Written by Frances Bertha (Haight) Noxon
Mary Haight Noxon, her daughter
Copied, typed and indexed by
Sheila Spencer Stover
l981, All rights reserved
January 22, 1898..Tomorrow is my birthday, and I received a doily from Edie, not my dear little granddaughter who stayed with me 6 weeks (Edith Hazel, Arthur and Effie's 2nd child) just before Christmas. May and I have been reading Margaret Ogilvey by her son, J.M. Barrie. The relations between the two is just heavenly. "For when you had looked into my Mother's eyes, you knew as if they had told you, why God sent her into the world---it was to open the minds of all who looked to beautiful thoughts. And that is the beginning and end of literature. Those eyes have guided me through life, and I pray God they may remain my "only earthly judge to the last. They were never more my guide then when I helped to put her to earth, not whimpering because my Mother had been taken away after 75 glorious years of life, but exulting in her even at the grave." My Mother was a great reader. Biography and exploration were her favorite reading, her choice the biography of men who had been good to their mothers.
January 23, 1898..O.P.LEGG entered into rest at 3 a.m. Lawren and I drove out there, in a wagon, Tuesday, and encountered a big snowstorm. The funeral was in the church Wednesday at 11. Then we drove home again facing a cold fearful storm. We left Phebe there, who was to remain a few days with Harriet. Poor Hat.
January 30, 1898..We are reading the life of Thoreau by Sanburn, who was born 1817 and died 1862 and buried in the cemetery of Concord, quaintly named Sleepy Hollow. (There followed 3 pages of quotations from her readings.) Sometime in March of '98, Effie had an operation at the Syracuse hospital. In October, both girls were there. Edie had ___ in her nose. Marguerite had tonsils cut off.
April, 1898..I am reading Equality by Bellamy. November 7, 1898..Am at Carrie's tonight for a two week visit. Edie has been troubled for over a year with insomnia. She is a great sufferer. Last August, she went to Union Springs to Dr. PEIRCE's Sanitarium, where she stayed three weeks. She seemed a little better, but she is obliged to take something all the time to make her sleep. Thursday evening Mrs. MILLER, Carrie and I heard Eugene FIELDS daughter read from her father's writings. I liked her very much indeed. Sunday, Edie and I went down to hear Abbot preach such a good sermon on the text "Seeing it is God, that said Light shall shine out of the darkness, who shined in
April continued.....our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." We were invited to Lou's to dinner. Tuesday, Carrie invited the BROWNs to her house, and Lou's folks. Later, she had the MILLERs, and Mrs. FOX. We visited Grants Tomb, and when we came back, we stopped for a time at WANAMAKER's. I came home the 21, was sick in bed, with chills and fever, for over a week.
February, 1899..Have been reading the Memorys of Mary Anderson, by herself.
April, 23, 1899..Was with my friend, Mrs. ELMENDORF, all day. She had consumption. Had been with Lottie FARRINGTON for 7 weeks. She seemed much better, but took a severe turn for the worse, and, having no help for a number of weeks, she never recovered from it. I stayed with her until she passed away, a little after midnight. Her sister stayed with the family two weeks.
May 3, 1899..Toby ran away with May and I, we came very near being killed, but escaped with a few bruises. The above was the last entry. Lawren Farrington NOXON died in 1917, his obituary is included in this booklet. Frances Bertha HAIGHT NOXON died in 1936, both of them having lived out their lives at their home on Elston Place, in Ithaca. Gt.Gt. Aunt May lived on, into the 1950s, she never married. Gardner NOXON ran away from home, so the family tales go, and nothing is known of him, other than that he supposedly went west. I remember my Great Grandmother, as she lived in Binghamton, and we used to go and visit her quite a bit. She was a tiny woman, and once, when she came to stay with us when my little brother was born, I talked her into taking her braids down, and letting her hair hang down her back. She was very uncomfortable about it, and couldn't wait to put it back up. I remember her rock garden, and the view of all Binghamton from her porch. She canned in her cellar, all sorts of good things. Her son-in-law, my Uncle Chet OSBORNE, made one of the big rocks into a turtle, and, if we were good, we could go out and stand on him. Gt. Grandma B, as we called her, made her own dandelion wine, I can still see her, in the spring, digging up the young plants. My Mother, and her sister, Edith, used to spend summers with her, I have many photos of them with the family, and an assortment of cats. In tracking down, and finding, many pieces of family memorablia, I have learned much of their lives...and wish that I had been older when "Effie", my Gt. Grandmother, was still with us.
As to the "illness" suffered by the journal's author..I have no idea, nor has anything been mentioned by family members over the years. One can draw ones own conclusions. She did live to be 91...and was active to the last. "Bertha" as she preferred to be called, was obviously a well educated woman, as were her parents before her, and those who came after. In reading the journal, I was constantly amazed at all the visiting around everyone did, and at the vast amount of company who came...and stayed over all the time! I also noted, as is usually the case, people, and their relationships, were not much different then than they are now. Mothers manipulated, children misbehaved, hired help was either lazy, hard to get, or both, and husbands weren't always where they were wanted when they should've been! I am also very pleased to note how "family minded" she was...I am the same way, as are my children...as a young girl, my own Mother, from a family of 2..said she "Didn't know where I got it, being so clannish and wanting a big family all the time"...since learning of this family, and others further back...I know exactly where I got it!
To all who read this Journal, I hope it gives a glimpse into a way of life that has long since gone, and hope that some of the many names mentioned may help another searcher place their family in time, and place. Sheila SPENCER STOVER 9210 W. 71st Street Shawnee Mission, KS 66204 August, 1981
Journal--Continued Pages 28 thru 50Thank you Terri Camp for transcribing this data into digital format.