in farming

March 4-17, 1953

1953 March 4th Wednesday

Sun shone and Dan is planning to drive Ford Tractor but they fed cattle in a.m. and Wm L and Billie Francis Abbott with their Big M.M. Tractor and snow plow went by to Whiting Store, brought our mail and 8 records, mostly Polkas and Waltzes so told Dan to bring Betty & Calvin up in eve and we played them, not so hot but we had fun playing a close game of Samba.Betty & I won after nearly losing game about half way and we won 500 game. We had ice-cream for lunch and cookies before they went home. It was 10 p.m., so listen[ed] to news as Joe Stalin, Russia’s Premier, is near death.

1953 March 5th Thursday

Sun shone and bright. Dan went on Ford Tractor to Store yesterday and in our Pick Up this p.m. and he, Tom Whiting, Kleins, Daywitt all are clearing out Road to 18. Billie Abbott went with their Truck to Whiting Store and all gone so stopped here on way home and in eve said they [are going] to town to-morrow if Roads passable and Dan said they were when he got home as Maintainer helped, as he came from South where it was broke down. I took a bath this a.m. and Will one [on] Tuesday eve. Next will be washing the clothes. I finished blue partly nice dress. Men gave cattle hay this a.m. Usual eats and pastime for me.

1953 March 6th Friday

After a few clouds of morning was bright, nice day. I washed clothes and Will put on line. He and Dan went to Mission and it clouded this eve. I guess I washed yesterday and bathed Wednesday, for to-day I ironed and mended. I am a little mixed about the days, guess I have to write often in diary so not to forget the doings. Betty came up this a.m. and played 4 new records they just got, all songs of a new type.

1953 March 7th Saturday

Bright, nice day. Men fed cattle alfalfa and Dan took Cat & Dozer to clean out Road to Store, then he and family to Thomas’s and got Mail. David came with them and later the family in their car to Wales, stayed until Midnight. Dan brought us Milk. Wm L. Abbott came with their snow plow and Billy & his Mother (?) in car to Winner for overnight. Yesterday Billie, Mr. & Mrs. to Valentine. I am fixing a Dress I wore last Summer to Town but it isn’t much now, but I can wear new, and then Will was fixing Sickles and Talked to Wm L. Abbott as he went back home from here as Dan cleaned road to Highway by west bridge. Betty no come up this day. I got eats of roast beef & gravy & pickles & bread & prunes.

1953 March 8th Sunday

A beautiful day. Men gave cattle hay and Wales went away so Will stayed indoors. I cooked Beans and Pork Hocks and made Raisin Pie and it made me tired. I wrote in diary and accounts to date and Will and I played Canasta in p.m. He turned on Electric Pump to Cattle Tank in p.m. We ate Raisin a plenteous (?) this late p.m. and Dan went west with Ford Tractor to fix fence west side [of] Wheat Grass. Our line between us and Kleins. He brought Milk up in eve. We played Canasta before Bedtime so makes 3 games this p.m. and eve. Got news before Bed-time. Stalin’s Funeral tomorrow 10 a.m. their time. 3 p.m. ours. Never saw any one going any Place but Wales.

1953 March 9th Monday

Bright, beautiful, got to 50 above, was 30 when I got up. Men started to give cattle hay and broke the winch and Cat and Dozer balked some, but they got cattle fed by cabling part of Stack at a time and came in to say that Will and Dan were taking part of winch to Mullins Bros., Valentine to get it fixed. They had dinner in town and I guess I am mistaken, they went after eating Dinner at 2:10 p.m. and left part there to take rest in tomorrow, so came just at dark, had supper and then took winch apart and put in Pick Up. I sewed some on black Dress, in fact finished it so can wear if I need something on cold days. I never saw Betty until time to get meat for supper and she hurried up and back but men came then. I got eats this eve. We had potatoes and beef dried with gravy, pie and milk, played some solitaire and we read. Billie Abbott went by with his mother going home from end [of] week at Winner.

1953 March 10th Tuesday

Bright, got to 55 above, towards late p.m. was 60 above. Dan gave cattle hay by cabling it off a slide, fixed road some place west [of] here with Cat & Dozer. Will took winch to Valentine and home before dark, no bring it home. Got Battery for Ford Tractor. Wm & Inez Abbott came in Truck in eve. Billie in their car to go to Pierre with some boys tomorrow. Dan’s family up so we played Canasta until Midnight. Betty washed clothes.

1953 March 11th Wednesday

Bright, nice until 4 p.m. began to cloud was 53 above this p.m. and not cold last night but near 30 above. Will and Dan gave cattle hay and went to Valentine to get winch in our Pick Up so I am alone, have pains in head so only washed dishes and made out orders for things we need, ate only a lunch at noon. Betty and Calvin at home I guess. Men came home after dark, got stuck up west side [of] our wheat grass and Dan walked in, got Cat and Dozer to pull out and they got home with the winch and we had supper and then chored, to milk cows, get eggs and fuel. I fixed this and that, just small repairs on my clothes, got myself lunch at noon and 2 meals [for] others and ironed a few pieces as I washed Will’s everyday work Trousers. I never saw Betty nor Calvin this day.

