Amos Claycomb’s May 1911 Diary

Plowing and planting and plowing and planting.  Not the most exciting month!

1911 wildorado hotel drawingMonday, May 1, 1911
Arthur plowed and I planted all day.

Tuesday, May 2, 1911
Ditto.  Partly cloudy with strong south east wind all day.

Wednesday, May 3, 1911
Ditto work.

Thursday, May 4, 1911
Finished double rowing the sorghum today.  Killed a rattler with seven rattles tonight and chopped a young one almost half in two but he got in a hole.

Friday, May 5, 1911
Started to plant kaffir on the north side of Sec. 11 today.  Arthur rolled sod this a.m. and drove over to Womble’s this p.m.

Saturday, May 6, 1911
Planted kaffir all day while Arthur rolled sod.

Sunday, May 7, 1911
Took mare over to Womble’s this a.m.  Sharpened some plow points and cleaned some maize seed after dinner.

Monday, May 8, 1911
Planted kaffir all day while Arthur plowed.

Tuesday, May 9, 1911

Wednesday, May 10, 1911
Arthur went to Wil- after some coal this a.m. but plowed this p.m.  I planted all day.

Thursday, May 11, 1911
Arthur plowed and I planted all day.  Had to quit plowing tonight as the ground is too dry.

Friday, May 12, 1911
Arthur rolled all day while I planted.

Saturday, May 13, 1911
Arthur planted all day and finished the kaffir corn – about 105 acres.  I drove team to Wil- this a.m. after some homco.  Sharpened points most of the p.m.  Raining tonight.

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Sunday, May 14, 1911
Rode pony to Wil- after the mail this a.m. and over to Harker’s this p.m. where I staid for supper.

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Monday, May 15, 1911
Sprinkled a little last night but it did not amount to much.  Arthur plowed all day while I planted.  Started on the maize.  Saw three antelope just east of my field while I was planting.

Tuesday, May 16, 1911
Took train to Amarillo this a.m. and came back at 4:20 p.m.

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Wednesday, May 17, 1911
Norman planted all day.

Thursday, May 18, 1911

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Friday, May 19, 1911
Ditto.  I sharpened some plow points, cleaned some seed and then fixed some pasture fence.

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Saturday, May 20, 1911
Sprinkled a little last night and Norman only planted after dinner.  Cold norther all day.

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Sunday, May 21, 1911
Staid home all day.

Monday, May 22, 1911
No wind blowing today and pretty warm.  The Dogie brought a white-face heifer calf this morning which makes me a herd of two cows, two heifer calves, and eight yearlings – five steers and three heifers.  Rode pony over to Bush- this p.m.

Tuesday, May 23, 1911
Drove pony to Amarillo this forenoon.  Staid with Dr. Hanson tonight.

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Wednesday, May 24, 1911
Drove home after dinner.

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Thursday, May 25, 1911
Rode pony up after the mail this a.m. and over to Gladly’s in the brakes this p.m. with Arthur.

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Friday, May 26, 1911
Nothing doing.   Sprinkled a little this p.m.

Saturday, May 27, 1911
Arthur took the black mares over to Womble’s today.  Sprinkled a little.

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Sunday, May 28, 1911
Hard rain last night and there is lots of water on the ground today.  Took train to Amarillo this a.m. and I have been with Arthur McKnight most of the day and am staying at his house tonight.

Monday, May 29, 1911
Hard rain again last night.  Staid in town all day and attended Elk lodge with Harker tonight.  Staid with Dr. Hanson all night.

feb10 hanson city dir

Tuesday, May 30, 1911
Hard rain again last night.  Came out to Bush- on the train this p.m. and am staying at Harker’s tonight.

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Wednesday, May 31, 1911
Drove home this a.m. and then up town after the mail.  Partly cloudy and sultry all day.

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Christmas Pie

Christmas Pie was the first course at our holiday dinner.  We found our places at the table by the name tag that attached to a ribbon.  All the ribbons lead to one brightly wrapped box in the middle.  All together we pulled on them and found a small gift, usually humorous, on the other end.

Mom brought this tradition to the family from the Duncans, but I don’t know if any of the younger generation keeps it going.

christmas pie

Christmas Pie at Jeanie’s – away from the table of food! About 1968.


Christmas 1900

christmas 1900 DeKalb


This photo is labeled Christmas 1900 DeKalb.  That’s DeKalb, Illinois.  Update:  My brother sent me a copy of this with the names.  Great Christmas present!  Although I’m not sure the names line up correctly.
L-R:  Clifford Duncan, E. J. Farmer (father of Mabel Farmer Duncan), T. C. Duncan, Hazel Wiswall, Howard Duncan, Mrs. Elva Patchen Wiswall, Nettie Duncan, Mr. Elna Wiswall, Mr. William Patchen (Elva’s father), Vera Wiswall, Mabel Farmer Duncan, Ed Duncan, Dr. J. C. Duncan.  Duncan residence, 4th St., DeKalb, Illinois.
Things I know:  Hazel and Vera Wiswall would be young women at this time.

