Mankell Family History

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1898 Diary (January - June) of Esther Mankell

NOTES: Punctuation has been added and some grammar and spelling corrected, which will aid the reader. “Forenoon” means before noon. "..." indicates unreadable text. "G" refers to Gustave or the Gordhamer home. "D" is Dena Gorhamer, Esther's niece. They were close in age and spent time together. "Going to the store" refers to the store/post office in Jericho which was very close to the Gordhamer farm and only 1 and 1/2 miles west of the Mankell homestead. "N" is Nordin; "J" is Johnson; "O" is Olson; "Mrs C" is Mrs Carl Gilger. Esther worked for several families in Willmar: Gilger, Nordin, Elfstrum, Hedin, Olson, Twitchel, Ramsett.

At the time that Esther began to write this diary in 1898 she, brother Otto and her mother Elizabeth were living at the homestead. (Esther's father HW had died in 1889 when she was 15 years old.) Her other siblings were married by 1898. Oldest sister, Jennie, married Andrew Gordhamer and lived west of the farm in Jericho. Esther's brother Oscar married Minnie Swenson in 1895 and lived on the Mankell homestead. Gustave was living elsewhere, possibly in Minneapolis when he learned law by working with a lawyer. By April Esther was living in Willmar. Gustave and Esther met on October 6, 1895.

These entries give some glimpse into the life of a young woman (age 23) a year before her wedding. And there are glimpses into life on a farm with family and friends close by. She writes about the weather, her music lessons (probably on the piano), her washing and sewing, the birth of her niece Edna, working for varous families in Willmar probably as a housekeeper, her feelings of loneliness and waiting for letters from Gustave.

Inscription: To Esther from Gustave, Xmas 1897. May only happy memories be recorded on these pages is the wish of your Gustave.


January 1
Beautiful weather; no snow; went to church forenoon with Mamma and Otto. Afternoon gave a party for a group of friends. Served supper all left at nine pm. Will write to Gustave this evening. I was very lonely. How I wish he was here. Hope I will hear from him tomorrow.

January 2
Stayed home all day; weather is nice. Spent all afternoon reading “Othello”, very interesting. Got a bad cold yesterday; don’t feel well at all. No letter from Gustave; how lonely I am. Wonder where he is tonight.

January 3
Mr. Rustad called; weather very pleasant……John B called; said Christ went to Minneapolis to school last Monday; presume he will meet Mary there. She will stay until spring.

January 4
Boys brought ice home on wagon; washed forenoon; ironed afternoon. I feel so tired; how I wish Gustave was here. Otto went for the mail at post office; had a long loving letter from Gustave, much happier.

January 5
Worked at my curtains all day. Mamma went to church, a funeral. It is a fine day; wrote a note to a friend; is going to a party on Friday. I am feeling well; cold almost gone.

January 6
Working hard all day; too tired for anything. No letters from anyone; feel very lonely. Will go to bed early; Mamma is not feeling well; got a cold; so has Otto.

January 7
Went to Axel Erickson on a party. Dena, Mamma and myself drove with an unshod horse. Dena walked behind; said she pushed up hill; laughed; had a delightful time. Oscar was cross in the morning. Presume I was the cause of it.

January 8 (Saturday)
Went to Railsons to take my lesson. She was too busy then. Shall go on Monday. Dena went along; walked all way across the fields. We laughed and were so tired when reached G went in parlor, had lunch brought to us on tray. Went to bed early but could not sleep. Stayed until Sunday.

January 9
Just came come from G; forenoon went to church. It seems very lonely at home. Made fire in the parlor; sat down to read Gustave's letter over. I believe for the fourth time; loving letter; will answer it this evening.

January 10
Been to Railson; took my first lesson; find it rather difficult; wished I could learn faster. Dena also took her lesson; she gives very long lessons. This time we drove with Christ horse and buggy. Roads are fine, no snow or even ice. Saw JG (oldest sister Jenny Gordhamer?) at Jericho store. She remarked that we looked jolly. I presume I was.

January 11
Washed clothes forenoon; weather is dark. A letter from little Gustave and from Alex (Gustave's brother); worked at my curtains in the afternoon. Wonder if Gustave been to N. for any dinners; just wished I was there.

