Sweet Sixteen

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

 Tuesday, March 21, 1911:  It hardly seems possible, that I am really sixteen years old. Perhaps it was because I didn’t get my ears pulled. Mother gave me a dollar this morning as a birthday present. Dear mother, many thanks to you. A beautiful sun shone on my birthday as if to brighten my future pathway through life.

I hereby truthfully resolve to be a better and more useful girl in the future than I have been in the past, and may this birthday resolution never be broken, I sign myself, Helena Muffly, Mar. 21, 1911

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

 Grandma always considered March 21 to be a very special day. It was special for three reasons. In addition to being her birthday, it was the traditional first day of spring as well as her wedding anniversary. Her husband Raymond Swartz wrote in a short family history many years later:

On March 21, 1921, Helen Muffly and I were married at her home in Watsontown. We started farming on the home farm where we farmed for thirty years.

Recent photo of the house in Watsontown that the Muffly family lived in when Helen and Raymond married.

They got married at her family’s home on Pennsylvania Avenue in Watsontown. The Muffly family moved to Watsontown because her father had ‘retired’ from farming in the intervening years between the diary entry and the wedding.

Grandma apparently was going by the name Helen (instead of Helena) by the time she married. When my grandparents married, she was 26 and he was 22.

3 thoughts on “Sweet Sixteen

  1. I’ve been reading some of your older posts here as you discuss a lot of the same topics I do on my blog and its interesting to see what other folks have written about them.

    On this one, what I first noted is that your grandparents marriage ages were fairly typical for the time, higher than people generally suppose. Economics and how people lived at the time had a lot to do with that. Then I noticed she was four years older than he was. That’s a bit unusual for that era, although it was the case for my parents as well, although they were married in 1958.

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