This blog is mainly taken from my Great Grandfather's diary. In 2012 we are in the year 1915, after completing 1916 in 2010 and 1927 in 2011. 1915 is the year that my Great Uncle Norman was born. 1927 is the year that my Great Uncle Roger, was born. 1916 was the year that my grandmother, Annah Lee was born.

My Great-Grandfather's name was Bonnie Elmore and he worked as a clerk or secretary for the old Norfolk & Western Railroad, based in Roanoke, VA. Mary is his wife. Norman is their first born son. The Raines are Mary's parents. Skin is Bonnie's brother along with Jake.

Bonnie's work associates and friends are also mentioned quite a bit. Bonnie does a great job of blending everyday life in 1915 with the mention of some world and USA history as well. I do know from a quick glance ahead that 1915 is going to be quite different as Bonnie did not write quite as much.

After Bonnie's diary entry, I will occasionally make comments, maybe tell a little about life in 2012, possibly some current events, and some musing about the Christian faith.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring has Sprung

On Friday, April 28, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Beautiful Day. Arose at 7:00 a.m. Got to work at 8:25. Aunt Annah much improved. W.W. Boxley came into our office. I indexed and filed mail. Mary, Mrs. Raines and Norman went to St. Charles Hospital to take specimen of urine. Frank Poff taken to hospital ill. I shaved at night. Mr. Raines gave Annah Lee a cradle. Met. Mrs. Beckley. Walked down town with Mr. Raitt. On Saturday, April 29, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Beautiful Day. Pay-day. Arose at 7:35 Got to work at 8:45. Paid Gas Bill for Mr. Raitt. Met Geo. Walters. Ladies elling flowers for "playground". Work dull in office. Mr. Husher buried. Met Echol Marshall and Mr. Lockett. Got hair cut. Paid some bills. Met. Capt. Rowan. Went in George Walters home at noon. Jake played ball with Stone Printing boys. 1st of season. On Sunday, April 30, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Beautiful Day. Arose at 8 o'clock. Went to First Christian Church. Met Lester Steffey. Took Norman on street car up town and carried him to Mrs. Raines. Mary, Mrs. R, and Aunt Annah rolled the kids out. Ate supper at Mama's and came home on car. Brought paint and brush. Talked with little Frank Fisher. Talked to Mr. and Mrs. Hurst at church. End of month note: Measured for suit, 4-18-16 by S.H. Harbour. Price $26.50. No vest, wide belt straps, regular trousers. Blue serge, heavy. Deliver about May 3, 1916. Loose fiting coat in back specified. Ed. V. Price & Co. Chicago, Ill. Having trouble with Mexico in hunt for Villa. Also crisis on submarine issue with Germany. 7% increase in salaries effective 1st of April. This has been a beautiful month with high winds and monnlight nights.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RIP Frank Bergandahl

On Wednesday, April 26, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Mary had her teeth fixed. Arose 7:15 a.m. Work at 8:40 a.m. Frank ("Blue") Bergandahl's body brought home from Chicago,Ill. Mary went to Dr. Paynes' office. Raining all day. Requested pass for Aunt Annah Roke. to Kenora and return. J.C. Wall in. Went to Mrs. Bergandahl's at night from 8 to 9:30. Came away with Mrs. Sullivan. Aunt Annah's pass secured. On Thursday, April 27, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Cool-Sunny. Arose 7:20. Made a fire. Got to Assembly Hall to drill. Mr. Schick back. Aunt Annah ill. Harry Waugh in. Work very dull. Waugh gave us cigars. Met Capt. Rowan at drill maneuvers. Mrs. Raines came down home after supper. Aunt Annah in bed all day. Frank Bergandahl buried. Mr. Fulcher died suddenly at Hotel Roanoke. I still do not know who Frank Bergandahl is and I wonder what kind of maneuvers we were drilling on at the assembly hall? Roanoke Valley Baptist Associational Meeting tonight.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weed Fork