Spent most of the day practiced; weather is fine; no snow; feel some what tired; wished I could spend this lovely evening with Gustave. Presume he is in his room alone; Just now wished I could to to Willmar for a day's visit.

Been to R; took my lesson. She said I knew it well. I was very glad I worked so very hard, even some notes in my dreams. Wished Gustave could hear me play. Also had a letter from Gustave; he was very anxious to hear from me. I had not written for some time, but my kiss will help for that when I meet him again.

Been practicing from one pm until five pm. Just ...over the lesson once. very long lessons she gives, but I will soon learn faster. I take twice a week at first, but I won't later. This time got three pages. Sunay I am ... Dena and myself, so tomorrow I have to practice all day.

January15 (Saturday)
JH and EN were for coffee. Minnie not feeling well. I have been very busy with the Saturday work. Otto went to the store; no mail for me. Jacobe went to Willmar. Wished I had gone and spend the Sunday with my dear Gustave. Unclear when I will see him again.

January 16
Mamma and myself went to church forenoon. Was to Dena's for dinner; afternoon went to arnsons; stayed until ten pm. Alfred S drove me home; was too dark to go alone. Boys and girls invited me to go skating I refused; came home; read a while in the paper then went to bed; could not sleep for a long time.

January 17
Weather is fine; thawing all day. Been hawling ice for the creamery. Went to G; drove D with to Railson; took my lessons. D got part of her lesson over. I had mine well. Miss R is going away for a while.

January 18
Weather fine; made fire in the parlor. sat to practice my lesson; sat about all day. I am tired of playingl lesson is so hard. Only wish she would not give such long lessons. Even Minnie cannot 'play it' and she knows music well. How I wish I could see Gustave. I am so lonely, so lonely.

January 19
Mamma and Otto went to; I did not go. I have to take my lesson tomorrow and I must know it well. Dena and some boys went to a surprise party to Axel Erickson. I was not invited. Had a long letter from Gustave yesterday. Will answer this evening.

January 20
Took my lesson. Was to Dena's for coffee. Mrs. Jordahl... at store or Minnie. Weather is very foggy; no letters. In the evening wrote to Alex

January 21
Been up since three o'clock this morn. Minnie is sick. Otto went for Mrs. S (Minnie's mother, Mrs. Gemine Swenson, who helped with Edna's birth), Forenoon washed clothes; afternoon baked a cake and ...worked very hard. How I wished I was not at home. Why did I not stay away. I dread this night. If I could rest in Gustave arms 8pm

January 22
Slept about two hours all night; so frightened I am almost sick. Minnie got a girl and very very sick. I helped to dress baby, but wished I was away. How long this night has been and how long these weeks shall seem.

January 23 (Sunday)
Weather is fine. Wished Dena would come. I am so very lonely. Going to write to Gustave this pm; got a letter yesterday. Feel very tired; cannot practice my lesson on account of Minnie. Hope I can take my lesson next Monday; shall take only one a week.

January 24
Washed clothes forenoon. Mrs Swenson came to help. Jennie called in the forenoon. I saw Minnie and the baby. Wished people would stay away. I am disgusted with them; take the life out of me; wished I was away.

January 25
Baby good all day; worked for myself; wish D would call. No letters today; fine weather. Oscar went to New London. Annie (Esther's sister who lives in New London) speaks foolish as usual; good I don't see her.

January 26
Baked cake and doughnuts, forenoon; very nice too. Expecting company afternoon; wish they would not come; wished I could practice this evening; got a hard lesson. Miss R is gone away; wonder when she will return; hope I will know my lesson.

January 27
Very windy; hope it won't snow; been to Normans for coffee. worked at my curtain. Had a letter from Alex. rec. mother's ...Will send Mother E (Gustave's mother) one. Had a letter from (sister) Hulda; wants me to write more often; I won't!

January 28
Worked as usual; can not practice today; pleasant weather. Letter from sister Amanda; maybe she will visit us. Minnie is improving. Mrs R called. Had a long letter from Gustave; maybe I can visit him next week. Wished the weather would always be so fine.

