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.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Virginia Goes Dry

On Tuesday, October 31, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Damp. Arose at 7:10 a.m. Made a fire and cleaned ashes from the fire place. Mr. Matthews drove me to town in his car. Virginia goes dry today. "Halloween". Capt. Rowan reported low. Mrs. Raines, Mrs. Miller, Roy and his wife ate lunch with us today. Very warm this p.m. Paid Off. Took check to Capt. Rowan. Stayed home at night. End of month note: One very warm week in October. Two German submarines torpedoed and sank nine British steamships around Long Branch near N.S. waters on Sunday, October 8th. No lives lost. Blaine stayed at home until middle of October and bought Mama a barrel of flour and other provisions. We all called on Aunt "Duck" on Sunday night October 8th 7:30 to 10:30

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rogers Pond

On Friday, October 27, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Chilly. Arose 7:30. Went to work via Holiday St. and N&W station. Mr. Hill in office. "Little Bob" Boxley also came in. I read "Eyes of the World" all afternoon. "Gas man" came in. I rolled Norman out. We ate our supper at Mrs. R. Mrs. Raines feeling very badly. Aunt Annah and I went to Belmont Baptist Church. Got a telegram from Chauncey Elmore. On Saturday, October 28, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Clear. Arose 7:30. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:30. Mail light. Read my book "The Eyes of the World". Wrote specifications for W.P. Wiltsee. Mrs. Miller, Roy and wife, and Harry Raines came down at 2:30. I took their photo. Shaved and cut wood. Went to the auditorium at night to hear Carter Glass speak. On Sunday, October 29, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Rain. Arose at 8 a.m. Rolled Norman out toward Roger's pond and silk mill. Also to Mrs. Raines'. Went to office at 3:30 to see Capt. Rowan. I took flowers. Mrs. Cooper died Saturday. Went over home. Read Wash. Post. Everret came in and we changed hats. Raining. I came home at 8:30 and retired at 10:11 p.m. On Monday, October 30, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Raining. Arose at 7:15 a.m. Wrote for W.P.W. Mr. Pitzer in. Took Barometer to Express office. Got candy at Kress'. "Billy" Miller returned to office off his honey-moon. Took 1 film to Geo. Davis. Mary went up St. to change Norman's shoes. I stopped by Mrs. Raines after lunch. Took a bath and shaved at night. Ok, so the Miller mystery comes into a little clearer view now after these entries. Mrs. Miller, is Billy Miller's mother and that is who stayed at the Elmore's for a night or 2, possibly because the honey-mooning couple was at her house. Billy's wife is apparently just called "the wife" at this point. I can see where some of the Elmore's children got their names. I believe my grand-mother, Annah Lee (Mary and Bonnie's 2nd child), got her name from Aunt Annah who gets mentioned a lot in Bonnie's diary. And then today we read about Roger's pond which may not have anything to do with the naming of a later child, but I just found it interesting. I did not know there was a Rogers pond in Roanoke.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Render Aid

On Wednesday, October 25, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold a.m. - Clear p.m. Arose 7:20. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:45 a.m. Mr. Schick gave Mr. Raitt and I cigars. Mr. Laughorn died suddenly. Mary went over to render aid. I indexed and filed mail. Rolled Norman around before supper. We cracked walnuts after supper. I shaved and we retired at 10:30 Windy. On Thursday, October 26, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Cold. Arose at 7:15. Mary made fire. Got to work at 8:30. Wrote for W.P.W. W.W. Boxley in. "Flower Day" parade at 3:30 p.m. Talked to Jack Bowdell. Read chapters of "Eyes of the World". Frank Eades came to our office at 5:15 and talked insurance until 7:30. I got home at 7:40. Read the paper. Very cool night. We retired 10 p.m.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Newly Married Millers

