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JBK Diary – June 15th – June 28th, 1912

I’m trying to keep up with the events of my grandfather’s life when he was 21 years old and home from school for the summer. His birthday is June 23, 1890 so at the time of these entries he turned 22. In keeping with his typical modesty – no mention of his own birthday in his diary entry on June 23.

One mystery is finally solved. I’ve been confused by earlier entries about people going somewhere with Bill, or “mother and father met me at the station with Bill.” I can’t think of anyone in the family with that name so I was wondering how I would figure out the connection and who was this Bill that got so much mention.

With his entry on June 15th —

“Harnessed Bill and drove to the Clipper with Aunt Clara . . .”   — I now know that Bill is the family horse! 1912 was definitely at the age of transition from horses to automobiles as a mode of transportation and also explains why so many of his entries mention when he travelled by car and what kind of car it was.

Saturday June  15 – Fine Warm and Bright

Got up at 6. Harnessed Bill and drove to Clipper with Aunt Clara for Elsie and boys. Elsie’s sister came. Drove around, up town, to Aunt Grace’s etc. Elsie, Guyon & Donald, Miss Lewis and Aunt Clara up to dinner. Dean rode bike to 2.38 & found Frank, Anna and baby coming up on freight. Surprised to see them. Arthur C and I went up town to hear band. Talked with Lee Hill. Got suit cases with horse.

Sunday June 16 –

All Kingsbury children sat together in church. Met lots of people. Mr. Sawyer’s Sunday School class. Big reunion at East Hall. 40 relatives. Grandma Bush, Gardners, Aunts Abbie, Clara, Grace, Uncle Bert, Elsie, Guyon, Donald, Burtchs, Kingsburys, Williams, Caves & McCashs from Greene in 3 cars. Dinner, picture, automobile rides.

Comment: “PICTURE!!!” I sure would love to find it.

Monday June 17 – Fine

Worked at Press office off and on all week.

Remarkably – there is no entry for Tuesday June 18th and only very brief entries for the next 5 days.

Wednesday June 19th –

Stayed at Press office til 10:30. Paper not out.

Thursday June 20th –

Didn’t work. Aunt Grace Gardner’s for dinner.

Choir at Millie Waynes. Surprise party.

Friday June 21st – Summer

Fine day. Didn’t work much. Ate supper with Aunt Clara and Elsie and also at home. Grace, Carey and “us kids” went to Lyrics. Vaudeville stunts. Stayed with Clinton Hill. Mr. Schoonaver sick.

Saturday June 22nd – Warm

Got up at 4:15. Walked down Great Western track and shot at suckers. Picnic.

Sunday June 23rd – Warm (his birthday – turned 22)

Sang in choir. Laura Carter came at noon. Dinner at Bergers and music. BYPU (?) Civil Service people ___ firm exams. (Can’t make out the meaning of his reference to civil service exams.)

Monday June 24th –

Frank went back to WU (West Union). Looked up trains for Miss Lewis. Hot day. Dean, Ella Otarr, Carey and Laura, Ruth Barker and I walked down GW track, thru Spring Park and back by road. Played anti over.

Tuesday June 25th – Hot

Picnic at Spring Park – Forrest & Cornelia, Anna, Laura Carter, Grace & Ruth B., Carey, Rob Pattingale, Flora, Fern, Clyde, Clark, Uncle C and Aunt G, Elsie C, Guyon & Donald and Miss Lewis. Dean and I fished & rowed boat. Home at 8:30. Des Moines College Quartet at Baptist Church.

Wednesday June 26th – Hot

Woke up at 9 am. Letter from Smith. Report 28th. Bought ticket and saw all relatives. Packed in 1/2 hour. Dinner at Grandfather Walker’s. Train at 2.38 with Forrest, Cornelia, Clark and Dean. Waterloo at 5 pm. Tried to find John Clyde. Got shower, bath & swim at YMCA. REad until train time. Motor boat races. Left 8 pm for Chicago. Lower berth. Good sleep – 9 to 6.