January 29
Alone home; fine weather; Mamma and Oscar went to Willmar;... went to Bratlund; he is very sick. Oscar had greetings from Gustave he was in court this evening, Read a very interesting love story; wished I could find more such stories.

January 30 (Sunday)
Mrs. H called this afternoon. Mrs S, Mrs Em. Cooked coffee all afternoon. Otto went to the store. very windy, cold; so lonely. Will write to Gustave this evening; so different from last Sunday; glad the weeks pass by.

January 31
Gordhamers all spent the day with us. D helped in the kitchen; had four different kinds of cake for coffee. wished Gustave was here to drink with us. I played over my lesson for next time. I have not practiced much on it yet. Miss R isn't home; wish she would come.


February 1
Weather dark; hope it won't snow. been alone all day for a wonder! rec. a letter from Gustave and Alex; he is in Willmar; wished I was there; wonder when I can go; ought to go to the store; maybe tomorrow. Minnie was up today for a while. Hope she will soon be well.

February 2
Very cold; snowed some yesterday which made it still colder. Cooking all day in the kitchen most of the time. In the evening wrote a letter to my husband. went to bed at 11pm. Mamma not feeling well.

February 3
Baked forenoon; went to Normans for coffee; practiced in the evening; Hemstitched a handkerchief for myself; pleasant weather. Baby cross all night; did not sleep good. Otto went to the store. D sent an inviation for next Sunday evening at her home. Wished I could go.

February 4
Mrs. N called; brought a waist for me to sew. Oscar went to New London. Now this pm wonder if I will have a letter today. Been practicing three hours. Received an invitation from Rustads for Saturday evening. Don't think I shall go.

February 5
Otto went to Willmar; sorry I could not go with; he did not want me along; took Joseph N. Hope I will soon come down for to stay away a few days. I am so lonely.

February 6 (Sunday)
Very fine weather; Mamma went to church; spend the afternoon on the lake skating; with with some girls and boys out riding. Took ...home; stayed here for a while. Evening wrote to Gustave. How I wish he was here; such beautiful eve.

February 7
Somewhat tired; washed forenoon; worked for myself pm weather fine. Wished I could see Gustave; it seems very long since I last met him; wonder when I can go to Willmar to see him.

February 8
Had a letter from Gustave and the linen I sent for. Wonder why he did not write me longer letter. I feel very sorry today lonely, downhearted. Why can I not see my Gustave. What long weeks these weeks have been and not even seen Gustave.

February 9
Very windy. Sew my black waist and dress for Mrs. Quam. Mrs Engen called pm and four others. Oscar took them home in the evening. Dena has gone to Arnsons today and will stay until Sunday. No letter today from Gustave.

February 10
Very cold; snowed heavy all day. Busy sewing all day. Axel E was for coffee; asked if I was to get married soon because I am always very busy; even no time to entertain him. How sad to look outside; hope it won't blow in drifts.

February 11
Snowed all night also; how deep the snow is this morning. Wished I was away; how lonely this looks. Oscar took the young team and cutter went out riding; did not ask me to go ride.

February 12
Worked in the kitchen all day. evening sew on my curtains. Invited to a party but did not go. Otto went. 10pm went to bed. Read "Safe Counsel", the book Gustave gave me, until twelve o'clock. Very interesting; best book I have ever read. Wished I could sleep ...then I could read it every night.

February 13 (Sunday)
Very cold; all at home; too cold for church. now drifting about; hope nobody will come this afternoon so I can spend this day writing to my little Gustave. Have had only one short letter this week. Wonder why.

February 14
Went to the store; bought goods; had lunch at DG; very cold. PM Mrs and Mr H stayed for supper; wish they had not come. I am busy sewing on my apron. Went to see if Miss R got back but is not too bad she went.

February 15
Company for dinner; spent forenoon in the kitchen. Very cold; deep snow; made fire in the parlor; sang and played a few songs for the folks, but am very busy. Boys out breaking horses unshod; could have a first ride too. This eve will read in my book.

February 16
Dena and Tella stayed all PM; I went out for a ride with them; got fresh air. D said I needed it; wished I could come away, this is too lonely. If only Gustave was here; wonder where he is this afternoon. No letter since Monday.