Amos Claycomb’s April 1911 Diary

This is an important month for Amos and Ruth.  He travels to Wayne and is there for the wedding of Ruth’s sister, Kate, to William von Seggern.  While in Wayne, he makes a major purchase on the 19th.  He makes no mention of it in his diary, only in the ledger.

Saturday, April 1, 1911
Plowed all day.

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Sunday, April 2, 1911
Drove pony after mail this a.m.  It rained and hailed for about an hour this p.m. and about 3 inches of water fell and it is raining and hailing again tonight.  One of my steer calves was killed by lightning during the storm and the hen house was blown 30 ft. and set down on part of the header which was not under the shed.

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Monday, April 3, 1911
Skinned yearling and rebuilt hen-house today.  Drove pony up town after the mail this p.m.  Norther most of the day and it is misting tonight.

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Tuesday, April 4, 1911
Took train to Amarillo this noon and came back tonight.

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Wednesday, April 5, 1911
Nothing doing.

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Thursday, April 6, 1911
Cleaned some threshed maize for seed today.

Friday, April 7, 1911
Started plowing again today with both plows.

Saturday, April 8, 1911
Plowed today and I plowed the fresh plowing this p.m.  Rode pony over to Bush tonight but came home early.

Sunday, April 9, 1911
Drove team to Wil- after some homco and the mail this a.m.  Drove them over to Bush- after dinner for some maize and kaffir seed.

Monday, April 10, 1911
Plowed all day.

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Tuesday, April 11, 1911
Plowed all day.

Wednesday, April 12, 1911
I rolled this a.m. with Norman plowing.  I took six plow points over to Ballew’s after dinner and he sharpened them for me.

Thursday, April 13, 1911
Rolled all day while Norman plowed.  A piece on the gang broke on the last round tonight.  Drove pony up to Harker’s after supper and staid there all night.

Friday, April 14, 1911
Took train to Amarillo after the repairs but had to send to Dallas for them.  Got some kaffir and shumac seed of Early.

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Saturday, April 15, 1911
Arthur plowed with the sulky today while I went after my seed at Wil-.  Rode pony over to Bush tonight.

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Sunday, April 16, 1911
Took train to Amarillo this noon with Bert and staid at the Elks all the p.m.   Took Santa Fe to Kansas City tonight.

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Monday, April 17, 1911
Reached K. C. about 6 p.m. and ate supper with Beardsley at the K.C. Athletic Club.  Took Burlington for Omaha at 10:40 p.m.

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Tuesday, April 18, 1911
Reached Omaha this morning and got to Wayne a little after six tonight.

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Wednesday, April 19, 1911
Out auto riding this p.m. with Ruth, Kate, Will and Fred Pile.

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1911 kate will signs, April 20, 1911
Saw Kate and Will married tonight.
[Kate Bressler, sister of Ruth Bressler, married William Von Seggern.
They settled in  Wayne, Nebraska.]

Friday, April 21, 1911
With Ruth most of the time today.

Saturday, April 22, 1911
Started home this morning.  Ate lunch with Mr. Combs at the Omaha Commercial Club.

Sunday, April 23, 1911
Rode thru Kansas all day.

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Monday, April 24, 1911
Reached Amarillo this a.m. and got out at Bush tonight and staid all night with Koot.  Heavy rain all over this country last night.

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Tuesday, April 25, 1911
Koot drove me home this a.m.  Too wet to do any work.

Wednesday, April 26, 1911
Rode pony after the mail this a.m.

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Thursday, April 27, 1911
Helped Armstrong load some kaffir and maize which I sold him this a.m.  Fixed fence with Arthur on Sec. 11 after dinner.

Friday, April 28, 1911
Arthur rolled some old plowing all day.  I rode pony after the mail this a.m. and over to Bush- after dinner.

Saturday, April 29, 1911
Arthur plowed all day.  I started to plant sorghum on the 40 acres east of the house on Sec. 8 and am double rowing it for feed.

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Sunday, April 30, 1911
Rode pony after the mail and did my washing this a.m.  Sharpened a plow point and then rode pony over to Harker’s and staid for supper.

Amos Claycomb’s March 1911 Diary

The last few weeks of entries here worry me.  I think my grandfather may have started the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  Okay, this was early, but I’m not sure the farming methods he learned in Illinois were modified for the Texas prairie. 

Wednesday, March 1, 1911
Snow all over the ground again today.  Took sow up to Harker after dinner and brought back my two calves.  Sow weighed 470 lbs.

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Thursday, March 2, 1911
Drove pony up after the mail today.  Slightly warmer.

