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Such Times
A Diary Kept by Josephine Emerick
While Visiting Relatives in Pennsylvania and Maryland in 1881


Josephine (Emerick) Whelan
Google Books

Overview: Born in Somerset County, PA in 1856, in the quiet years before the Civil War, Josephine Emerick in infancy migrated with her family to Iowa. There, she grew to womanhood on a farm in Poweshiek County. Then in the fall of 1881, when she was about to turn 25, she had the opportunity to return to her old home region for an extended time to get acquainted with her Pennsylvania relatives.

Fortunately, Josephine kept a diary of her varied travel experiences. It spans the time period from late September 1881 to late March 1882. It later was transcribed by her son, Dr. Ralph Lewis Whelan with a copy of the typescript deposited in the Somerset (PA) Historical Center. It was re-discovered in 2021 and then edited and added to the Minerd.com family website.

Josephine was the daughter of Emanuel and Elizabeth (Boderfield) Emerick and granddaughter of Jonathan and Rachel (Sturtz) Emerick. Many names (and nicknames) of those she met appear in her journal, and who was who is not always clear..

The diary recounts an extensive variety of activities in which she took part. It seems most every day she went somewhere with someone. She describes landmarks and towns she saw – Wills Mountain, Mt. Savage, Kennells Mills, Cumberland, Pompa Smash, Dans Rock, Wellersburg, Meyersdale, Salisbury, Pocahontas, the Casselman River, Palo Alto and Stringtown. She recounts seeing the old houses where she had been born and her mother raised, and touring a coal mine. She attended camp meetings and church services, often where the preaching was entirely in German, and after one she wrote she “could not understand any.” Social activities included apple cuttings, singing school, spelling school, candy parties, boiling sugar and butcherings. She also spent time making dresses for cousins of whom she was especially fond.

Christmas Day was spent at church, then lunch at home, and then singing that evening in the Kennell’s Church House. New Year’s Day supper was held at her grandparents’ home, followed by evening Sunday School. . To pay her respects to deceased relatives, she visited at least three cemeteries during her visit. She also transcribed a list of births and baptisms of her father, uncles and aunts.

Travel was difficult, especially in the winter. She describes a ride in a buck wagon where “the mud flew right and left.” On walks through the rough mountain paths, a far cry from the Iowa flatness, she said “I thought my feet would come off stumbling over the rocks.” Sometimes the snows were so deep that she remained housebound for the day.As always, she experienced a host of deaths and funerals, among them her first cousin Emanuel T. Emerick, age 15, of lung fever. Others she cited were of “old Mr.” Daniel Leydig, her Uncle John Beal’s father, two of George Wilhelm’s children and Henry Dorns’ baby.

Frequently homesick, she yearned for letters from her Iowa family. She finally left for home on March 28, 1882, embarking at the rail station in Cumberland, MD, having purchased a railroad ticket for $21.00. Four years after her return, she wedded John L. Whelan and began to raise a family of their own.


~ September 1881 ~


First page of Josephine's retyped diary. Courtesy Somerset Historical Center


Thursday September 23 1881 - Am at Cooks Mills and at Uncle Yoans. Mills is not a large place. Am sitting on the porch and taking a view of the Mountains. Uncle knew me but Aunty did not. Mr. Lowery came here this morning and one of Uncle Johns boys.

Am in the town of Hyndman way up on a mountain and do not know how to get down. Am sitting under a pine tree writing and how grand everything does look. I can look down and see all over the town. Will go to Cooks Mills at noon. It makes me dizzy to look at the mountains they are so high.


Josephine's grandparents, Rachel and Jonathan Emerick. Courtesy Courtney Moen

September 28 - Am at the apple cutting and oh how I would rather be at home with Grandma. I don't want to go to any more as I think they are forward and so rough.

Sunday - Uncle Yoan and me are on our way up to Grandfathers. Have seen the Wills Mountain and the little Allegany and seen the place where I was born, the spring is on the north of the house. We stopped at the hill north of the house to rest and had a good talk. We came to Grandpas just as they were at dinner, they had heard that I was here. Have seen so many cousins and have not seen all yet.

Went up to Uncle Sols yesterday on Savage, oh but it is so rough had a time bumping home on a wagon. I went down to Kennels Mills last evening and in Jake Kennels store, he wants me to come down and see them. When we came home we stopped at Uncle Sauls did not get back until eleven oclock and my feet were almost given out, if you could only see me stumble around but I have not fell but do not know how long before I will.

Have been to Church this morning Mr. Knepper preach and most all in Dutch.

Am at Uncle Sauls tonight and will go with them to Cumberland and will have to get an early start. It was an early start before daylight did not eat my breakfast but supper was good.

Went to Cumberland and it was bumpty humpity until we got there and the high mountains I seen, and the narrows oh but they are high. The Bedford rail road runs through the Wills Mountain across from Creachams. Was not all through town, seen the market place it is a beautiful building and the town is nicely built, it is east and west. Will go all over the town before I go home. I was not tired after my trip, would have went to an apple cutting if it had not rained, at Henry Martz.


Skyline of Cumberland, Maryland


~ October 1881 ~

October 8 1881 - Went to Uncle Jakes and was there for supper and then to Grandpas again.

October 10 1881 - I am going to stay at Uncle Johns this week.


Dans Rock, in Maryland, which Josephine visited in late October 1881.

Was at Adam Lepleys to an apple cutting and had such a good time did not get home until after two o'clock.

Friday Evening, 1881 - Uncle Saul has an apple cutting tonight and we had a good time, fifteen girls and as many boys or more. Went home with Ed Schumacker.

October 16 1881- Went to Uncle Petes and seen the house where Mother was raised, nobody living there. Was weighed last evening one forty one and Annie weighed one forty.

