Fordney Family Diaries, 1904-1927

Object ID:  MG0539

2 boxes     8 folders     .75  cubic ft.

Repository:  LancasterHistory (Organization)

Shelving Location:  Archives South, Side 11

Description:  This collection contains the diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney and her daughter, Alice Potter Fordney. Ida and Alice’s diary entries are similar in content. They always begin with a description of the weather and may include social and church events; clothing and market purchases; household activities and problems; and visits with family and friends. Ida often records her feelings and reactions about family members and events.

Creators:  Fordney, Ida Mary Cox; Fordney, Alice Potter.

Conditions for Access:  No restrictions.

System of Arrangement:  Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney; Diaries of Alice Potter Fordney

Conditions Governing Reproductions:  Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language:  English

Source of Acquisition:  Gift of Sarah McIlvaine Muench.

Related Materials:  Sarah McIlvaine Muench Family Papers, MS 44 at Archives and Special Collections, Shadek‐Fackenthal Library, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.

Administrative/Biographical History: Family members who are prominent in Ida’s diaries

Ida’s mother:  Sarah Michael Cox (Mama), 1824-1915, wife of Friend C. Cox, deceased

Ida’s husband:  Thomas Potter Fordney (Tom), 1840-1933

Ida’s brother-in law:  William Jenkins Fordney (Uncle Will), 1846-1926

Ida’s children and grandchildren:

Ellen Julia Fordney (Nellie), 1875-1963, married William Buell Franklin (Billy). Children: Sarah Steinman Franklin, 1897-?, Sidney Josephine Franklin, 1899-?, William Buell Franklin, Jr. ?-?. Residence: Ardmore, PA.

Thomas Potter Fordney, Jr. (Tom), 1879-1906, never married. Residence: Lancaster, PA.

Mary Reynolds Fordney (Mary), 1881-?, married Clarence Malone (Clarence). Divorced.  Children: Mary (Young Mary) 1905-?, Clarence (Clarence, Jr.) 1908-? Residence: Shamokin, PA and then New York, New York.

Sara Cox Fordney (Sara), 1884-1920, married George Duffield McIlvaine, 1867-1918. Children: Sarah Ellmaker McIlvaine (Little Sarah or Sarah McIlvaine), 1909-?, Alice Fordney McIlvaine (Young Alice or Alice McIlvaine), 1910-?, John Benjamin McIlvaine  (Benny), 1916-? (The above children became the responsibility of their mother’s sister, Nellie, when their mother died.) Residence: Lancaster, PA.

Alice Potter Fordney (Alice), 1887-1973, never married. Residence: Lancaster, PA.

William Bush Fordney (Bush), 1890-1948, never married. Residence: Lancaster, PA.


Wanamaker Diary Description

The diaries used by Ida and her daughter, Alice, were sold by the Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia. Prior to and after the diary entries, there are many advertisements for Philadelphia businesses and information relating to the city.  There are also numerous other facts considered of interest to the reader.  A few topics taken from several of the diaries are as follows: Trolley Rides from Philadelphia, floor plans of Philadelphia theatres, Foreign Consuls in Philadelphia, Colors for Complexion, Postage within the United States, recipes, and The Definition of an Anthem.  Throughout the diary entries there are advertisements for Wannamaker merchandise.

Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney, 1904-1927, inc.

Each diary entry begins with a description of the weather and often includes Ida’s reaction to it. Other entries include social events; performances, including movies; clothing and market purchases with description and price included; household activities and problems; church events; golf matches; dancing school; transportation; and local and out-of-town visits with family and friends.  Personal reactions to family events are included throughout the diary and indicate Ida’s feelings toward various family members.

Below the date of each diary is a brief description of the most significant events which are included in the diary.

Following the list of selected diary entries is a list of surnames found in each diary.  The number after the name reflects how many additional times the name was mentioned.  There has been no effort to guess surnames when only the given name is mentioned.

Box 1

Folder 1  Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney, 1904-1905


The Yeates School and students from the Yeates School are mentioned frequently.

January 28  Ida went to Shamokin to visit Mary and stayed until February 11

February 9  Ice gorge at Safe Harbor was terrible; it moved today and swept nearly the whole village away

May 3  Opening day for the Roof Garden

May 5  Sara went to Philadelphia on her way to Nellie’s (in Ardmore), she stayed until the 20th

June 21  It is Alice’s 17th birthday

June 25  Mary went to Shamokin

August 4  Mama is in Smyrna , Delaware, has been away for 5 weeks

August 8  Nellie is here with Mama and the children

August 15  Nellie returns to Ardmore…Bush goes with her, his first ride on the cars(he stayed until the 29th

September 28  Bush commenced school, he is in the second form

October 14  Mama’s birthday…she is 80 years old

October 22  Bush and I went to the big Republican Parade

November   6 Tom Jr. is 27 years old today

November 17  Ida is 50 years old today

December 1  Ida was in to Grandma’s today( also on the 3rd and the 6th)

December 10  Mama is home from Shamokin

December 29 Nellie came (from Ardmore)

There is a list of Christmas presents in the back of the diary

Surnames mentioned in the 1904 diary:

Baer; Bare; Bausman; Beck  2; Blackwood  2; Brinton; Burkenbird; Bush; Clay  2; Coates; Colder  2; Coots; Coyle  5; Diller; Dogherty; Donaldson; Eckman  2; Emenbrent; Eshleman  7; Evans  30; Fager; Franklin  10; Frazer; Furlow; Galt  2; Gardiner  2; Gerhart  4; German; Gilt; Groff  2; Grubb; Haldeman; Hanghman  3; Hauser; Heintish; Herr  1; Higbe; Holcomb  7; Hoover; Hopkins  2; Jacobs; Kamun; Kempf; Kepler; Kolbach; Lane; LeFevre; Locher  2; Lockhead  3; Long; Malone  7; Mame  2; Martin; McDevitt; McGovern  11; McGrann  7; Merrick  6; Michael; Montgomery; Mullen; Musselman; Musser  2; Nevin; Newbold  6; Newhauser  1; Nulty; Pearsal  2; Potter; Radley  2; Ream  1; Reinochl  9; Rose  5; Scott 3; Shaeffer 1; Shively 3; Shroder 1; Smith 2; Stahr 1; Stauffer 1; Steinman 3; Steinmez; Taylor; Thomson; Trural; Vermond; “Wang”; Waterman 1; Welchane; Wickersham 1; Wiley; Windt; Yundt; Zahm

Box 1, Folder 1


Yeates School and students are mentioned often.  Ida is very worried about Tom, Jr.