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Friday, March 3, 1911
Took train to Amarillo today and got some homco and other things.  Drove back to Bush with Mr. Paine.  Roads very muddy.

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Saturday, March 4, 1911
Staid at Harker’s last night and drove home this a.m.  Warm today and the snow is about all gone.  Staid home tonight.

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Sunday, March 5, 1911
Drove over to Harker’s this p.m. for short time.

Monday, March 6, 1911
Hauled manure away from the barn this p.m.

Tuesday, March 7, 1911
No excitement.

Wednesday, March 8, 1911
Rode pony over to Bushland after dinner and then drove over to Dillon’s with Bert and we bought a hog together.  Cost $12.50.

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Thursday, March 9, 1911
Rode pony up town this a.m.  Bought a team of Shaw for $400 with their harness.  Horse 8 yrs old and mare 5 yrs.  Norman harrowed wheat all day.

Friday, March 10, 1911
Arthur finished harrowing wheat at noon and started to plow sod on the east land after dinner.  I fixed fence around the feed yard and worked around the barn.

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Saturday, March 11, 1911
Arthur plowed all day.

Sunday, March 12, 1911
Staid around the house all day.

Monday, March 13, 1911
Drove new team up town this a.m. and I brought back some coal for Norman and a new sulky plow which we set up this p.m.

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Tuesday, March 14, 1911
Started to plow with sulky this morning and am using three horses.  Norman is plowing with the gang and four horses.

Wednesday, March 15, 1911
Plowed all day.  Drove pony up town this noon after some groceries and the mail.

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Thursday, March 16, 1911
Plowed all day.

Friday, March 17, 1911
Started to roll the plowing this a.m.  Norman still plowing.

Saturday, March 18, 1911
Finished plowing and rolling the east 45 acres today.  Drove up town after dinner and got some points sharpened.  Rode pony over to Harker’s tonight and played cards.031811 LSunday, March 19, 1911
Rode pony after mail this a.m.  Laid off land on Sec. 11 this p.m. where Nicolson is to steam plow 100 acres on the north side.

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Monday, March 20, 1911
Steam plow started this a.m.   Norman started plowing on Sec. 11 with the gang this a.m.   Drove team to Bush after dinner and brought home a small boar which I own with Harker.  Rain for a while this p.m. and tonight.

Tuesday, March 21, 1911
Drove to Wil- this a.m. after some homco.  Too wet to plow today.

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Wednesday, March 22, 1911
Still too wet to plow.

Thursday, March 23, 1911
Plowed with gang and sulky all day.

atc tractor wildorado 1909Friday, March 24, 1911
Ditto.  Nicolson finished steam plowing this noon – doing about 105 acres on a 100 acre contract.

Saturday, March 25, 1911
Plowed all day.

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Sunday, March 26, 1911
Rode pony up town after the mail this a.m. and settled with Nicolson for steam plowing.

Monday, March 27, 1911
Plowed all day.

Tuesday, March 28, 1911
I rolled today while Arthur plowed with the gang.

Wednesday, March 29, 1911
Arthur plowed all day.  I went to Am- on train and came back tonight.

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Thursday, March 30, 1911
Went to Wil- this a.m. to have some plow points sharpened while Arthur rolled.  I rolled this p.m. and Arthur drove over to Marshall’s to sell his pony.

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Friday, March 31, 1911
Plowed all day.  Have about 185 of sod plowed now and we turn about seven acres a day with the gang and sulky.

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Grandma’s Mustard Sauce

We fixed Grandma’s mustard sauce every time we had ham.  Okay, we rarely had ham, but this was required.  Here’s Ruth Bressler Claycomb’s recipe card in her handwriting.

rbc mustard sauce

Mustard Sauce
1/2 bottle French’s mustard (large half)
1 c sugar
2 Tbsp flour (rounded)
Mix above ingredients together.
1/2 c vinegar
1 c boiling water poured over 1 bouillon cube
1/4 c butter
Add liquid to dry ingredients – cook until thick – add butter.

My favorite part of this recipe is the 1/2 bottle of French’s mustard.  Possibly it came in only one size then.  It reminds me of Mom’s dear friend Adj’s recipe for Quick Tamale Pie – the ingredients include 1 15¢ bag Fritos.  That’s about 1 1/2 Fritos at today’s prices.

Amos Claycomb’s February 1911 Diary

February 1911 was an important month in the lives of my grandparents.  Amos had traveled from where he was living in Texas to his hometown, Sycamore, Illinois.  Ruth Bressler came to visit and meet the family.  And then Amos traveled to her hometown, Wayne, Nebraska, to meet her family.  

Wednesday, February 1, 1911
Went over to DeKalb after dinner and had the other side of my nose fixed.

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Thursday, February 2, 1911
Went over to DeKalb this a.m. but came home right away.  Went over again after supper and staid all night at a hotel.