October 22- I and [?] Kneireim went to Lonaconing and to a picnic and did not have a good time and was so mad and was in town until three o'clock Sunday. Stopped with Mollie Thilson, she did not know me. On Sunday morning six of us went four miles through a coal mine, and such times could not keep up with the first one, the leader. Went from there to dinner and then to the depot on the hill.

October the 23rd- We went to Pompa Smash, it is a town of almost one hundred inhabitants, most all Irish, do not think I will enjoy myself much. On Wednesday Lizzy Burkett and I went to the High Rock, the Dans Rock. We are at the spring near the rock. And on the rock at the highest point and such a fine view of hills in Virginia and the Potomac River runs nearby.

Friday the 28th - Aunt Tena, Charlie and Bill came to Grandmas. We stopped at Wellersburg, had our dinner there. Came to Emmas at the Church. After Church went up to Uncle Sauls with Ida and had the best time, Ida is my girl.

Saturday - There was twenty-four confirmed and Sunday morning they Communed. We went to Church in the evening and oh how it did rain and how tired I was until at Grandmas.


~ November 1881 ~

November the 2nd - Uncle Lef and Aunt Mary are going to Cumberland and I am going with them in the morning if it don't rain. Looks like rain today.

November the 3rd 188l - Was to Cumberland and got a little ducking, cleared in the afternoon. I got a supply of winter clothes. Went by Uncle Yoans shop got three letters - Home, Sister Mary K.


Wellersburg, Pennsylvania



Cemetery which Josephine visited on Nov. 5

November the 5th - Went to Wellersburg, Cousin (Gim or Jim) Emerick and me walked and almost played out until I got there. Stopped in the Cooks graveyard seen Rachel Knieriems grave and then to Wellersburg.

November the 6th 1881 - There is a protracted Meeting. Annie Knerierem and I was there Sunday morning and evening, not as large a congregation as at Isrel Emericks at the cross road. I was homesick and wished I was at Grandmas.

November the 9th - Aunt Becca, Annie and Jake Millers are going to Cumberland and will go with them. At Barrelsville the rain poured down, we were well provided with wraps and umbrellas, got to Cumberland all right, did not rain any after we got there. Such mountains of rocks I saw on my way there. Just grand I think.

November the 12th- Lew and me came over to Grandmas flying in a buck wagon and the mud flew right and left but anything to get here as I was homesick and was expecting a letter and was not disappointed as I got two from home and Uncle Dan [Bodifield].

Sunday - This is my birthday (Nov. 13) and such pullings I never had, the children are just watching me to get a nip at my ears and it keeps me busy to watch all of them. I know that Lizzie Kennell will never forget her fall that even1ng.

November the 15th - Was to an apple cutting at Sam Schumackers and before I got there I thought my feet would come off stumbling over the rocks. Did not have a very good time, the party was in a small house some distance from where they live and no fire, was at home by twelve o'clook.

November the 17th - In the afternoon I went to Uncle Jake Emericks, took supper with them, then Dillie and me started from there, was afraid, Jeff came with us through the timber then we were alone. Coming through the field there was a drove of pheasants flew up just in front of us, I gave one terrible yell, Dillie was so afraid she did not move.


Comp's Lutheran and Reformed Church


November the 20th - Went to the Comps Church in the morning to hear the new Preacher, did not like him as well as I do Knepper, he had a good voice in singing. Came home, had dinner, then went to the Kennells Church to singing, there was a great crowd there, twenty-three signed. Came home tumbling over the rocks w1th Cousin Emanuel and Richard.

November the 2lst - Am going to Kennell Mills this evening and then to an apple cutting at Henry Marts and think I will go to Cumberland tomorrow.

November the 23rd - Went to Kennells Mills in the evening, took supper at Jake Kennells then to Henry Marts to the apple cutting, did not have a good time as it was in a house some distance from the house they lived in and I caught a severe cold, no fire in the room. Went home w1th Cousin James Emerick. Came to Grandmas in the morning. It is butchering day at Uncle Lefs and such big times as there will be there.

Thursday the 24th - A very cold and snowy day and this was the day that Grandpa was to butcher.


Company named for the local mill which Josephine visited


The 25th 1881 - A very fine day and at work, have five hogs on the pole already and good times in general.

Saturday the 26th - Done Grandmas work today as Lizzie Kennell is sick with the measles and I will stay with Grandma until she is well. Think that Aunt Mary and me will go to Church in the morning.


Lover's Leap rocks, Cumberland, which Josephine may have climbed.

Sunday the 27th - We went to Church came to Grandmas, Aunt Becca and Jake Miller was here. I went to Singing School in the evening, came home with Cousin Rich Emerick.

Tuesday the 29th - Went to Cumberland with Birch Kennell want to send the box home, got it off allright. On the way back got a letter from Ohio. It was dark when we got to Derrel Emericks, stayed at Uncle Sauls all night and came to Grandmas in the morning. Lizzie is very sick with the measles.


~ December 1881 ~

Saturday the 3rd of December - Was busy all day, in the evening Lizzie and me finished quilting the skirt.

Sunday the 4th - Ida came home and went to see her, after dinner we went to Uncle Jakes to look at the dishes, oh they are so nice, Ida got a set and I got a set of dessert dishes they are so nice. Then we went to Singing School, asked Uncle Saul for the horses to go to Church in Wellersburg, he let us have them. Cousin Alec was over and he went to Church with us, the House was full and oh such shouting and squealing of five girls I never seen. Came home by the way of Lepleys we had a nice time got home after ten, came to Grandmas Monday morning. We washed today will iron in the morning then go to stay the rest of the week with Ida.

December the 9th - Aunt Ellen and me went to the Kennells grave yard, we stopped at the Allbright house and we wanted to go in the house that Mother used to live in but it was locked, we was at the spring, everything around the place looks forsaken, then we went to the grave yard, seen Grandmas and my Great Grandmas graves, they are in such a beautiful place, Then we went to Bakers to dinner then to Uncle Sauls.

