s & Bleekers’ and all his old friends were here. Ida too had a party which was a little more precise but not so enjoyable. We were at Prinigers Cove when W & L came on from New York.

Will the 2nd of August ever be forgotten. On that date war was declared between Germany and Belgium, France, Russia and England. The greatest war the world has ever known. When the first call came for volunteers, Wilfrid, Lena & Herb & Dell Willson were on a cruise down the St. Lawrence - were at Alexander Bay, and George was with them. We met them on their return at the D & D Institute Wharf.[67] When I told them about the enlisting George said, “I too will go. Why should I not - would be a coward not to”. (He had resigned from the bank at Egansville in the early spring on account of his old trouble). At once, he was accepted and he and the car were pressed into service recruiting throughout the country under Colonel Rathburn and Major Riordon. His two weeks at Petawawa was good training for him, which he took in June as Hospital Sergeant. All was excitement with the soldiers drilling and the Armories were thronged every day and night and we gave the soldiers supper after their drill. The day they left for Val Cartier was a sad day for all. Father visited the camp at V.C., went down with several men who had sons there. He saw the great review before the Duke of Connaught and Colonel now General Hughes.[68] I, not being a Spartan mother, am filled with thankfulness to my Heavenly Father for the way in which he has led us. Surely it was a kind providence that sent my son home to me and all on account of his old trouble (Asthma or hay fever) which came upon him on account of the heavy drill in the cold, damp weather, and it was so unexpected. Sister Lou was visiting us and we had gone for a ride in the car. On our return who should come out to meet us but George in his uniform. He, of course, is only on sick leave, has not got his discharge and now I am fearing that he will be called to go with the second contingent which is now forming.

November 1914

A pleasant ten days visit with Leal in her beautiful apartment at 3 Vermont Ave., Toronto. Dear Lelia is always a comfort to me. Helen has gone to Peoria for the winter.

May, 1915

The terrible war is till raging after nine months. Wilfrid writes he has offered his services to go with the Dental Corps and Stell has been accepted to go with the Nursing Sisters. Gordon has promised me not to go till the need is greater. He spent the Christmas holidays with us. On his return to the west, he commenced practicing in Canora, Sask.

April 12th

I left for a trip to New York and Clarenceville and visited Erle Curtis and his wife at New Haven for a few days. Erle has surely made good in his profession. My stay with Ida in her cosy apartment was very enjoyable. I saw many good things, among them Bernard Shaw’s play “Androcoles & the Lion”. Had an enjoyable visit with May Mackie in her fine new sanitarium. Louisa and I had a good two weeks together then she came with me on my return to Montreal where we spent a couple of days with Stell in her apartment. On my return I found the city full of soldiers, a portion of whom are mobilizing here for the 3rd Contingent. Among them is Major Roscoe Vanderwaters, who was a chum at Albert College of Gordon’s. He comes to the house quite often. Many of our boys have enlisted, among them Art MacGee, Al Ketcheson, Art Bird, and Dick Ponton & Ed O’Flynn. The two last named are at the Front as I write and have been engaged in a big battle with other Canadians. The sinking of the Lusitania has filled all with horror. All are engaged in knitting for the soldiers. The circle to which Gene belongs, Mrs. Johnson & Seymour, gave a musicale in the Quinte tea room which was a huge success. Gene sang and surprised everyone at the improvement in her voice, since she began taking from Mrs. Grant.

George left Saturday, May 8th, 1915, for Yorkton & Canora. Gordon wrote of the Doukhobour lands that were to be thrown open, the latter having left them to go to British Colombia. Just Father and Gene and I are home now. Gene is a busy girl with her Red Cross work, knitting circle and tennis club. At last, I think her energies are directed in the right way. She, like her father, has very skillful hands, but lacks confidence. She is now a member of the Bridge St. Choir, of whom Con Cameron is leader.

June 1915

All social affairs these days are for the soldiers entertainment. We have had many of the young officers at the house. Among them Capt. Hopkins, Lieut. Eastwood, Lieut. Williams., Lieut. Thompson, Cameron, McConnell & Wallace, and always Major Vanderwaters.

