Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: July 1984 Volume 22 Number 3, Pages 105–110

Day-to-Day Life on a Family Farm at the Turn of the Century (Concluded)

Annie Potts Walker

Page 105

The summer of 1898 was, Annie Potts Walker recorded on September 11th, "a summer of the longest continued hot weather that I can remember, the nights too, all through July & August & the first week in Sept, have been extremely warm". On July 3d, the 83d birthday of her father, Havard Walker, "the thermometer registered 101° at four o'clock", and September 4th was, she observed, "too warm to write letters, or anything else but try to keep comfortable".

Still the daily activities at the farm continued - to the extent that it was noteworthy that on August 7th, "No one was here all day," In August Jesse Walker sailed for Europe aboard the Teutonic.

It was also the summer in which a headstone was selected "to mark the grave of Lewis Walker, the founder of the family in this country". He came to America in 1687, first settling in Radnor and then in Tredyffrin. He is said to have been the first Welsh settler in the township. The marker was placed in the graveyard at the Valley Friends Meeting on September 20th.

This day-to-day record of the activities on the farm was kept by Annie Potts Walker in the back of an old account book of her father's for the years 1815 to 1824 and also parts of 1843 and 1844. Her daily record continued for almost another two years, through July 9, 1900.

The ledger was presented to the Tredyffrin Easttown History Club in 1938 by Mr, and Mrs. Ralph Meeker Hunt (he was a nephew of Jesse Walker) and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Meeker Hunt.

Page 106

June 28 Warm & dry this morning had a heavy rain this evening, with thunder & lightning.

June 29 Clear & warn. Alice Stine was here to supper,

June 30 Clear & warm. M. Davis was buried this morning, I went to help with the dinner & to wait on table. Will Ferris came this afternoon for a visit.

July 1 Clear & warn. Father & Mary J. went to Norristown, on short notice, to buy a horse-rake.

July 2 Very warm. Will made a new trough for the sink, he went away this afternoon.

July 3 Very warm the thermometer registered 101 at four o'clock. Father is 83 to-day, he & Mary J. went to Conshohocken this afternoon, by invitation, to celebrate his birth-day.

July 4 Very warm this morning. There was a shower of rain this evening & it is still cloudy.

July 5 Clear & cooler to-day. Mary J.& I walked over to see Hannah Mary & Ellen this evening. Walter commenced at the grain.

July 6 Clear & pleasant. Father a I went to Norristown to get binder twine for Walter, it is very dear this year on account of the war, it comes from Manilla.

July 7 Clear & pleasant. Mary J. & Father went to meeting this morning. Father went to Strafford this evening to meet Jesse but he did not come.

July 8 Clear, Mary J.& Father went to Wayne this morning to take the marketing.

July 9 Clear this morning, with a light shower this evening, it is very dry. The grain is all in.

July 10 Clear & quite cool to-day. We went to meeting this morning. This evening Father & Mary J. went to call on Will Richards & his bride. Cousin Susanna Roberts & Mary Ellen were here a while before the folks came home.

July 11 Clear & pleasant but dry. Mary J. wentto Norristown this morning,

July 12 Warm &dry. Jesse came unexpectedly this evening walked over from Strafford will stay all night.

July 13 Warm & dry. Jesse went away this morning

July 14 Warm & dry, high wind.

July 15 Very warm & dry. Mary J, went to Wayne this morning. It rained a few drops this evening.

July 16 Very warm.

July 17 Very warm. I was not very well, did not go to marketing.

July 18 Very warm & dry. It rained a little.

July 19 Very warm. It rained a very heavy shower this morning.

July 20 Warm, There was another shower this evening.

July 21 Warm a sultry. Mary J. & Father went to meeting this morning called at Colket Walkers to see Isaac & Ella Walker but they had gone out.

Page 107

July 22 Warm & sultry,

July 23 Very warm & damp. Isaac Walker called this morning & stayed, to dinner Jesse came this afternoon I went away this evening, he is going out to Ross Park to-night.

July 24. Very warm, We all went to meeting this morning Ella & Lida Walker came home with us & spent the rest of the day. Ellie Conard & Lila came for them this evening,

July 25 Very warm & sultry, We washed & ironed,

July 26 Very warm & showery Father & I were at Conard's to dinner, had a very pleasant time.

July 27 Very warm & sultry. Are having a heavy rain this evening. Father & I went to Malvern this morning to pay our tax. Hade a call at Abijah Stevens on our way,

July 28 Warm. Rainy this morning. Father & Mary J, are at Wests' to Tea, were invited with Conards & Isaac & Ella Walker.

