Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Lillian, Happy Birthday To You

Saturday, August 29, 1925: My twenty-eighth Birthday. It was a very hot day. Len & Ruby went to town this afternoon and brought home a brick of ice cream for my birthday. Dad, Ma & I went to town this evening. Friday we ironed and baked and etz. and etz. Aunt Till came down awhile this afternoon.

Thursday we washed a big wash, baked bread & drop cookies and cut up big cucumbers that evening. Dad went over to help clean the cemetery this forenoon. Wednesday, I put up ten quarts of peaches. Also made 2 ½ quarts of sweet cucumber pickles. Uncle Edd and the Aunts came down this eve. Brought me some birthday presents* a dresser scarf from Aunt Mag & Till and fifty cents from Aunt Annie.

Tuesday Len thrashed at Glassman’s today. Dad, Ma & I went to town this forenoon. Ruby chanced it up to Aunt Annie’s and came home with us this afternoon. Lavina Grebner and daughter and Harold & ______ Dittmar were there at Aunt Annie’s fixing a tire. They were on their way to Galena. This evening they and John H. and Bessie and two children stopped out in the road. Bessie is here from Dakota. As the aunts weren't at home they stopped to see if they were here. We put up ten quarts of plums that we got at Fiedler’s after we got home from town. Monday was a warm day. Len helped thrash at Bert Weis’. Bill Fiedler brought us a peck of blue plums today for seventy-five cents. We canned tomatoes, corn and beans, made apple sauce and picked cucumbers and etz.

* This is the most Lillian's birthday was celebrated in any of the diaries [1913-1931]. Ice cream and presents! Do you know how one of your family members celebrated birthdays in the mid-1920's. Want to share that experience? Today Lillian would be 113 years old!

The photo above is thought to be from 1910, but I think it is a later date photo. What do you think? Starting on the left hand side front row we have Lillian, Aunt Tillie Dittmar, Pearl Bunder ( I think Bunker is the correct spelling and fits into Lillian's comments on Pearl and Mr. Bunker). Then in the back row  2 Tippet men ( I think Johnnie Tippet and Uncle Edd)  and then behind Lillian is Ruby.


  1. Can you give me any idea of the "unknown" or "blank" Dittmar in this entry? What does Lillian's handwriting look like here? I might be able to help you decipher his/her name. Lavina Grebner was my mother's aunt (the sister of her mother Ella Dittmar Siemen) and her "daughter" and "Harold Dittmar" were her first cousins. The daughter was either Olga Grebner (later Olga Dittmar...she married her second cousin Leon Dittmar...who authored the 1966 "Erhardt Dittmar Family Tree") who would have been 19 in 1925, or more likely her other daughter Marie Grebner (later Marie Eversoll of Schapville, where the Grebners lived) who would have been 11 in 1925. Harold would have been 12 in 1925. He was Olga and Marie's first cousin...his mother died right after he was born and his father gave him to his sister Lavina Grebner to raise. Harold became the Grebners' foster child and he considered his two Grebner cousins to be more like his sisters than his cousins. He and Marie were only a year apart and were very close, so my thinking is that Marie was with her mother and Harold the day they were fixing the tire at Aunt Annie's. So, if you can provide me with ANY info about what the other Dittmar's name looks like, I think I can help you out.

  2. I think this might be a 1910 photo, if that's what it says on the back of the picture. In 1910 Lillian would have been 13 and Ruby would have been 19. Do the girls appear to be these ages? Moreover, Tillie would have been 30, Uncle Edd would have been 49 and his son Johnnie would have been about 20, but again do these people look these ages? Lillian looks older than 13 and Ruby definitely looks older than 19! However, Uncle Edd looks much younger than 49, Aunt Tillie looks to be about 30, and Johnnie looks older than 20.

    Based on their clothing styles you could safely add another five to ten years to this photo, but I think that a 59-year-old Uncle Edd would look much older in 1920 than he does in this photo, if it IS Uncle Edd. Johnnie was about 28, married and a father in 1918, so I'm guessing that this photo would have been taken before that and that 1915 would be closer to the actual photo date. 1915 is my educated guess.

  3. Morning Pat:
    The blank in the list of people fixing their tire at Aunt Annie's is a real empty space in Lillian's diary. She doesn't do it very often, but every once in a while she leaves a blank space and then continues onward with the entry. It is as if she truly doesn't remember who was with Lavina Grebner,Daughters and Harold &.... or was trying to figure out what first name to give to the "blank" Dittmar. Sorry!

  4. You are might not be Edd Tippet, but that is how the photo is labeled. In a way it looks like Wilbur Trudgian, my grandfather, or maybe it could be Uncle Dan Dittmar...but it is labeled "Two Tippet Men."

  5.'re no help at all! I was thinking after I had commented that this Unknown Dittmar could have been Leon Dittmar, Olga Grebner's beau, but they were married in 1929, four years after this diary entry, which would have been a long time for a courtship, even in those days. And Lillian knew Leon very well...he was her cousin, the son of her mother's brother Henry Dittmar, and she mentions his name more than once in the first volume of "Lillian's Diaries". This must have been a Dittmar from Lavina's side, perhaps even Harold's brother, Donald Dittmar, who had gone to live with his grandparents after his mother's death, who was 17 and was living with his father again in Scales Mound in 1925. He could have been the person who would be fixing the tire, and Lillian wouldn't have any reason to know him that well.

    As for the label, "Two Tippett Men", I think if Lillian wrote this she would have mentioned Uncle Edd and his son Johnnie by name because she was intimate with their acquaintances. Using the label she did for these two tells me she didn't know their names right off the bat, so they're probably cousins or other relatives of her Uncle Edd Tippett that she had met only the day the photo was snapped.

    See? Problems (almost) solved!