On Thursday, October 19, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Rain-Warm. Arose at 7:20 a.m. Got to office 8:45. Billy Miller to be married today. All our work up. No correspondence. Read "Eyes o' World". Went to see Capt. Rowan-found him restless. Mr. Raitt cleaned up Capt.'s desk. I felt badly all day. Gloomy day. I stayed at home after supper and retired at 9 p.m. Aunt Annah went to church. On Friday, October 20, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Cloudy. Arose at 7 a.m. Got to work with Webb at 8:30. Mr. Raitt and I cleaned up book shelf and I carried books and files over to "cold storage". Checked 50 cents from bank to see "The Birth of a Nation". Got letter from Frank Fisher. Mrs. R and Harry ate dinner with us. Mrs. R and Aunt Annah went to Academy. I shaved after supper. Cut wood. On Saturday, October 21, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Sunny. Arose at 7 a.m. Got to office at 8:30. Talked to Howard Fisher. Got gum at Joe's. Went to see Capt. Rowan and bought a ticket for Mary to "Birth of a Nation". Wrote statement for W.H. Burke. Mary and I went to see "Birth of a Nation". We ate supper at Mrs. Raines'. Bought candy at Kress'. Saw Jake at Academy. Stayed home at night. On Sunday, October 22, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Sunny. Arose 8 a.m. Shaved. Took a picture of Annah Lee. Read paper and book. Mr. Wertz buried. Rolled Norman to Mrs. R. Went to hospital to talk to Dr. Burks about Mary. Ate supper over home. Read paper and helped Teeny with school work. Came home on 10 o'clock car. Mary and Mrs. R. rolled kids to Mrs. Hurst's. Papa was at home for Sunday. On Monday, October 23, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Sunny. Arose at 7:30. Took dictation about options until noon. Wrote all afternoon. Mary and Norman went to Mrs. Raines after dinner. Mr. Raitt went to see Capt. Rowan this morning. I had mail registered at 6 p.m. Mrs. Miller spent the night with us. Mr. Stultz died Sunday. On Tuesday, October 24, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Clear. Arose 7:00 a.m. Mr. Schick returned from Atlantic City. I went to station to have his trunk sent to house. Wrote for Wiltsee. Feeling dizzy headed. Cut wood before supper. Beautiful day. Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Raines ate dinner with us. Mr. Raitt and I made up Oct. payrolls today. I stayed at home at night and read the paper. It's been interesting following the story of the Millers. Announce the wedding one day, get married the next, and then just a few days later, Mrs. Miller is staying at the Elmore's? What happened? Maybe a different Mrs. Miller, but also there could be more to the story.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Eyes of the World

On Wednesday, October 18, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Cool-Cloudy. Arose 7:20 a.m. Phoned about Capt. Sister said he was better. Indexed and filed correspondence. Read part of book "The Eyes of the World". Billy Miller announced date of his marriage. Rain all day. I bought new pair of tan shoes from Harry Hall, Commerce Shoes. Shaved at night. Mary went uptown at 11:00 a.m. to do some shopping.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fainting Spell

On Friday October 13, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Frost-Cold. Arose at 7:30. Made a fire. Went by Joe Milan's and got tobacco. Saw Howard Fisher. Got to work 8:40. Mr. Schick returned. Wrote to Blaine. Not much work. Mary called me up. Also Mrs. Dogan. Sent order to Mama. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines' Went to the auditorium. Talked to Harry and May Crumpacker. Also Everrett St. Clair Home 10:00. On Saturday, October 14, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Clear. Arose 6:30. Made a fire got to work on time. Not much mail. Went to bank for J.W. Raitt. Shriner's parade here today. Cleaned up yard and shaved. Went to Shriner's parade and to the station with Everrett St. Clair to meet Harry Raines. Went to "American" at night and cmae home with Jones Gardner. Very Chilly. On Sunday, October 15, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Cloudy. Arose 8:00. Harry Raines came down and stayed to 12 o'clock. Mary and I took Norman to Mrs. Raines in p.m. Read N.Y. Journal. Took a bath. Ate supper at Mrs. Raines'. Stayed home at night. Didn't go to see Mama. Arthur Moore preached his last sermon at Auditorium. Mr. and Mrs. Raines went over. On Monday, October 16, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-Cloudy. Arose at 7:20. Got to work 8:35. Mr. Schick went to Philadelphia for 2 weeks. Not much work. Wrote an application for Skinny. Finished reading "Romance of Old Fashioned Gentleman" Ate supper at Mama's. Papa gave me 5 cents carfare. Watched Coast Artillery Drill. Came home at 10 p.m. Rain and Lightning. On Tuesday, October 17, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Pleasant. Arose at 7:15 a.m. Capt. Rowan had fainting spell and I caught him and placed him in chair. Took him home in ambulance. Ate lunch at Mrs. Raines'. Bought "The Eyes of the World". Got haircut. Went over to see Capt. at his home. Wrapped razor. Went to drug store for cigar. Read book and newspaper. Aunt Annah went to church. Well, sounds like the revival at the auditorium is over. I don't know who Arthur Moore was. Sounds like Bonnie had some excitement with catching one of his bosses when he fainted at work. I wonder what ambulances were like in 1916 in Roanoke. Roanoke is considered to be the birth-place of the first Rescue Squad/Life Saving crew. Interesting that the ambulance took Capt. Rowan to his home. I am guessing that the ambulance service was not much more than just a ride, a transportation service. I also think that a lot of those early ones may have been run by the undertaker, which I suppose could have been convenient at times.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Annah Lee Suffered

