Mrs. Albert [Anna] Burns [?] 1912 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A MIDDLE AGED KALAMAZOO WOMAN AND KEEN EYED OBSERVER OF LIFE AND SOMETIMES SAD TIMES AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY PRE WORLD WAR I AMERICA
Kalamazoo MI Battle Creek Ann Arbour Michigan 1912 Good
On offer is a super, early 20th Century manuscript diary handwritten, we believe, by Mrs. Anna Burns who lives in or near Kalamazoo Michigan mentioning Ann Arbour, Battle Creek, Sherwood and Athens. She also mentions landmarks like Maccabee Hall and Portage Street. Her husband Albert celebrates his 53rd birthday on April 5th and two son's; George and Esbon who celebrates his 10th birthday on July 30th. She also mentions Grandpa Burns. Plus a letter in the back pocket from 1926 to Maud from Anna. Of particular interest to historians and collectors of the era will find a great deal of genealogical information as she does a super job mentioning names of her friends and contacts in the area but there are some other entries that go beyond the usual memory book. Here she notes interesting signs of the times: one is when the men go out together one night and don't come home until the wee hours in the morning. She gives them hell for that. Then a very sad entry about some kind of abuse she witnessed on a young boy and it really disturbs her, including the wreck of the Titanic: 1912 "January 13th, We all went to the G.A.R. dinner in Maccabee Hall. Bert ate oysters for the first time. It was about 15 degrees below zero. This A.M. things are frozen pretty bad in one cellar. We are keeping the oil heater burning down there all the time." "February 1st, Ironed and swept all over. Was tired and went to bed early. Forgot to say that A. hired Wayne Hines Tuesday to work for us next year. I am so glad not to have to board a man, though will miss John." "February 21st & 22nd, The worst blizzard today I ever remember of seeing. Wind from east and blinding snow. Albert read all day. I footed stocking with Racine. 9pr. No mail today…..It didn't snow much today but wind blew as they could not make roads. Albert tried to go over to Shook's with empty bobs but snow was so deep he had to give it up. Trains are all stopped and a bad wreck on G. R. and I last evening, north of Mendon.""February 25th, It looked like rain all day but did not. Esbon was sick all day. Headache, cold and fever and vomiting. Albert and George went down and built a fire in Hine's store twice. It was a lonesome day. My father is 75 years old today." "March 9th, Lola and May and I went to Battle Creek to get Bert on the right train. Had lots of fun. I got a new lounge cover that I like first rate. A. took us to Athens and then went to Bert Smith's sale. We got home about 8. Wayne had a good fire for us. Bert seemed to be feeling pretty good." "April 6th, Mrs. Frost phoned In that Hook's baby is very sick. We all went to town in P.M. I went to cemetery meeting at Mrs. Silburn's. Voted to give Charles B. until May 15th to finish building. Also voted to put societies money in bank to draw interest. Mrs. Carr came home with us. Pretty hats at Minnie's." "April 19th, Worked all day settling the sitting room. It looks good to me to have plenty of room and then I think it is kind of a pretty room. Today's papers are full of the wreck of the "Titanic". It is too terrible to read and yet I can't leave it alone. 1601 are missing." "May 5th, We went to Sam Simpson's. Had a fine visit. It has changed a lot there since I boarded there 20 years ago. After we got home I set 3 hens. Tom and Bertha and Mr. and Mrs. G. Worthington were here. Lola and Jim went tin their new buggy to Richard B's.""June 13th, Albert and Wayne stared out with Frank and Fred on wagon at 8:30 last eve and didn't get home until after daylight. Lutie and I put in an awful night too. She was up here from 10 to 11 and I was down there from 2 to 4. Neither of us slept a bit. If those men do such a trick again there will be something doing. We all slept after breakfast until noon. The boys were over to Ambury's. I drove Fred to Fulton. Went to ___and got my Panama hat. It is a daisy." "July 4th, John and Lucy came. We got up and talked until 3:15. Then I had to get up at 5 to churn. I did that and got breakfast before the rest were up. Wayne's folks, Mrs. Carr and Mr. Hines, Ralph Shook were here for picnic dinner in back yard. After dinner Bert came also Elma S. Also grandpa and Alice were here to dinner. John and Lucy went home at 5:30. Boys and I went to Wayne's to see Springer's fireworks." "July 19th, Aunt Helen and I went to David's after dinner. Went the east road and home Center road. I went to see Dr. Barney about the moth patches on my face. He says it may be my liver and gave me some medicine for it. We called at Lucy's and Mrs. Ketchum's. Got home at 7:30 and ate bread and onions." "August 9th & 10th, A. and I went to Mendon A _____for Jim Mears. A hearing for Mears-Fredricburg case but nothing doing. Met Mrs. Fredericburg and boys. Saw a scene between boy and his father that affected me as no other ever did. I don't know why that poor boy must suffer so for his parents wrongs….I felt bum in A.M. Didn't sleep good for thinking of that poor Ray Fredericburg. I hope it will come out all right, someway for him……." "September 12th, Lola and Grace came in A.M. and stayed all day. Had a real good visit. Grace brought a lot of things that she called "junk". She said she thought she couldn't go away without coming to see us. She isn't very animated over her trip." The last entry is on October 20th. When she writes, she writes a full days worth. Some of the many names she talks about are; Joyce Ellsworth, Codman, Charles Worden, Long, May Wykes, Rosenbery, Don Waterman, John Schupper, Stuck, Bacon, Green, Wayne Hines, Shook, Camp, Rev. Albright, Frank Meade, Steadman, A. J. Mills, Carson, Garlick, DeBow, Simon Hartman, Carr, Mary Eugenia Hitchcock, Ed Cuthbert, Florence Bennett (the new teacher), Skinner, Perry Culp, Bishop, Dr. Cook, Odell, Dr. Barney, Hampton and more. The diary is 2/3 full with 158 pp of handwritten entries most before October. The diary measures about 3" x 6" and the cover's flap is a bit bent but overall G.