Thursday June 27th –

Transferred to Pa Station. Walked over to loop and took L to Lexington Avenue & 63rd. Found Snell Hall – University of Chicago but Phil Kearney not in. Took I. C. uptown. Breakfast. Left at 10:30 for Washington. Found Dad Riley on train. Talked, read, slept and wrote. Dinner at 5:30. Good sleep in upper.

Friday June 28th –

Woke up at Baltimore. Washington on time 8:45. Took suitcases to YM and went to work at 9:30. Easy day. Worked till 6:00 getting stuff out for Central accounting system. Went out to camp. Met Miss Crane on train. Supper, talked with Hill. Fair sleep.

Isn’t it amazing that he could get word on June 26th that he was to report for work in Washington DC on June 28th and he not only got there in time but he went straight to work after being on the train all night for the past two nights! That’s what you call a good work ethic.

 

 

 

 


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JBK Diary – June 7 – 14, 1912

Friday June 7, 1912 – Fine day

Rose 6:30. Breakfast. Talked with Uncle Martin and Aunt Mary. (Wayland Kingsbury’s oldest sister Mary was married to Martin Fussell and lived in Fayette, Iowa.) Drove out to Roy’s looked around the farm. (Roy Fussell is the oldest child born to Mary and Martin Fussell in 1875 – JBK’s oldest cousin.) Alma (Roy’s youngest sister, born in 1887) drove to train with us. Miss Julia Crissey came down to depot. Charles City at 12:40. Went up town, saw Clarence Crimer & Sanders. Dinner. YMCA. Waited all pm for freight. Talked with Mr. Lapham & Morris Penney. Home at 6:10. Walked home. Met Father, Mother & Clark coming to train with Bill. (I haven’t been able to figure out who Bill is.) Washed up a little & went to Girls’ Glee Club Concert. Met lots of people. Home with Aunt Clara and Aunt Abbie. (Aunt Clara and Aunt Abbie are JBK’s aunts on the Bush side of the family – both would have been close to 60 years old in 1912.)

Saturday June 8, 1912 – Fine

Rose 8:30. Loafed. Went to store, talked with Arthur Cl. and Uncle Bert. Baseball practice with Sem boys all pm. Mowed East lawn before supper. Took bath. Senior class day exercises in the chapel 8 to 9. Band concert on Main Street. Met lots more fellows.

Sunday June 9, 1912 – Fine Baccalaureate Sermon CVS

Rose 7:30 or 8:00. Father and I drove Bill. Took washing and went to west bridge. Helped Harold Dickinson with broken axle. Church full at 10:30. Mr. Potter preached great sermon. Grandmas K & B, Aunt Clara, Aunt Abbie, Gardners & Uncle Bert to dinner. Rode down to Floyd with Clydes in Conley auto. Took Arthur to work. By Ph (?) sacred concert at church. Carey sang. Sat with Uncle Bert, Aunts Abbie and Clara.

Monday June 10, 1912 – Cloudy & Fair

Went to chapel. Carey and I called on Mr. Spaches (?). Looked through new high school with “Mac” and Mr. Boynton. Dinner at Grandma K’s. Played ball after dinner. Took Clark to alumni Ball game CVS won 5 to 1. Daily contest in the Press won by Fen Olson & Clarence Allanson. (I was going to check this against the news in the paper but unfortunately all of the papers from 1912 are missing from the online digitized version of the Mitchell County Press and Osage Advantage.)

Tuesday June 11, 1912 – Cloudy but no rain.

Farewell chapel at 9:30. Sang in quartet. Miss Morrison led ’09 class meeting. Wrote up ball game for Press. Dinner at Burtch’s with Gardners & aunts. May Pole drill & band  on campus. Fine exercises. Saw lots of people. Aunt Clara and I went early to arrange seating at banquet. 190 present. Henry A., Sigurd and I sat together. Letters read speeches. Had to speak as grandson of Grandfather Bush. Meeting in Cong church. Sermon by A W Call of Vinton. Reminisces by alumni. Fine program.

