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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Home with Horton

On Thursday, August 31, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Pleasant-Sunny. Arose at 7:30. Not much work to do today. Walked home with Horton at noon. Got candy at Hurst's. Shaved at 2 o'clock p.m. Received our paychecks today. Mary, Aunt Annah, Mrs. Raines and I went to Mt. Park to see the "Moonlight Dance". Talked to Mrs. Elsie Brown McConnell. Home at 10:30. End of month note for August 1916: August opened up with killing hot weather the first day. Infantile paralysis still raging in New York. Negotiations on between American and Mexican commissioners. Railroads conferring with President over proposed strike. Took my vacation in New Castle this month. Who would have thought that New Castle was a vacation destination? Wow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ice Cream

On Tuesday, August 29, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Rain. Arose at 7:30. Mary phoned me about trip to New Castle in car. Cancelled trip. Aunt Annah went to lodge with Mrs. R. I went to telephone office for money; talked to Nettie Fisher. Mamma and Christine spent the day with Aunt Duck. I cut grass before supper. Pasted pictures in album. Played with Norman and retired at 10:00 p.m. On Wednesday, August 30, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Hot p.m. Arose at 7:30. Rolled Norman up to Mrs. Raines'. Got to work 8:50. Rode to lunch on car. Harry and Mrs. R ate lunch with us. Miss Cleo Shoffner came in our office and got legal cap paper. Cut grass after supper and all of us went up to Mrs. Raines'. I went to the creamery and got a quart of chocolate ice cream. So, in the post from August 29, 1916, was Bonnie thinking about taking another trip to New Castle, (he just went recently to visit relatives and traveled via train) but this time by automobile? However, Mary nixed that idea I am guessing. I wonder why? I didn't know you could go to the telephone office to get money! Bonnie cuts a lot of grass, I guess I have to in 2010. Bonnie got chocolate ice cream and we happen to have home made peach ice cream in our house here in 2010.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Watermelon Times Two

On Saturday, August 26, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Fine Pleasant Day. Arose at 7:30. Rode up town in Sam Mason's automobile. Mr. Chas. Silliman in the office. I wrote up agreement. Harry M. Waugh came in and gave Capt. and I a good cigar. Cut and raked the grass from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Shaved at Mrs. Raines'. Went to "American" and got pictures from Davis. Came home at 11 o'clock. On Sunday, August 27, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot-Sunny. Arose 8 a.m. Harry Raines came down. I went to our church at 11 a.m. Mrs. Hilton up at Mrs. Raines'. I took Norman up on car. Ate supper over home. Ate watermelon at home and at Mrs. Raines. Raining and thunder and lightning at night. Mr. Raines began reading "When a Man's a Man". Very hot weather. On Monday, August 28, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Mild-Cool. Arose at 7:20. Wrote two deeds and small bunch of mail. SSt. Staples in, also Mr. Russell. We ate lunch and supper at Mrs. Raines'. Shaved there. Stopped in at Caldwell-Sites and examined books. Very cool at night. Mrs. Raines ran after us coming home and brought Norman's milk bottle. Very cool night. Sounds like the weather is begining to change in 1916 and it also might be here in 2010 as well. I got a kick out of Grand-daddy saying he had watermelon at home and at Mrs. Raines. Caleb had first rec club soccer game today and they lost 6-1. Rachel and I then had eye doctor appointments. Getting my eyes dilated is not my most favorite thing. Went and ordered new glasses, unable to get sun-glasses. Went to the store.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Abell to cut grass

On Friday, August 25, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Weather. Arose at 7:20. Mary took Norman up to Mrs. Raines' and to the store. I filed and indexed correspondence. Read "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Talked to Skin about New Castle trip. Also went to garage. Talked to Net Fisher. Wrote to Lena. Cut grass at night and went to Mrs. Abell's with grass. Aunt Annah went to hospital and had finger dressed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Caught 2 mice

On Thursday, August 24, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Warm. Arose at 7:15. Got to work at 8:45. Pasted pictures in Kodak album. Mrs. Raines came down at night. I cut grass and received a letter from Grover Long from Loqust, N.C. Talked to Frank Lakes. Read a great deal today in the office. Mary rolled Norman up to her mother's. We caught two mice tonight.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vacation off

On Wednesday, August 23, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot. Arose 7 a.m. Slow work in office today. Harry Raines gave us some pictures. I got our vacation pictures out of shop. Cut grass at night and shaved. Mary and Aunt Annah took the children up to Mrs. Raines after supper. Mrs. R came home with them. Mary has decided to call off her proposed vacation in Freeman, W.Va. Did Bonnie and Mary take separate vacations? And why did Mary call hers off? I would love to see the pictures. In 2010, this was first day of school for our kids. Lots and lots of forms to fill out tonight. You would think that with new technology there would be a better way to do that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Heavy Work