Saturday the 10th - Uncle Saul, Ida, me and the boys went up to the rocks above Levi Kennells, oh but they are grand and will go again when it is not so cold. O but I was tired on our way back, we stopped at Levi Kennells as his boy was not expected to live and in less than a half hour he died. Ida and me was at the wake and we went to Church Sunday morning at the Comps Church, I caught a severe cold

Sunday evening - Uncle Nathan is sick and Emanuel is very sick, we hope for the better.

Thursday the 15th - At four o'clock Emanuel died, oh but he suffered, he had the lung fever, they will bury him at Comps grave yard.

Friday the 16th - This is a sad day here for Uncle Johns, Uncle Nathan is not any better and he looks so bad.

Sunday December 18, 1881 - This is the day of the funeral, and so many people, the Church was more than full and so many friends as is here. He looked so nice and was buried in the Comps grave yard. Uncle Nathan is getting a little better but slowly.

Monday the 19th - I am going to Uncle Sauls this morning to send off my letters. Albright is going to mail them in Hyndman then I will go to Kennells Mills with Aunt Mary and from there to Uncle Jakes for the rest of my dishes.

December the 22nd 1881 - Uncle Nathan is improving getting stronger every day. We hear the Church bell ringing, some one is dead, have the news that old Mr. Daniel Leydig is dead.

December the 23rd - The funeral will be tomorrow at ten o'clock I will go if the weather is not too bad, this is rainy and stormy weather. Uncle Yoan and Saul are at Grandmas today. Uncle Lef is down with a bad boil, he cannot rest any place. Ida and me will go to the wake tonight if the Weather is not too bad.

Sunday the 25th 1881 - This is Christmas Day and the first I have ever spent with Grandpa and Grandma. I went to Church, the preaching in Dutch, came home to dinner, then went in the evening Ginn, Charlie, Jeff and Saul all Cousins went to singing in the Kennells Church House, had rather a good time, came home and kept fire in the chimney corner that evening, Lizzie and Charlie was scared and retired for the night. Had some Christmas presents but all candy.

December the 29th - Aunt Mary, Lizzie, Charlie, Jeff and me went to Uncle Sauls and such a windy time. enjoyed ourselves rather well, came home and had a fine time here, did not get to bed until near twelve O'clock. Uncle John Beals and Aunt Lydia are here -- his Father is dead, died the same time Emanuel did, he was eighty one years two months and twelve days old, good old age was not sick only about four weeks. Aunt Lydia looks so much like Aunt Lovease Korns.

Friday the 30th 1881 - The sick is mostly all better. Aunt Martha and me rode horseback up to Uncle Joes, had just a splendid good time, they did not want us to come home, but we came. Oh it is cold and stormy weather. We was not cold, had the best time om our way home, just got frightened once on our way, we got here just as it was dark. Uncle went to Fairhope with a load of ties, they are just-getting over the measles, they were rather hard. I am homesick.

Saturday the 31st 1881 - Want to finish my dress am sewing on Aunt Marys machine it is a Howe, have worked all day faithfully but did not get near through. Such a time we have this evening. Ida and Ginn are here and I was Kris Kringle at Uncle Johns Oh such a good time, there was, Susan and Dille the little Santa Claus, then we had the time such as we may never have again. Then Charlie came as a ghost but don't think he frightened anyone much.


~ January 1882 ~

New Years Evening January Sunday the 1st 1882 - We had a dinner at Grandpas and the house was full, just six strangers and the rest all relatives. In the evening we all went to Sunday School. So many cousins walked down to the Church House with Cousin Charlie. Came home with Ed Schumacker. Oh but such a cold night when we came home we started the fire in the chimney and such a smoke, we finally got warm. Then Charlies girl left him and went to bed, she said she was sick but I think sleepy.

Monday the 2nd 1882 - I have been sewing most all day to finish my dress but not done yet have this evening. Received a letter from home and written by Sister, have just written answer to it. Did intend to go to Savage today but Charlie did not get back in time from Uncle Yoans. And now we will go in the morning if nothing happens to prevent, will now go to bed as it is after nine o'clock and I am tired. and sleepy and I will need all the rest I can get as I want to get on Mount Savage.

Tuesday the 3rd 1882 - Charlie and me are going on the mountain this morning, oh such walking and tired but we will get there. Arrived here at twelve o'clock and was so cold just as we reached the hill by the house, have had a good time. This afternoon Uncle Joe was playing the fiddle, in. the evening they killed a turkey and tomorrow a feast. Slept good and had a good dream of Howard.

Wednesday the 4th 1882 - A clear cold morning. I have not done much today if it had not been so cold could have went to Glencoe to a dance at John Beals. Uncle Joe is to play for it, him and Lew Rich went, Lew came home today is not going to work for Uncle Pete any longer, so they went to the dance. Commenced snowing this afternoon. I hope will give sleighing. Charlie is at home mending Claras shoe. Old diamond got a bad fall twice on the ice could not scarsely get up.

Thursday the 5th 1882 - Uncle Joe and the boys did not get home until in the morning and there was a peddlar name Joe Morris with them, he was not one of these cross ones we so often find but good natured, he was there until Friday afternoon and such times as they were a sleepy looking set that day and the snow was so deep and the walk was something like four miles. I almost thought of going but was wise in backing out.

Friday the 6th 1882 - We was having a good time in general in the forenoon in the afternoon there was a load came to Grandpas and the pedler too, Charlie, Lew and Uncle Joe and such nice times coming down the mountain over the rocks not being enough snow to cover them and when we got near here we stuck. I went to Church in the evening at the Kennells Church and did not like it as I was mad. But better pleased after Church as we had a good time.

Saturday the 7th 1882 - I finished my new dress and helped a little everywhere and made a waist canton flannel, and such a beautiful day. I done a little washing for myself, am getting ready to go to Mechanicsburg to see Dave Lindaman and now I think I will go to my bed as I am sleepy and tired.

