An Uncle Who Was a Great Tease

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, February 17, 1912:  Uncle Ben and Aunt Annie were here today. I was very anxious to see Uncle Ben as I hadn’t seen him since I was a little kid, so you see I really wanted to see what he looked like. He is a great tease, but doesn’t look like it at all. Puts him arms around you and strokes your hair. Really, I was surprised.

Annie (Derr) Van Sant (circa 1900)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This diary entry refers to Benjamin and Annie Van Sant. Annie was the youngest sister of Grandma’s mother.  Ben was a physician in Turbotville which is located about  6 miles northeast of the Muffly farm.

In February 1912, Ben was 48 years old and Annie was 35. They did not have any children.

Since they lived so near the Muffley’s it is amazing that Grandma had not seen her uncle in many years.

That said, I’m not exactly sure what to make of this entry.  .  .

5 Responses

  1. But isn’t this what really makes the diaries so enticing. You get snippets of relatives, and friends, that makes you ask questions. You get to thinking about these folks as real people, not just data on a chart. Sometimes, also, we see another side to a person that we don’t see in staged photographs. Thanks, again, for sharing! ;-)

    • You’re exactly right! Diary entries like this one do really make the people seem real–and make me want to know more about them and their stories.

  2. Agreed. It is an odd entry, and leaves many questions. I liked the fact that you supplied a picture of Annie and the ages of her and Ben.

    • Thanks for the note. It takes time to pull the background information together, and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone finds it useful or enjoys it.

  3. [...] Thirty-five year-old Annie Van Sant was Grandma’s mother’s youngest sister. She was married to Benjamin Van Sant who was a physician in nearby Turbotville. The Van Sant’s visited the Muffly’s the previous week. [...]

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