February 17
Sewing all day. Otto went to church funeral. Mr and Mrs Meyquaw from St. Paul were up. Wanted me to go with down, wished I could. Was to G for dinner; here for supper. What pleasant people!

February 18
Worked all day as usual. Mamma got a cold; I am not feeling well. Walked up to N; snow very deep; wonder if I can go to Willmar tomorrow; finished Mrs A dress; will go there with it Sunday if home. Oscar not well; Otto not home; I was obliged to let the whole stock out for watering, long time since last I did that work.

February 19
Did not come to Willmar afterall, if smart I could have gone with O to NL; had a short letter from Gustave; he is expecting me. Don't know if Miss R is home or not; don't take my lesson Monday either. D is giving lessons to CA. Been there one week now.

February 20 (Sunday)
Pleasant weather; went to Quams AM; Mamma with; drove fast; fine sleeping. seen little Sophia. has grown larger since last summer. For supper, invited to N; spent the eve with song and music; people very interesting. "Klondike" the subject; too cold for my taste; plenty missing while out going there.

February 21
Boys gone to town; I was up; made breakfast past five this morning; wrote a letter to Gustave. Otto went to the store; wonder how long I shall stay home; wished I was away; so very lonely. This evening will again spend a few hours reading in my book; very interesting.

February 22
Holiday Washington Birthday. Very cold and windy forenoon. PM rather nice; went to G; Dena was not home; gone to NL Henry Swenson and Oscar went to the woods. I was to go along and babysit Railson's Ida! But could not. Sew two white aprons for myself. Evening read some and went to bed.

February 23
Was to go to NL but it seemed rather cold; had packed; all ready. Mamma don't like to see me go. In the evening when Oscar gone back he said he had seen Gustave and he shall come here on Saturday. I was very glad, although I should have been in Willmar before I went there.

February 24
Mammma gone to G; boys are away; don't feel well; did not sleep much last night; dreamt very very unpleasant. After that I could not sleep; wished I could rest this afternoon but cannot.

February 25
Dena and Charly came from NL. I was to C.S. for coffee. PM took me home; stayed here for supper.

February 26
I waited for Gustave but he did not come. Hope he will come tomorrow.

February 27 (Sunday)
Gustave did not come but his brother Al came and took me to his house in Irving. Arrived there late in the evening and met Gustave. We were very happy to see each other again.

February 28
Gustave and I had a very pleasant time this morning. Spent the day in conversation and music. Delightful weather.


March 1
Spent the day in, working and talking to Gustave. Very stormy and disgreeable.

March 2
(no entry)

March 3
Gustave and myself went to visit uncle W; spent the afternoon and eveing there; had a pleasant time. Folks are very entertaining. Went home at nine o'clock; beautiful moonlight; How pleasant to be with the one I love! Wonder how things will be once year from now. Hope we are not apart then.

March 4
Did not see much of Gustave because some men came for business. Alex gone out collecting. Wished I could see more of Gustave today. It seems so sad without him. Been carning stockings and finished the toilet set for Mother E. Hope it will suite her. evening felt very sad and sick.

March 5
Do not feel well. Oh how sad to know this trouble, if only I had not heard it.Shall I leave lttle Gustave today. how sad; when shall I see him again If every sun was as pleasant as the weather is today; how delightful it should be at 11 am. Gustave took me to NL; arrived at Nordins; glad to see me Meet Mrs. Q; Mr N took the train to NL on business.

March 6 (Sunday)
Slept very little; came home late; was to Johnsons last night. This AM went to church with Mrs N. Enjoyed the sermon. feel better but so lonely for Gustave; when shall I see him; maybe he will come with Nordins, oh if he would. How happy I would be. I am unhappy without him. Mrs. N sleeping. Agnes out working. I am in the office writing to Gustave.

March 7
Weather nice; feel good. AM early went to C. Gilger (Carl Gilger home in Willmar)...shall help them get settled; took up carpet. enjoyed the day. walked back and forth between the houses calling them so went back for supper and slept ...

March 8
Snowed some this morning; slept well all night; up at six; had lunch at the Samboe restaurant. went to work; wished they had not moved; bath room was always very pleasant. Mr. C took our keys so we had bother to get into the house.

