August

August 1, 1895 (Thursday) – I got up and churned before breakfast and then went down to Bartonville to Sunday School. In the afternoon, I went up to Perkin’s for a swing. About six o’clock, Ada and I came down to our place, and later Ada and I and Esther and the baby went back up to Perkin’s and had a lovely swing. (In later years I heard how the boys hated to see us come there, as they were so tired after working in the field, they wanted to rest, I felt quite embarrassed when I heard about it.) How selfish we can be and never realize it.

August 2, 1895 (Friday) – We washed all day. In the evening, Father and Mother and Esther went up town and remained all night. Ada Salisbury came down; she must have spent the night with me, as she and I played cards with Dwight Sparks and my brother Melvin until midnight.

August 3, 1895 (Saturday) – I did my morning chores and started my ironing, before Esther came home. I ironed all afternoon. Evening – I went up town to Mutual. I slept at Aunt Sarah Abbott’s; watched an eclipse of the moon.

August 4, 1895 (Sunday) – I took my music lesson. Afterwards, I went over to Grandma Sperry’s and became acquainted with some of my father’s cousins. I rode with them and Grandfather down home. In the evening, Esther and I went up town to get mother, she was at the home of Meg Buckholt’s; from there we went to Grandfather’s and then over to Miller’s. There we had ice cream, cake and peaches. We danced and had a good time. Afterwards, we came down home.

August 5, 1895 (Monday) – I finished my ironing, I cut for drying, a few apples. Between eight and nine o’clock, I took Esther up town, she is working at Candlands, I wrote a letter to my brother Lon and found one to me at the post office from him.

August 6, 1895 (Tuesday) – I helped to do the work. In the afternoon, I went up town. I went to Physical Culture for a little while, then I went to a dance in the Opera House with my brother Art.

August 8, 1895 (Thursday) – Sunday, I was home most of the day and played the organ most of the time. In the afternoon, Dwight and I went to town to bring Esther home. We were up to Uncle Will Sperry’s until ten o’clock. Then we came down home.

August 10, 1895 (Saturday) – Esther and I fasted all day. In the evening we went to Mutual. Esther and Dwight came down to the farm, I remained in town sleeping at Aunt Emily Black’s.

August 11, 1895 (Sunday) – I took my music lesson. Afterwards, I walked out home.

August 13, 1895 (Tuesday) – Esther, Art and I washed sacks. In the afternoon, Esther and I cut corn. In the evening, we went up town. I went to a dance with Earl Mangum. Esther and Dwight walked out home.

August 14, 1895 (Wednesday) – I went to Primary and gave a reading.

August 15, 1895 (Thursday) – I walked up to Sunday School. Afterwards, I went up to Aunt Sarah Abbott’s (Sarah Elizabeth Sperry). About two o’clock, I went up to Painter’s, Sadie (Sadie Painter) and I went down to see Lulu Ostler, Ernest Winn, and Earl Mangum came up there. I remained there until four o’clock then I went down to McCune’s to practice a song as Pearl (Margaret Pearl McCune) is going to play for me. Sundown, I walked out home.

August 17, 1895 (Saturday) – At home, I ironed nearly all day. In the afternoon, I walked up town. I went over to Aunt Emma Hague’s for Pet to give me my music lesson, from there I went up to Burton’s. Mrs. Burton invited me to come and stay at her home during the coming winter, so I could attend school all winter (when on the farm, we usually walked up to school in the fall and then returned back again in the spring, it made us lose a lot of time, not going during the cold weather). It was very kind of them to invite me there. They thought a lot of Lon and asked him if he had a sister who would like to be with them during the winter. There were Mr. & Mrs. Enoch Burton, just one child, a son Louie, just a child but a mischievous one, and Mr. Burton’s mother in the family. I called for Ada Taylor and we went to Mutual. I had to sing a song. May Grover and I walked together as far as our paths went the same way, then I went to Aunt Sarah Abbott’s and slept there. 

August 18, 1895 (Sunday) – I walked out home. In the evening Ruth was sick, but she felt better in the morning.

August 20, 1895 (Tuesday) – I did my Saturdays cleaning and then went up town. Esther, Melvin and I went up to our lot to gather fruit. Melvin went down to the farm from there, Esther and I went over to Burton’s. Evening – we went to a Physical Culture. We slept to Aunt Emily Black’s.

August 21, 1895 (Wednesday) – It was snowing when we got up this morning so we had to wait until Dwight came for us about noon. Home all day on Sunday. Monday it was too stormy to wash.

