Saturday, January 26, 2019

1873, 1874 and 1876 Diaries of Ida Isadore Reynolds (1860-1946) of Acton, Maine; Future Wife of John Jotham Shapleigh (1856-1923)

1873 Diary

Overview of the 1873, 1874 and 1876 diaries of Ida Isadore Reynolds (1860-1946) of Acton, Maine.

Ida was the daughter of Jonathan Prescott Reynolds (1920-1899) and Rachel E. (Tupper) Reynolds (1833-1923), natives of Maine and Nova Scotia respectively.  Ida would marry John Jotham Shapleigh in 1881.

1873 Diary

The Reynolds surname had variants of Runnels, Runnells and Runnals, as noted in A Genealogy of Runnels and Reynolds Families in America: With Records and Brief Memorials of the Earliest Ancestors, so Far as Known, by Moses Thurston Runnels, published in 1873.

This post and future ones featuring entries from Ida's diaries, are subject to change, with credit, as new information comes in.  If you have corrections to the transcriptions in any of the future posts and/or information to share on people mentioned, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  I'd also like to add Ida's other diaries, if they can be found.

This post contains:

Ida was presumably named for Ida Isadore Decker (1851-1854), daughter of Nathaniel Curtis Decker (1828-1888), a native of Boothbay, Maine, and Joanna Farnham (Reynolds) Decker (1825-1909), who was a sister to Jonathan Prescott Reynolds (1820-1899).  Diarist Ida lived for a time with the Deckers while she attended school in Boston; she must have been very special to them.

By the time of these diaries, only one of Ida's grandparents still lived, Ann (Worster or Worcester) Reynolds (1793-1884), widow of Rev. Paul Runnels (1790-1842).  "Grandmother" appears many times in the diaries.  She may have lived with her youngest child, Jacob Pickering Reynolds (1838-1914), as they usually came on visits together.  Jacob had an older brother of the same name, who died young - Jacob Pickering Reynolds (1833-1837).

Also living in the Reynolds household at times were Ida's older brother Edward Everett Reynolds (1855-1945) and a Sam/Sammy/Samuel, who I believe was Ida's maternal cousin, Samuel Muir Francis (1858-1928), son of Dr. Daniel Francis (1810-1867) and Christie Ann (Tupper) Francis (-1893) of Nova Scotia.

Samuel Muir Francis' siblings, Hannah Francis (abt 1854-1923), also known as Annie, and Edward Francis (1850-1931) stopped by from time to time. Ida kept up a correspondence with Hannah, also known as Annie, whose address appears in the 1873 diary as Hannah Francis, c/o of a real estate agency at the corner of Randall and North Main Streets in Providence, Rhode Island.  Hannah/Annie Francis would marry James Alexander Buchanan (1850-1906).

1873 Diary

The Reynolds farm was located along the southern border of Acton, Maine, and may have extended into Lebanon, Maine, to the south.  As you can see from the image above, the family got their mail through the North Lebanon Post Office.

Note below the J. P. Reynolds residence along the southern border of Acton in this 1872 map of Acton, Maine, held by the Digital Maine Repository, and an enlargement of the area of the Reynolds farm.

As you would expect, many of the people living near the Jonathan Prescott Reynolds residence figure prominently in the diaries.  Ida mentioned every caller to her home, as well as the places she visited.  In fact, the volume of visiting, by the Reynolds family and by visitors to the Reynolds home, even in winter and to and from remote farms over bad roads, is mind boggling.

Many times people would drop in unannounced, be fed and invited to stay the night.  Neighbors also pitched in to help one another with chores and in times of adversity. Ida's parents looked out for their elderly neighbors, such as Andrew Hilton (1810-1873) in his decline and death and, thereafter, his widow Eliza Ann (Paul) Hilton (1816-1891).

