Sunday, August 11, 2019

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

May 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.

Friday, April 28, 1899:  [Belle]  I went to Ctr, got Cretome [?] for lounge, 63, and the ___ [chair ?]  12 Eggs

Saturday, April 29, 1899:  [Belle]  John up to the Farm plowing.  Mr. Guptil here to dinner.  4 Eggs
  • Mr. Guptill - an entry from 1904 mentions a "Mr. Guptinall" who was stopped by with his tin cart.  Perhaps these men are one and the same.
Sunday, April 30, 1899:  [Belle]  Charlie & Lena called today.  9 eggs
  • Charlie and Lena - presumably Charles Hiram Johnson and Elena S. (Tarbox) Johnson, "Lena"
Monday, May 1, 1899:  [Belle]  John worked for Frank Benson.
  • Frank Benson - perhaps Francis Benson, another son of James Benson and Louisa (Varney) Benson
Tuesday, May 2, 1899:  no entry

Wednesday, May 3, 1899:  [Belle]  John helped Bill Benson.

Thursday, May 4, 1899:  [Belle]  hauled shingle stuff and harrowed.

Friday, May 5, 1899:  [Belle]  I went to Ctr, got 3 bags grain, shorts, Corn & Me, 1 bag salt, 1 straw hat.  Mrs. Linscott went with me.
  • Mrs. Linscott - presumably related to Joseph Linscott and Clara Linscott, who are mentioned in other entries in the diaries
Saturday, May 6, 1899:  [Belle]  John up to Mason [Place], got his shoes.
  • Mason Place - a farm that John may have leased as he worked there often in the fields and woods.  The Masons would visit later this month.
Sunday, May 7, 1899:  [Belle]  Fire on the plains.

Monday, May 8, 1899:  no entry

Tuesday, May 9, 1899: no entry

Wednesday, May 10, 1899: no entry

Thursday, May 11, 1899:  [Belle]  Went to Ctr. Got Corn meal, oats, grass seed, soap, 25, coffee, 20.

Friday, May 12, 1899:  [Belle]  John up to Mason Place.

Saturday, May 13, 1899:  [Belle]  Opened Mrs. Foss Sugar, 50 cts.
  • Mrs. Foss - presumably Belle's mother-in-law, Lucy H. (Bryant) Foss (1837-1901)
Sunday, May 14, 1899: no entry

Monday, May 15, 1899:  [Belle]  Myra's birthday.
  • Myra's birthday - Myra Helene Foss, born on May 15, 1892, daughter of diarists John Foss and Isabelle (Huff) Foss, "Belle"

Tuesday, May 16, 1899: no entry

Wednesday, May 17, 1899:  [Belle]  Sunday School convention

Thursday, May 18, 1899:  [Belle]  John worked for Bennett.  It rained a little.
  • Bennett - perhaps the Mr. Bennett mentioned in other entries in other diaries: his barn was damaged in a thundershower on July 25, 1900; he visited John Foss in 1902 when John was very ill; reference is made to the Bennett woodlot in 1904, where John Foss was working
Friday, May 19, 1899:  [Belle]  Rainy day. John laid horse stall floor in forenoon; set out raspberrie plants.

Saturday, May 20, 1899:  [Belle]  A rainy day.  John over to see Will Hobson in forenoon, up to his place in afternoon.  His face began to swell this morning and ached all night.
  • Will Hobson - perhaps William Deering Hobson
Sunday, May 21, 1899:  [Belle]  John sick and had the Dr.  A rainy day.  Nora & Cecil here in the afternoon.
  • Nora & Cecil - perhaps Belle's sister Leonora Asenath Huff and Cecil Leighton Haley, John's occasional farmhand

Monday, May 22, 1899:  [Belle]  John is sick today.  Jim has the oxen to work at home.
  • Jim - presumably James Benson, husband of Maud (Nelson) Benson
Tuesday, May 23, 1899:  [Belle]  I went to Ctr, got grain. Bal due $2.93.  I set a hen for Jim on 15 eggs.

Wednesday, May 24, 1899:  [Belle]  John went over to Lucy Chadborn.
  • Lucy Chadbourn - presumably Lucy (Johnson) Chadbourne (abt 1819-1906), widow of Benjamin Chadbourne
Thursday, May 25, 1899:  [Belle]  Planting Corn

Friday, May 26, 1899:  [Belle]  Planting corn and garden stuff

Saturday, May 27, 1899:  [Belle]  building fence

Sunday, May 28, 1899:  [Belle]  memorial service at the pleasant hill church.

Monday, May 29, 1899; no entry

Tuesday, May 30, 1899:  [Belle]  plow and harrowing new ground.

Wednesday, May 31, 1899:  [Belle]  I went to Ctr, got flour, 4__, Corn.  Carried 5 lbs butter, 80 cts.  4-1.2 doz eggs.  Sugar, 50 cts.  John planting potatoes on new ground.  Turned out the oxen.

Thursday, June 1, 1899:  [Belle]  Finish planting potatoes and build fence.  Mason  comes here.
  • Mason - presumably the owner of the farm with woodlot that John either leased or worked at often
Friday, June 2, 1899:  [Belle]  Masons here and went up to farm.

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 June 1899 or return to April 1899.

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