March 9
Carpets all down. I ordered the man to work all day; he does just as I tell him; very kind. Also had the wash woman to clean the kitchen. Mrs C very kind lets me do as I like. This evening feel very tired but have a good bed to sleep in.

March 10
Cleaned all day, but feel good. Mrs C very kind; had many come in to see us. Day very pleasant; will do sewing next week at Mrs. J. Mr C came home unexpected; wished he had not come so she could have done more work instead of spooning!

March 11
At Carl's; worked all day cleaning; have not heard from Gustave; wonder why he don't write; feel bit tired. Weather is very pleasant. Evening Mrs. C and I went out in town; bought oranges for supper.

March 12
Sewed for Mrs C. a waist and done house work; Agnes brought me a letter from Gustave; he is in Willmar to see me. I am so glad; I went to N at five o'clock; seen Gustave. He looked happy; I am so glad he came.

March 13 (Sunday)
Gustave stayed all night at N. forenoon we spent home PM out walking and had a pleasant time; went in at Samboe Restaurant; had coffee; took another walk. Evening spent at home; had a most delightful time; Mr and Mrs N went to church. Called at Mrs Carl--Gustave and myself.

March 14
Forenoon ironed and seen Gustave. Often he is with me yet feel so happy; wished he could always stay with me. Afternoon took a walk; called at Johnson and at Freeberg; feel happy. Evening spent with Gustave in Mr N office; wished Gustave could stay; have to go tomorrow.

March 15
Up early this morning; enjoyed it very early. Gustave should take the train; spent a most pleasant time with him; had a morning walk and went to Johnsons to sew. Came home late in the eve. How lonely it seems; no Gustave her; feel so tired.

March 16
At work early at J. sewed all day; Etta's baby is there. I dressed it this morning; a few lady was there for coffee; how I wish I could be left alone; talks all time; so tired of women gossip; how much it is of such kind in town; home I can keep quiet at least.

March 17
Still sunny at J. How I wish I was through; do hate those boys. Mrs. J talked so foolish to them; Eddie is at home; he is very quiet; presume he thinks he does not talk to me and it all right; I do well with out it too. Came home late; Mrs Olson wants me to sew for her.

March 18
Up early; dark morn; slept very little last night; talked about mad dogs and ...very sad; glad to find it not true. Home I won't be bit from mad dogs. How lonely I am without Gustave. How I wish I could the evening with him, I I can not.

March 19
Stayed at home; sewed form Mrs. N. and then the Saturdays work; Mrs N went out on coffee to Rise. Mrs. N, Agnes and myself had coffee home. Mrs. Mosberg and Mrs. J. came to spend the evening. Have not heard from Gustave this week; wonder what can be the matter.

March 20 (Sunday)
AM all gone to church; very pleasant weather; have not had a letter from Gustave yet; how long it seems since I last seen him; wished he was with me today; last Sunday by these hours we had a very pleasant time; will write to Amanda and Gustave and Dena.

March 21
Washed AM; PM cleaned office; Mr and Mrs N gone to Minneapolis at noon; N. will be gone a day. Mrs Carl called; stayed for coffee; finished Mrs J. dress. Weather pleasant; wished I was in Mrs N place; could go to the city.

March 22
Ironed forenoon; Mrs C called; weather pleasant; folks gone; slept all night alone; was not afraid either.

March 23
Worked all day; Mrs J spent the afternoon and evening. Cooked coffee for the lodge; had coffee myself. Mr J came and had coffee also. Agnes had her beautiful lounge robe on and had lunch.

March 24
Sewed all day for Mrs. J. N came home at eleven at night. Mrs N not coming home until Sunday; how long to way. It seams lonesome without her.

March 25
Sewed AM afer dinner went had my shoes fixed and met ...B told her sister Ida had called...Too bad I did not see her and called on Mrs Wold; day very windy.

March 26
Been baking all forenoon. Expected Mrs N home but did not come; maybe tonight; Mrs N gone to the country; will be gone until tomorrow. Agnes had company for supper; evening popped corn. I was out on her... very cold and windy.

