Friday, January 10, 2014

February 15, 1906, Tennant, Iowa—excerpt from AN IOWA SCHOOLMA'AM

An Iowa Schoolma'am: Letters of Elizabeth "Bess" Corey, 1904–1908, contains the letters Bess wrote home to her family during the years she was living with various rural Iowa families while teaching at nearby one-room schoolhouses.

February 15, 1906, Tennant, Iowa
     "Monday when I wrote to you. . .  I told you it was raining well Monday evening it turned colder and we had a blizard all day Tues. . . . They wouldn't let Gertie [the school-age child of the family she was living with] go to school but I went anyway—had to follow the fence and then it wasn't any too safe. I went early and had the stove red hot before half past eight. The three Miller boys came and that is all the [students] I had. They had taken some of their books home the evening before and had learned their reading and spelling so we hurried through and got out about eleven. I got to Wevers about half after eleven and I couldn't have gone a quarter of a mile farther to have saved my life and if I had attempted to cross the ploughing I wouldn't be writing to you now I don't think. When I got here my clothes from my legging tops to my waist were wet through and getting stiff so I had to change every dud I had on."

An Iowa Schoolma'am: Letters of Elizabeth "Bess" Corey, 1904–1908, edited by Philip L. Gerber and Charlotte Wright

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Make a winter suet feeder for birds by melting together one cup crunchy peanut butter and one cup lard. Stir in one cup flour, two cups cornmeal, one-fourth cup sugar, one cup sunflower seeds, and two cups oatmeal. Pack into a milk carton and freeze. When completely frozen, put in an empty mesh bag in which you bought onions or potatoes. Hang on a pole outdoors.
—Marian McNabb, Linn Grove

Gardening in Iowa and Surrounding Areas, by Veronica Lorson Fowler with the Federated Garden Clubs of Iowa

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Two Up, Two Down"—excerpt from OTHERS HAD IT WORSE

The first I can remember as a kid living in this log cabin 4 rooms 2 up and 2 down. The floors had holes in it. You could of throwed a cat through them. And upstairs where I slept with Barbara and Reva when it snowed on the bed we shook the snow off the covers when we got up. But luck was with us. We kids never seemed to be very sick.

Others Had It Worse: Sour Dock, Moonshine, and Hard Times in Davis County, Iowa, by Vetra Melrose Padget Covert and Chris D. Baker