Sunday the 8th 1882 – Up bright and early going to·Church at Emericks Church not a nice day rainy and sloppy but to Church, went up to Uncle Jakes they were not at home, they were at Grandpas. Then Annie Beal and me went to Cousin Em Lepleys and they were not at home then we went to Isrel E. she was there, was there a while then we went home with her had such a good supper then we went to singing school then we had a good time until we got home so muddy.

Monday the 9th 1882 - This is a chilly windy day and gloomy as they are all sick and hope for a change. Uncle Nathan, Lef, Grandma, Aunt Betsy and Ed are all under the weather. I am going to stay all night and get an early start in the morning to Mechanicsburg. It will be cold but I must go, going horse back, Cousin Saul and me and oh so muddy I do dread the trip so much.


Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, which Josephine said was "a beautiful place"


Tuesday the 10th 1882 - We are on our journey and a cold one, went through Meyersdale it is a beautiful place and quite a city, came to Mechanicsburg three miles from Meyersdale that is not much of a place. The roads were so rough and muddy and the journey long, came to Daves at three o'clock in the afternoon, was in the shop about an hour then went to the house and I thought I had never met with such cross a women as his wife but after further acquaintance with her so well we was there until between twelve and one o'clock then we·went to Salisbury.

Wednesday the 11th - It was three o'clock when we got to Salisbury, we went to one of Mothers cousins, one of Doctor Brookmans daughter, name of Delonse. In the evening we went to Church and such howling and crying in getting Religion, the House was full six converts.

Thursday the 12th 1882 - At nine in the morning we started for home and the mud flying, yet such a long lonesome journey. East of Salisbury there was such a dense pine grove and the sun cannot shine through, then we came to Pochantas [sic] it is not much of a place and east of there was so much pinewoods to go through. We got home at three o'clock in the afternoon. In our trip we crossed the Massllman [Casselman] river twice.


Dangerous Casselman River, which Josephine crossed twice in one day


Friday the 13th 1882 - Am at Uncle Sauls and such a rainy day, want to go to Uncle Jakes but it is too sloppy and bad and would like to go to Church but cannot. The Lutherans are holding big meetings at Kennells Church by Shoup the Preacher. Jeff came to Church and as he goes home I will go with him. He is horseback and went behind him and so muddy and wet but got here all right.

Saturday the 14th 1882 - I am at Grandpas and this is a cold windy day, froze hard last night, oh but the wind does blow hard, the sick are all a little better. Ida is coming up and I will go down with her and go to Church if not too cold. I will write a letter for Lizzie Kennell to her Sister Jane this afternoon. Am going to Uncle Sauls tonight. Ida is up to Grandmas and I will go home with her. We went to Church in the evening Norman K came home with her.

Sunday the 15th - We all went to Church in the morning. There was fifteen taken in the Church this' morning at the Kennell Church. After Church we came to Uncle Jakes, seen Cousin Joe and wife for the first time. Was there a while then Ida and me went to Sam. Shoemakers after dinner. Sam came down to Singing School and asked me to stay until' he came back and we would all go to singing in the evening, there was none, and when he came it was almost dark and was so muddy. We stayed with them all night. Ed came up with Sam.

January the 16th 1882 - Ida on our way down from Shoemakers stopped at school. Hanabal Marts is teacher, was there until recess then to Uncle Sauls in time for dinner. Kate Kennell came there after dinner, I rode one of Uncle Johns horses up home. Uncle Saul had been hauling hay with it.

Thursday the 17th 1882 - Helped Lizzie do the work and after dinner I will go down with Uncle Jake. He is here, we went by Uncle Sauls, stopped there then down home. Jeff came down in the evening and we had a good time. Jake is going in the morning to Salisbury and Millard Lepley to see about a place that Grandpa is to buy of Mike Hay, it will be a cold day as this is such a cold night.

Wednesday the 18th 1882 - Uncle Jake has gone and Uncle John has gone to Meyersdale to the Doctor for Jeff, Martha, Frank and Grandma she was taken sick last evening. I am at Uncle Jakes, Aunty and me went out to get Calmus roots, went in to Jess Marts as we got the roots in their meadow, got so many. Saul went to Mill and got home just as Auntie and me did. Now I will have to go and wash the roots again.

Thursday the 19th 1882 - Was at Uncle Jakes until after dinner then went up to see how Grandma was and oh but I was so tired as the snow was so hard to walk through, she is much better, I will not go down until tomorrow. Ida is up here patching for Uncle Nathan and we have the nicest times, the sick are all better but Jeff is no better.

Friday the 20th 1882 - We are at Grandmas and after dinner I will go to Uncle Jakes, went by Sauls and oh but I am mad. Ellie was just telling me what Jake Kennell has told Isrel Emerick and I am going for him. Have seen him and he denies it. Am at Uncle Jakes for supper and will go to the spelling school. Eliza Kennell and Ida Boyer are here for me. I do not think much of their spelling school.

Saturday the 21st 1882 – I am at Grandmas and it is a cold stormy day and will help Lizzie to do her work and will sew some. The sick are getting better but slowly. My throat is a little sore but it will get better soon. Lew Emerick came down in the evening will stay all night. Cousin Saul is here in the evening. We all we went down to Uncle Johns, he is going to patch my shoe. I am tired and sleepy.

Sunday the 22nd 1882 - The first thing when I awoke I heard the wind blowing and the snow flying, such a day and Church Sunday at that. Lizzie Kennell is going home but I will not go out to Church nor at singing but would like to. I will stay at home with Grandma and Grandpa. but it is lonesome today. Have been hunting Uncle Nathans hood. After supper I will write some letters home to sister and Aunt Kate.