March 27 (Sunday)
Was to church AM; Very cold snowing all day. Mrs N not home yet. Home she will come tonight. Shall call at the depot. Agnes has company. Yesterday had a letter from Gustave; he is at Sunburg; presume he is lonely today. Mr N met him going out there.

March 28
Went up early; very cold; went to Olsons; sewed all day; stayed until late. No letter today from G.; one from D.

March 29
At O. yet; expect to be there by next Friday; Mrs O. has been sick all day, poor thing! How I pity her.

March 30
Unwell; Very deep snow...stayed until late; had fine music; how delightful music is; girls seen me home.

March 31 Olsons for a few weeks; folks very nice; spent the evening there; had good music and singing by Mr... also played the bango; came home; wrote to Gustave a short letter; feel very tired.


At this time Esther is apparently not living at the farm with her mother and brother Oscar and his family. From her entries, she is staying with families to help with housework--sewing, cleaning--Olson, Elfstrem, Johnson. Possibly in Willmar?

April 1
Sew at Elfstrem all day; quite a long walk at morning. Mr E gone away for a visit; Ernst is home; weather not very pleasant.

April 2
Still at E; worked very hard to day; the dress had to be ready for Sunday; came home, took bath with Agnes; Mrs N gone to the Salvation Army in the ... had a long letter from Gustave; Too bad I do not write more often.

April 3 (Sunday)
Folks gone to church. I stayed at home; got dinner ready; ought to write this afternoon; will also go for a walk; weather very pleasant. Mrs N and myself called on Mrs C, Mrs DJ; had coffee; spent a pleasant afternoon.

April 4
At Elfstrem; weather pleasant; feel tired; sewed all day hard; Mr E is back again; had lots to say about his trip; called at Landquist; had spoke about me.

April 5
At Carl's; sewed for Mrs C; stayed overnight; up early at six; worked hard; Mrs C gone to sewing society...

April 6
At C at noon; received a letter from Gustave; he is lonely; and one from Minnie; worked very late; shall not do it again.

April 7
At P.L. Johnsons; everything as usual. Their boys all at home; worked hard; Mrs N called in the evening; shall go to Lodge. Mr N gone to church; all alone home; shall go to bed soon; up at six every morn.

April 8
At Elfstrem; weather fine; up early this morn; worked hard; Mary Olson seen me home. rained some today.

April 9
At E; ...feel very tired; worked so hard to get the dress ready for Easter; how sad I feel; have no new dress or hat or gloves for Easter; all are getting ready for tomorrow; how I feel hurt; shall stay in all day; write to Gustave I guess.

April 10 (Sunday)
Easter Sunday; beautiful weather; folks went to church forenoon; I stayed at home; got dinner. PM they went to church again. Agnes got a new hat. I hope by next Sunday I shall have my hat; wished I had my dress ready; evening wrote to Gustave.

April 11
Up early; beautiful morn; walk three blocks before went to work this morn at Johnsons.

April 12
At Johnsons; worked hard; tired tonight.

April 13
Stopped early tonight; have to write Gustave; worried about war reference to Spanish-American War; dark tonight; took a walk with Mrs Mosberg.

April 14
Cold morning; got up late; feel tired all day; at Johnsons yet.

April 15
At J; few ladies called this afternoon; wished I could be left alone.

April 16
At J yet; had two letters from Gustave; had it very unpleasant this afternoon on account of those letters; foolishness only; glad I am through there; boys tire me so.

April 17 (Sunday)
Home all day; Mrs N home a lot. cleaned the front room; hung up lamp and picutres; have no time for this weekdays for me. In the evening went for a walk alone; Telephone for ... to call but she could not come; folks all gone.

April 18
Cold, dark and dreary all day; snow a little and rained some; sew for Etta; enjoy her company very much. George very kind; baby so sweet; how happy they are; how dearly they love each other; can others even be so happy.

April 19
At Etta yet; cold today; feel very sorry down hearted. wished I was away from everyone.

April 20
At Etta; up early; cold rainy

April 21
Worked late; feel tired; Mrs P. L. Mrs N for coffee.

April 22
Foggy this morn; at Lindner; Mrs L and myself went to see the soldiers this PM; what an excitement in town; how sad to see poor darkies go to war; how brave they seem; I and few others went threw a flag as remembrance for one.

