12/04/1997 NOTES From The White County Historical Society Library

White County Historical Society Library
by Charlene Shields!
This article appeared in THE CARMI TIMES
December 04, 1997

Shirley Malone Fritsche

  • Shirley Malone Fritsche of Cordova, Tenn. remembers visiting her great-grandfather, William Henry Rice (aged 90+), at his farm near Enfield. His daughter, Martha Rice, married Clarence Malone.
    In 1908, Martha kept a diary, or "birthday book," as she called it.
    Shirley Malone Fritsche has sent us a transcript of Martha's diary.
    Here are some excerpts.
    They are of interest because they show the flavor of life in a much different time.

  • April 16 (Martha Rebecca Rice Malone's 24th birthday): Mama gave me this little book as a birthday gift.

  • April 18: Baked in morning. Went to Susie's (Susan Ashbury--Mrs. Will Malone). We sewed.

  • April 21: Etta Pullam was buried. Went to Mama's and set my goose eggs. Sewed in afternoon.

  • April 23: Bertha Malone (sister-in-law, later married Glenn Sharpe) and Mr. Shelton were here for dinner.
    Planted potatoes and set out cabbage plants.
    Set four hens.

  • April 30 A pretty day. I ironed and scrubbed.

  • May 1: Went to Mama's. Rudolph (2-year-old son) and I drove Doll (horse).

  • May 2: Went to Enfield. Got me a new "Merry Widow Hat."

  • May 3: Sunday. Meeting day at Beaver Creek. Raining. We did not get to go.

  • May 7: A cold, cloudy day. My first goslings are hatching.

  • May 16: A pretty day. Went to Springerton. Traded Doll for Old Mandy (horses).

  • May 20: A fine, large day. I washed and sewed. Hoed the garden.

  • May 24: Susie and I picked cherries. Mrs. John Barnett was killed in a runaway.

  • June 6: Went to Effa's (Martha's sister, Effa Rice, who married Charlie Williams). Made ice cream and lemonade.

  • June 11: Ironed and baked light bread. Went to the saw mill.

  • June 15: Sam (brother-in-law, Sam Malone) began boarding with us. Canned grapes.

  • June 23: Gathered berries. Sewed in afternoon.

  • June 25: Gathered berries. Went to Mama's and to Will's to see the new boy (Will and Edna Rice's new baby, Noel Mason Rice).

  • June 30: Picked the geese. Rudolph and I went to Thackary.

  • July 14: Made apple preserves. John Rice and Marie Mills came.

  • July 20: Ordered me a new machine from Sears and Roebuck.

  • Aug. 16: Went to Number Three for church. Home with Clarence and Jennie Upton for dinner.

  • Aug. 29: Ironed and scrubbed. Canned pears.

    Sept. 1: Mrs. Winslow and I went to the sale at John's (John Rice, brother; the sale was preparatory for a move to Idaho. Martha's parents and others of the Rice and Mason families followed them in a few months; however, the parents returned to White County a few years later.
    The others who went to Idaho eventually scattered throughout the West).

  • Martha kept the diary the entire year. Each week, there are notations about washing, ironing, scrubbing, sewing, canning and going to church.
    As fall came on, Martha picked the geese again, dried corn and helped gather corn.
    They had a hog killing, rendering lard and making sausage.
    The next day, Martha fried down the meat and sausage.
    In early December, they had a phone put in. During snowy days, Martha sewed, cut carpet rags and did weaving.

    On Feb. 5, she warped her carpet. She visited her mother and helped her quilt.
    Judging from the year of entries in her "birthday book," Martha Rice Malone was a busy and industrious young mother--and happy in her work!

    We continue to be comfortably busy with letters and visitors to our Genealogy Library. We're open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays. Come join us.

    Posted with permission from

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