A Busy Day

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

Friday, November 15, 1912:  Today we had the first meeting of our Literary Society. Everything went off pretty well. But all the same I’ve been having a terrible head-ache today. It is a little better at present.

And now what do you think?  Why when I come home, and had gone to the barn to gather eggs, I saw Mollie out there with a little calf, hers it was. Was rather surprised you see, I had waited so long for my ship to come in that I didn’t mind waiting.

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (October 1, 1911)

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

Lots happened in Grandma’s life  a hundred years ago today. . . and this is one of her longer diary entries.

Grandma’s school started  the Literary Society and Grandma has been very involved in planning  for this meeting. She’s  been really excited about this club—and seemed to enjoy getting ready for the meeting, but she’s also seemed stressed. I’m glad that it went well.

Mollie was Grandma’s cow. The previous year, she also was excited when Mollie had a calf—and eventually got some cash when the male calf was sold.

I think that Grandma’s parents gave (or sold) each of their children  one calf. When the calf grew up and had its own calves—the child’s personal herd grew if it was a female, and the child got some money when the calf was sold if it was male.

For more on how farm children owned their own cows, see my post from last year when Mollie’s calf was sold:

Teaching Farm Kids the Value of Money

7 Responses

  1. I remember how excited I was when I came out one morning and our goat Tanya had two kids with her. And I was 29 years old. I had been checking her frequently for the last several nights but I didn’t check that night and voila! There was no exciting cash for the male kid but we did trade him for some blue egg laying Arucana chickens.

  2. Brought back many memories of my dairy farm childhood.

  3. That was an interesting part of Helena’s life. What a great way to teach responsibility.

  4. I’ve een enjoying your recent diary entries without commenting. This post made me think of how my granddaughter’s semi-rural other grandparents have bought a couple of cows in her name. When they are sold the $$ goes into an account for her. Not much room for cows in our courtyard :-)

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