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Jesse James Bench
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The Diary Project, 1900-1908
The Diary Project, 1900-1908

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15th, picked apples. Apples thin this year.

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Jesse does not explain why the apples were thin in 1900.  There was a problem with bitter rot throughout Missouri and it caused steep losses as noted by the August, 1902 edition of Fruit Trade Journal and Produce Record, but that might not be the cause.  Aside from this, as one reads the last few weeks of Jesse's entries, all he does at this time is pick apples and make apple cider.  When he comments on the apples being thin after so many hours of apple picking, it comes across as funny.

Below is Archie Taylor picking apples, 1910s, Green, Livingston County, Missouri
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14th, Pa, Ma, John, Charley & I ate dinner at Sophia's. Geo. & Hazel went up to Mrs. DeLapps Sat. evening and stayed till Sun. evening. I went to S.S. & Church. Bro. Robinson's last day here at Utica. Went to Chilli with Mary & Leona Frazier to First Baptist Church at night. Mary staying at her Uncle's, Edd McCormick. Got home Sun. night about 11 o'clock. Drove Button.

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Henry Edward McCormick is Amanda Elizabeth McCormick Frazier's younger brother.  Their parents are Stephen McCormick and Zany or Zanch Frazier.  Zany died sometime between 1864 and 1865, and her burial site is unknown.  Stephen then married Charlotte Burgett on December 31, 1865, and they had two more children, Mary and John McCormick.  Stephen died sometime between 1880 and 1900.  All four children show up in the 1870 Federal Census as living in Jackson Township, Livingston County (p.61).  In 1887, Ed married Sallie Sharp, and they had two children, Claude Preston and Brooks.  Both children would have been in the home when Mary and Leona went to stay overnight.


#rural #missouri #livingstoncounty #Bench #farmboy #diary #deardiary #primaryaccount #primarydocument #missourihistory #familyfarm #Utica #farming #October #Fall #Autumn #SundaySchool #Church #BYPU #McCormick #Frazier #Robinson #Chillicothe #FirstBaptistChurch
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9th, Ernie & Vern Hunley & I picked up apples in the morning. Picked up apples at the Williams Place in the afternoon. The boys are working on "70" plowing for rye. Al Johnson & Abe Frazier have been plowing on "70" also.

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Abraham Smith Frazier is Mary Frazier's uncle, younger brother to her father Joshua Newton Frazier.  He was born in Livingston County on October 26, 1852 and shows up in the 1860 census as the youngest son of John Frazier and Susanna Gann.  The family shows up in Virgil, Vernon, Missouri in the 1870 census, and then in 1880 he is one of the three generations living together in Roscoe, St. Clair, Missouri.  He is listed as a 25 year-old widower.  Abe married three times and had babies by each wife.  In this time period, when the wife died, the children often went to live with grandparents or uncles and aunts rather than stay with the father.  Two of his kids show as living with their maternal grandparents in Sampsel, Livingston County, in 1900, but Abe cannot be found in 1900.  He cannot be too far off though, since he's plowing rye on the Bench farm, and next year he marries his third wife, the widow Deborah Haddock who is raising her kids in Chillicothe during the 1900 census.  Abe shows up as living with Deborah in Mooresville in 1910, and dies in 1918.

Jesse's mention of an Al Johnson might be the first time he's named one of the Johnson family members renting land on the Bench farm.  No nearby tenants named Johnson can be found in the 1900 census however.  There is a black family living next to the Schmid family, and those Johnsons have a son named Elie.  El could could be the Al Johnson Jesse mentions, but he wouldn't be the Johnson tenant because his parents own their house.

#rural #missouri #livingstoncounty #Bench #farmboy #diary #deardiary #primaryaccount #primarydocument #missourihistory #familyfarm #Utica #farming #October #Fall #Autumn #victorian #manuallabor #Apples #rye #Johnson #Frazier
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7th, Ma, Jen, Maude, Rosa, Hazel, Geo., Jno, Frank, Charley, Mrs. & Maggie DeLapp went over on shoal creek a paw-paw hunting. Didn't find as much as they could eat. I went to S.S. & Church & BYPU. Ate dinner at Sister E. Stones.

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This great-granddaughter blogger admits to not knowing what a paw-paw is.  That link above though takes you to the Missouri Department of Conservation, so that answers that.  The Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program has a number of paw paw recipes to peruse.

#rural #missouri #livingstoncounty #Bench #farmboy #diary #deardiary #primaryaccount #primarydocument #missourihistory #familyfarm #Utica #farming #October #Fall #Autumn #SundaySchool #Church #BYPU #Stone #DeLapp #pawpaw #FruitTree
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