1953 March 12th Thursday

The bridges on Antelope and Keya Paha are surrounded with water, but men crossed and very deep this side of Bridge west [of] here but after feeding cattle, Will drove M. Tractor and Dan rode on the Back of Thomas’s, no chain for winch, that is some links, and they went to Whiting Store. Dick took Tractor, Bud in his car and Mailman went North through Hills North [of] Thomas’s to 18. Bud is going to Pierre Clinic for an appointment at 10 tomorrow. Athel asked if they could bring down their Pork until can take to Clarence’s to store in their freezer. They have Kennie & Roger Whiting, Pat Heiden, Doris, David and Jimmie, so a lot to stay home from School, all go but Jimmie on account of water.

1953 March 13th Friday

Some clouds in a.m. but p.m. fair and not cold, about 50 above, got cooler in eve. I got eats and sewed on my nightgowns, played solitaire and visited with Athel. She brought some of their Pork to leave in Freezer until they get to store it at Clarence’s but now roads are not passable. She drove Ford Tractor on wagon, had Kennie, Roger, Jimmie, Doris and David Whiting, Pat Heiden. Will had a spell with heart so just sat and read then laid down late p.m. Betty brought milk up.

1953 March 14th Saturday

Rain and Snow in a.m. [so] that Dan and Will got wet feeding cattle hay in a.m. P.M. was snow and Northwest wind so nearly a blizzard at times and quite windy towards eve when Will got Milk Cow and Abbotts’ Jersey Calf in barn, not get calf that is hurt, at return to barn. Will cleaned front real nice and laid down to towards eve. We had potatoes mashed, fried steak, onions, jell, bread and several malts this day. Will had to take heart pill in eve but played Canasta in p.m. and after supper. I wrote in diary during first of week so not so hard to write if I keep news to-date and work we do.

March 15th Sunday

Snow quit last night and some clouds in a.m. but p.m. clear and no snow fell this a.m. Men never went to feed cattle until after 10 .m. I got breakfast of Oatmeal, Orange and Grapefruit, Toast, Butter, Coffee, Milk, Bacon and Eggs. Then made an Apple Pan-dowdie, apples with an upper crust, and leaving out Pork Chops for dinner. Writing in diary. Sun is shining, is 53 above zero now at 3 o’clock p.m. I am tired from sewing too much at machine yesterday but am finishing things now, nightgowns and a robe of print goods for myself. May make quilt tops of pieces left when I clean out our room. Will wants to clean house now when weather is bad at times so can work outside and not fuss indoors. We had mashed potatoes last eve and enough for patties [for] one meal today. Billie Abbott went Horseback to Hidden Timber, got his Dad cigarettes but no Mail since last Thursday. He stopped awhile when Will [was] making malts, so had one. Dan and Betty and Calvin came up this eve and played their new records, 8 different pieces. We played Canasta and 500 after Will and I had Milk Toast for a lunch. Calvin dances a lot when phonograph is playing and passes time if he is sleepy. We had Malts at 10:30 p.m., also some Apple Pan-Dowdie, then quit for night. Men lost 500 game.

1953 March 16th Monday

A few clouds in morning but rest day was bright and nice. Men fed cattle and Dan and Betty, Calvin went to Mission. They stopped at Thomas’s and brought a box [of] meat for them to put in freezer until they can get to Clarence’s to pu in their freezer, for we will butcher a beef soon and it will fill our freezer. Lemoyne got Roger and Kennie Sunday p.m., came with a tractor. Pat Heiden stayed at Thomas’s but no school yet since high water. Bus McKee came on his tractor to get Electric Drills to fix something, stayed for dinner and Will on our M. Tractor went with him to My Creek on N.W. Sub Marginal Land to cross it, which he did and Will came back. Dan & Family stopped at Thomas’s on way home from Mission and came home late p.m. and is filling Bridge in East [of] Store and some crossing there, but Mailman only came to School House either Fast or Down and went back, so we have no mail yet. I get eats and played solitaire, am fixing nightgowns for Will and I. They are too small, have to put a strip to enlarge under sleeves and down to hem, 2 for Will and 2 for me and 4 new Slips (white, 2 Nainsook, and 2 Broadcloth). I use Broadcloth for Everyday and Nainsook for better wear.

1953 March 17th Tuesday. St. Patrick’s Day

Bright and N.W. wind. Betty washed clothes and was so nice to dry. She said Calvin walked up to Garage where men are fixing sickle and mower things. Dan got rest of corn to husk that was at yard S.W. [of] house in wagon and put that was husked in granary. Will keep it to feed chickens and uses that need corn. Dan got the mail, walked from bridge to P.O. Left our Pick Up at Bridge as filling not so good yet. I got dress etc. from Lane Bryant, Cincinnati, Ohio, and it is black, white check made of Orlon and Nylon, can be washed through suds, needs no ironing, just what I need for hot weather. Got so much mail, have enough to read for several days and hope for more then.

  1. Your transcription says ” and he, Tom Whiting, Kleins, Day with all are clearing out Road to 18″

    The last name is something like Daywitt, rather than Day with. They lived a mile west of me when I was young. I’m not positive I have that spelled right, since it’s been a long time since I saw it written.

    As usual feel free to delete this.

    Thanks for all your work on this. As I understand, the winter of 1952 was terrible, which I’m sure led to the flooding referenced here. On March 2, 1953, I was 18 months old. Probably didn’t help much with the snow removal.

    • Ah, thank you! I could not for the life of me figure out what “Day” was supposed to mean.

      I need to play a bit of catch-up with the diaries (teaching and grading have got in the way), but I plan to get to the end of April’s entries by May 1st.

      Please don’t hesitate to let me know what I’ve misread or mistyped. Especially in the later years, Hattie’s handwriting can be a puzzle.

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