January 21  Locher’s Bank is closed – failed

January 24  Mary’s daughter was born at midnight last night

January 30  They have not opened the lane yet – I miss not having the mail come – we get it at the toll gate – Bush and Tom went to town in the sleigh

February 1  Tom [Jr.] went to Reading with Valentines – the man bought the whole lot – gave him twelve dollars

February 13  Tom [Jr.] sold a lot of Valentines at Reams, Eicholtzs, Fondersmiths and Barrs

February 17  The Grand Duke -Sarajevo – was assassinated today

February 23   Will Fordney was out today

March 7  Tom, Jr.  went to Atlantic City by way of Reading – he was sick for a long time

March 22  Yeates is closed – scarlet fever has broken out

April 3  Mama came out for the first time since last fall

April 6  Alice left for Ardmore today

April 22  Mary and the baby came – we were  delighted (stayed until the 28th)

May 4  Sara’s 21st birthday

May 16  Circus Day

May  23 Sold some old feather beds

June 9  Ida went to Ardmore (stayed until the 9th)

June 12  Alice went to Shamokin

June 21  Alice is 21 years old today

June 29  Those 2 poor murderers (O’Brien and Furman) are going to be hanged today

July 1  Will Fordney came out – he sleeps in his room in the tenant house

July 5  Nellie and Buell arrived from Point Pleasant (Sarah and Sidney had come on June 30th) Billie is staying in town

July 12  Billy went home – Nellie and “Papa” had a terrible rumpus at the table

July 19 Nellie and the children went home

July 28  Mary and the baby went to Ardmore

August 3  Ida went to Atlantic City (stayed until the 8th)

August 5  “Tom (Jr.) wanted to be good to me….but he was drinking”

August 9  Clarence Malone came

August 17  Mary’s birthday – 24 years old

August 19  The threshers were here – Ida had to give them dinner

August 23  “Tom(Jr.) is home from Atlantic City in a sad condition”

September 6  Mary and the baby left for Shamokin

September 27  Bush commenced school – we boiled apple butter

October 13  Tom (Jr.) has a fine job lettering billboards for Peoples’ Theatre

October 18  Tom (Jr.) went to Shamokin this morning (he returned on the 20th)

October 26  Tom (Jr.) went back to Shamokin

November 6  Tom (Jr.) is 28 years old today

November 15  Sara came back from Ardmore today

November 17  “My birthday -51- getting old”  she lists presents

November 25  “Tom (Jr.) did not turn up yet – went away last Wednesday – I am nearly crazy”

November 27 “Had a letter from Tom (Jr.) from Philadelphia – that ends his theatre job – oh what a disgrace he is to me”

December 20  “Thank goodness Tom (Jr.) came home this evening – he looks badly”

December 23  “Mr. Mozart took Tom (Jr.) back again – if only he does right”

There are no diaries for 1906 and 1907. Dairies for 1908, 1909 and 1910 are in the Sarah McIlvaine Muench Family Papers at Franklin and Marshall College Archives.

Surnames mentioned in the 1905 diary:

Appel; Bare; Bates 4; Brinton 2; Brown; Calder 2; Clark; Cochrane 7; Cole; Coyle 1; Cummings; DeMuth; Denny; Devlin; Diller 1; Dodge; Dull; Eckhart; Eshleman 8; Evans 41; Fitzsimmons 1; Franklin 13; Galt 2; Gardiner 1; Gerhart 8; Gilgor; Halcomb 2; Hale; Hambright; Harris; Haughman 2; Haverstick; Heinitsh 1; Herman; Herr; Hildabrand; Holahan; Hoover; Hopkins; Hostetter; Hubley 1; Kamm; Keiffer; Keller 3; Kempf 3; Kinard; Kincaid; Krumbine; Landis; Lippencott; Lockhead 3; Lorcher; Lowell 2; Malone  19; Martin; Maurer 1; McCormick; McGovern 10; McGrann 9; Michael; Montgomery 3; Mullin 1; Musser 10; Newbold; Norton; Oblinger; Patterson; Pell 1; Potter 1; Radley 2; Ream  3; Reinoehl 7; Rengier 1; Reynolds; Rice 5; Scott; Shaeffer; Shenk; Shroeder 2; Shubert; Snyder; Souders 1; South; Stahr; Steigerwalt; Talbot; Taylor; Thompson; Trafford; Vanderwith; Vermond; Weber; Weidler; Wiley 2; Yundt


Box 1, Folder 2  Diaries of Ida Mary Cox  Fordney 1911-1912


Alice’s dancing class is mentioned often in this diary. Bush spends time stripping tobacco.  Many of the entries relate to Sara’s illness and family and friends response to it.  Problems with domestic help are part of the situation.

January 23  Will Fordney  is giving a lecture at the YWCA

January 31  Nellie is going to Pinehurst for two weeks

February 6  Will Fordney has taken a room in town

February 23  Sara is very ill – her side is paralyzed – the baby must be weaned – trained nurses are there

March 19  Alice shows Sara the waists she made for Frances Montgomery ( several entries mention Alice sewing)

April 15  Nellie and the children are spending Easter at the Franklins

April  17  Mary and the children came (they stayed until May 1 )

May 4  Sara’s 27th birthday

May 15  Mrs. Hager brought Sara out to visit in her automobile  (she does this often as Sara improves)

June 19  Mary and the children came (they stayed until July 1 )

June 20  Nellie came (and stayed two days)

July 31  Alice went to Shamokin (she stayed until August 22nd)

August 2  Sara started treatment at the hospital

August 17  Mary’s birthday – 30 years old

August 28  Nellie and the children came from Bays Head (they stayed until September 8th)

September 21  Mary and the children came – they went to visit Nellie in Ardmore on the 27th

October 9  Mary and Alice went to a party at Charlie Demuth’s studio

October 13  the opening of the 5¢ Store

October 14  Mama’s  87th birthday – Mary and Little Mary went home

October 21  Alice and Celeste opened their dancing school

November 7  Clarence Malone was defeated for coroner

November 14  News from Nellie – Billy was promoted and the family will go to Chicago

November 30  Billy went to Chicago

December 3  Nellie and the children went home

December 9 Will Fordney here – Celeste paid Alice

Surnames mentioned in the 1911 diary:

Altes; Baker; Bare; Barr 2; Bidlack 4; Birney 5; Bohr; Boler; Boozer; Breneman Bitner 1; Brimmer; Brinton 1; Brown; Budding 6; Burrows; Calder 1; Cochran 7; Demuth; Diller; Dodge; Dunlap; Eberman; Eby; Eshleman 2; Evans 54; Fohl; Foultz; Franklin 20; Fritchie; German; Groff; Hager 18; Herr; Hess; Hopkins; Howell 1; Hubbard; Hubly; Jenkins; Kahler 2; Keller 2; Kepler; Kinard 1; Land; LeFevre 1; Locher 9; Long; Lowell; Malone 4; Matson; McConnell; McGovern 2; McVey; Miller 2; Montgomery 22; Morris; Musser 1; Nauman; O’Reilly; Perry; Raub; Raum 1; Ream 2; Reingier; Reinochl; Reynolds 4; Roland 4; Rose; Saul; Scarboro; Schroeder 2; Shirk; Shively 3; Skiles 4; Slaymaker; Smart 6; Smith 1; Sprecher 1; Stauffer; Stein; Steinman 1; Styer; Talbot; Taylor; Thiel; Thompson 3; Trout; Truit; Twombly 3; Ulman; Vermand; Wahl 1; Werne 1; Wickersham 1; Williamson 1; Wolf; Young 3; Youngman 5


Box 1, Folder 2


Ida is having problems with her hearing.  Alice is involved with her dancing school.  Bush starts a business venture which doesn’t seem to be going well.  Will Fordney is mentioned several times in relation to his moving from place to place.