On Tuesday, August 22, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot-Sunny. Arose at 7:15. Walked Norman up street. Got to work at 8:30 ahead of others. Wrote 4 letters for Mr. Turner. Heavy work all day long. Heavy Thunderstorm at 5 p.m. Mary, Aunt Annah and I ate supper at Mrs. Raines. Read Papers. Came home at 9 p.m. Wrote Chauncey Elmore, Aunt Mary, Uncle Cliff and Aunt Florence. Nice day here in 2010. Good day at church. Took a nap this afternoon. Went with Grandma to get ice cream and take a ride. Read the paper. NFL preseason game comes on tonight. School starts tomorrow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back Home

On Sunday, August 20, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot Day. Arose at 7:20. Chauncey and I took minnows to the creek. Aunt Mary, Uncle Cliff and I took dinner with Aunt Florence Craft. I ate supper at Aunt Florence's. Chauncey came by after me. Sat up till 11 o'clock. Chauncey spent the night with me. Very sleepy. On Monday, August 21, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Pleasant. Arose at 5 a.m. Left New Castle 6:15 - Got to Buchanan 8:25. Waited 7 hours for N & W train #13. Met a boy from Craig going to Troutville. Bought Coca-Cola, cigar, and salted peanuts. Read "Cosmopolitan" at Buchanan. Shaved at night and went by Mrs. R's for Norman and Mary. Took a bath at 11:00 p.m. Read the paper. Severe electrical storm at 6 o'clock.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


On Thursday, August 17, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Arose at 8 a.m. Robert came to house at 8:30. I took a bath at Mrs. Raines and Mary rolled Norman to station with me. Ate dinner at the hotel in Buchanan. Left Buchanan at 6:30 p.m. and got to New Castle at 9 o'clock. Ate supper, smoked cigars, and spent the night at Aunt Mary Elmore's. Susie Scholtz on train with us. On Friday, August 18, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Warm. Arose at 7:00. Went down to Aunt Florence's with Chauncey. Met Patsy Craft's wife and Leslie. Talked to Max at store. Met Byrd Carper. Bob and I watched the boys play croquet. I took pictures at Bel Air. Met Bill Bedinger. Wrote cards home. Ate dinner and supper at Pearl Elmore's with Bob Kelly and Aunt Fannie Elmore. On Saturday, August 19, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Warm. Arose at 7 a.m. Shaved and went with Bob and Chauncey to Ed's house. Took pictures. Ed ate dinner with us. Very sleepy in afternoon. Bob left at 4 o'clock p.m. for Cincinnati. Wrote Mary a letter. After supper, "John D" and I went seining from 7 to 9:30. J.D. stayed at Aunt Mary's with me tonight. Mrs. Hampton and Annah went home. I really thought that I could not read Bonnie's handwriting again when he wrote that he and John D. went seining. I tried to make it all kinds of different things, because I didn't know what seining was. When spell-check didn't catch it, I figured out that it must indeed be a word and so I looked it up and found that seining is to fish with a net vertically in the water. The net has sinkers on the bottom and floaters on the top. After finding that out, it made sense that they went fishing. Bonnie is I suppose in New Castle, to visit family with all the Elmore last names we are reading about. I think it is neat that he went through Buchanan, as that is where I now pastor a church.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sewing a Dress

On Tuesday, August 15, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy Rain. Arose at 7:20. Went to Jett's office. Ate lunch at Mrs. Raines' and shaved. Mrs. Toombs making Mary's dress. Mrs. R, Aunt Annah, Annah and Mrs. Hampton spent day with Mrs. Hughes. I got telegram from R.E. Elmore. We all went to Auntie Airheart's at night. I met Uncle Bob. Ate supper at Raines'. Annah and her mother spent night with us. On Wednesday, August 16, 1916 Bonnie wrote: Raining. Arose at 7:30 a.m. Walked to work in rain at 8:30. Miss Lizzie Linkenhoker called me on phone. Finished reading "When a Man's a Man". Went to station to meet Robert but he came on #16. I shaved at 8 p.m. Esther Lakes came over and sewed some. Mrs. Hampton and Annah down in p.m. We retired at 11 o'clock. In 2010 we have been getting several afternoon thunderstorms with heavy rain. I wonder what kind of dress Nanny is having made? If I haven't mentioned it before we called Mary, "Nanny". There are some Linkenhoker's that currently go to Springwood Baptist in Buchanan, small world I guess. Did the #16 train not come into the station? If not, where did it go?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Suit and Picnic in the Park

