The Family Letter Blog

Connecting Generations

JBK Diary – June 3 – 6, 1912

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Joseph B Kingsbury is home in Osage Iowa after completing the spring semester in Washington DC. In addition to attending school, he is working as a clerk in the Department of Agriculture.

Monday June 3, 1912 – Independence – Primary Day in Iowa – Warmer

Rose 7:30 Breakfast in bakery. Found Emma Moore and Ray  & Will Berger. Left for W.U. (West Union) at 9:30. Arrived at 11:30. Saw D. Clapp at Depot. Walked in on Frank at the bank. Surprised everybody. Went over and visited Aunt Ella. Looked in at church on my way home to supper. Frank voted. Planted garden after supper. Sat in hammock till 10:30. Fine sleep. Cool night.

Tuesday June 4, 1912 – Cloudy & cool.

Started at 9:15 for Soward’s Cave. Went back 130 feet with candle. Walked back in 55 minutes. Dinner at Aunt Ella’s. Talked and read till 4:00. Helped balance up at bank. Supper at Clapps. Carlotta stayed with baby. Sang. Went over to Kings room above garage and played piano player till 11:15. Went home with Charlotte C.

Wednesday June 5 – Fine -cool.

Rose at 8:00. Went downtown, found Ray Jacobs took us out in the country in his Metz car to see Ed. Loafed in bank till noon. Played catch with tennis balls before dinner. Washed dishes and feet. All up to Carter’s for supper. Went to Methodist Church lecture by Armenian. Laura, Carey, Carl and I walked through graveyard at 11:00 pm. Home at 12. Carey and Laura getting pretty thick.

Thursday June 6 – Fine cool.

Rose 7:30. Started to leave on 9:23 train but stayed. Watched Roy J tune piano. Went up to Carters and shot with rifle & revolver. Loafed till 4:30. Talked with Uncle F. Y. working on new house. Played with baby. Best baby going. Started for Fayette 5 pm. Roy J took Carey and I in Metz car. Kings took Laura, Annie, Frank and Helen Clapp. Some speed on way to Fayette. Got Alma and went to woods for picnic. Pretty place. Went up over stone cut and watched sunset. Shot rifle. Carey and Laura went through cemetery. L. fell over barbed wire fence and cut her arm. Visited with Alma.

A few observations:

  1. Here a link to the Metz car. It was essentially a “build it yourself” car for people with enough mechanical ability to put the car together. Parts were sold in 14 sets, which essentially allowed someone to buy the car on time. The buyer would construct the first set of parts, order the next one and over time had a completed car advertised as being worth $600 for the cost of the parts, which was about $350.
  2. It is fun to picture my grandfather as a 22 year old home for summer vacation. Visiting with extended family (West Union is about 70 miles east and a little south of Osage.) Frank, Joe’s older brother was working in Uncle Frank Whitmore’s bank and I believe Joe worked there for at least a summer before he went to Washington DC for school. “The best baby going” – refers to Josephine Kingsbury, Frank’s oldest daughter who was born in 1911. JBK’s affection for her lasted his whole life and one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t meet her when we both lived in California (1985 – 1997 for me).
  3. Aunt Ella was Wayland’s older sister who lived in West Union, Iowa until she moved to Monrovia, California in 1912 (according to her obituary which appears below.) She married later in life (age 36) and her husband Frank Y. Whitmore had two sons and a daughter from his previous marriage. Together they adopted a daughter Lillian, who was born in New York to Norwegian parents. Lillian attended Cedar Valley Seminary memoriam.1948. 1909-1910 and later attended Redlands University in Redlands, California (about 63 miles due east of Los Angeles.)
    In the “small world” category, when Joe’s oldest brother Forrest Kingsbury retired from the University of Chicago where he taught psychology for a number of years, he retired to Redlands University and taught there for awhile. In one of JBK’s family letters he describes the trip he made with his younger brother Clark to Forrest’s memorial service in Redlands in 1972.

4. I’m fascinated that JBK explored caves, since that was something my father, his oldest son, also like to do while growing up in Indiana. Almost as adventurous as walking through the graveyard late at night, another favorite activity of JBK. I like to visit graveyards but I tend to go during daylight hours in search of my ancestors. Whenever I make it to the grave yard in West Union, Iowa I’ll have a great image of my grandfather and his friends walking through it late at night.

5. Alma is JBK’s cousin, Alma Fussell, Mary Kingsbury Fussell’s daughter. Mary Kingsbury married Martin Fussell and they had at least three children. Roy and Mary were older, but Alma was only three years older than JBK. Need to research a few more names.


Author: kakingsbury

I finally took the leap and started a blog in mid-March 2014. I currently maintain three blogs "All Things Kalen" "The Family Letter Blog" and "Trovando Famiglia." Trovando Famiglia is about my husband's family, particularly the original four Giorgio brothers who immigrated to western Pennsylvania from San Vito Chietino, Italy in the late 1800s. The Giorgio boys and their descendants have been the focus of my genealogical research over the past two years. The blog allows me to share family stories and photographs. Thanks for checking me out!

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