Friday, October 9, 2009

A Break in The Weather & Maybe The Fence

"Sat 9, 2009: All but Len went to town this afternoon .There were a great many cars going along this evening, in fact the road was busy all day.. Today was a nice warm day. Yesterday was another beautiful day. It was quite warm, but we didn’t get many potatoes dug today. Dad spent most of people’s time running after the cow & calves* etz. Len, Ruby & Dad hauled some hay this afternoon. We baked a cake, churned, and finished ironing.

Thursday was a most beautiful day. It was the first one we had had for a long, long while. I* would liked to have gone on a long ride somewhere but felt we could not afford the time. All but Dad dug potatoes a while Thursday forenoon. Our potatoes are very poor potatoes. It is very discouraging. In the afternoon Len went to town to try to have his car fixed. It wouldn’t run on the magnets. He took it up to Paul Stauss’* and he fixed it in a few minutes. Almira, Wesley & Eleanor Dittmar [cousins] came in the afternoon for some of our apples. After they had gone Uncle Joe Dittmar and his family called on their way home from Galena. Dad, Ma & I went up to Aunt Annie’s Thursday evening."

* Lillian loved cars. She spent hours of her life after that first car in 1917, fixing and grooming the family cars, as well as driving here and there. And, she was quite good at it! Rather unusual for a woman in those days.

* We can assume that, once again, the cows have gotten through the fence and run off. It wouldn’t be the first time. If the Trudgian cows weren’t in someone else’s pasture, then someone else’s cows were in the Trudgian’s pasture. Everyone knew whose animals were whose. Don’t ask me! I’ve never been a farm girl!

* Paul Stauss appears to be a man of all trades. In the first volume of Lillian’s Diaires he is always bringing parts in the Trudgian farm and helping to fix the radio, now he is fixing Len’s car. I think he is related to Leonard Stauss, Ruby’s husband. Perhaps he is a nephew.


  1. Yes, we farm boys and girls knew whose cows where whose. You could always tell when there was a hole in the fence between yours and your neighbors' farms 'cause when we walked in the pasture you'd see a strange cow or three. We knew our cows, and we even knew some of the neighbors' cows, but when we saw a strange cow in our pasture we called around to ask our neighbors if they were missing some of their cows. It usually took a day or so to get the errant cow back to her (or his in the case of a bull) rightful owner, but if she came up the lane at milking time with our herd of cows to be milked we didn't mind milking her and getting the extra milk from our neighbor's cow(s) to sell to Kraft Foods next time their milk truck came to empty our milk tank! Possession is 9/10ths of ownership, after all!

  2. I'm sure, as you are, that Paul Stauss was Leonard Stauss's nephew. Did I ever mention to you that Leonard Stauss was the brother of Raymond Stauss of Elizabeth? Raymond Stauss's wife, Edna Stauss, was my Fifth Grade teacher at Elizabeth Public Schools way back in 1875 ( or thereabouts). Their daughter was also a school teacher in Elizabeth and I believe she was teaching FIrst Grade the same year her mother was teaching me in Fifth Grade. She was Ray and Edna's only child and was married but never had children. Thus, Leonard had no children and Raymond had no grandchildren, and the Stauss line died out.