On Tuesday, April 25, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Cloudy. Arose at 7:10 a.m. made a fire. Got to work at 8:40. Completed McCoy deed. Mr.Raitt away in afternoon. P.J. Millett came in for half an hour. Nettie and Edith Fisher took supper with us. I shaved. Annah Lee sick. Met Carrell (Edith's beau). They left our house at 9:30 p.m. Talked to Mrs. Raines about fork for pulling weeds. I know the weed pulling fork may sound a little weird, but I know exactly what Bonnie is talking about. We used to have one at home. It is a fork with just 2 tines in a V shape, that you use to get down under the weed and attempt to pry it up roots and all. I usually just was able to cut the top off the weed. At church today we talked about Faith vs. Instinct. About how sometimes the things God tells us to do seem really outlandish (think Gideon, or Noah, or Abraham and Isaac, or Joshua and Jericho) but we should trust God and follow him obediently. Small crowd today.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Easter Rabbit and Mouse

On Sunday, April 23 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunny-Cool. Easter Arose at 8 a.m. Shaved. Took Norman to Mrs. Raines. Went to 1st Baptist Church with Skin, in "Jack Rabbit". Ate dinner at Mrs Raines. Mary Caruied & Mary Carlton came in. Didn't go up home. Papa failed to join me at church. Stayed at home after supper and read "Freckles" Very good book. Retired at 10:00. Chilly weather. On Monday April 24, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Cool-Cloudy. Rained at night. Arose at 7:20 a.m. Got to work at 8:35. Mr. Schick leaves on No. 3. Made up payrolls first time after salary raised to $107.00. Norman fell against door and raised a lump on head. Mr. Schick left. Negotiations being carried on for increase in Mr. Raitt's salary. Mary and I fought a mouse. We fixed up rose bushes. Took a bath. In the Easter Sunday entry, I do not understand the "Jack Rabbit" reference. Also unsure of the spelling of the first Mary's name who was a guest at dinner. Interesting that Bonnie and Mary fought a mouse. I would have liked to have seen that, but also the rose bushes. I bet they were pretty. Do you reckon Bonnie's salary for a year was $107.00? I wrote the other day about "I love a parade" and today I got to see one. The family and I went to Vinton for the Dogwood festival parade. Cool and cloudy here all day today. Supposed to rain tonight. Good parade we had fun, but it seemed short. Lots of house work and laundry today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Love a Parade

On Friday, April 21, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot day. Frank Bergendahl died in Chicago, Ill. Arose at 6:50. Made a fire. Shaved at 8 o'clock and got to work at 8:35. Correspondence very low today. Aunt Annah is away today. Capt. Field in office. Capt. Rowan's salary (April) advanced to him. Rained in morning. Took urine to Mcghee's Pharmacy and went to bank for J.W. Raitt. Rain at night. Read paper to Mary and Aunt Annah. On Saturday, April 22, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Cold-Cloudy. Arose at 6:50 a.m. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:20 a.m. Correspondence slow. Capt. Rowan and I went to see the street parade of Howe's show. Mary had her teeth filled. Went home in p.m. Ate supper. Walked down with Jake. Went to American alone. Mamma and Teeny went to town for Teeny's shoes. home at 9:30. Bonnie had not been to the theater in a while so, glad to see he made it back even if he did have to go alone. I love a parade and back then they seemed to have had more of them than we do now a days. I have no idea who Frank Bergendahl is. I did a Google search but did not come up with anything really. Today's Bible reading was from the end of Joshua and Luke 20, but the devotional after the reading was what really spoke to me. It was about how following Jesus is an all or nothing kind of thing. We in the western world have gotten very comfortable with compromise and tolerance and trying to get along with everybody, which is not a bad thing, unless we start to compromise our heart. Unless we start to have other gods that we put before the Lord, whether that's a car, a relationship, an addiction, TV, money, whatever. In Joshua 24, the last words of Joshua before he died, he warned the people about serving other gods. He was telling them that it was not ok to worship the gods of the Canaanites on their holy days and then still try and serve the Lord. We do the same things today. We serve the gods of our society, of the people of the land, we just don't call them gods, and yet we still try and serve the Lord as well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Plug Tobacco

On Thursday, April 20, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Sunshine. Arose at 7 o'clock. Got to work at 8:30. Went by Joe Milan's and got plug tobacco and walked to work with Mr. Raitt. Edna Labrie took lunch with us today. We went to office on car. Correspondence very light today. Went by Mrs. Raines for Mary and Norman at 6 p.m. ate supper 7 o'clock. Retired at 10:30 p.m. Church council meeting tonight and I am tired. Goodnight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blue Serge Suit