One night Kathleen Moore was here with Helen Fralick for supper after church. Before Art Johnson left for the Front he was here with Rhoda Byers and Phyllis Bogart and the Major. It is beginning to look pretty serious, the Major coming so much. Just another war romance of which there have been many. The Major is a big, fine looking officer, and Minnie Potts says he is as true as steel. He has a tragedy in his life but war changes everything in a way. Part of the soldiers are tenting on Zwick’s Island.[69] We have gone over to the 10 o’clock service for the soldiers twice. The presentation of colors to the Battalion in front of the Armories was a never-to-be forgotten occasion. I have met several of the officer’s wives, among them Mrs. Smart & Travers & Bywater. The wife of Colonel Preston is very unassuming. All were at the Canadian Club banquet and afterwards at a dance in the Armories. The officers entertained on the island, had a garden party. The Major had to go the School of Musketry at Ottawa for two weeks, and Gene went to Picton to visit Edith McQuaid, where she had a most enjoyable time. Among other nice people she met the Ross’s & had a jolly time at the Hepburn’s. All have been up to see her since she came home.

June 22nd

The Major came to say goodby (Minnie Potts here too). Allen Dickeson came in. Will they ever come back.

June 23rd 1915

To-day, the Battalion, the 39th, left for England. God grant that this terrible war will e over before all our fine able young men are killed. My niece, Stell, writes from Montreal, that she is going overseas with the Nursing Sisters in training at Quebec.

George and Ned Downey have had a trip out to Victoria, was at Banff on the way.

Gordon is doing well at Canora. Was run as high as $450.00 per month. He and the young doctor have bought a car together.

Wilfrid has been to Banff, to take the baths. He is not very strong. Am afraid he would be very fit to go with the Dental Corps with which he had enlisted. Teddy Byers has gone with the Battery. His family came to see him off. He will be sent to the Front.

July 1915

Ida came from New York later than usual this month. She and Gene had a wonderful time together. Spent several days at Wellington-on-the-Lake and at Pres’quile & 12 O’clock Point. Gene was the guest at the Johnson’s with Dorothy & Ida with Louie Iler Cook at the Point. I spent a day with them at the different places, and we had a wonderful picnic at the Sandbanks at which Gene’s Picton friends came. Gordon Ross, Claude Hacker and Benny Munroe of Brantford and Dr. & Mrs. Potts. Afterward the girls went to Toronto and Oshawa to visit Gordon & Verna Conant. Ida went to Winona with Verna to her beautiful home. All were delighted to have Verna and Gordon with their little son. Douglas, visit us this month. The little boy is the cleverest 16 month old I ever saw. They are all fine relatives to be proud of. Ida got her furs in Toronto (Loupe` Wolf - paid $65.00).

Poor old Hickory has been put out of the way. We could not let anyone have him in his old age to knock around. Father has bought back the black mare, which is all right for us to drive in the winter.

Gene sang “The Minstrel Boy” at the St. Andrew’s concert. She never sang better. We were all very proud of her. Mr. Elliot, who is manager of the Standard Bank and a good Irishman, was delighted that she sang an Irish song at a Scotch concert.

Sept. 1915

Ida returned to N.Y. on the 15th. My, how we miss her. Helen Jones came from Toronto for a few days.

Oct. 1915

I have had a visit to Williamsville, Barrie and Toronto. Mrs. Trull is alone now. The doctor died this year after being confined to the house for seven years. I surely enjoyed my visit with Edith and Harry. They have a very interesting family, well brought up children, Conant who is four years old, is like my father was when he was a boy. I am sure is kind hearted and unselfish. Will make a good man. Eleanor Walton-Ball is about a year old, is a fine healthy child. My nieces and their husbands are so good to me. At a certain time in one’s life, one appreciates a little attention.

March 1916

It is becoming almost a task to write in this diary of mine and have half a notion to destroy it as it is of necessity egotistical as all diaries are, I suppose.

George came from the West the day before Christmas to take the Infantry Class at Kingston. He, with John Haggarty, passed his exams without any trouble and now is hoping for an appointment. He surely has done his utmost to serve his King and Country. This terrible war is still raging and a year and eight months have passed. A terrible battle is at Verdun, France, at the present time, and every prospect of a great naval battle between Germany and England. The German fleet having been kept by the British warships in the Kiel Canal since war broke out. As long as England remains mistress of the seas, we are safe.

Lena and Wilfrid came from Winnipeg the first of the month, bag and baggage and their cute red car as well they brought.  Father and Wilfrid have entered into partnership, each have their own operating room and the boy brought all his fine things to fix up the office. A little new blood is a good thing. The change has come just in time for Father was surely getting into a rut. I am very glad to have someone share some of the responsibility of the house for they are sharing it with us. Father & I are to have a free summer. We are going by ourselves out to the other place for the summer. We are going to have flowers and a wonderful field of corn if all is well.

Gene and I have had a delightfully busy winter doing the things we like to do. She has many invitations out and is popular. I have found a dear friend in Mrs. Yeoman’s Carrol, who often comes to the house. Aunt Lou and Uncle Myron have spent the winter with Erle in New Haven.

