GRANDMA'S DIARIES • Snowy Beginning To March 1952


March 1952 roars in with snow and ends more gently. Grandpa sends a hog to the locker plant to be butchered, but Grandma is disappointed he forgets to bring the jowls home to render for a bit of lard. I remember Grandma often said, " We use every part of the hog except for the oink." She notes her weather markers, the robins and the spring peepers in her eagerness to see spring slip on in. She mentions our Youth Fellowship at the Butler Union Church. We had never had any real activities for kids before Rev. Jim Howie came to town. We all loved that group. It meant a lot to us. Thank you, Rev. Howie. Readers may remember the Fish store, located in the Y section on South Main that connects with Fairground.

Saturday, March 1, 1952–Weather report says there are icy spots on the highways across the state. We took eggs to Litchfield, 34 cents a dozen. We went to Hillsboro where Carl made a date with McDavid's to straighten out the front fender he bent on Saturday night.

Sunday, March 2, 1952–Much deeper snow on when we got up. I iced my cake. Fried Carl a T-bone steak and myself a cake of sausage. Dad went after the Springfield paper. Jimmy Held's baby died at 8 p.m. He had virus infection. He was seven months old. Howy Ward came after Dorothy's quilt, $4 for quilting, $1 for binding.

Monday, March 3, 1952–Much of the snow melted last night. So foggy I didn't wash as I have a sore throat. Geraldine brought me some throat lozenges.

Tuesday, March 4, 1952–More snow last night and a regular blizzard early. Carl took the car to McDavid's to have the front fender lined up after we bent it when we ran into Howard Turner's bank. They charged $23.25, but the insurance company is supposed to pay 80 percent of the cost. I finally got Carole's quilt all done including her name "Carole-1951." I intend to make one for each of the grandchildren. I have a basket quilt started for Connie made out of scraps from her dresses.

Wednesday, March 5, 1952–Snow melted. Merle came and took a hog to the locker. Carl went after the head, liver, heart, etc. He forgot to have them keep the jowls, so I'll have a bit of lard to render. Larry came along. He drank pop as he always does. He likes for me to keep some "soda" on hand. I worked on quilts. I am trying to get my new quilts bound. I just brought them home and put them away.

Thursday, March 6, 1952–Sunshine. I cut out a mash sack dress by a new waist pattern. Too big everywhere but around the waist. I have lost my desire to make dresses. Wayne has three sick sows. They have pigs. He has over 200 little pigs.

Friday, March 7, 1952–We caught the late roosters, and Carl took them to White at Hillsboro. We got 28 for $9 and .20 for two. Total $10.30. They had eaten more feed than they brought. I went quilting after dinner. Nine there. Still on Mary Nimmons' quilt. Solicitations for the "youth" feed, March 16. I am to take two and a half dozen eggs and one dozen cupcakes and help serve and wash dishes. Tonight is the Butler father and son basketball game.

Saturday, March 8, 1952–Today is the birthday of Eva Elmore. Looks like snow. We went to Litchfield with 45 dozen eggs about noon; Grade A 34 cents. We went on to Hillsboro. Mrs. Whitlock had a sale of household goods, but I forgot it. I need only a sewing machine and an ironing board. Both I want new. Mrs. Shockey died before 10 p.m. at Sally Leich's in Webster Grove, MO.

Sunday, March 9, 1952–Nice spring like day. Some clouds in p.m. Carl went to see Hazel Martin. At night she and I met with Marie Henry to plan a noon lunch for the Shockey family on Tuesday. We decided to have chicken and dressing, meat loaf, a green salad, cranberries, pickles, jelly, coffee, and pie in variety. I took my Grandma Wade quilt up for Harley and Emma to see.

Monday, March 10, 1952–I saw two robins, so one more snow. Rained about all day and far into the night. Frogs croaking. Hazel Martin and I went to Basses after dinner to see Mrs. Shockey. Bea Wallace called to tell us that Clarence Christopher died last night. He was Bessie Bradshaw's husband.

Tuesday, March 11, 1952–Nice day, but windy. Hazel Martin, Buella Johnson and I served lunch at Alma Baird's for the family of Mrs. Shockey. We got done in time to go to the funeral. I took chicken with dressing on it. Then we had meat loaf, cranberries, lettuce, creamed potatoes, pickles, jelly and seven pies. There were 19 of the family and we three cooks.

Wednesday, March 12, 1952–Nice day. We left home at 10:30 a.m. Stopped at the Rieke elevator with a sample of our wheat. Rieke would have to send the sample to see what he could pay. We ate dinner in Pana and went to Clarence Christopher's funeral at the Stumpfs Funeral Home. Stopped at the Nokomis elevator on our way home. Fred Heck would pay $2.30 for it. Butler won't buy it because it had been treated.

Thursday, March 13, 1952–Cloudy and windy. Rained last evening. I washed, and the clothes got dry enough to iron. I finished a print dress. Mrs. Keith came while John went to see his dad at the Litchfield hospital. Wayne got hay. Wayne has 299 little pigs and seven sows yet to farrow.