Monday the 23rd - The storm lasted all night but is more settled this morning. I want to go to Uncle Yoans, got as far as Sauls and will wait until in the morning and go with Him and Charlie, they will drive a cow down to Stringtown and Uncle will carry my valise for me. I will do some sewing for Ida make her a waist, I like to sew on their machine a New Home

Tuesday the 24th - Well we are all ready to take Shanks Horses and go, it is such rough walking. We are at Yoans shop and I am tired and cold will send off my letters and then go to the house. Am at the house and I am cold. It is in the afternoon and I am going out and take a walk and look around a little. My throat is not any better will have to do something for it.

Wednesday the 25th 1882 - Well I am all right and enjoying myself, Aunt and me have taken it into our heads to make a new dress out of an old one and are ripping at it now. Charlie Lowery came here the first time I have seen him. Was out trying to make friends with the sheep but they will not let me get near them and such a cross dog as Uncle has, keep him chained all the time, he almost got to near me.

Thursday the 26th 1882 - We have the dress ready for stitching and Auntie has no machine, we will go to Stringtown and visit there today with her sister Chat Witt. We are there and it was almost impossible to get there the ground was covered with sleet. Had a splendid good dinner, Uncle Yoan went up home and came just about two minutes after we did. Had company in the evening Will Lowery and John Madden.

Friday the 27th~. This is a dull and tiresome day, have the dress almost completed. Auntie has washed and we will go to see Chat this afternoon and finish stitching. Rather a nice afternoon but oh the mud. Aunt and Uncle came home before I did, I was there just at dark and in the evening Uncle and me had a good time. Rich, Charlie and Jonathan were here for dinner. Brought corn.

Saturday the 28th - Has been snowing and disagreeable have finished the dress and looks like a new one, have had good times today and met with but one disappointment, Jonathan was coming down after me and did not come, think that he will be here in the morning. There is so much sickness about. Two of George Wilhelm’s children died last night twenty minutes apart of measles taking cold and turned into diptheria, so they say.

Sunday the 29th 1882 - Am at Uncle Yoans and am afraid they will not come after me, I will walk if they dont come, I will go after dinner and such a cold day. I have started to walk Aunt Druse will go as far as Stringtown. Just as we got a little below the school Charlie came horseback, will go back to the house again to get my valise. Oh how cold the wind blew on the other side of Palalta [Palo Alto] and coming up from Isrel Emericks. In the evening Ida and me went to Singing School. Will Albright came in the Church drunk and was going to fight and such times he is a holy terror and jail would be the best place for him. Came up by Uncle Sauls, went up to Grandpas. Uncle Saul was with us. Not as many at singing, too cold I think and it seemes as though I could not get up the hill.

Monday the 30th 1882 – In the morning I came down to Uncle Sauls with Jeff and the wagon had no bed on it but came nicely on a sack of buckwheat. After dinner I went with Ida. We stopped at Isrel Emericks, went as far with her as Uncle Jakes, they went to Somerset. This a beautiful day. Came as far as Isrel Emericks then waited until Jeff came by then rode horseback to Uncle Sauls. Bill Witt was there, Levi Kennell. What tine times I have.

Tuesday the 31st 1882 – This is a wild day. The snow is just coming down as if it meant business, and quite cold, will not go out today. In the evening the snow is deep enough to sleigh ride. The wind has commenced to blow and am afraid it will drift. Aunt Ellen is washing and she will have to hunt her clothes in the morning. Closed a stocking for Charlie and now I will put George asleep, he is such a nice baby.


~ February 1882 ~

Wednesday the 1st – It has been a dull bad day, have been sewing some and holding the baby. Aunt Ellen is washing. In the evening Ben Kelly, Mike Sturtz and Ed Shoemaker came there with a zankey jumper as they call them. Cousin Saul was there just got home from Somerset. Uncle Saul has won. Ide and Uncle are at Uncle Youns and I will go with Charlie tomorrow after them with the sleigh.

Thursday February the 2nd 1882 – Charlie is almost ready to go. I will take George with me. There is good sleighing. We just got as far as Palalto and they were to Cousin Joe Emericks. Had a fine time comming home, this is Candle Mass day and the sun is shining so we will have seven weeks of bad Weather. The snow is almost all gone and no sleigh ride yet.

Friday the 3rd 1882 – Am at Uncle Sauls yet and will stay here this week and make Idas calico dress. She has such a pretty dress. Will make it just like my calico. Oh such good times as Ida and me have. We have just been out to see which could beat snow falling, I was whipped out as usual. Ida and me will go to Taubers to stay all night. Levi Kennell and wife are at Uncle Sauls this evening.

Saturday the 4th – Was snowing the first when we awoke and did not stop all day. At ten o’clock Mr. Tauber brought us home in the sleigh and when we were out just a little while looked like Kris Kringle. By night the snow was so deep Jeff and Saul came down after Ida and me as Martha was so sick. It was almost impossible to get through, they were horseback so we just came behind them.

February Sunday the 5th – Oh the snow is too deep to get through and will have to stay at home all day. How I would like to go to Church and Singing but then I will spend the day in reading. Charlie and Lew came down from Savage through all the snow. I was glad to see them. Ida is going to work for Uncle Leff this week and hope to have good times this week if the sick is not too bad.

Monday the 6th – Martha is some better and I will commence to make Dillie a dress gingham and it is so pretty. Have finished the skirt but was working all day steady at it. Will make one for Martha as soon as she is better. Uncle Leff is as cross as two hundred sticks and he looks bad. Oh but I am sad and feel bad as my feelings were hurt by Uncle L.

Tuesday the 7th – The sick is some better and this will be a beautiful day. Has spoiled the sleighing. Did not get Dillies dress finished. Will get through in the morning. Got a good letter from home, Uncle Nathan one from Aunt Kate. Oh but I was glad to hear from home. We are going to a candy party at Henry Marts tomorrow evening and Ida is now calling me to make the bangs her and me and Lizzie Kennell.

Wednesday the 8th – This is such a nice day and have been washing my clothes. The roads are wet and muddy but nevertheless we are going to the candy party. Oh such a way of going and not many there but will try and make the best of it, did not stay late, came home and no fire but soon two going. Ida and Norman Kennell were watching one stove. Had better time at home.