January 30  Opening of the Colonial Theatre

March 26  Alice went to one of Charlie Demuth’s parties

April 10   First time Mama went to Sara’s since last fall

April 15  Sinking of the Titanic

April 30  Nellie moved to Chicago

June 2  The circus came to town

June 21  Nellie went to Cape May for the summer

September 22  Ida comments on not attending church because of hearing problems

September 23  Bush’s birthday

September 30  Charlie Demuth is leaving for Europe for a year

October 14  Grandma’s 88th birthday

October 19  Alice and Celeste Stauffer gave their first dancing class -” Mrs. Will Apple is giving lessons in opposition”

November 6  Woodrow Wilson is elected president

November 17  Ida is 58 years old – her birthday gifts are listed

November 22  Ida is surprised that Alice is dining at the Club with a group that includes Jews

November 26  Bush took his first business trip to Reading to sell sausage (later he goes to Harrisburg and Washington)

December 4  Bush to town to sell lard – but didn’t succeed very well – “he doesn’t like the business and I don’t blame him”

A list of Christmas gifts is included on page 434.

Surnames mentioned in the 1912 diary:

Appell 2; Attlee; Baker 2; Barlow 1; Barr 1; Bidlack 1; Birney 12; Boyd; Brazier; Brimmer; Brinton; Brown; Budding 4; Bunting; Burne; Burrows; Bursk; Cameron; Campbell 1; Carpenter; Cochrane 5; Cooper; Coyle; Cristy 1; Demuth 6; Detwiler 2; Diller 1; Dodge 3; Eshleman 1; Evans 60; Foltz; Franklin 24; Frantz; Gerhart; Good; Gordon; Greiner; Hager 4; Harris; Hassler; Haverstick; Heitshu; Herr; Hertzler; Hess; Hitchborn 2; Hopkins; Houseman; Hover; Howell 5; Hurford; Jenkins; Kelly; Lant 3; Lee; Lemoyne; Levin; Locher 13; Long 1; Malone 7; McCormick; McGovern; McGrann 21; McIlvaine 1; McVey 3; Montgomery 11; Musser 2; O’Reilly; Oblinger; Peacock; Pearsoll; Ream 5; Reinochl; Rengier; Reynolds 4; Roberts; Robertson; Rogers; Rohrer 2; Roland; Rose 15; Schroeder  13; Shively  2; Sides 1; Smart; Stackhouse; Stauffer; Steinman; Story; Thompson 15; Twombly 2; Ulman; Waterman; Watson; Werner; Wickersham; Williamson; Witmer; Zook

Box 1, Folder 3   Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney 1913-1914


There is a lot of illness in the family this year.  Walking and the use of trolley cars are and have been the most frequent types of transportation, travel by automobile and train are noted specifically and a taxi is mentioned for the first time.  Mr. Fisher’s name is also mentioned for the first time.

February 6  Ida writes “Bush is so miserable he almost sets me crazy- sits around and won’t go to the doctor – I will never forget this winter – he worries me so –  I think he has consumption – God forbid”

February 8  Tom and Ida go to town to sign a deed for some land they are selling

February 20  Ida went to Shamokin by train and stayed until the 27th

March 18  The King of Greece was killed

March 22  Sarah McIlvaine’s 4th birthday

May 3 Snyder’s house is on fire

May 4  Sara’s 29th birthday

May 6  Bush is farming 8 acres for Sam Brubaker

May 16  Buffalo Bill show is in town – a tornado tore down the tent

May 20  Circus is in town

June 5  The new Masonic Home is dedicated

June 10  Sara’s 5th wedding anniversary

June 16  Sara is tired and depressed – not well

June 17  Ethel Kauffman is going to Japan for 3 years

July 16  Mary and the children came by train (they stayed until August 9 )

August 16 Mary’s 32nd birthday

September 16  Grand opening of the stores – it was a gala night

September 18  Ida was disappointed not to see Grandma  Cox at Sara’s

September 20  Ida went to Shamokin to visit Mary (she stayed until the 27th)

September 30  Opening day of the Fair

October 8  Nellie came for the day

October 14  Mama’s birthday 89 years old

October 20  The ice man stopped coming

October 24  Taxi mentioned for the first time

October 25  Bush went to get ice – water is too warm to drink

November 12  Town was crowded – Teachers” Institute

November 16  Mr. Bidlack was “up in arms” about Mr. Twombly’s sermon “Sweat Shops in Lancaster”

November 17  Ida’s 59th birthday – her presents are listed

November 21  Invitation to the Steinman Reception was recalled because Mary Malone was dying

December 20  Opening of the new Country Club

December 14  Billy Franklin (Nellie’s husband ) was in town and told Alice he had resigned his job

December 24  Will Fordney came from New York after 11 weeks- he is staying at the hotel

Surnames mentioned in the 1913 dairy:

Appell 5; Bare; Bidlack 2; Birney 3; Boyd 5; Brennan; Brimmer 3; Brinton; Brown 1; Brubaker; Budding; Calder 2; Carpenter; Carruthers; Cochran 5; Costello 1; Coyle; Crawford; Cristy; Cummings; Derr1; Detweiler; Diller; Dodge; Eshleman; Evans 49; Fisher 7; Franklin 19; Fritchey; Gantz; Groff; Hager; Hartman; Haverstick; Heimenz; Herr 2; Hertzler; Hill 1; Hitchborn 2; Howell 2; Hubly; Keiper; Kendig 4; Land; Landis; Lane; LeFevre 1; Locher 6; Malone 2; Maxwell  2; McCormick; McGovern; McGrann 25; McNaught; McVey; Montgomery 11; Mullen; Musselman; Musser 1; Nauman; Norton; Potter; Raub; Raun; Ream 3; Reinochl 1; Rengier 1; Reynolds 3; Rohrer 2; Roland; Rose 2; Schneider; Sener; Shively 5; Shroeder 8; Shulter; Smith 3; Snyder 1; Sprecher; Steinman 4; Thomson 2; Topper; Twombly; Ullman; von Oseko; Watt; Werner 1; Zimmerman

Box 1, Folder 3


Will Fordney is mentioned many times as he moves from place to place.  Bush begins ailing in March and stays home until October.  Alice and Mr. Fisher go to many social events together.  Then in September Wallace Fisher leaves town and Ida hopes he never comes back.

January 5  Ida starts her diary

January 16  Will Fordney is anxious to move out

January 19  Will Fordney comes back to the tenant house

January 23  Will Fordney has taken a house in Lititz – the tenant house is too cold

February 5  Alice has a dancing class – she makes $5.00 a night

February 20  Alice taught Miss Musselman’s dancing class in the evening

February 24 Alice went to give a private dancing lesson

March 12  Alice and Clarence Malone left for Shamokin on the train

March 22  Sarah McIlvaine is 5 years old

March 26  Bush is spreading manure on the old golf links – Ida will miss watching them playing golf

March 30  Summer school commenced

April 2  Alice is home from Shamokin

April 7  Will Fordney came for the summer – he was in New York for a week

April 11  Mary and the children came – they stayed until June 4th

May 26  Bush’s tobacco was delivered – he only got $24.00 for it

May 28  Ida went to Nellie’s (she stayed until June 4th)

June 1  Ida was in Philadelphia for the day

June 23  Sidney and Buell go to camp for the summer

July 2  Alice went to Shamokin (she returned on the 9th)