Friday, March 14, 1952–Snowed a bit. I ironed and pressed my new print dress. I stopped at Alma's at 12:30. She gave me a pair knitted mittens, a pair white gloves, a big sack of quilt scraps, and as a gift from Alma- a box of perfumed bath soap. I went on to quilt. Ten there for a while

Saturday, March 15, 1952–Clear. We went to Litchfield with 45 dozen eggs. Grade A 34 cents. Then on to Coffeen to get more grinding done on my denture gums. They don't hurt now. Wayne took a dead sow to East St. Louis for a post mortem He has 300 little pigs, and some of the mothers are sick.

Sunday, March 16, 1952–Today is the birthday of Irene Newport Knodle. Nice day. Chilly wind. I baked cupcakes for the Youth Fellowship at Butler at 3 p.m. Mildred Taylor, Lindy Anderson and Margaret best prepared the lunch of sandwiches, potato chips, celery, cupcakes, cocoa and coffee. Then Mamie McCammon, Mary Nimmons, Hazel Martin and I served and washed dishes.

Tuesday, March 18, 1952–I made Margaret two aprons and pressed out quilt scraps and cut blocks. Merle's came after supper, all but Carol. She had gone to Mary Ann Ward's. Began to lightning and in a downpour of rain, we had a blinding flash of lightning. It burned out two fuses. Merle fixed them before they went home. Cyclones at Evansville, Farmington and Keene.

Wednesday, March 19, 1952–Today is the birthday of Marian Busby Sammons. Cloudy. There is a Home Bureau meeting at the Farm Bureau Hall. Geraldine, Dorothy Harris, Mrs. Keith and I went, but we bought our dinners. We all enjoyed the meeting. Demonstrations of table decorations, package wrapping, cheese and a movie about an electric dishwasher.

Thursday, March 20, 1952–Today is the birthday of Arthur Hayes (1868). Cool and partly clear. Geraldine came at 9:30, and we went to Glover's sale. The only thing I wanted was a little sewing cabinet, and the Mrs. carried it back in the house before the sale started. Such a crowd, cars and trucks parked for a mile on each side of the house and both sides of the road. A 12x12 rug brought $60, a roll top desk, $40. Carole came to spend the night, so I could make her a very full, long dance recital skirt. Merle hauled 210 bushel beans, $608.35, and Clinard hauled 124 bushels wheat, $287.64. All to the Noble elevator, Harvel.

Friday, March 21, 1952–Cloudy with rain and thunder by night. I took Carole to school and her suitcase home. Her mother and Connie had gone to Luella's (Bondurants) for the day. I went quilting after noon. At our regular meeting we decided to serve lunch at Harry Fish's sale of building and contents. Mamie McCammon in charge. Linda has pink eye. Cyclones at night in Arkansas and Missouri.

Monday, March 24, 1952–Today is the birthday of Alberta Johnston. Heavy frost. Sunshine. I washed. My fingers got cold. We took the eggs to Litchfield, still 34 cents. Went on to Hillsboro, and Carl went to the Triple A office to sign up for the soil improvement program. 

Tuesday, March 25, 1952–Sunshine. Ice. I marked a part of my necktie quilt for quilting. White, a Capper Farmer representative, came to sell us an accident policy which pays $1,000 in case of accidental death or hospital care and doctor's fees in case of accident. It cost us $37. It looked like something good for Maud (Grandma's sister), so we took insurance on her to cost all three. $52 for the first year and less thereafter. Maud's was $15. We went to see Mary after dinner, and I got Geraldine's quilt, $7.50 which the M.E. ladies at Irving did.

Wednesday, March 26, 1952–Clear half the day. We went early to Nokomis to the Kerr store and got a crank grass seeder, $3.50. Mr. Campbell came at noon, and he and Carl sowed grass seed. Carl drove the tractor, and Campbell rode in the wagon and sowed. I sewed the binding on Geraldine's quilt and made myself a small apron. Mrs. Streight came to spend the evening. Wayne's were here until eight o'clock. Wayne said they sowed clover seed.

Thursday, March 27, 1952–Clear, frost.

Friday, March 28, 1952–Clear. We went to Walter Grott's funeral. He was 71. He was injured in an auto wreck about six years ago and had been a semi invalid all this time. Mrs. Robinsons went with us. They finished Mary Nimmons' quilt, $5. We took Geraldine's finished quilt home. It cost her all told about $15. Mr. Campbell worked today.

Saturday, March 29, 1952–Today is the birthday of Eunice Bradshaw. Very nice weather. We went to Litchfield at 9 a.m. Carl wanted to and did take a treatment from Dr. Krause. He thinks he helped his hip. While getting dinner, Carl looked over the paper and saw where Harry Nelson had passed away. Emma's brother. He got hurt when 14 years old and passed all these years, being 64 in the asylum at Jacksonville. We called to see Harley while the others went to the burial. First treatment for Carl from Dr. Krause.

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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