On Monday, August 14, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Chilly-Cool. Arose at 7:20. Wore new suit and carried my lunch to work. "Deutschland" is reported destroyed. Ate lunch at office and went to "American". Indexed and filed correspondence and wrote up index cards. Aunt Annah, Mrs. Raines, Mrs. Hampton, Annah, Mary, and I and kids ate supper at Mountain Park at 6 o'clock p.m. Came home on car at 9:30 p.m. Jake and McDermott were at Mtn. Park. A big day, as Bonnie wore a new suit to work and took his lunch to work which he didn't usually do. He usually comes home for lunch. The extra time allowed him to go see a movie at lunch time and that allowed him to go for a picnic in the park with his family. The "Deutschland" was a German merchant submarine that we discussed earlier. I don't think it was destroyed on this date in 1916. It may have been captured and/or re-commissioned as it goes on to be a German military submarine with I believe torpedo chutes added.

Friday, August 13, 2010


On Saturday, August 12, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot-Sultry. Arose at 7:20. Got to work 8:35. Mr. Schick back. Capt. R.F. Boxley in the office. I wrote Lena, shaved after dinner and cut weeds in back yard. All went up to Mrs. Raines at night. I took a bath there and went up town. Met Howard Fisher and came home at 11 o'clock. On Sunday, August 13, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Rain. Arose at 8 a.m. Read paper. We all went up to Mrs. Raines' for dinner. Ate chicken. I went over home and ate supper. Papa was there. Mary, Aunt Annah, Annah Hampton, Mrs. Hampton, and Mrs. Raines rolled children out up town. We ate watermelon and came home at 9:30 p.m.


On Wednesday, August 9, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Arose at 6:30. Cut weeds in back yard. Cut my finger on lawn mower. Got to work at 8:45 a.m. Got a card from Chauncey Elmore. Didn't write a single letter today. Mr. Raitt at home in afternoon. Went to YMCA with Harry Crimes and looked at pool. Talked to Nettie Fisher and Mrs. Elizabeth Farley. Norman is 18 months old today. On Thursday, August 10, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot. Arose at 7 a.m. Got to work 8:40. Annah Lee is 7 months old today. Bought Harold Bell Wright's book "Where a Man's a Man" at Caldwell-Sites. Paid gas bill for Mr. J.W. Raitt. Went to Station. Mrs. Hampton and Annah came in. I brought Norman on car to Mrs. Raines at 2 p.m. Ate supper there. Aunt Lou came home with us. Harry took Annah to "Roanoke Theater". On Friday, August 11, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunny-Hot. Arose at 7 a.m. Got to work 8:35. Norman walked to corner with me. Mr. J.I. Zobrist in the office. Mrs. Hampton, Annah and Mrs. Raines ate dinner with us today. I came home on car at noon. Took Norman's sandals back to shoe store. Rained hard in evening and lightning flashed freely. "Buck" Drabbell drove me home in Mr. Hurst's car.

Chauncey and Pie

On Sunday, August 6, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot Day. Arose at 7 a.m. Went to church at 11 o'clock with Lewis Smith. Went to Bill Beamer's at 4 p.m. After supper we went over home from 7 to 9:30. Mama spoke of Skin being sick. Mrs. Purdy came over. Took Lewis to the office and wrote Andrew Beamer a short letter. Went home at ten o'clock. Ate some pie. On Monday, August 7, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Sultry (Rain), Awfully hot. Arose at 7 a.m. Lewis Smith arose at 6:30 and went to Mayhew's store and got some bananas. After breakfast he went to Beamers. Went to First National Bank and got revenue stamp and notes for Mr. Raitt. Didn't write any letters this morning. Grayson Howell fixed light on our front porch and in Aunt Annah's room. Mr. Childress down. Chauncey Elmore spent night at home. On Tuesday, August 8, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot-Sunny. Arose at 6:30. Chauncey Elmore wouldn't eat any breakfast. Sent groceries home. Wrote Bob Elmore. Got letter from Frank Fisher and answered it. Mr. Schick left on #3. Chauncey Elmore didn't come home with me. Shaved at 6:30. We went up to Mrs. Raines' at 8:00. Mary gave Mr. Raines $1.00. Got letter from Hamptons about coming down.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Walk to Bank