Wednesday June 12, 1912 – Cloudy but no rain.

Rose at 6 o’clock. Went to clipper with Henry Allanson. Rode with father and Billy. Planned picnic. Wrote to Frank. Aunt Grace G’s for dinner. Rode up in Charles Williams Oakland car. ’09 picnic, also ’11s at Mark’s south of town. Misses Morrison, Bacon & Fullerton, Anna Sesch, Bernice & Lucia Merrick, Lou Champion, Lewis Schulte, Ruth Moe, Ada  Weaverling, Vera Tomey, Lee Lernon, Carey B & I rode down in hack. Played three deep, stillpond, baseball and skipped stones. Fine time. Lots to eat. Returned at 6:30. Milked cow. Last commencement program, thirteen orations. Fine class. Milked cow.

Thursday June 13, 1912 – Cloudy

Loafed around home. Moved into Dean’s room, town at noon. Went to depot at noon to see Sem people off. Went up to library with Clark. Read Jack Hazard to him. Joe Naden came up. Played ball with Clark. Supper at 8. Called on Miss Bacon at East hall. Bed at 11:30.

Friday June 14, 1912 – Cloudy cool

Got up at 8 o’clock. Mowed lawn all forenoon – Dean worked at store. Drove Billy after dinner and helped Aunt Clara move to hall. Mother drove out in country to Mrs. B Coles. Loafed, read, sewed up baseballs. Played ball with Dean and Clark. Dean got supper. Read til 10:30. Rain storm.

 

 

 

 


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JBK Diary – June 3 – 6, 1912

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 inEllaKWhitmore.in 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.

 


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JBK Diary – May 30, 1912 to June 2, 1912

Thursday – May 30, 1912 “Decoration Day” (in JBK’s handwriting)

Fine, cool and bright. Got up 6:15. Went out to Dominion Heights and borrowed some tools from Mr. Comley. Worked all day at camp. Put up mess tent & 3 floors. Dug holes etc. Big day’s work. Home at 6:30 Bath and supper. Talked with Marshall and got Greenway’s cot. Prayer meeting. Packed trunks. Bed 10:30.

Friday – May 31, 1912

Finest day. Rose 7:30. Lame and sore (guess he over did it with the Big Day’s work!) Took suit and hat. Busy day. Drew money from bank at noon. Saw about berths. Packed up. Letter from mother.

Saturday – June 1, 1912

Fine. Got tickets and berths at 8:30. Finished packing. Busy all day. Payday. After work got laundry. Mrs. Travers for dinner. Left for station at 6. Henry A, Gillis (from Ames), Carey and I got berth together – $2 each. Carried lunch. Bed at 9:30, 10 hours of sleep. Carey and I slept well in upper. Block of Olen, NY (?) (YMCA) going to Davenport. Ex Rep Gordon of Lima Ohio.

Sunday – June 2, 1912

Cloudy. Rose 7:30 (6:30) Sat in observation car and read. Fine ride across Ohio and Indiana. Chicago 2 pm (on time). Walked up Michigan Ave. Dinner at Thompsons on State Street. Went thru Field Museum. Left at 5:30. Slept 2 or 3 hours. Independence at 12:50. Bed at Gedney Hotel. Perfect night. Balmy & clear. Much cooler than Washington. Crops very backward.

Geney Hotel. Independence Iowa

So it seems JBK was making a trip home after his semester ended. A few observations.

He was clearly working several hours a day in addition to going to school at George Washington University. He was also active in church activities, some sort of camp in the suburbs of Washington DC where he was helping build part of the facilities, and took a two day train trip home.

I doubt there are many college students today who would get up at 6:15 am a few days after their last exam. Nor would they spend one of their only free days working so much that the next day they’d be “lame and sore.”

True to his nature, even during a layover in Chicago while waiting for his next train, JBK managed to include site seeing and a visit to a museum.  Here’s a link to the modern Field Museum. Looks like fun! Apparently it was started to house the collection of natural history exhibits and artifacts assembled for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition. At the time JBK visited, it would have still been in Jackson Park, in one of the original buildings remaining from the World Exhibition but it moved to it’s current location in 1921.


