Thursday, August 8, 2019

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

March 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.

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 - perhaps Cecil Leighton Haley or Cecil F. Clark

Sunday, March 5, 1899: [Belle]  A rainy day. Up today Hens Laid 11 Eggs

Monday, March 6, 1899: [Belle]  A pleasant day.

Tuesday, March 7, 1899: [Belle]  Cold and windy. Began to snow in forenoon. A very bad snow Snow storm. Got 6 eggs today. Continued to snow and Thunder & Lightning in the evening.

Wednesday, March 8, 1899: [Belle]  A fair day today. I began a new rug. John broke out the road in the forenoon, in the woods in afternoon.  Got 3 Eggs.

Thursday, March 9, 1899: [Belle]  A fair morning but Snow all the afternoon. John worked in woods.  Got 3 Eggs.

Friday, March 10, 1899: [Belle]  A fair morning.  Continues.  Got 3 eggs.

Saturday, March 11, 1899: [Belle]  Cloudy with snow in morn.  Growing warm.  One egg.

Sunday, March 12, 1899: [Belle]   A foggy day.  Rain in the afternoon. 3 Eggs.  Rain and lightning in the evening.

Monday, March 13, 1899: [Belle]  Fair and warm.  John went to the other place, got a load of fodder and in the woods this afternoon. Jim to help this afternoon.  I cut a dress for Myra.
  • Jim - presumably James Benson, husband of Maud (Nelson) Benson
  • Myra - Belle's daughter Myra Helene Foss
Tuesday, March 14, 1899:  [Belle]  Snow all the forenoon.  John went to mill.  The Homestead agent called in afternoon.  3 eggs.

Wednesday, March 15, 1899:  [Belle]  Snow storm. John and Jim gone to mill.  Chopped for Cecil.  Mrs. Warren's house burned down.  Snowed all night.
  • Cecil - presumably Cecil Leighton Haley
  • Mrs. Warren
Thursday, March 16, 1899:  [Belle]  A fair day.  John gone with Cecil's timber.  two eggs.  Used 25 cts of Sugar.  Mrs. Foss bought.
  • Mrs. Foss - presumably Lucy H. (Bryant) Foss (1837-1901), mother of John Foss. It appears that Belle called her in-laws Mr. and Mrs. Foss.

Friday, March 17, 1899:  [Belle]  John went to the mill with logs and Cutting timber for C. E. Warren.  Nora down in afternoon.  Got three Eggs.  Bought Sugar 50 cts.  J in forenoon's work.
  • C. E. Warren - possiblly Charles Elmer Warren
  • Nora - presumably Belle's sister, Lenora Asenath Huff, "Nora", who would marry Lewis Elmer Burnham in 1906
Saturday, March 18, 1899:  [Belle]  Snow storm all night. John finished Cecil timber. 4 Eggs.

Sunday, March 19, 1899:  [Belle]  Rain and Sleet all day, no sun and evening wind blew hard. 3 Eggs.

Monday, March 20, 1899:  [Belle]  A Cold morning and a bad crust. Windy all day. John gone to help Cecil cut wood. Cecil cut his foot today. 4 Eggs.  John cut timber at home this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 21, 1899:  [Belle]  A fair day. John broke the road with oxen and bought a cow. Got 1 egg.

Wednesday, March 22, 1899:  [Belle]  Snow storm. I went up home and stayed till afternoon.  It still snows. Got 4 Eggs.

Thursday, March 23, 1899:  [Belle]  Snow all the afternoon. Cold. John got home the cow & calf today. 4 Eggs.

Friday, March 24, 1899:  [Belle]  Fair in afternoon. John went to Clark's store.  Got a lb of coffee 25 cts.
  • Clark's store - possibly the store of Charles Franklin Clark
Saturday, March 25, 1899:  [Belle]  Fair. John walked over on the plains in forenoon. Sold 11 bushels of apples in the afternoon.  3 Eggs today.

Sunday, March 26, 1899:  [Belle]  A cloudy day. We rode over to Uncle John's in the afternoon.  Found them sick.  2 Eggs today
  • Uncle John - presumably John Holmes (1827-1906), widower of recently deceased Asenath S. (Huff) Holmes, who would die in 1902.  Asenath was Belle's paternal aunt.
Monday, March 27, 1899:  [Belle]  A fair day. John went after wood on the plains.  Cut Nora's dress.  Annie called in the minister. Called her home.  Got 17 stamps of butter.  2 Eggs.
  • Annie - did Annie  die or was the female who died related to Annie?
Tuesday, March 28, 1899:  [Belle]  Fair weather. Rained all night.

Wednesday, March 29, 1899:  [Belle]  Rain in the morning and wind in the afternoon.  John broke a road to Mason place.  2 Eggs.
  • Mason place - John appears to have leased this farm as he worked there often over the years
Thursday, March 30, 1899:  [Belle]  Fair and windy

Friday, March 31, 1899:  [Belle]  Good Friday. Cloudy in the morning. Cleared off sunny and warm in the afternoon.  John bought a piece of beef, 65; Sugar 50 cts.

Saturday, April 1, 1899:  [Belle]  Cloudy in the morning but fair and quite warm.  I made mincemeat.  John cut tops on the plains.

Sunday, April 2, 1899:  [Belle]  Fair and windy. Stayed at home. Got 3 eggs.

Monday, April 3, 1899:  [Belle]  Churned 9-1/2 lbs butter.  Fair and warm.  Went to Ctr in the afternoon.  Groceries with 32 cts.

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 April 1899 or return to February 1899.

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