Gordon writes he is doing exceedingly well in his profession but feels he should enlist. I have written him that he must not, that his duty is just where he is. He and Dr. Dick are the only professional men of their kind there in Canora, Sask. We need able-bodied men in this country to defend it before this terrible war is over. Mrs. Byers and Rhoda and little Betty have returned from England where they went to be with Ted before he went to the Front. All went to hear Dr. Perry Goldsmith who went with the first Contingent and has had many wonderful experiences at the front of battle.

There has been many war weddings this winter. Gene attended the Hepburn-Ackerman wedding at Picton with many others. Capt. Dick Ponton and Olive Agnew were married in January and this month (March) Sandford Burrows and Jessie Phillips were married.[70] And Capt. Percy Ketcheson and Marjory Vermilyea. Minnie Potts of Stirling is with us for a few days. We are invited to have tea with Mrs. Graham at the Quinte where they are living for the winter.

While we are changing things about, Lena is stopping with her sister in Kingston. Major Wilson is a busy man these days.

George brought home with him Wilfrid’s little San-Toy dog, which is the cutest thing. It is in part wild, for their mother was bred by the Indians.


Note: And so ends my Grandmother’s journal. Grandmother died in 1916, cause unknown, and lies with her family in Belleville Cemetery. Typing this has certainly brought back memories of my old home at 243 Bridge St. East, and of Belleville itself. The majority of the names she mentioned are familiar ones to me from that childhood, for Mother and Dad continued friendships with the Bogart’s, the Ketcheson’s, Vermilyea’s, etc., although I have the impression that in Mother and Dad’s time, we were the “poor” relations. Mother and Dad, and we three children, left Belleville when I was 11 ˝  years old, in March of 1936. We drove to Rainy River, Ontario, where Dad had been transferred to the Custom’s and Excise Division.


Ida Conant married a Connor - and he had died before I knew Aunt Ida in Belleville. Aunt Ida lived on Charles St. above Bridge St. E. when I was a child.

1. Grandfather’s office was in the Caldwell Block on Front Street.

[2] Grandmother called Cousin Leal (Ruth Howard’s mother) by either Leila or Leal. I didn’t correct them all.


[3] I believe this would be Jersey City.


[5] I wouldn’t be surprised if this was Victoria & Stephen Burrows, Mother’s aunt and uncle, to whom she came in 1912.

[6] The King Edward Hotel was opened in 1903, and the Hotel’s 100th anniversary was written up in the Toronto Star in April 2003.

[7]I think this is the house in which Aunt Ida lived when I was in Belleville.

[8]My old home after it was split into 241-243 Bridge St. E.

[9]I believe this was Lena Ford

[10]Dental plate

[11]How well I remember the lovely verandahs on the house - especially the side verandah where we had great corn feasts in the summer.

[12] between Charles & Albert St. on the north side

[13] 241 Bridge St. E., eventually converted to 241-243 Bridge St. E., my birthplace, between Bleeker & Dufferin Sts on the south side of Bridge St.

[14] I think this must have been Ida having her operation

[15] I think this must be Dolan, the druggist who was in Belleville for many years.

[16]I think she means Ida

[17]This is the story I heard of Grandfather moving everyone from Zion’s Hill to Belleville Cemetery. My mother and father, and my brother Bill, lie with them.

[18] Became Bridge Street United Church after 1925

[19] I have never heard of this farm although quite likely it was at Zion’s Hill, north of Belleville from which all the Caldwell’s were moved to Belleville cemetery)

[20]I didn’t know that!

[21] As I remember, the corner house did belong to Grandfather, however Imogene and Hubert with Murray and Owen lived in the second one from the corner when I was a child, although I did understand that Grandfather owned the corner house too.

[22] Phyllis became my mother’s friend - I often heard mother mention her

[23] St. Agnes Manor stood between Anne & George St. on Bridge St. and was still a private school when I was a child- was eventually made into apartments

[24] Matriculation - was still the end of high school exam when I was going to school

[25] as Grades were known then

[26] Albert College - still going strong

[27] Aunt Lena became quite an artist, Pat has two pictures which she painted of the North West Territories

[28] just outside of Trenton, Ontario which I remember as having lots of bloodsuckers

[29] I remember this gong vaguely from the house on Albert St

[30] I remember Dad talking about this pet coon

[31] Harold was Dad’s friend in later life - I remember he and his wife lived behind us on Foster Ave. when we lived in the little house on Burnham St. after Dad came back from overseas, and from which I left for overseas in1943. This was also the house from which I was married in 1946.