Thursday the 9th – Martha is not any better. Ida and me will stay up with her tonight. This is a very lonesome time here now all sick and cross. If it would not be for Ida we would all be homesick but she can make fun enough for all of us. The diphtheria is very bad here. Dan Beals has lost two of his children with it. Tomorrow eve will be spelling school and we will go if nothing prevents.

Friday the 10th – this has been a cold cloudy day and the ground is froze hard enough that it is not muddy. We are at spelling but it is not as good as the other one was. Norman and Ida are played out. She did not come with anyone but then the times we had after we came home. It was eleven o’clock when we got home and the queries were many and good. Laura Marts spelled the school down and the other time as well.

Saturday the 11th - Martha is no better and seems to be getting weaker. This is a tiresome and lonesome day. Was taking a nap and had such a dream of home and it makes me think a great deal of home. I wish I could hear of Sister or from home, don't know why Mag don't write to her. Sister. Had a time all by ourselves Ida, Lizzie and me. Ida will stay up with Martha tonight again.

Sunday the 12th - This is a dull and cloudy day I will not go anyplace. Did intend to go to Uncle Petes and they came after me but Martha don't want me to go from her and will go at another time. Uncle Sauls and Em Lepley was here today. Ida and me was sleeping most of the day. Lizzie Kennell went home. Ida will go to singing school and Lizzie will be there and come home with Ida. Oh but I am so lonesome tonight.

Monday the 13th - Martha is some better today all is glad. Ida and Lizzie have gone to Denis Kennels to get his big rocking chair, she thanks she can sit up in it a while. Oh but the rain does come down, I don't envy them their trip. She likes to sit in the chair and does her good. Ida and me are to stay with her tonight and I do not feel good, the effect of the candy party I think.

Tuesday the 14th - This has been a lively time here as we are in good spirits and such a beautiful day and we are enjoying it too. This is Valentines Day but did not enjoy myself as a year ago today nor did not get the presents that I did last year and if I could only see a party that I did a year ago today I would be happy. There is so many people here this evening. And the owl that Jeff shot this evening

Wednesday the 15th - This is a lovely day. Martha is much better than she was yesterday. We are going to town tomorrow with Uncle Jake. I have been up in the barn turning the windmill but I soon gave out. Oh how I wished to get home. I do not enjoy myself as I used to and as soon as I get a letter from Sister I will go sure.

Thursday the 16th - I am going to Cumberland and have to go on a load of poles and was almost gone up until I got here. Uncle Yoan went down with us and he got oysters and we had a good dinner, did not get home-until after dark, and the rain, came down in earnest, we was wet and tired. Charlie and Lew was down and we had a time that evening. Did not get a letter, oh my.

Friday the 17th - Oh I was all 'broke up in the morning, Ida and Lizzie was going to turn me in bed but I was not that bad off. I rode horseback down to Uncle Sauls, with Saul, they are going to stir off sugar, Ida is coming now. Oh what fun we have eating spotses, they have twenty-five pounds in all. I helped to make the cakes oh how nice. Ida, George and me will go to Grandpas this evening.

Saturday the 18th - Martha is getting much better. She can sit up most all day. I am sewing busy today and will try and finish Aunt Marys dress but don't think that I can. We are going out to Comps Church, Shroup will preach. There was not many there. Uncle John came from the sawmill and has brought the mail with him, but there is a registered there for me and I must go myself to lift it and now I can go home.

Sunday the 19th - This is a day of great disappointments to us all, it is raining and sleeting and will have to stay all day in the house and I am so homesick that I cannot stay here a great while anymore. The boys came back from singing, not many there. We have been having a little circus this evening, Ida and Dillie, and now we can get to our beds.

Monday the 20th - The rain has not ceased and so gloomy. Lizzie and me went down to Uncle Jakes and oh how it is raining, we are going after dishes and they are so nice, will bring them home. I was almost tired out until we were at home, feet was drowned. Sure did not see many. Jake Kennell was boiling sugar.

Tuesday the 21st - This is election day and a bad one, the rain has not ceased. In the afternoon Uncle Nathan went to cast his vote. In the evening there was two men stayed all night, umbrella menders, oh my but they had a time. Martha is getting better all the time.

Wednesday the 22nd - This is a cold morning. Jeff is going to mill for Uncle Leff and I will go to Uncle Sauls. There will be a party there this evening. We had just the best time in the afternoon. They stirred off sugar, only two strangers there besides my cousins Lizzie and Mary Kennell but then we had the time. I came up to Grandmas it was twelve o'clock when we came home.

February the 23rd - We are all in rather good health after the party but will not forget it in a while until the wounds have healed over. This rather a nice day. I am making a dress for Lizzie Kennell and it is so pretty. And I was just wishing I was at home. Today I am getting so homesick and it will not be a great while the Lords willing until I go home.

February the 24th - This is Saint Mattrice Day and the ice is breaking and quite a nice day but by this afternoon it will be muddy. Have been sewing busy all day and finish this evening. Martha is improving but I think slowly.

February the 25th – Did not get through with my sewing but will this evening. They are all gone to Singing School and to the store but I will keep Saul here. There was no singing and they came home soon I was just finishing up, oh what a beautiful evening I could hardly stay at home but I did not have time to go. We are having the best of times this evening.

Sunday February the 26th – For a wonder this is a nice Sunday and we are going to Andy Kennells. Stopped at Uncle Sauls, seen George Albright. On such a time we had at Kennells, so many young people there to singing. Mr. Watts did not come up to Grandmas. Ida and Mike Sturtz the first night for them. Charlie, Lew and Rich are home going up on the mountain again. Have the good times.

