December 1934

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December 6 Thursday – Boiler Pay Day $ 16.00,    Charles $ 2.00

December 7 – Friday – Here it is well into December and Xmas will be here before we know it. Mariella got through with her night turn and is working on the second floor this month. It is the coldest this morning it has been yet this season. Down to 12 above. Ed is still working. He was off for Thanksgiving – then worked Friday and Saturday morning. Of that week. I went to a “movie” the other day. Yesterday the committee met to decide on our refreshments and entertainment for the Christmas party, but we didn’t make any definite plans.

December 8 – Saturday – Charles $ 2.00. I fixed Julia dress and lined her coat and did a little washing for her and she paid me. $ 2.00.

December 10 – Monday. The shop is supposed to work 3 days a week until the first of the year – Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays. So Ed is home today and we are washing.

December 14 – Friday – I have been to Mama’s this p.m. Mrs. Bowen was there and we planned our Xmas Party. I guess everything is lined up for it. Then I went to the shop to get Ed and we went to town and got something for supper. Cashed Ed’s Boiler Shop check $ 17.50, which he drew yesterday. They were so busy Tuesday that they decided to work Wednesday also, so he got in 4 days this week.

December 20 – Thursday – Jimmie is coming down with the measles. The sign isn’t up yet, but he has been sick since Monday and today he is starting to “break out”. Ed just came home from the shop. He worked a half day today. This was pay day, $ 14.00. He also got his Baker Christmas gift today, $ 10.00. Then Chas paid his board last Saturday which I haven’t put down, $ 2.00.

December 22 – Chick’s 20th birthday. We are fixing of a party of boys in tonight. He paid his $ 2.00 today.

December 23 – Sunday – Well the party is over. The boys had gone hunting and brought in 6 rabbits, which I cooked. Their menu was:  rabbit, mashed potatoes & gravy, cabbage slaw, cranberries, celery, coffee, and beer. They sat down to the table at 10:30. After they ate they played cards until 3 o’clock. Then Ed told them it was time to “break up.” I guess they would have stayed all night if he hadn’t sent them home. They were Francis Heflin, Bud Peterson, Pat Murphy, Zonkel, Eddie Cronaw, Bill Henry, Ky Witte, Charles, Ed.

December 25 – Tuesday – Another Xmas is almost ended, and it has been a good one except that Mariella couldn’t come home on account of our being quarantined for measles. Jimmie is almost well again, but Teddy hasn’t started yet. Ed and I didn’t exchange gifts this year the first time since we have known each other. We bought for the kids about as usual. Jimmie and Teddy have been awfully sweet and happy with their toys. Gene and Paul Heflin were here this morning and Francis. That is all the company we have had today. Heflins invited Mariella to eat dinner with them. I went over there this p.m. to see their gifts and to chat with Mariella a while.

December 29 – Saturday. Last Thursday was pay day again, $ 12.50. Ed was called in to work last Wednesday. Should have gone in the morning but he didn’t get the word in time, so he went in at noon and has worked ever since. Today he went at 7 o’clock. He is to go again Monday. Jimmie has gotten over the measles O.K. but Teddy is down now. He started with a fever yesterday and we reported it today. So if everything goes alright we should be released by next Saturday then Mariella can come home again. I went to town this evening. While I was gone Mama and Julia came out. Julia bought material for a dress for me to make her. Mama says Uncle John sent her the railroad fare to Chicago, so she is going up Monday to make them a visit. Mariella had all night off and all day Thursday & Friday but as she couldn’t come home, she spent her time with Mama. She also has tonight off so she is going to a dance with Virginia then they are going to Mama’s to stay all night.

December 30 – Sunday night – Another year is almost ended and while everyone is looking back over the happenings of the year, I think it would be interesting for me to mention here a few of the outstanding events.

1.  The arrest of Bruno Hauptmann charged with the kidnapping and murder of Lindbergh baby. His trial will be in January.

2.  Birth of the Dionne quintuplets in Canada, all of whom are still living and are now about nine months old.

3.  Assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and Barthow his minister. Also the death of King Albert of Belgium. King Albert of Belgium didn’t fasten his safety belt when he went mountain climbing; the King of Yugoslavia didn’t wear his bullet proof vest, because it made his dress uniform bulge. Both dead.

4.  Shooting of John Dillinger, who had defied the law and broke out of jail by holding up the guards with a little wooden gun which he had whittled out in his cell.

5.  Morrow Castle disaster. The big ship which couldn’t sink – on its initial trip.

6.  Samuel Insull found not guilty after being brought back to America for trial – at a great expense to the government.

7.  Chancellor Dollfuss’ murder.

8.  Dizzy Dean’s world series pitching, also his brother Paul.

9.  Hitler’s Nazi surge. I don’t know much about this, but if anyone can keep those German’s and their affairs straight, they have more intelligence than I.