On Wednesday, October 11, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very cool-Frost. Arose at 7:25. Made a fire and got in coal. Took a letter to train #1 for Mr. Schick to Mrs. Phillip Goodwill. Blaine left on "Memphis Special" for Little Rock, Ark. Indexed and filed my mail. Took telegrams to Western Union. Went to Mrs. R's for supper. Read paper and stayed in. Annah Lee suffered. Very bright moonlight. Mr. Schick left. On Thursday, October 12, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Frost-Cold. Arose at 7:30 a.m. Got to office 8:30. Capt. Rowan went to funeral of Mrs. Ira T. Colman at Catholic Church. Mr. Raitt came to office at 10:15 a.m. Mr. Schick away. I went to the auditorium to take castoria to Mary for baby. Mrs. R ate lunch with us. Norman cut his finger. Ate supper over home and went to the auditorium. Came home at 10 o'clock. I still don't know what my grandmother, Anna Lee, had wrong with her when she was a baby, but it must have been bad. Also, seems like a really long revival service at the auditorium. Those kids will always keep parents busy. By the way, I looked up castoria and it is a kind of medicine. I would presume that it is like Castor oil.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Possum Creek Viaduct

On Friday, October 6, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Cloudy. Arose at 7:30. Indexed and filed correspondence. Wrote rail specifications for Wiltsee. Rolled Norman up to Mrs. Raines'. Mr. Raitt didn't come to the office in the afternoon. Mary and I went to auditorium at night. Mrs. Raines came down. Bought shoe polish. Came home at 10 p.m. Retired at 11 p.m. On Saturday, October 7, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Warm-Sunny. Arose at 7 a.m. Wrote for W.P.W. Capt. Rowan and I went to see the Buffalo Bill parade. Mr. Schick came in. I talked to McLean on street. Went over home after dinner. Went to "American". Also "Bijou" and "Comet" with Blaine. Mama and Christine came down and went to show. Blaine gave Mama money and got barrel of flour. We talked to Joe Tapley at 11:30 on Jefferson St. On Sunday, October 8, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot. Arose at 8 a.m. Mr. Raines and I rolled Norman to Waverly. Mr. and Mrs. R ate dinner with us. Mary, Mr. and Mrs. Raines and I went to auditorium. Ate supper at home. Mama, Teeny, Blaine, Jake and I went to Fisher's. I came home on car at 10:30. Blaine gave me a dime. Buffalo Bill's show wrecked on Va. Ry. 22 horses killed. On Monday, October 9, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Awfully Hot. Arose at 7:15. Norman is 20 months old today. Completed Mr. Wiltsee's work. Blaine ate dinner with us today. Norman was afraid of him. I shaved after supper. Drizzling rain at 5:30 p.m. Stayed in at night and read and played with Norman. Loam called me up on phone asking about Blaine going away. On Tuesday, October 10, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cooler-Cloudy. Arose at 7:30 a.m. Annah Lee is today 9 months of age. Mr. Raitt and Bass and left on No. 6 to work on the "Possum creek viaduct" All my work up. Aunt Duck spent day with Mama. I went over home at 3:30 p.m. Stayed for supper. Took Aunt Duck's picture. Blaine and I went to church services at auditorium in morning. Very cold after 6 p.m.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Revival in town?

On Thursday, October 5, 1916 Bonni Elmore wrote: Warmer-Cloudy. Arose at 7 a.m. Made a fire. Got to work at 8:40. Mr. Raitt has lame back and was late coming. Wrote specifications for Wiltsee entirely all day. Mary and Mother went to morning services at Auditorium. Cloudy like rain. Aunt Annah went to Auditorium. Blaine came in from Selma, Va. I shaved after supper. Ok, so there must be a revival in town at the auditorium? Morning services? Wow. It is fire prevention week here in 2010 and seeing all these notes about Grand-daddy starting a fire just makes me want to remind everyone to check their smoke alarms. Test them once a month and please make sure you have a family fire escape plan.

Monday, October 4, 2010


On Wednesday, October 4, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cool-cloudy. Arose at 7:30. Got to office at 8:45 a.m. Mr. Schick away. Wrote all day for Wiltsee. Mrs. Raines ate dinner with us today. Wrote to Chauncey Elmore today. Went over home and ate supper. Mamie and Daisy Robertson came over. I came home at 9:30. Auditorium filled with people at preaching.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cussed Out