Monday February the 27th – I do not feel any too good after our time yesterday, and this is wash day. I will go to Isrel Emericks this afternoon will stay there all night. Aunt Mary filled my pillow and it is so nice. I am there, stopped at Uncle Sauls as they were ready to stir off. Went to bed early and was tired, don’t feel good. Hope I will be better in the morning. Mary and Mrs. Tauber were there we spent rather a good evening.

Tuesday February the 28th – In the morning. Oh but I had a good sleep, at about ten o’clock Eliza went to Leydigs and I cam to Uncle Sauls. They are going to stir off again. I do not feel good yet and am lonesome. In the evening Ida got on a suit of clothes and we went to the sugar camp, did not have company enough. Went for a walk and above Isrel Emericks my boy fell over a long and such times. We went there but Liz was in bed already. And from there we went to Andy Kennels and had a time there, then we went up to Levi Kennells. They were all in bed but everyone got up again. I did not feel like laughing but then could not help but when we got to the new bridge it commenced to rain and by the time we got to the camp we were soaked. Jeff was there and I came up to Grandmas with him, it was twelve o’clock and the rain does not cease.


~ March 1882 ~

Wednesday March the 1st – This is a bad a rainy day and I am sick in bed and tonight is the party at Uncle Jakes and I will have to stay at home. I feel better this afternoon but will not risk myself to go. I do not like to see the rest of them go and me at home. This is a nice evening, Aunt Mary is so uneasy about me she is afraid I will get the fever, but I hope not.

March the 2nd – I am much better and this is a nice day, will go to Bakers. Stopped at Uncle Sauls they are stirring off and will stay a little while. Got up there just at dark and do enjoy the evening o much, oh how good they are. I slept with Martha, Mrs. Baker gave me sugar cakes to bring home with me. I took my pictures with me and they had a time when they saw Maw’s and Paw’s.

March the 3rd – Got up in the morning and such a beautiful morn, after breakfast will go to the sugar camp with Mrs. Baker, we are down there and she was telling me of old times and when I get home will tell Mother so much and what good times they used to have. It is dinner time and I will go. I started away at four o’clock stopped at Isrel Emericks eat supper there and it is just getting dark, seen a light coming out of the coal bank, it was Charlie and Uncle Saul. Went up with them in the evening. Mrs. Tauber was there and Mike Sturtz and Ed Shoemaker. The boys was there until twelve and then went home and Ida and me was boiling sugar water until two o’clock and it is so lonesome without anyone but ourselves, oh my.

Saturday March the 4th – Martha Kennell and me came up to Grandmas and such a nice morning but then for all one will get coming up hill. I was in Grandpas sugar camp today for the first time. Uncle Johns are going to stir off and will eat spotses, got almost two buckets of sugar. Well I am tired and as soon as I iron my things will go to bed, will go to Church tomorrow if it is nice.

March the 6th 1882 – This is a rainy day and I met with a disappointment. I intended to go to Comps but will not go now. Tomorrow Ida and me will go up to Uncle Joes, we will walk and it is such a long ways.

March 7th 1882 – This is a nice day and we are on our way up on Mount Savage and such grand times as Ida and me has, we are gathering tea leaves, got there just at supper time but my tooth ached. Uncle Joe played and Lew and me danced. It was eleven o’clock when we went to bed and I was tired but could not sleep for my toothache.

March the 8th – We left at about half past nine, came by way of Comps. I got some plants. How neat and clean their house was. Got to Grandpas at diner time, Ida did not stop. I got a letter from home, Aunt Allen brought it. We are going to a party at Uncle Sauls tonight but oh I am tired but will do the best that I can to hep them have a good time.

March the 9th – We had a good time but as we were ready to go it was raining, did not go up, stayed with Ida then in the afternoon Lew and me went to Wellersburg. It was such bad going but go we had to and we was wet until we got there. Uncle Petes were just eating supper, we had just a splendid evening, went and was weighed and then we came to Pollie Morgans, there was so many girls there.

March the 10th – Aunt Beccy and me have been down to John Beals, he gave me one of Allies pictures, came back in time for dinner. We are going to Grandpas this afternoon, Annie is going with us. We ate supper at Uncle Sauls then came home and in the evening we went to the sugar camp but did not stay long as I had the toothache so bad. We came to the house and had a time, bed at 11 o’clock.

March 11 – Annie Kneriem went to Uncle Youns rode horseback. Uncle Saul let me have one of his horses. They cant hear of me starting home o soon, I am going Tuesday if nothing happens. Aunt Druse was not at home and I got in at the window and opened the door. We had a good fire when she came. We spent such a nice evening. It was eleven when we retired.

March the 12th – We are going to the funeral. It is Henry Dorns baby, oh but it was sweet. Was buried at Palaalto. Then we came to Uncle Sauls and Ida was not there, then we went up to Grandmas, got there a little before dinner, went to the sugar camp, then to dinner. Ida came up – we were all hanging on the gate when Cousin Ed came. They were all going to Comps but it rained, then we went to the sugar camp. Ten o’clock when we got back.

March the 13th 1882 – Lizzie and me are washing but it is not a nice day. In the afternoon Aunt Mary and me went to the old Bowers place and around by the way of Leydigs, got some roots there, then home and how it is storming. In the evening we went to Uncle Sauls. Was there until ten o’clock. Then home.

March the 14th 1882 – The storm has not ceased and Cousin Saul is going to Clark Mills and I will go with him as far as Uncle Yoans, they were at home, in the evening we had the best time, was beat six times, did not get to bed until eleven o’clock and then I couldn’t sleep with the tooth ache.

March the 15th – Aunt Druse and me are going to Spealmans to see the children, and such pretty girls, we was there to dinner. Came to Cooks Mills. Ida was there and she is going away and I do so hate to see her go before I do. Aunt got me a new dress, came to Chat Witts, was there a while then started for the Mountains. It was dark when I got to Taubers, stayed all night. Oh but I am tired.