On Tuesday, April 18, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Cool. Sent note to Germany. Arose at 7:15. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:40 a.m. Saw Skin on Jeff. St. with new hat and blue serge suit. Sam Harbour measured me for blue serge suit. Shaved at night. Norman picked up razor and broke a plate. Mary feeling very sick and vomited. I read until 11 p.m. and retired. Pretty moonlight night. On Wednesday, April 19, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Cool-Clear. Very warm in p.m. Arose at 7 a.m. made fire, got to work at 8:40 a.m. Fitzgerald in. Minnie came for washing. Read "American" magazine. President called Congress together on German situation. Filed and indexed. Work slow today. Mary went to Dr. Payne's office and had teeth fixed. Loam called me up on phone. The note to Germany interests me, especially since the other sides of my family tree are almost all German. I think it had to do with World War 1 obviously as well as the mention in the second diary entry, but where does one send a simple note to Germany? Now I looked up a blue serge suit and found that in the early part of the 20th century, which 1916 would be, this was THE suit to have. If you could have only one suit this would be the one to have. Sounds like an eventful day in the Elmore household: babies with razors, breaking plates, and vomiting. Could Mary's teeth have been making her sick? I have talked before about how Skin seems to have trouble keeping a job, or at least he changes jobs often, just wondering how he was able to get new suit and hat? Maybe it was nothing, a gift, or needed for a new job. Good day at church at Springwood Baptist yesterday, strategy planning event went well.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another raise?

On Monday, April 17, 2010 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Windy and cool. Arose at 7:15. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:40 a.m. Notified of increase in salary of 7 percent. Mary and Aunt Annah up to Mrs. Raines. We stayed for supper. Met Auntie Airheart. Read paper. Came home at 8:30. Very cool with brisk winds. Beautiful moonlight. Mary sick today. Retired at 11:00 p.m. Seems like it was just not too long ago that Bonnie got a raise. Been kind of windy here today too. Hope Mary will be doing better, she must have felt of enough to go to Mrs. Raines and stay for supper. Going to start the grill for burgers tonight!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Almost made it to church

On Sunday, April 16, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Beautiful-Rain. Shaved 9:00 a.m. Arose at 8 o'clock. Made a fire. Mr. Raines came down and played with Norman and went o Methodist church. I started to church and met Bill Fisher and loafed. Talked to Smyth and Coxe. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines and read papers. Raining. Started to church, but it was crowded and I came home. Mary feeling very badly. Bonnie almost made it to church. I guess it is a good problem to have if the church is so crowded that people are turned away? Headed to Lexington tonight to meet some good friends from a while back for dinner.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Broken milk bottle

On Saturday April 15, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Pleasant. Skin left Machinist Supply Company. Arose 7:20 and made a fire. Got to work at 9 o'clock. Indexing today. Filed mail. Rolled Norman up to Mamma's Spoke to Mr. Crawford in automobile. Edna Lobrea down. Beautiful day. Aunt Annah broke her glasses and milk bottle. Took bath and read until 11 p.m. Finished filing correspondence. You reckon there is a story behind the broken glasses and milk bottle? Was this her eye glasses or her drinking glasses? Skin seems to have trouble keeping a job.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Go Fish!

On Friday April 14, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunny-Windy. Arose at 7:00 a.m. Mary made fire. Got to work at 8:30. Mr. Raitt came in with a string of fish. Mrs. Raines ate lunch with us. Partly indexed in afternoon. Went to barber shop and Smyth cut my hair. Very high wind at night. Read some of "Freckles" Retired at 10:30 p.m. I don't usually get to post on Wednesday nights due to church, so this is a bonus!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Off with heavy underwear!