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Osage Newspaper Account of JBK’s 1914 Trip to Europe

What a treat to find a newspaper account of my grandfather’s trip to Europe in the summer of 1914. He was planning a sightseeing trip abroad during the summer before his senior year in college but World War I intervened.

True to his positive nature, Joe Kingsbury made the best of a bad situation. Four days after he and two friends landed in Germany, the trains stopped running and they were stranded in Nuremberg for almost two weeks. The following account, which he sent to his hometown newspaper after his safe return to the United States in late August, speaks for itself.

This article appeared in column one on the front page of the Mitchell County Press & Osage Journal on September 9, 1914 and continued on page 5, columns 1 and 2. The title read:

Osager’s Experience Marooned in Germany 

Joe Kingsbury Spent Interesting Six Weeks in German Empire

He, With Others, Arrested Four Times Mistaken for Russian Spies,
But Finally Landed in U.S.A.

Washington, DC
September 2, 1914

Dear Clinton: (my guess is that JBK wrote the letter to the Editor, H.C. Hill and that the C stands for Clinton) 

Perhaps the best way to thank all those people who have so kindly inquired about me, and to let everybody know that I am back in the United States (and glad of it), will be through a few lines in the “Press.” I arrived in New York Saturday noon, August 29th on the Olympic, after a rather exciting six weeks abroad. Of course I did not expect to run into any wars when I left, and the sight-seeing part of the trip was interrupted rather abruptly on August 2nd.  I didn’t visit quite all the places I expected to, but, on the other hand, I saw a great deal that I never expected to see, and the trip was far from being a disappointment. In fact, I wouldn’t take anything for my experiences. I left New York, with two Washington boys, H.B. Elgin and J.B. Leslie, on July 20th, on the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse (now at the bottom of the Atlantic off the coast of Africa). Fifteen years ago “Big Bill” as this ship was called, was thought to be the last word in ship building, both in size and speed, and it was still one of the fast ones, making the trip to Bremen in exactly seven days. We had a splendid trip across, with 1500 Germans, whom I suppose were going home to fight for the Fatherland, though they didn’t tell us anything about it. On the 25th we learned by wireless that Austria and Servia were at war, but we didn’t anticipate any trouble from that. We landed at Bremen, July 28th and spent the next four days seeing Berlin, with Bruce Lybarger for a guide. Bruce is the same except for a German moustache and a good German vocabulary, which helped us considerably in seeing and understanding what we saw of Berlin. The morning after our departure he expected leave for a little summer resort on the Baltic but I doubt he got there, or was even able to leave Berlin. On the afternoon that we left Berlin, the Kaiser came past our hotel on his way to the palace from his residence in Potsdam, and it seemed to us as though the people greeted him a little more enthusiastically than they usually would. But still we suspected nothing and went on to Dresden, where we spent one of the pleasantest days of our trip in that beautiful city.

As we rode past the Barracks in a sightseeing automobile that afternoon we heard songs and cheers and other expressions of pleasure from the thousands of officers and men quartered there. One of them came running out to the car and with a pleased look on his face told us that Russia had acceded to the Kaiser’s demand, had withdrawn her troops from the Austrian border, and the trouble was over. Everyone was glad. This and many other incidents I noted, make me positive that the German people did not want or expect war. But when war came, no one could be more loyal and patriotic than they. There is not the look of reckless bravery on the faces of the German soldiers that there is on the American soldiers’, nor the longing for ‘something doing’. They realize better than anyone, the seriousness of their business. Three hours later we learned that the report of a Russian withdrawal was false and war would follow immediately. The young German clerk who told us this also advised us that Germany would not be a good place for tourists anymore, so we immediately stopped spending our money, went to our hotel and packed, and were ready to start for Switzerland early the next morning – Sunday.