 1874 Diary

1874 Diary

Ida loved attending schools of any kind, including scholastic, "Spelling" and "Singing", but schools were not always available to her.  In order to find them, she sometimes boarded at adjacent Milton Mills, New Hampshire, with her maternal aunt Lucy Jane (Tupper) Sawyer (1837-1880) and husband Rev. Seth Sawyer (1808-1892) or in Boston, Massachusetts, with her Aunt and Uncle Decker, mentioned above, and their son Walter Curtis Decker (1855-1900).

 1876 Diary

Ida's activities included
  • commenting on the weather
  • visiting and receiving visitors
  • collecting and boiling down maple sap
  • berrying and harvesting tree fruit
  • performing household, garden and farm chores
  • putting the finishing touches to piecework vests brought to her and her mother by an agent
  • playing the piano and singing, at home, during extended visits to her Aunt and Uncle Sawyer at Milton Mills, New Hampshire, and at gatherings, formal and informal.
  • attending school or looking for a school to attend
  • working in the summer of 1876 at the Wesleys' Inn on Martha's Vineyard [presumably the same family that built the famous Wesley House in 1879]
  • teaching a term of school at Sanford, Maine, in the fall of 1876, at the tender age of 16

1876 Diary

Ida noted many deaths in her Maine and New Hampshire neighborhoods.  In one case, I discovered that online sources record Benjamin Drew (1784-1874) of Acton, Maine, as having died on January 17, 1874; the diary makes clear that Benjamin died on June 17, 1874; a discrepancy easy to understand.

A small sample of people who appear many times in the diary, in addition to those already mentioned:

Alphabetical list of Surnames in the Diaries - the numbers represent different people with that surname, not how many times that surname appears in the diaries

? [47]FarnhamNason
Allen [2]FiskNoyes
Angle ?Fox [7]Odell
ApplebeeFrancis [3]Parker
Barrows [2]GarvinPendleton ?
BedellGaskellPenny or Penney [3]
Bennett [2]GilpatricPenniman
BerryGoodwin [6]Pentlergast?
Boston [2]GuptillPike [3]
Brackett [2]HamiltonPlace [2]
Brown [3]Hanscom [b] [4]Plummer [5]
BuckHanson [2]Pray
BugbeeHardingPrescott [21]
Butler [2]HargravesPrescott ? [2]
CalderHayesReed [4]
CallerHayesReynolds [10]
CarlisleHays or HayesRichardson
CarrollHersom [10]Ricker [8]
CarterHigginsRoberts or Robberds
Chadbourne [6]Hill [2]Roberts
ChaseHilton [20]Rollins
ChesleyHilton ? [2]Runnells
ClappHodgdon ? [2]Sanborn [2]
CloughHornSawyer [3]
CollinsHorton [2]Scruton
Cook [16]Hubbard [4]Shapleigh [2]
CoppJames [3]Sherman [13]
CottleJennessSmith [2]
Cowell [8]Jones [9]Stacey
CrawfordJordanStevens [5]
DaginKenistonTibbetts [4]
Decker [6]KnoxToothaker
Dillon [2]LibbyWallingford ?
DowningLord [5]Weeks
DownsLovering [5]Weeks or Wilks
DownsLowdWentworth [10]
DownsMartinWhitcomb ?
Downs [es] [5]MartinWhitehouse
Drew [6]McClellan ?Wilks or Weeks
EatonMcCobbWinchell [3]
FallMontsieYeaton [2]
Moore [6]Young [3]
Moore ?
Mudgett [3]
Mugridge [3]

Alphabetical list of people mentioned in the three diaries - Please send notifications of corrections, clarifications or additional information.

Posts about monthly entries, in chronological order, with images, transcriptions, description of people mentioned - links provided as the posts are completed

January   February    March    April    May    June    July    August    September
October    November    December/Memoranda

January    February    March    April    May    June    July    August    September
October    November    December/Memoranda

January    February    March    April    May    June    July    August    September
October    November    December/Memoranda

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