On Thursday, April 13, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot day, Fine Day. Arose 7:00 a.m. Made a fire. Went to parade with Capt. Rowan. Saw Gilly Bush. Went to Post Office. Completed invitation to bidders on Joe Almick work. Took off heavy underwear. Wrote a desc. Coldwell-Colton. Wrote letter to Mrs. J.F. Maupin for Mr. Schick. Rolled Norman out after supper and shaved. Aunt Annah spent night with Mrs. Raines. Really want to add some commentary, but really tired again due to lack of sleep last night and 2 trips to the doctor/hospital today. Will get there.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forgot key

On Wednesday, April 12, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Pretty Day. Arose at 7:30. Mary made fire. Took salts. Rolled Norman to Mrs. Raines. Lunched with Mrs. Raines today, Mary and Norman spending day. Finished binding permits from Gov. Went by Mrs. Raines' at 6 o'clock. Mary forgot key,went home for it. We are very hungry and tired. Read at night. Retired at 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


On Tuesday April 11, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Arose at 7:10 a.m. Made a fire. Began taking salts for 9 mornings. Made copies of permits from Maj. R.R. Ralston. Cabbage for lunch. Raked yard. Finished raking yard at night, Mary helped. Stayed in at night and read. "Villa" reported dead and buried. High winds at night. Retired at 10:30 p.m. "Villa" I think was the president of Mexico at the time and there were a lot of things going on between the U.S. and Mexico, like border skirmishes I think. Unsure why Bonnie is taking "salts". I am very sore from lots of yard work recently. Great day at church today. 70 in Sunday School, breakfast, and went to see a movie with church family this evening, a really good day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Papa drunk

On Sunday, April 9, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Wet. Arose at 8 o'clock. Made a fire. started to church and stopped at Mrs. Raines and read paper. Brought Norman's cart home. Mrs. Raines down. I ate supper up home. Papa drunk. Jake stayed in. Skin was away from home. Mama gave me 5 cents and I came home on car. Retired 10 p.m. On Monday, April 10, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Clear-Cold. Annah Lee 3 months old. Arose 7:30. Made fire. Mary took Norman to Mrs. R's and Mrs. Hutchinson's in p.m. to try on coat. Bought candy. Read "Freckles". Skin stopped by home. I cleaned up yard and swept off sidewalks in evening. Cut wood and kindling. Read paper and shaved at night and retired to bed at 10:30 p.m. So, did the whole family start to church and just not make it? And then later in the day apparently Bonnie's father had too much to drink. Caleb and I did lots of yard work today too, but the yard looks great and like it is finally spring around here or like someone cares about the house and yard. Amazing when that happens huh?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Snow on April 8

On Friday, April 7, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Chilly-Cloudy. Raining. Arose at 7:10 a.m. Mary arose at 6:00, made fire. I rolled Norman up to Mrs. Raines. Mr. Schick and Mr. Raitt came in. Ate dinner at Mrs. Raines. Got 10 cents worth of candy at Joe Milan's Mr. Chas. Silliman called. Mr. Schick left on #3 for B'l'f'd. Papa came in to see Mr. Raitt. I wrote Bob Elmore. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines. Home on car. On Saturday, April 8, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Snow-cold. Cut out coffee. Arose at 7 o'clock. Made a fire. Got in coal and swept snow off steps. Got to work at 9 o'clock. Bought 2 Belgian flags-15 cents. Shaved face and neck and Mary and I took Norman to Mrs. R's and went to St. Chas. Hospital on car. Stopped by Fisher's. Didn't take bath-awfully sleepy and tired, retired at 10 o'clock. I have more to say about these entries then any in a while perhaps. First on the Friday post: Wow, Mary got up early. Grandaddy still likes to buy candy. Anybody out there from the family who knows who Bob Elmore is? This is a new name for me. Now, we have been talking here in 2010 about how we are done with the snow after a particularly rough winter, but maybe we shouldn't speak so soon. It snowed on April 8, 1916 in Roanoke! I may just have to send an email to the local TV weather person and let them know that. Why did Bonnie buy 2 Belgian flags and why were they so cheap? That seems like a very random thing to do. Also, I have still been wondering about this St. Chas. Hospital that Bonnie makes frequent references to. Today's entry helps us know that it was in Roanoke as he and Mary went there on a street car. Somebody, some historian has to know something about this hospital. How nice it is to be able to have a few nights at home without somewhere to go. The play is over and this is spring break week for the kids. Next week some of that starts back again, but not as bad. I haven't done anything on fire safety in a while. There have been numerous fires of all sorts this week in Roanoke and surrounding counties. A lot of them have to do with the dry conditions, warm temps, and low humidity and are starting in mulch. Please be careful with any outdoor burning, and smokers: please be careful where you discard your smoking material.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fenstermodher and Freckles

