Wednesday, August 7, 2019

February 1899 Entries in the Diary of John Foss & Isabelle (Huff) Foss, "Belle", of West Hollis, Maine

February entries in the 1899 diary of John Foss (1860-1934) and Isabelle (Huff) Foss (1869-1929), "Belle", who farmed at West Hollis, Maine.  From the entries, it's plain to see that they were a hard working couple.

John and Belle, who married in 1890 at Hollis, Maine, had two daughters:

  1. Myra Helene Foss (1892-1976), who would marry George Woodbury McKenney 
  2. Annie Evelyn Foss (1900-1988), who would marry Lewis Isaac Woodman
From a collection of five of their diaries covering 1899, 1900, 1902-1904 and John's 1913 account book.  See an overview post that features:
  • family history of the Foss family
  • links to entries for the rest of January 1899 and other diaries from 1900, 1902, 1903 and 1904
  • an alphabetical list of surnames in the diary and an approximation of how many different people of that surname were mentioned in the diaries
  • an alphabetical list of individual people mentioned in the diaries, some countless times

The person making the entry is identified in brackets.  Throughout the diaries, John made occasional entries, but Belle made the majority of them. 

People mentioned in the entries below are identified or tentatively identified the first time they appear. If you have corrections, alternate identities or additional information on anyone mentioned,  please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Saturday, January 28, 1899:  no entry

Sunday, January 29, 1899: [Belle] 
 Nora came home from Bar Mills.
  • Nora - presumably Belle's sister Leonora Asenath Huff, who would marry Lewis Elmer Burnham in 1906
Monday, January 30, 1899: [Belle]  John was sick all day at home.

Tuesday, January 31, 1899: [Belle]  John went with logs to mill.

Wednesday, February 1, 1899: [Belle]  Sold C. E. Warren oxen 172.50.  Hauled a load of logs in forenoon.  Got a load with oxen before they went off at night.
  • C. E. Warren - perhaps Charles Elmer Warren
Thursday, February 2, 1899:  no entry

Friday, February 3, 1899: [Belle]  Snow today. Day of Graduation at West Buxton

Saturday, February 4, 1899: no entry

Sunday, February 5, 1899: no entry

Monday, February 6, 1899: [Belle]  Cold

Tuesday, February 7, 1899: [Belle]  Cold

Wednesday, February 8, 1899: [Belle]  Snow storm. Cold and blowing. Down to zero

Thursday, February 9, 1899: [Belle]  Cold and windy. John chopped and carried his dinner up to Smith's.
  • Perhaps store owner Constine D. Smith (1851-1917)
Friday, February 10, 1899: [Belle]  Cold and windy. John chopped pine tops.

Saturday, February 11, 1899: [Belle]  Shoveled roads. 10 below zero in morning.

Sunday, February 12, 1899: [Belle]  Snow Storm, two degrees above zero.

Monday, February 13, 1899: [Belle]  Snow storm, worst one of the winter season yet, very Cold.  A dreadful night. Wind and snow.

Tuesday, February 14, 1899: [Belle]   A little warmer and fair. John shoveling road all the afternoon.

Wednesday, February 15, 1899: [Belle]  John Shoveled all the forenoon and worked the horses on the road in the afternoon.  18 in. of snow.

Thursday, February 16, 1899: [Belle]  I went to Clark's and Cecil with him.  I washed. It is warm day. Charles Come back. J. bought Sugar, 50 cts.
  • Clark - possibly the establishment of Charles Franklin Clark
  • Charles - possibly Charles Haley
  • J. - presumably John Foss, Belle's husband
Friday, February 17, 1899: [Belle]  Warm. Nora down for the first time for 2 weeks. A warm day.
  • Nora - presumably Belle's sister Leonora Asenath Huff, who would marry Lewis Elmer Burnham in 1906
Saturday, February 18, 1899: [Belle]  John went to mill with logs in forenoon and went up to M. B. Smith's in afternoon. And Charles finished work and come after an order for flour of A. L. B.  The weather warm and thawing. Rain and snow in the night.
  • M. B. Smith - presumably Melville Baxter Smith (1845-1899) - his death noted in entry of September 10, 1899 and funeral noted in entry of September 13, 1899. He died at Hollis, Maine; son of Clement M. Smith and Phoebe Blake (Whitney) Smith and husband of Sarah Josephine Johnston
Sunday, February 19, 1899: [Belle]  John went to Mason place and called on H. Smith and Mrs. Hill. J. Benson in the forenoon. I stayed in all day. Warm day. A little cooler at night. Myra up to Grandma for the first time since she was sick.
  • Mason place - John appeared to work this farm as much as his own
  • H. Smith - presumably the owner of a woodlot John worked on
  • Mrs. Hill - presumably Hannah (Seavey) Hill, widow of Jeremiah Hill, Mrs. Hill would die on November 7, 1903, as noted in the 1903 diary. Daughter of James and Mary (Bean) Seaver and widow of Jeremiah Hill
Monday, February 20, 1899: [Belle]  A very warm day. 40 degrees. I rode up to Mother's on the sled. Snow goes fast.
  • Mother - presumably Belle's mother Sarah E. (Bean) Huff, as Belle called her mother-in-law Mrs. Foss.

Tuesday, February 21, 1899: [Belle]  Continues to thaw. Very warm today.

Wednesday, February 22, 1899: [Belle]  Warm rain most of the day. John made an ax handle in the afternoon.

Thursday, February 23, 1899: [Belle]  A little cooler but it thaws at noon.  I got 3 coats to make.  Windy afternoon.

Friday, February 24, 1899: [Belle]  John goes two trips to mill and gets home at five o'clock. Frank Hanson goes, too.  Colder and windy.
  • Frank Hanson - perhaps the Frank Hanson who was or would become the constable/collector for the Town of Hollis, Maine
Saturday, February 25, 1899: [Belle]  John gone to Waterboro to see Elmer Warren. Log. Cold in morning. Pleasant at noon.
  • Elmer Warren - perhaps Charles Elmer Warren
Sunday, February 26, 1899: [Belle]  A Cloudy day and snow and rain at night. I went to meeting in the afternoon.

Monday, February 27, 1899: [Belle]  A rainy day, thawing the snow fast. John got Oxen back today. I finished the coats today.

Tuesday, February 28, 1899: [Belle]  A pleasant day. John went to the mill.  John sold wood to Moderation to N. Hooper for Mrs. Partridge.
  • N. Hooper
  • Mrs. Partridge
Wednesday, March 1, 1899: [Belle]  J hauled the last logs cut, gone with two teams, Jim with oxen.
  • J - presumably Belle's shorthand for her husband John Foss
  • Jim - presumably Jim Benson, occasional farmhand for John Foss and husband of Maud (Nelson) Benson
Thursday, March 2, 1899: [Belle]  John hauled wood to moderation. It began to snow before noon and snowed all night. I began a rug in afternoon.

Friday, March 3, 1899: [Belle]  It is snowing hard. John in the woods, at home. It cleared off in the afternoon. John finished Clearing the H. S. timber. Went to C. Smith's, got 5 gal oil, 1 gal molasses, 3 lbs raisins, $1.05.
  • H. S. - presumably H. Smith 
  • C. Smith - presumably storeowner Constine D. Smith (1851-1917)
Saturday, March 4, 1899:  [Belle]  Snowed hard all day. John and C went to the mill and it has turned to rain at night.
  • C - possibly Charles Haley or Cecil Leighton Haley

Again, if you have information to share on any of the people mentioned, including the Foss family itself, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Advance to March 1899 entries or return to January 1899.

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