Hope to Win 2 1/2 Dollar Gold Piece

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

Tuesday, January 28, 1913:  Our teacher made such a wonderful proposition today. It was made to our class. The one who writes the best essay on a given subject is to receive a two dollar and a half gold piece. Margaret G. came home with me to stay till tomorrow. We had a dandy time this evening, although I am afraid our lessons suffered some. Rufus made candy. And so the evening went.


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

Grandma—I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you write the best essay and get the gold piece. I think you have a chance since you sound so hopeful.

I wish you’d told us the topic so that I could vicariously “help” you write the essay a hundred years later.

I’m not sure who Margaret G. was, but it sounds like the girls had a wonderful time. Rufus refers to Grandma’s sister Ruth.

19 Responses

  1. I would like to have one of those quarter eagles today. The gold alone is worth about $250. I hope that she won.

  2. I actually have one of those coins, minted in 1915, the year my grandmother was born.

  3. I would have loved to know what her essay was about. Hope she wins the gold piece.

    • She often gave too few details in the diary entries. Too bad that she couldn’t know that we’d be reading it a hundred years later. (On second thought, it’s probably a good thing she didn’t know. She probably wouldn’t have been able to write nearly as naturally.)

  4. I wonder what subject the teacher asked them to write an essay about. And, yes whoever won this piece if they still had it today, it’s value is worth more than its weigh in gold.

  5. That is a great piece of gold!

  6. What a grand challenge your Grandma had to write an essay! I hope she won the gold piece. Her entry this day was so animated and full of joy – right down to Rufus making the candy! :)

  7. How exciting! Wish we could read her essay!

  8. Wow that seemed like a pretty generous prize. 2 1/2 dollars is an unusual amount. We actually have a two dollar coin now, it’s called a Toonie and the one dollar coin is called a Loonie since there’s a Loon on it…..we’re weird up here HA. I miss paper bills for $1 and $2. They took up less room and your wallet wasn’t so flippin heavy.

  9. Can’t wait to learn if your Grandma won!

  10. I want one of those! :)

  11. […] wrote in a previous diary entry that her teacher was going to give a two and a half dollar gold piece to whoever wrote the best […]

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