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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 #3: December 1927
"The end of the first year."

20 Jan 2022 Linda Hoopes: As we end 1927, I want to thank you for going on this journey with me. I’m having such fun exploring Emma’s world, and going down lots of interesting trails. Hope you enjoy this next installment.
This is the second month of Emma’s journal.
If you missed the first issue, you might want to go back and look at it to get an idea
of who some of the people are that she mentions.

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

The indented italized words are those of Linda Hoopes to help a visitor to these

journals better understand who, what and where they are reading about in the journal pages,)

~Thu 1. Entertained WFMS today.
~~The Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1869, and sent its first two missionaries to India that year.
~Fri 2. Nora came over today. Gave her recital at the school house. It was very fine.
~~Tell’s sister Nora (Margaret Manora) was an accomplished musician/performer, and had a career as a music teacher; by the time she died at age 95 in Missouri, she had served as the dean of music and speech at Kansas City University and as the Director of Music and Reading at North Texas State Normal College (now NTSU).
~Sat 3. Took a long vocal lesson from Nora. Started some reducing exercises. Almost a blizzard this AM.
~~Here’s an interesting article on “reducing” (losing weight to become thin) in the 1920s. Emma had a lifelong struggle with weight, and also with diabetes.
~Sun 4. Snowing this AM. We all went to church & SS AM & evening. Met with Rev. Rowley’s class in PM. Cold. Will’s birthday.

~Mon 5. Wash day. Went to a Farm Bureau play at the schoolhouse in evening.
~~The Farm Bureau movement started in 1911, with a national organization being formed in 1919. They played a large role in rural communities. Their activities included social/educational events that might include refreshments, demonstrations, and plays.
~Tue 6. Made a house dress (white). Went to the preliminary dramatic contest at schoolhouse. Rev. Hart of DePaul University stayed all night.

~Wed 7. A sure enough blizzard today. Taught this PM in Bible school.

~Thu 8. Too cold to have the Older Boys & Girls Conf. today. Roads drifted so speakers could not get through. Choir party at Port’s in evening.

~Fri 9. We all went to the basketball game—Alden vs Hubbard. Saw Mrs. Johnson. Got a letter from Lou.
~~High school basketball was thriving in 1927, including womens’ 6-on-6 games. I found this great story about women in Newhall, another small Iowa town, who fought back on the decision to eliminate the girls’ state championship tournament.
~Alden was a town about 20 miles up the road.
~Sat 10. Made Ruth a black velvet dress today. Dr. Hart left today. Katharine went to the Falls.
~~I’m pretty sure this is the town of Cedar Falls, and I think Katharine was studying at Iowa State Teachers College https://www.jstor.org/stable/4604025 (now the University of Northern Iowa).
~Sun 11. Went to church & SS this AM. Gerald came down in the evening. I called on Annabelle Albright who is sick with pneumonia. Nora’s birthday.

~Mon 12. Finished reading Albert Edward Wiggam’s book The Fruit of the Family Tree today. Had my SS class after school. We made picture books.
~~Albert Edward Wiggam was an author and speaker on topics related to psychology and heredity. Here’s an article he published in Good Housekeeping in 1927 called “Shall I Marry This Man?”
~Tue 13. Finished reading the Bible through today. Started last Jan. while in Rochester. Went to Iowa Falls to hear Jack Minor in the evening.
~~I am guessing that the speaker was Jack Miner, an ornithologist and conservationist who was one of the early users of bird banding to study migratory patterns. He may have been speaking at Ellsworth College (now Ellsworth Community College), which is in Iowa Falls.
~Wed 14. A beautiful sunshiny day. Taught in Bible school today.

~Thu 15. Cold today. The study club met here in the evening—15 present.

~Fri 16. Went to the Exhibit Tea at the High School this PM.
~~As far as I can tell, an Exhibit Tea was an art exhibit where tea was served.
~Sat 17. Ruth & Katharine went to Iowa Falls today on the bus. I went up to Miriam’s a little while.

~Sun 18. Cold today. Went to church & SS twice. Ruth is playing for the evening choir. Think I will go to Des Moines tomorrow.

~Mon 19. Wash day. Nora came over today. Tell & I went to Des Moines.
~~Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, had a population of about 130-140,000 at that time. It was about 60 miles away.
~Tue 20. Stayed in Des Moines till the afternoon bus. Bought a box of Fabric Paints.
~~Here’s an example of a hand-painted dress made in the style of the late 1920s.
~Wed 21. Took a vocal lesson today. Nora went home this PM. Taught at Bible school.

~Thu 22. Made letters for a Christmas exercise. Heard the girls drill in the evening.
~~I expect this was a Bible Study drill with the study group she has mentioned earlier.
~Fri 23. Ruth was fourteen today. Had Gerald & his family for supper. Went to the school program in PM.

~Sat 24. Church program in the evening. Painted some in PM.

~Sun 25. Christmas Day. It is so warm out today. So many nice gifts came my way—a cyclamen plant in bloom, a hand painted scarf-handkerchief, roaster, correspondence cards, bayberry candles and so many greetings. We have heard from 16 states.
~~Here’s a cyclamen plant1. I think the roaster refers to a goose, because she cooks it later. And I discovered that there is a tradition of lighting a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve, when you see the first star, and then letting it burn down to its end to bring prosperity to the house for the coming year.
NOTE: Click small image to view  it full.
~Mon 26. We spent today with the Stubbs & Dogget families at the Stubbs home. Took Nora with us. She read The Gift in the PM. Had a lovely Christmas dinner.

~Tue 27. Washed this PM. Went to the shop in the PM & posted books while Tell & Gerald went to the farm. Roasted our goose today.
~~The shop was Tell’s farm implement company.
~~Aha! Here’s the Christmas goose being cooked.
~Wed 28. We have been painting today. Went to Eldora—Ruth, Katharine and I & got Katharine a pretty new coat. Daddy & Katharine went to the basketball game—Hubbard Hounds vs Radcliffe Firemen.

~Thu 29. Painted handkerchiefs most all day. Lottie & Miss Reece came over awhile.

~Fri 30. Read Pollyanna’s Debt of Honor through today. It is very cold & windy.
~~The original Pollyanna book was written in 1913 by Eleanor Porter, and is considered a classic2. A series of sequels was written by two other authors—this one in 1927 by Harriet Lummis Smith.
~Tue 27. Sat 31. It is another cold day. Went to Mrs. Baker’s to the KH party celebrating 25th anniversary of KH. Have a bad cold.
~~I think KH is the King’s Heralds, the children’s branch of the WFMS. I am starting to add acronyms and abbreviations to the list of people and places for future reference.
This is the last entry in 1927. See you next week to start 1928!
1...Photo by Manuel Torres Garcia on Unsplash.
2...From the Wikipedia entry: “Despite the current common use of the term to mean ‘excessively cheerful,’ Pollyanna and her father played the ‘glad game’ as a method of coping with the real difficulties and sorrows that, along with luck and joy, shape every life."