July 29 Very warm & clear. Mary J. & I went to the woods to pick blackberries, we found so many that we filled our kettles & then came home & got dinner, & after dinner went back again & got the rest, we got more than two buckets full.

July 30 Very warn. Mrs Mathews was here this evening to bid Father & Mary J. good bye she expects to go to Europe next week to be gone for a year.

July 31 Very warm, wind southeast.We went to meeting this naming, Walter took Mary J. to see Carrie Pennypacker this evening she has just cone home from the mountains above Wernersvilie, where one has been for two or three weeks for her health.

Aug. 1 Very warm. We washed & ironed.

Aug. 2 Very warn. Mary J, went to Norristown this coming to market & to order the beef for Quarterly meeting. We had dinner &. then went for blackberries,we did not get but about one bucketfull, somebody had been there before us. Jesse came about four o'clock to say good-bye, on his way to Europe. He expects to start to-morrow at noon on the Teutonic. Mary J, took him to Strafford, He expects to go to New York this evening,

Aug 3 Warm & showery

Aug 4 Warm & clear. There was a very heavy rain last evening. It was Gwyned quarterly meeting & all the folks of our meeting went over but us & cousin Sarah, It was our preparative meeting & Father Mary J. & I & cousin Sarah & Dana Ramsey were the only ones there,

Aug 5 Warm, I swept & cleaned the house.

Aug 6 Very warm, very busy getting ready for quarterly meeting,

Aug 7 Very warm. No one here to day,

Aug 8 Very warm & damp, We washed & baked bread & ruck. There were four here to tea from select meeting. Lizzie Hamilton came up to stay over night.

Page 108

Aug 9 Quarterly meeting to-day it was not quite as warm, rained a little in the morning. We had seventy four strangers to dinner, Emma Walter& Priscilla Streets are going to stay all night.

Aug 10 Cool & rainy. Emma, Priscilla Mary J. & I went to Norristown, where we were joined by Ella Conaro. & Lida Walker & Martha & Lou Richards, to select & order a memorial stone to mark the grave of Lewis Walker, the founder of the family in this country. We attendee to the business, & then took Priccilla to the station to take the train for home.

Aug 11 Rainy. Mary J. & Emma went out for a drive this afternoon. The Literary Picnic is to be held at Valley Forge, we did not go.

Aug 12 Dull, but not so warm. Emma went home this afternoon. Mary J. took her to the station.

Aug 13 Clear. Nothing unusual transpired to-day.

Aug 14 Clear & cool. We went to meeting this morning. This afternoon Father a Mary J. went to Albert Crawfords' to see Mary Corson.

Aug 15 Clear & warm. Mary J. &. I called at Joe Thomas's this evening.

Aug 16 Clear & very warm. Ironed this morning. Susanna Walker & Lucy Bright were here to tea.

Aug 17 Very warm. Mary J. & I weeded the strawberry bed. Had a shower of rain this evening.

Aug 18 Very warm & sultry. Father Mary J. & I went to monthly meeting this morning. Mary J. took the train at Radnor station for the city. When she came back it was raining & has been showery all evening.

Aug 19 Clear & warm. We finished cleaning the strawberry bed.

Aug 20 Very warm. Mary J. went with Father this afternoon to call at DeHavens'. I suppose Jesse starts from Liverpool for home.

Aug 21 Very warm. Jim was here to supper.

Aug 22 Clear & very warm.

Aug 23 Clear & very warm. Ironed. Father & Mary J. were away on school business.

Aug 24 Clear& very warm. Father & I went over to Berwyn this evening on an errand commenced to rain just after we got home.

Aug 25 Warm & sultry. Thunder showers nearly all last night. Father & Mary J. were at meeting this morning. Jos. Thomas was here on a political errand this afternoon.

Aug 26 Weather much pleasanter. Mary J. was at Schuylkill with Wests' this morning on meeting business.

Aug 27 Weather pleasant. Jesse was here two or three hours this afternoon on his way home from England. He expects to start for Ross to-night.

Aug 28 Cool & pleasant this morning warmer this evening, Two of Walter's friends Howard Abraham & George Scott were here to supper.

Page 109

Aug 29 Warm again to-day. We washed; & Mary J. & Father went to Norristown this afternoon.

Aug 30 Warm. We baked rolls & cake this morning, & this afternoon we had the First-day School pic-nic at the meeting house.

Aug 31 Very warm. We ironed this morning.

Sept 1 Very warm. Father & Mary J. went to preparative meeting this morning, I went to Norristown, saw Will. He has an appointment as conductor on the trolley in Phila.