March 16th – Did not get away from Taubers until eleven o’clock, then I came as far as Isrel Emericks, rested a while then went to Uncle Sauls, was there for dinner, then we came to Grandpas and I ironed and packed my trunk, and such an excitement – the room was just full of children watching and helping. In the evening we tied paper shoes on the cats and Grandma was going to whip us. Tomorrow evening we are going to singing school.

March the 17th – This is just a lovely day. I have done a washing and tomorrow we are going to Wellersburg and this evening to a spelling. Oh the queries, I will go now and help get the supper. My tooth does ache so hard, but then to the spelling but don’t think it will be good. Oh such queries and to top off all the spelling there was a fight. Norman Kennell and Saul Emerick, Saul whipped him and oh such times and I will be so glad to get home again.

March the 18th – This is a bad rainy day and Lizzie and me will be disappointed in going to Wellersburg and have made a little start in the afternoon. Got a little ways below Uncle Sauls, then it was so bad turned back home. Dillie had supper ready when we came, and we were hungry. In the evening we enjoyed ourselves rather well. Saul came in with his black eye, it looks so bad. I have not got over the fight yet and don’t think I will in a hurry. The first and hope to be the last.

March 19th 1882 – We are going to Church. It has cleared off nicely. It was German preaching and could not understand any. After preaching Lizzie and me stopped at Uncle Sauls. After dinner we went to singing school and eyes as was cast at me from the Kennell Tribe but then I had the same privilege to look at them. Came by Sauls up to Grandpas, made the supper while Lizzie milked. In the evening [?] came, I did not expect him as he belongs to the Kennels side, but then he came.

March the 20th - This is a rainy bad day and tomorrow I want to start home and am afraid it will rain and oh I will be so disappointed as I want to start. I have been preparing all this forenoon to start and did intend to go to Aunt Ellens to see them stir off sugar once more before I go home. The fog has come across the Allegania and a sure sign of not stopping in a while. Em Lepley is here and will have a good time getting home.

March 21st - I did not get awake until seven in the morning and it is a stormy day. Oh why can't it be nice but it is impossible to start as long as we cannot get to town, the waters are so high. I will have to make the best of a bad bargain. Grandma is pleased as it is. This has been such a bad day that we did not get any place. Have been knitting lace.

March 22nd - Another stormy day and now I will not get away this week and will not go any place while I am here. I am trying to make a collor and that will take up my time a little. We ate the chicken I had ready to go home but it was not as good as though I was taking it on my road home. I have sent another letter home , oh I know they will be disappointed.

March 23rd - This being a day too late in the week for me to start. Is a lovely day. In the afternoon I went to Uncle Sauls, they boiled syrup and we had all the spots we could eat. Aunt Ellen went to Bails. Shoemakers did not get home till night. In the evening Saul, Jeff and Lizzie came down and we had rather a good time, came home with them, it was after ten o’clock.

March the 24th - This is wash day with us and oh how the chimney smoked. I want to try and get home Monday and want to be all ready, got through washing at noon and this afternoon will knit at my collar. I have it most done. We have had such a time here today -- Em and me had a little racket and is not settled yet -- I will show them how to talk of me. We are having the good time us all.

March 25th - Was helping Lizzie do her work and finished packing. In the evening we went to Kennells Mills there was an auction there. Saul and we went to Uncle Jakes then started home, he went in the store I did not go in, Ed came out with him and went home with me and we did have one of the best times.

March the 26th - We was going up to the high rocks and just as we were all ready to go here came Alex and Loll, then our trip was spoiled. In the morning Uncle John had a visitor come -- a girl six and three quarters pounds. In the afternoon we all went to singing, enjoyed ourselves so well. Came to Grandpas in time for supper. I have everything ready to start.

March the 27th - Did not get awake until six o'clock and it was raining, but yet we started for Cumberland, got my ticket at Hilleries, it was twenty-one dollars. We have been going around so much I am tired. Saul, Jeff, Lew and Lizzie will stay with me as I cannot get away until twelve forty tonight, they will get off at Hyndman and walk five miles home.

March 28th - This is a dull cloudy morning, I am at Pittsburg. Got here at half past seven, will go again at nine o'clock. We are at Cleveland, Ohio, Oh such a large place.

March 29th - I am in Chicago at twelve minutes of seven and will have to wait until twelve o'clock. I am now in the cars bound for home. There is so many going this way.

# # # #

The diary seemed to end abruptly. As I recall my Mother telling that she received word that her Mother was seriously ill with cancer which is probably the reason of the end of the diary. (R.L. Whelan)


~  Births and Baptisms of Josephine Emerick's
Father, Uncles and Aunts ~

Nathan Emerick born Feb. 15, 1824. Baptized April 18, 1824, Andrew Emerick and his wife being sponsors.

Catherine Emerick born Aug. 24, 1825. Adam Sturtz and his wife Catherine the sponsors.

Jacob Emerick born March 9, 1827, Jacob Emerick and his wife Margaret being sponsors.

Lydia Emerick born Jan. 25, 1829. Adam Sturtz & wife Catherine being sponsors.

Emanuel Emerick born Oct. 18, 1830, baptized June 19, 1831. Solomon Hoysman and wife Susannah being sponsors.

Josiah Emerick born Dec. 6th 1835, baptized Feb. 28, Solomon Sturtz and wife Elizabeth being sponsors.

Jonathan Emerick born June 18, 1837, Baptized the 29 1837, John & Susannah Hoyman being sponsors.

Solomon Emerick born Jan. 11, 1840. Adam Scheirer & wife Susannah being sponsors.

John Emerick born Aug. [?] 1841, John Sturtz & Susannah being sponsors.

Rebecca Ann Emerick born Dec. 9, 1843, Jonathan Witt & wife being sponsors.

Lafette Emerick born June 6, 1847, John Beals & wife Susannah being sponsors.

Loveisie Emerick born March 31, 1832, Samuel Boyer & wife Lydia being sponsors.

Tena Emerick born Nov. 16 1833, Tena Leydig being sponsor


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