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 The Journals of Emma Troutman Boylan
© 2023 Linda Hoopes
315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 750
Decatur, GA 30030

Emma #1: October 1927

The first month; setting the stage

(NOTE: Emma's Journal is reprinted here with permission of

Linda Hoopes. Linda is the Great-Granddaughter of Emma Troutman Boylan. The indented italized words are those of Linda Hoopes and hope they help a visitor to better understand these journals as to what is " who, what and where" they are reading about in Emma's journal pages,

These are the first entries in the journal. They are short, but begin to establish the cast of characters who will show up over the years. As the journal opens, Emma and Tell are living in Hubbard, Iowa. Emma is 48 years old, and Tell is 56. They have 3 children: Gerald, who is about 26, married to Miriam, and they have a couple of young children; Katharine, who is 21 and a teacher; and Ruth, who is about 14 and a student at Hubbard High School. Tell is running a farm equipment company, and they are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. None of their parents are still alive. Emma’s siblings live in other states. Some of Tell’s siblings live nearby in Eldora, while others live out of state.
NOTE: to view  full size version of the small photo just click on the small image. The image wull open in a full size image in a new window.

~Wed 19th. Lou Boylan came for a visit today.

~~This is the very first entry in the very first journal. Lou is Emma’s sister-in-law Louisa; she was visiting  from out of town.

~Thur 20th. Katharine went to a Study Centre at Iowa Falls today. Aunt Nora came down to stay all night.

~~This is the very first entry in the very first journal. Lou is Emma’s sister-in-law Louisa; she was visiting  from out of town.
~~Katharine Boylan was Emma’s oldest daughter, and my great-aunt. I hope to tell her story one day as well.
~~Aunt Nora is Tell’s sister, who was living in Eldora with her sister Daisey and brother Will, all of them single and in their 50s/60s

~Fri. 21st. Katharine went back to Iowa Falls again today. We had a pound party for Rev. Rowley's reception in the evening. Gerald brought us two pheasants.

~~A pound party is a social gathering to which each guest brings a pound of food or groceries. It was often used for housewarming celebrations.
~~Gerald was Emma and Tell’s son, and my great-uncle.

~Sat. 22nd. Louisa went back to Steamboat today. Alice, Nora, and Daisey drove over for a call. Katharine went after bittersweet. It is beautiful.
~~Alice was Tell’s sister-in-law, the wife of his brother John. John and Alice lived in Eldora as well.
~~Bittersweet is a pretty plant with clusters of bright orange pods. Here’s a picture.

~Sun. 23rd. We are to give a WFMS program at the church. Ruth has the principal part in a play, and I will give a short talk on Stewardship. Today is Rally Day at S.S. Gave my talk. Got along alright. Elected delegates to Union S.S. Con. Friday next.
~~Ruth was Emma and Tell’s daughter and my maternal grandmother.
~~Emma and her family were very active in the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was one of the largest denominations of the time, and was part of a national organization that held conventions on a regular basis. WFMS was the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society. S.S. was Sunday School, which was quite a big deal in the church world.
~Mon. 24th. A most beautiful Fall day. John Horning gave us two fine squirrels.
~~Did you notice the entry about pheasants above? And now squirrels!
~Tue. 25th. We all went to Ruth's piano recital after school this evening. She did nicely. Tell & I called on Rev. Haas. Rev. & Mrs. Rowley also called here. A beautiful warm day.
~~Ruth and her future husband (my grandfather) Robert Grooters became professional musicians. You’ll hear more about them in future entries.  
~Wed. 26th. Will came over from Eldora today.
~~Tell’s brother William was a bachelor in his late 60s at this time. He enjoyed writing, and published poetry and essays. I’ll share some of those along the way.
~Thur. 27. Went to WCTU meeting at Mrs. Tabor's today. Was named alternate delegate to Nat. Con. to be held in Boston from Hardin & Marshall counties.
~~More church activities—the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union is an organization that promotes abstinence from alcohol and other substances.
~Fri. 28. Today is Katharine's birthday. 22 yrs. Box supper tonight—eats and costumes. Went to S.S. convention at Union with Mrs. Rowley, Byman, and Olmstead. Talked to Primary Department.
~~A box supper was a social gathering in which girls decorated boxes and filled them with delicious food, and the boxes were auctioned to the boys. Each buyer shared the supper with the girl who brought it.
~Sat. 29. Another beautiful day. Will, Katharine and I gathered up a lot of leaves today. Fun. John and Alice are coming after Will. Gave Katharine a pair of bedroom slippers.

~Sun. 30. We had Miss Reece and her mother for dinner today in celebration of Katharine's 22nd birthday.

~Mon. 31. A beautiful washday. Will came over with John and Alice. We are enjoying a second growth of cress and mustard.
~~Monday was the traditional day for doing the laundry and hanging it out on the line. No washing machines here! Cress and mustard are garden plants whose leaves have a spicy taste. You’ll hear a lot more about Tell and Emma’s farm as we go along.
See you next week for November 1927!
~~From 1927 Iowa to mid-1950s Philadelphia via the Great Depression, Oregon, WWII and more, my great-grandmother's journal tells one woman's story that touches on universal themes and key events in American history..