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, July 29, 2012


On Friday, July 23, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cool weather. Stopped the use of tobacco this day.  Filed my correspondence. Thunder and lightning at night. Didn't use any tobacco the whole day.

On Saturday, July 24, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cool, clear. Pretty moon night. Met and talked to Capt. Feild on Jefferson St. Shaved after dinner and took baby to see Mrs. Merchent. Lost carriage robe coming home. Mrs. Raines, Mary, the baby and I went to Ms. Pork. Mama and her crowd were there. Coming back we talked to Jesse Steele. Mr. Layman gave Norman candy. 

On Sunday, July 25, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Took a bath. Mary and I rolled baby up to Mamma's, ate dinner and supper. Mr. Carnosay and Mr. Craft were there. Came home at 9:30 p.m. Mary had a fainting spell. Everett was up to Mamma's with Marjorie.

On Monday, July 26, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot day. Wrote up payrolls and Expense bills. Loam phoned Mary that they were coming down for dinner Wednesday. "Leelanaw" sunk by Germans. Harry Raines drove Mrs. Raines, Norman, and I out to Waverly Place and to ice plant at brewery. Shaved.

On Tuesday, July 27, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Very Hot. Went out to Mr. Schick's house for his glasses. Mrs. Raines took Norman up town to Bank, Kress', and Mac Bain's. At 8:20 p.m. Harry drove his mother, the baby, Mary and I up to Aunt Annie Raines'. Cool air, fine drive, bright moonlight. Came home at 10:10 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 28, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot Day. Loam, Effie, and their children came down home and spent the day. I wrote Jake. At night, I shaved took a bath and washed my head. "Feely" left Effie's things on car on way down home.

On Thursday, July 29, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot Day. Went to train #1 to put on catalogue for Mr. Schick. At night, Mary and I took the baby and went to band concert in Elmwood Park. I talked to Irvin Hodgin. Mr. Schick went out on the line. 

Maybe it's just because I am very tired after a very busy week at work, but I didn't find a whole lot in this week's entries to comment about.  I do wonder where the brewery in Roanoke was in 1915.  There also was the interesting note about the Germans sinking a ship.  I believe that is how World War 1 started or maybe the war had already started but that sinking of ships is partly what brought the United States into the war, which I don't believe had happened by this time in 1915, yet.  Here in 2012, we had a good day at church today, attendance was good and spirit was good.  I am looking forward to a much more quiet week at work this week...hopefully. Congrats to Bonnie for stopping the use of tobacco, I am guessing that didn't stick because as long as I knew him he always smoked a pipe and cigars.  I have no idea what "Ms. Pork" was.  A barbeque place maybe?  Bonnie's handwriting was hard to read, so it could be Mt. Pork, Mt. Park, etc.        

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Campbell Ave. Fire

On Friday, July 16, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Very Hot Day. Ethel Brown went after my camera at Bergendahl's. Rain came up in afternoon. Wrote to Effie. Mary and I took the baby down to Mrs. Raines' and drank iced tea and ate watermelon. Talked to Mrs. Mabry.

On Saturday, July 17, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot Day. Wrote to John Hancock about coming over on week's vacation in September. Rained in afternoon. Took a bath and shaved. Mary and I went up street to the "American" Theater. Mrs. Raines kept Norman.

On Sunday, July 18, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Hot! Werner Schalz died. Arose at 8:30. Took baby to Mrs. Raines. Went to church. Ate Dinner at Mrs. Raines'. Went up to see Loam and Mamma. Ate supper at Mamma's. Mary and I took baby to Elmwood Park. Harry rolled baby out to 10th Ave. S.W.

On Monday, July 19, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Awfully Hot. Met Bill Fisher. Walked to work with me. Rained P.M. Watched fire on Campbell Ave. at noon. Very hot at night. Took bath and shaved. Retired at 10:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 20, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cloudy-Warm. Werner Schalz buried today in "Fairview". Sin started driving a car for Stuart McGhee. Mr. Raitt stayed at home in p.m.

On Wednesday, July 21, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Raining. Mary, her mother, and the baby went to visit Mrs. Austin. I went to Buchanan to meet Effie and Pearl and kids. Saw Joe Seymour and boys. Skin took the folks to Loam's in automobile. Mary and I went to Loam's and Mamma's at night. 