Here our first trouble occurred. The hotel refused to take our American Express cheques (the only time they were refused) and we had barely enough cash to pay our bill and buy three tickets for Nuremberg, in south central Germany. We reached there after an all day’s ride in a baggage-passenger car, right behind the engine. An hour and a half after our arrival, all trains were turned over to the army, and all tourists in Germany stayed right where they were.

We were in Nuremberg fifteen days. We did not leave for two reasons; first, there was no better place to go, and second, no trains were running. We learned from the American Consul of a good, inexpensive place to live, Schneider’s Hotel, and composed ourselves for a stay of several months, until the relief ships, which the Consul reported were being chartered by the United States government, should arrive to bring us home. The Germans gave us to understand that no ships of any flag were now crossing the ocean and our only way of getting home was to be sent for.

Our stay in Nuremberg we shall always look back on with pleasure, in spite of some experiences that at the time were rather annoying. The evening of our arrival Elgin and I were sitting in our room while Leslie had gone out to get a cigar. We watched several officers, followed by a mob of people, come up the narrow street and enter our hotel. Presently they knocked on our door and when we let them in, they accused us of sending a telegram. We said we had not, and explained (in bad German) who we were and what we were there for, showing all the papers we had to prove that we were not Russian spies, but Americans. After marching up and down in front of our room and trying different interpreters on us, they finally left, and pretty soon Leslie came in with the explanation. He had seen a telegram posted in a window regarding North German Lloyd ships, and not knowing any German, he attempted to copy it to show us. An officer armed to the teeth grabbed him and led him off to a guardhouse where they searched him and questioned him for over an hour. Meanwhile they sent officers to guard us, whom, I suppose they thought were accomplices. I don’t blame them at all for being so suspicious, for they did catch a number of Russian spies in Nuremberg, but it began to be monotonous when we were arrested the next day while waiting for a street car, and the day after that for watching a man leading a string of horses in a market place, and the next day for trying to buy some English books in a bookstore. Each time they took us to the guardhouse and made us show our return steamer tickets, traveller’s cheques, government pass cards, YMCA membership cards, and anything else we had that was ‘made in America.’

The Consul finally gave us temporary passports, and the burgemaster ordered no more arrests except on the strongest suspicions, and forbade the crowd to follow an officer with a prisoner. That was the worst thing about being arrested. We didn’t mind going to jail so much, after the first time, but the people, especially the kids, would follow us yelling ‘spion’ (spy). When we came out of the guardhouse they would still be waiting for us, and although we had convinced the officers that we were alright we couldn’t make the kids think so. Nuremberg is a charming place, built about the thirteenth century and apparently it hasn’t changed much since. We found all kinds of places that we had studied about in mediaeval history the year before in school, and some of the most picturesque eating places imaginable, the memory of which will always remain, both for their quaintness and for the delicious food. So that while we were disappointed at not seeing Switzerland and France and England, our extended stay in Nuremberg gave us really a good knowledge of one place, some German atmosphere, and good practice in speaking German. When we had become somewhat more proficient in the latter, raised small moustaches, and had our heads clipped, we ceased to attract much attention, and if they did take us for Englishmen we showed them the American flag which never failed to command respect and courtesy. On August 17th, through the kindness of the railroad commandant and the efforts of some Americans in Nuremberg, among them Alex H. Revell of Chicago, a special train full of Americans left Nuremberg for Amsterdam. We decided our chances of getting on the American relief ships would be better if we were nearer the coast, so we took the opportunity to get out of Germany.

That train ride through the heart of Germany was the most interesting I ever took or perhaps ever will take. We traveled only about 15 miles an hour so it was like an observation train, and although the journey lasted forty hours (with no sleeping cars) it was never tiresome. Almost all signs of peaceful industry had closed down. Only women and children were at work in the fields; all the men have gone to war. Instead of brakemen, yard men and mechanics along the track, there stood men with guns, one every hundred feet, and at every bridge and culvert three or four. Frequently we had to take the siding while a train loaded with troops went by on their way to the French frontier or a hospital train would come back from the front full of wounded men.

