Editor’s note: The following story contains diary entries written in the 1850s. The diary was found in the Leader office. The entries were transcribed as they appear in the diary. Spelling inaccuracies and sentence structure were not changed.
Beulah Maria Johnson’s leather-bound diary was found this winter in an old safe in the Lake Mills Leader office. How the diary got in the safe is just as much of a mystery as who Johnson was. The book was written for 1857, but Johnson appears to have used the book to detail 1858 and a year beyond.
As far as we can tell Johnson lived in Dodge County near Columbus.
June 9, 1858
Very warm, wind northwest, washed, baked, made cheese, churned. Mrs. Leffingwell here in the afternoon and in the afternoon, we went to Spencer’s, Mrs Jane Foweler here, went to Austin’s after tea with Mrs. Leffingwell.
June 10, 1858
Very pleasant and warm till 11 o’clock, clouded up and began to rain. Father, mother and the boys gone to Columbus. I am alone all day, done various kinds of work, from which I am very tired, went to Spencer’s at noon. Did not rain but a little wind west.
June 11, 1858
Very pleasant and warm in the afternoon, afternoon clouds and some cooler. Moved our stove. Worked hard all day, pretty tired. Had the first currents, the boys washed and varnished the wagon. A little shower at sun down, wind west. George here to dinner.
Cold Water Cookies: 3 cups white sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 tea spoonful of cold water, nutmeg and caraway seeds, bake quickly.
Do you think there is something missing from the above recipe?