Went Visiting: Only One Uncle at Home

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

Sunday, January 21, 1912: Pa and I went over to Ottawa today. I suppose if I had expected yesterday to do today I would have been disappointed. It’s my luck. But the unlucky thing about it was that Uncle George was the only one at home. I made the coffee. I would have liked to have known what it tasted like, but you see I don’t drink any.

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

Ottawa is a tiny village in Limestone Township, Montour County—and is located about 12 miles east of the Muffly farm.

George Muffly was a brother of Grandma’s father (Albert Muffly). He lived with is brother Samuel and his widowed sister Mary and her two two children (20 year-old Kathryn and 15 year-old John). Grandma probably hoped that her cousin Kathryn would be there.

Grandma’s father was one of eleven children of Samuel K. and Charlotte Muffly. He was born in 1857 and was the fourth oldest child in the family. George was the youngest. He was born in 1874 and would have been 35 years old when this diary entry was written.

According to the 1910 census George was single and lived with his 43-year-old single brother Samuel and his widowed sister Mary Feinour and her two children. Mary was two year older than Grandma’s father.

An aside–According the 1920 census, Samuel was still single, but lived alone. George apparently had married. Mary died in 1912. She is buried in the Watsontown Cemetery next to her parents. Somehow I sense that Mary had a difficult life. I wish I knew more about her—though she was a very distant relative and is really tangential to the family members that my research focuses on.

Mary's tombstone is on the left. Her mother's is in the middle and her father's is on the right.

For more about the genealogy of the Muffly family, click here.

4 thoughts on “Went Visiting: Only One Uncle at Home

  1. Twelve miles was probably more of a trip a hundred years ago than it is today. How disappointing to travel all that way and to find “only” one person home! I wonder if they had telephones yet – I guess if they did they might have called first to see if it was a good time to visit. It’s amazing how much the telephone has changed the way we socialize!

    1. Telephone’s were just starting to come into rural areas a hundred years ago. Grandma’s diary entry on May 8, 1911 (and the post on the same date in 2011) mentioned that her friend Carrie’s family had gotten a telephone and that they wanted Grandma to try it. Carrie lived on the main road between Watsontown and McEwensville, and I think that the telephone lines were strung there several years prior to being strung along the more minor roads.

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