Monday, August 19, 2019

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

November 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.


Tuesday, October 31, 1899:  [Belle]  John gone to plough for W. Gilpatric with oxen.
  • W. Gilpatrick - perhaps William Gilpatrick (1843-1920) of Hollis, Maine; and perhaps the Gilpatrick who had a woodlot John would later harvest
Wednesday, November 1, 1899:  [Belle]  Rain all day. John went to mill. John bought me and Myra boot of a traveling shoe dealer.
  • Myra - Belle's daughter Myra Helene Foss
Thursday, November 2, 1899:  [Belle]  John gone to plough for E. Tarbox.
  • E. Tarbox - possibly Edward A. Tarbox (1850-1920) of Hollis and Waterboro; husband of Jennie B. (Hooper) Tarbox
Friday, November 3, 1899:  [Belle]  John finished ploughing of E. Tarbox.

Saturday, November 4, 1899:  [Belle]  It rained all the forenoon.

Sunday, November 5, 1899:  [Belle]  John and I up to Mason Place.  Charles Haley come and payed John.
  • Mason place - presumably the Mason farm, where John worked in the fields and woods; he may have leased the farm
  • Charles Haley - possibly Charles E. Haley (1857-1939) of Hollis and Limington

Monday, November 6, 1899:  [Belle]  Town meeting. John bought a bbl flour.

Tuesday, November 7, 1899:  [Belle]  John going to plough for W. Benson.
  • W. Benson
Wednesday, November 8, 1899:  [Belle]  John helped Jim Benson plough.
  • Jim Benson - presumably James Benson, husband of Maud (Nelson) Benson
Thursday, November 9, 1899:  [Belle]  John picked up apples and went to Ctr.  Myra went to have her teeth out.
  • Myra - Belle's daughter, Myra Helene Foss, born in 1892
Friday, November 10, 1899:  [Belle]  John ploughing his old orchard today.

Saturday, November 11, 1899:  [Belle]  John went to moderation this forenoon, got his shirts.  It is snowing this afternoon for the first snowstorm.  I went up to school and come home with Myra.

Sunday, November 12, 1899:  [Belle]  Snow all the forenoon. Sun came out in afternoon and wind blew.

Monday, November 13, 1899:  [Belle]  John moved down the apples. It was a cold morn, 16 above zero.

Tuesday, November 14, 1899:  [Belle]  John gone to Ctr. We washed.  He went to mill in afternoon.  Sugar, 50 cts.

Wednesday, November 15, 1899:  [Belle]  Cold and cloudy. John cutting wood in woods.  Jim hauling.

Thursday, November 16, 1899:  [Belle]  I went down to Fluent's with butter. John hauled wood.
  • Fluent's - possibly the home of Hiram H. Fluent and wife Ella F. (Smith) Fluent; or Edwin Augustus Fluent or Edgar Roy Fluent
Friday, November 17, 1899:  [Belle]  John went and got cider made and corn ground.

Saturday, November 18, 1899:  [Belle]  John hauled wood. He has got 17 loads.

Sunday, November 19, 1899:  [Belle]  I went up home.

Monday, November 20, 1899:  [Belle]  John up cutting wood.

Tuesday, November 21, 1899:  [Belle]  John at home. Fanny Ricker and her mother here.
  • Fanny Ricker and her mother
Wednesday, November 22, 1899:  [Belle]  A rainy day.

Thursday, November 23, 1899:  no entry

Friday, November 24, 1899 - Tuesday, November 28, 1899:  no entries

Wednesday, November 29, 1899:  [Belle]  I went up to Smith and got Sugar, 25

  • Smith - presumably the store of Constine D. Smith (1851-1917)

 Thursday, November 30, 1899:  [Belle]  We were up home in the evening and Cecil Thanksgiving day.
  • Up home - presumably the home of Belle's parents George P. Huff and Sarah E. (Bean) Huff, but possibly the home of John's parents Silas Foss and Lucy H. (Bryant) Foss
  • Cecil - possibly Cecil Leighton Haley, who would marry Eva Mahala Smith in 1903
Friday, December 1, 1899:  [Belle]  A rainy day.  John had a bad cold, sick.

Saturday, December 2, 1899:  [Belle]  Myra up home.  John hauled hay from Mason barn.  H. Smith helped him.
  • Mason barn - usually called the "Mason place", a farm with fields and woodlot presumably leased by John Foss
  • H. Smith - possibly the "Had" Smith or "Hod" Smith who appears in other entries
Sunday, December 3, 1899:  [Belle]  We stayed in all day, up to Cecil's in evening.

Monday, December 4, 1899:  [Belle]  Cold rain and cleared off in afternoon.

Tuesday, December 5, 1899:  [Belle]  John put his brush around [presumably banking the house]

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 December 1899 or return to October 1899

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