July 4  Nellie is in town for a week

July 16  Nellie and Sarah Franklin are at Cape May

August 8  Mary and the children came

August 19  Nothing in the papers these days but the war in Europe

August 22  Clarence is 6 years old today

August 23  Dr. Herr says Bush has auto intoxication

August  31  County schools opened

September 2  Mary went home

September 6  Nellie came

September 8  Nellie brought Sara, Little Sara and Mamma to visit in a taxi cab

September 11  Will Fordney is going to New York – too lonely in the tenant house

September 23  Bush’s 24th birthday

September 24  Wallace Fisher left town – Ida hopes he never comes back

September 27  A lot of people are looking at the Farmlyn lots

September 29  Sarah and Sidney start boarding school at St. Mary’s on the Hudson

September 30  Little Alice (daughter of Sara and George McIlvaine) is 4 years old

October 1  Bush went to the fair – first time out since he got sick

October 14  Mamma’s 90th birthday

October 20  Bush went to the club the first time since he was sick

October 30  Alice had a dancing class at Miss Musselman’s – only 5 were there

November 8  Sara and Little Sara came out to congratulate Papa Fordney on his 74th birthday

November 17  Ida’s 60th birthday – she lists presents

November 26  Will Fordney came to visit from New York

November 29  Will Fordney here all day – he has a room at the Stockyards

December 1  Opening of the Brunswick Hotel

December 5   Will Fordney went to his room at Haughton’s on Vine Street  and Alice went to Ardmore for 3 days

December 13  Will Fordney says he is going to Florida after Christmas

Ida lists her Christmas presents.

There is no diary written in 1915. However, opposite the entries for December 27-29 in this diary, Ida writes:

March 10, 1915  Mamma fell and broke her hip – went to the hospital, was dazed and distressed – Dr. Atlee had a cast put on it and said he had little hope for her recovery

March 11  Mamma weak – Mr. Twombly came to the hospital to pray for her and she responded

March 18  Mamma died today at the General Hospital – she was born on October 14, 1824

Surnames mentioned in the 1914 diary:

Baker 1; Beall; Bidlack; Brimmer 2; Brinton; Brown; Brubaker 2; Calder 1; Cochran; Cooper; Coyle; Detwiler; Diller 1; Eshleman 1; Evans 33; Farmer 3; Fisher 37; Foltz 1; Franklin 11; Fritchie 3; Gardner; Geise 1; Gerner; Gillispie; Groff; Grubb 4; Hager; Harns 2; Heimentz 3; Hess; Hill; Hoover; Houchin; Howell 1; Hurford; Kauffman 1; Keiffer; Keller; LeFevre 3; Lewis 1; Locher 1; Loring; Malone 3; McCauley; McDevitt Muth; McGrann 5; McNaught; Montgomery 23; Musselman 1; Nauman; North 2; Norton 4; Raum; Ream 2; Reilly 2; Reinochl; Reist; Rengier 1; Reynolds 4; Rhodes; Rider; Roland; Rose; Schneider 3; Schroeder 1; Sener 2; Slaymaker; Smith 1; Steinman; Steinmetz 1; Stine; Talbot; Thomson 4; Twombly 4; Waterman


Box 1, Folder 4   Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney  1916, 1921


A successful business venture is begun by Nellie which involves Ida and Alice knitting sweaters. Ida includes a list of sweaters knit by her in pages which precede  the diary entries

January   7  Mary and the children came today (they stayed until the 12th)

January 15  Bush never goes away or takes any exercise

January 18  Will Fordney got back from New York

February 15  George McIlvaine was very sick again last night

February 29  Ida has been knitting sweaters using yarn sent by Nellie and returning them to Nellie She writes “too many orders now. I’m afraid I can’t do them fast enough”

March 24  Alice helped Celeste tonight – Buell was here – he is a beautiful dancer

April 13  Will Fordney is going to New York

April 29  Sara’s baby born was born this evening

May 5  Sara’s baby is to be called John Benjamin

May 15  Nellie writes that she has 30 people knitting for her now and 90 orders – everyone thinks she is wonderful

May 21  Billy Franklin (Nellie’s husband) came – Nellie’s business is flourishing – 40 people knitting for her and she is making $1,000.00 a month

June 15  Nellie and the children are at York Harbor, Maine for the summer

June 22  Mary and the children came today

August 15  Town is quarantined on account of infantile paralysis

August 17  Will Fordney here – tired of Rossmere

August 26  Mr. Gors our baker for 40 years is going out of business

September 5  Schools cannot open until the 29th because of infantile paralysis

September 16  Went to the new Hamilton Theater which opened this week – it was lovely

October 15  Nellie surprised us with a visit

October 26  Nellie has opened a sweater shop in Philadelphia -121 S. 17th street

November 3  Mary and Little Clarence came today

November 7  Election day – “I never saw anything like the crowd” writes Ida

November 14   Will Fordney came from New York

November 27  Ida went to Shamokin (she stayed until December 4th)

December 11  Mary came today

December 31  Ida writes that she will not keep a diary any more

Ida lists Christmas presents on page 381.

Surnames mentioned in the 1916 diary:

Appel; Attlee; Barr; Bidlack; Birney 1; Blackwood; Brimmer; Brown; Brubaker1; Bullocks; Burrows; Calder 1; Church; Dunn; Ebusman; Ermantrout; Espanshade; Evans 37; Fisher 1; Foltz 1; Franklin 4; Gall 1; Geahart 2; Gerner; Gilgore; Grissell; Grosh; Hager; Harns; Hartman 1; Hatch 2; Hatfield; Heimentz 1; Hertzler; Hess; Hill 3; Hostetter; Howell; Kauffman 2; Keller; Kepler; Kulp; Lane 1; LeFevre; Liphart 1; Lorcher 3; Malone 4; Maxwell; McCrea; McGrann; McHaffy 2; McNaught; Miller; Montgomery  1; Murphy; Nauman; Norton 1; Raub; Ream 7; Reilly; Reinochl; Rengier; Reynolds 7; Sauder; Schneider 2; Sener 2; Shissler; Slaymaker; Small; Sproul; Stauffer  2; Steinman; Steinmetz 1; Stine; Thomson 25; Twombly 3; Waterman; Weaver; Webb; West; Williamson; Yeats; Zimmerman



Box 1, Folder 4


This is the first diary written since 1916. Alice is selling sweaters in Lancaster and Ida is still knitting for Nellie.  Will Fordney is moving from place to place.  Sara Fordney McIlvaine died the previous year.

January 1  Alice left on the train for Ardmore (she returned on the 4th)

January 4  Sarah is engaged to Dudley Riggs

January 13  Alice has her (sweater) sale at the Brunswick – she sold over &600.00 worth

January 18  Alice had a dancing class at Miss Mussleman’s

January 25  For the first time in ages I have no knitting from the sweater shop

January 26  I went to the movies this afternoon – the first time in Lancaster since Sara died

February 3  One year today since Sara died

February 4  Surprised when Mary walked in (she stayed until the 5th)

March 22 Nellie wrote telling of Sarah’s many presents

April 23  Alice and Ida went to Sarah’s wedding by train

May 8  Nellie, Buell, and Benny came

May 12  Ida was married 46 year ago today

May 20 Ida writes about the luxury of having a complete bathroom

May 30  Will Fordney is over at the tenant house

May 31 Ida cleans her room and will sleep over there for the first time this summer

June 15  Ida had a bad fall and hurt her hand

June 20  Nellie came and stayed over night

June 21  Will Fordney can’t stay in the tenant house because it is full of rats – he will go into town

