Mar. 9-16, 1919

Mar. 9

We all went to church and sat together. didn’t stay for S.S. Helped get dinner, went over to Sheldon’s and up in the S.S. room, was at Sheldon’s for supper, went to church with Catherine and Andy, came home with the kids in the sled. I just hate to come home without Edgar with me, sat in the kitchen and cried until Clarence and Emily and Floss came out and talked to me. Mrs. Forsyth stayed all night. went to bed at 10.

Mar. 10

Got up about 9. Got my own breakfast, Mrs. Forsyth, Mother and I are invited to Williams for dinner, went about 11. Helped get dinner. Catherine, Mary and I ate at 2nd table. Catherine and I washed all the dishes while the rest of them went to the train with Aunt Emily, started a yoke, Catherine gave me some flowers. Mary and Bill brot me home in a little sled. Bill nearly fell out twice. Pressed some flowers, they surely are pretty, helped get supper, crocheted until 9.

Mar. 11

Papa is 59 today. Washed, cleaned up the house, got dinner, mother and I went over town, I stayed at the Post Office and crocheted, went home with Mabel and Catherine. Mabel got a lunch, Catherine came home with me, we all went over Pershings, met Mr. Everett Pershing, came home at 10:30.

Mar. 12

Washed the breakfast dishes, Catherine and I went up town and Catherine went home. helped get dinner, went up town again, stayed at the store and crocheted until school was out, went home with Harriet. Mother and I came home about 6. Wednesday night and it seems I must wait for Edgar to come. Went to bed at 9.

Mar. 13

Crocheted all morning, didn’t want to go up town but had to or stay home alone. Mother went to Aid. Came home with kids after school, got supper and made 3,5 ice. Mrs. Forsyth was here again, crocheted until 9:30. Five weeks ago tonight I gave Edgar his last kiss.

Mar. 14

Finished my yoke and made a crepe-de-chine shirt with it in it. Cleaned up down stairs. 5 wks ago today Edgar walked to school and noon with me and we parted at the crossing.

Mar. 15

Dusted, took a bath, Myrtle Doolittle came up, made sandwiches for the social, went up town, ate supper with Harriet. I don’t have to wait for Edgar anymore but I wish I did. stayed and played games altho I didn’t want to but couldn’t come home alone. got home at 10:30.

Mar. 16

Went to church and S.S. went over to Williams’ for dinner, went out walking, looked at catalogues, helped get supper, went to League & Church with C & A. Another Sunday night and had to come without Edgar.

Cresbard Cemetery

Not surprisingly, so many in Cresbard are grieving the death at 20 years old of Edgar Williams from the influenza that had already taken so many young lives in the United States and across the world. So this installment is mainly filled with people, people who are struggling themselves and people who are doing their best to comfort Clara. Some we have met, and others we haven’t.

Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon and their ten-year-old son seem to serve as a continuous source of support for Clara and for probably most of the town; after all, Mr. Sheldon was the minister in the Methodist Church and the one who performed this funeral as well as countless others.

Catherine in 1918, passenger in a 490 Chevy

Catherine is Edgar’s sister and the same age as Clara. I haven’t figured out who Andy is yet – but I haven’t given up on finding him. But they all went home from church in a sled. With all the discussion of cars, this surprised me. But in fact, in the 1919 South Dakota Revised Code, Chapter 7 – Vehicles, Article 1 – Law of the Road, sleds are included in the code requiring vehicles to drive on the right side of the middle of the road or bridge.

Another code, interestingly enough, on the same page forbids intoxicated driving while on the road.

Once home, Clarence, Emily, and Floss come into the kitchen to talk to an inconsolable Clara. As a reminder, Clarence and a pregnant Emily are my paternal grandparents, and Floss is Clara’s younger sister.

Mrs. Forsyth remains a mystery. I have more detective work to do on her. But the Williams’s again host a crowd of people for dinner before Aunt Emily, the one who acted crazy after the funeral and ended up having a glass of water at her, was taken to the train to return home. 

1919 – children in a sled

Mary and Bill (I haven’t figured out who either of them are) take Clara home, again in a sled, a sled that Bill nearly fell out of twice! Then she kept busy: starting a yoke, pressing flowers, crocheting. A yoke is thetop part of a shirt, sweater, or dress that fits over the shoulders. Pressing flowers was something I used to do as a little girl. I remember stacks of encyclopedias in my room where between the pages, flowers were pressed in sheets of waxed paper. I did this with important flowers, like bouquets from shows or corsages, but I also pressed flowers from the garden. I imagine she pressed the flowers that Catherine gave her earlier in the day. And she crochets.

George Horen

The next day is the 59thbirthday of her father, George Horen. It appears to be a fairly regular day. The only different part was that Clara writes that she stayed at the Post Office and crochets. I don’t exactly understand why she would be hanging out at the Post Office, crocheting. The Post Office? I don’t know. That night, they go to the Pershings, which is the home of Edgar’s good friend Gerald. Clara mentions having the opportunity to meet Mr. Everett Pershing, 22, who would be Gerald’s older brother.

Sargent Everett Pershing returned to the east coast of the United States aboard the USS Montana, coming from Brest, France, after serving in World War I on February 23, 1919, about two weeks before this journal entry. The USS Montana made six trips to France to bring home nearly 9,000 men from Europe battlefronts. 

Everett Pershing

Tragically, he also served in World War II, and on his first leave home to the DC area since December of 1942, Major Everett Pershing died of a heart attack at home on May 15, 1945 at the age of only 49. But he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Clara keeps herself busy as she remembers the last time she kissed Edgar, the last time she saw Edgar. She finishes her yoke and makes a crepe-de-chine shirt. 

Myrtle Doolittle helps Clara out for the next social, while Clara cannot stop thinking about Edgar.

Myrtle Doolittle

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