Sept 2 Heat almost unbearable. Father & Mary J. went to Wayne with the marketing this morning.

Sept 3 Very warm. We took off some corn for drying this morning.

Sept 4 Very warm. We went to meeting this morning. Ruth & Isaac Roberts called this evening. It is too warm to write letters, or do anything else but try to be comfortable.

Sept 5 Still very warm & clear, is getting quite dry again.

Sept 6 Very warm & no relief by rain.

Sept 7 Warm as usual this morning, but there was a shower of rain this afternoon & now it is more comfortable. Alice Stine was here spending the day, we pared pears for preserving.

Sept 8 Weather quite cool, Mary J. & Father went to Radnor to monthly meeting.

Sept 9 Cool & pleasant. I went to Phila this norning was home again about two o'clock.

Sept 10 Cool & pleasant. Father & Mary J. went up the Valley to attend the funeral of Jonathan Roberts, he was a friend & old school mate of Father's. The stone to mark the grave of Lewis Walker, the ancestor, came to-day & was placed in the grave-yard.

Sept 11 It is cold enough to-day for fire & very great contrast to a week ago. I think the very warm weather is about at an end now It has been a summer of the longest continued very warm weather that I can remember, the nights too, all through, July & August& the first week in Sept. have been intensely warm.

Sept 12 Clear & cool, We washed & got corn ready to dry. Had the rest of the pears shaken & pared some this evening.

Sept 13 Clear, cool & pleasant.

Sept 14 Clear & pleasant.

Sept 15 Clear & warmer. It is getting very dry again. again. Father & Mary J. went to meeting this morning & from there to Norristown. After they came home Father went to Strafford & met Jesse.

Sept 16 Clear & warm. Jesse went to the city this morning &. back again this afternoon.

Sept 17 Clear & warm. Jesse came up at one o'clock to-day & went back after dinner expecting to go out to Pitts. to-night. Mary J. took him over to Strafford.

Page 110

Sept 18 Clear & warm, with a shower of rain this morning. Mary J & Father went to meeting this morning, no one here all day.

Sept 19 Clear & pleasant. We washed & ironed & canned tomatoes.

Sept 20 Clear & pleasant. I sewed all day. Lida Walker came this evening to stay all night to go to Atlantic City with us to-morrow.

Sept 21 Clear & cool. Father, Lida Walker & I went to Atlantic City to spend the day so that Father could see the Steel Pier that that the Shifflee Co. built. We left Strafford at 8.23 in the morning & returned there in the evening at 8 o'clock. We had a very pleasant day & all stood the trip well.

Sept 22 Cloudy & dull, with rain this evening. Aunt Annie Jones & Lily were here to supper. Lida stayed all night last night & went home with Ellis from meeting this morning.

Sept 23 It rained nearly all night but is clear to-day, & warm.

Sept 24. Clear with high wind. I went with Father to Port Kennedy this morning.

Sept 25 Cloudy this morning. The Quarterly meetings' committee visited our meeting this morning Sarah Linville & her husband were here to dinner & supper, from Phila. also Ruthanna Hamilton, Hannah Mary Davis & Ellen & Jim Richards came this evening to take Ruthanna home with them.

Sept 26 Cloudy this morning. We got our clothes dry & ironed. It rained this afternoon on quite a heavy shower with thunder & lightning.

Sept 27 Clear & cool. I sewed all day. Mary J commenced cleaning the cellar this afternoon.

Sept 28 Clear & pleasant. Mary J. & Father went to Norristown this afternoon to get provision for the thrashers. The thrashers arrived about four o'clock this afternoon, there were eight men here to supper. Tom went to Trenton Fare this morning

Sept 29 The thrashers finished this evening there were nine of them here to-day, it kept us busy getting enough for them to eat, & I am very tired.

Sept 30 Clear & warmer. I cleaned some of the house.

Oct 1st Cloudy a sultry

Oct 2 Foggy this morning clear & warm the rest of the day. We went to meeting this morning. I took a walk over part of the farm, found it very weedy & needing attention.

Oct 3 Warm & sultry. We washed & ironed, & put up the last of the tomatoes.

Oct 4 Warm. We cleaned house

Oct 5 Warm. Cleaned our room & the stairway. It has been so warm at night for the past three nights that we had no covering in bed but the sheet.

Oct 6 Cooler. Cleaned Walters room. Father & Mary J. went to meeting. Ella Conard & Lida Walker came from meeting to dinner. They had some philanthropic business to attend to in connection with us. This afternoon we attended to our business hand, Margaret Massey & Sallie Walker called.

Oct 7 Clear & pleasant. We cleaned the sitting room & hall.


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