August 24, 1895 (Saturday) – We washed nearly all day, towards evening I went to town and took my music lesson, then I went to Mutual. Thursday we ironed all day.

August 27, 1895 (Tuesday) – I went up town to a dance with Esther and Father was leader of the band we always had to go early and before the dance commenced, Professor Pickering came up to Father, told him he would like to meet a young girl who wore her dresses shorter then dragging in the floor (as was the custom with the young and older ladies, those days). Esther and I were on the stage back of the orchestra waiting for the dancers to arrive, then we would go down and sit just below the orchestra. Father told him that he had two daughters there and the Professor seemed quite pleased, as Father turned to Esther but she said “Oh no Father I wouldn’t dare do that”, I will never forget the look of disgust on Father’s face and then he spoke to me and said come on Jeanette so shyly I came forward and was introduced to him. Then I came down from the stage to the Ballroom floor and the orchestra started to play a dance tune that was becoming popular. Mr. Pickering taught me two dances that were becoming popular at that time. After the bell had started and those two dances were called, Mr. Pickering came and danced those two dances with me. After the dance was over as we were leaving the building the Professor called Father back and Esther and I walked on up to Grandmother Sperry’s. We could hardly wait for Father to come. We were so curious to learn what he wanted of Father. Because at the close of the dance he extended an invitation to all who wanted to attend a free dance the next evening where he was going to demonstrate some new dances, as he intended starting a dancing class in the near future. Just as Father, Esther and I were leaving the hall the Professor opened the door and said “Oh Mr. Sperry, I would like to talk to you.” So Esther and I went without him up to Grandfather Sperry’s where our horse and buggy were waiting. Father told us he wanted him to bring me up to the Opera House about four o’clock the next day, as He wanted to practice the dances with me, as he wanted me to help introduce his dances. Dad, Esther and I rode down to the farm.

August 28, 1895 (Wednesday) – This was a red letter day for me, I was quite a nervous girl with not too much confidence in myself, but I was so thrilled I scarcely slept at all that night. Mother couldn’t imagine what had happened when I was out of bed so early in the morning, after a dance the night before when she spoke to me I went up to her and said “Mother, I am going to help a dancing Professor introduce his dances tonight.” I told her that Father was going to take me up to the Opera House this afternoon and play the violin while he taught me the dances. Then I told her how Esther acted and she said “I am glad you got the chance to do it.” In the afternoon, I went through the dances. Father thought he should have gone through the dance once more, it was the Harvard Gavotte, but he said “Mr. Sperry, that daughter of yours is so light on her feet she could dance anything.”

In the evening, first a waltz was called and all there were invited to dance. He came up to me for the dance, he whispered in my ear, “I thought I would call a waltz so that we could get in step with each other”. Then the dances commenced, I distinctly remember the names of the two new ones, the Harvard Gavotte and the Wentworth. When he came and asked me for the Harvard Gavotte, Father leaned over, and in a loud whisper said “I don’t think she can remember that with only one practice, why don’t you get one of the Miss Foote’s?” I immediately sat down and the professor stepped back and waited. The music started and the professor came again and we danced it together. I always liked that dance even better than the others, but it never did become popular. There seemed to be so much grace and beauty in it.

During the dance he called the Polka, to give me a chance to rest, that was something I never did need at a dance. He danced with one of the Foote girls, but here came a young chap and asked for the dance, a town boy, he had never asked me for a dance before and he asked for the dance, we surely did dance from one end of the floor to the other. Afterwards we continued our dances and last of all he called the medley and danced with the other Miss Foote, while here came another boy from the side lines and asked me to dance with him. That was one time that I could say that I never missed a dance. In talking about it, my sister and some of her girlfriends tried to tease me, they said I looked so frightened as if to say “don’t whip me this time and I will never do it again.” I think it was plain jealousy on their part. Mr. Grover told me in one of the dances, when I had to waltz out from under his arm and on to meet him, I looked as if I were floating in the air, so I guess I did not do so bad after all, at least after then when I was at a dance, I never lacked for a dancing partner. It was the older boys who danced with me now. And they were the very best dancers in the town.

August 30, 1895 (Friday) – Esther (Emily Esther Sperry) and I did the washing and prepared for the Thrasher’s. On Tuesday, they came at noon. Retta (Retta Sperry), Lillian (Lillian May Sperry) and I went up town. I took my music lesson and then we returned home. In the evening some of the Thrasher’s came in the house and we played and sang for them.