On Thursday, July 22, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cool. Wrote letter to Lena and sent her package. Got cake of Castile soap from Mrs. Raines. Pearl, Teeny and Lady came down home. Mrs. Raines up at night. Shaved. Dark, cool, night. 

Seems like several things struck me as I wrote this today, let me see if I can remember them.  First, the weather.  Here in 2012, we have all this talk of "global warming" and yet the weather that Bonnie describes in 1915 seems to be really similar to what we have today, even thought Bonnie does not provide a lot of specifics.  Also, Werner Scahlz died in 1915 and was buried in Fairview cemetery.  I wonder if I could find his grave there in 2012?  That would be kind of neat. Bonnie watched another fire in downtown Roanoke on Monday, July 19, 1915 and last night here in 2012 there was a big fire on 10th St. in Roanoke. Smoke and flames could be seen for miles from the General Truck Body building. 2 firefighters were injured but not seriously.  And then, on Wednesday, July 21, 1915 Bonnie writes about going to Buchanan, which is where in 2012 I currently pastor a church.  So many connections to history, it's really neat.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

White Way

On Friday, July 9, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Fine Day. Mamma, Skin, and Teeny left Washington. Arose at 5:15 a.m. Washed my head and held the baby on porch until 7 o'clock. Sent J.P. Foy to Milan's for candy. Went to see Mr. Buford about Ronk Bill. The baby is 5 months old today. Went to Mrs. Raines' at night.

On Saturday, July 10, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Fine Day. Arose at 4:00 a.m. Went to station and brought Mamma, Teeny and Skin home breakfast. Papa came over in p.m. All of us went to Loam's at night. Met Oscar Fisher on way. Mary and I came home on car. Ate some peanuts at her mother's. Mrs. Raines kept the baby.

On Sunday, July 11, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Very Hot. Arose at 12 noon. Shaved. Went to office in afternoon. Met Skin and Jess on Jeff. St. Mrs. Raines came up to house with Mary at night. Retired at 10 o'clock. Very hot night.

On Monday, July 12, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Hot Day. Heavy work at the office. Mrs. Raines took the baby out for a ride. Ethel Wade came up in evening and went with us to the Elmwood Park. Wrote two letters for Mr. Turner. Retired at 11:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 13, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Hot Day. Arose 6:15 a.m. Rolled the baby to Elmwood Park until 7:40. Mr. W.P. Wiltsee in the office. Wrote to Jake. Mary and I ate dinner at Mrs. Raines'. Mamma moving to 707 7th St. S.W.  Mary and I ate supper at Loam's and came home 11 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 14, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Hot weather. Dr. O.W. Hacker died. Shaved at 8:15 a.m. Indexed and filed. Mary came to office with the baby. Met Burke, Crumpacker and Ed Gregory. Met Violet Carper on street. At night Mary and I went to band concert in Elmwood Park. Jack Bowdell, Maude, Pearl, et. al. there.

On Thursday, July 15, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Hot. Mr. Schick went out on the line. In afternoon, I remained at home and shaved and took a bath. Heavy rain and thunderstorm came up. Put on routine trousers and took baby down to Mrs. Raines'. "White Way" opened up at night with parade and band music. 

I am not sure what "White Way" was.  I am guessing it was a movie, but it opened with great fanfare.  Bonnie and Mary have been going to the park a lot this week and Bonnie also had a couple of very early morning wake up calls.  One of those was to pick up the rest of his family that had spent an extended amount of time in Washington, D.C. Also, it sounds like the weather in 1915 is similar to our weather in 2012 with very hot temperatures and some thunderstorms too!  We had a good day at church today.  VBS starts tonight.  The kids are home after a week at youth camp.        

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Capitol Bombing

On Friday, July 2, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Pretty Day. Filed and Indexed. "Old Time Fiddlers" Parade. Aunt Emma Leslie left Mrs. Raines'. Loaned Howard Fisher 25 cents. Sent Skin pair of supporters. Paid some bills. Aunt Emma Leslie and Mrs. Raines ate lunch with us. Attempt made to blow up the Capitol.

On Saturday, July 3, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Warm. Shaved. Mr.Raitt went to Cincinnati, O. for 4th of July. Talked to Bill Fisher. Stayed at home in afternoon. Harry Raines went to Norfolk. Mary and I went to "American" and Oak Hall Clo. Co. for caps for Hattie English. Got letter from Christine.