On Saturday, August 5, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot-Sunny. Arose 7:30. Got to work 8:45. Mr. Raitt came in. Worked on yard in afternoon. Lewis Smith came in on #3 and came down home. We ate supper and went up town to the "American" Theater. Met Jake and Everett. Talked to Everett from 9:30 to 1:30. Walked to 1st National Bank and came home to bed at 11:00 p.m. I am a little confused on Bonnie's times. I am guessing he talked to Everett from 9:30 in the morning until 1:30 in the afternoon. He doesn't always write these things down in order, as I have discovered before. I guess working on Saturday was pretty common back then. Also, a long break in the middle of the day was also apparently common. Bonnie wrote about this yesterday, when talking about the floods. We had strong storms here in Roanoke, on August 4 in 2010 as well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


On Friday, August 4, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Pleasant. Arose at 7:30. Got a card from Chauncey Elmore. Violent electric storm today at 2:30 p.m. All streets flooded. I slept until 3:30 p.m. Got to work at 4 o'clock. John Lane in. Told me goodbye. Much mud on streets after the heavy rain. Got my razor from Baley and shaved at night. Mr. Raitt came in from Mullins, W.Va. and Honaker.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Phone Out

On Thursday, August 3, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot-Hazy. Arose 7:30. Rec'd letter from Prof. E.M. Coulter regarding diploma. Mr. Raitt left for Mullins, W.VA. Sir Rodger Casement hanged in England. Talked to Jake. Sent Dr. Davis $2.00. Paid phone bill and ordered taken out. Wrote up an agreement. Rode to work in car with Ed. Gregory and R.R. Fairfax at noon. Lots of stuff to write about. I would like to know more about the diploma. I do not know where Grand-daddy went to college. The hanging in England also arouses some curiosity. Man, pay the phone bill and then order to have it taken out. I wonder what happened there? I looked up the "Deutschland" leaving Baltimore reference from yesterday and found a long article on Wikipedia about it, which was really interesting. The "Deutschland" was a German merchant submarine that made it through the English Channel undetected and brought trade items to the US. It was warmly welcomed and the crew was even treated to fancy dinners while in America. This was near the start of World War 1 and of course later on, German and US relations deteriorated and the "Deutschland" was even confiscated and turned into a German military U-boat. Lots of interesting stuff.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tan Shoe Polish

On Wednesday, August 2, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Cloudy. Arose at 7:15. Got to work 8:35. We ate lunch at Mrs. Raines' today. "Deutschland" left Baltimore. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines'. Walked Norman around street. Went home at 8:30 p.m. Read "Pictorial" Review. Work pretty slow in office today. Talked to Jean Brown. Got tan shoe polish. Whew! This has been a busy summer in 2010. I think I am now caught up on missed entries and hopefully can get back to doing this more on a daily basis. I guess in 1916 it was the day to eat at the Raines'. Also sounds like work has been really slow for Bonnie for almost a week now. The "Deutschland" reference interests me because apart from the Elmore side of my family, everyone else is German. I will need to do a little research. What a hoot that Grand-daddy even makes notes of getting tan shoe polish!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


On Sunday, July 30, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Bright-Pleasant. Arose at 8 a.m. Spread lime. Went to church. Chicken, fried for dinner. Went up to Mrs. Raines' after dinner. Took Norman on car. Read New York Journal and ate supper there. Very hot day. Mrs. Raines and Aunt`Annah went to St. Charles Hospital and came home at 9 o'clock. Didn't go over home today. On Monday, July 31, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Sunny-Hot. Arose at 7 a.m. Went after milk. Went to Telegraph Department. Received a letter from Frank Fisher. Mrs. Raines and Harry ate dinner with us today. Mr. Raitt returned fro Cincinnati. Wrote R.E. Elmore and Myrtle English. Wrote Frank Fisher. Pay day today. Mary and I went to the "American" at night. This has been an awfully hot day. End of month note for July 1916: German submarine docked at Norfolk July 9th. Big parade on 4th. Dr. Gale died. Carranza sends friendly note to N.S. soldiers moving to border. Allies making big drives in Europe. July has not been any hotter than June. Norman has been quite sick with cutting teeth and his stomach. Mrs. Hetty Green, world's richest woman died with paralysis in New York City. Epidemic of Infantile Paralysis raging in New York. On Tuesday, August 1, 1916, Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Warm-Cloudy. Arose at 6:30. Cut grass in front yard. Paid some bills. Last night Mary and I went to the "American" Theater. Mrs. Raines down. Mrs. Huff came in. Bought peaches from Hambrick. Letter from Bob Elmore. Mrs. R down in afternoon. Wrote Chauncey Elmore a letter. Shaved at night. Talked to John Mason about Skin. Today is 2nd anniversary of European war.