10.  The biggest event in the history of the year, in my estimation is “Ed’s job.” It is a real job. It is clean, pleasant work and it is as steady and any shop work can be. We are still just as thrilled and elated over it as we were when they first told him of it. The pay isn’t large, but it is sufficient, and in the four months he has been working we have bought a lot of things besides just “eats”. Teddy and I are alone this evening. Teddy is down with the measles. Ed and Jimmie have gone to a show. Virginia Best ate dinner with us today. Charles $ 2.00.

December $ 82.00

Total for 1934 $ 767.59


Paula Sands Live Program

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Watch us on Paula Sands Live Thursday!

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We will be on the Paula Sands Live Show, KWQC-TV Davenport, Iowa this Thursday September 27th at 3 PM. We will share our adventure getting Grandma Effie’s Great Depression Diary printed, pictures, and more.  Hope you can tune in!

Mike Martin

Jane Reinhardt-Martin

Bill Wundram finds diary interesting

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Bill Wundram, ledandary writer of the Quad City Times, came to our neighborhood swap party yesterday to check out our event. While he was here, he noticed our new book. Bill found it fancinating — so maybe he’ll do a story on it! Check out the great photos below!

Bill Wundram & I reading the diary

Barb, Bill, and me

Rain, Rain, Rain!!

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We braved the rain yesterday during “Hog Days”, and so did many folks that came out to purchase our book. We sold 15 books, and had many wonderful conversations with folks from Kewanee, Princeton, Bishop Hill, and many other places. Books are still available at the Kewanee Historical Society Museum during this Labor Day Weekend. If you purchase a book from the Historical Society, 50% of the proceeds will go back to the museum. And make sure you spend some time at the Museum — the directors have done a fine job of preserving Kewanee History.

Jane Reinhardt-Martin

Mike Martin

Book Available at Hog Days!

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Well, after many revisions, it is now in the hands of the printer. We should have the book in our hands by August 31st.  We are looking forward to sharing Effie’s story with everyone. We will be selling the book on Saturday morning, September 1st, in Kewanee outside the Boss Building (across from the Library). Every Labor Day Weekend, Kewanee has a celebration called “Hog Days”. The book will also be available at the Kewanee Historical Society, which is located in downtown Kewanee. Please stop by to see us and let us know your Great Depression stories.

Mike Martin & Jane Reinhardt-Martin

November 1934

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November 1 Thursday – Boiler Pay day $ 20.00. Starting last Monday the Boiler Shop went on a 7 hour day. They now go to work at 8 o’clock in the morning.

November 3 Saturday. Mariella and Francis went to the football game at “Illinois”. It has been a miserable day. But they got back safely and had a wonderful time at the game.

November 4 – Sunday. Another rainy day. I have just stayed home and cooked today. Bill Koch gave us some wild ducks and were they good! Yum – yum. Gene came in this afternoon and Virginia & Herb were here also.

November 6 – Tuesday. Election Day. Ed didn’t work at the shop today. It was closed for election. This morning he took out the screens, and then went to town and got new glass for 5 windows, came home and put them in. It has been a beautiful day. Mariella went to the polls with us today and cast her first vote. Chas paid his board yesterday, $ 2.00. I washed yesterday and ironed this morning. It has been so warm today. I have let the fire go out.

November 10 – Saturday – Ed drew his pay Thursday. It was the first pay on the 35 hour week. He worked one hour overtime which made it $ 18.00. We have been having our Oriental Bazaar this week. I don’t think we will make much on it. Ed went to Chicago again today to see Fred. I went to town this p.m. and got the supplies. Also got Jimmie a sheeplined leatherette jacket and Teddy a “goggle cap.”

November 12 – Tuesday – I washed today yesterday we were busy packing and sending back the good which we didn’t sell at the Bazaar. We sold over $ 60.00 worth of stuff and made $ 12.00 after all expenses were taken out. Not so good as we hoped to do. I am going to town with Mariella after while to see about her new glasses.

November 14 – Wednesday – Chas $ 2.00

November 15 – Thursday Boiler pay day $ 14.00. I have been painting the kitchen oil cloth floor today. Green – the greenest green you ever saw. Painted the kitchen chairs ivory. I think it will look pretty good when it’s all done and set in place again. Ed and I are going out after while for some sandwiches and beer.

November 22 – Thursday – Boiler Pay Day $ 14.00, Chas – $ 2.00

It has rained all week. Just did my washing today. Our group met at Mrs. Fred’s yesterday. It was a 1 o’clock luncheon. It was sure a swell spread and we had a good meeting. Mama, Mrs. Bowen & I and Florence Wells will have the next meeting, the Christmas party at Mama’s house.

November 25 – Sunday – Gene’s & Edith’s 20th anniversary. They had all the family there for 6 o’clock oyster stew. Mariella and Chas were both able to go with us as their supper hours happened to be OK.

November 26 – Monday – Rained again today, so I didn’t wash. It has rained lots in the last 2 weeks. Julia came out tonight and bought a dress and coat for me to fix.

November 28 – Wednesday – Boiler Pay Day $ 17.50,  Charles $ 2.00

Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving. We will stay home and are not inviting anyone here this time. This evening I dressed a chicken, made a cake and two pies.

 November total $ 91.50.

 Year to date $ 685.59.

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