On Sunday, July 4, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Warm Rain. Arose 9:30. Took bath and then went up the street for a paper. Met Mr. Fink, Mr. Hill and Capt. Rowan. Papa came up to our house and stayed until 6:30. We stayed at Mrs. Raines' until 10 p.m.

On Monday, July 5, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote: Cloudy-Sunshine. Arose 8 a.m. Rode Harry's horse to stable and back. Drove up to Cave Spring, spent the day.  Gathered cherries with Mort Raines. Had ice cream. Met Mrs. Ronk. Talked to Bill Fisher and Felty. Mary got a card from Teeney saying she was coming home.

On Tuesday, July 6, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Pleasant Day. Talked to Skin. Heavy work in the office. Took a bath at night. Mary took the baby for an automobile ride with Stewart and Mary Britts to Roger's pond. Retired at 10 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 7, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Pretty Day. Mary and Bernice Hawkins took the babies to a lecture at Randolph St. Dispensary in p.m. Mary, Ethel Brown and I took the baby to Elmwood park at night. Ed Gregory and Percy Ellcott came up and looked at the baby. Sent "Tam-o-Shanter" caps to Hattie English.

On`Thursday, July 8, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Hot weather. Mr. Schick went out on line. Papa came up home at night. I shaved. Bought sheet of music and got hair cut. Talked to Fisher girls and Lester Steffey. 

So, I looked up the attempted bombing of the U.S. Capitol building on July 2, 1915 and indeed that did happen!  It was done by a Frank Holt, who appears to be a troubled individual as a few days later he committed suicide.  The bombing caused very little damage to the capitol and was in protest of the war in Europe. Here in 2012, we spent the 4th and a few days after in Grenville, SC visiting Beth's parents and going to the Allen family reunion.  It has still been extremely hot, but today is supposed to be the last day of the heat wave with rain and 80's for the coming week.  Most everybody now has their power back, but has been a difficult week for a lot of people.  We had church today, after being off last week and we had a funeral at 2 p.m. for Sonny Barger.  The kids leave tomorrow for church youth camp for a week.    

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pie and Power Outages

On Friday, June 25, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Beautiful Day. Wrote to Jake, Skin and Aunt Anna Smith and Mamma.  Talked to Howard in the office. Met Bill up street at night and went walking. Went to Elmwod Park and to Hotel Roanoke yard. Came home at 10:15 p.m. 

On Saturday, June 26, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Fine Day. After dinner went up to Fisher's and stayed until 7 p.m. Shaved at 9 p.m. and Mary and I took the baby and went down to Mrs. Raines' and remained until 10 p.m. Emmett Epperly came down for suitcase for Loam's trip.

On Sunday, June 27, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Fine Day. Arose at 9 a.m. Stayed around house until 4:30 p.m. Took bath and rolled baby up to Fisher's. Met Uncle John and Vesta Fisher and Clyde Ruble and stayed for supper. Came home by moonlight Loaned my camera to Agnes Bergendahl. 

On Monday, June 28, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Pretty Day. Wrote up descriptions and agreements in office. Shaved at 7 p.m.. Bought 3 ice cream cones. Mary and I went to see "The Moth and the Flame" at the American. Came by Mrs. Raines' and ate piece blackberry pie.

On Tuesday, June 29, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Rain a.m. Tracy came to Roanoke. Finished binding up agreements for Capt. Rowan. Retired at 10 p.m. Johnny Foy worked at office.

On Wednesday, June 30, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Cloudy day. 

On Thursday, July 1, 1915 Bonnie Elmore wrote:  Pretty Day. Got a letter from Loam at Washington. Ate dinner and supper at Mrs. Raines. Mrs. Raines and Aunt Emma Leslie visiting Mrs. Edwards. Got letter from Skin. Chas. Marmaduke, electrician at Gen.'l. office died today. Mr. Schick left. 

I guess the thing that really caught my attention in Bonnie's diary this week was the 3 ice cream cones and blackberry pie, maybe I should eat some dessert! Here in 2012, we have had some really odd weather.  On Friday, after a really hot day there were some bad wind storms called "derecho". Very little rain but winds in excess of 80 mph. It has knocked out power to millions, who now have no air conditioning and temps continue to be above 100.  There are also some water outages.  We had no church services today because of this.  Businesses that have a/c are really busy.  Power company says it may be a week before power is fully restored. We still have power and water and for that we are extremely grateful!