I have finished transcribing the November 1893-September 1894 diary of Stella Bowling Cunningham. I will continue to post it in entries at this site, but if you wish to download it in its entirety as a Rich Text Format document, you may do so by selecting the version you wish here (RTF or PDF) or by clicking the link in the sidebar under “Downloads.” My posts of the diary entries will consist of my particular favorites or ones I find interesting rather than the whole diary, but you can get a flavor for the diary by checking out these three entries:
Month: August 2005
Transcription of the Diary of Stella Bowling Cunningham, December 16, 1893 to December 31, 1893
Sat. Dec. 16, 1893Helped clean up and wrote to J.W.T.
Went to town with Aunt Panthea [the sister of Stella’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Kennedy, Panthea Narcissa Kennedy Payne], Florence, and Mrs. Hayes.
Went to several stores. Had my voucher fixed by old Bro. Perry paid .25 cts.
Bought stamps .10 cts.
Borrowed off D. Campbell $10.00.
Dec. 16, 1893 concluded
Bought (at Denton) velvet .50
(at Denton) rings .10
ribbon (cream) .25
Silk (cream) .10
silk thread .05
Finished the book-mark and made one for Mary Hutton and wrote a little to her and sent it. In evening went with Aunt Panthea to see some sick people, the Mrs-es Milligan & Mrs. Bradley.
Went back to Mrs. Milligan to get a stamping pattern.
Wrote to Mama [Mary Kennedy Bowling] and fixed the cravat case to send.
Florence and I went to Mrs. Hall’s to get a cloak-pattern but failed to get it.
Sunday, Dec. 17, 1893
After the cleaning up I washed & dressed for church.
Went to Mr. E. church & heard the new preacher preach on “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
In the evening Mr. Amos came for me. At night several young folks came in and I had to play some for them [in several other places in the diary, Stella mentions playing the organ, so it may be assumed that is what she means here]. They sang some. (There was whiskey around.)
Got a letter from Flood and Vincent so fixed the book “Outlines of Economics” to send back to exchange for “Roman & Medieval Art.”
I left ten cents to pay postage.
Monday, Dec. 18, 1893
School as usual and very good too. At night made a pin cushion & gave Mrs. Cunningham [Mary Anne Penelope Anthony Cunningham, Amos’s mother] and Mattie. Made two head rests (a long one and a square one).
Fixed the hat-mark in Mr. Libass’ hat. The first thing in the eve was to start my hat-mark with A.B.C. [initials of Amos Blakey Cunningham] on it to be a Xmas present.
Tues. Dec. 19, 1893
Sent and bought hat-rack .10 bought Panthea’s knife, fork, & spoon .25.
As Mr. Cunningham was fixing to move several came to help catch chickens so I did nothing but talk, play the organ and eat pop-corn & pecans.
In evening I finished my skirt & made my handkerchiefs.
Wed. Dec. 20, 1893
Mr. Cunningham moved out & Mr. Bragg came in.
School as common. After which I made another head rest! Wrote a note to Eva.
At night read some & finished my hat-mark.
Mr. Amos sat up & talked with me till late and I granted his request [either a euphemism for a kiss or his proposal].
Began my handkerchief.
Thurs. Dec. 21st 1893
School as common & read some at night. Retired early.
Miss Mattie staid all night and went to a party.
I slept good.
Friday Dec. 22, 1893
School as usual and dismissed for Xmas.
Fixed up things to go home and went to Mr. Cunningham’s with Mr. Amos on a load of oats (in sacks).
At night the Houston boys came over and staid till bed-time.
Sat. Dec. 23, ’93
Mr. Amos took me to Coppell in a buggy.
Bought ticket for .80 cts. And started for home about ten o’clock. At Plano Mama & Homer [Stella’s brother, Homer Alfred Bowling] met me in the buggy.
I paid on Homer’s suit $2.00 and bought for Horation [Stella’s brother, Horatio Hayden Bowling] a chest of tools .35.
Got home before night. Mama, Miss Mollie, and Ida came to see me.
Did up work and went to church. Bro. Crouch preached on “The Seven Sayings of Christ on the Cross.”
In eve Home and I went to see Velma and take their presents [to] put in children’s stockings (cts.) .50.
Monday. Dec. 25th 1893 Xmas
Cleaned up and gave the presents. Papa a book-mark Mama a comb-case, Homer a knife and hat-rack Horation a little tool chest, & Panthea a knife, fork, & spoon [Note: This is probably Stella’s sister Panthea or Panthia Verena Bowling rather than her Aunt Panthea.] Mama gave me a collar and cuffs.
Velma, Herbert, and his Bro. came about eleven o’clock they gave me a work-box. We had a very good dinner. Mrs. Leach came a while & Susie also Ida a few moments. Velma & them went home. We played “Cash” and enjoyed it. Got a letter from Maggie.
Tues. Dec. 26, 1893
After cleaning up I painted Laura’s felt for paper-holder.
Went to Mr. Armstrong’s a few moments. Then to Mr. Culledges to see Stena [or possibly Steven] Watson.
Went to the S.S. concert at Campbellite church. It was very good but I sorter had headache.
After cleaning up & dressing we all went to Velma’s, had a good dinner. In the eve Mrs. Dorsey, Mrs. Worsham, Mrs. Mary Shirley, & Mrs. Graham came to see us.
After they all left Velma & I went where Bro. Herbert was working. (I staid all night at McKinney, the rest went home.)
After getting ready Velma and I went by Mrs. Phillips’ a while then out to depot and I came home paying for ticket .25.
Washed & ironed Papa some shirts when I got home. In eve went to Mrs. Leach’s & to Lizzy Ereckson’s & saw Mr. Hugh.
Miss Mollie gave me some plants to set out.
Got a letter from Mary Hutton. (I think it was to-day.)
Fri. 12-29, 1893
After cleaning up & getting ready Papa brought me over to Lewisville in buggy. I had no mail only “Chautauquan.”
Got up late & help do work. Made a head-rest for Aunt Panthea (A large one).
Papa left after-noon. Went to Uncle John’s awhile.
My washing which had been done last week was .25 (unpaid).
Bought wax .05
Aunt Panthea gave me a beautiful handkerchief to use as neck-tie (pink chiffon).
Florence and I went to Mrs. Payne’s & I went to Mrs. Hall’s but Cora was gone.
Got breakfast or rather helped & helped clean up then dressed but was too sick to go to church. I had to lie down some & ate no dinner. Uncle Jeff brought me out to Mrs. Bragg’s (as I was about well.) I started to write some and Mr. Amos came to see me. We had a very nice time. He gave me a beautiful silk handkerchief with S on it & said “S is for sweet.” He staid till after eleven o’clock then bid me good bye ( ) [Stella’s euphemism for a kiss].
Thus ended the year 1893 with me after he left I retired but was sleepless for sometime & heard shooting to welcome the New Year I suppose.
I prayed before retiring.
Now dear 1893 I bid you adieu. You have gone with joys to some and sorrows to others and I have had some of each. Farewell, farewell.