[32] great swimming here - was our favorite place for  camping when my children were small

[33] Prince Edward County

[34] the next few lines are obscured by photostatic ink - my nephew - George Caldwell from Spartanburg S. C. has the original

[35] Jack O’Flynn, their son, became my godfather eventually as he apparently was a great friend of Mother and Dad’s.

[36]This would probably be my Great-Aunt Victoria Burrows, who was Mother’s aunt

[37] This was still the exam to pass into high school, when I was going to school.

[38] Glenora is near Picton, Ontario where the ferry over to Alexandria is now.

[39] I never knew this.

[40] I think Grandfather planned these homes for their children

[41] I knew about the Caldwell block, but didn’t know there were others

[42] I just remembered that Ida’s name was Conant before she married a Connor

[43]  St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church in Belleville was the church from which Dad and I were married.

[44] Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

[45] I have no idea where the dining room in 241 Bridge St. E. was originally, and the only conservatory I knew about was the one at 209 Albert - where Grandfather lived sometime after Grandmother had died.

[46] This is the house where I remember my Aunt Gene & Uncle Hubert living when I was a child.

[47] Graduation from high school.

[48] Greta Stork was a great friend of my mother’s

[49] I understood that Grandfather got his automobile in 1910 - one of the first in Belleville.

[50] I remember the fender, as a matter of fact used it in Bethany before the fireplace, and Evelyn Perdue has it now in front of her fireplace, I think.

[51] Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

[52] My mother & father with we three children made the trip from Belleville to Rainy River, Ontario in March, 1936, of 1515 miles over four days, via Chicago and International Falls, in a ‘29 Chevrolet with a ‘30 motor. Mother drove the 15 miles.

[53] This would be Lieutenant George Howard, who enlisted as a pilot in the British air force and was killed in France in 1917

[54] Sounds like they were to take the ferry to New York. This was a common trip then.

[55] It sounds as though they were living at 241-243 Bridge St. East - I think it was all one house then and would be a big place - I’m not sure when they moved to 209 Albert St.) I can understand now the references to the back lot, etc. for Grandfather owned the apple orchard to the south of 241 Bridge.

[56] Sounds like Grandmother was among the first feminists! Bully for her!

[57] Gordon Conant became Attorney-General of Ontario sometime in the future (‘20's or ‘30's)

[58] McLaughlan-Buick

[59] I didn’t know that Dad lost his teeth so early - odd, isn’t it, when there were so many dentist’s in the family that their teeth were not better.

[60] 241 Bridge St. East, where Grandmother lived for 18 years, is the house where I was born, after Grandfather divided it into two - 241 & 243 Bridge St. East. I didn’t realized until now that they lived in this home, where I lived until I was 11 years old. The house she mentioned as moving to is their first home, which was across from the grocery store on Bridge St. between Charles and Albert Streets. And I didn’t know that Dad was born in 241 Bridge St.


[61] A Mansard roof provides good living space under it, being flat on top with sloping sides all around.

[62]  I think this person may have been my mother, Coralie Laurie Cook.

[63]  Miss Dorothy Grant taught me when I went to the Ontario Business College in 1941

[64] Imperial Order of the Daughter’s of the Empire is a very noteworthy club, and is still in existence - Mother also belonged to it.

[65] Same story all his life - Dad had a hard time managing money.

[66] What was the barn must have been the double house on Dufferin St. when I was a child and in which we lived for a short time (I don’t recall why we moved from 243 Bridge St. to Dufferin St., however apparently we did move back, as we left from there in 1936.)

[67] Deaf and Dumb Institute as it was called then - now is known as the Ontario School for the Deaf.

[68] This would be General Sir Sam Hughes.

[69]I remember Zwick’s Island as the Belleville Town Dump, located at the edge of the Bay Bridge to Prince Edward County. Zwick’s Island has now become a lovely park.

[70]These would be my Uncle Sandy and Aunt Jessie of my childhood. Sandford was the son of Victoria and Stephen Burrows, Mother’s aunt and uncle, to whom Mother came to live with in 1912 from Monte Vista, Colorado. Great Aunt Vicky & Uncle Steve’s  home was at the corner on Bridge St. East, just south of Anne St., across from St. Agnes Manor. The Jenkins’, who owned the Quinte Hotel, lived next door to them on the corner of Anne and Bridge. Uncle Sandy and Aunt Jessie lived in the beautiful mansion on the corner of Dufferin and Bridge St. East, and Phillipa and Sheila were their two children.  Their home is now the Hastings County Museum, Phillipa married a Faulkner and eventually became an artist living in Toronto. Sheila moved to New York, and was still living there in December, 2002, when I had some correspondence from her. Sheila had a daughter, Stephanie, who looked exactly like Phillipa with red hair (Sheila had black hair).