Mrs. J.P. Bradbury, Wife of Ohio Supreme Court Justice 1916 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF THE BROKENHEARTED WIDOW OF OHIO SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOSEPH PERRY BRADBURY
Pomeroy, Ohio OH 1916 Cloth Fair+ Autograph
On offer is the handwritten, manuscript diary of Mrs. J.P. Bradbury, Pomeroy Ohio, 1916 and as found on genealogical sites Mrs. Bradbury (1853-1918) being Emma L. Woods, the widow and second wife of Justice Joseph Perry Bradbury (1838-1915) of the Ohio Supreme Court. Research finds Justice Bradbury and his family in the 1880 census it said that he was then married to his first wife Sarah E. Bradbury who was an invalid and that two other people lived in the house, Emma Woods as “sister” so it seems clear to be his first wife’s sister. It also lists Elizabeth Blackwell, servant, living at the home. The diary itself is written just a few months after the death of Joseph. Her grief, as she puts it, is too much to bear and almost everyday she writes about him and missing him. She calls him Petty for a nickname too. I thought it was Perry because of his middle name but on closer inspection it is Petty. She starts out her entries on January and writes on almost every available space for everyday (see scan) but then suddenly stops her entries on July 24th. Entries are extremely interesting probing what it is like for a newly widowed woman who seemed to be deeply in love with her husband, as one will see in the following excerpts: “How am I to get along without my own dear Petty….. I am homesick for my dear Petty. I do not see how I am to go on this way. Petty dear, if I could only have kept you, how happy I would be as it is I am so depressed……Mr. Quincy came in to do some hauling of stuff left from the old house. Mrs. Barbara Wehe, mother of Mrs. Frank Hudson of Chicago was brought here for burial Friday of last week. Mrs. Wehe used to live here in Pomeroy and was quite well-known. How I do miss my own dear Petty, and when I think I could not do one thing to keep him, it almost kills me. Dearest Petty…… The river is very high. Word came this morning that the steamer Kanawha had struck a part of dam no. 19 just below Parkersburg. In three minutes time the boat capsized. She lay upon her side. The number lost is estimated at from 12 to 25. Mrs. E.C. Atkinson of Racine and a lady, whom I knew very well, was lost. Her husband saved. I did not know any of the other people. It was a terrible calamity……. some days I think I will fly to pieces. I am so very nervous and oh how I do miss my dear dear Petty. I just think I must see his dear sweet face…… oh; my poor old heart aches all the time for him. How I loved him…… just six months since my dear Petty left me. Some days I think I can not stand it. I just must see him. No one knows how I miss my dear sweet Petty. How I did love him. He was so sweet and good to me…… Dorothy and Mary Etta went out for walk into see the doctor. The town is full of sick people. Doctors are just rushed to death…… just one year ago today, my dear Petty fell and hurt his arm. This was the beginning of his going down. Oh how I miss him. It was the 14th of February, but it was a Sunday. Oh how I miss Petty….. This was my dearest husband 78th birthday. Oh, I have missed him……. one year ago today my Petty was in bed with a sprained arm and now he has gone from me. Oh how I do miss my dear sweet Petty, who was so good to me……. I am still so blue and miss Perry so much today. I just feel as if I must see him. I do not see how I am to go on without him. Dear dear Petty and I miss Dorothy so much too….. I sincerely hope I may be taken to my heavenly home for I know I never could stand it. I hope my life will not be long. I do not want to live to be a real old woman and not a burden to anyone. If I could have gone with my Petty, how much better it would have been perhaps. I get dreadfully blue some days…..Bert Millen brought the deed for the farm for me to sign today. I wish Petty could have settled all up with Dale Roberts. I feel a little shaky about the settlement of that……. River still rising, and there will be between 48 and 50 feet of water here. It will be in my cellar tonight. Took the gas heater out this morning from the furnace. The Creek is up around the Bradford House and water and Mrs. Geyers seller. Mr. A.L. Willock deputy sheriff died this afternoon and leaves a wife and daughter. A year ago this evening my own dear Petty and I walked down to Dr. Henlows (?) Office. Coming home Petty wanted to be weighed so we went to Mr. Stockmore’s seed store and he weighed only 148 pounds. Oh how I did hate to see that. It made Petty feel badly….. Dearest husband how I have missed you this day. How I would love to see you. Oh Petty Petty, how am I to go on without you. This has been a very gloomy day……. Republican convention is still on in Chicago. Hope Roosevelt will not get the nomination. I miss my Petty so much. He would always tell me about how the conventions were conducted. He usually went to them. Petty how I do miss you…. I went up to see Dr. Jane but she was out. So I whet down to see Mrs. Plantz. She is not very well. I talked to her about the lump in my breast. After I came home and went for Dr. Gribble. He made an examination and found a growth, but advised me to see how it will be in a few weeks from now. It worries me very much. Now to think I have not my Petty to go to and talked it over. Oh dear Petty, maybe it won't be very long until we will be together again….. Just one year ago this 17th day of July my dear Petty closed his eyes in death. I will never forget how sweet he looked that morning, and how blue, his eyes were some days I think I can not stand it I must see him and hear his sweet voice. Dear dear Petty, perhaps it won't be long until I will be with my loved ones. I pray that my Father in heaven will only keep me from long-suffering with this dreadful thing that has come to me. Better I could go before I get to be a care and hope I won't have to suffer with it. How my dear Petty would worry if he knew this...." Many names listed; Blackmore, DeWolfe, Crow, Planty, Helen Russell, Frank Hudson, Atkinson, Hollis Johnston, Fisher (Minister), Dr. Jane Gulliford, Horvitz, Helen Shrewsby, Scott, Dr. James, McCullough, Remington, Keizer, Dave Geyer, Helen and Ray Clifton, Mary Williams, Asa Bradbury, John Kasper, Bert Miller, Dale Roberts, Antoinette Osborn, Arnold, Roy Brown, Edith Peters, Ruth Jacobs, Stanbury, Lillian Roush and more. Condition of this diary, most of the pages from January 1 of February 25 are torn on the seam. Some of the pages are also loose but the writing can easily be made out. 4" x 5".