July 3  Will Fordney doesn’t like it on Orange Street

July 9  Nellie goes to York Harbor, Maine

July 13  Mary and Clarence, Jr. came and stayed until August 2

July 18  Will Fordney is tired of life in town

August 2  Caruso the great tenor is dead

August 18  Alice got $75.00 on account from her legacy of $1,000.00 from Alice Potter

August 28  Will Fordney can hardly wait until he goes back to Atlantic City

September 19  Alice has so many orders for scarves and sweaters she is nearly crazy

September 23  Bush is 31 years old

October 20  Will Fordney is back from Atlantic City

November 7  There was a big Musser parade today

November 8  Tom was 81 years old today and walked to the stockyards to vote

November 11  Armistice Day – a big parade in town

November 17  Ida’s 67th birthday – she describes her presents

November 18  Will Fordney is 77 years old today

December 1  Will Fordney has moved again

December 3 Ida get a check from Billy (for her knitting)

December 18  Billy, Buell and Benny came – Nellie sent a big basket of fruit

December 22  At last Ida got a sweater to knit but she is afraid it is too hard

December 23  Alice got the balance from Alice Potter’s bequest

December 31  Ida went to Ardmore to visit Nellie

Surnames mentioned in the 1921 diary:

Atlee 1; Brown 3; Bare; Bausweat; Bowman; Barthol; Calder 8; Carter; Cochran 2; Coyle; Corsell; Drew; Duffy; Devlin 1; Evans 12; Espenshade 4; Eby 1; Eshleman 2; Ellmaker 2; Eisman; Franklin 7; Fisher; Gardiner 3; Gable; Gerhart; Gerwer 1; Hill; Hart; Harris 1; Hartman; Hertzler; Heimentz 1; Hopkins; Hoffman; Haverstick 4; Howell; Kohr 1; Kingsolver; Kepler 1; Keiffer; Locher; Long 1; Lefever 9; Landis; LeFevre 1; Mussleman; Musser 2; Malone 2; Martin Muhlenberg; McGrann 1; Miller; Maxwell 1; Maurer; Norton 3; North; Osgard; Potter 1; Plasterer 2; Ritter; Riggs; Roland; Reynolds 2; Rush; Reist; Scully; Stauffer 2; Spencer; Slaymaker 1; Shissler; Schneider 3; Stoudt; Steinment; Sprecher; Sides; Talbot; Twombly 3; Tatnall; Taylor; Wickersham; Wahl; Youngman; Sprouty 15 (This appears to be a nickname – it also appeared in several late 1916 entries.  It probably refers to Leon Sprout.)


Box 1, Folder 5  Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney 1923-1924


Ida did not write a diary in 1922. Sprouty is mentioned frequently.  Nellie travels abroad.  Mary gets a divorce.  Will Fordney continues to move about.

January 2  Nellie sails for Europe on the Berenganian (no more entries until 20th)

January 20 Alice came home from Philadelphia and brought me this diary

February 19  The Berenganian arrived in New York in bad condition from frightful storms – Ida wonders how Nellie liked that

February 20  Ida writes “I feel so depressed these days – I am so lonely and being deaf no pleasure to go anywhere – I miss Sara more and more she was my only companion”

February 21  Tom and Arthur went for coal – we got a small amount at Heidelbaugh’s – people are having a terrible time to get coal

March 23  Mary got her divorce – Nellie wants to sell her home and Ida is astonished

March 29 Mary, young Mary and Clarence Jr. came this afternoon

April 8  Nellie and Billy stopped off at Mrs. Franklin’s they had a division of Mrs. Franklin’s jewelry, silver and china

April 9  Will Fordney arrived

April 12  Will Fordney went to Atlantic City to get his things

April 23  Will Fordney complaining about his boarding house

May 3  My money came from Nellie at last – thank goodness – a check for $29.00

May 17  Will Fordney was out

June 3 Nellie arrived with Sidney, Mary and Mary Malone

June 21  Sells Circus is in town

August 1  President Harding is very ill in California

August 3 Ida was sad to learn of the death of President Harding

August 5 Calvin Coolidge is now president

August 7 Nellie is going to New York – she will start a motor trip to Canada tomorrow

August 27  Rossmere School opened today

September 4  Alice went to Ardmore for a few days – Nellie is in New York  The papers are filled with new about the terrible earthquake in Japan

September 6  Alice came home from Ardmore in Sprouty’s car

September 11  Alice got a lot of sweaters from the shop

September 17  Mary and Clarence left this morning – Mary for Notre Dame, Philadelphia and Clarence for New York on his way to Exeter Academy

October 6  Sousa’s Band was at the Gun Club today

October 13  Alice had a telephone put in today – “I wish I could hear” writes Ida

November 3  There was a big Republican Parade this evening

November 8  Tom is 83 years old today

November 17 Ida’s 69th birthday (lists presents)

December 1  Alice had her dancing class this evening – the older class was very unruly – she can’t keep order

December 25  Ida lists Christmas presents on pages 172-173

Surnames mentioned in the 1923 dairy:

Appell 1; Armstrong; Aumon; Bausman 1; Belther; Bergman; Bidlack; Bolton 1; Breneman 18; Broadhead; Brown 8; Brubaker; Byrns; Calder 13; Carter; Childs; Cochran; Cooper; Crane; Crawford; Cummings; Davidson; Dunn 1; Eberman; Eby 2; Eshleman 6; Espenshade; Evans 9; Farmer; Foltz 1; Fraim; Franklin (Riggs); Fritchy; Gable; Gantz; Gerwer; Gilgore; Groff; Grosh 1; Grubb; Hall; Heimenz 2; Hertzler; Hill; Hollinger 1; Hopkins; Howell 2; Kauffman 1; Keller 1; Kephart; Kepner 3; Kinard; Kohr; Landis; Landis 1; Lant; LeFevre; Leiphart 4; Lipp; Locher 2; Lowell; Lutz; Malone 7; Martin; Martzell; Plasterer 2; Maurer; Maxwell; McCarter; McFalls 1; McGrann 1; Metzger; Montgomery; Musser 2; Myers 1; Peifer; Reist; Reynolds 5; Riggs; Robertson; Robinson; Roland 1; Schneider 2; Scully 3; Sener; Shand; Slaymaker 1; Sprecher; Sprouty 26 ( may be Leon Sprout); Stauffer; Stauffer 1; Steinman; Stigman; Stockton 1; Straub; Tatnall; Thompson 1; Twombly 1; Von Grison; Wade 1; Whal 1; Wilson; Workman; Young; Youngman

Box 1, Folder 5


Sprouty and Will Fordney are mentioned frequently.  Bush and Tom are both ailing.  Mary is living in New York with young Mary.