On Wednesday April 5, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-cool. Arose at 6:50 a.m. Made a fire and shaved. Got to work at 8:40 a.m. Mr. Hill of W.W.B.&Co. called to see us. I indexed letters. Read some of "Freckles". Rained all day. Bought candy at Hursts. Mr. Fenstermodher talked to me about Papa painting his house. Talked to Mr. Baley (barber). Stayed in at night. Retired at 10:30. On Thursday, April 6, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Sunny-Cool. Arose at 7 o'clock. made a fire. Got to work at 8:30 a.m. Filed mail. John Dillard in. Took 5 prints to Mr. Bottomley (R/W-Doran-Pineville). Re-arranged my files and read some of "Freckles" Went home by Mrs. Raines for pine kindling. Shaved at night. My eyes feeling badly on account of strain from reading. How about that Fenstermodher last name! Papa is getting some good work though. I did find a book called "Freckles" that was published in 1916 but not much of a description. It appears to maybe be juvenile fiction. It is about a man who could be mistaken for tramp and was looking for any work that would provide food and clothing. I thought Bonnie was going to say that his eyes hurt from all the pollen, but no, reading. Pollen is getting bad here this spring though. Today's Bible reading from Deuteronomy was about Moses giving the people choices. You can choose to obey the commands and be blessed and thus choose life, or you can choose to disobey, be cursed and thus choose death. The choice is the same today. There is no middle ground, even though we like to think that we can bob back and forth between obeying and disobeying.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bonnie got a raise!

On Friday, March 31, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunshine pretty. Arose 7:20 a.m. Rolled Norman to Mrs. Raines. Mr. Schick returned. Got to work at 8:45. Payday. Heavy work. R.D.T. up. Spent day with Mrs. Raines. Buried Annie Epling. Met Mrs. Lane. Took pictures U.S. soldiers fight with Villa in Mexico. Wrote letter for Capt. Rowan to Mr. Wholey. Beautiful day. End of month note: This month everybody is expecting trouble with Germany on account of submarine activity. President Wilson lays matter of "Armed Merchantmen" before members of Congress in order to form a plan of procedure with Germany. Mexico invaded by U.S. Army after Villa. On Saturday, April 1, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Beautiful Day. Salary increased from $100 to $107 per month. Arose at 7:30. Made a fire. Got work 8:30. Rec'd letter from Whitwell Cox E answered it. Papa came to the office and got check from Mr. Raitt for $43 on house. Mr. Ward in office. Paid bills. Bought Norman a hat. Ate supper up home. Papa had provisions sent up. Came to town with Jake and home on car. Got pictures took a bath. On Sunday April 2, 1916: Cloudy and Warm. Arose at 7:30. Harry Raines and I rolled Norman to "Waverly Place". Aunt Annah visiting Mayfields and Wigmore's. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines and read papers. Came home at 7:30 p.m. Shaved in a.m. Mary played piano. Mrs. Poff ill. Didn't go up to Mama's today. Introduced to a Mr. Basham. Lightning and thunder at night. Mary read Proverbs. On Monday, April 3, 1916: Cloudy Damp. Arose at 7:00 a.m. Made a fire. Mary has $16.35 Met R.S. Kerfoot. Mary and Mrs. Raines went up street. Paid Mr. Kinsey $1.00 Papa gave me $2.00 for coal. A.P.&H. got more pictures of Norman. Raining all day feeling tired. Mr. Wiltsee came in. Wrote Final Force Acct. Bill, J.J. Bryson-Jacobs Fork Branch. Cut my hair and shaved my neck. On Tuesday, April 4, 1916: Cloudy-Cold. Arose at 7 a.m. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:45 a.m. Democratic primary being held. Mrs. Raines and Harry took dinner with us today. Mr. Raitt and Mr. Schick left on #3. Mr. Craig in the office collecting State and City taxes. Met Papa and paid water bills. Mayor Brown nominated for Mayor of City. Feeling very tired. Bed at 9:30. Wow. I had gotten really behind, sorry about that. Play practice is now over for Rachel, so maybe I can now be more regular with the posts. Today is Ester Sunday in 2010 and what a beautiful day. Going to supper at Mom's tonight. Ham is baking now and man it smells good. Took so much to get caught up that I won't comment much today. just interesting to note the salaries and the costs of things as well as the historical things about World War 1 and even Roanoke city politics.