Friday, February 3, 1911
Met Ruth this morning when she arrived about six o’clock.  Came right over home and staid here most of the day.  Louise, Dutch, Ruth and I went up to a dance at Pierce’s Hall about 9:30 and came home at 11:30.

Saturday, February 4, 1911
Staid home most of the day but saw the vaudeville at DeKalb tonight with Ruth, Louise and Dutch.

Sunday, February 5, 1911
Whole family went up to Eleanor’s for dinner.  Blizzard started this p.m. which stopped the cars and we had to come home in a hack.

Monday, February 6, 1911
Louise, Ruth, Dutch and I went into Chicago this a.m. and came out at 11:15 p.m.  Saw the New York Hippodrome this p.m. at the Auditorium and David Warfield in “The Return of Peter Grimm” tonight at the Blackstone.

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Tuesday, February 7, 1911
Went over to DeKalb this a.m.  Staid in house all day but went up to Dan Wild’s after supper for Ruth and Louise who had been there for a card party.

Wednesday, February 8, 1911
Ruth went up to Eleanor’s to a bridge party this p.m. and I went up town.  Staid home tonight.

Thursday, February 9, 1911
Took Ruth’s trunk up to the depot this a.m.  Took her over to DeKalb on the 7:30 car tonight and she took the 7:45 train west.  Dutch left tonight for Boise.

Friday, February 10, 1911
Went up town this p.m. but staid home tonight.

Saturday, February 11, 1911
Up town this p.m.  Home tonight.

Sunday, February 12, 1911
Went over to DeKalb this a.m. to see doctor for the last time.  Called at Uncle Fred’s, Gates’ and Dan Wild’s after dinner and ate lunch at Eleanor’s.

Monday, February 13, 1911
Up town both this morning and afternoon.  Left DeKalb at 7:45 tonight for Wayne.

Tuesday, February 14, 1911
Reached Sioux City at 8:15 a.m.   Staid there until 4:35 p.m. when I left for Wayne getting there about seven.  Met by Ruth at the train and went up to the Bressler’s.

Bressler home, Wayne, Nebraska, about 1916.

Bressler home, Wayne, Nebraska, about 1916.

Wednesday, February 15, 1911
In Wayne all day.

Thursday, February 16, 1911
In Wayne all day.  Fire tonight.

Friday, February 17, 1911
Left for Lincoln this a.m. with Ruth and stopped a couple of hours in Omaha.  Reached Lincoln about 3:30.  Took Ruth out to the Tri Delt house and came back to the Lincoln Hotel.  Took Ruth to the Tri Delt annual at the Lincoln tonight.

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Saturday, February 18, 1911
Took Ruth to the Lincoln for lunch and to see “Polly of the Circus” this p.m. at the Oliver theater.  Talked with her a few minutes after their banquet and started for Texas at 1 a.m. on the Burlington.

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Sunday, February 19, 1911
Reached Kansas City this a.m. and left there late at about 10:40.  Snow blowing a blizzard all day.   Ate dinner at Topeka and supper at Wellington.

Monday, February 20, 1911
Reached Amarillo about 11 a.m. and staid there until 7:30 tonight.  Got off at Bush and staid there all night with Harkers.

Tuesday, February 21, 1911
Koot drove me home from Bush this forenoon and staid for dinner.  Drove the mares to Wildorado after dinner for my baggage.  Snowing all day.

Wednesday, February 22, 1911
Norman went to Amarillo on train today to get a tooth fixed.  Am feeding fodder to the horses and calves now as the ground is covered with snow.

Thursday, February 23, 1911
Rode pony up town this a.m. after the mail.  Worked around the place this afternoon.

Friday, February 24, 1911
Took train into Amarillo from Bushland this noon and came back tonight.  Staid at Harker’s all night.

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Saturday, February 25, 1911
Harker came out home to dinner with me.  After dinner we drove to Wildorado and then back to Bushland.

Sunday, February 26, 1911
Staid at Harker’s last night.  Traded him a fat sow of mine and $5 for two calves.

Monday, February 27, 1911
Drizzled all day.

Tuesday, February 28, 1911
Norther with snow started last night and has been on all day.  Am keeping part of the horses in the barn and am feeding the rest of the stock in the pasture.

Cast of Characters:
“Dutch” – I think this is Amos’ brother George.  He lived in Boise.  His children had nicknames, although I can’t remember his son Ralph’s, but his son Edward was called ‘Pete’ and his son George was called ‘Goob’ – lovely.
Dan Wild:  Eleanor Townsend’s nephew, son of Sarah Pierce and George Wild.
Louise and Eleanor: Amos’ sisters.
Uncle Fred:  Fred Townsend, brother of Amos’ mother, Anna Sarah.
Harkers:  Ruth Bressler’s sister Maud and her husband, O.A. Harker, who lived near Amos in Texas.