January 7  Clarence left for New York – Will Fordney showed up

January 11  Alice had a sale at the Brunswick

January 13  Tom showed me an article about a property sold in Sansom Street, he is one of the heirs

January  30  Nellie went to Palm Beach and Alice had her sale in Reading

February 3  President Wilson died today

February 16  Bush went to town with Tom (who couldn’t go alone) about the sale of a lot

February 20  Alice went to New York

March 22  Sarah McIlvaine is 15 today

April 22  Nellie and Sidney came

April 22  Will Fordney is going to Atlantic City

May 9  Ida went to New York to visit Mary

May 22  Ringling Brothers Circus is in town

May 25  Ida writes” Bush depresses me so I don’t care whether I live or die”

June 12  Ida writes “Bush adds to the gloom with his awful sickness – Tom sits in a chair all day and all evening – his age and failing eyesight excuse him”

June 17  Sarah and Alice McIlvaine came (they stayed until Saturday)

June 22  Clarence (Jr.) will spend the summer here

July 10  A terrible accident this afternoon, Clarence saw an airplane fall in Espenhade’s field

July 17  Will Fordney was out – likes his room at Hotel Lancaster

July 26  An airplane fell again today

August 15  Mary and Clarence go to Shamokin to visit their father

August  21  Will Fordney was out

August  22  Bush is kept busy pulling corn – can’t supply all orders they want so much at the Brunswick

August 29  The Prince of Wales arrived in New York

September 5  Sarah, Alice and Benny came

September 10  Nellie sailed today for France on the Paris

September 14  Sidney arrived with her 2 babies

September 24  Will Fordney out – he was mad, said “I’ll see you in ten years”

October 5  Ida went to church for the first time since early spring, complains of hearing loss

October 6  Bush cutting corn – complains worse than ever “I wonder if this cloud will ever lift from his brain” writes Ida

October 7  Will Fordney is ready for Atlantic City

October 23  Nellie is going from Paris to Italy for four weeks

November 1  Big Republican Parade in town tonight

November 14  Ida went to New York

November 19  Ida went to Brentano’s bookstore to see young Mary who has a job she likes there

November 21  Bush is worse than ever, sulky and morose

December 3  Bush stayed in bed – oh how he worries  his father and me

December 25  Ida lists presents on page 159

December 29  John Gantz’s barn and tobacco shed burned down

Surnames mentioned in the 1924 diary:

Appel 3; Attlee; Baker 1; Barrymore; Baumgartner; Bausman; Blatchford; Breneman 15; Brown  3; Calder 24; Carroll; Cochran; Cummings; Darlington; Dietz; Dunn; Eberman; Eshleman; Espenshade; Evans 14; Fondersmith; Fulton; Gallivan; Gantz 1; Hanford; Gerver; Good; Goortman; Groff 2; Hartman; Haverstick; Hayes; Heimentz 1; Holdy; Holohan; Howell 1; Kauffman 2; Kepner 1; Kingsolver; Kolbach; Lefevre; Leibhart 3; Locher 5; Long; Malone 14; McFalls Musser 1; McGrann 1; McMurdy; Michel; Montgomery; Mullins 1; Myers; Nauman 1; Norton; Oliphant; Reilley (Bucher) 1; Reinochl 2; Reist 1; Reynolds 6; Rhodes; Robinson; Roland; Schroeder 1; Scully 1; Shively; Slaymaker 1; Sprecher 1; Sprouty 52 (may be Leon Sprout); Stauffer 1; Styer; Swarr 2; Talbot; Tompkins; Trisser; Twombly; Von Grison; Wade; Wahl 2; Walker; Waterman; Wickersham; Witmer 1; Yundt



Box 1, Folder 6  Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney 1925-1926


Alice has a new business relating to rugs and antiques.  Sprouty is in financial trouble.

January 5  Nellie is at Palm Beach opening a shop

January 8  Tom got his money from the Grimbers’ estate

January 9  Bush is much better – Ida hopes it lasts

January 25  Will Fordney was out – wants to move

January 31  Such a time we have of getting coal this winter

February 19  Will Fordney moves today

March 4  Ida complains of being so lonely

March 5  Nellie is coming home Saturday – her shop is a success

March 10  Alice had a scene in town with Uncle Will (Fordney)

March 16  Alice had a high school girls dancing class.  Mr. Miesse got portraits from Ida to make copies for his book on Eichholtz

March 30  Poor Tom sits around all day and evening – it must be terrible not to be able to read- it is bad enough to be deaf

April 2  Tom sold a lot of his chickens

April 9  Bush is finished stripping tobacco.  Looked for my check from Nellie but nothing

April 12  Easter – Mary telephoned from New York that she could not come-Ida lists Easter gifts

April 23  Tom sold a lot to someone

April 26  Nellie, Sidney and little Francis (Sidney’s son) came

April 28  Benny is 7 years old

May 12  Ida went to New York to visit Mary (returned on the 19th)

May 31  Alice home moping all day – Ida will be glad when she breaks up with Sprouty

June 23  Alice went to Nellie’s for 2 days

July 1  Will Fordney moved again

July 8  Ethel and Lee Kauffman arrived from Japan

July 27  Bryan the great politician was found dead in bed

July 28  Nellie came and gave Ida a check for $100.00

July 30  Clarence wrote telling about the wonderful party they gave him in Havana

August 4  Bush sold his first corn to the Brunswick today

August 10  Alice took her first driving lesson in her car

August 19 Mrs. Brinton was here about a knitted suit

August 23  Sprouty came – he has a boy from the New York slums

August 25  Alice and Katie went out to the rug place

September 3  We were shocked to hear the big Shenandoah was wrecked and 14 men were killed

September 12  Ida went to Ardmore for 2 days Nellie and Billy not there – visited Sidney and Buell – went to Philadelphia

September 18  Clarence (Jr.) went to Shamokin, then will return and go to Exeter

September 23  a postcard from Nellie in Italy

October 6  Ida went with Alice to Manheim and Mastersonville about rugs -Ida had to wait 2 hours

October 7  Ida suffers with pain in her legs

October 8  Sprouty is in trouble with the banks

October 11  Sprouty is in great trouble- has to sell his fine car

October 15 Alice went to Gap in her car for a rug

October 18  Sprouty was out – came in the street car

October 12  Alice was out in her car about rugs – the telephone rings all day about it- she had an advertisement in the paper

November 11  Sprouty is not with Graybill any more – is in business for himself

November 16  Ida went to New York

November 22  Ida visited the girls at St. John the Baptist School – then had dinner at the Alabama Club where colored girls danced with bare legs and little clothing – Ida was ashamed to look at them

December 9  Ida can’t believe Christmas is so near – she never gets to town to shop

December 10  Will Fordney came -has Elizabethtown Home in mind

November 11 Ida did a lot of Christmas shopping

December  15  Alice went to the country for rugs

December 23  Alice went to New Holland for stools

December 25  Ida lists presents on back of page 385

Surnames mentioned is the 1925 diary:

Appel 1; Atlee; Bare; Bausman; Bidlack 1; Blochford; Breneman 13; Brinton; Brown 1; Bullock 1; Calder 15; Colpett; Devlin 10; Dodge; Eby; Eichelberger; Erhart; Eshleman 5; Evans 9; Franklin 4; Gerver 2; Girvin 2; Grubb; Hall; Haverstick; Hays 6; Heimenz 2; Herbank; Herman; Herr; Hess; Hollinger; Hopkins; Hopkins; Hostetter; Howell; Kauffman 1; Keller; Kelly; Kemph 1; Kepner 1; Kremer; Lefever; Leiphart 1; Locher 10; Malone 6; Martin; McGrann 4; McMundy; Meisse; Musser; Myers; Nevin; Norton 1; Plasterer 5; Reist; Reynolds 2; Robinson 2; Ruhl; Schroder 3; Sener 1; Shively; Simpson; Singleton; Slaymaker; Sprouty 54  (may be Leon Sprout); Stauffer 5; Stein 1; Steinman 1; Steinmetz; Von Geison; Wahl; Watt; Weaver

Box 1, Folder 6


Alice continues her rug and antique business and gets orders from New York.  Ida gets a hearing device and a radio.  She begins some home renovation.  Getting coal continues to be a problem.

