Carrie has a Beau

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

Tuesday, July 21, 1914:  Went to a party about three miles from here. Went with Carrie and her beau. There were lots there I didn’t know. Didn’t stay so very late.

House Carrie (Stout) and John Pressler lived in after their marriage.
House Carrie (Stout) and John Pressler lived in after their marriage.

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


It’s too bad that you didn’t know very many people . . . were you happy for Carrie that she had a beau? . . . or a little jealous?


Carrie Stout is the friend of Grandma’s who’s mentioned the most frequently  in the diary—so I assume that she was Grandma’s best friend. She lived on a nearby farm.

Since Carrie’s not a relative I’ve never put much effort into tracing her story, but here’s the little I know.

Carrie was a little younger than Grandma. She married a farmer named John Pressler who was about 10 years older than she was. (I wonder if the beau in this diary entry was John.) Carrie and John lived for many years on a rural Milton farm. The farm was on Muddy Run Road, and was 3 miles or so from the farm where Carrie grew up.

I’ve never come across a photo of Carrie, so I don’t know what she looked like.

Somehow my description of Carrie feels inadequate—I guess that her life is a puzzle that still has lots of missing pieces.

20 thoughts on “Carrie has a Beau

  1. I think John Pressler probably was her beau because she married him on December 16, 1914 if this ancestry record I found is them.
    Carrie May Stout
    Event Type: Marriage
    Marriage Date: 16 Dec 1914
    Marriage Place: Gettysburg, Adams, Pennsylvania, USA
    Spouse Name: John Henry Pressler
    Denomination: Lutheran
    Organization Name: Gettysburg Theological Seminary

    1. Thanks for finding this. It’s really interesting how soon Carrie and John get married after this diary entry. . . and I wonder why the marriage apparently occurred at the Theological Seminary in Gettysburg which must be located at least 100 miles south of McEwensville. As far as I know John Pressler was a farmer–I now wonder if he also was a minister (though perhaps a non-practicing one).

  2. Isn’t it interesting to actually see the term ‘beau’ used in the diary ~ as everyday language. It’s one that seems to have gone way out of fashion now ~ pity!

  3. How I wish she had said more about the party. I know my parents used to gather in homes where my mother would play the piano and everyone would sing — hymns, mostly. I wonder if that’s what grandma did at her party.

  4. By the 1920 Census, the Presslers had a 4 year old daughter and John’s sister lived with them. By the 1920 Census, they had 3 daughters
    John H Pressler 40
    Carrie M Pressler 32
    Dorothy G Pressler 14
    F Arberta Pressler 10 In a later census this is Florence R Pressler
    Anna M Pressler 5
    by 1940 Census, all the daughters are still in the household, the sister is living there at age 63. The wife is listed as Cora so it is either a mistake or a new wife. I believe a mistake because on the actual census it looks more like Cara which probably means Carrie. There is also a laborer living in their houshold.

    1. Thanks again for finding this additional information.Something doesn’t seem quite right with this Census entry. Based on what I’ve heard I think that John was quite a bit older than Carrie so that seems right–but I’m surprised by how old Carrie was in 1920. I had thought that she was a little younger than Grandma–and that she would have been in her mid-twenties in 1920.

      I’m also a little confused about the daughters. Anna must be a daughter., but the others seem too old based on when Carrie and John got married.

      1. It looks like I have a typo in one of the years in my comment. In 1920, their only daughter Dorothy was 4 as I stated in the first sentence, but the post of the entire household should have said 1930.

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