At nearly every town there squads of soldiers and raw recruits getting whipped into shape to swell Germany’s fighting force to eleven million men. One company of infantry marching along a country road stopped, wheeled, and saluted our train as it went by, with American flags waving from many windows. At many stations, American flags were hung out in our honor, and Red Cross nurses served us with coffee, ‘kase brod,’ lemonade, fresh Rhine wine, etc. and threw flowers in the windows. The people of Germany feel that America is their best and truest friend, and their kindness and faith in us could not fail to touch every heart. So many false reports had appeared in French and German newspapers (which I know from personal experience) that the Germans are very much worried, and everyone that I talked to begged me when I got back to America, to tell the truth about Germany. I would be extremely ungrateful if I did not try to tell something of the German side. There is no doubt that the newspaper accounts, which come mostly from Paris or London, tell only one side of the story. When we reached Amsterdam we were greatly surprised to find the Dutch and English ships were running, and we were fortunate enough to get second class cabins on the “Olympic” the largest ship now carrying passengers, three sailing days behind her schedule from Liverpool. That gave us just time to see something of  Amsterdam and a little of London, and Sunday morning, August 23rd we steamed out of Liverpool, the wireless down, all portholes covered with brown paper, windows painted black, and rugs hung over them; never a light showing at night. We sighted British cruisers nearly every day, and were always in touch with them by wireless, which was put up the second day out. The trip home was also a great experience; we heard so many tales of thrilling experiences that we were ashamed to tell of our tame little adventures. Nearly every passenger aboard had lost some baggage somewhere in Europe, all who were touring in cars had had them confiscated by the governments and we decided that we had come out of the trouble about as easily and fortunately as anyone.

The Statue of Liberty surely never looked as good as it did last Saturday morning to the two thousand refugees on the Olympic. Every man, woman and child on board, I think, inwardly gave thanks for the return to the land of peace, and prayed that war may never come upon us. It is a tremendous effort to boil my story down to this size, there is so much to tell about, but these are a very few of the bare facts, with no attempt to be partisan or draw a moral. Don’t forget to send me a paper. Best wishes to yourself and family and all Osage friends.

Sincerely yours,
Joe Kingsbury

 


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JBK’s Diary – May 22 – 25, 1912

I’m going to try and get back on track with a few short posts from some of my grandfather’s diaries from the early 1900s. He was a student at George Washington University when this entry was written. He also worked as a stenographer in the Department of Agriculture – a pretty good DC job for a boy from Iowa.

May 22, 1912 (in the margin beside the date – “Warm”)

Another hot day. Studied History. Finished theme on Kidnapped. Busy day. Sleepy. Last night of school. Family letters –  answered. English class til 8 pm. Gave report. Swam. Uncle Bill called. Bed 12.

May 23, 1912

Cloudy, cooler. Not very busy. Blichensderfer man at office. Carey and I went canoeing from 5 til 6. Talked with Hill til 9. Olson, Carey and I studied History til 11:30. Bed 12. Called at C.S. (Civil Service) Commission at 9 am to see about Dean’s exam.

TypewriterAd.5.23.17

From Google Books, p.657 of the American Federationist, Vol. XII, January 1905

May 24, 1912,

Fine, warm. Studied History. Not very busy day. Quit at 4. Saw Mr. Metcalf about tent. History exam went well. Hot. Olson, Carey and I went to Lucia di Lammermoor. Finest thing for a long time. Bed 12.

May 25, 1912 (A Saturday)

Fine, cool. Studied Logic. Busy all day making table. Rode over to Y at noon. Tennis with Mizell til 6. Wash. Prayer meeting led by Stuterman. Talked with Hank. Choir practice. Red news. Broke glasses again, 6th time.

 

Okay that is it for today. (Who knew that a propensity for breaking eyeglasses was an inherited trait!) I’ve got to pack and will be at a meeting in the NC mountains for the next three days. Work has been incredibly busy and as usual, I’m torn between staying in the office and working and attending the annual meeting of North Carolina Land Trusts. Too late to change plans now since I have the rental car from work and three other people are riding with me.