January 5  Alice and Mary Malone went to the country for rugs and then to the new Capital Theatre

January 11  Ida wishes they could get decent coal – no end in sight for the coal strike

January 29  Nellie went to Palm Beach

February 1  Postmaster Whitson found short in his accounts at the post office

February 3 Mary Ellen Hager died in Bermuda where she had a Tea Room

February 24 Ida took 2 checks to the bank for Alice -they were from John Howe

February 25 Got a ton of the soft coal -Ida dreads using it

March 3  Got a ton of anthracite coal for $11.25

March 4  Celeste Stauffer came with Mrs. Frank Eshleman and 2 women from Sterling, Illinois about rugs – they bought a lot

March 9  Sprouty’s birthday

March 15  Nellie talked over the phone to Alice – Is very anxious for her to get knitters in Lancaster- Alice is too busy with hooked rugs

March 18  Nellie’s chauffer wrecked Buell’s car and is in jail

March 24  Alice went to the country – she is worried about rugs – John Howe says they are not selling as well now

March 30  Ida writes “I have given up on Buell’s wedding as I am not “sufficiently urged.  I will never forget the slight”

April 10  Mary called from New York – a big order for nursery rugs from Franklin – Simon

April 30  Tom is very ill

May 6  Nellie called to ask for her father – she must postpone her visit because of business in Bar Harbor

May 7  Tom has improved

May 11  Will Fordney out, Ida writes “he bores me to death”

May 14  There was a big fire in town tonight – Watt and Shand very much damaged by smoke and water – Dixon’s barn next door burned down

May 15  the circus was in town

May 25 Alice had a busy day with Mrs. Allen from Nellie’s shop

May 26  Alice and Celeste went to a sale at Lebanon – Alice sold rugs at a good price

May 27  Mr. Jack Steinman was out this morning for quilts

May 31  The Sesquicentennial opened in Philadelphia

June 10  Ida is waiting for a check from Billy  – it worries her to have to write for it

June 12  Alice and Mrs. Steinman went to a sale for patchwork quilts

June 14  Ida went to Nellie’s at Ardmore – saw Buell and his wife

June 16  Ida and Nellie went to New York – Ida got a “Little Gem” earphone

June 28  Clarence graduated from Exeter

June  29  Buell and his wife Eleanor came and brought a radio

July 17  Alice went to Manheim – the rug business is dull-John Howe can’t sell many Ida writes “I don’t know what she’ll do if she fails”

August 9  The Brunswick sent out for 25 dozen ears of corn

August 12  Bush took 12 dozen ears of corn to the Elks

September 26  Nellie came for the girandoles which Ida decided to sell – her heart went with them – she wishes Mama knew – she got $1,000.00  – a good price

September 27  Clarence starts Princeton

September 28  I will cost $550.00 to fix up the house – Ida will use some of the girandoles money

October 21  Mrs. From Yeates came with some men and took pictures of rugs and antiques

November 7  Nellie came in honor of Tom’s birthday – Will Fordney was nasty to her

November 9  Ida is tired of painters and paperhangers – she wants to be alone

November 16  Ida went to New York (she stayed 4 days)

November 22  Ida writes “Billy Franklin hasn’t sent my November 1st check-I wrote twice”

November 24  Alice and Ida went to the movie “The Big Parade” Ida writes “it made me think of what Bush went through in the war”December 9  Poor Uncle Will (Fordney) is in a bad way they will take him to Elizabethtown

December 22  Uncle Will died

December 25  Nellie sent Ida a lovely fur coat – other presents listed page 269

December 27  Alice, Bush and Ida go to Uncle Will’s funeral – Tom is not able to go

Surnames listed in the 1926 diary:

Appel; Armstrong; Atlee; Baird; Bergman; Birney; Breneman 1; Brown 1; Brubaker; Calder 13; Carter; Clark 1; Deitz; Devlin 16; Duffy; Eiserman; Eshleman 7; Evans 13; Fagley 1; Farmer; Fraly; Frazer; Gantz; Gerver; Girvin 9; Goodman; Green; Gregg; Grey; Groff 2; Hartman; Haverstick; Heimenz 7; Hess; Hopkins; Hostetter 1; Houser; Howell; Jenkins; Keiper Kauffman 2; Keller 1; Lorcher; Lorenz 1; Malone 12; McGrann 1; McLaughlin; McMurdy; Moyer; Moyer; Patterson; Plasterer 8; Raezer;  Reist; Reynolds 5; Riddle; Riggs 1; Robertson; Robinson; Schneider 1; Seiple; Shaeffer; Shirk; Snavely; Souders; Sprouty 27 (may be Leon Sprout); Stauffer 7; Steinman 2; Steinmetz; Twombly 4; Wahl 3; Wetherwill; Wickersham; Witson; Zimmerman



Box 2

Folder 7  Diaries of Ida Mary Cox Fordney 1927


Bush is ailing most of the year.  Tom falls and breaks his hip and is hospitalized from August to December.  Alice’s rug, antiques and knitting businesses continue. This is the last known diary written by Ida.

January 1  Nellie and Elizabeth Steinman sail for Paris

January 6  Ida writes “I suffer the isolation of the deaf but if only I am spared my eyesight I am content”

January 8  Bush is ailing

January 17  A woman from New York came to see Alice about her rugs

January 17  Governor Fisher was inaugurated in Harrisburg

January 19  A man from New Jersey and a man from Hager’s came to see Alice about rugs

January 25  The McCowan Brothers failed so Sprouty is out of a job

February 13  Sprouty came for the first time in 4 weeks and Ida wishes he would stay away

February 18   Redman Cunningham told Ida her girandoles were worth more than $1,000.00

March 19   Ida knows bush is not sick but must be possessed of an evil spirit

April 9  Alice and Celeste went to a sale – Ida thinks they are “cranks” about it

April 24  Nellie gave Ida a $50.00 bill

April 28  Ida would put Bush in a sanitarium if she had the money

May 18  Ida went to New York to visit Mary

May 20  There was a big meeting of steel men in New York

May 22  Everyone is excited about Lindberg

May 24  Ida had trouble changing trains on the way home

June 8  Alice had a 2 day sale of children’s clothes in York and didn’t sell anything

June 13 Alice sold 2 knitted suits for $65.00 each

June 18  Alice and Sprouty drove to New York…there was a Flying Circus at a field on the Oregon Pike

July 9  Quite a number of people looking at knitted suits

July 26  Bush is better but he never goes away – Nellie is in Bar harbor

August 16  Tom had a fall

August 18  Tom was taken to the hospital by ambulance- found to have a broken hip – he must stay in the hospital

August 21  Nellie came and ordered private nurses for Tom

September 1 Tom likes flowers in his room – Bush visits him

September 30  Bush won’t go to see his father

October 6  A number of people came to look at Alice’s suits

October 12  Alberta Evans came with people from New York to look at suits

November 5  Bush shot his first rabbit today

November 6  Tom (Jr.) would be 50 years old today

November 8  Tom was 87 years old

November 20 Nellie, Sidney and her little boy came – Nellie has a new Packard “the loveliest one” Ida has ever seen

November 21  Ida worries about taking care of Tom when he comes home

December 5  Doctor Farmer wanted to send Tom home – he was furious – wanted to stay in the hospital

December 8  Tom came home with a nurse – he is helpless

December 9   A nurse will come 3 times a week to give Tom general care

December 14  Nellie sent Ida a check for $100.00

December 23  Ida hurt her knee while town shopping

Ida lists Christmas presents on page 361.