April 23
At L. yet; evening went out for a walk. meet Dena; came along home; stayed overnight; will spend Sunday here.

April 24
Home AM PM took a walk, D and myself, out to the park, then across the track out the woods, where Gustave and myself once sat by the lakeside. Spent a very pleasant afternoon. evening rain some, but went to the rink laughed, had a good time.

April 25
Home; worked forenoon;PM D and I went to Hedins, had coffee, spent sometime in the drug store. In evening went to rink; after that D friends took us to the restaurant, had lunch, boys ...don't know came in very late; was afraid they were angry.

April 26
House cleaned all day. Dena visit the seminary with Mr Chestold at one. PM went to New London. This evening will write to Gustave; poor boy he seems very lonesome; Why don't I write him more often.

April 27
Carpets in the hall. Katie Mosberg works in the office. Evening Mrs N, Mrs M and myself went to the rink; cold evening.

April 28
Fine weather; Mr N gone to Mpls will be home tonight; cleaned his office this morning. Had a good laugh; Mr Qualee called; thought we looked good natured.

April 29
Worked hard all day; pleasant weather, fine for work, felt good; Letter from Minnie and this evening had a letter from Gustave which hurt my feelings very much; can we even be happy. Wish I could see him now. I would tell him how I feel about this matter.

April 30
Up early; intended to wash clothes but it seems dark and rainy, so I did not. Then with housecleaning. Have had a bad cold; company this evening; I went to bed early.


May 1 (Sunday)
home AM. Mrs N went to church 9am. Mr. N, Agnes and myself had breakfast. A went for the mail; no letters for me. Rained all night; very dark day and muddy, trees look fresh and green. How beautiful spring is PM shall write to Gustave and go out with Mrs N for a walk. Got my hat yesterday; look nice I guess.

May 2
Oh where will I be one year from now and how will I feel. Will I ever be happy or not, God only knows. At L. today.

May 3
Was to the Opera House; "Confederate Spy" very good. Mr L Mr N ...Irish girl you'd laughed hearty?

May 4
was at the Opera "Queen Esther" very fine, beautiful costumes, I enjoyed it very much.

May 5
Came home late; beautiful evening spent an hour with Sophia O. Went out for a walk. At L. yet received a gold pin from Mr Selder, come from Klondyke. Mrs L also got one. Mr N gone to Atwater for that play.

May 6
Thru at L. glad too, like a change. Mrs N, Mr N gone away. came home late; dance at the rink; wish I could go; been listening to the music; fine evening.

May 7
At home forenoon. was beautiful day. went out to get some goods for shirt waist; sew it before night; called at Etta late. she been out for coffee.

May 8 (Sunday)
Fine day; stayed at home this AM; folks gone to church; shall go for a walk this afternoon all my myself to the woods and lake; feel very sad. Took a walk, met Mr R; M and myself was out in the rain; went in to ...old home until it went over.

May 9
Went to Olsons; Mary and myself went out riding on our wheels. Beautiful evening.

May 10
Fine weather; Mary and myself and Mr O went out to Eagle Lake in the afternoon. Had a fine time; had a good lunch; stayed until late; drove home in the moonlight, sang some pretty songs.

May 11
Up early; half past 4. Drove out to the lake, M and myself; had good breakfast; home had coffee when out there and lunch fruit with fine weather; out on the lake; walk in the woods...others cottage; how pleasant out there I hope I can spend summer there; drove home late.

May 12
worked all day; went with Mrs O for a ride; how kind they are towards me. Only wish she was well; how pleasant would be.

May 13
At O yet; tired tonight.

May 14
Agnes had company; came home late. M with dress up and went home with M. Shall go to picnic tomorrow. took a good bath at O in fine bath tub. How pleasant they have it.

May 15 (Sunday)
Up early; slept good all night in a fine room. Sung and played before breakfast and took a walk in their fine garden. At seven o'clock drove in the fine carriage out to Kandiyohi to a lake. Camped all day in the woods; went home late; with Olsons, how pleasant they are.

May 16
At O yet; Mrs N gone to Mrs Ballum; she is not expected to live overnight; how sad. Poor Mrs N had to go sit up all night.

