Amos Claycomb’s January 1909 Diary

1909 coverThe 1905 to 1908 diaries are not in the box that my father had, so we miss the early college years of Amos Claycomb and pick up in the last term of his senior year at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  He lives in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house.  He was a loyal fraternity brother and attended reunions until just before his death in 1958.

In the diary he refers to his fraternity brothers by their surnames usually.  And for the women he knew, he used first name and last initial. 

Friday, January 1, 1909
Staid around home most of the a.m.  Played billiards this p.m.  Also this evening.

Saturday, January 2, 1909
Came into Chicago this a.m. with Eleanor.  Saw Elsie James in “The Fair Co-ed” at the Studebaker with her this p.m.  Came down to Champaign tonight with Conrad.

[Eleanor, Amos’ older sister, is 24 years old at this time.  Amos, the second child of Frank and Anna Claycomb, turns 23 this month.  His younger siblings are Louise, almost 22, George, almost 20, and Edward, 17  in March.

Sunday, January 3, 1909
Ate dinner down at the Beardsley Hotel with Conrad.  Staid around the house the rest of the time and read.

Monday, January 4, 1909
Warm and rainy all day.  Started going to classes again this a.m.  Called on Gert H. at the Theta house this p.m.  Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 1909
Classes till 3.  Walked with Alta S. and then played Herbie Juul a couple of games of billiards.  Staid home tonight.  Temperature down to zero tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 1909
Went up town for short time this p.m.

Thursday, January 7, 1909
Played bridge with Kimbell, Pope and Milk for a couple of hours before and after supper tonight.  Thermometer still down close to zero.

Friday, January 8, 1909
Joined the Y.M.C.A. here at the University this p.m. and bowled there for a while with Beardsley, Koontz and Morris.  Played bridge for a couple of hours after supper.

Saturday, January 9, 1909
Studied at the library for a little over an hour this a.m.   Saw “The Royal Chef” at the Illinois this p.m. with Burch, Pope and Fat Hazelwood.  Took Helen J. to see a basketball game between the varsity and Indiana after supper which former won by a score of 30-2.  Attended inter-fraternity smoker at the Armory after that.

Sunday, January 10, 1909
Meeting of the schedule committee on the bowling tournament at this house this a.m.  Called at Riley’s and Swigart’s this p.m.

Monday, January 11, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, January 12, 1909
Bowling meeting at the Delta Epsilon house tonight, schedule and rules were drawn up.

Wednesday, January 13, 1909
Down town for a short time this p.m.  Took Helen J. to see “The Top of the World” at the Illinois this evening.

Thursday, January 14, 1909
Read “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” after supper tonight.

Friday, January 15, 1909
Bowled for about three hours in the Y.M.C.A. this p.m. and then studied for a while in the Univ. library.  Went down to the Crescent to a cheap show tonight with several of the fellows.

Saturday, January 16, 1909
Studied a little this a.m.  Went down to the Walker this p.m. with Art McKelvey and saw the “Flints” do some hypnotising stunts.  Went to basketball game tonight with Billy May and saw varsity defeated Wisconsin by a score of 28-19 in the fastest game I ever saw.  Watson, a Phi Delt, plays a forward on our team.

Sunday, January 17, 1909
Called on Ida M. and Alta S. this p.m.  Studied tonight.

Monday, January 18, 1909
Fraternity meeting tonight.  Went down to Walker for a vaudeville show with Beardsley afterwards.

Tuesday, January 19, 1909
Nothing doing today.  Got letter from home telling me of some land that father has bought for me down in Texas in the Panhandle.


This rather brief entry signals a major shift in his life. In Texas he met the woman he later married and that led to him living in Nebraska and that led to my father’s life and our heritage.

Wednesday, January 20, 1909
Nothing doing.  It has been fine sleighing now for about ten days which is about the record here for a while.
Temp just below freezing most of the time.

Thursday, January 21, 1909
Took Helen J. to see Otis Skinner in “The Honor of the Family” at the Illinois tonight.  Very good.  Played billiards with Pom Sinnock this afternoon for a short time.

Friday, January 22, 1909
Read most of the p.m. and played hearts tonight with Bill Watson, Ward and Polk.

Saturday, January 23, 1909
Played billiards this a.m. with Art Morris.  Bowled this p.m. with several of the fellows.  Played bridge tonight with Pope against May and Beardsley.  Temp over 70°  today.

billy may formal

Fraternity brother Billy May

Sunday, January 24, 1909
Called at Swigart’s and Riley’s this p.m. with Billy May.  Thermometer still up to 60°.

Monday, January 25, 1909
Classes all day.  Fraternity meeting tonight.

Tuesday, January 26, 1909
Nothing doing.  Took last astronomy constellation quiz tonight.  Got 100.

Wednesday, January 27, 1909
Classes till noon.  Studied all the p.m. and tonight.

Thursday, January 28, 1909
Took final exams in corporation finance (Econ. 10) and in political ethics (Phil. 9) this a.m.  Studied all the p.m. and tonight.

Friday, January 29, 1909
Took final exam in Econ 12 (The Labor Problem) this a.m.  Am twentythree today.  Heavy blizzard with snow all day.

Saturday, January 30, 1909
Took final exam in Pol. Science 8 (Law of Taxation) this a.m. and in accountancy this p.m.

Sunday, January 31, 1909
Staid around the house most of the time and studied.

2 thoughts on “Amos Claycomb’s January 1909 Diary

  1. Pingback: Amos Claycomb’s December 1904 Diary | This I Leave

  2. Pingback: Amos Claycomb’s July 1909 Diary | This I Leave


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