On Thursday, September 28, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Fine weather. Arose at 7:00. Made a fire. Got to work 8:30. Mr. Schick gave Mr. Raitt, Capt. Rowan and I a complimentary fair and car tickets. Got off work at 12 noon. Rode home in tricycle car with Pete Guerraut. Gave Skin my ticket to the fair and Everett and I went to the picture show. Cleaned up the back yard. Took a cold bath at night. Heavy Rain. On Friday, September 29, 1916: Cloudy-cold. Arose at 7:30. Got to work at 8:30. Indexed and filed mail. Got a card from Bob Elmore and letter from Chauncey D. Elmore. Carter Thompson came to our office. Mr. Schick went to Bedford, Va. to go over church matter. Came back #3, 4:30. I got hair cut at 6:00 p.m. Stopped by Mrs. Raines' Read paper at night and retired at 10 p.m. On Saturday, September 30, 1916: Cool-Clear. Arose at 7:10. Cut wood and made a fire. Got tobacco at Joe Milan's and to work at 8:35. Went to bank twice. Got my check cashed. Talked with Skin about Blaine. Very fine day. Mary and I went uptown and paid some bills. I went to show at night at "Virginia" Theater. Came home on car at 10 p.m. End of month note for September 1916: The fair was reputed to be the largest and best of all. Blaine at home this month on 30 day visit. Very fine autumn weather this month. Infantile paralysis is scaring the people here this month. 4 cases in all. Very hot month. Joint American and Mexican Commission of peace to meet this month. We are worried about Annah Lee's condition. Louis Layman of Troutville, Va. killed in France on August 12th. "Infantile paralysis" reported to be prevalent in Roanoke. Great scare. On Sunday, October 1, 1916, Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Cool. Arose at 8 a.m. Made a fire and shaved. Went to First Christian Church. Aunt Annah went to spend day with Mrs. Hughes, while ill. We ate dinner at home and took the children up to Mrs. Raines and ate supper. Ruth Edwards and Miss Brooks came over. Aunt Annah, Mr. and Mrs. R went to Auditorium. Harry went on his vacation West. On Monday, October 2, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Clear. Arose at 7 a.m. Got to work 8:30. Paid some bills. Wrote Bob Elmore. Mary went to Dr. Lawson's office with her mother, called me on phone. Mrs Raines ate dinner with us. Got 3 tons coal from Pitzer $12.00. Went to Bank for Mr. Schick at 3 p.m. W.K.B. Steffey employed. Talked Bill Fisher. Mr. Schick "cussed me out" for being late. Stayed home at night and read. On Tuesday, October 3, 1916: Very cool. Mr. Schick left on #1 to go over N. R. H&M Rd. Went out to Mr. Schick's house for legging at 9 o'clock. Wrote specifications for Mr. Wiltsee. Cut wood at 6 o'clock. Mary took Norman to Mrs. Raines'. She and Fannie Miller came down. I shaved and read the paper. Took a bath at 10:30 and retired at 11 p.m. Just quickly: The end of month note for September was interesting. I would really like to know what Annah Lee's condition was. They are really concerned. She was my grandmother and I know that she lived to be in her 90's and was really pretty healthy most of her life that I knew her. So, it couldn't have been anything real serious. Do they think she has this "infantile paralysis"? Also, wow, Bonnie got cussed out by his boss for being late! That was a new one for me. I also got a kick from yesterday's entries when everyone watched the aeroplane flight from the office window as a part of the fair that is in town. Airplane flights in and out of Roanoke are now so common that no one hardly notices. Only when Air Force One is in town doing touch and go's do some people take notice.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fair in Town!

On Sunday, September 24, 1916 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cold-Sunny. Arose at 7:30. Shaved. Mary and I went to Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Went over home at 2 p.m. Blaine and I went to Mountain Park. Ate supper at Loam's. Aunt Annah, Mr. and Mrs. Raines went to Auditorium. Blaine and I talked to Howard Fisher, Jake and Raymond McDermott. I got home at 11 o'clock. Norman cut his mouth on cob. On Monday, September 25, 1916: Cool-Clear. Arose at 7 a.m. Got to work 8:30. Wore my pin-striped suit. I wrote a letter for Everett to H.F. Greenwood. Wrote good many letters. Feeling pretty bad today. Went over home for supper. Left Mama's at 8:30 and went to town. Blaine went to see Mr. Sullivan. I came home at 10:30, feeling badly. On Tuesday, September 26, 1916: Cold and Warm. Arose at 7:15. First day of the fair. Worked steadily and hard all day. Mary and Aunt Annah took the children to see the Edwards but they were away. Cut wood before supper and shaved. Played with Norman until 9:30 p.m. Read the paper. Made a fire this morning. Very chilly. Worked very hard all day. On Wednesday, September 27, 1916: Cool in a.m., Warm in p.m. Arose at 7:20. Got to work at 8:30. Today is second day of fair. We all witnessed the aeroplane flight from the office window. Completed "Track Work" for W.P. Wiltsee. Ate dinner at Mrs. Raines'. Aunt Annah and Mrs. R went to the fair. Norman and I got candy at Hurst's. Mary and I went to Auditorium at night to hear Arthur Moore. Home at 10 o'clock.