May 17
Olsen's yet.

May 18
Came home late; went out to buy my new dress; How I dread it. Mrs N entertained company this afternoon.

May 19
Thru at Olsens

May 20
At Mrs. Twitchel; Mrs Ballum is dead; died this morning; how sad.

May 21
Dr today; rainy, cold all day; very lonely. Amanda came at noon.

May 22 (Sunday)
A dark day; all stayed at home this morn; shall go for a walk this afternoon. Amanda came; went to funeral, Mrs Ballum. Wrote to Gustave.

May 23
Mrs Twitchel yet, will be thru tonight. Mrs N, Amanda went to dance; I was to go but came home too late.

May 24
Stayed at home; made my skirt; folks went out on coffee. Mrs Westin came at noon. Jenny, Mother, Dena came down.

May 25
At home; feel sick; got frightened, terrible last night a drunk man fell down stairs and fainted. Oh God how little we think of death; when we leave home we may never return.

May 26
Mrs Peterson today; pleasant folks; rain all day; cold

May 27
Petersons yet; old lady very sick.

May 28
Home today; took my measures for my waist. Miss Carlin, Amanda went to New London

May 29 (Sunday)
Dark all day. Mrs W, Mrs N went to church AM; PM we went to church again. Soldiers meeting. Poor boys are to leave next Thursday. God be with them.

May 30
Home, wash this AM early, thru before nine o'clock. Memorial day flags all over; very pleasant.

May 31
Gilgers today; long walk; how beautiful the nature is.


June 1
Have yet rain today, but Chesvold in the house; afternoon had my picture taken; very poor

June 2
Fine weather very warm. Had a letter from dear Gustave; he can not come for the wedding. Too bad I would lke to see him; such long time since we parted.

June 3
Hot today; Gilgers forenoon; Miss Carlin PM; worked hard on my waist; hope I shall have it ready; tomorrow is the wedding. Sewed until 12 o'clock. PM rained terrible; could hardly get home. left the dress until tomorrow morn.

June 4
Up early. Mr N went to Miss C after my waist; how good he is; we were very busy. Carriage came at seven o'clock. weather is dark, hope it won't rain--Caroline Nolander is ...

June 5 (Sunday)
All feel tired; came home at nine o'clock; did not have a pleasant time; seen Gustave; he did not feel well. made me feel sad. Large crowd of people.

June 6
Back at Gilgers; told about the day before.

June 7
Thru at G; was at the Seminary commencement. Dena and Chesvold seen me home; went in the restaurant for ice cream.

June 8
Home washing; was sunny today; fine weather. Anna called; very smiling to me now. Went to PL in the evening.

June 9
At Ramsett; feel lonely

June 10
R. rainy all day

June 11
R gone away. I am in care of the house and children. Will come back at three tomorrow morn, Sunday

June 12 (Sunday)
Came home at nine o'clock; had breakfast at home; went to church; this PM will lay down to rest.

June 13
At work again at R

June 14
At R

June 15
Worked late; tired

June 16
Rain all day; R is gone to city

June 17
Thru at R

June 18
Home sewing my waist; very warm

June 19 (Sunday)
Out at the lake; picnic at Olsens cottage; fine time. Went out with Mary Johnson.

June 20
Circus today. Dena came down ... with her and her company, but so tired tonight...up early and ironed clothes

June 21
At R; up early this morn; fine weather

June 22
feel tired; been working all day hard.

June 23
Very busy all day; tired tonight; glad I do not have to write.

June 24
Warm weather; had a letter from Gustave; he will come.

June 25
Worked hard; been very warm. Came home late; found Gustave waiting; how surprised I was.

June 26 (Sunday)
Gustave spent the day with me; went out for a walk; wore my beautiful ring; had a delightful time; rained in the evening some.

June 27
At R yet; Gustave called; gave a bouquet of roses... been very busy

June 28
Mrs R gone to court; we are alone; very dark weather, but cool.

June 29
Very busy; warm weather, company for supper; Dena called. Jenny is down also.

June 30
Gustave called; was surprised; he did not stay long. talked about the fourth; we will go to Green Lake.

Webmaster: Carolyn Mankell Sowinski
Last updated: February 6, 2011