GRANDMA'S DIARIES • Hot Summer To Celebrate Independence Day


The crops are all in now, so  weather and weeding will determine whether 1952 will be a boom or bust year for county farmers.  As the heat builds during July the crops suffer, but the weeds continue to grow. Since field work has eased off, it is the perfect time for county fairs and ice cream socials.  Grandma and Grandpa, who both grew up outside Morrisonville, enjoy the horse races featured at most of the celebrations and visiting with old friends from Christian County.  1952 was also a presidential election year, so the whole family is very interested in who would be nominated by the Democrats and the Republicans. Eisenhower for the Republicans and Stevenson for the Democrats were chosen to face off in the fall.

Tuesday, July 1, 1952 - Hot. Merle got through combining our wheat and went on to Ray Raines. Carl settled for wheat: Nobbe's 141.50 bu. @ 2.03=287.92, 177.50 bu. @ 2.04=362.78, Montgomery Service 177.40 bu. @ 2.06=364.22. Old wheat at Montgomery Service 49.20 bu. @ 2.06= 101.63. John Keith's father, Clyde Keith died about 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 2, 1952 - So hot and dry. Carl went to Butler and Harvel and settled for his wheat. Ham Hamilton baled straw here. We had .2 inches of rain after noon. Hamilton had Harold Anderson baling straw here after noon until it rained. About 100 bales. Wayne is combining oats. Carl paid T. Dammann $25.00 for bulldozing hedge on east side of farm.

Thursday, July 3, 1952 - Pleasant. We had 1 inch and .3 inches rain in two heavy rains through the night. We went with Fred and Norma Duncheon to Walshville to Clyde Keith's funeral. Burial at Messimore (?) cemetery at Morrisonville, but owing to muddy roads they drove 10 or 12 miles to get there.

Friday, July 4, 1952 - Pleasant. We went after the mail and on to Homer Johnston's to see Addie (Johnston) and Ruth (Addie's granddaughter). Came home and George and Fern (Best) had been here. I called Beckmier's, Irving and talked George into coming back. We ate a lunch later, and they went home. Bob and Mary (Nimmons) came to spend the evening. Leslie and Grace Cress came to bring my plastic articles- a rain coat, kitchen scissors, and toaster cover. Margaret invited us to come see their fireworks, but we decided to stay off the hard road at night. Wayne finished combining oats. They made 70 bushels per acre.

Saturday, July 5, 1952 - Hot. Carl plowed 2/3 of his beans. We picked blackberries. I went to Hillsboro. Later hoed and planted Valentine beans. Went to Wayne's to watch wrestling matches. 113 reported killed in the holiday.

Sunday, July 6, 1952 - Wesley and Virginia Hanson's two-year-old baby girl's funeral in Taylorville at one p.m. She had leukemia and suffered terribly for a week before she died. Carl didn't want to go. I got ready to go to Sunday School, but the car wouldn't start. Merle and Connie came about four. He hitched the tractor on and started it. We took a drive later to charge the battery.

Tuesday, July 8, 1952 - We had .4 inches rain last night. Just a gentle rain. I ironed, including two curtains for bedroom. We ate dinner early. Went east of Morrisonville to Davis to see if he had a farm to rent. No. Carl talked to Earl Denning in Taylorville. None. We visited Harley (grandma's brother) and Emma. Went to Merle's at night to watch Republican convention on TV. Hoover made a speech.

Wednesday, July 9, 1952 - Got two fryers from Harry Chaplin. Dressed them. $1.20 each. We went to Leo Von Rueden's to see about a farm. I baked a cake, about four p.m. I stopped for Carole, and we went to Homer Johnston's for Addie and Ruth Johnston. We all went to Montgomery Church to an ice cream supper. Real chilly for some folks.

Thursday, July 10, 1952 - Addie, Ruth, Carole and I took the eggs to Litchfield. Grade A are .45, but I don't have many Grade A. I cut out and sewed two skirts for Ruth. Addie said Theo didn't offer to do them. I didn't want to. I have plenty to do without sewing for others. Went to Wayne's for Larry and my birthday supper. Merles were there too. We watched the Republican Convention on TV. 

Friday, July 11, 1952 - Got dinner for Wayne also as he cut weeds here. He had bad luck for he run a stob through the Ford radiator. Took the girls to Merle's after noon. Picked up Mary Nimmons, and she and I quilted in the church yard with others. Mrs. Johnston called on the Osborns, Mary Rhoads, and Jess Seward. Mrs. Seward is 87. He is 89.