Surnames mentioned in the 1927 diary:

Appel 2; Armstrong; Atlee; Baker 4; Bare; Bauman 1; Blickenderfer; Brinton 1; Brown 1; Brubaker 3; Calder 10; Cavanaugh 8; Champney; Child 2; Clark; Cleaver; Darlington; Davidson; Decker; Devlin 2; Dodge 2; Duffy; Eshleman 3; Espenshade; Evans 19; Farmer 3; Franklin 2; Freeman 2; Gerver 2; Girvin; Goddell; Grammar; Green; Gunzenhauser 1; Hager; Harding; Hartman 1; Hassler; Haverstick; Hays; Heimenz; Herford; Hess; Hollinger; Hostetter; Howell 1; Jenkins; Kamm; Kauffman 2; Kirkofer 1; LeFevre; Leiphart 1; Long; Lorcher 3; Lorenz; Malone 9; Mauer; Maxwell 1; McGrann 4; Mettfett; Miller; Moss; Moyer 1; Musser 2; North; Norton 1; Oliphant; Percy; Plasterer 10; Rann; Reilly; Reist; Reynolds 2; Rhodes; Rhul; Roberts 1; Rohrer; Roland; Schneider; Schroeder 1; Scully 5; Seiple 1; Sener 2; Sides 1; Slaymaker 1; Smith; Snyder; Sprouty 52 (may be Leon Sprout); Stauffer 2; Steinman 1; Taylor; Trener; Twombly 3; Von Gieson; Wahl; Watt; Weaver; Witmer 2


Box 2

Diaries of Alice Potter Fordney, 1914 and 1924

Each diary entry begins with a description of the weather. Other entries include social events, performances including movies, household activities, church events, golf matches, dancing school, country club events, transportation and local and out-of-town visits from and to family and friends.

Below the date of each diary is a brief description of the most significant events which are included in the diary.

Following the list of selected diary entries is a list of surnames found in each diary.  The number after the name reflects how many additional times the name was mentioned.  There has been no effort to guess surnames when only the given name is mentioned.


Box 2, Folder 8   Diaries of Alice Potter Fordney 1914 and 1924


Grandma is ill during the year and Alice often visits her.  Mama is mentioned about a dozen times and Bush only once. When Alice goes anywhere by automobile she mentions it.  Cousin Mary is noted frequently and Mary visits her often. Alice often dines out with friends and goes dancing, to the movies and the country club and most diary entries are about these activities.  After dating Wallace Fisher for months he leaves town.

January 5  Mary and the family left

January 8  Helped Carmelita with a dancing class  at the Breneman Building

January 15  Went to dancing class tonight

January 31  Alice was sewing a blue silk waist all afternoon

February 20  Had Carmelita’s dancing class at the Mussleman’s room – made $2.50

February 24  Went to Welchen’s to give them a dancing lesson

March 1  Alice went to Grandma’s for dinner

March 12  Alice went to Shamokin (she stayed until April 2)

April  4  Went to see Grandma

April 11  Mary and the children came

May 1  Went to the club for a golf and tennis meeting

May 4  Was home sewing a black waist for Mrs. Wright

May 7  Played golf at the club – was awfully tired

May 9  Made a flower bed

May 19  Grandma is sick – played tennis at the club

June 3  Alice is busy keeping house because Ida is in Ardmore

June 8  Went to see Grandma – she is unstable

June14  Went to Morristown (she stayed until the 17th)

June 17  Went to New York with Mrs. White

June 21  Wallace sent Alice beautiful American Beauty roses for her 27th birthday

July 2  Went to Shamokin on the train (she stayed until the 9th)

July 13  Grandma had a weak spell – Alice went to see her

July  22  Janet took me to Philadelphia in the automobile

August 8  Mary and the children arrived and stayed until September 2nd

August 24  Alice gave Miss Reilly a dancing lesson (also on the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 31st)

September 4  Alice called Wallace and had a fight with him

September 5  Alice has the blues – she sent Wallace (Fisher) a note telling him she never wanted to see him again

September 22   Wallace came to see Alice in the trolley car and told her he was leaving town soon

September 24  Wallace left for the West

December 5 Alice went to Ardmore for 2 days

December 7  Alice came home in a snowstorm – Went to a second dance with Mr. Houslim – Wallace was there and they danced 2 dances

December 12  Alice had a letter from Wallace from Bloomsburg

December 24  Went to the community Christmas Tree with Mama

December 25  Nellie and the children were here

December 30  Mary and the children came

Surnames mentioned in the 1914 diary:

Allen; Birney; Brimmer; Briton 1; Brunner; Budding; Campbell; Eshleman 1; Evans 1; Fisher 20; Foltz 1; Franklin; Fritchy 9; Gillespie; Gliss; Grubb 4; Hager; Harvey; Heimenz 5; Hensel; Herr; Houscomb; Houslim; Keifer 1; Lesley; Longborough; Lorcher; McCormick; McGrann 3; Rehn (Ream) 4; Reist; Rhodes 1; Reilly 6; Schroeder 1; Sener; Sevens; Shanley; Smith 5; Souder 4; Steinman 1; Stuart; Talbot; Thompson 3; Truxal; Welchen; White 4; Wickersham; Wright

Box 2, Folder 8


Alice is involved with her knitting and rug businesses and dancing classes.  Sprouty (probably Leon Sprout) seems to be her main companion.

January 1  Clarence, Jr. came today – he is stripping tobacco with Bush

January 2  Went to Alma Sprecher’s to give her a dancing lesson

January 7  Clarence left for New York – Alice called Nellie about a sale she was having

January 8  Alice was going to knit a chaise lounge cover for Mrs. Goodman who ordered 2 knitted suits for her little boy

January 11  Alice unpacked things for the sale at the Brunswick

January 12  Not as many people at the sale as expected but sold about $500.00 worth

January 19  Alice was pleased with the younger children in her dancing class

January 20  Nellie, Sidney, Benny and Francis came for dinner

January 25  Alice and Mama went to Sam Evans funeral

January 30  Alice sold only 2 suits in Reading – most people were out of town

February 1  Five people came to look at suits – two of them bought one suit each

February 13  Wallace Fisher called Alice and she didn’t know his voice

February 20  Alice went to New York by train (she stayed until the 28th)

March 28  Bush and Alice are busy cleaning the garret and painting

April 2  Alice was painting furniture in the garret

April 5 Alice had a masquerade party at the Iris Club for her dancing class and was pleased that so many parents came to look on

June 20  Sprouty took Alice, Sarah and Alice McIlvaine to Gettysburg

June 21  Alice’s birthday

June 30 Sprouty took Alice for rugs

July 10  An airplane crashed in Esbenshade’s field and four men were killed

July 11  Sprouty took Alice for rugs, she bought 5 at one place and 2 at another place

July 12  Alice went shopping and bought 3 summer dresses

July 12th is the final entry in this dairy.

Surnames mentioned in the 1924 diary:

Bausman; Botticher; Calder 7; Evans 2l Geiter; Hartman; Lorcher; Musser; Reinochl; Shreve; Sprecher; Sprouty (probably Leon Sprout); Steinman 1; Talbot; Wannamaker; Weed; Welker 28