Saturday, July 12, 1952 - Hot again. I took Carole home and Mrs. Johnston and Ruth to Homer's. I am sure tired. Got home and took a nap. Then sewed on Connie's sunsuit. Carl and Wayne went to look at the Von Rueden farm. Too hilly. Later Carl went to Raymond for hen pellets. Two bags $11.30. Barbara Streight Furness has a baby girl.

Sunday, July 13, 1952 - Rained a bit. Today is my birthday (69). We went to church at 9 where I helped Ida Brown prepare the communion. Church at 9:30. Sunday School 10:30. We left there for George Best's at Taylorville for dinner. Lloyd Wallaces were there. Had a lovely dinner with ice cream and birthday cake later. We came through quite a rain north of Morrisonville. Merle's gave me a flour sifter that sifts three times with one operation. Wayne's gave me a shag rug. Alberta gave me a cross stitch tablecloth which I have wanted such for years.

Wednesday, July 16, 1952 - 1.2 inches rain. Cleared off about 11:30, and we went to the Morrisonville picnic. I visited with Mrs. Mattie Campbell, and we watched a very good program. There was a very big crowd at the picnic.

Thursday, July 17, 1952 - I took eggs to Litchfield. Grade A are .50. Mary Nimmons went along. Jay Hall, commissioner, and helpers took out the old locust stump at the southwest corner of the yard and all but one small rambler rose bush off the fence and burned them. The road must be made wider. Most of it comes off our side. We went to the Morrisonville picnic again. Another good program. Had a flat tire when we got ready to come home. Kendrick Westcott changed tires for us.

Saturday, July 19, 1952 - Hot. Carl and I went to Taylorville before noon. He got a plat book of Christian County. We stopped at the John Deere Co. in Morrisonville. The companies are showing the new John Deere tractors. We had lemonade and cookies. Carl went to Litchfield in p.m. He saw the new tractors there.

Tuesday, July 22, 1952 - So hot. Brought six little chicks from the garden. I washed. Carl still pulling posts. I cut out a dress for Connie. Elmer McWard's funeral at Taylorville. Taylorville Fair is on, but the weather is so hot.

Wednesday, July 23, 1952 - I ironed. We decided to go to the Taylorville Fair. Wind was in the north, and 'twas very comfortable up in the amphitheater. We watched four races. Went to Merle's to watch the Democratic convention on TV.

Friday, July 25, 1952 - The phone company removed the pole at the corner of our yard. The light company is also moving their light poles back in John Keith's corn. Mrs. Grover Toberman and I went to Mrs. Louis Isbell's funeral at Fillmore at the Baptist church. We did a lot of reminiscing while there. We went to Wayne's at night where we watched the Democrat convention nominate Governor Stevenson for president.

Saturday, July 26, 1952 - We took eggs to Litchfield. Grade A .53. We went on to Hillsboro. I got my shoes that I had half soled at Smith Shoe Hospital, $1.50 and Carl left his work shoes, and the cobbler did them while we waited. $1.75.

Sunday, July 27, 1952 - Hot. I went to Sunday School and church. Carl stayed home and complained of the terrific heat. Farmers say the scorching sun is hurting the corn. My garden beans look as if someone had poured hot water on them. The garden is almost a failure. Not very many tomatoes even set on.

Tuesday, July 29, 1952 - .3 inches rain. Came at 4 a.m. and at 6 a.m. Cloudy most of the day. Carl went after Jimmy to drive the tractor from one thistle to another in the pasture which he cut off. Wayne, Jake and Larry came after noon, and they all went to cut weeds out of the beans. Carl was so tired by night he could hardly move. Ruth Wollerman Lane's funeral.

Wednesday, July 30, 1952 - So hot, but cool at night. Men are cutting off the bank of our front yard. Carl cut weeds out of the corn along the road. He wanted to go see Mary, but I didn't feel like getting ready. My neck still hurts. Guess I sat with it propped up in my hands while I watched the telephone men move the pole at the corner of the yard.

Thursday, July 31, 1952 - Not so hot. We left for the 4-H show at Irving about 10 a.m. Larry and Jack Turner both showed lambs. Larry got C and Jack B. Larry's lamb looked like it might be ailing. Went on to Coffeen. I went to the Edwards' household sale. The bill advertised 50 quilts for sale. I didn't stay for Carl went on to get Dr. Weigrieffe to pull a piece of tooth. Hurt bad. We went to Ed Niehaus to see about our cemetery lot at Wares Grove. Carl paid him 109.00 for perpetual care and three years lawning. He paid $35.00 December 1, 1948, for the lot.

Carole (Best) Brown of Golconda provides Journal-News readers with this glimpse of the past from her grandmother, Mary Edith (Newport) Best, Butler farm wife. Carole may be reached at


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